All posts by Nathan Havey

Make A Father’s Day Declaration

I invite you to join me in making the following declaration:

I declare here and now I believe in respect. I am a person ready to take a stand against relationship violence and abuse. I want all to know this symbolizes my commitment to solve problems through conversation, not confrontation. Together we can teach others to lift their hands in embrace, not in anger. We can show compassion equals strength, and by doing so, help shape a world free of relationship violence.

To declare it, go here.

After you declare it, share it.

The Family Violence Prevention Fund is on a mission to create a future of healthy relationships. And as such, they are asking people to Give RESPECT!, and make a declaration.

So far, mostly women have signed. Women should sign, and I'm asking the men to step up. Relationship violence is a problem that lives in the shadows. To end it, we must bring it into the light and talk about it. You can help by making the declaration, and sending it on.

And to the women reading this, please sign the declaration too and send it to the men you know, and ask them to make a stand.

After all, what is it to be a man?

It's not measured by the size of your wallet, but by the size of your heart.
It's not determined by the strength of your muscles, but by the strength of your courage.
It's not judged by how tall you stand, but by what you stand up for.

And this Father's Day, it's time to man up.

5 Earth Day Actions You Can Take In 10 Minutes Flat

It's Earth Day and in addition to all of the other lists advising you to turn off the lights, get green power, and pay attention to what you are buying (all of which are very important) there are five more concrete things you need to do today, that can have a huge impact on the health of the planet. Best of all, they will take you about 10 minutes.

Let's begin.

1. Call Senator Harry Reid at 202-224-3542.

Senator Reid gets it. He said that clean energy and climate legislation 'may be the most important policy we ever pass.' He is going to be facing a TON of pressure to compromise, and accept half-measures. He needs to know that you have his back on passing a comprehensive bill to bolster clean energy and address climate change.

2. Join the Campaign to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition.

California passed a bill back in 2006 that would bring its greenhouse gas emissions back to 1990 levels by 2020. It is easily the most aggressive climate law in the country, and it could pave the way for other states and other nations to follow suit – BUT Valero, Tesoro, and other big oil interests are trying to pull an Enron and dupe the people of California into passing a proposition that would stop the whole thing.

Whether you are in California or not, sign up and lend a hand.

3. Join the Campaign to Stop the Dirty Energy Proposition on Facebook.

Yep, join them on Facebook too. I can't emphasize how critical this will be for the country. If California, the 8th largest economy in the world can get a handle on its emissions (not to mention reap the HUGE benefits that will come with the 2 million jobs and billion in investments that are already starting to show up there), it will show the rest of the world, that it can be done, and that doing it will make us all better-off.

4. Join the boycott of big oil companies who meddle in state politics.

Write Valero, an email, and let them know you will be boycotting them until they keep their dirty money out of state politics.

5. Share this blog on your Facebook and Twitter.

Lets face it, this stuff only works if we are aggressive about increasing the numbers of people who take actions like these. If you want to get credit yourself, I hereby give you permission to post this blog under your name.

Let's get serious about doing all we can for our planet now. Thanks for reading and thanks for getting in action!

Hey CA – Don’t Get Fooled

The Dirty Energy Proposition (aka the California Jobs Initiative) blew by its self-imposed signature collection deadline last week. The campaign is working to gather the more than 400,000 signatures needed to get the proposal to kill California's landmark climate and clean energy law on the November ballot. Apparently their expectation that a good turnout at Tea Party rallies would result in tens of thousands of signatures to Suspend AB 32 was a bit optimistic. However, California's environment and economy aren't in the clear yet, as almost $1,000,000 in additional funding has been recently contributed to the proposal. So are throngs of Californians getting in action? Nope.

So which money trees did the new wads of green come from? In keeping with the campaign's MO, none other than top U.S. polluters and out-of-state interests. Of course looking at the newest contributor the Adam Smith Foundation, which donated a hefty $458,000, this isn't exactly obvious at first glance – but dig a little deeper and it becomes clear that the group fits in perfectly with its dirty oil counterparts.

Out-of-state? Check. The Adam Smith Foundation is a non-profit group based in Jefferson City, Mo., keeping in line with Texas based oil contributors Valero and Tesoro.

Suspicious motives? Check. While the group calls itself “an advocacy organization committed to promoting conservative principles and individual liberties in Missouri” and “created to defend judicial reform, government accountability, education reform, tax and spending reform and protecting private property”, the reality is that it acts “as a corporate non-profit front group…with ties to stalwart Republican operatives with a history political thuggery and malfeasance”. Hmm, kind of like how Valero claims “environmental stewardship is a core value” for the company, yet is ranked 12th on The Political Economy Research Institute's “100 worst air polluters” in the U.S. (Tesoro came in right behind at number 30).

