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By Sherry Listgarten

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About this blog: Climate change, despite its outsized impact on the planet, is still an abstract concept to many of us. That needs to change. My hope is that readers of this blog will develop a better understanding of how our climate is evolving a...  (More)

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Can there be too many activists?

Uploaded: Apr 9, 2023
High school students and other environmental activists are sometimes disappointed with my views. Even though I am very concerned about climate change, I shy away from extreme policies, I am not afraid to enumerate counter-arguments, and I incline to feasible rather than aspirational goals. I wrote a blog post a few years ago that looked askance at Menlo Park’s announced 90% x 2030 goal, which I found too audacious to be believable. I declined to get excited about a high school student’s proposal to electrify Palo Alto’s school buses, an effort that seemed to have high cost and effort relative to impact and visibility. (1) And recently in a conversation with a local activist, I found it hard to rally behind setting a date to phase out natural gas distribution in Palo Alto since I worry that without a better knowledge of costs and other impacts it could do more harm than good.

I pondered my lukewarm-activist stance recently at a Passover seder. The hosts plan the seder to emphasize the relevance of Passover in today’s world. Passover is a holiday about freedom, so they encourage discussion about what it means to be free, what obstacles there are to freedom, and what responsibilities we have to help others to be free. They write their own Haggadah (the “manual” that is used for a seder), which makes for a more interesting evening than a dry recitation of a traditional seder.

Every few years they revise the Haggadah and this year there was an interesting new addition. The traditional seder talks about how to teach the meaning of Passover to four kinds of children:

- The wise and thoughtful child.
- The rebellious or skeptical child.
- The simple child.
- The child who doesn’t know how to ask.

I love this idea that you need to know your audience!

The updated Haggadah added a section on another four kinds of children when it comes to turning thoughts into action. “On Passover, it is not enough merely to learn; Passover demands that we act. But how? In the face of such enormous problems in our world, how should we act? How can we act? What do we say to our children when they ask us how to act?”

This seems like an important issue. Only a few days ago, the New York Times had an op-ed titled “The Rich World Has a Shockingly High Tolerance for Cruelty”. There’s a lot of room for improvement in how the world operates today and in how we are responding. Yet I know that my attention span for the disasters of the world is limited and I ignore things I shouldn’t ignore. The new Haggadah maps out four types of children and how to talk with them:

- The activist child. “Empower this child always to seek pathways to advocate for the vulnerable.”
- The skeptical child. “Encourage this child by explaining that they need not solve the problems, but must only do what they are capable of doing.”
- The indifferent child. “Remind this child that responsibility for such things cannot be shirked.”
- The uninformed child. “Teach this child that we are the inheritors of our people’s legacy.”

Source: Creative Commons

I found myself aching for a fifth kind of child. It seems too much to expect that we always seek ways to help the vulnerable, or even that we do everything we are capable of doing. In that regard, I could easily start by moving to a cozy apartment, donating the bulk of my savings to needy causes, and spending more of my free time writing letters to politicians. That would hardly constitute a sacrifice in the eyes of many. But it is beyond me. Not only do I not take enough action, I don’t even let myself become aware of, let alone get outraged about, so many wrongs. I say to myself that doing so allows me to move forward with other things.

It’s not just our capacity for outrage that causes me to question the seder’s advice. I wonder if “activist” is the correct aspiration here. Colloquially, at least, an “activist” is one to take a fairly black-and-white stance, and to protest from outside rather than build from inside. The host confirmed this: “I do think that activists are necessarily disenfranchised. If you have the power to change things and you change them, you’re not thought of as an activist. Lyndon Johnson got the Civil Rights Act of 1964 passed and signed into law, pressuring lawmakers, but no one would say he was an activist.” So, if people like Thurgood Marshall (as a judge) and Abe Lincoln (as a president) weren’t activists, then maybe we need a fifth child for them, and a sixth child for me?

In fact, I wonder if in this day and age, we don’t have more than enough activists and agitators, and too few vanilla people drafting policies and moving the needle more quietly. My patient host replied: “Do activists shout too much? Maybe. But maybe it’s a tactic they use to be heard because they are marginalized. A billionaire or a senator doesn’t need to shout.” True, but I give a lot of credit to people who use their money or clout to effect big positive change, if only because so many do not. I think it’s not as easy as it seems.

