A planet run by King CONG—Coal, Oil, Nukes & Gas—cannot be
But to get beyond it, our Solartopian vision must embrace more than just a technological transformation. It also demands
social, political and spiritual transcendence.
From Fukushima to global warming,
from fracking to the Gulf disaster(s), it’s clear the
fossil/nuclear industry is hard-wired to kill us all. Its only motivating force is profit; our biological survival has no part in the equation.
Thankfully, renewable energy has achieved technological
critical mass. Green power is cheaper, cleaner,safer, more reliable, more job-producing and more secure. Despite a furious fossil/nuke push-back, the multi-trillion-dollar
transition to a green-powered economy is well underway. Photovoltaic cells alone will be the biggest industry in human history.
Likewise, our food supply cannot be sustained with chemical pesticides, herbicides, fertilizers, monoculture, industrial meat and genetic modification. The switch to organic, sustainable
agriculture is essential to our survival
But this vital transformation in food and energy will not happen in a vacuum. We can prove the economic, ecological and public health rationale for a Solartopian transition.
But we can’t win without a cultural and political transformation.
That starts with the empowerment of women. Nature-based societies are matriarchal. And only when women are guaranteed equal education, pay and control of their reproductive rights will
the human population come into balance with the planet’s ability to support us.
We must also cure the corporate virus that’s killing us all. Our economic and political system is being devoured by a Frankenstein monster whose only imperative is to make money. It claims
human rights but has no human or ecological responsibilities. Until the engines of our economy are made accountable to us and the planet, we have no chance of survival.
The corporate monster’s primary assault mechanism is war, the continual slaughter of humans and the Earth. War’s only predictable long-term outcome is massive corporate profit and a destroyed
planet. It is the ultimate divide-and-conquer strategy of a terminal cancer.
Sustaining our life also means all humans must be fed (which can be done globally at a fraction the cost of war), housed, clothed, educated and healthy. Without social justice, Solartopia is
a meaningless dream.
And there’s only one way to get there—with true democracy, which cannot be had while corporations own and operate our government. Big money must be banned from our elections, which can only
happen with universal voter registration and hand-counted paper ballots.
We also need a neutral internet, free of corporate control, a global nervous system by which our evolving consciousness can freely communicate.
As a species we can count great strides in cultural awareness and social ecology. But in the material world we run a dead heat with mutant fossil/nuke technologies and the
vampire corporations now draining the life out of us and our planet.
In the long run, our human survival instinct must transcend the corporate profit motive.
There are those who say it’s hopeless, and that the battle is already lost.
But for the rest of us, for our kids and grandkids, not to mention our own good times, let’s just say we’ll see you in Solartopia …
We hope you’ll be joining us at the Nuclear Free CA meeting on January 24-25 in San Luis Obispo, ( Download flyer PDF )
We’ll have an exciting conference to develop a strategy to shut down Diablo Canyon nuclear reactors – our own potential
Fukushima. Located in San Luis Obispo, on the beautiful California coast, two aging reactors are savagely fissioning adjacent to 13 earthquake faults in a tsunami zone and operated by PG&E,
currently charged with over 30 federal felonies for criminal mismanagement. It’s time to shut them down – and to insist on the safest possible management of the deadly radioactive waste. Diablo
Canyon nuclear waste canisters have conditions for cracking after only two years of use!
Saturday, January 24th - Develop a statewide strategy to shut down Diablo Canyon and to manage
California’s tons of deadly radioactive waste safely as possible! 9am – 6pm – San Luis Obispo Grange, 2880 Broad St, San Luis Obispo, CA 93401 Catered lunch & dinner. Sat. lunch included in registration fee. Dinner $20 per person
Saturday evening: Speaker from Fukushima, music, videos, poetry
Conference cost: $25– no one refused for lack of funds – http://mothersforpeace.org/donate
RSVP’s required: by Jan. 17 for Saturday lunch and dinner arrangements Marybeth@eon3.net – Please indicate vegetarian or chicken main entrée for lunch & dinner
Sunday, January 25th – Help build the Nuclear Free West Coast and Pacific Rim alliance in response to the ongoing Fukushima tragedy. We will discuss topics covered Saturday in
more depth as well as additional items.
9am – 5pm – San Luis Obispo City-County Library, 958 Palm Street, SLO 93401. (We will try to make remote computer access possible for those unable to attend in person on
Sunday.) Sunday lunch is on your own at one of the many nearby restaurants.
1. You don’t have to attend both days. Saturday, January 24th, is going to be devoted exclusively to creating a statewide strategy
to shut down Diablo Canyon.
Sunday’s agenda is more expansive and includes the whole West Coast and Pacific Rim.
2. On Saturday evening, there will be a program featuring speakers from Fukushima with updates from Japan, along with poetry and music.
3. The meeting is going to be highly interactive, with lots of opportunity for creative participation in the ultimate strategy to
SHUT DOWN DIABLO CANYON!
