RFK Jr. In LB Urges Cleaner Energy & New Economic Policies That Encourage It
(Nov. 22, 2008) -- Author, lawyer and environmental activist Robert F. Kennedy, Jr. told an audience of area officials, business leaders and civic activists that local communities and the nation face major environmental challenges and urged economic policies that use the marketplace to meet demand with clean and efficient sources and practices.
Photo credit: Ann Cantrell
Addressing a capacity crowd (sold out, over 400 people) at the Westin Hotel in LB's East Village, Sen. Kennedy spoke on the subject of of "Planting Seeds of Environmental Change"...and signed copies of his book, Crimes Against Nature: How George W. Bush and His Corporate Pals Are Plundering the Country and Hijacking Our Democracy (Harper Collins).
Mr. Kennedy's website describes his book as a "powerful and far-reaching indictment of George W. Bush's White House [and] charges that this administration has taken corporate croyism to such unprecedented heights that it now threatens our health, our national security, and democracy as we know it."
Downtown LB Associates engaged Mr. Kennedy as featured speaker for its annual "State of Downtown" luncheon fundraiser, billed as a "comprehensive look at year-to-year changes in the redevelopment and revitalization of Downtown Long Beach and to focus on significant issues facing businesses, residents and visitors."
LBReport.com Contributing Editor on Parks, Recreation & Open Space Ann Canrell attended the event and said that among the recognizable figures she spotted in the audience [not a complete list] were Councilwoman Gerrie Schipske, Congresswoman Laura Richardson (D., Carson-LB), State Senator Alan Lowenthal (D., LB-Paramount), Huntington Beach Mayor [and recent Dem. challenger to Cong. Dana Rohrabacher] Debbie Cook and multiple members of the LB's downtown business community including DLBA Boardmember John Morris, owner/operator of Smooth's Sports Grille [disclosure: an LBReport.com advertiser.]
LB environmental advocate Ann Dennison attended, purchased Mr. Kennedy's book...and took the opportunity to tell him that President-elect Obama ought to appoint him to head the EPA.
Photo credit: Ann Cantrell
Ms. Cantrell reports that among speakers preceding Mr. Kennedy were 2nd dist. Councilwoman Suja Lowenthal (cited environmentally friendly policies downtown including bicycle and transit practices) and LB Mayor Bob Foster (noted Port of LB "Green Port" policies and LB's high asthma rates).
In his remarks, Mr. Kennedy noted that asthma was a problem all over the country due to oil use and air pollutants...and said coal burning plants were sending mercury into the air, which ended up in the water and in fish. He said he had some of his hair tested for mercury...and it showed his levels were two and a half times higher than the EPA says they should be.
Mr. Kennedy said that instead of huge sums spent on the Iraq war, which he related to oil, the U.S. could have spent the money developing other types of energy.
He spoke about a national electrical grid, in which people could produce energy from solar panels at home and have it feed the grid...and said utilities should pay people who provide this.
Mr. Kennedy said America could ignore the environment and leave a mess to its children, including health problems and a ravaged landscape and people can make money now -- or work with the environment and still make money...said good environmental policy is good economic policy.
Mr. Kennedy cited downtown Baltimore's revitalization which included cleaning up the waters of its harbor.
LBReport.com heard kudos afterward:
- Councilwoman Schipske said Mr. Kennedy's speech was excellent, terrific.
- DLBA Boardmember Morris was impressed with Mr. Kennedy's reference to improved water quality in discussing Baltimore's revitalization and said Mr. Kennedy "said things that needed saying."
- And LBReport.com Contributing Editor Cantrell said: "He gave an excellent speech...and I bought his book."
LBReport.com reader comments
Did anyone at this book signing event ask Mr. Kennedy to explain why he jetted out here to California to encourage us to spend whatever it takes of our tax money to save the earth, while he uses his influence to oppose the Cape Cod Windfarm project in his own backyard?
Perhaps the term "NIMBY" applies here. Mr. Kennedy seems to support any and all projects to protect the environment unless there is the possibility that such a project might spoil his pristine view from the family compound.
My goodness, even Greenpeace supported that project!
Listen here to Mr. Kennedy explaining his position in opposition to the windfarm: click here
LBReport.com welcomes your comments on this and other pieces we publish. Just email us at mail@LBReport.com. Let us know who you are and where you are.
Return To Front Page
Contact us: mail@LBReport.com