Suppose you aren’t disenfranchised or rich or powerful or effecting big change. The guy who installed my heat pump is not an activist -- he doesn’t even believe that climate change is a serious threat -- and I wouldn’t say he is disenfranchised. Nevertheless, he feels very strongly about energy efficiency. He got up to speed on hydronic heat pump technology years ago and has been working nonstop to install them for a while. He feels strongly that he is making the world better by helping people to use less energy. What kind of child is he? He works hard at a job that does a lot of good. But he is not fighting against injustice.

One of the guests at the seder said he spends a lot of time as a soccer referee. He enjoys it and thinks it does good. He certainly helps the kids (and parents?) learn sportsmanship. I’m not sure if he gets paid for the job or if he donates the income back to the organization. Does that matter? Does it matter if the kids on the teams are underprivileged or not? Or does he need to protest something?

The host looked at me quizzically as I was puzzling through this and asked where I was going with it all. Ha, good question. At the end of the day, I think people do best when they live their lives according to their values. Not according to someone else’s values, but according to their own values. If people have different values, that’s a good thing, and if people advocate for what they care about, that is also a good thing. (2)

Activism plays an important role. Activists can change the conversation. They can direct attention to a cause. They can even sway public opinion in their direction if they are skilled. After all, it’s hard to build a movement around milquetoast.

And yet, in my view, activists should be relatively rare. If they are not skilled, they can have the effect of shutting down conversations and even stoking the opposition. What I would like to see more of is people who can listen as well as talk, who can bring people together, build coalitions, and draft policies that are inclusive, multi-faceted, and get good buy-in. Whether these people are senators or underprivileged community members, this work is critical, difficult, and effective. (3)

Maybe what I’m looking for is this kind of child: “The child who tries.” This child works to discover their values, to evolve those values by listening to others (especially those who don’t agree), and to align their actions with their values, a little more each year. They can do this loudly or quietly, urgently or patiently, alone or with others. I would love to see a little more listening and a little less talking, a little more building and a little less tearing down, a little more togetherness and a little less divisiveness. And I worry. Diplomatic approaches don't drive likes and engagement on social media, and I am seeing that kids (and adults) increasingly default to noisier activism. It’s possible they don’t know and may not be capable of anything else. What happens if outrage becomes an increasingly dominant emotion?

Consider the Stanford Law School students who shouted down a judge who they didn’t agree with. I don’t love that type of activism. My host replied: “I’m not sure I’d call the students at Stanford Law School who shouted down a speaker “activists". That’s just shutting down speech. Instead, I think an activist approach to that situation is the creation of a forum that would invite different points of views to be aired to create the understanding necessary to drive change toward a more just society. To my mind, we need more activists, because we have so many problems that need fixing…. Their tactics are more nuanced than you think -- antagonistic and perhaps simplistic as needed to generate attention and engagement, but thoughtful and collaborative when that point has been reached.” That sounds promising, no?

What is your take on activism and activists? What would you like to see more of and less of?

Notes and References
1. Palo Alto has very few school buses, with the large majority of kids walking or biking to school (and, in the case of high school, driving or taking the VTA bus).

2. I think this is true up to a point. If everyone simply valued the dollar above all else, I don’t think it would lead to a great outcome. We see some of that today.

3. On reviewing a draft of this blog, the seder host wrote this about the potential for activists to stymie conversation: “Do activists shut down more conversation than people entrenched in positions of hierarchy? What Catholic leader took on sexism and child abuse on their own? How much speech did they stifle?” This is an important point. In other words, if there is no other way for the disenfranchised to lobby for their cause without some negative side-effects, then maybe that is the cost our society has to bear for having created so many powerless people with so many causes to fight for in the first place.

