April 29, 2005

You're A Good Man, Jerry Brown

I've just made an amazing discovery. Former Governor of California and the current Mayor of Oakland, Jerry Brown, is writing his own blog. Unlike other politicians who have someone blog for them, Jerry Brown is putting his own fingers-to-the-keyboard. What's more, he's actually interacting with his constituents and other commenters. Wow. Impressive. He's also blazing a new trail by bringing attention to local politics, thereby proving an old adage: All politics is local. One particular post, All Eyes on the Mayor, clarifies this point beautifully:

From the vantage point of high office, issues such as crime and jobs tend to be abstract statistics. Mayors deal with the concrete and the specific. You face a specific dead body on a well traveled street or the vacant lot that will soon become a condo tower or the school down the street where half the kids don't graduate. No theory here. Not much comfort from partisan rhetoric. Just hands-on reality with names and faces. Management at the human scale vs. pontification from on high.

In Oakland this week, we broke ground for a Whole Foods store in downtown, near auto row. It will be Whole Foods' largest store west of Texas and the first new major grocery store in this part of Oakland in decades.

For those who debate war and peace and the privatization of social security, this may seem like small potatoes. But it is a big deal. It is what we deal with in the city. And it is here that democracy, "people power," still flourishes.

Neighbors count and they make their voices heard. Higher up on the political food chain, neighbors get submerged into the demographics of market research and mass propaganda.

Jerry Brown "gets it."

Characteristically, he also has some very intelligent things to say about the environment, as do his commenters. I left a note asking Jerry Brown for his views about "Peak Oil." Let's see if he addresses this issue.

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Posted by Diana at April 29, 2005 07:40 AM

The link's broken, Diana...

Posted by: Karlo at May 2, 2005 04:44 PM

oops, and so it is.

Thank you.

Posted by: diana at May 2, 2005 07:26 PM

There's a fascinating article, 'Is 'Peak Oil' A Scam? Oil Fields Are Re-Filling Naturally And Rapidly', on the 'Current News You Need To Know' page at SurvivalistSkills.Com.

Makes for interesting reading!

Posted by: Jamie Buckingham at May 8, 2005 06:37 PM

Thanks for the link Jamie. Here is the direct link for anyone interested in reading the article:


I've come across this theory in my readings on peak oil. Even if this phenomenon of oil bubbling up from lower depths were true (and it may be in certain parts), it seems like an unreliable basis for our continued oil dependence. Some people just have to believe that fossil fuel is renewable, since we have built our lives on that assumption, but most geologists agree it is finite. Considering the arguments on both sides, at least the ones I've read thus far, the theory of renewable fossil fuel seems far less persuasive than the one being put forth by the peak oil proponents. The problem, as I understand it, is not just one of supply, it is increased demand, from the U.S. and now also from China and India. Even President Bush and Condoleeza Rice have admitted that demand is outstripping supply in recent statements. If we are to err on any side, it seems prudent to err on the side of Peak Oil -- assume
the worst and plan for it, rather than blythly continue to consume based on a belief in endless supply, only to end up driving off a cliff.

That said, I'm finding this site has fascinating articles on peak oil and will keep reading.

Posted by: diana at May 8, 2005 11:50 PM

More evidence of global warming: a weakening Gulf Stream:


Posted by: Sara at May 11, 2005 05:02 AM

Sara and supa, thanks for the links. I'll look them over when I have more time to digest.

Kunstler has a blog? Interesting. He wrote "The Long Emergency" and some books on Peak Oil.

Posted by: diana at May 11, 2005 07:53 PM

Oakland is said to be a much nicer place to live than people are commonly led to believe. And now their getting a Whole Foods. In spite of the store's lack of a union, I must confess that I'm impressed. Whole Foods is definitely a sign of high culture.

Posted by: Karlo at May 11, 2005 09:52 PM

A site about Whole Foods workers attempting to unionize.


Posted by: supa at May 12, 2005 08:07 PM

Karlo, it's true, Oakland does not have a great reputation. I was rather surprised to read that it had won some kind of "green" award.

We have a Whole Foods store near where I live. Happily it replaced Ralphs. I suppose keeping unions out translates into cheaper prices. Consumers prefer cheap prices over fair wages (for the "wage slaves"). I believe this is one reason why unions no longer have the clout they did in the days when almost everyone worked for "wages" rather than gentrified "salaries." There is a symbiotic relationship between business and the consumer that isn't being talked about. No one wants to offend the shopping sensibilities of the consumer -- certainly not politicians who covet their votes.

Since organically grown foods are more expensive, the consumer may be willing to pay a premium for "a better product," but the price would become prohibitive with the added cost of higher wages, and it certainly isn't the CEO and investor who will carry that burden, it is the consumer. Either way you look it at, the people are being screwed.

I don't know what the answer is, do you?

Posted by: diana at May 14, 2005 09:52 PM