My curiosity on this topic began in 2017 when a small crew of us brought filmmakers from Switzerland to present A Road Not Taken about President Jimmy Carter’s visionary clean energy policies when we knew about climate change 40 years ago. Despite the fact College of Marin and other local politicians got involved, The Marin IJ gave absolutely no coverage. In fact, an article had been written by journalist Richard Halstead, but it didn’t go to print. “There was an administrative error.”

Fast forward to this past year when statues were being toppled. I wrote an opinion piece that was proper for the times about how Ronald Reagan’s statue stands in Washington DC representing my state of California. How is it that we have a Republican President representing California? It may come to a surprise to most that Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi put it there after knocking down the abolitionist Starr King, who even President Lincoln respected.

The Marin IJ did not publish the opinion piece.

Two weeks ago I wrote another opinion piece on the same week that Carterland got released. What’s more, I write about my university graduate degree at Dominican UC and ask how it’s possible to have gone through environmental ethics classes without ever learning about President Jimmy Carter’s visionary policies?

The Marin IJ did not publish the piece.

You begin to see the absolute propaganda against a Democratic president who ushered in the First Green Deal of 1979 right here in “liberal” Marin County which is nothing more than a hypocritical county of racial and economic segragation and bigotry. There is a time you have to point to the media and call the what they are – hypocrits and feeding us propaganda against a president who tried to save us.

MY opinion piece:

As the world premier of the film Carterland, The True Story of President Jimmy Carter opens at the Atlanta Film Festival this week, I would like to share how disgusted and cheated I feel with my education and society’s narrative about President Carter’s history and the environmental movement. I raise my hand to demand accountability from institutions, the media, environmental organizations and politicians about how Carter’s administration has been portrayed for 40 years when we indeed had a president who tried to stop climate change and focused on green energy. Carter’s work should be hailed as The First Green Deal and someones needs to pay for the gross negligent narrative about him for these four decades.

As a former graduate student of Dominican UC, I offer a first step in this endeavor which should be a calling for anyone who cares about our climate crisis and wants answers. I called the President of the university to demand an explanation how it’s possible that a university level environmental ethics and history class could possibly negate the fact that a living US President pushed major policies to not only combat carbon emissions in the late 1970s when we understood the dangers of greenhouse gases, as written in the 1977 book Rays of Hope, Transition to a Post Petroleum World by Denis Hayes (Organizer of Earth Day and served in the Carter Administration), but stood up to OPEC as he pushed major green energy initiatives. Not only is this historic narrative vital to understand our problem today, but the negation of that history leans heavily toward a political and economic propaganda agenda! I have not yet received a return call from the president of the school, but at this stage if I do not receive a valid reason and hear a public apology I want my money back and I will return my graduate degree in protest of this institutional political propaganda that has undermined our future health, safety and security.

Furthermore, as a substitute teacher of both San Francisco and Marin Counties for one year, I used Jimmy Carter as my ice breaker. I was appalled to discover not a single student knew this vital environmental history and only one student out of hundreds even knew the name Jimmy Carter! What are our schools teaching when our kids don’t even know of the name of a president who tried to stop climate change, the greatest threat to their generation? It merely demonstrates a systemic political agenda that is so entrenched in our society that has been based on propaganda. The question becomes even more curious when our own California politicians such as Congresswoman Nancy Pelosi and Governor Gavin Newsom have eschewed Carter (as demonstrated in their denial to participate in the California legislative endorsed Jimmy Carter Jamboree in 2020) and to instead favor the GOP President Ronald Reagan who knocked down Carter’s visionary energy and environmental policies, an act one good easily argue led to our direct impact of our global climate crisis today. Be mindful, Pelosi raised Reagan’s statue in Washington DC after removing the abolitionist Starr King. Newson created a Ronald Reagan Day on February 5.

This film Carterland should be likened to the Fall of The Berlin Wall. Not only does it share the story that every one of us should respect recognizing 40 years worth of propaganda about a president who tried to save us, but it also casts a shadow onto any politician, educator, institution, environmental organization and media outlet that ignored or silenced a president whose time has come.

This Saturday the film screens at the Carter Center with the Atlanta Film Festival.

by Barbara McVeigh
Candidate for California Governor 2022

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