Current Climate Data (February 2023)
Global impacts, US impacts, CO2 metric, Climate dashboard

The folks from Climate Central share this information: “This March, San Francisco was much cooler than normal and much wetter than normal. The average temperature of 52.2°F was 3.3° below normal, and the 6.60 inches of precipitation was 242% of the normal amount… Despite this month being cooler than normal, Marches in San Francisco are getting hotter, leading to a change of 2.5°F since 1970.”

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Posted by Eddie, a resident of Fairmeadow,
on Apr 9, 2023 at 3:20 pm

Eddie is a registered user.

Well said Sherry!

Chag Sameach

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 9, 2023 at 4:07 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.


You said:

“I think an activist approach to that situation (Stanford Law students) is the creation of a forum that would invite different points of views to be aired to create the understanding necessary to drive change toward a more just society."

That situation was created by your “activists" who shouted down a federal court judge simply because they did not want to hear his point of view. It has become commonplace for your “activists" to use their so-called roles in who or what they disagree with to trample on the free speech of others. The Bolsheviks and Nazis started out the same way. However, it's what you said in your notes and references section (number 3 to be exact) that I find chilling. You stated the following:

“In other words, if there is no other way for the disenfranchised to lobby for their cause without some negative side-effects, then maybe that is the cost our society has to bear for having created so many powerless people with so many causes to fight for in the first place." Cost to to our society?

You would make Lenin proud.

What are those “negative side effects" you you speak of? You mean like those BLM folks who torched buildings and threw Molotov cocktails at police? Those are the negative side effects you speak of? You okay with that? How's Seattle and Portland looking these days in the aftermath of those “activist" riots?

Mayor Breed wanted to defund police in San Francisco. How's that working out for her? The new “activist" DA in Oakland just disqualified a veteran judge from hearing future criminal cases. Why? All because the judge wanted to give the murderer of three people more prison time.

It's not activism Lingarten. Your “activists" are promoting their ideology.

Posted by d page, a resident of Midtown,
on Apr 9, 2023 at 4:08 pm

d page is a registered user.

What I would like to see more of is more people reading the NYTimes article you mentioned, “The Rich World Has a Shockingly High Tolerance for Cruelty", as well as Matthew Desmond's related analysis in his new book, "Poverty, by America".

Your regular columns often effectively address (in a similar vein) how we well-educated first-worlders can come to grips with the pollution we generate, the options to significantly cut back on our output, and the consequences of such.

I appreciate your honesty: "I could easily [respond] by moving to a cozy apartment, donating the bulk of my savings to needy causes, and spending more of my free time writing letters to politicians...But it is beyond me. Not only do I not take enough action, I don't even let myself become aware of, let alone get outraged about, so many wrongs." I harbor such doubts, myself.

The first step in every 12-step program is acknowledging there is a problem. Taking responsibility for one's behavior follows. You have helped many people learn so much in a wonderfully positive manner. No one can do it all, and everyone has to balance relaxation and stress.

Here's my recommendation, reflect on the great work you've done. Consider the intentions of the "activists", and ponder if you can do something "beyond" what you've been doing. Maybe you ARE at your limit, but it doesn't hurt any of us to be challenged to see if we can up our game somehow.

I hope you'll continue to inspire us to improve as much as we can.

Finally, I hope the editors will publish your posting in the print edition of the Weekly; it's a worthy topic to go over.

Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 9, 2023 at 7:40 pm

MichaelB is a registered user.

"The hosts plan the seder to emphasize the relevance of Passover in today's world. Passover is a holiday about freedom, so they encourage discussion about what it means to be free, what obstacles there are to freedom, and what responsibilities we have to help others to be free."

Climate change policies are the opposite of freedom.

The government dictates/mandates what you can drive, how you heat your home, what kind of home you can live in, what kind of jobs are required, what foods can be consumed, how much energy is allowed to be used, etc. regardless of consequences to the citizens, economy, financial markets, etc. The responsibility to remain living in a free society is to question authority and limit government control. Not just do what you are told because activists/politicians/special interest groups (who are out of touch with the average person) claim it's an "emergency" or the "world will end" if we don't.

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 9, 2023 at 8:54 pm

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Well said, MichaelB,

A trip to the National Holocaust Museum in Washington D.C. will do wonders for those seeking the truth. In my opinion, this is the most important museum in the world. And this great museum tells is like it was. Read on.

