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There is little that I can add to the description of the brave people who have been fighting the AIM Spectra pipeline for more than three years now. The very idea of the pipeline is insane.

“For over three years, these concerned residents along with a number of groups in Westchester County, petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking for an independent and transparent study to be done before allowing Spectra’s dangerous Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline to be built. Their concerns, and those of elected offcials at all levels of government, were ignored; FERC similarly dismissed the concerns of nuclear safety experts and pipeline experts. This refusal of FERC to acknowledge or address health and safety concerns meant that the local community had no legal or policy recourse, which supported their claim of necessity defense.”

The pipeline will run within 105 feet of the aging Indian Point Nuclear generating station (which sits very close to the Ramapo fault). If something happens, upward of 20 million people are within the evacuation zone.

Verdict in Montrose 9 Necessity Defense Trial: GUILTY!

Judge McCarthy finds Montrose 9 guilty of charges of blocking a Spectra Energy ware yard to halt pipeline construction, sentencing January 6th.

Cortlandt, NY — Four months after conclusion of the trial, today Judge Daniel McCarthy found the “Montrose 9” guilty of disorderly conduct for blocking traf c in Cortlandt Town Court. The “Montrose 9,” local residents and environmental advocates who were arrested for blocking access to a ware yard in Montrose to halt construction of Spectra Energy’s AIM pipeline on November 9, 2015, claimed that their actions were necessary to prevent a greater harm.

At the Press Conference after Judge McCarthy’s verdict, Defense Counsel, Martin Stolar, a prominent social justice attorney, said “I am extremely disappointed with respect to the necessity defense, which seems so obviously true. We will take it up on appeal. They (the defendants) are heroes, not criminals.”

After months of delay, testimony from the nal defendants ended on July 22, 2016. Many of the defendants expressed their concerns about global climate change and environmental damage from the fracked methane gas the pipeline will carry, fear of pipeline explosions and the possibility of another “Fukushima on the Hudson.”

Their goal at trial was to prove that the violation they committed – blockading Spectra from constructing a fracked gas pipeline – was necessary to prevent a greater harm. They demonstrated that Spectra Energy’s AIM pipeline presents immediate risks from explosions and impacts the health and safety of the community. Additionally, they noted that the fossil fuel industry is locking our nation into an unsustainable future of fossil fuels at a time when the country has to move towards renewable energy resources. They made clear that although members of the community had been diligently working through regulatory channels, their efforts were stymied by interminable delays and legal maneuvers, leaving them no recourse but to pursue non-violent direct action.

Although today’s ruling was not the outcome that many present had hoped for, the Montrose 9 and their allies said that they plan to continue the ght.

Marty Stolar: “Judge McCarthy’s verdict is guilty. The Judge rejects the justi cation as being speculative and the harm is not imminent or about to occur. He then rejects our first amendment defense, and nd that the prosecution has proved its case beyond a reasonable doubt. The justi cation defense which he rejects, we all know, and you all know, the actions were justi ed, the harm is imminent, and the pipeline is extraordinarily dangerous, and constitutes a present harm and a present threat to every resident in this town, in this county and of the areas surrounding Indian Point. An appeal will be led after the sentence is imposed on January 6th.”

Susan Rutman: “It is absolutely staggering. This decision is disrespectful. But we will persevere. We cannot be thwarted by the limited scope of the legal system. He (the judge) wouldn’t even make a declaratory statement.”

Andrew Ryan: “This furthers my belief that we are run by a Corp-ocracy. They are people who care only about pro ts. They create and they interpret the law.”

For over three years, these concerned residents along with a number of groups in Westchester County, petitioned the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) asking for an independent and transparent study to be done before allowing Spectra’s dangerous Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) pipeline to be built. Their concerns, and those of elected of cials at all levels of government, were ignored; FERC similarly dismissed the concerns of nuclear safety experts and pipeline experts. This refusal of FERC to acknowledge or address health and safety concerns meant that the local community had no legal or policy recourse, which supported their claim of necessity defense.

