Angry At The World Much? Let Out Your RAGE at a Power Plant Protest. YOU’LL FEEL GREAT!!! LOL
August 22, 2021
Everything about yesterday was just great and fun. It was also one of the most impactful things I’ve done. Will it end up in the closure of this methane-spewing peaker power plant in the Environmental Justice community of El Cajon which is surrounded by black/brown children who happeend to be born into poor families and kids from refugee families? I don’t know. Will it make a dent in the fight against this existential crisis of climate change? I don’t know. But I tried. I tried so much with my whole heart. I did it with joy. I brought my friend Dr. Dear Friend along and re-inspired her into activism along the way (she had protested as a child along with Ceasar Chavez). We had a great morning and day together.
The preparation for that day started the week before when sandiego350.org was looking last minute for a speaker from our group San Diego Pediatricians for Clean Air, particularly someone from the East County. This makes sense since someone with a local connection to the children who actually suffer from asthma around that power plant would have a more powerful story. Our coalition of pediatricians includes many who take care of children around that area, but they were all out of town or working that day and it was very short notice. This was a big moment for us as a group and I commit to furthering along the advocacy of pediatricians in general, so I reached out to Dr. Dear Friend who grew up in the East County. She was working an overnight that same day of the protest, and she hasn’t spoken at rallies and conferences like I have. I’ve been speaking virtually all over the country and written over 600 blog post now, and as anyway who knows me in real life knows – I have a lot to say. The speaking part for me is easy. I asked her, just come along. Just come to the rally. It will be fun. I’ll do the talking.
I was going to write this blogpost about myself. Indeed this entire blog is really a narcissistic tour into my earth-minded psyche. But after really learning about myself and writing so much, it actually isn’t. This blogpost is about my friend. Dr. Dear Friend who is real life is Dr. Sara Valladolid. Yesterday was about her, and her activism. She showed up yesterday in a big way, for the earth and mostly for herself.
We had so much fun yesterday. There is nothing like chanting with activist friends “What does democracy look like? This are what democracy looks like! What does America look like? This is what America looks like.” And then having the Black Panthers (I don’t condone any violence) with German Shephards bringing up the flank of the protest for security. That was just cool. I had never met a Black Panther before. Really nice people I thanked at the end of the protest and waved to their German Shephard.
There is nothing like chanting phrases “Don’t frack our future,” “No more coal. No more oil. Keep our carbon in the soil!!!” “What do we want? CLIMATE ACTION! When do we want it? NOW! What do we want? CLEAN AIR! When do we want it? NOW!.” And the best was “POWER TO THE CHILDREN!” Now that is a slogan any pediatrician can endorse.
I showed my two children my speach segement yesterday. I won’t have false modesty. I was good. I was very very good. I was a California State level impromptu speech competitor in high school. And what I was saying was very simple. And those make for the most impactful addresses, when you know the story and you tell it simply and succintly and powerfully. Always be suspicious of those who make things sound too complicated. It tells you the state of their own thought patterns. But my understanding of my place in the world and the state of the world is crystal clear these days. That’s what good sleep and walking along the beach most days will do for you.
So I pointed at a power plant and ended with “[SDPCA] is here to ask that this peaker power plant to be shut down rather than renewed when its permit expires later this year and replaced with renewable energy and battery storage. It doesn’t seem fair that kids have to suffer more asthma especially poor kids who live around the power plant. It doesn’t seem fair that all of us have to pay more for health care cost due to increased asthma incidence and hospitalizations, and also to pay for power that is dirtier and more expensive. Thank you to everyone here today from the surrounding community and the concerned citizens who are speaking up for our earth and more importantly to us for the kids. Thank you for inviting us as a group. We are in this with you now. It’s the only way forward. God help anyone who is listening who has the influence to do what is right. CLOSE THIS PLANT.“
I got to point to a methane spewing peaker power plant as the physician representative for all my friends. I got to point with my finger in front of news outlets and everyone filming it for social media and say “CLOSE THIS PLANT.” If that isn’t a prescription for physician wellness, I don’t know what is? You should try it. I’ll give you my speach. There are enough methane spewing power plants to go around.