Archive for May, 2013

no-coal-is-clean-coal1Greetings Earthlings. We’re not actually talking about Mt. Tom here, but that old Filthy Five coal plant located near the mountain. Now that the coal burner is about to pass on what will it pass on to? Lena Entin and Carlos Rodriguez of Neighbor to Neighbor [failed to call in] with the postmortem (or is it the rise from the ashes!). We have an eye-popping two-fer from Scientific American in our Enviro Show Echo Chamber as well as on our visit with the Fool-on-the-Hill. Regarding visits, it’s time we Meet the New Boss once again and head down to Springfield for a March on Monsanto flashback in the E-Valley-uation segment, but first it’s time for……..Revenge of the Critters!  When swans attack….banks!

[As noted on the show last night we promised to post credits and/or sites for the coal tunes we played when our guests didn’t call in as planned. Here they are..]

“Try Not to Breathe” by REM from Automatic for the People; “Last Man on the Mountain” by Bev Grant & Ina May Wool from Singing Clear; “Canaries” by The Lone Tones from Canaries; “Kiss Your Ashes Goodbye” by Tom Neilson from Biomess; and “One More Hand” by Thousands of One also from Singing Clear.

In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we echo two of Scientific American’s recent reports. First, that deadly mega-tornado in Oklahoma? If you dared mention the Climate Crisis and its effect on things like tornadoes in the wake of that storm a lot of folks would get all up in your face about making political hay out of the tragedy. First of all, it’s only political if you chose to turn science into politics. That’s what climate change deniers do. Following the May 20 tornado it was shoot the messenger and to hell with the science. OK so it’s OK (as in Oklahoma), right? Land of uber climate change denier Sen. James Inhofe, right?  Well guys, here’s the science. Too bad for your misplaced sense of decorum.  Also, about that waste water from fracking? Just how radioactive is it? Maybe THIS radioactive? We mentioned stupid humans like James Inhofe a moment ago, how about the stupid humans who are busy eliminating entire species in Africa? Recently the UN Secretary General released a document linking the killing of endangered elephants for their ivory in Central Africa to the so-called Lord’s Resistance Army. Jeez! What would the Lord say?? Finally this, U.S. forests being clearcut for pellets and exported to the old country! Wait, we’ve seen that movie haven’t we??

Our Fool-on-the-Hill this week comes courtesy of Robert F. Kennedy Jr. and goes beyond the Hill to the fools who vote for fools:  “A peer reviewed National Academy of Sciences report shows that the label “energy efficient” on a product actually makes it less likely that self-identified conservatives will purchase that product. Why? Because morally twisted right wing orthodoxy has taken the “conserve” out of conservatism. Craven hatred of all things environmental has made the labels “clean,” “green” or “efficient” pariah among GOP acolytes. Conversely, dirty energy is patriotic and even ‘blessed.’ A second study published… by the University of Colorado found that a fundamentalist Christian belief in biblical End Times is a significant motivating factor behind Republican voter resistance to curbing climate change. According to [the study] 76 percent of self-identified Republicans say they believe in the End Times. “Since the world is going to end at a predestined time anyhow,” their logic goes, “it would be heretical to curb our destructive appetites under the delusion that we can do anything about pushing back God’s ordained date.”….After a decade of this brand of oily claptrap from the industry’s political toadies and its talking heads on Fox News and hate radio, many conservative Americans now embrace the farcical presumption that buying and burning gas is a patriotic act.”   In God We Trust?  Maybe not!

Time to Meet the New Boss in a new light. This overview of The Boss’s enviro record from Grist’s David Roberts makes for thoughtful reading. Yes, we’ve been hard on The Boss on this show but that’s OK!  We are tree-hugging, dirt worshipers, not compromised realists!  BTW, Roberts failed to mention anything about nukes, GMOs or endangered species. None of which have been dealt with well by the Obama Administration.  What can we say!

Time to segway into an Enviro Show Quote of the Week:  On February 16, 2010, President Barack Obama said: “Now, I know its been long assumed that those who champion the environment are opposed to nuclear power. But the fact is, even though weve not broken ground on a new nuclear plant in 30 years, nuclear energy remains our largest source of fuel that produces no carbon emissions. To meet our growing energy needs and prevent the worst consequences of climate change, we’ll need to increase our supply of nuclear power. It’s that simple.”  Welllllll….actually it’s not THAT simple. Nukes are not carbon neutral!