When the Nazis came to power in 1933, the German constitution guaranteed freedom of speech and freedom of the press. Through decrees and laws, the Nazis abolished these civil rights and destroyed German democracy. Starting in 1934, it was illegal to criticize the Nazi government. Even telling a joke about Hitler was considered treachery. People in Nazi Germany could not say or write whatever they wanted.

Sound familiar? Stanford University come to Mind? Students refused to let a federal judge speak as Stanford University faculty stood by and did nothing. This is how it starts, Sherry.

When “activists" refuse to let people speak, they are no longer “activists."

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 10, 2023 at 9:08 am

Bystander is a registered user.

Activists come close to being terrorists. Activists close down bridges, freeways, do stunts on overpasses and in many ways attempt to disrupt ordinary life for everyone in the area. It is not just people being late for work or late home for dinner. It is life changing and important things that people are late for or miss altogether. Babies are born in cars that are stuck. People are not able to get to hospitals with medical emergencies. People miss flights. People are late for exams, interviews, and other important

When activists decide to disrupt the lives of the general public, they lose any type of sympathy for their cause. They are selfish and even more so they are not doing their cause any favors. If they end up being arrested, as they should, they are then causing taxpayers expensive court cases and keep more serious criminals from getting their just deserts.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 10, 2023 at 1:29 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

WOW - amazing comments. I grew up in West Hollywood - LA County. That is home to a lot of people in the entertainment industry- experts in producing cinema.

[portion removed]

It must be location, location, location. SU bands work at lack of presentation on the fields - pride themselves on being erratic. Now they can pride themselves on being total fools when people come to speak. They are running themselves into the ground.

LA had a Chief of Police and then Mayor - Tom Bradley - a former track star at UCLA. He ran for governor. Then we had Willie Brown who was a mayor of SF and then in the CA legislature. Those are success stories that no one talks about.

We already had success stories but the current activists are always acting like they just thought all of this up now. We used to actually act like NORMAL people but somehow NORMAL is lacking in every day life now.

Posted by eileen , a resident of another community,
on Apr 10, 2023 at 2:03 pm

eileen is a registered user.

I recently read an interesting article about student activists. It reminded me of HS debates when we were randomly assigned to one side or the other of a controversial topic. It is quite a challenge to research and debate the pro side of something with which you disagree but it is very worthwhile. The students were all very engaged in the activity. It certainly impacted my life. Perhaps this could be something all HS students should be encouraged to do? The tricky part is having classmates judge the teams objectively but great minds could figure that out. I despair of our unwillingness to listen with respect to opposing voices.

Posted by Mark Twang, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 6:41 am

Mark Twang is a registered user.

I'm glad to see so many comments questioning the wisdom of the climate change activists.

I wish more climate activists would occasionally ask themselves the question that General George C. Marshall (the man who crafted much of FDR's World War II military policy) addressed to his colleagues, namely:

“What if we're wrong?"

No matter who you are, a little humility is a good thing.

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 10:12 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

One more thing I want to add...

Listgarten also made a comment that I did not address earlier. She stated the following:

“...maybe that is the cost our society has to bear for having created so many powerless people..."

So, the blame for the unlawful conduct of these powerless people, better known “activists," is society's fault? Don't blame the individual, blame society, right? What about personal accountability? Fortunately, we still have laws in this country that hold people accountable - no thanks to progressive district attorneys like Chesa Boudin, but look what happened to him.

Interestingly enough, Listgarten makes mention only of “powerless people." Well, how about those “activists" with power? During the George Floyd protests in Brooklyn, Urooj Rahman threw a gasoline-filled bottle through a police car's window and fled in a minivan driven by Colinford Mattis. Rahman said: “The only way they hear us is through violence."

Rahman and Mattis were attorneys. Fortunately, they were caught, lost their licenses to practice law and had to serve time. Beautiful. But these weren't powerless people, were they? These “activist" morphed into terrorists. In the end, they were convicted of felonies and will never be able to practice law again. I guess that makes them powerless people now?

