In memory of the victims of Cancer Alley, an 85-mile stretch between Baton Rouge and New Orleans


For many years, I have thought that I would outfit my roof with solar panels. They’re expensive and it would take quite a few years before any economic benefit would accrue. I investigated how to build a solar panel and discovered that the manufacturing of panel parts leaves a trail of pollution and the panels are anything but energy efficient. Nearly two-thirds of the panels are made in China, who has gone to great lengths to produce the panels as cheaply as possible, including, allegedly, forced labor in their solar panel factories. 


The myth of solar panels being better for the environment is one of the green lies that the authors tackle in this book. Derrick Jensen, radical environmentalist whose work and publications have informed my understanding of much of the white American environmental movement, Lierre Keith and Max Wilbert are the authors. The book is BRIGHT GREEN LIES: How the Environmental Movement Lost its Way and What We Can Do About It.


Given the toxic economic imperialism, it comes as no surprise that many of the products made to save or made to green the planet are equally as toxic as what made the planet sick and in need of healing in the first place. The authors carefully dissect so-called green alternatives that we’ve been urged to promote and support in order to demonstrate how this green movement is nothing more than a well-crafted marketing ploy.  While we fall prey to supporting some of these alternatives, the planet, nonhuman and human species continue to deteriorate or, in the case of nonhuman species, simply disappear. 



Speaking of solar power, here is the first of some sunflowers I planted in the garden after 2 years of seed or gardener’s failure.

The book addresses how leaders of the Green Movement, environmentalists who began as radical activists, have abandoned saving the planet and aligned with the agenda to save and preserve industrialized society. Their analyses are extensive, so I’ll only list a few of the bright green lies. 


Let’s begin with wind turbines, touted as a green energy alternative, that ironically require fossil fuels for lubrication. ExxonMobil is one of the major suppliers for the fossil fuels required for wind turbines. This is the same ExxonMobil that is responsible for spilling 42 million liters of crude oil and contaminating 1,990 miles of shoreline of Prince William Sound, Alaska in 1989. It is the same ExxonMobil that was ordered in March of this year, 2021, to pay a $14.25M penalty for violating the Clean Air Act at its Baytown, Texas refinery. 


Second, a critical component of wind turbines is steel. In order to produce the number of turbines necessary to supply the population, of any country, iron mining and extraction would have to increase. The world’s largest iron-ore mine is located in the Amazon rainforest. The environmentally literate know that the Amazon rainforest serves as the planet’s lungs. Every year 2,400 square miles of rainforest are cut down to make charcoal for smelting iron ore. Mines have already displaced thousands of the Amazon’s Indigenous people, spread infectious diseases, increased air pollution, cancer and birth defects. Furthermore, mining industries routinely establish prostitution industries to service their workers. Can’t expect these men to extract iron, pollute their lungs and not get laid at the end of the week! So much for wind turbine energy.


Lithium batteries: Lithium mining is extremely toxic to the planet and to miners. Long term exposure to lithium causes fluid build-up in the lungs. Lithium that comes into contact with water causes explosions because of the caustic hydroxide it contains. Lithium mining in Chile’s Atacama Desert has scarred the landscape. There are no signs of animal life; scarce water has been poisoned by chemicals leaked from the mine, and pools of water that glisten with chlorine are highly toxic. Subsistence agriculture has declined as families are packing up, leaving behind an age-old way of life that has all but been destroyed by mining.  On the Tibetan plateau, where people have fished and herded for centuries, dead fish have covered the Liqi River near the Ganzizhou Rongda lithium mine. The people of this area have had the mine shut down three times. Three times the government has reopened it.


“One of the elders [who lives near the Liqi River] said, “Old people, we see the mines and we cry. What are the future generations going to do? How are they doing to survive?” ~from Bright Green Lies, Chapter 6 The Lie of Green Energy Storage.


I’ll conclude with LED’s which the authors assert, “would be impossible to create without globalization, imperialism, resource theft, and war.” 


Yttrium, a major component of LED’s can be traced to atrocities.  Near Baotou China is the Bayan Obo, an open pit mine, where sickness and death of livestock is a natural occurrence. Fields no longer grow crops. Families suffer from diabetes, osteoporosis and chest problems. In the environment, yttrium is highly toxic to nonhumans and humans. It is used in spark plugs, lasers, televisions, superconductors, medical devices, missile defense systems, and fighter-jet engines.


