Saturday, April 20, 2019

Free Showing of The Reluctant Radical on May 1, 2:30 p.m. to 4:30 p.m., G101, San Diego Mesa College

Click for film trailer.
"They told him he was crazy, but crazy is sitting idly by as disaster for young people is knowingly locked in." -- Dr. James Hansen, Climate Scientist

"The Reluctant Radical is the most striking environmental documentary I've seen to date- and I have seen plenty. It is an absolute must-see." -- D. Schwartz, The Marin Post

Update from producer/director Lindsey Grayzel: 

WA Appeal Court Sides With Ken

Yesterday [4/8/19], the Washington Court of Appeals issued a decision to reverse and remand the felony conviction of Ken Ward, sending his case back to the lower courts for a third trial. The Court of Appeals found that Ken was denied his constitutional rights when the judge in the lower court prevented him from using a necessity defense. A necessity defense would have enabled expert witnesses in climate science, politics and history to testify in trial about the known scientific facts of climate change and the ineffectiveness of legal alternatives to adequately address the threat. Ken Ward is the main character of The Reluctant Radical, and one of the five valve turners who took direct action to manually shut down the flow of all US tar sands oil pipelines on October 16, 2016.

The Court of Appeals found that Ken had legal standing to use the necessity defense based on several factors, including that he "offered sufficient evidence to show that the harms of global climate change were greater than the harm of breaking into Kinder Morgan’s property." (Ya think?) The full document from the Court of Appeals can be found via the button below and is highly recommended reading. 
Read the Court Document

Now What?

The State of Washington has 30 days to appeal the decision to the Washington Supreme Court. It has 20 days to file a motion with the Court of Appeals to reconsider. If no appeal is filed, the State may refile the charges, sending Ken back to Skagit County for a third trial, this time having the ability to present a necessity defense.  
Masada Disenhouse, Executive Director of SanDiego350, will attend the Mesa College event to help answer climate questions.  I wrote about Ken Ward and the other Valve Turners for San Diego Free Press.

Regarding climate, Dave Borlace has a great YouTube ranking countries levels of action. I also like his video Blue Ocean Event : Game Over?

I appreciate San Diego Reader's promotion of the Mesa College event, and my books and classes. I'm also grateful to Amsterdam Quarterly for a new review of Carbonfish Blues. The battle with oil companies continues for people, like Ward, of conscience and action. Oregon poet William Stafford wrote "This earth we are riding keeps trying to tell us / something with its continuous scripture of leaves."

Since San Diego Union-Tribune did not publish my letter, I will post it here.  That is what's great about having a blog!  My letter was inspired by Thoreau's essay "Civil Disobedience," a good fit for the film event above.

We Need Leaders of Conscience, Not Fossil Fuel Company Puppets

Rep. Scott Peters is commended for saying at UCSD March 2, 2018, evangelicals must be invited to help respond to climate change; and I scold him for his weak "Climate Playbook" offered as alternative to Green New Deal. If Rockefeller Brothers Fund can divest from fossil fuels ("98% fossil fuel free" "as of December 31, 2017") and invest 10 million dollars in Mainstream Renewable Power (wind and solar), Rep Peters can stop accepting campaign funds from fossil fuel companies now. Peters' definition of political realism is the same as planetary suicide. At the same UCSD March 2, 2018 panel Dr. Ramanathan praised Gandhi's nonviolent work in India, and Dr. Somerville reminded everyone of Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr. and civil rights movement. We need leaders like them of conscience, not more fossil fuel company puppets.