Those self-entitled law students down there at Stanford could learn a learn a thing or two. If not, those students are going to end up on the bench one day and silence the rule of law.

Posted by Liquidamber, a resident of Old Palo Alto,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 10:46 am

Liquidamber is a registered user.

Brilliant. Thank you.

Indeed, more people willing to work for change while listening to all others' ideas whjle sifting all data, especially for issues one can measure such as average monthly air temperatures, instead of just yelling and shouting would get more positive results in the short and long term.

I've been thinking over the recent Christian Holy Week about the song "Someone Made the Sandals Jesus Wore." My favorite lines in it are "do what you CAN do" even if all you can do is "light one little candle in the night."

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 10:55 am

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

Thanks for the comments. Several of you are pointing out that there is a range of protest actions, some more aggressive than others. @MalcomHex cites the instance of two lawyers throwing a molotov cocktail into an empty police car as part of a protest about George Floyd’s murder and questions that type of activism -- violent action from people who are not powerless.

This blog was (meant to be) more focused on non-violent activism, so I’d like to hear thoughts on that. One commenter emphasizes the importance of freedom of speech, saying that protesters need to be mindful of protecting speech even when they do not disagree with it. There is a difference between walking out of a talk and shouting down a speaker.

@eileen goes farther and wonders if we can actually listen with an open mind. I know how hard that is, but I agree. The Change My View reddit is an interesting exercise in that vein.

With regard to climate change specifically, I personally think it’s a clear case where (peaceful) protest was long overdue. We spent forty years giving the naysayers a chance to prove their case, and our situation only got worse and our costs only increased.

This raises another question, do we disagree with activism only when we disagree with its goals?

I think there is absolutely a role for activists and peaceful protest. Are we seeing enough of it? Too much? Too little? I worry that we have become more of a “protest” society and less of a “put your head down and get things done” society. But I don’t know, and what role does privilege play in that assessment? I think my host's nuanced take on activism was interesting, how effective activism segues from attention-getting to collaborative and productive.

Posted by Sherry Listgarten, a Mountain View Online blogger,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 11:07 am

Sherry Listgarten is a registered user.

I should also add, wrt the point about freedom of speech, that I think that freedom of speech, access to voting, education, and strong independent journalism are critical cornerstones of a functioning democracy. Democracy depends on an educated, informed, representative population that can vote. Our House of Representatives and our votes should be representative, not a reflection of structural bias. IMO people who are not inclined to embrace activism should be leaning hard into improving education, voting access, and quality journalism so that the non-activist channels are more effective.

Anyway, thanks for the interesting and thoughtful comments.

Posted by Bystander, a resident of Another Palo Alto neighborhood,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 5:33 pm

Bystander is a registered user.

Actions do indeed speak louder than words when it comes to this topic. As a teenager I remember doing clean up days in local popular outdoor gathering spots. Beaches, parks, rivers, etc. all have people quietly grouping togethere and actually cleaning up the environment and have been for at least the past 50 years.

If most of these so called activists actually spent their weekends cleaning up areas that needed some help it would go a long way to making a difference. Much more than marching with banners, walking out of classes, and making the type of noise nobody has time to hear. If we all put some effort into making our corner of the world a cleaner place by getting rid of some of the ugliness it would be more helpful, particularly when most of the pollution nowadays is not coming from our corner of the world, but other countries, and the Asian continent in particular.

Posted by kbehroozi, a resident of Menlo Park: Suburban Park/Lorelei Manor/Flood Park Triangle,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 6:32 pm

kbehroozi is a registered user.

Wow. I usually appreciate the tenor and the content of your blog posts but this one (for me) missed the mark.

There's a significant difference between the protestors/demonstrators that most people think of when they hear the word "activist" and the appointed Menlo Park Environmental Quality Commission members, many of whom are basically working full-time (and very much from within the system) on unraveling the myriad practical challenges associated with natural gas phase-out.

