Trying to keep up with all that is going on in this county right now is mind boggling. I took a moment to reflect.
SLO County is having an identity crisis.
The 2012 Chevron fire and explosion in Richmond California is an excellent example of how an industry thrives on a crisis it creates. The world watched. It was like watching an old Seinfeld rerun we had seen for the umpteenth time. Dodging the bullet is the industry’s modus operandi and while the governing boards are well aware of the conditions and terms of their agreement, which does indeed stipulate the industry is not liable, they tend to look the other way and hope nobody dies or anything happens that would expose their indiscretions.
Not until a disaster of this magnitude does the community realize they have been duped into believing everything was going to be fine just fine. This is not to say though that the community does not bear some responsibility for allowing the indiscretions to prevail.
Now the community is united and up in arms. Now they are demanding restitution and transparency. Unfortunately for those that died, homes destroyed, health forever impaired, restitution is impossible. If they had to do it all over again and know what they know today they would have done things quite differently.
SLO County is having an identity crisis. We are at an apex in our existence. Recognized world wide as leaders in fine wines, quaint get-aways, one of a kind views and vistas that only nature can provide, commingled with an inviting and embracing community anxious to share in our good fortune is SLO’s hallmark.
This atmosphere of congeniality did not happen by accident. Every nook and cranny, view and vista, butterfly and horny toad sanctuary, oak and morning glory preserve, land conservancy acquisition, tucked away historical building and pit stop, visiting whales and even the inconspicuous but none the less critical marine habitat are championed by a vibrant, engaged, committed community intent on preserving and protecting the ambiance that makes us who we are.
And then, quite unexpectedly, we were discovered by alien forces and not in a way that perpetuates our quality of life but rather challenges it to the core.
Accident prone bomb trains slithering into our midst, immune, exempt-ridden oil drillers seeking refuge in our protected, precious aquifers, convicted criminals of mass deception, Diablo Canyon Nuclear Power Plant demanding permanent resident status, all converging upon us at once, all demanding an audience with the gatekeepers of our destiny, the San Luis Obispo County Board of Supervisors. The buck stops there.
The alien forces have formed a vortex and what happens next will define our existence for generations to come. Clearly what is at stake here is two diametrically opposed forces, greed motivated profit and profit to sustain quality of life and lifestyles.
When the Board was approached with what would seem like an obvious no-brainer of a decision for elected officials sworn to uphold our safety, health and well being and a simple vote refusing to admit the inherently dangerous, bomb trains, nuclear power plant sitting on 12 faults lines that could be easily triggered by oil drilling operations a mere 5 miles away, drew instead blank stares and insincere platitudes.
We could take to heart all those who have suffered irreparable harm by unscrupulous and incorrigible industrial belligerence and act on it to prevent an instant replay in our community.
What if every man, woman and child that will most assuredly be adversely effected by bomb trains, toxic drinking water, suffocating air, is in the blast zone, sitting on top of a fault line, shows up on the steps of the County court house and delivers an open proclamation to our Board of Supervisors? NO OIL TRAINS. NO OIL DRILLING. NO NUKES. NOT NOW. NOT EVER. JUST NO. NO MEANS NO.
We deliver the proclamation with a resolution demanding they sign it at the next Board of Supervisors meeting-effective immediately. We all show up for that too. The world will be watching San Luis Obispo show how you become the change you want to see in the world. This is who we are.
So that said folks let me just kind of top that off with an announcement about a documentary that was a game changer for communities where ever it was shown. The truth has a way of doing that. The documentary is called Split Estate . All I had to do was mention to Bob Banner that we needed to see this and he took care of the details. Steynberg Gallery May 26, 7-9. Here’s the trailer and info. http://www.hopedance.org/events/eventdetail/973/-/split-estate-film-discussion-fracking
Thank you all for being here and caring.