Before we delve into that old Mt. Tom coal burner in our E-Valley-uation segment, Jean & D.O. will do a little playback on The March Against Monsanto held in Springfield, among many other places, last week. Then, after our conversation with Lena Entin and Carlos Rodriguez of Neighbor to Neighbor concerning the May 30 hearing by the MA state Task Force “charged with developing a plan for deconstruction, remediation, and redevelopment or re-powering of coal-fired plants that are on the verge of closing.”  Lena & Carlos can tell us if they think  the Decommissioning Subcommittee of the Task Force will support the community and environment of Holyoke “as the Mt. Tom coal plant nears retirement”. Then it’s on to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Wednesday, June 5, 6:30 PM. Climate Action NOW’s planning meeting for the second annual Climate Action Conference to be held in Springfield in September of 2013. Meeting Location: Arise for Social Justice   467 State St., Springfield. Call 413-575-7345 for carpooling or information.

Thursday, June 6. Day of Action at Walmart. Contact: WMass Jobs with Justice <wmjwj@wmjwj.org>

Friday, June 7, 4PM. The U.S. Department of Homeland Security’s Federal Emergency Management Agency (FEMA) Region I  announced that a public briefing will be held on June 7, 2013, to present initial observa­tions of participant actions taken during a full-scale exercise at the Vermont Yankee Nuclear Power Plant located in Vernon, VT. The “briefing” will be at the Vernon Elementary School, cleverly located across from the nuke. The public briefing takes place at the conclusion of the one-day exercise. Exercise participants include the states of Vermont, New Hampshire and Massachusetts and all communities within the 10 mile Emergency Planning Zone, each of which are required to activate their emergency operations centers during this exercise. BUT THE PEOPLE ARE REQUIRED TO DEMAND A 50MILE EVAC ZONE!!

Saturday morning, June 8, 2013. Cushman Yard Sale on the Cushman Village Green. Benefits go towards Save Historic Cushman. Lots of community fun and ways to get involved.

Sunday, June 9, Noon. Save Our Bay Flotilla  Cape Cod Bay. The rally will take place on Cape Cod Bay from 12:00-1:00 pm on June 9th, outside the security buoys near the Pilgrim facility in Plymouth, MA [map]. Participants will celebrate at the rally site with signs, speakers, giant banners and music. A pot-luck picnic at Steven’s Field in Plymouth [map] will follow, from 2:00-4:00 pm. The entire event is free and open to the public. See full event details at www.capecodbaywatch.org/flotilla.  Email:  karen@capecodbaywatch.org

Tuesday, June 11, 9am. At the State House, the Joint Committee on Public Health has scheduled a hearing entitled “Food Safety, Nutrition and Labeling,” where three bills will be discussed related to the mandatory labeling of genetically engineered… foods (“GMOs”). On June 11th, we will also hold a RALLY in front of the State House, details TBD but it will be during the day, starting at 9:00am. This development comes days after celebrating progress on a GMO labeling bill for our neighbors and allies in Vermont. Momentum is certainly building! Massachusetts Right to Know GMOs is an emerging statewide network of safe food advocates that has been helping to increase awareness and support for labeling of GMO ingredients. We invite you to join us at both hearings and to submit testimony to make your voice heard.  Email: MAR2KGMOs@gmail.com

Also Tuesday, June 11th, 1-4pm. Public Hearing on Methane Leaks (see previous Enviro Shows). Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street, B-1. Bill H.2933 proposes to address the leaks, but is getting mired in attempts to expand natural gas pipelines!: http://www.malegislature.gov/Bills/188/House/H2933 For more information or to get involved, please contact dorian@betterfutureproject.org

Tuesday, June 25, 7pm. World Renowned Oceanographer John Englander, the former CEO of the Jacque Cousteau Society, is coming to the Academy of Music for a speaking, polar slide slow, and Q and A engagement on Global Warming and Rising Oceans. Entry fee. For info call: 413-320-3653.

Wednesday, June 26, 4 to 5:30pm. Greenwork Roundtable: Springfield’s MGM Casino – Will it be green? Western New England University, Science & Pharmacy, Room 20, 1215 Wilbraham Rd., Springfield. Email: mvogel@tcimass.org

Sunday, June 30, climate activist from across Massachusetts will meet at Worcester State University to celebrate the first year anniversary of 350MA.org and to participate in the People’s Action Assembly. We will leave with a vision and an 18-month strategic plan for a stronger statewide climate movement. We will explore the current state of the following themes and define going forward plans for each through November 2014. [Good place to plead the case against Cape Wind, the privatization of the Commons, and major bird & bat kills!]  Go to 350MA.org