As of today’s date, Spectra still has not completed pipeline construction as the project has encountered environmental violations, noise complaints, and legal challenges. For months they have tried and failed to run the 42” pipeline under the Hudson River adjacent to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant, with another attempt slated for this month. As a stop gap measure to bypass their failed river section and salvage the project, FERC granted permission to Spectra Energy to run additional gas through existing pipelines under the Hudson and Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. This scenario, running additional gas through 50- and 60-year-old pipelines under the plant, was never examined by FERC or the Nuclear Regulatory Commission for safety and was not a condition granted in the FERC permit.

It is the latest in a string of examples of FERC’s failure to address safety concerns or act in the best interests of public heath and safety. In fact, today, members of ResistSpectra, Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG), and Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) are in Washington DC attending The Peoples’ Hearing, where representatives of impacted communities will provide testimony and evidence of FERC’s abuses of power and law across the country. Their evidence will demonstrate to Congress the need to reform this rogue agency and reexamine their authority under the Natural Gas Act.

Find out more information about the AIM Pipeline and ongoing resistance here:

Online: www.resistaim.com
On Facebook: www.facebook.com/resistaim

On Twitter: https://twitter.com/ResistAIM

Photos by Erik McGregorhttps://flic.kr/s/aHskHPN8nm
Video Andy Ryan: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=UZLS_FIvK9Q

Video Kim Fraczek: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=B0omT34SWw8&t=36s

Godspeed

MAD

It’s up and it works and it’s collecting backers!

The Nature of Man IndieGoGo Campaign

Water is the New Oil.

Let that sink in. Companies are buying entire water supplies for pennies on the gallon. The latest insult has a certain company paying just $200 for the right to pump 210 MILLION gallons of water–not very far from Flint, Michigan–so it can be sold back to you for $2 a liter.

Now, imagine what it’ll be like when water shortages get really serious.

” . . . Except for this farm,

the wells are overdrawn.

When the water runs out,

to our door they’ll swarm!”

Help us expose this evil.

God Speed

MAD

Hi!

Since the election, we’ve seen the Trump transition team already begin to attack the civil rights of every American who is not a white, heterosexual male  Christian. They are working to stop or limit a woman’s right to choose, they are attacking the arts and artists with their outrageous spin on the episode of Mike Pence at a performance of Hamilton the other night and they are formulating their plans to attack  every piece of climate legislation our government has ever put into place.

We cannot let this stand. We must do everything we can to ensure that these things never come to pass. I urge you to find a group to work with and get started. It’s going to be a difficult four years.

Toward that end, we have decided to move up the IndieGoGo launch for our Climate Change Rock Opera; The Nature of Man. With all that’s going on right now, we feel that the faster we go into production the better so the young people we interact with can get into the fight.

To help out, our friends at the Artists and Climate Change blog have posted an article I wrote about the show. If you need or want more information, please go there and read. Be sure to sign up for their updates. It’s a great blog.

Finally, this is Thanksgiving week. Go and be with your families. Don’t argue about politics and try to love the people who surround you. Regardless of our political leanings and personal values, we all bleed red. We are one people spread out across the entire planet and all of us deserve the right to be treated fairly and to have security in our lives, homes and beliefs.

God Speed

MAD

Several things to cover in this post.  There were more, but I decided these were plenty.

Our IndieGoGo

Our indiegogo for our Climate Change Rock Opera; The Nature of Man, is complete and ready to go. However, we are forced to hold it for a little bit until the news cycle calms down some. Our publicist is concerned that we’ll drown among the crazy stories of the last week. 

We’ll keep you posted. In the meantime please go here and add your email to the coming soon page so you’ll be the first to know when we launch. 

Saturday Night Live

The other night I saw the video of Kate McKinnon’s Saturday Night Live opening. Although it was motivated (mostly) by the death of Leonard Cohen, it couldn’t have been more cogent in light of the news of the election. Especially the last verse, which reduced me to a puddle of tears; 

“I did my best, it wasn’t much
I couldn’t feel, so I tried to touch
I’ve told the truth, I didn’t come to fool you
And even though
It all went wrong
I’ll stand before the Lord of Song
With nothing on my tongue but Hallelujah

Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah
Hallelujah”

We cannot let it come to that. We will not let it come to that. 