Perhaps the suspension group's new plan of attack in using non-profits as a puppet to mask the original source of funds is an attempt to avoid any more boycotts like the one Californians have launched against Valero. But Californian's can't be played so easily, and this ploy does little to mask the real interests tugging at the puppet strings. Especially when the other major donors to the committee “include Occidental Petroleum ($300,000), Tesoro Companies ($200,000), World Oil Corp. ($100,000)” and Howard Jarvis Taxpayers Association ($100,000).

The underlining question here is how exactly did the fight to kill a piece of California legislation become a top priority for so many? Oil companies and out-of-state special interests fear that clean energy would decrease our dependence on their dirty fossil fuels, thus cutting into their profits and challenging the need for their industry. They know that the reports of further investment, job growth and increasing prosperity that AB 32 promises, chips away at the stranglehold they have us in.

That's one thing this manipulating campaign has right – that AB 32 will jump start a green economy that will threaten dirty energy interests. AB 32 has led businesses to put a new emphasis on environmental concerns, and in turn driven a strong job growth in the green sector. This is highlighted in The California Workforce Association Conference recent study “California's Green Economy”, revealing the increased focus on green products and services and how manufacturing and construction industries are actually leading with the most green jobs. However, suspending AB 32 would halt this transition towards a cleaner and greener California.

As the final weeks of signature collecting get underway – spread the word about the Dirty Energy Proposition. After all, the last time out-of-state Energy interests claimed to have Californians' best interests at heart, we got rolling blackouts, courtesy of Enron. Fool me once, shame on you, fool me twice . . .

Fact: California Can Lead the Economic Recovery

AB 32, California's landmark climate legislation, will hold polluters accountable and require them to reduce the air pollution that continues to not only threaten our health but also contributes to global climate change. This law has been instrumental in launching our state as the superstar of the clean technology industry – igniting innovation and clean energy businesses that have created thousands of new jobs for Californians.

But an opposition force bought and paid for by Texas Big Oil, is attempting to stop all this by pushing a deceptive ballot proposition that will allow polluters to turn a blind eye to clean energy standards, destroy jobs from California's clean technology companies, and keep us addicted to fossil fuels.


The out of state, big oil opposition is spending millions in it's attempt to cover the facts behind it's layer of smog and deceit, but the reality is that suspending AB 32 is the real mistake threatening our health, our economy, and the future of our state. We need your help in revealing the truth so that California knows the danger that lies in the campaign to kill AB 32.

Who's behind it all?

Two Texas oil companies, Valero Energy Corporation and Tesoro, are the main funders of the ballot proposition.

These two companies are among the nation's biggest polluters, and their California oil refineries are among the top ten polluters in our state. The Valero Political Action Committee is a leading political contributor to dirty energy interests nationally.

While Valero and Tesoro claim their proposition will only 'suspend” AB 32 until California's economy gets better, the truth is that this suspension will kill new jobs and investment.

FACT: The proposition would create more air pollution in California, threaten public health and worsen the climate gap.

Air pollution is already a major threat to public health in California, contributing to 19,000 premature deaths, hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and thousands of trips to the hospital for California families.

This initiative would let the Texas oil companies and other polluters off the hook – drastically increasing air pollution and public health risks.

FACT: The proposition will kill clean energy and technology jobs, end innovation and billions of dollars of investment in California – bringing our chances to become the nation's clean energy and technology leader to a screeching halt.

The Texas oil companies want California to continue to be addicted to oil and are eager to kill any competition from clean energy business that would reduce this dependence on fossil fuels.

But the clean energy sector is one of the few bright spots in our recovering economy, and rolling back our clean energy standards will cause California to lose hundreds of thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in investments.

Since 2005, California green jobs have grown 10 times faster than the statewide average for other sectors.

The number of California green businesses has increased by 45% and green jobs expanded by 36% from 1995 to 2008 while total jobs in California expanded only 13%.

California's clean technology sector received $2.1 billion in investment capital in 2009 – beating out the investment in Massachusetts, our biggest competitor, by a factor of five.


FACT: Projections of economic destruction resulting from AB 32 have been thoroughly invalidated and disproved by independent economists and the Legislative Analyst's Office (LAO).

The opposition clings to studies that the LAO has evaluated and determined as containing “a number of serious shortcomings that render its estimates of the annual economic costs of state regulations essentially useless.”

