Dave gave this speech at the United Nations for Earth Day Equinox and then again to a gathering of environmental groups in Gloucester, MA. Now, we are focusing on preparations for the Presidential Forum and Eco-Emergency Alert, the app that puts the facts in your hands on petroleum disasters and pollution of all kinds. Find it at Google Play. And yes, we are working on an iPhone version.
The War on Science, People and the Earth
The Earth Society has struggled for nearly a half century to persuade Americans climate change is real. Now, the issues of pollution, oil disasters, and the rising levels of disease and early deaths is becoming impossible to ignore. The cost in human suffering and the impact on our air, water and land cannot even be calculated. But in flashes on the news we see it.
In the Central Valley of California 1,000 children die each year of asthma caused almost entirely by petroleum poisoning. Need I mention the children of Flint? No, I don't. Because you are here today because you realize the gravity of the problems we face.
Despite this, I am here to bring you hope, because today Americans are realizing what is happening and are desperate enough to take action.
In this season for campaigns more and more Americans are realizing there are only two political parties. Corporations and The People.
Today, we are seeing the future the corporations created for us. America's college graduates are the least technically trained in our history. A technically aware electorate would be too dangerous to the power of corporations so determining what our children learn and understand became another item on their agenda – along with accountability for how they 'do business.'
Did Exxon know their practices were causing global warming? Yes, they did – and because they knew I can tell you for a fact so did every other major oil company. These are the kind of facts they share within the confines of their industry. I know. Once, I was one of them.
Don't mistake what I am saying. These are the facts. Transnational corporations through their denials of accountability have systematically conducted an undeclared war on science and Common Sense which has led to catastrophic consequences for people, communities and the Earth. Yet those who brought us to this space in time have never been more vulnerable.
With collapsing fuel prices, the fossil fuel industries are now in serious decline. Drilling rigs in the US this week are at their lowest levels since the early 1800’s. The 1800s!!!!
Meanwhile, exploding oil tank cars in N. Dakota, oil spills in Michigan and Arkansas, gas leaks in California and earthquakes in Oklahoma are being recognized as man-made disasters caused by the use of obsolete and dangerous equipment. Could you believe Plains All American Pipeline, with Exxon one of the instigators of the Refugio Spill less than a year ago now intends to open up for use a pipe which is nearly a century old? That pipeline is under the clean water of the Detroit River.
It's true – and it is not 'if' a blow out will happen to this ancient pipe. It is only – when. And this pipeline is not that much older than many others still in use today. The so-called “accidents” of oil disasters take place because of abominably poor maintenance and unreasonable cost-cutting even when prices were high and bonuses and profits were setting new records.
This is just the beginning. Using ancient pipes, even when they are known to leak, is an industry practice which will increase.
These corporations show little regard for human health and safety. Citizens are denied legal recourse because they trust the government owned by the corporations. When, as we have, you see people suffer both the health impact of petroleum poisoning and the shock of understanding why there will be no justice - it hurts every single one of us.
This must be stopped before our metropolitan areas are turned into sacrifice zones as monuments to greed and carelessness. In the near future, as profits drop even lower, expect fewer oil companies and a safety margin so thin you can see through it.
We must face the fact the corporations control the regulatory infrastructure intended to enforce good practices and minimize risk to people and our environment. There is not one cause, but many. Oil industry lobbyists demand fewer regulations. They strangle government oversight agencies by reducing funding. Lobbyists cycle in and out of these agencies, paid to put us at further risk.
These are the facts. Now, for the hope which is our exit from this long nightmare. Despite all of this we have the power for change in our hands.
Every community must learn about its own vulnerabilities and prepare to protect themselves.
The first step is knowing the facts, and every American can have them.
With this goal in mind, we developed the Eco-Emergency Alert App for Android phones which tracks the entire Energy Infrastructure in the US and pinpoints sources of toxic pollution and spills in near real-time in every neighborhood.
Using the app you can see the cancer clusters and much more integrated with a human health and historical database of emissions as well as alternative energy sources of solar, wind, geothermal and hydro power.
This is a tool, the starting point. But the real action must come out of our communities. We are calling for every community in the United States to begin training for the disasters which will, inevitably, continue to increase.
Coming together to help each other will change communities, and each of us. This will bring us together in ways living generations have forgotten. Have you ever wondered what made America Great? It was this, standing up for each other when the bad times come. We must love one another.
If we act nowmCommunity Teams will be ready to help victims gauge their danger, help them relocate, show them how to monitor their health and also show victims how to ensure the company responsible pays real reparations and cleans up the mess instead of shoving it into a storm drain.
Providing this training to local groups is our mission. Can we stand up for each other and the Earth? Yes, we can. Because we possess in our hearts and minds the will and determination to begin the world over again and this time, get it right.