Green proponents have argued that LED’s, comprised of yttrium, last up to 30 years which now turns out to be a problem for businesses. What happens to the bottom line after every household’s sockets are full of bulbs that last for three decades? Today manufacturers are deliberately reducing the life of the bulbs, offering cheaper LED’s with reduced duration. Additionally, in June 2016 the AMA (American Medical Association) reported that high-brightness LED streetlights are a driving hazard and that the blue rich light has a higher impact on circadian sleep rhythms. They disrupt nonhumans’ need for a dark environment. Industry leaders who know the negative side of LED’s say that they are developing another type of bulb that will make LED’s obsolete within 10 years.  In the meantime, production of bulbs that last 25 years will continue!


So what solutions are proposed by the authors? 


“Industrial civilization is incompatible with life on the planet. That makes the solution to our systemic planetary murder obvious, but let’s say it anyway: Stop industrial civilization. Stop our way of life, which is based on extraction. No, that doesn’t mean killing all humans. That means changing our lifestyle dramatically.” ~ Bright Green Lies, Chapter 14 Real Solutions


I would highly recommend this book if you are interested in understanding the so-called Green Movement. The chapter on recycling is eye-opening. I’ve added this book and the trailer for the documentary Bright Green Lies to the library for Towards Stewardship of Earth & Home which you will find below.


One last note: I mentioned last year that I was creating an article that addressed the criticism that African Americans are not interested in the environmental movement. I started the reading, but I didn’t get too far. The meager sources that I had on hand simply did not contain the information that I needed to write the article. As time passed, I have discovered a few books that detail the relationship of the environmental movement and African Americans, specially, and People of Color, in general. So hopefully I will be ready to present that information next time in Towards Stewardship of Earth & Home.



August 5, 2021


Trailer for Bright Green Lies


Library for Towards Stewardship of Earth and Home



Biopiracy: The Plunder of Nature and Knowledge, Vandana Shiva

Bright Green Lies, Derrick Jensen, Lierre Keith, Max Wilbert

Ceremony, Leslie Marmon Silko

Confronting Environmental Racism: Voices from the Grassroots, Robert D. Bullard, editor.

For This Land: Writings on Religion in America, Vine Deloria, Jr.

God is Red: A Native View of Religion, Vine Deloria, Jr.

How Shall I Live My Life, On Liberating the Earth from Civilization, Derrick Jensen. This book is a collection of interviews of various environmentalist conducted by Jensen.    

Nature and Madness, Paul Shepard

One-Straw Revolution: The Philosophy and Work of Masanobu Fukuoka, Larry Korn.

Planet Walker: 17 Years of silence; 22 years of walking, John Francis, Ph.D.

Replenishing the Earth: Spiritual Values for Healing Ourselves and the World, Wangari Maathai

Resistance Against Empire: Interviews, Derrick Jensen

Rooted in the Earth: Reclaiming The African American Environmental Heritage, Diane D. Glave

The Biology of Belief: Unleashing the Power of Consciousness, Matter & Miracles, Bruce H. Lipton, Ph.D.

The Hidden Messages in Water, Masaru Emoto

The More Beautiful World Our Hearts Know is Possible, Charles Eisenstein

The Myth of Human Supremacy, Derrick Jensen

The Natural Alien: Humankind and Environment, 2nd edition, Neil Evernden

The Primal Mind: Vision and Reality in Indian America, Jamake Highwater

There’s Something in the Water, Ingrid R.G. Waldron

Red Earth, White Lies: Native Americans and the Myth of Scientific Fact, Vine Deloria



Fred Tutman. Fred Tutman is an African American Riverkeeper



“Unjust Legacy,” by Saritha Ramakrishna from Orion Magazine

A Garden So Brilliant with Colors, So Original in Its Design’: Rural African American Women, Gardening, Progressive Reform, and the Foundation of an African American Environmental Perspective” Dianne Glave

 “Environmentalism’s Racist History,” by Jedediah Purdy from the New Yorker


There Is Water in the World for Us: The Environmental Theories of Alice Walker, Janae Lewis Hall, a Dissertation.



Fred Tutman. Fred Tutman is an African American Riverkeeper




What’s It Like to Inherit a Farm, Buzz Feed News

The Farm Next Door, Urban Farming in Atlanta, Corteva Agriscience (note: promotes GMO’s)

Covid19. Collapse Chronicles interview Derrick Jensen

Environmental Justice: Peggy Shepard at TEDxHarlem – This is an excellent video that discusses environmental “sacrifice zones,” local and global

Endocrine disruption, environmental justice, and the ivory tower, by Tyrone Hayes  TEDxBerkeley. 

“The most polluted generation” Penelope Jagessar Chaffer TEDxBrussels

Trailer for Bright Green Lies