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And the Climate Pretender Award Goes to …


And the Climate Pretender Award Goes to …

Sandra Steingraber

At COP21, aka the Paris climate conference, one of the most popular and suspenseful rituals was the announcement of the Fossil of the Day Award.

Handed out by Climate Action Network in full-on burlesque fashion before an audience of hundreds, the award served to shame the nation judged to have done the “best” job of undermining the negotiations on any given day.


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Ode to Building 4 Burlesque

On a dinky, plywood platform
in the back of Building 4
international news was made,
I think you know what for

Burlesque was brought to hundreds
in richly styled 'full-on'
bestowing rightful shaming
And honoring those right on.

No tawdry peep show mirror this
But a light on parrot mimes
making precious little effort
like the Cali.Methane mine

ah, Porter Ranch near dear L.A.
Pretender status granted
for GHG leaks that Cliff can't clamp
50k KG per hour.

The cows came home
Aliso leads SoCalGas No Fly
A zone of lipstick porkers
Claim they are not prone
to nix Brown's leaked gas/fracking ties
serve up gross Porter stakes.

Lil' Sis – it sounds so cute
To decarb such a diet they
prefer some REDD+genocide,
say in the Brazilian Amazon.

Thou shalt not show the leaders' faces,
Surrounded and implemented
Tape-over the sinister stood the order-
a rebus result most splendid.

The Golden State – long off that 'standard'
feeds the fractionalized frenzy
Once the domain of the FED cabal
Taken global in greedy envy.

"Another World Is Possible"
The cry from all abounds
In alternative methodologies
To keep it in the ground.

So unfurl the banners
And take to the streets
Simplify and clean up
Hold leaders and corps accountable
For life that is yet to come

"Under control", the summit meme,
to the back of Building 4
gets exquisitely staged Full Monty
and opens a platform door


The primary pretenders are the self-proclaimed environmentalists who eat meat.


Thank you Ms. Steingraber, for your courage and tireless efforts to resist this blithe degradation, and to awaken the many sleepwalkers.
I've called Brown's office several times a week for months, pointing out this ludicrous hypocrisy.
And Brown still allows Nestle' to buy water from CA during its worst drought ever. Note: Nestle' pays British Columbia $2.25 for EACH one million litres it takes from there. One million litres equals 264,172 gallons. That's $2.25.
Naturally, Brown's office won't reveal what CA receives from Nestle', but it's quite likely that it's a similar pittance.
Way to go, Climate Pretender.


Excellent article by the powerful, unbought public scientist Sandra Steingraber! Brown--who is leader of the Democrats in the most powerfully Democratic state in the U.S.--very much needs to be held accountable on this. Right down the line, from accountability for police abuse (to be governor, Brown went big in support of the police unions and their issues), to prisons, to the environment, to the military (his Oakland military academy was an educational and propaganda disaster for our children), to his making it clear to Dems that the days of sending to the governor's desk a single-payer bill were over, Brown has not been the governor we need, yet outfits like The Nation. sing his praises.

Note also Brown's response in Paris to the question of the Utah coal trains headed for the Oakland port for worldwide export: he called for the feds to give more guidance, passing the buck on this massive coal boom right under his nose. I learned that from a teach-in organized by the Sierra Club, but which wonderfully also did not just stick to that issue, but included speakers from Black Lives Matter, from Fight for 15, from affordable housing organizers, displaying just the kind of cross-issue movement building that is needed to overcome obstacles from Democrat-Republican rule to apathy and despair and division. 90% of the Oakland coal trains' killing dust would target poor people of color, for those are the ones living within 1 mile of the train tracks: so, we see, everywhere social justice and climate justice are intimately intertwined.


Ya know - I've been seeing you post that simple statement for years now. I'm down to tiny bits of local eggs and chicken on occasion, no more fish as of 10 years ago, and in transition with nuts, seeds, oils and limited grains. Its an interesting and I think valuable journey.


Few states other than Texas and California are being more hit by the evidence of global warming driven chaotic events; and yet the state leaders continue their rush towards all-out hubris. The gods do not smile on this sort of inanity:

"Indeed, California, already the nation’s third largest oil-producer, is doubling down on fossil fuel extraction via fracking and other extreme, toxic forms of oil and gas development, including in the Los Angeles area where 1.7 million people live or work within a mile of an active oil or gas well."

Instead of the public offering of The Oscar, or the Golden Globes... I've long envisioned the delivery of a small TUSH award... for the corporations that act as the most evident assholes politically, morally, ecologically, and (in a society where laws were just and equally enforced) legally.

THAT award ceremony would augment shame... perhaps in a vehement enough manner as to make corporate head honchos think twice about poisoning this planet and pretending to be pillars of their communities.

Let's hear it for this week's Rear-Enders! Those who espouse and profit by half-assed, ass-backward policies and endeavors! (Cue satire.)

Thank you, Ms. Steingraber... for this report. Not only was there a blackout in Paris on the anti-fracking activists (after their bold statements of protest), I hadn't seen a THING on this in any U.S. press publication... till YOU explained the dynamics.

Shame on NRDC!


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A really informative article. Thank you Dr. Steingraber.


I could not agree more about building the cross-issue movement.


Just another example of how politicians try to have it both ways. Jerry Brown is a hypocrite, pure and simple. I remember reading about his support for increased fracking in California last year and now we get more details in this excellent article. I'm not at all surprised. For years, when he was out of political office, he had a radio show on KPFA the progressive FM station in Berkeley called "We the People". Oh, but the progressive rhetoric was most impressive. However, when he was finally back in office as the new mayor of Oakland he resorted to his old ways.
I once met Jerry Brown across the Bay in Sausalito. He was in his car and looking for directions to a meeting along the waterfront. If I had known then what I know now I would have told him to go to Hell.


it's almost impossible to be anything but a climate pretender. Individuals being concerned about their "carbon footprint" or proclaiming their virtuousness because they don't eat meat are doing nothing more than making "it's not my fault" small scale gestures.

There is nothing individuals can do or stop doing that can make enough difference to affect anything, and there is no leader anywhere that I'm seeing who is leading humankind anywhere near where it needs to go.

The extent of change that would need to happen to stop the now visible perceptible ongoing ever more rapidly increasing environmental deterioration would have to be a sweeping movement of billions of humans speedily transforming the way every facet of the way lives are lived, and making the best choices as to what best to do as the changes are ongoing. How likely is that? What is needed is a Green Jesus who is for real, not a self serving charlatan. How likely is that?

Am I wrong? Can a livable life on earth be achieved? Show me. Prove it.


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I love you for that! I'm on this journey, too. Going vegetarian was such a relief, and not a blow to my health as I'd been led to believe. Moving towards veganism now is a revelation, too.


Why insult the Dinosaurs by comparing them with stupid humans?

The Dinosaurs lasted 150 million years and were going strong until a meteorite the size of Mt Everest hit the planet.