Stanford University economist Jim Sweeney stated the following in his report on the Varshney/Tootelian study: “highly biased…based on poor logic and unsound economic analysis” and overstates the costs of AB 32 “by a factor of at least 10”.

Beacon Economics' Christopher Thornberg and Jon Haveman deemed the study “one of the worst examples of schlock science we've ever seen.”

FACT: The proposition will increase both our dependence on foreign oil and costs for California consumers.

Killing AB 32, and thus keeping us dependent on fossil fuels, will increase household electricity costs in California by 33%.

Suspending climate policies will also cause California's economy will shrink by $84 billion, over a half million jobs in 2020.

FACT: The proposition would mean that we would continue to destroy our environment.

If we don't do something to cut emissions, “average U.S. temperatures…are projected to rise another 7°F to 11°F by the end of this century”. To be clear, this seemingly minor increase in temperature is expected to cause the following:

“Annual heat-related health costs could reach an estimated $14 billion by 2100, while rising ground-level ozone levels would boost medical bills by another $10 billion”, states the Union of Concerned Scientists report.

A reduction of up to 90 percent of the Sierra snowpack – which would take away a crucial source of the state's water supply and annual losses to state agriculture, forestry and fisheries reaching $4.3 billion.

According to a report from the California Climate Change Center at the UC-Berkeley, “a 75 to 85 percent increase in the number of days conducive to ozone formation [smog] in Los Angeles and the San Joaquin Valley”.

An increase in annual large wildfires by as much as 53 percent by 2100.

You get the picture. You got the facts. Now please get in action, and nip this weed of a campaign in the bud.

The Dirty Energy Proposition (Part I)

In 2006, Governor Schwarzenegger signed AB32 into law. The bill was a line in sand on climate change, and with a few exceptions, California lawmakers recognized that making the state a leader in clean tech was a win-win-win for the people, the economy, and the planet. AB32 would ratchet California's Green House Gas emissions back down to 1990 levels, by 2020. This effort would create millions of jobs and attract huge investments establishing California as a clean tech leader for the nation and the world.

Now, Dan Logue (R-CA-3) and few others are trying to drag CA back across the line. I have been writing on AB32 for a while, and I couldn't understand why Mr. Logue would do this. I took some time look up a few of his interviews and I gained some perspective.

Mr. Logue does not base his argument on climate change denialism. In fact he argues that AB32 will actually increase carbon emissions by pushing industry to less-regulated China, where manufacturers can pollute as much as they like, resulting in a net increase in emissions (Mr. Logue also advocates for the repeal of what current regulations, which – it seems to me – would be a move toward re-creating the Chinese system here).

That's like arguing 30 years ago that requiring seat belts would lead to less seat belt use because American companies could no longer compete with their foreign counterparts and foreign, seat belt-less cars would flood the American market. That is not what happened.

Mr. Logue is also fond of reminding emissions reduction advocates that they are forgetting that emissions observe no political borders. Greenhouse gasses will waft in from neighboring states (like Nevada) and even from countries on the other side of the planet like China.

It strikes me that perhaps Mr. Logue is missing the point. AB32 is not intended to halt climate change for, as Mr. Logue correctly observes, it will not. It is intended to have California do its part and lead by example.

In fact – Action on climate change worldwide has stalled because no one will lead. Congress wants China and the EU to act first and each of them want the Americans to lead. It is like the global community is aboard a sinking pirate ship, and rather than acting together to plug the holes, they are working to ensure their share of the treasure. In this scenario, it won't be long before all of the treasure is at the bottom of the ocean, and formerly great powers are simply trying to stay afloat.

With the signing of AB32, CA is providing the leadership we lack, and the rest of the nation is soon to follow. The Senate is expected to take up a clean energy bill in the coming weeks, and though it may not be as visionary as AB32, it will be better than the status-quo. When it passes, businesses nationwide will be looking for clean technologies. If AB32 remains in effect, huge numbers of them will find what they need in California.

As Mr. Logue and friends focus on the individual trees of short term transition, they fail to see the forest of long-term prosperity, for California and the nation.

Last Call to Help End Relationship Violence

If ending relationship violence were as easy as downloading a song, would you do it?

For the last two months, Macy's and Alfani have been giving away free downlaods of Ne-Yo's exclusive song “Heroes”. Every time someone downloaded it, Macy's and Alfani gave $1 to the RESPECT! Campaign to end relationship violence. So far, more then $35,000 have been raised to fund projects to help parents to teach their kids non-violence.

Tomorrow is the last day of the program, so I'm blogging to invite you – yes you – to download this song now and send this link to your friends and ask them to do the same.


