• Malibu’s Earth Day To-Do List •
The five-day series of small storms forecast by meteorologists last week turned out to be one small cell on Tuesday afternoon and then no rain at all the rest of the week. Not that I would have wanted it to rain on anyone’s Easter or Passover festivities, but as Malibu’s unofficial drought monitor and chief rain dancer—that’s the Chilkat Tlingit speaking—it’s part of my job specs to lobby for rain every chance I can.
The need for rain is reaffirmed by the winds rattling the office doors and windows as we go to press. There have been strong gusts for almost six hours and the native grasses beyond the office door are drying before my eyes. April was never considered fire season in the Malibu of yore, but now every month is fire season because of the climate changes that are occurring. The statewide drought means that every area faces water shortages on top of increased flammability.
As Malibuites join fellow Earthlings in celebration of the planet’s day, the top of the local wish list has to be protecting the area from the ravages of another wildfire. The land and its inhabitants are still recovering from the wounds of the 2007 fires. No one wants to see new sorrows inflicted on this or any other area. We must remain in preparedness mode at all times.
Taking Earth Day to the state and national level, Malibu voices should be among the loudest in opposition to any resumption of new offshore oil drilling on the U.S. Continental Shelf. Secretary of the Interior Ken Salazar is holding a hearing in San Francisco this week to gather public input on the federal five-year oil and gas leasing program and future energy development options. Locals who aren’t able to join one of the caravans heading up there to help voice SoCal opposition can do the same at www.MMS.gov (the Mineral Management Service is overseeing the program).
More information about Interior’s energy policy is available at www.doi.gov/ocs. Although the emphasis on conventional energy sources, such as fossil fuels, now appears to have lessened in the nation’s capital, the push for renewables has to soundly resonate from the general public to ensure that the forces that have had a chokehold on national energy policy for the last eight years are not allowed to continue treating the planet as their own personal cash cow.
There is no more fitting homage to the planet’s oceans than to guarantee that they will not be defiled to produce an energy source that not only irrevocably pollutes but also holds nations political and economic hostage to governments and corporations who predicate everything they do solely on its profit margin.
Mother Earth will be so proud of her young’uns.