The Election

To say that I am stunned by Trump’s election to the presidency is a cosmic understatement. How could we have elected someone so unprepared and so divisive? The man is a racist, a probable homophobe, a misogynist, a climate change denier, a cheat, a probable sociopath and a hundred other things that should have been massive red flags to our media and our citizens. 

And he’s surrounding himself with the same. His VP is a radical right wing with white supremacist ties who has already begun moving against the LGBTQ community and believes the world is 6000 years old. His Chief Strategist and Senior Counselor (has this title ever been a part of our government before?) is an anti-semite and a proponent of “peaceful” ethnic cleansing (what the hell is that?). 

It’s almost too much to take in. That it’s happening at this moment in time could be a complete disaster for the climate.

Trump has promised to roll back every environmental control we’ve ever put in place. He wants to gut the EPA and pull out of any and all climate treaties we have signed on to. He wants every pipeline we’ve fought against to be built, including the KXL and Dakota Access. 

He wants to go back to burning coal. 

Whether or not he will be successful and to what extent is unclear, but it’s happening right as we are desperately close to tipping points which will prove impossible to recover from. Tipping points that could ultimately cause the collapse of our civilization. 

I’m not kidding.

We cannot let this stand. Those of us who know what the future will become   with unrestrained fossil fuel consumption must continue the fight at all costs. We have been fighting every step of the way up until this point, but now it just got really, really REAL. 

Do not give in to despair. Do not give in to resignation, nor to complacency nor defeat. In the words of Winston Churchill; “Never, ever, ever give up.”

Will we win? I don’t know. But if we fail, we will fail while daring greatly. Let me leave you with something that inspires me; 

“I see in your eyes the same fear that would take the heart of me. A day may come when the courage of Men fails, when we forsake our friends, and break all bonds of fellowship, but it is not this day. An hour of wolves and shattered shields when the Age of Men comes crashing down, but it is not this day! This day we fight!”

God Help Us All.

MAD

The following in an excerpt of a letter written by Susan Rutman and Cari Gardner of Concerned Families of Westchester:

To the Following:
Senator Charles Schumer (NY)
Senator Kirsten Gillibrand (NY)
Senator Jack Reed (RI)
Senator Sheldon Whitehouse (RI)
Senator Chris Murphy (CT)
Senator Richard Blumenthal (CT)
Senator Elizabeth Warren (MA)
Senator Ed Markey (MA)
Senator Ben Cardin (MD)
Senator Diane Feinstein (CA)
Senator Patrick Leahy (VT)
Senator Bernie Sanders (VT)

Esteemed Senators,

The people of New York and the Northeastern United States have a DANGEROUS PIPELINE EMERGENCY, that threatens the lives & safety of 20 million human beings living in the 50 mile blast radius of the aging and failing Indian Point Nuclear Facility!

Spectra Energy’s ALGONQUIN INCREMENTAL MARKETS (AIM) PIPELINE, is a huge, 42”, high pressure, fracked gas pipeline project, sited dangerously close to critical safety infrastructure at Indian Pt, crossing under the Hudson River and spanning over two fault lines, as it sears its way on up thru New England.

This pipeline is scheduled to go live by November 1st or sooner!!!!

WE ARE PLEADING WITH YOU TO ASK PRESIDENT OBAMA TO HALT THIS CONSTRUCTION. We are aware of Senators Warren & Markey’s inquiry into the possible conflict of interest NRG presents in their review process for this project and we ask for an independent risk analysis, before its too late.

The rest of the letter and the really important bit where you can sign on can be found at this link.

And . . . here’s the good stuff you need to know about Wednesday’s Rally at Senator Schumer’s office.

We enjoy doing this for The Sane Energy Project because we believe in what they are trying to accomplish.

We’ll have more news soon about our Indiegogo campaign to fund the tour of The Nature of Man. We are getting things set up with our publicist, which means we’re doing a lot of writing.

More soon!

MAD

Hi!

