Tuesday, October 1, 2019

Don't Shoot The Messenger

Don’t Shoot the Messenger…
by Coast Watcher

The sheer number of vicious media attacks against a 16 year old girl should rightly earn condemnation from the whole of society. Cyber-bullying is a well-known and diseased phenomenon that sprang out of the Information Age, and it’s in full flow against climate activist Greta Thunberg.

It comes as no surprise that most of the attacks against Greta  originate from Big Business--specifically the nuclear and fossil fuel industries most affected by curbs on their climate changing activities.

When Greta announced she would cross the Atlantic aboard a racing yacht instead of taking a polluting airline flight, this comment (read "threat") was uttered by pro-Brexit businessman and Trump ally Arron Banks: “Freak yachting accidents do happen…”

As well as Trump, Banks has ties to the UK Independence Party and its decrepit former leader Nigel Farage. The successor to the UKIP is the Brexit Party, which has 29 seats in the European Parliament, and Banks has financed both. Most of its Euro MPs are climate change deniers. 
The stench of right-wing politics doesn’t end there. Marine Le Pen’s National Rally and the Alternative for Germany Party are also responsible for sustained attacks on Greta.

Across the Atlantic, the Heartland Institute--with its ties to the Koch family and their huge private energy organization--are patronizing in the extreme. Said one of its so-called policy experts Gregory Whitestone: “It is time for her (Greta) to go back to school to learn what she doesn’t know and to unlearn so much of what she has been taught.”

Brendan O’Neill, editor of the Koch-funded website Spiked wrote: “There is something chilling and positively pre-modern about Ms. Thunberg.”

In other words, O’Neill is drawing comparisons between Greta and another teenage girl who set her world on its ear—Joan of Arc.

These old white men even lower themselves to attacking and sneering at Greta’s Asperger’s Syndrome, a condition Greta herself is unashamed of, calling it her Superpower.

Thankfully most of the world sees these vicious attacks for what they are—attempts by reactionary old men to discredit and nullify the pro-environment movement. Pushing back against the haters is British political columnist and activist Owen Jones: 
The bile thrown at Greta Thunberg is motivated by one thing alone: this incredibly intelligent, eloquent, and compassionate 16-year-old has terrified some of the most hateful and reactionary so-called ‘grown ups’ on earth. She’s achieved more [at age] 16 than they ever will.

Guardian columnist Aditya Chakrabortty states that “[Spiked] has run out of ideas.

Andrew Mitrovica defended Greta in a column on Al-Jazeera English when he referred to her attackers as “scientifically illiterate bullies.” He writes: 
She disdains celebrity. She makes no claims to heroism. She rebuffs efforts to idolise her. She isn’t calculating or preoccupied with fame or ego. There is no artifice about her. She speaks plainly, without affectation or embroidery.

A word from Greta Thunberg herself. Asked if there is still time to reverse the crisis facing the Earth, she said: 
We still have time. But that time will not last for long so we need to do something now and we need to do it quickly and we need to do it drastically.

Philosopher Howard Zinn once said, “We don’t have to engage in grand, heroic actions to participate in the process of change. Small acts, when multiplied by millions of people, can quietly become a power no government can suppress, a power that can transform the world.”

So here is the real reason for the attacks, the heart of the reactionary arguments: they are terrified of Greta Thunberg. They know that a movement like Greta’s is something they have little hope of stopping. They know the population of our world is becoming increasingly aware and vocal in its condemnation of the sheer destruction to the environment being caused by fossil fuel companies every day. It doesn’t stop these companies from trying to discredit and demean Greta’s achievements, but they are on the losing side--and they know it.


Bio: Coast Watcher is watching all sides and keeping score. There will be no "winners" in the climate crisis if we don't all stick together and tackle the problem before it's too late. So don't shoot the messenger--boost the signal!

One more thing to tell yourself today--help support this blog! The Revolution will not be televised, but it will be blogged. Your donations, no matter how big or how small, can help us get the word out and keep up the troops' morale. Thank you.

Donate via our link here: 

Once It's Out in the World, Plastic Clogs Our Oceans, Our Landfills, and Even Animals' Stomachs. Keep Plastic Bottles Out of America's Parks!
Sign Now

Ding dong, the ban is dead! The ban that kept water bottles out of America's most beautiful parks, that is. The six-year policy put in place by the Obama administration gave our national parks the right to refuse to sell H2O within their borders. This was a highly effective strategy that reduced pollution and kept our public lands clean.
But the Trump administration has reversed this policy, once again siding with big business. Why? Because the beverage industry has been lobbying to repeal it since the ban went into effect.

