Category Archives: Gathering Storm

Righteousness or Reality?


Just when I thought I’d heard everything possible from the Trump Administration’s attack on our environment, including doing all they could possibly dream up to deny that man’s use of fossil fuels to power our cars and utilities and lives contributes to our planet’s climate crisis, comes this headline:

Energy chief Rick Perry says fossil fuels can prevent sexual assault



It will not surprise anyone that Perry, the former Governor of Texas and 2016 Presidential Candidate who is now President Trumps Energy Secretary, is a loyalist to fossil fuels given that his home state is filled with the stuff and that most of America’s biggest oil companies are based there. But now it appears that we’ve learned he is not only deeply biased but perhaps delusional too.

At an event sponsored by Axios and NBC News Perry explained that on a recent trip to Africa a girl there told him that electricity was important to her because she wanted to avoid using a lamp that produces noxious fumes to read at night, to study. He then went on in the interview to say:

“electricity also was important from the standpoint of sexual assault. When the lights are on, when you have light that shines the righteousness, if you will, on those types of acts.”

When I read the word righteousness I immediately think of its use in the context of religion or morality. To hear the United States Energy Secretary, a member of the President’s Cabinet, use it to tout the use of fossil fuels or to seemingly suggest that fossil fuels serve a righteous purpose is alarming. Could he be trying to suggest that God supports the use of fossil fuels? Or that the distribution and use of fossil fuels hold some moral purpose? You can decide for yourself by reading the article that caught my attention here but such a statement is troubling on any level (sickening really) and to read his comments that there is a link, or what he called a ‘positive role’, between fossil fuels and preventing sexual assault, is deeply disturbing. 

REAL NEWS FLASH To Secretary PerryElectricity is generated all over the world by all sorts of power sources other than fossil fuels including clean, sustainable sources such as the sun (solar), water (hydro) and wind.


I’ve been to Africa but I’ve not yet been to India. Thankfully former late night TV host and comedian David Letterman traveled to India as a Correspondent for the Season Two Premier of National Geographic’s Years of Living Dangerously entitled ‘A Race Against Time’ where he reported finding children studying at night by noxious kerosene burning lamps. He also reported that some 300 Million people in India (nearly the equivalent of the entire population of the United States) have no electricity of any type and that solar power is being used to provide electricity to change their lives for the better.

If you’ve not seen Years of Living Dangerously, a show that’s been called ‘must watch television’, then click here and start with David’s excellent episode and while you’re at it catch the episode entitled Saving Miami to learn about Miami’s plight.


I believe that our planet’s climate change crisis is the most significant issue that my generation will ever face. Of that I am certain and while I don’t know Jeff Dorian I sure do agree with what he wrote in a Letter to the Editor in the November 2nd edition of the Miami Herald and want to share it as a dose of reality.


I smoked cigarettes for 30-plus years. I ignored the warnings — liked them too much; kept thinking they wouldn’t affect me. The odds were in my favor. There is no family history of cancer, and my diet and exercise regimes were excellent.

Then came the heart attack.

I quit smoking, but the damage was done: irreversible loss of functioning capacity. If only I’d quit sooner, surely my health would be much better today.

All of us face a similar dilemma today. We must give up fossil fuels. Most Americans don’t think carbon emissions will affect them. The threat seems unsure and far in the future. We enjoy cheap fuel and fast cars too much. We don’t know how to give them up.

The warnings, again from scientists, again are clear and easy to understand. The deniers in Congress are once again denying and supporting business interests over protecting the public interest.

Once again, the damage is irreversible. My heart is not going to get stronger, and the ocean is not going to recede. People are now dying from effects of carbon emissions and associated climate change.

The solution, though not easy, is exquisitely simple: Just Google carbon fee.

– Jeff Dorian, Plantation

The debate on whether man has impacted our climate is long over97% of all scientists agree that that’s exactly what has happened and that carbon in our atmosphere has never been higher and that earth’s temperatures have, in 137 years of recorded data, never been hotter. And if we set politics, and ridiculous statements such as what Secretary Perry said last week aside, even the Trump’s Administration knows the truth and just published it on Friday November 3rd in America’s annual National Climate Assessment.

Hundreds of experts from 13 agencies in our federal government and the academic world researched and wrote the report which was then peer-reviewed by the National Academy of Sciences. You can find the report here and once you’ve read it, or read one of the many articles published about it in recent days like this one, we should all ask ourselves whether we, as citizens of this planet, will continue to allow politicians and their puppets to lie to us, to disrespect us, or do we decide to elect leaders who are serious about solving this well documented problem?

IF the Trump Administration’s goal is to truly do what’s righteous for our country’s future then allow me to suggest that the President announce that the United States will quickly become the world’s leading manufacturer of solar panels and that America will install solar power any and everywhere in our Country as well as in places such as Africa and, for that matter, India too. Make it our generation’s ‘trip to the moon’ as President Kennedy did in the early 1960’s when he made sending men to explore the moon our national focus. The reality is that such an inspirational initiative would create millions of jobs while changing people’s lives and our environment for the better at the same time.