July 27th-28th: As a strategic anchor event in 350.org‘s Summer Heat Campaign, MA activists are planning an event for a direct action against at Brayton Point, New England’s largest coal plant. Go to: 350MA.org

Enough.  We will contact you Earthlings again in the near future. Meanwhile remember to listen to your Mother.

salamanderGreetings Earthlings. Remember when the Amherst Salamander Crossing was national news?  Remember when the Amherst Department of Public Works, the University of Massachusetts, the Massachusetts Audubon Society, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment and local residents worked together to build the Spotted Salamander Crossing on Henry Street so the critters would stop getting run over by cars every spring? We’re wondering if those same folks will work together to protect those same salamanders from having their habitat trashed by construction of corporate student housing? Ya’ think??  Wildlife biologist Dr. Jeremy Coleman joins us for some spotting. As usual we’ll visit with The-Fool-on-the-Hill and take a tour of the Enviro Show Echo Chamber. We have an excellent Quote of the Week and some serious E-Valley-uation, but first it’s time for…….Revenge of the Critters! Beware: giant salamanders ahead!

In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we thought we’d repeat that crazy climate change hoax that The New York Times reported on last week, the one about the planet’s human-caused CO2 level reaching 400ppm?  Well, guess what? it’s only 399.89. Whew! Dodged THAT bullet!  On to the resistance!  It’s going to be a looooong hot summer and 350.org’s  regional Summer Heat actions in July are just the place for YOU.

This week’s Fool-on-the-Hill apparently never heard the old one about what to do when you find yourself in a deep hole. Rep. Chris Stewart (R-UT) just keeps digging away with his climate crisis denial tools…..while the planet burns. How so, you may say? Where to begin! How about here, or here, or here!  O, did we mention this fool is chairman of the subcommittee responsible for climate change issues for the House Science, Space and Technology Committee? No? How about space? Can we send him into outer space? Now?

Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week is one Glen dug out of a recent ruling by Judge Debbie O’Dell-Seneca of the Washington County Court of Common Pleas in Pennsylvania. The judge asserted that corporations have no constitutional rights:

“…the constitution vests in business entities no special rights that the laws of this Commonwealth cannot extinguish. In sum, [corporations] cannot assert [constitutional privacy] protections because they are not mentioned in its text..…it is axiomatic that corporations, companies, and partnerships have no ‘spiritual nature,’ ‘feelings,’ ‘intellect,’ ‘beliefs,’thoughts,’ ‘emotions,’ or ‘sensations,’ because they do not exist in the manner that humankind exists… They cannot be ‘let alone’ by government, because businesses are but grapes, ripe upon the vine of the law, that the people of this Commonwealth raise, tend, and prune at their pleasure and need.”

Our E-valley-uation segment is pretty well taken up by our interview with Wildlife biologist Jeremy Coleman and the double crossing of the Spotted salamanders, but we still have time to note that the movement to confront Monsanto and their genetically engineered organisms has returned to the Valley after a decade long trek in the wilderness of forgotten causes! Does anyone out there remember Biodevastation2000? 2004? No? In any case, on Saturday, May 25 at 2pm folks will gather at 815 State St. in Springfield for a March Against Monsanto. There’s also an anti-GMO event in Hartford, in fact there are events all across the planet! March Against Monsanto announced that on May 25, tens of thousands of activists around the world will “March Against Monsanto.” Currently, marches are being planned on six continents, in 36 countries, totaling events in over 250 cities, and in the US, events are slated to occur simultaneously in 47 states. Let’s go Valley dwellers!  And this: “security breach” at the Quabbin? What about a meltdown at VT Yankee??  Finally, we take The Amherst Bulletin and The Daily Hampshire Gazette to task for their lack of reporting on Leverett Town Meeting’s vote to abolish the NRC and expand the VT Yankee evacuation zone to 50 miles. Letters to the Editor to correct the oversight went unpublished as well. Did someone say corporate media?? We thought these were hometown papers!

After our interview with Jeremy we move on to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Events:

Wednesday, May 22, Noon – 1:30 pm. Green Work Monthly Roundtable. Speakers: Dan Finn, Pioneer Valley Local First & Peter McAvoy, ReEnergizer. 640 Page Blvd, Springfield MA. Contact John Arvanitis, at johnarvanitis12@gmail.com.

Saturday, May 25 at 2pm, gather at 815 State St. in Springfield for a March Against Monsanto. Call: Arise for details at: (413) 734-4948

Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m.  Together with Westfield Concerned Citizens and Climate Action Now! Massachusetts, the Greens are holding a public meeting on May 23 to promote the Green Communities Act and solar energy. The meeting is at the Athenaeum, 6 Elm Street, Westfield.  For more details visit the News page of BeatBackFracking.org.