Only 22% of the plastic produced since the 1950s is still in use today. The rest is in landfills, littering our soils and choking animals like seabirds and fish that mistake it for food.
The Obama-era policy wasn't an outright prohibition; rather, it gave national parks the option to refuse to sell plastic bottles inside their areas. Many, including Zion and Grand Canyon, decided to do so. Let's make sure that these national parks continue to keep plastic out!

It's not surprising to learn that the Trump administration let big business win at the expense of everyday Americans and the environment yet again.
Not coincidentally, the ban reversal was announced just after now-Secretary of the Interior David Bernhardt was named its deputy, back in 2017. Bernhardt had previously been a lobbyist for a firm that represented one of the largest water bottlers in the US — Nestlé. 

Although the ban wasn't obligatory, it made a big difference, generating environmental consciousness among the millions of tourists who visited our national parks and helped to keep the recreational areas clean. It is a policy that is definitely worth keeping.

Thank you for all that you do,

Andrew M.
The Care2 Petitions Team


P.S. Plastic water bottles have no place in our national parks. Tell U.S. national parks to keep environmentally-destructive plastic water bottles off of their lands!

Help save endangered polar bears: Tell Chevron to stay out of the Arctic Wildlife Refuge!
The Arctic Wildlife Refuge is under attack! The Trump Administration is preparing to sell off the refuge to the highest corporate bidder -- and Chevron is chomping at the bit to start drilling.
If Chevron drills in the Arctic, it would harm precious wildlife, beautiful natural places, the climate, and local communities. It could even drive polar bears closer to extinction.
Shell, Hilcorp, and other Big Oil giants have tried to drill in the Arctic before. But they’ve run into safety and financial obstacles and abandoned their plans. There is no excuse for Chevron to pick up where they left off. We need you with us to show the overwhelming opposition to drilling in the Arctic Refuge, C.A.!
The Arctic Refuge is one of the last pristine aquatic ecosystems in the country. And it’s considered “the sacred place where life begins” by the Gwich’in peoples. This fragile region should be protected, not opened for Big Oil development.  
Nearly 70 percent of Americans oppose drilling in the Arctic Refuge. But Trump is more interested in what his Big Oil buddies think. He even relocated the Bureau of Land Management -- the agency that decides whether to open public lands for drilling -- to the Chevron corporate office building in Colorado. The agency can’t get in bed with Big Oil, so it’s moving right next door.
The Trump Administration isn’t even trying to hide its corrupt connections to the oil industry. It’s up to us to hold Big Oil directly accountable. But we can’t do this without you.
We know how drilling in this region would end. It would cause irreversible damage to this fragile and pristine ecosystem as well as the communities that inhabit it. 
And if Big Oil gets a hold of the Arctic Refuge, who knows how long our other public lands will remain protected.
Now, protecting the Arctic is up to engaged environmentalists like you. With your help, we can show Chevron that drilling in the Arctic will hurt their image and their business. But we must act fast!
Standing with you,
Hallie Templeton,
Senior oceans campaigner,
Friends of the Earth

From the League of Women Voters:

Voter registration surges should be celebrated, not penalized

This month, in a victory for Tennessee voters, a federal district court judge granted the League of Women Voters of Tennessee a preliminary injunction in their case League of Women Voters of Tennessee v. Hargett. The case challenged a recently passed Tennessee law that leveled civil fines and criminal penalties on organizations that register voters.  
Because of the injunction, the law’s damaging penalties will not be in place during a crucial time for voter registration, as the Tennessee registration deadline is October 7. 
Voters deserve every possible opportunity to get registered or update their registration. We’re thankful the court recognized that voter registration organizations play a critical role in empowering voters, and therefore shouldn’t be punished for their efforts.

Are you registered to vote?

Last Tuesday was National Voter Registration Day (NVRD), a holiday established in 2012 to celebrate democracy. Thousands of organizations, companies, and celebrities hit the ground in communities around the country to register tens of thousands of new voters on one single day. 
The League is the largest on-the-ground NVRD partner organization for the eighth year in a row and hosted more than 500 voter registration events in local communities across the country.
Voters are just months away from casting the first ballots in the 2020 election—don’t let a registration deadline prevent you from casting your ballot. Make sure your registration is up to date on our newly re-designed, one-stop voter information resource, VOTE411.org.
learn more at lwv.org


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