Climate Change letter Heritage Foundation lies everyday

To the Editor,

On April 15 2017 the Projo published another in the long series of lies and deceptions from the Heritage Foundation, “Inquisition against Deniers begins”. The Heritage Foundation was founded in 1973 as part of a larger strategy to undo democracy, racial equality and a clean environment by some of the biggest corporate criminals in the world, For over 40 years it has been wrong about just about everything, while helping to create a world in which science, truth, justice, and freedom have become an endangered species. Yet today the Heritage Foundation, and friends are complaining that they are being persecuted for lying.

The science of how additional carbon dioxide and methane overheat the planet is 100% certain and been known for 120 years, but businesses are allowed to lie. They do it all the time. But where they do not have the right to lie, and where it becomes fraud, is when people get hurt or die, or their homes are destroyed. Climate change is already among the leading cause of wars and refugees on the planet, and thousands are dying in extraordinary heat waves and the strongest hurricanes ever recorded. Rhode Island shore communities are watching beaches, houses, and marshes disappear, the drought in California threatens the American food system and the water pollution and toxic chemicals of fracking is poisoning thousands.

I wish the Providence Journal was more interested in the truth than in helping perpetuate the big lie of the climate deniers.

Greg Gerritt
37 6th St
Providence RI 02906

The end of the fossil fuel dinosaurs

Greg Gerritt April 1, 2016

I went to the hearing in front of the Rhode island Energy Facility Siting Board in Burrillville on March 31t about the proposed Clear River gas fired power plant. Hundreds of people turned out. When we arrived at 5:45 we had to go beyond the High School parking lot into the neighborhood to park. Upon walking up to the school what you saw were about 100 guys in union t-shirts. Inside the room got very full and I heard that 100 more people stayed outside . There were at least 4 police officers at the event to help keep the peace.

Invenergy provide the usual dog and pony show. Too many slides full of words. The guy needed an energy boost and a much better power point. He pretended to address the issues. But did not. You could tell he really did not want to be there. He was introduced by the company’s local RI lawyer one of the usual faces I see at the state house. I do not think the lawyer was very happy to see the sea of humanity opposing the project either.

Testimony from the public was OVERWHELMINGLY against the plant. The two towns folk who spoke in favor had nothing to say and were roundly booed. The rank and file union guys were a mixed bag. Some spoke for jobs and some where incoherent. The union leaders were more articulate, but still,. Stuck in the old paradigm. The opposition to the plant was lead by folks who live right in the neighborhood of the proposed plant. Noise, light pollution, toxics, odors, water and the destruction of their dreams and relatively pristine community were sited repeatedly. Many of the local residents also spoke passionately about climate, and the larger context, as did a few of us outsiders.

If public opinion matters, then the Energy Facility Siting Board has an easy decision. NO. if the political fix is in and the powers demand that it get built, the EFSB will be shut down as useless. If they can not determine that the plant will prevent us from ever meeting our greenhouse gas emissions goals, pollute the local environment, and create all sorts of hazards and burdens for the community, the EFSB is hiding. If they want to drown Providence they are fools.

I think what I took away from the hearings the most is how out of touch the union leaders are with where the economy is going and where their future jobs are going to be. I worked in construction for many years. It is an honorable way to make a living. But the unions need to learn to stop building things that are bad for communities because that eventually undercuts prosperity and their support in the community. They need to say no to the corporate criminals and stand with communities against destruction. They need to stop being dependent upon corporate criminals for their work and start developing their own projects. They should act more like a cooperative rather than pick up the dregs from the rich and tell communities that this is the way to create jobs. It harms their workers to be seen as harming communities. And in a low growth environment, they need to be even more careful.

There is a lot that needs to be built right now. We need housing that people can actually afford to live in. We need non polluting energy sources, new stormwater management systems, better roads, bike paths and rail corridors. But all the union executives seem to do ( and maybe this is because the most visible private sector unions are in construction, and the only projects big enough are those that are based on the public’s money) is shill for the worst corporate criminals, in this case an industry that has lied about the harm it does for the last 50 years, that knew greenhouse gases were going to cause big problems, and hid the information.

You have to ask why the pipe-fitters and the steel workers, with their pension funds, do not invest directly in their own workers. Why are they not building their own windfarms or their own solar arrays? Have they bought into the subservient to capital model that tells them to be shills for every stupid project that comes down the road so their members can get jobs?

Of course the politicians are also to blame. They refuse to understand the political and economic climate. They think they can muscle communities for corporates and base their careers on looting communities to benefit the rich. When do they get that taking care of communities, ecological healing and economic justice, are the road to prosperity, not burning dinosaurs to make the climate as hot as when the dinosaurs lived? And how can anyone who lives in Rhode Island not realize that pretending real estate development is economic development is a scam. Even the World Bank, IMF and OECD tells us that subsidizing the rich works AGAINST community prosperity. But then again, an analysis I read of the World Economic Forum in Davos pointed out that the politicians and the corporate criminals they consort with are the only ones in the whole world who are not ready for a new economy based on justice and healing ecosystems.

I said one thing at the end of my 2 minutes that i think I will repeat here. If we stop this power plant, it will be a shot heard round the world. The fossil fuel industry must be stopped,. Stop the coal mining, stop the pipelines, stop the fracking, stop the building of new infrastructure that ties us into the old system for the next 40 years. If we stop this plant it will be a beacon for people around the world that the empire can be stopped. That we can have a green future.

Little Rhody has a future as a leader, but the economy that gets us there is not the one that governor Wall St is leading us towards. We have reminded her of this before, and I hope she gets a clue soon.