Friday & Monday of Memorial Day Weekend (May 24 & May 27). Shut Down VT Yankee BANNER DROP.  Contact Leslie contraleslie@yahoo.com

Wednesday, May 29, 7:30pm. Second Congregational Church, 16 Court Square, Greenfield, Chikako Nishiyama, a nuclear refugee from Kawauchi, Japan will be on a speaking tour of our area with Chiho Kaneko. Kawauchi , formerly a town of 2,300 hundred people 15 miles from the Fukushima reactors,  is the sister city of Greenfield, Massachusetts.  As part of the Safe and Green Campaign’s “Voices of Fukushima” project to commemorate the three year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster, we learned that Greenfield, Mass. is a sister city to Kawauchi. Call: 802-763-8459

Thursday, June 6. Day of Action at Walmart. Contact: WMass Jobs with Justice <wmjwj@wmjwj.org>

Sunday, June 9th Save Our Bay Flotilla  Cape Cod Bay. Cape Cod Baywatch is trying to get a better idea of who is participating and how many people/boats will be there. You can send responses directly to:  karen@capecodbaywatch.org

That’s it for now. Please remember to lisen to your Mother.

greenpaint_JMaGreetings Earthlings. Starting to wonder about all those “green” answers to the Climate Crisis? Us too! Rachel Smolker of Biofuelwatch/Energy Justice Network returns to uncover the truth about the corporados deus ex machina.  Also, Janet Sinclair of Concerned Citizens of Franklin County joins us in the studio to get into the biomess aspect of that issue. We (hopefully) entertain you with visits to our Fool-on-the-Hill and The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and do a little E-Valley-uation and hear the Quote of the Week but first it’s time for……..Revenge of the Critters!  When trees attack!

Right off the top in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we stick with the shows theme and put you onto our friends at Global Justice Ecology Project’s recent post, U.S. public overwhelmingly rejects genetically engineered trees . Also, we came upon some disturbing news concerning the Alberta tar sands oil the other day. It seems there’s more to Keystone than we previously knew (or maybe we were too busy hugging the trees?). Check it out here.  Good news from the other side of the puddle: EU Bans Bee-Killing Pesticides! And speaking of bans, get this: the County Commission of Mora County, located in northeastern New Mexico, became the first county in the U.S. to pass an ordinance banning all oil and gas extraction. Mora County joins Las Vegas, NM, which in 2012 passed an ordinance which prohibits fracking and establishes rights for the community and the natural environment.  The City of Pittsburgh, PA  drafted the first local Bill of Rights which prohibits fracking in 2010. Communities in Pennsylvania, Ohio, Maryland, New York and New Mexico have enacted similar ordinances. Mora County joins more than 150 communities across the country which have asserted their right to local self-governance through the adoption of local laws that seek to control corporate activities within their municipality. This was done  with the help of the Community Environmental Legal Defense Fund who will be in Greenfield doing a workshop on May 3 &4.

This week’s Fool-on-the-Hill may have been mentioned as a candidate last time (or maybe he’s just such a dunce we can’t help but think we must of nominated him before) but Congressman Steve Stockman (Repugnican- TX….where else!) takes the prize for his recent comment on Twitter, “The best thing about the Earth is if you poke holes in it oil and gas come out.” In another Tweet he noted: “There is reportedly $1 trillion in oil off the coast of California. But liberal hatred of science and human progress keeps them bankrupt”.  Liberal hatred of science??  What happened to the Repugnican hatred of science? Maybe Steve didn’t get the memo.

Time to checkout the New Boss and see if he has anything to offer the planet this week besides his Organizing for Action machine’s first foray into the Climate Crisis albeit without any policy moves to back it up. Our friends at Grist note: “On climate change, the Obama team isn’t backing any legislation at all — it’s just trying to shame GOP deniers, who are notoriously shameless, by getting you to sign a petition.”  There’s been plenty of petitions about getting Obama’s EPA to move on greenhouse gas emissions performance standards for existing power plants but that’s not going to happen for yet another year. Tick,tick,tick,tick,tick….. Finally, to test for all that proposed offshore oil drilling Big Oil needs to deafen whales and other sea life with SEISMIC AIRGUNS! The Obama Dept. of the Interior is currently reviewing a proposal to test the seafloor. Bad Idea. Tell the New Boss NO!

Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week puts us once again into the Wayback Machine. Ready?  “It is not so much for its beauty that the forest makes a claim upon men’s hearts, as for that subtle something, that quality of air that emanation from old trees, that so wonderfully changes and renews a weary spirit.”   –  Robert Louis Stevenson

Time for some E-Valley-uation and for a little provincialism as well!  Please don’t blame we who dwell in the land of Leverett if we go on about our Town Meeting voting to abolish the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. Hey, it’s a small town.  Not a whole lot goes on there, OK?  In case the NRC didn’t get the message we sent d.o. up to their dog & pony show in Brattleboro last Monday. During the Q & A he asked the….um…promoters of potential meltdowns if they knew why Leverett would do such a thing?? The Leverett Town Meeting  also added an amendment calling for the extension of the bogus 10-mile evacuation zone in the event of a nuclear disaster at VT Yankee. How about 50 miles? How about they just shut it down…….now? That reminds us: the Shut it Down affinity group was at the show as well, being terribly disruptive, we must say (but not nearly as disruptive as a nuclear meltdown).

After our visit with Rachel and Janet we move to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Wednesday, May 8, 4:30 pm. Western Mass. Green Consortium’s “Green Night” will feature a presentation by homeowner and graphic designer, Alexis Neubert on her Deep Energy Retrofit home renovation that achieved a 70% reduction in energy use. The upcoming Green Night will be at the Clarion Hotel, 1 Atwood Drive in Northampton.  Email: westernmagreenconsortium@gmail.com

May 8, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  DCR “Pre-harvest” tour,  Sandisfield State Forest, Sandisfield. DCR Forester Conrad Ohman will lead a tour of the 73-acre planned timber sale in a diverse Berkshire forest composed of northern hardwoods, red oak, and eastern hemlock.  Meet at the York Lake Day Use Area, from where tour attendees will carpool to the site.  The Day Use Area is .3 miles east from the intersection of Route 183/New Marlborough-Sandisfield Road and East Hill Road in New Marlborough. Contact William Hill, Management Forestry Program Supervisor, at 413-545-3891  for info on all three tours of bad forestry.

May 9, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.   DCR “Pre-harvest” tour,  Leyden State Forest, Leyden. DCR Forester Nick Anzuoni will lead a tour of the 61-acre planned timber sale in a Norway spruce plantation.  Meet at the Breezy Knoll Farm on North County Road in Leyden.  Access this location from Leyden Town Hall; drive .8 miles on West Leyden Road, turn right on North County Road, and drive .7 miles. 

May 9, 2013, 4:00 p.m. – 5:30 p.m.  DCR “pre-harvest” tour,  October Mt. State Forest, WashingtonDCR Forester Kris Massini will lead a tour of the 54-acre planned timber sale in a northern hardwood forest type.  Meet at the junction of Stanley Road and Watson Road in Washington.  Access this location from the intersection of MA Rt. 8 and McNerney Road; drive 3.0 miles north on McNerney Road continuing to Washington Mountain Road, turn left on Watson Road, and drive 1.0 miles.

Saturday, May 11, 9:00AM-4:00PM. Co-op Power’s 9th Annual Sustainability Summit will be held at Hampshire College in Amherst, MA. The Annual Meeting will directly follow the Summit from 4-6:30 and all are welcome to attend. Contact elizabeth@cooppower.coop

Bike Week (May 12-18) is just around the corner!  As usual it will include most of our biggest events of the year including bike commuter breakfasts, rides, film festivals, and more.  In addition to the day-before and day-of volunteering help is needed planning and organizing ALL the Bike Week events around the Valley. Go to: http://www.massbikepv.org

Sunday, May 19, 4-6pm. Climate Action Now MA meets at Arise, 467 State St, Springfield, MA. Climate Action NOW is a grassroots community organization dedicated to public education, organizing and action to stop climate change. Go to: climateactionnowma.org/contact-us-2/

Thursday, May 23, 6:30 p.m.  Together with Westfield Concerned Citizens and Climate Action Now! Massachusetts, the Greens are holding a public meeting on May 23 to promote the Green Communities Act and solar energy. The meeting is at the Athenaeum, 6 Elm Street, Westfield.  For more details visit the News page of BeatBackFracking.org.

Friday & Monday of Memorial Day Weekend (May 24 & May 27). Shut Down VT Yankee BANNER DROP.  Contact Leslie contraleslie@yahoo.com

Sunday, June 9th Save Our Bay Flotilla  Cape Cod Bay. Cape Cod Baywatch is trying to get a better idea of who is participating and how many people/boats will be there. You can send responses directly to:  karen@capecodbaywatch.org

That is all for this week. Next time: spotted salamander tails…no….tales!  Until then remember, listen to your Mother, OK?