Bill McKibben on Planet of the Humans: Michael Moore and his colleagues “have made a film attacking renewable energy as a sham and arguing that the environmental movement is just a tool of corporations trying to make money off green energy.”
Bashing Michael Moore
Another anti-climate change lobbying outfit has set up shop in San Diego. According to its March 1 registration with the city clerk, SanDiego350 “is an inclusive volunteer institution building a movement to prevent the worst impacts of climate change and climate injustice. We strive to create a future that supports a livable planet and just society through education and outreach, public policy advocacy and mobilizing people to take action.” Lobbying targets will include “Franchise Agreements,” with the intent to secure “climate-favorable agreement terms and/or [a] public power business plan.”
Amanda Ruetten lobbies for climate change group San Diego350.
That could move the group squarely into the middle of a growing fray over whether the City should renew SDG&E’s power-providing franchise or create a city-owned power distributor. The filing adds that SanDiego350 has also set out to “oppose [a] proposal to consolidate environmental advisory boards and support public process to review.”
The two registered lobbyists for the nonprofit are listed as SanDiego350 public policy organizer Amanda Ruetten and executive director Masada Disenhouse. “Prior to SanDiego350, Masada worked for 350.org where she managed staff and programs to support the growth and development of the over 150 local 350 affiliates in 350’s U.S. network,” per the group’s website.
Co-founded in 2008 by Middlebury College professor and journalist Bill McKibben, the group’s name comes from its objective to lower atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million or below. Current atmospheric levels hover around 415. McKibben “played a leading role in launching the opposition to big oil pipeline projects, and the fossil fuel divestment campaign, which has become the biggest anti-corporate campaign in history, with endowments worth more than $15 trillion stepping back from oil, gas and coal,” according to his online bio. Last May, McKibben took on Michael Moore in a Rolling Stone piece for attacking him in the liberal documentary maker’s latest movie, Planet of the Humans. “Basically, Moore and his colleagues have made a film attacking renewable energy as a sham and arguing that the environmental movement is just a tool of corporations trying to make money off green energy,” wrote McKibben. “Cherry-picking a few clips culled from the approximately ten zillion interviews, speeches, and panels I’ve engaged in these past decades, the filmmaker made two basic points. One, that I was a big proponent of biomass energy — that is, burning trees to generate power. Two, that I was a key part of ‘green capitalism,’ trying somehow to profit from selling people on the false promise of solar and wind power.” He called the points distortions and lies, adding that the film had been “thoroughly debunked.”
Big money activist Bill McKibben is ticked at Michael Moore.
Wall Street Journal reviewer Holman Jenkins, Jr., complained that Moore hadn’t been tough enough on McKibben and company, then added, “if audiences take Mr. Moore’s message to heart, it will mean the end of the world for many green-energy fixers and their pet environmental allies.”
State records show that Disenhouse and Emily Wier, now policy advisor to Democratic county supervisor Nathan Fletcher, incorporated SanDiego350 as a California nonprofit on November 3, 2014. The group’s IRS disclosure filing covering 2018 shows that it had total revenue of $166,000, expenses of $105,254, and a cash balance of $212,892. Disenhouse, then board chair, was not paid. Current supporters include the Sycuan Band of the Kumeyaay Nation, the American Federation of Teachers Guild, local 1931, and New York-based clothing maker Patagonia.
With conventions canceled and eateries closed to inside dining, just one local business category is doing better than expected, according to a recent report by San Diego city budget analyst. “The Office of the City Treasurer was the lone department” to see an uptick in projected revenue, “primarily attributable to a $3.1 million increase in Cannabis Business Tax” in fiscal year 2021, which ends this coming June. “It is difficult to explain the unexpected additional growth in [Cannabis Business Tax] revenue as it is likely attributable to a variety of potential factors (COVID stay-at-home orders, increased popularity, better marketing, increased delivery options, etc.) Based on data from the City Treasurer, average [Cannabis Tax] revenue received from the City’s 20 retail outlets has increased by approximately 17.6% in FY 2021 (year-to-date) over FY 2020. It should be noted that the State is similarly experiencing growth in cannabis revenue that is significantly in excess of amounts budgeted for FY 2021. While strong growth in [Cannabis Business Tax] revenue continues, the City’s retail outlets will face increased competition in the coming years from a growing number of outlets/distributors in surrounding cities and differences in cannabis tax rates.”
Meanwhile, the analysis notes, the pot market here is on fire. “The FY 2021 Budget assumed $19.7 million in [Cannabis Business Tax] revenue, which was an increase of $7.5 million over the FY 2020 Budget.”
— Matt Potter (@sdmattpotter)
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