The pre-dawn, arriving delightfully early these days, began with a smear of coral in the east and blue swatches among puffs of white in a sky that turned gray as clouds drifted in, filling up the empty spaces. Dawn itself came as a streak of yellow-white light well after Koko and I had returned home from our walk.
It’s Earth Day, the one day set aside each year to remember the source of all those insignificant little things, like food, water and oxygen, that make life a little more pleasant.
Folks pat themselves on the back for driving to an Earth Day event, picking up rubbish in plastic bags, planting a tree raised with chemical fertilizers in a plastic pot. “We’ve made progress,” they proclaim, offering as evidence the fact that LA, even with way more gasoline-sucking cars, has less smog and rivers, though now laden with chemicals from PPCPs — pharmaceuticals and personal care products — don’t burn anymore.
Sure, we’ve got global climate change to content with, but no worries, geoengineering — schemes like fertilizing the ocean, blasting sulfates into the stratosphere, placing nanoparticles of aluminum foil in the sky to reflect sunlight — will save us, and we won’t have to give up a thing. As Pat Mooney, head of the Candada-based ETC group described it on , Democracy Now!:
Well, it really is a massive manipulation of the ecosystems of the planet. It’s a major way of trying to intervene in climate change, to block sunlight or to sequester carbon dioxide in the ocean, to make a change in how the planet will function in response to climate change. I think it’s a terribly dangerous idea. It’s entirely a theoretical idea. And it’s gaining currency, strangely enough, in countries like the United States and the United Kingdom.
And tragically, it’s a bunch of rich guys in rich countries sitting around together, saying, “We can risk the planet. We can make the decision for everybody else. We can put our hand on the thermostat and decide for everybody else what has to be done.”
If that hubris doesn’t offer sufficient indication, the plastic fork and Styrofoam plate lunch box — emblazoned with a happy face and cheery “Have a Nice Day!” — that I picked up along the road this morning, like the cigarette butt I saw thrown from a county water department truck the other day, offer stark evidence of how much we’ve really evolved in the four decades since the first Earth Day was proclaimed.
Speaking of the county, I’ve confirmed from several sources that Waioli Corp. gave it three choices for the Ka`aka`aniu (Larsen’s) Beach access: the county's existing legal access; the middle, or vertical, access that goes down through the rocks; or the lateral access, which runs parallel to the beach. The caveat was the county had to assume liability for whichever access it chose.
The county picked the middle path, and apparently the papers are being drawn up. It’s not a dedicated access, like the one deeded to the county many years ago and now apparently impassable, but an easement.
I know some folks are going to scream, but I think the middle path, which might deter some people, is the best choice for protecting the monk seals and turtles that frequent that beach, and it just may help keep a few hapless tourists from drowning.
My primary concern is that it’s an easement, and not a dedicated access, so there’s always the possibility that it could be revoked.
And then there’s the issue of just who in the community the county consulted before it made such an important decision about a “public” access, and exactly when the county was planning to let folks in on the news.
I wanted to add that this arrangement does not affect the claim regarding the ala loa, or historical trail, which apparently will need to be hashed out directly with Waioli Corp.