Been a while since I posted anything and I apologize for that. We’ve been really busy, but it’s all good.

I’ll start with our intrepid friends at The Sane Energy Project. They’re proving to be unstoppable again. A few of them crawled inside a chunk of the Spectra AIM Pipeline and halted construction for 16 hours. The pipeline will pass perilously close to the Indian Point Nuclear generating station in Buchanan, NY. Since high pressure gas lines have been known to go BANG! every now and then, this is obviously a bad idea. If the line blows up, it would likely take the nuke plant with it.

But, wait! There’s more! (this bunch never stops fighting)

The Sane Energy Group will be pressuring NY Senator Schumer for firmer action in protest of the AIM Spectra project and they need your help.

On Oct. 26th they are planning a rally to let the senator know that the people of New York won’t stand by and let this pipeline happen. Your voice is needed! RSVP and let them know you’ll be there! Reach out to all of your friends and neighbors and be sure to give them this link when you do.

Please turn out and help Sane Energy stop this crazy pipeline. They do amazing work. To give you an idea of how dedicated and focused there people are, you have to check out this map.

I’ve watched the map develop over the last few years and come away with two opinions. First; Sane Energy is really, really dedicated to preserving the environment and the New York area in particular. And second; the oil and gas industries will never stop unless we make them stop. The relentless march of pipeline infrastructure shown in the map is breathtaking. In spite of the scientific facts surrounding the role of fossil fuels in climate change, they continue without conscience nor remorse.

USE YOUR VOICE!

Ok, next . . . our indiegogo campaign!

We (Madmen and Dreamers) have decided to open the funding of our Climate Change Rock Opera; The Nature of Man, to the people.

After much conversation on the moral aspect of what we’re doing and going over the numbers, we have decided to put the first stage of the tour of The Nature of Man up on indiegogo. 

The problem belongs to all of us and it will not be solved unless all of us are involved and pressuring our elected officials and the companies that own them. The process of bringing this to the stage has taught us that. Too many people are too afraid of pissing off the companies involved to actually act in defense of our future. 

Well, fuck that. 

This show is about us; You, me, your family, our family, all of us and how we are in this mess because of other people’s greed. Will it have an effect as we tour it? Definitely yes. Will our ideas surrounding mobilizing students at universities cause measurable improvements? Definitely yes. Will this show bring a wider understanding of the problem and change our national conversation surrounding climate change? Definitely yes…

…but only if we get this to the stage. 

So, we are throwing it out to you. Our indiegogo site is almost ready to launch and we’re counting on all of us to make this thing work. 

Tell everyone you know. When we launch donate as much as you can. Once we have enough to go into production, you can be completely sure that we will work ceaselessly to make this happen. 

God Speed

MAD

Hi!

You’ve heard about Spectra’s bid to put a high pressure gas line (they call it AIM) within 105 feet of the Indian Point nuclear station in Verplanck, NY?  Dangerous bit of business. If the pipe blows out, as we’ve seen in a variety of places in the last few years, it cooks everything around it.

Now imagine that the closest thing to it is an aging nuclear power plant.

Yeah. POOF! (are they trying to kill people?)

BUT! Some very brave friends of ours decided to do something about it and it looks like they’ve succeeded. Their press release begins below and my comments continue on the other side.

“FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE

 Press Contact:

Courtney Williams

(609) 468 – 7080

resistAIM@gmail.com

 ResistAIM Defenders form Human Chains to Halt Hudson River Drilling for AIM Pipeline

Drilling at the Verplanck site is on-ongoing for Spectra’s new AIM Pipeline

 Buchanan, NY 02-29-16 – Today at 6 AM, 26 people took action to stop the AIM pipeline from being built in Westchester and Rockland by blocking access for over an hour to Spectra Energy’s staging area for horizontal drilling under the Hudson River. Spectra Energy’s Algonquin Incremental Market (AIM) project would involve drilling underneath the Hudson River in Verplanck, immediately south of Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. The new high-pressure, 42-inch diameter pipeline would run within 10 5 feet of critical infrastructure for Indian Point , and would expose local communities to toxic emissions from compressor stations along the pipeline path.