Mothers for Peace and EON – the Ecological Options Network are proud to be part of this coalition to make our state and our world
safer for the future generations!
Looking forward to seeing you! Nuclear Free California Agenda Committee
8-Year Fracking Moratorium Bill Introduced in Maryland as Californians Demand Real Climate Action
On his way out of office last November, former Maryland Governor Martin O’Malley opened the door to allowing fracking in
that state, albeit under heavy regulation. That raised concerns that incoming pro-fracking Republican Governor Larry Hogan would dispense with many of the regulations, allowing extraction
companies free reign.
A small portion of western Maryland sits on the Marcellus & Utica shale formations, which has proved lucrative to gas companies in adjoining states. Image credit: Marcellus Shale
Yesterday a group of Maryland legislators introduced a bill to head off that possibility.
Forty-eight legislators introduced the Protect Our Health and Communities Act to enact a long-term moratorium on fracking.
“Today we announce a new effort to place a moratorium on fracking in our state,” said Senate bill sponsor Karen Montgomery.
“This bill will allow us to maintain the public’s confidence as we continue to gather data on the long-term effects of the hydraulic fracturing process. Without more scientific data on the public
health consequences, we cannot engage in possibly risky energy projects.”
“Almost every week a new study emerges pointing to the alarming health and environmental effects of fracking,” said delegate David Fraser-Hidalgo, the House
bill sponsor. “To open up Maryland to fracking at this time would simply be reckless.”
“We write to update you concerning trends in recent health research on unconventional natural gas development and production, enabled by hydraulic fracturing and commonly referred to as
‘fracking,'” it said. “The scientific literature now includes 400+ peer-reviewed studies on the public health climate and environmental dimensions of this type of unconventional gas development,
the vast majority of which suggest that high-volume hydraulic fracturing technologies pose threats to human and animal health and safety via contamination of air, water and soil. There is little
evidence that these threats can be sufficiently mitigated through regulatory frameworks.”
The letter goes on to detail the findings of numerous studies showing that fracking poses a
danger to human health.
The number of studies on the health and environmental impacts of fracking has grown dramatically and most have shown they are negative. Image credit: PSE Healthy Energy
“Given the nature of the chemicals used in the fracking process, we may see increases in cancers, neurologic diseases, cardiac and respiratory diseases, and developmental disorders in coming
years, but it will take time for these effects to show up,” said Dr. Gina Angiola, board member of
Chesapeake Physicians for Social Responsibility and CHP-Md cofounder.
Two counties in Maryland’s western panhandle sit atop the gas-rich Marcellus and Utica shale formations, and fracking has, as usual, been promoted as a jobs generator and economic driver.
“As a nurse-midwife, I am deeply concerned about the elevated risks of birth defects and low birth weight babies seen in families near fracking sites,” said Katie Huffling, director of programs for
the Alliance of Nurses for Healthy Environments and a cofounder of CHP-Md. “We need to protect our future generations and continue a moratorium on fracking in Maryland.”
In New York, another state that natural gas extraction companies have been eying hungrily, Governor Andrew Cuomo delighted environmental advocates in December by announcing a permanent ban on fracking. At the
time, he referred to the likelihood that the ban would draw lawsuits which hasn’t yet occurred because the final ban language isn’t written. But one New York legislator, Chris Collins, who
represents the state’s gas-heavy western region, called the ban “a sad day for the future of
the economy of upstate New York” and said he is considering pushing for federal
legislation to override state bans.
Citizens in southern Illinois’ McLean County cheer as its county board votes to deny a drilling permit late last year. Photo credit: Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing our
While New York was banning fracking, Illinois was giving it the go-ahead. In early November, the
state government finalized regulations that allowed it to proceed, despite intense opposition from environmental and citizen groups. But the boom
that was supposed to create as many as 10,000 jobs in the southern part of the state hasn’t materialized, due to the drop in oil and gas
Annette McMichael, a spokesman for Southern Illinoisans Against Fracturing Our
Environment (SAFE), told the Associated Press that her group
“believed all along the price of oil is not going to be sustainable, and once it fell the fossil fuel industry would be leaving Illinois—or at least putting hydraulic fracturing on hold. We
certainly hope oil prices stay depressed for 2015, which is a good possibility.”
Meanwhile, in California, which has drilled 300 new wells a month for the last decade, half of them fracked, opponents are planning a major rally this Saturday, Feb. 7 in Governor Jerry Brown’s
hometown Oakland. Dubbed March for Real Climate Leadership, they hope to draw
more than 10,000 people to the event, sponsored by more than 120 environmental, labor, justice and
community groups. While activists have praised Brown’s commitment to renewable
energy and addressing climate change, they are dismayed that he has not
acted to limit fracking.
“Climate leaders don’t frack,” Kassie Siegal of the Center for Biological Diversity told AP reporter Juliet Williams. “The oil and
gas boom threatens to undercut all the other progress that our state may make on climate.”