Greetings Earthlings. No it’s not a typo on the header, it’s what’s the matter with our energy choices that’s dark. Looks like we are really stuck on the issues of bad choices in energy. Last week: fracking & coal. This week: tar sands oil, biomass, nukes…..jeez! aren’t there any GOOD choices out there?? Sarai Zelada, student organizer in Natural Resource Studies at UMass Amherst calls in with the campus perspective. We report back from the big tar sands pipeline action in Portland, Maine in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and do some E-Valley-uation with Sarai. Also, a visit to the week’s Fool-on-the-Hill and yet another meet with the New Boss. All that and more (as they say), but first it’s time for….Revenge of the Critters! Warning: vultures circling above……..your car!
This week’s Fool-on-the-Hill isn’t a person, it’s a dysfunctional tactic: the disabled filibuster. As Dave Roberts points out in his recent piece on Grist: “..unlike every other democratic institution in the damn world, including state legislatures, juries, and the judge’s panel on American Idol, the U.S. Senate now requires a supermajority. And that’s in an institution that is already corrupt, in which rural and fossil interests are already overrepresented, in which money is ubiquitous. It’s just an impossible bar to clear.” As we speak, progressive forces are hard at work trying to reestablish the filibuster as we know it. You can join the fray here and here.
We Meet the New Boss as he once again takes the oath of office and devotes three sentences in his Inaugural Speech to THE biggest crisis on Earth. The Boss didn’t just mention the CLIMATE CRISIS!!….(sorry)….he also wrote about it for a time capsule. “Fifty years from now, I hope we have managed the balance between our energy needs and our need to preserve the planet”. 50 years. Right. Maybe YOU can convince him to ACT NOW!
In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we’ve got lots of dirty energy (no, not that….well, maybe some but we don’t call THAT dirty) and this from Big Wind: Proposed Wind Farm gets OK to kill Bald Eagles! Back to the dirty stuff, remember fracking for oil in North Dakota?. NPR (of all people) brought this to our attention: “There are now so many gas wells burning fires in the North Dakota night, the fracking fields can be seen from deep space.” The piece goes on to say: “When oil comes to the surface, it often brings natural gas with it, and according to North Dakota’s Department of Mineral Resources, 29 percent of the natural gas now extracted in North Dakota is flared off”. Let’s see now, frack for gas in the east and trash the water. Frack for oil in the Upper Mid-west and…….burn it off?? OK, time to go to the movies! Have you seen this one? After our replay of the tar sands action in Portland we’ll move on to….
Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week we turn to climate scientist James Hansen: “If we were to fully exploit this new oil source [tar sands], and continue to burn our conventional oil, gas and coal supplies, concentrations of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere eventually would reach levels higher than in the Pliocene era, more than 2.5 million years ago, when sea level was at least 50 feet higher than it is now. That level of heat-trapping gases would assure that the disintegration of the ice sheets would accelerate out of control. Sea levels would rise and destroy coastal cities. Global temperatures would become intolerable. Twenty to 50 percent of the planet’s species would be driven to extinction. Civilization would be at risk.”
On that gruesome note we turn to our E-Valley-uation segment with Sarai Zelada and have a look at some local student organizing around these dirty energy issues. Also some coverage of local tar sands actions. Then, maybe we’ll make a surprise call to an old acquaintance. Then it’s on to the Bus Stop Billboard:
Weds., Jan. 30th, and Thurs., Jan. 31st, at 9 a.m. PUBLIC hearings before the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission will take place at the Great Falls Discovery Center in downtown Turners. Please ATTEND! The federal and state bureaucrats testifying at these hearings need to know that the public cares about the miserable conditions in the CT River below Turners Falls, and the federally endangered Shortnose sturgeon and American shad in the desolate section of Connecticut River below Turners Falls Dam. We want the RIVER fixed—not a power canal substituted for a river! For background info on what’s at stake: www.karlmeyerwriting.com. Call 413-773-0006, for info.
Thursday, January 31, 7:00 p.m., The next steps in the Beat Back Fracking campaign will be high up on the agenda at the next meeting of the Pioneer Valley Green Rainbow Party in Agawam Public Library, 750 Cooper St. Come along if you would like to hear news from the American Ground Water Trust conference at UMass and from the student-led counter-conference.
February 17th and make Presidents Day the biggest climate demonstration yet. Our goal for Presidents Day is to form a massive human pipeline through Washington, and then transform it into a giant symbol of the renewable energy future we need – and are ready to build, starting right away. Go to: act.350.org/signup/presidentsday/ . We are told Andrew and Meredith Kurowski in Heath are local bus organizers. Email: firstname.lastname@example.org. Greenfield bus will leave from Greenfield on Saturday, Feb 16th in the morning, make a stop in Northampton, and arrive in D.C. in the evening around 5 pm. If full, the seats will be ~$75. There are about 14 seats left (out of 54). Contact George at email@example.com. Other possible bus options contact Mary at: firstname.lastname@example.org
Saturday, February 23, 7 – 11pm. Power Shift II: party for a nuke free future. Stone Church, Brattleboro. Three Bands Plus Food, Speakers and More, to celebrate the shaky state of affairs for Entergy, and pump us up for more action. This is a work in progress – to get involved, email Court email@example.com
SOLAR PANEL RAFFLE III – Citizens Awareness Network’s (CAN) most popular, and most successful fundraiser raffle of four 240+ watt solar panels with inverters will conclude on March 23, 2013. Only 350 tickets will be sold at $20 per chance! Buy your tickets from a CAN representative or call 413-625-6177 or buy online www.nukebusters.org
That’s all folks!…..until next time. Remember to listen to your Mother. She REALLY is talking to you.