 The group of activists and residents chose the site because it highlights the danger of the proposed pipeline, running underneath the Hudson River and adjacent to the troubled Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. In May of 2015 , Spectra Energy had a pipeline rupture underneath the Arkansas River and w as unaware of it until the Coast Guard informed them. “If Spectra cannot adequately maintain and monitor their existing pipelines, why should we believe that they can do so for this new pipeline?” asked Erik Lindberg, a Peekskill resident who works with ResistAIM.

 

Governor Cuomo agrees. Today his administration announced that it will be conducting an independent safety assessment of the AIM Pipeline and its proximity to Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant. The governor told the New York Times, “The safety of New Yorkers is the first responsibility of state government when making any decision.” Further, the administration is asking FERC to suspend their approval of Spectra’s AIM Pipeline pending the results of the analysis, a move that could halt construction of the controversial project.

 Courtney Williams, a spokesperson for ResistAIM said, “We strongly support the Governor’s decision to conduct this independent assessment given the ongoing public safety concerns of siting this massive pipeline adjacent to Indian Point and the repeated incidents of fires and contaminated water leaks that are happening there. We share the Governor’s concerns and hope his administration will instruct the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to reevaluate the water quality certificate in light of these ongoing problems.”

 Susan Van Dolsen, cofounder of Stop the Algonquin Pipeline Expansion (SAPE) was similarly muted in her response to the news, “We’re relieved and grateful that Governor Cuomo recognized that construction of the Spectra AIM pipeline at Indian Point must be halted. However, construction must be halted immediately. By directing his administration to conduct an independent risk assessment, he is fulfilling his primary obligation to protect the health and safety of his constituents and the 20 million people in the entire region. The risk assessment will prove that the siting of this pipeline in this location is unacceptable. However, until construction is actually halted and Spectra is stopped, we cannot claim victory.” 

 The pipeline is being built against the wishes of the local communities from Rockland, Westchester, and Putnam , which have all passed resolutions opposing it. In some areas Spectra Energy has used eminent domain to seize property for construction against the will of landowners and homeowners. This has outraged residents and environmental and public safety advocates who point to Spectra’s abysmal safety record as proof that the company cannot be trusted to construct a pipeline safely.

 Tina Bongar, of Peekskill, was one of those arrested. When asked why she was taking action she said, “I’ve written to Senators Schumer and Gillibrand many times. I’ve written to Hillary Clinton. I have done everything. I am also working at the local level, and that’s where I’m really concerned about the oversight. Spectra’s going to be blasting near our neighbors ’ homes , and they’re not doing the proper environmental assessment that they would for any other project.” 

 Today’s action is just the latest of several organized locally by a coalition called Resist AIM, which was formed to stop the project from moving forward. The “Montrose 9” were arrested back in November of 2015 for blocking access to Spectra’s construction yard in Montrose. Their trial in Cortlandt is drawing national attention as they use the “Necessity Defense” to justify their actions to protect their health and safety and halt global climate change.

 Nancy Vann, a Peekskill resident and President of Safe Energy Rights Group (SEnRG), participated in the action in Verplanck.  Speaking about her motivation Vann said, “This is something we really must do. As Bill McKibben said at Yale Law School on Saturday, ‘ we’re not in an argument anymore we’re in a fight. And even though the science is against them , the folks with the money have been winning. ’ The window of opportunity to stop this pipeline and a possible nuclear catastrophe is rapidly closing – just like the window to avoid the worst of climate change. I never want to look back and wonder if I might have fought a little harder.” 

 ResistAIM is not alone in their opposition to the AIM Pipeline. Similar groups have formed all along the route of the AIM Pipeline using direct actions to halt Spectra’s work in Connecticut, Rhode Island, and Massachusetts.

