Carolers for a Clean California to shine light on the Gov Jerry Brown tonight

  • Published on December 21st, 2017

Signatories of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty, members of Idle No More SF Bay and others will be caroling in front of the Governor’s Mansion in Sacramento from 7:00 p.m to 8:30 p.m. today, December 21, 2017 in an effort to shed the light on Governor Jerry Brown’s actual environmental policies.

Daniel Ilario and María De Lime Dorsey of Idle No More, San Francisco Bay, protest Jerry Brown's speech at the New York Times Climate Tech Summit in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Idle No More, San Francisco Bay.By Dan Bacher

“The Christmas carols will be modified to reflect the wishes of those singing regarding clean air, water, soil and a safe climate future without enabling carbon trading,” according to a news release from Idle No More SF Bay. “Speakers will include members of the organizing groups as well as others working for a clean and safe environment.  Carolers are encouraged to bring musical instruments and especially bells.”

“Governor Jerry Brown has been confronted at many events over the last four years by citizens dismayed his climate policy which includes Cap and Trade.  Additionally, AB398, a bill passed this year and written with input from the fossil fuel industry, allows polluters to continue to harm California communities while tying the hands of local regulatory agencies such as the Air Quality Management Districts from passing emission refinery rules,” the group said.

Residents living near oil refineries and facilities that emit greenhouse gasses suffer from the toxins that are making their communities sick and that have higher numbers of people with cancers and auto-immune diseases.  These communities are commonly referred to as “sacrifice zones” and are in areas where the majority of residents are people of color and the working poor.

Daniel Ilario of Idle No More SF Bay was one of the many youth who confronted Governor Brown at an event during the United Nations Climate Talks COP 23 in Bonn, Germany last month when activists shouted “keep it in the ground” in relation to fossil fuels. Governor Brown, who looked directly at Mr. Ilario, said, “Let’s put you in the ground.”

Mr. Ilario will be one of the speakers at the caroling event tonight.  “The mainstream media portrays Governor Jerry Brown as a climate hero,” he commented.

“We stand together to shine light on his true climate legacy: poisoned aquifers, fracked lands, sacrifice zones near refineries, and a cap and trade bill that allows the fossil fuel sector to expand. We envision a future with true climate leaders who stand up to the oil and gas industry instead of taking millions in campaign contributions,” said Ilario.

You can read my interview with Ilario here:

Cap and Trade, also know as “carbon trading” and “pollution trading,”  is also an issue for Indigenous peoples around the world that have struggled to remain in their traditional forest territories and are at risk of being evicted as has happened with other Indigenous communities in Africa under the REDD program, according to the group. Signers of the Indigenous Women of the Americas Treaty include women from the Amazon Rainforest in Ecuador and Peru, as well as the Arctic.

“Under Brown’s governance, our aquifers were contaminated by fracked water, the largest methane leak in the United States occurred in Aliso Canyon, and the proposed Delta Tunnels would deplete the existence of our salmon and risk our ecosystem,” said Isabella Zizi, the youngest member of Idle No More SF Bay and a signatory on the Indigenous Women of the Americas Defending Mother Earth Treaty, “Governor Jerry Brown, you are the one putting us in the ground and this is not what climate leaders do.We want more sustainable jobs and most importantly to get big oil out of the picture.”

Idle No More SF Bay was begun by a group of Indigenous grandmothers in the Bay Area in 2013.  All of them are signatories on the Indigenous Women’s Treaty.

“As grandmother Treaty signers we work for a sustainable, beautiful future for all the generations to come.  We envision a world with clean air, water, soil, and safe jobs,” said Alison Ehara-Brown of the Mohawk Nation. “We want a world where false solutions like REDD and Cap and Trade will be unimaginable.”

While Jerry Brown receives largely fawning coverage in the mainstream and “alternative” media touting his supposedly “green” credentials, he is an enthusiastic promoter of many environmentally destructive policies, including fracking by Big Oil and Big Gas, oil industry-backed carbon trading, pollution of groundwater supplies with oil wastewater and the construction of the salmon-killing Delta Tunnels.

On February 6 of this year, twelve public interest groups, led by Consumer Watchdog and Food & Water Watch, unveiled a comprehensive “report card” on Jerry Brown Administration’s environmental record showing he falls short in six out of seven key areas, including oil drilling, fossil fuel generated electricity, toxic emissions, the California Environmental Quality Act, coastal protection and water.

The report calls for a moratorium on the building of natural gas powered electricity plants, given what they described as “the glut of electric capacity,” and calls for an outside audit of the state’s energy needs. The groups showed how California can improve its environmental protections to meet standards set in other states. The document also urged Brown to abandon his Delta Tunnels project and to make water conservation a priority.

Read the report “How Green Is Jerry Brown?” at:

In spite of California’s mage as the nation’s “green leader” that is carefully cultivated by state officials and the mainstream media, it is in fact the third biggest oil producing state in the country and Big Oil is the largest corporate lobby, dominating the Governor’s Office, the Legislature and the regulatory agencies. Jerry Brown has received over $9.8 million from oil and gas companies and utilities since he ran for his third term as governor in 2010.

Even worse, the “Danger Next Door” report released by the Stand Together Against Neighborhood Drilling – Los Angeles (STAND-L.A.) coalition on December 13 revealed that oil companies in the nation’s so-called “greenest state”  have used more than 98 million pounds — or 49,000 tons – of chemicals known to cause serious health problems in Los Angeles County since 2013.

David Braun of Californians Against Fracking and the Rootskeeper pointed out, “I think it’s notable that 20 million pounds of hydrochloric acid and 10 million pounds of hydrofluoric acid were used in Los Angeles County in a 3 year period in oil extraction operations.”

That doesn’t sound like something that would happen in the nation’s “green leader” under the helm of a “green governor” and “climate leader,” does it?


(Photo: Daniel Ilario and María De Lime Dorsey of Idle No More, San Francisco Bay, protest Jerry Brown’s speech at the New York Times Climate Tech Summit in San Francisco. Photo courtesy of Idle No More, San Francisco Bay.)


About the Author

Dan Bacher is an environmental journalist in Sacramento who focuses on California's water issues, a healthy environment for the salmon fishery of the Northwest, and the attempts by big agriculture and big oil to hog all the water.