Now that is a reality that I can support and one that would be truly filled with righteousness.

Owen Joins Jack Black & ‘The School Of Rock’


Owen playing guitar for me in the lobby the morning I filmed with Jack Black

My brother Owen is an amazing person, an excellent student and he is an especially incredible artist. He can sing, act, make all sorts of contraptions, and play different musical instruments, including the guitar. He’s been an inspiration to me in countless ways, is always supportive of all of my endeavors including my sea rise work. It was easy to ask him to join me on South Beach the day that I met Jack Black to film for the Miami Episode of Season 2 of Years of Living Dangerously and he and I had a blast that day.

Before the BIG day arrived Year’s Co-Executive Producer Jon Meyersohn asked me what I initially thought was a strange question; “Do you own a guitar and, if so, can you bring it with you the day we film with Jack?”  While Owen packed one of his guitars I introduced him to some videos of Jack’s band, Tenacious D, and that’s when we started to wonder if Jack might actually play the thing for us.


By the time we had finished filming and had eaten a late lunch I’d forgotten that we’d brought the guitar and that’s when I was asked if we had brought one. Before I knew it Jack had it in his hand and began to admire it closely as Owen and I stood on the sand next to him and the most beautiful aqua water you can imagine. And that’s when the sound and music exploded off of the guitar and out of Jack’s mouth as he went into full Tenacious D mode and transported us off to his Land of Kickapoo (look it up) as if we were all on a speedboat. Amazing and fun and hysterical.

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Hours earlier Jack could not have been more serious about the most serious environmental issue of our time, yet now we were lost in his world.  I guess I should share with you that Jack could not have been nicer to me and my entire family and, well, everyone that was there that day (even people just passing by and learning ‘OMG, it’s Jack Black!).


He was personable and down to earth and talked to me more like a friend than what he is, a major motion picture star and rock musician. And speaking of music, we spent a lot of time talking about his favorite bands (like Slipknot, Courtney Barnett, and others) and mine (like Piece the Veil and Sleeping with Sirens). He also gave me great selfie picture taking advice (click here to learn his expert technique). The best way I can describe him (and I mean this as a total compliment) is that Jack’s just a normal dude. A normal dude that can act like crazy and rock a guitar and sing like the rock star he is.

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When he rocked Owen’s guitar it was simply magical to see and hear and in those few minutes we got to see the Jack Black that you see in movies. An explosive, energetic, entertainer who also enjoys having fun no matter what he’s doing.

When he finished his mini-concert by the Bay he announced to all around that Owen’s guitar was properly christened, remarked about the lovely inlay detail on it and insisted that they take pictures together, with the guitar, of course.


To see more of Jack, as well as yours truly, please tune into the Miami Episode (Gathering Storm, Saving Miami) on Wednesday November 2nd on The National Geographic Channel for Years of Living Dangerously. The Years of Living Dangerously has been called “the most important television series ever” for good reason and while Jack does not play guitar in our episode, he goes on an important adventure all over Miami to explain what’s happening to South Florida and why we must all work together to solve the climate change crisis before it is too late.


Jack Black Stars In “How To Take A Selfie”

I never knew my selfie picture technique needed so much improvement until the day that I spent with Jack Black filming for Years of Living Dangerously.

When it came time to take selfies, I naturally used the same technique that I have had since I first owned a smartphone in 6th grade. The picture below is me using my tried and true technique:


After just a couple of shots, it was clear that Jack was tiring of my amateur selfie antics:


And thus, he insisted he take the selfie operation over by announcing that he wanted to teach me his patented selfie technique, the best approach to selfies ever created:


Notice Jack’s use of the index finger curling around the top, and the phone resting on the pinky finger below, and the two middle fingers cradling the phone like only a professional selfie taker can do. And what you don’t see is the rapid fire use of his thumb. I have to admit that Jack’s technique changes everything:


Clearly, his technique was that of a professional selfie picture taker and his pictures, including this one, came out fantastic:


He also taught me the same technique can be employed to not only take “serious” selfies, but silly ones too:


And if this world class selfie taking technique was not enough, Jack was also generous in teaching me what he called “The Clint Eastwood Squint”?! Here he is taking the shot, and below it, the outcome: IMG_0136IMG_0134

In case you were worried, following our fantastic selfie teaching session, Jack did return my phone to me having blessed it with his own technique, which for all I know may have come from The Land of Kickapoo:


To see more of Jack, as well as yours truly, please tune into the Miami Episode (Gathering Storm, Saving Miami) on Wednesday November 2nd on The National Geographic Channel for Years of Living Dangerously. And don’t forget to watch the first episode starring David Letterman from India, which premieres tonight, and to set your DVR for the entire series of Years of Living Dangerously. It has been called “the most important television series ever” for good reason and while Jack does not cover his selfie technique in our episode, he sure does explain what’s happening to South Florida and why we must all work together to solve the climate change crisis before it is too late.