True, they are not paid for their efforts, but they bring decades of professional experience and technical knowledge to their work and are absolutely "rolling up their sleeves" (often literally, in the case of Tom Kabat) to tackle the problem through education, technical assistance, research, community outreach, and more. To lump them in with high school students and the SLS demonstrators (implying that they are unsophisticated, inexperienced, dogmatic) does a huge disservice to this talented, nuanced, and hard-working crew (although it apparently delighted the cynics and climate change deniers who practice their own form of keyboard activism in the comment section of the Almanac).

Can there be too many activists? I don't know. It depends on what they're doing. In the case of our EQC, my answer would be a resounding NO.

Posted by TimR, a resident of Downtown North,
on Apr 11, 2023 at 8:50 pm

TimR is a registered user.

It's certainly true for reducing carbon emissions. Activists don't actually do anything to reduce emissions. They try to get others to do things to reduced emissions. And a much greater focus on those people and companies doing the actual work is what's needed. This would help inspire others to work on the hard problems, and create a culture of championing and supporting their efforts.

For example, John Kerry is the head of a Federal initiative, Project Phoenix, that seeks to "retrofit" coal plants with small nuclear reactors. That's a big deal! But the only time I've seen it mentioned was a couple of sentences in a COP26 press release. And there are all kinds of other examples of people devoting their lives to ideas and projects to reduce emissions, but coverage is reduced to the periphery, in favor of all the protests and activism. It's out of balance.

Posted by TripleLMember, a resident of Triple El,
on Apr 12, 2023 at 12:08 am

TripleLMember is a registered user.

The small percentage of violence in recent mass protests and the high-profile cases of illiberal suppression of free speech on campus obscure the fact that outside activists and inside change-makers are actually complementary and necessary to each other. Changes in policies and programs necessarily have to come from inside existing institutions. However, outside activism are essential in shaping public opinions, making issues visible, and providing political impetus for change. Without specific implementable goals, activism is only empty rhetorics. Without visible public support, it is more difficult for inside change-makers justify their actions. You can see the dynamics between Lyndon Johnson and M.L. King that way. The anti-war protests led to eventual withdrawal of U.S. troops from Vietnam, and one can argue that the lack of concrete political demands of the "Occupy Wall Street" movement resulted in ineffectiveness of the movement. Effective activists should be thinking about and seeking out collaboration with inside change-makers.

Are there too many activists? I think there are two things worth pointing out. First activisms is mostly a non-remunerative activity. It is often something activists do on top of their regular work. Therefore we generally have a lot of do'ers compared to activists already. Second, the appropriate ratio of activists/inside-change-makers probably depends on particular issues and goals in question. For issues that requires legislative changes (e.g., abortion laws), you really need a big activists/legislator ratio. For local regulatory issues, a relatively small number of activists (e.g., NIMBYs) can have disproportionate impact.

Posted by MichaelB, a resident of Pleasanton Meadows,
on Apr 12, 2023 at 7:08 am

MichaelB is a registered user.

"With regard to climate change specifically, I personally think it's a clear case where (peaceful) protest was long overdue. We spent forty years giving the naysayers a chance to prove their case, and our situation only got worse and our costs only increased."

It didn't take 40 years to figure out we can't run the state (or the nation) on windmills and solar panels. We're seeing the costs and negative outcomes immediately. We have high energy prices (resulting in higher prices on products/reduced economic growth) and energy shortages as a result. I think it's clear that climate change activists (and politicians) simply do not care because it does not affect them personally, they think they "know" what is best, and want more government control over people's lives.

Posted by Alan, a resident of Menlo Park: Belle Haven,
on Apr 12, 2023 at 10:44 am

Alan is a registered user.

Good article.

It's an art. When "activism" actually results in problems getting addressed, it's good. When it works to shut down dialogue, and is little more than virtual-signaling, it's bad.

When pragmatism comes up with solutions that the majority can accept, it's good. When it's too accommodating, and, in the name of avoiding conflicts, leaves real problems unaddressed, it's bad.

The answer? Observe, and make your own judgment on what the current state of affairs is. Become more activist or pragmatic as needed.

Also - recognize different people have activist or pragmatic tendencies, and the tension caused by the mix of approaches may actually be a good thing toward society getting better. Find your role, and be at peace with it.

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 13, 2023 at 1:56 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.