 This groundswell of direct action resistance to the Spectra pipeline follows years of residents and local governments from New York to Massachusetts trying to stop the project through standard regulatory channels. This regulatory failure demonstrates that the agencies involved – the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) and the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC) – are unwilling to consider the full impacts of this project. Congresswoman Nita Lowey and Congressman Elliot Engel wrote to FERC and the NRC saying, “…As elected representatives of residents in the Hudson Valley, we believe FERC and NRC’s primary responsibility should be to protect the health and safety of the 20 million people who live within the 50 mile radius of [ I ndian Point ] .  Despite the widespread calls for an independent risk assessment, FERC and NRC have disputed the need and instead relied on Spectra and Entergy’s calculations…we call on FERC and NRC to require Spectra and Entergy to fund an independent transient risk assessment for the AIM Project as soon as possible.”

 As Spectra fast – tracks construction of the pipeline, municipalities and organizations from Boston to New York are preparing to take FERC to Federal Court to challenge the pipeline approval. Despite these numerous outstanding legal challenges, Federal law allows Spectra to proceed with construction, leaving impacted communities no recourse for having their concerns addressed while faced with imminent harm from pipeline construction and operations.

 In addition to its obvious safety and security risks, the AIM pipeline would increase our dependence on climate-changing fossil fuels at a time when the nations of the world are increasingly recognizing the need to move to renewable energy.

Video: https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=KR8lNoZ-oMs

Cuomo Administration letter to FERC: tinyurl.com/Cuomo-FERC-AIM-Letter

 This is only the beginning. For more information, please visit www.resistaim.wordpress.com

https://www.facebook.com/resistaim/

https://twitter.com/ResistAIM

 #ResistAim #StopSpectra #WeSayNo” ”

My understanding at this time is that they got the attention of Governor Cuomo. What that means is still unknown. He may cancel the project or perhaps move it to a different location (it would still be a dangerous mess, but better than right next to an aging nuclear power plant). 

The point is that they were successful. People are talking and asking questions and looking at the situation instead of just ramming it down the throats of those affected by it. This is how it works. This is what you can do. This is your power. 

This is what we hope to bring to you with our climate rock opera; The Nature of Man. We will bring groups to help you get organized so that everywhere we perform, there will grow a group who will stand up and yell STOP! Who will stand and be counted among those who want a livable climate to be handed down to their descendants. 

But, don’t wait for us! Get started now! Contact Sane Energy and groups like them and volunteer. 

The future belongs to us and to our children. 

God Speed.
MAD

Hi, all!

Two friends of ours are doing some amazing and important things in the fight against climate change; an old friend of mine, Ross Garside and the great folks at  The Sane Energy Project.

Ross has been concerned about the climate for a very long time and has been looking at ways he can help turn the tide of the battle. At a certain point he came across Topher White and the Rainforest Connection, who hang used, solar-powered cell phones in trees in the amazon rainforest which can hear the sounds made by illegal loggers and call authorities who can then arrive in time to stop them.

The system works really well. The problem is getting the phones up into the trees. Right now the only way to do that is for someone to climb the tree to secure the phone. This is a dangerous and time consuming process as the trees can be over 100 feet tall (and you can’t hang them where they can be easily seen or the loggers will find some way to destroy them).

Enter Ross, a really inventive guy who saw a solution to this problem and invented the Rainforest Elevator, a clever device that can climb the trees and secure the cell phones without the operator ever having to leave the ground. It’s safe and much faster than climbing so Topher and his peeps can get more cell phones into the canopy and protect more forest.

The elevator is up on kickstarter right now and needs your help. This invention could literally save a big chunk the amazon rainforest from illegal logging, leaving it intact to continue sucking our greenhouse gas emissions out of the air. We need every tree we can get.

Please donate to this truly worthy cause! The more they can raise, the more elevators that can be built and deployed.

The Sane Energy Project.

These brave and determined people were instrumental in getting the proposed Port Ambrose LNG terminal vetoed by the governor of NY. They are organized, passionate and driven to prevent the destruction of the ecology that keeps us all alive. If you’re in the NY/ NJ area, look them up and see if you can help. Many hands make light work and there’s a lot to do.

I got an email from Sane Energy the other day with a link to an article about Spectra Energy’s lack of safety oversight for their pipeline projects. Two former inspectors, who were basically fired for doing their jobs have talked to the press about a pipeline they were working on in Rhode Island.

