Some essential backstory: Daily KOS markets itself as a "Daily weblog with political analysis on US current events from a liberal perspective."I have a "diary" there, and have had for years. I let it lapse for long periods. But had recently revived it in the interest of gaining greater exposure to work I have been doing right here at The Wrench to expose the ecological liquidation and community destruction wrought by the natural gas industry, and to galvanize the moment to end this and all forms of extreme fossil fuel extraction. I reposted at Daily KOS the pieces I have originally posted here or at Raging Chicken ( Raging Chicken Press | Progressive, Activist Media since 2011).
Note for now that nothing in the Daily KOS self-description says "Democrats Only!," or "No Greens (or Republicans or Libertarians or Constitutionalists or Whoever) allowed!"
Recently, I was asked to join the Pennsylvania Green Party Gubernatorial ticket with Paul Glover (Paul Glover: candidate for Governor of Pennsylvania) as the Lt. Governor candidate. I am very flattered and honored, and--after thinking about it for a while--accepted the invitation. Just prior to the offer, I was also flattered to be able to give a short presentation at the Pennsylvania Green Party Convention, 3.2.14. Here's the text of that presentation--If you'd like to see it with the photographs, please go here: Green Party Convention Presentation, 2.14 - a set on Flickr.
Of all the issues confronting Pennsylvanians—health care, education, jobs, etc.—among the most important of these are the devastating ecological and human rights toll the fossil fuel extraction industry has taken on the Commonwealth, her neighboring states, and the planet as a whole in the form of its potentially devastating contribution to climate change. Fracking must be banned.
There are many reasons why an articulate and uncompromising opposition to hydraulic fracturing, mountain top removal, tar sands extraction, other forms of unconventional gas drilling, the Keystone Pipeline, the construction of LNG export depots, is critical to the Pennsylvania gubernatorial campaign.
Here are just four:
1. The responsibility of the governor is to uphold the Pennsylvania Constitution, including Article 1, section 27: “The people have a right to clean air, pure water, and to the preservation of the natural, scenic, historic and esthetic values of the environment. Pennsylvania’s public natural resources are the common property of all the people, including generations yet to come. As trustee of these resources, the Commonwealth shall conserve and maintain them for the benefit of all the people."
2. The fossil fuel industry’s profit objectives are demonstrably inconsistent with the commitment to health care, education, and jobs.
A few examples:
a. Health care: given the hazardous health effects that follow from exposure to the carcinogens, biocides, and other toxins associated with the fracking process; given that a similar account can be given for exposure to toxins resultant from compressor station emissions; given the potential for explosions at every juncture of this process—frack pad, pipeline, truck accident, compressor; and lastly, given that these hazards make particularly vulnerable populations already marginalized by the state’s inadequate health care access, no case can be made in defense of the industry’s conversion of Pennsylvania into what amounts to an extraction factory for wealthy multinationals.
b. Education: in addition to the obvious hazards of locating extraction-associated facilities next to public schools, the effort of the Corbett administration to extort state universities into accepting extraction operations on their campuses is in obvious conflict with the missions of those public institutions, and inconsistent with the commitment to the health and welfare of their communities. APSCUF—the Associated Pennsylvania State College and University Faculty union—opposes any such construction, and I had the privilege of drafting that resolution for all 14 campuses.
c. Jobs: as is made clear on the numbers, the shale boom has not generated lasting employment for Pennsylvanians. Instead, it has diminished the potential for future employment in industries connected to our once spectacular forests, rivers, and high value streams, exposed mostly non-unionized workers to toxic health hazards, and exported profits from frack pad to off-shore bank accounts of already obscenely wealthy CEOs. That a very few may become very wealthy via royalties or other associated enterprise at the expense of the very many is intolerable to a democratic union and a prescription for future disaster.