Listgarten stated the following: Malcom Hex cites the instance of two lawyers throwing a molotov cocktail into an empty police car.

First: I didn't say that, you did. I said two attorneys were involved in the incident, not lawyers. There's a difference: attorneys practice law, lawyers can't.

Second: The two attorneys had no idea if there might have been someone in that car when the Molotov cocktail was thrown; which is one of the reasons why the two “activists" received jail time.

Third: You mentioned “Structural bias." You mean the same kind of nonsense found in critical race theory (CRT)? I can tell you this: While you grapple with your white fragility, the Russians, ChiComs, and North Koreans are licking their chops.

In closing, I find the majority of “activists" to be a self-centered and looking for the limelight. It's not about their cause, it's all about them. How about those BLM leaders who cashed in after the riots. Patricce Cullors, co-founder of BLM, come to mind? Yup, the same Patricce Cullors who cites Karl Marx, Vladimir Lenin and Mao Zedong. She also bought several mansions worth millions. I wonder where that money came from?

Botton line: Activism has evolved into an ideology of socialist thinking.

Posted by SRB, a resident of St. Francis Acres,
on Apr 14, 2023 at 8:08 am

SRB is a registered user.

In answer to the question: "Can there be too many activists?", I'm tempted to say our Federal Courts.

The subject of the recent protest/shout down at Stanford? An activist judge using his powerful positions to implement his distriminatory/far right/hateful activist agenda.

Were students protesting his speech or the damage done by his powerful actions?

Posted by Malcolm Hex, a resident of San Ramon,
on Apr 14, 2023 at 8:47 am

Malcolm Hex is a registered user.


You just lost the your argument by not addressing the judge's right to free speech. You also failed address what you call the judge's “hateful activist agenda." So typical of the left. At least I give detail, as opposed to your name calling.

The problem with you folks on the left is that if the outcome doesn't agree with your narrative, you shout people down, throw Molotov cocktails at police cars, burn down buildings, and defund the police. What a fine group of angry folk.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 15, 2023 at 7:36 pm

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

We live in highly educated city - most people have advanced degrees. There lies the problem in that activist seem tho think they are educating other people. They are expressing an "Opinion" in which they only provide "facts" which support their opinion. Other people will look at the position taken and note all of the other facts that are out there that were not referenced.

There are a lot of commercials now for respiratory issues relative to allergies, mold, asthma, none of which address the gas stove or gas heater in your house. They are addressing the pets in the house and the huge amount of tree growth and general air upset outside by wind, construction, extreme weather. They even measure the allergy level in the evening news.

Who ever thought up the idea that people cannot have gas stoves, gas heaters, and gas cars are not dealing with all of the other shortages that are occurring - like lack of electrical power at the overall system level. And PG&E cannot seem to fix this. Those are the real facts out there now that I see.

Posted by Resident 1-Adobe Meadows, a resident of Adobe-Meadow,
on Apr 19, 2023 at 11:33 am

Resident 1-Adobe Meadows is a registered user.

In the papers today is a letter to editor in the BAN about the dredging for ships in the Port of Oakland. They are reporting so bad for climate change. All of those bad toxic ships. Pacific Environment, climate campaign manager - Allison Browne

Maybe the BAN needs to include the report that appears in the SFC everyday about the ships that are arriving and leaving. From Asia, Mexico, up and down the coast of the US. It is called the "Supply Chain". It is a major employer of the diversified population of Oakland. All those new cars are coming in from Asia here.

Are they using climate change to create the A's new stadium? Which will require extensive levee building to prevent flooding?

The A's have the best place in the area for the stadium now - next to freeway and BART - and all new development in that area. Just update the current stadium. No threat of flooding in that location - at this time.

When people post an opinion it needs to address the impact on the population relative to JOBS. In this case the major location in Oakland which has a diversified work group. Major union effort.
Oakland has no budget in the city at this time and despeately needs the income from the existing port workflow. That is not a good location for housing based on what we know today. Worst place possible.

Bottom line is that the Port is a major employer at the US, State, County, City level. It has always been there. It is a designated commercial area that is desperately needed for a balanced economy.

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