[A-List] 'Billionaires for Coal' Celebrate Earthday
the.buffalo.in.the.midst at gmail.com
Sat Apr 14 15:22:40 MDT 2007
April 14, 2007
'Billionaires for Coal' jumpstart Earth Day events
By ROGER SIDEMAN
SENTINEL STAFF WRITER
Earth Day may be a week away, but demonstrations began on Friday in
Santa Cruz with "Billionaires for Coal," a satirical performance
troupe that lampooned Wall Street's recent funding of more than 150
coal-fired powered plants.
Donning tuxedos and flapper dresses, six activists from the Rainforest
Action Network staged a mock cocktail party in front of a local branch
of the investment firm Morgan Stanley on Ocean Street, waving
champagne glasses filled with charcoal briquettes.
"I've invested oodles in sunscreen — an excellent investment thanks to
global warming," said 'billionaire' Josh Russell, one of two paid
campaigners who came from San Francisco for the protest. The other
members in the group were from Santa Cruz.
Russell briefly broke out of character to describe the purpose of the
campaign as an effort to get a total of seven banks and lenders to
enact internal climate change policies and stop funding "dirty"
According to the Energy Department, there are 159 new coal-fired power
plants on the drawing boards; of these, only 32 are considering —
though not committed to — technologies that could significantly reduce
carbon dioxide emissions.
Christy Pollak, a Morgan Stanley spokeswoman, said the company would
not comment on the protest.
It was one of "thousands of events" to take place across the country
this weekend as part of the Step It Up 2007 campaign to raise
awareness about climate change.
Electric car advocate Jay Friedman, dressed up in a white tuxedo at
Friday's protest, will be a speaker at Santa Cruz's event this
afternoon at San Lorenzo Park.
"This is really the most fun kind of protest you can do, while at the
same time highlighting really important issues," Friedman said.
Contact Roger Sideman at rsideman at santacruzsentinel.com.
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