3. States are no more closed loop systems than are human bodies or frack pads. In a world increasingly confronted by the effects of global climate change, deforestation, desertification, and toxic pollution, governors and legislators must act responsibly not merely to their own constituents—much less to their campaign donors—but to the stability of the global ecology as a whole. We can no longer afford to bury our heads in the sand about the impacts of an industry whose history so clearly shows that its mercenary drive to profit exceeds at every turn its commitment to human welfare or ecological stability.
4. States do not have the right to deploy their police forces to quash dissent—yet, our current administration not only acts legislatively to insure the smooth path to profit, but deploys its police resources against the people in an effort to suppress, fear-monger, manipulate, and intimidate those who expose this path as littered with toxins, political corruptions, and egregious forms of harm.Extreme forms of fossil fuel extraction must be banned not only because the citizens of the Commonwealth cannot afford the consequences, but because no regulation can adequately prevent the harm. As we at Shale Justice claim consistently: regulation is about nothing other than controlling temporarily the rate of harm—not the quantity, not the duration.
Moreover, no matter what some argue are “best practices,” none keep the gas in the ground—the only strategy that will prevent the contribution of fossil fuel extraction to climate change. Pennsylvania’s governor must act not only in the interest of all Pennsylvanians—but for the future of Pennsylvania. What this means is that she or he must take seriously the adage that the local is the global—for this is no mere hyperbole; it is fact. And as such, it is moral duty.
The presentation went nicely; some folks applauded, and I was invited to run as Lt. Governor with Paul Glover. A press release went out a bit later with the following:
Dr. Wendy Lynne Lee, prominent opponent of extreme fossil fuel extraction, has been selected as the Green Party's candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. Lee is professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania specializing in philosophy of language, philosophy of animal cognition, environmental and feminist theory. The author of "Contemporary Feminist Theory and Activism," Lee also writes a regular blog called The Wrench http://thewrenchphilosleft.blogspot.com/... and is a founding executive member of the Shale Justice Coalition http://shalejustice.org/.
Lee is a stalwart warrior in the resistance to the criminalizing of nonviolent dissent. "Sometimes in order to stand up for what is right, one must sit down with one's fellow citizens and lock arms," she said.
Green Party selects Lt. Governor candidate
Dr Wendy Lynne Lee, prominent opponent of extreme fossil fuel extraction, has been selected as the Green Party's candidate for Lieutenant Governor of Pennsylvania. Lee is professor of philosophy at Bloomsburg University of Pennsylvania specializing in philosophy of language, philosophy of animal cognition, environmental and feminist theory. The author of "Contemporary Feminist Theory and Activism," Lee also writes a regular blog called The Wrench http://
Lee joins the Green Party's gubernatorial candidate Paul Glover http://
Jay Sweeney, chair of the Green Party of Pennsylvania, “The Green Party of Pennsylvania is proud to offer voters the choice of two prominent thinkers who articulate a vision not only for the Commonwealth but for humanity.”
The Green Party of Pennsylvania is an independent political party that stands in opposition to the two corporate parties. The Green Party of Pennsylvania stands for grassroots democracy, social justice, sustainable economics, nonviolence, and ecology.
So, here's the part where it gets really interesting--and very telling with respect to whether there are any real substantive differences between the Democrats and the Republicans, or whether American voters can brook the possibility of any challenge to the two party system.
I suggest the answers here are "no," and "no."
But my goodness, do we need third--and fourth, and fifth parties in this county that can actually challenge a hegemony that makes a bald-faced lie out of even the appearance of a democracy.
And I suggest that the "liberal" Daily KOS offers us transparent--if unwitting--insight into the utter bankruptcy of the two party system--a system that offers really nothing but a veneer of "two" all the while they merely move about the deck chairs on the proverbial Titanic that is the planet.
I posted the press release and the convention presentation to Daily KOS. Within minutes I had backlash galore. Here's just a few of the more delicious samples--posted ver batim:
Nice touch--quoting MLK--but hardly "liberal," much less progressive--much less tolerant.