Right now, an argument in a relationship is turning violent.

Right now, lives are being shattered because people see each other as objects.

Right now, children are learning by example.

Get as many people to download the song as possible – Right now.

Download. Post to Facebook. Post to Twitter.

New Study: AB32 Will Create 2 Million Jobs

A new report by the California Air Resources Board (CARB) was released last week that provides an updated analysis of the impact that AB32 will have on the economic growth of California. This report comes about a year and a half after the last one released by the CARB staff that received some criticism from outside economists due to the report making some questionable assumptions. In response to this, ARB appointed a board of 16 experts called the Economic and Allocation Advisory Committee (EAAC) to help CARB staff during the analysis, as well as contribute its own peer review of the analysis.

The result confirms that AB32 will have a positive impact on growth, although that impact was slightly less than in the original report. It is estimated that despite the economic downturn, two million jobs will be created by 2020, the economy will grow at 2.4% per year, and that $3.8 billion will be saved in reduced consumption of gasoline and diesel fuel.

The first part of this report outlines the economic benefits to California that AB32 would bring, and answers one of skeptics' prime questions: will AB32 take jobs away from Californians? The answer, quite simply is No.

In fact, the report states that this shift toward a clean economy will create a sustained growth of about .9 percent each year. The key, according to the report is “shift the driver of economic growth from cheap but polluting energy sources to clean energy and efficient technologies.” In addition, this new report explains that although some industries like fossil fuel burning utilities and mining will take a hit under the new climate laws, overall, businesses can be expected to flourish.

It is anticipated that “small businesses may expect to see an increase in employment and output as consumers invest in more efficient appliances and improve energy efficiency of their homes.” The reality is that not only will most industries, including small businesses prosper under this law, but that without AB32 will incur higher costs.

The second part of this report released by ARB analyzes the future possibilities if California fails to go through with AB32. Diverging from this plan would actually increase costs and individual Californians as well as small businesses would carry the majority of this burden. The report makes a point to weigh both the environmental as well as the economic repercussions of diverging from AB32. It states that “By transitioning to clean energy, we will shift our economy towards the future, and avoid the serious mistake states like Michigan made in using government to try to prop up outdated jobs in dirty industries.”

Unlike other reports from different sources and with contrary findings, this one makes a point to include the opinions of impartial experts. These facts make it clear that not only will AB32 help our economy, but is necessary to get back on track.

A Los Angeles Trend Worth Following for Earth Day (Video)

The City of Los Angeles set a goal to get 20% of its power from renewable sources by 2010. The program the Los Angeles Department of Water and Power (LADWP) put in place gives people the choice of whether the money they pay in electrical bills will go to fund coal power, or renewable energy.

The program is administered through the LADWP, and it allows consumers to sign up to get part or all of their power from renewable sources for an extra three cents per kilowatt-hour. So, if your electricity bill is $50 per month, you could get 20% renewable power for another three dollars, or 100% renewable power for $15 more per month.

In it’s 2007 annual report, the LADWP reported that more than 22,000 homes and apartments had signed up for the green power program for at least some of their power. That’s good, but it only amounts to about 6% of the city’s power. The 2008 numbers aren’t out yet, but we can count on a race against time to meet the goal of 20% by 2010. So if you are in LA, sign up and get coal off of your power bill – and your conscience. If you are not in LA, but have friends here, help us out and send this video around.

What is interesting about LADWP’s program is the way it allows the individual to take direct action to support renewable power. Rather than calling congress, or using less energy (I’m not knocking those things), people can actually choose where their money goes when they pay their electricity bill. If they care about renewable energy, and can afford a couple dollars more a month, they can directly support the renewable energy infrastructure.

If we want to slash our carbon emissions, clean up our air, and halt the construction of new coal-fired power plants, we need to expand this program to every city in America. This Earth Day, I want to invite you to join ResponsAbility X ( in our drive not only to get LA to its goal, but to set goals and establish programs to meet them in your city. If there already is one, sign up and get your friends to do the same (we’ll help you make a video and launch an online campaign if you want). If there isn’t, start one.

We at ResponsAbility X believe that people will make the right choice if the choice is made clear. We just need to give them the ability to choose. So I invite you to take it on. Reach out to your city council or regional electricity provider and ask them to start a program for individual consumers to pay a little for green power. We will help you do the research, find renewable power vendors who can sell to your area, and strategize how to make it happen.

We the people who consume electricity have the power to demand where it comes from. This Earth Day, follow this LA trend, and help people choose renewable power.