Now, before you dismiss that as someone else’s problem, check out this link to some of Spectra’s existing pipelines. There may very well be shoddy and unsafe plumbing near you.

If you live anywhere the Indian Point Nuclear Generating Station in NYS, you have cause for concern. Indian Point sits less than a mile from the Ramapo Fault and the Algonquin Pipeline Extension high pressure pipeline will pass within 100 feet from the station.

Does anyone else see a problem here, or is it just me?

Ok, now for what’s up with us! We have attracted serious potential backers for the show and are scheduling meetings. This can be a time-consuming process because these folks are really busy people. In the meantime, we are doing everything we can to be ready when (not if–optimism!) we’re completely funded. There’s a lot to do, which is why these post have been a tad perfunctory (as opposed to the relaxed narrative we prefer ;-) of late.

We will keep you posted

MAD

Let that title sink in for a minute. Roll it around in your head. What you are looking at is a reality that has been foretold a thousand times but has been ignored, manipulated, spun and was the target of outright lies.

And yet, there it is. Climate change is forcing the retreat from NYC neighborhoods. Since hurricane Sandy a lot of regular folks have done the hard work of confronting the reality of their situation and are taking steps to protect their families.

Maybe you’re one of them. If so, smart move. Sandy was not a fluke. Sandy was a harbinger of what James Hanson called “the storms of my grandchildren.”

And it’s not the first city to lose people who should be counted as climate change refugees. Katrina caused a similar phenomenon in and around New Orleans and Andrew struck the same terror into the hearts of people in and around Florida.

Floyd, Irene, Hugo, Ike, the list goes on. It will continue to grow as we kick the can down the road of our suicide by profit driven climate experiment.

You see, the people who have been making billions of dollars in profit don’t care where you end up. They don’t care if they wipe out entire cities. They don’t care that the sea level rise we’ve already locked in due to our emissions will make 400 US cities and towns uninhabitable. These cities are already lost. We can’t save them. Miami, New Orleans, NYC; for a complete list click here. 400. Is yours one of them?

This brings me to Exxon. They suspected that burning fossil fuels might have a bad long term effect on the planet, so their scientists looked into it. They spent millions and knew by the early 80’s that without a doubt their product would do exactly what’s happening today.

They sat on the information. And worse, poured millions into promoting doubt, disinformation and denial.

Is your town or city one of the 400? Did Exxon drown your home? If so it might seem fine when you look at it now, but open your eyes. It’s already underwater. There’s nothing anyone can do to stop it.

Oh and by the way, it’s November and it’s been as high as 75F in the northeast us. 75. It’s been weird warm like this for two weeks. There are still leaves on the trees. Those that haven’t fallen are largely brown and dead now.

And, now to tonight’s Republican debates:

Here in the US, the vast majority of our Republican Party doesn’t want any legislation to slow climate change. This group is the only group in the world who doesn’t get what’s happening. This willful ignorance has everything to do with their corporate donors.

(Refer to the 400 cities and towns we’ve already lost. Refer also to Exxon knowing because fossil fuels fund the Repubs).

So, if you vote republican, they don’t really give a shit about you unless you’re very rich and one of their donors.

Or, if you drive a VW. Sorry, I have to comment on the growing emissions scandal at VW. Boy is that going to wreck their bottom line. Millions of cars carry that defeat device. Millions. VW, porche, Audi, Honda, Mercedes Benz . . . and the list continues to grow.

When all is said and done, I wonder how much this mess will cost VW and the other manufacturers involved?

I also wonder if it will make any real difference? Laws don’t seem to apply to these folks.

I read this morning that young people are starting to file class action suits against fossil fuel companies because these kids are the ones who will bear the brunt of the changes we have wrought. This is a great idea and I hope they rip the bastards to shreds.

As for us and our climate change rock opera: The Nature of Man, we have caught the attention of some very big names and are trying to schedule meetings. Everyone’s busy so it may take a little time, but we are confident that we have the right story in front of the right people at exactly the right time.

