Monday, May 17, 2021

Art Imitating Life?

 My newest book, SHADOW HILL, due to be released in August has the following descriptive blurb: 

“Just days before Morris Cutter, a retired powerful oil executive, is scheduled to give a pseudo-scientific report to Congress that will delay crucial action on climate change for decades, he and his wife are found shot to death in their Greenwich, Connecticut, home. The police call it murder-suicide. The couple's son refuses to accept the official conclusion and hires Geneva Chase, crime reporter turned private detective, to prove otherwise.

“Genie soon learns that there are suspects everywhere, including within the deceased's immediate family. Morris Cutter's own daughter hadn't spoken with him in years, and his nephew is a climate activist with a radical organization. But Cutter's former company has a vested interest in keeping a low profile until it is able to present its mock-science on Capitol Hill. Genie is bribed, then threatened, to wrap up her investigation before the scheduled hearing date and to concur with the police findings.

“When the lead scientist of the study goes missing, followed by Cutter's daughter, Genie begins to piece together what actually may have happened to Morris and Julia Cutter, putting herself in harm's way as she races to find the truth.”

In addition to being the president of our county's chamber of commerce, I'm also the president of the Business Alliance for Protecting the Atlantic Coast (BAPAC) representing over 42,000 businesses from Maine to Florida.

On Thursday of last week, I was invited to testify in front of a Congressional Subcommittee and Mineral Resources at a hearing called, “Protecting Coastal Communities and Ocean Resources from Offshore Drilling.” I was there to support a bill called the Clean Ocean and Safe Tourism (COAST) Anti-Drilling Act that, if passed, will permanently ban offshore oil drilling off the coast of the Atlantic Ocean.  

Similar bills are moving through the House of Representatives protecting the Pacific Coast and the western coast of Florida. 

In SHADOW HILL I write about how some lawmakers know the truth about climate change and how dangerous it is but are still hellbent to support burning fossil fuels.  I suspected that was true, but after seeing the performance of some of the members of the House of Representatives, now I’m certain.

It’s ironic when one of the witnesses offering testimony against the bills that will ban additional offshore oil drilling, said that in the state of Louisiana, the percentage of revenue they get from oil helps to build levees and mitigation efforts to protect against powerful hurricanes and sea level rise.  The irony of that is if we weren’t burning fossil fuels like we’ve been doing, we wouldn’t have more and more powerful hurricanes or rising sea levels.

This week, we saw the shutdown of the Colonial pipeline from a cyber ransomware attack.  Here in North Carolina, there were long lines at the pumps for the better part of a week.  One of the members of the committee in their opening statement said, “See?  See what happens when we cut off the supply of gas and oil?”

I wanted to point out that this was not a lack of supply.  This was a lack of security being in place to safeguard the smooth flow of supply.

Enough about oil and how art imitates life. 

The mask mandate has been removed here in our state for those who have been vaccinated.  I’ve missed seeing peoples’ faces and their smiles. I’ve missed shaking hands and the hugs.  

I know we’re not out of the woods yet, but boy it feels good. 


Sailorbuoy said...

Glad to have your voice not only through your books but also in real life protecting our fragile coastline!

Charlotte Hinger said...

Thomas, wow! I love your ability to influence opinion on this issue. This post is so well written. By the way, I have a daughter living in NC. Greensboro. She works for the Center for Creative Leadership.

Thomas Kies said...

Charlotte Hinger, if your daughter ever get to the coast, ask her to look me up.