“You can’t negotiate with a beetle. You are now dealing with natural law. And if you don’t understand natural law, you will soon.”
Oren Lyons, a member of the Onandaga Council of Chiefs, quoted by Mary Christina Wood in her book Nature’s Trust, sums up what’s wrong with our self-absorbed political system and its failure to deal with our planetary climate emergency in referring to four million acres of Canadian forest wiped out by beetles now thriving in warmer winter temperatures as a result of global warming.
Maybe Gina was doing the hard work of making sure that Providence will not be left behind, as—in city after city—we build what Frank Deford calls “Athletic Taj Mahals,” monuments for the “filthy rich.” Thanks, Frank; you nailed it: Spending Public Money On Sports Stadiums Is Bad Business. But do not forget that Gina is an honorable person; so are they all, all honorable people.
We The People who do not revolt against systemic corruption are the problem.
Since August 31, I’ve been trying to make an appointment with Gina to deliver a basic physics message. It took until September 13 before I got a reply: “Once again, thank you again for being in touch,” pretty pathetic writing that I should have received within three seconds rather than after two weeks, but no appointment.
The web site of the Office of the Governor is totally dysfunctional, but, dear reader, I’ll spare you details. I just wonder, why should we trust people to run a state if they cannot manage a web site? Of course, the problem in Rhode Island is not small-scale incompetence; broken democracy is what we are dealing with, but it’s not Gina, for Gina is an honorable person; so are they all, all honorable people.
Pia Ward, my dear friend, is the engaged artist who made the black-and-white photographs in this post. Pia and I went to Gina’s office on Wednesday to deliver a pizza, a lunch skipped in support of Beyond Extreme Energy’s No-New-Permits fast in DC.
Of course we were told that web site was not the way to make appointments with the governor. We have to follow procedures, no matter how many people have their lives destroyed or put their lives on the line in DC and elsewhere in the nation. We are but a nuisance and who cares about Terry Greenwood?
One of Gina’s aids, who dutifully took notes of our story, instructed us that I had to go home and to make an appointment I had to send an email to the gubernatorial scheduler, Kelly Harris (Kelly-Harris@governor.ri.gov). Never mind that we were already at the State House; the important work for corporate America and the filthy rich should never be interrupted, for they are all, all honorable people.
Report from the No-New-Permits fast in DC
Ted Glick of ChessapeakeClimate.org and one of the Beyond Extreme Energy water-only fasters in DC had the following exchange with Norman Bay, the chairman of Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC). Ted asked if the chairman would come down to receive the five copies of the Pope’s encyclical, Laudato Si’, on September 25th at noon. Bay said he would consider it. We all know what that means, but let Ted speak:
Then he stopped and we looked each other in the eye. He told me that he respected what we were doing with the fast and the commitment it showed as far as our beliefs. He said he felt this type of action was a good type of action.
However, he went on to say that he really had problems with us disrupting their monthly meetings and asked if we would stop doing that.
I responded: “How can we do that when there’s no change at FERC as far as permitting gas pipelines and fracking infrastructure, one after the other, with virtually no exceptions.”
His response: “These are just pipelines. We’re a regulatory agency. Blaming us is like blaming the steel companies that make pipes. It’s the production of the gas that you need to deal with.”
Keep up the disruption, my friends; irritation makes pearls. Dear reader, if you ever have to explain Hannah Arendt’s “banality of evil,” this exchange would be a perfect starting point.
Events for the rest of our fast
Following up on the pledge to do three Ramadan-style fasts centered on each event in RI, Wednesday’s visit to the State House got Beatrijs, my wife, and me restarted fasting on Tuesday, after a one-day interruption. The following will get us to Friday, the 25th, when Beyond Extreme Energy will end its fast:
- Peace Fest RI, Kennedy Plaza, Saturday, September 19, 2015, 1:30pm-4;30pm
- Rally for People, Peace and Planet
- URI International Day of Peace on the Quad 10am-3pm
Of course, it’s not too late to call Gina’s friends at Invenergy to tell them that fracked gas is not clean and that they should cancel the fracked-gas power plant proposed for Burrillville. Just keep in mind that Gina signed a contract with Invenergy, but Gina is an honorable person; so are they all, all honorable people. We The People are the problem, we who think that the next fully-scripted ElecToon will bring system change.
Oh, yes, how about that pizza we took to the Gina’s office? As anticipated, it ended up feeding hungry people on Kennedy Plaza.