And we will rock you while generating change.

God speed.

MAD

Sorry we’ve been kind of quiet. It’s not that there’s nothing to write about. There’s actually a lot going on all of it good.

We’ve got some serious interest in our business plan for the college tour of The Nature of Man, our climate change/water crisis rock opera. We’re very excited about this and are meeting with interested investors. So far, so good.

In the meanwhile, we’ve been getting ready. I’ve been relearning and practicing the keyboard parts I recorded. This is no small task. It’s a lot of material and some of it very complex and difficult to play. Good thing I like a challenge.

Along with practicing my parts, there’s also quite a bit of programming that must be done so I’m playing the right part and keyboard patch at the right time. We call this switching if you’re unfamiliar with music tech geek speak. It’s actually fun but sometimes leaves you scratching your head and muttering; “how did that happen?”

Another process that is taking place at the same time is making sure all of the charts and lead sheets are accurate. We’ll be asking very talented people to learn a lot of material. We have to make sure we give them what they need to do the job. This is part and parcel to producing a show (producing/managing anything really). You have to make sure your people have what they need to do their jobs. You have to take care of them. They are taking are of you.

Our recent work with the Yes Men has been really interesting. We attended (virtually) their first-ever Incubator web-class and found it fascinating. They did a great job focusing people’s ideas and goals so that those who attended had realistic schemes (what they call their actions) to execute.

We are talking with the Yes-folk–as well as the Sane Energy Project–about organizing the kids at the colleges we play so they can get going defending their future. It can feel pretty futile at times but if you have an organized group to work with, real change is possible.

And real change–far more aggressive than that underway now–is desperately needed.

The climate related events of the last few weeks did not escape us. With all of the recent press the climate has been getting, it would be nice to think that the problem is being solved and that we are on our way to a safe future. While these events are certainly welcome and even amazing, there’s still a lot to do and there will be plenty of push-back from the people and groups making a lot of money by killing the climate (and our collective future). In fact, it doesn’t take very long to find evidence of this in the news. I tweeted one or two around lunch time the other day.

Unfortunately, we still have the only conservative political party on the planet who can’t wrap their heads around climate change. We were first to the moon and have launched probes that have opened up our solar system and the larger universe to us in a way never before possible, but we are the home of Trump, Cruz, Carson and Bush. Oh, and Rubio. Forgot about him. The catholic who says (along with Bush) that the pope isn’t a scientist when it comes to climate change and he should stay out if it.

News flash: The pope has a degree in chemistry, genius.

The race of the twits. We think The Pythons would approve of the use.

Every scientist on the face of the planet understands what is happening and how breathtakingly frightening it is and how stupid it is to prevaricate. But these twits don’t get it. Heads in the sand and asses in the air for their fossil-fueled donors.

I’m gratified that the world community seems to be finally moving in the right direction by submitting pledges for carbon reductions to the UN. I’m also very pleased that the UN has sort of released a draft of it’s climate accord which requires that each country reduce it’s carbon emissions by a percentage that increases every so many years.

These are all very positive things but in the meantime we must keep up the pressure. There will be resistance. There will be lawsuits and attempted acts of congress to maintain business as usual. Even in loss they will be nibbling at the edges and chipping away at the underpinnings of it all.

Why? Profit. These people and groups are addicted to it. For them it’s a drug and like any junkie, anything that gets between them and a fix has got to go. Anything; including reason. Anyone; including their own children and grandchildren.

It’s hard for me to wrap my head around that: the idea that someone could willingly endanger the lives of their own descendants boggles the mind. Maybe they think that their children and their children’s children will be somehow exempt from the havoc they have created.

Don’t get me wrong; there’s nothing wrong with making money, but doing so at such a cost is sociopathic. It’s madness.

I didn’t get to see the Democratic debate tonight because I was in the studio. I intend to read up on it in the morning to see what the (somewhat) sane candidates and Bernie (the sane) had to do. At least with Bernie, we know that a hundred and change families making up the richest 1% aren’t paying his bills. We are. Gladly.

God Speed.

MAD