Recently I, along with thousands of others, marched from the Richmond BART station to the Chevron Refinery to protest Chevron's utter disregard for the future of our dear Earth and all of life.
The math is terrifyingly simple. If we humans burn 20 percent of the known fossil fuel reserves, we have an 80 percent chance of staying within the 2 degree Celsius red line we dare not cross.
At 2 degrees, we lose half of the Sierra snowpack and, therefore, half of our drinking water. I'll really miss my half. How about you?
Yet, Chevron keeps exploring every last inch of the earth for more fossil fuels. So, here's our message to Chevron: You can stop exploring. You can invest all of that money in renewable energy and become a renewable energy company. Otherwise, it is our duty to all that lives to make sure that you cease to exist.
And while you are making the transition, since you can only burn 20 percent of your known reserves, give us the cleanest 20 percent, not that nasty stuff with high sulfur that caused the last two fires.
You have demonstrated twice that you can't safely handle the high-sulfur crude. You haven't fixed the pipes. Don't give us the risky stuff.
And for those of us who live in Richmond, it is time for us to engage in a serious discussion.
How will we replace Chevron's $40 million in tax revenue if the company fails to read the writing on the wall. Chevron does seem to suffer from mural dyslexia, or is it moral dyslexia? Time will tell.
It's time for all of us, from the Richmond Progressive Alliance to the Chamber of Commerce and everyone in between, to begin strategizing on how to make Richmond sustainable by 2050.
If Chevron will join us and partner by becoming a renewable energy company, all the better. If not, we need to make other plans and we should start now.
Dr. Jeffrey Ritterman is a former member of the Richmond City Council and a resident of Richmond.