Archive for February, 2014

s-statue-of-liberty-small1.jpgGreetings Earthlings. It seems we just can’t have enough of a bad thing. This time around it’s the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP fracked gas pipeline slated for the Berks and here in the Valley straight through Franklin County and across the Connecticut & Deerfield Rivers. Add to that the planned clearcutting of parts of the Quabbin watershed, a mysterious leak at the Alberta tar sands and the soon to be decided upon Keystone XL pipeline, freakin’ fearful Fukushima, then add the bizarre idea of burning coal deposits underground and you have the makings for a nasty Climate Stew. Adam Hall, who was featured in this recent article by Appalachian Voices and Heather Doyle of Hands Off Appalachia join us to ponder the latter and the likes of UBS and mountain top removal. As always we’ll take you for a visit with the Fool-on-the-Hill, to the Enviro Show Echo Chamber and maybe to Meet the New Boss, but first it’s time for…….Revenge of the Critters! Polar Bear gang moves into town. There goes the neighborhood!

Since Old King Coal is slated to take a beating during this show, how about here in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we delve right into this absolutely over-the-top notion about burning coal right where it sits underground, OK? Then it’s on to the next lame-ass idea, this update on Big Oil’s effort to change the law of the land and export the crude oil that’s SUPPOSED to give us “energy independence”. Surely you remember THAT reason to “Drill, baby drill!”? Since we’re talking oil here, let’s have a look at the results of destroying the planet to mine the Alberta tar sands! That would be right…..here. Now we move on to that other dangerous form of energy, the one that splits atoms? It seems the ongoing meltdown in Fukushima (you know, the multiple meltdown the corporate media forgot?) has still more surprises for all of us! Sorry to shock you BUT we actually have some good news! Science may finally trump in invasive Zebra Mussel.

Time to checkout yet another Fool-on-the-Hill. This week it’s Tennessee Repugnican Rep. Marsha Blackburn, the current vice chair of the House Energy and Commerce Committee, and we hope she was doing a slow burn by the time Bill Nye the Science Guy was done with her on Meet the Press (a corporate media noise machine). When the discussion moved to the potential effects of climate change and ways to combat them, Blackburn insisted that all potential remedies must be subject to short-term cost-benefit analysis [insert groan here]. That was after she quoted two totally discredited scientists. Of course the moderator let that slide since….well….you know, in the interest of the corp….er…of fairness! Sorry!

Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week :

“Congressional committees overseeing industries succumb to the allure of campaign contributions, the solicitations of industry lobbyists, and the siren song of experts whose livelihood is beholden to the industry. The interests of industry and government become intertwined and it is regulation that binds those interests together. Business succeeds by getting along with politicians and regulators. And vice-versa through the revolving door. We call that system not the free-market, but crony capitalism. It owes more to Benito Mussolini than to Adam Smith.”    –  Gerald P. O’Driscoll Jr.

In our E-Valley-uation segment we are glad to report that opposition to the proposed Kinder Morgan/TGP fracked gas pipeline (headed for a town near you!) is growing by leaps and bounds. Here is the link to “No Fracking Gas in Mass!” where they have coined such catchy phrases as “Do Not Pass Gas in Mass!” or “We Are Bean-o to Your Gas”. You’ll note on the site that there are events listings and things you can do to help kick this project to the curb…….unless, of course, you don’t mind a Kinder Morgan 3′ diameter fracked gas pipeline exploding in your neighborhood, say in the middle of your morning coffee just after the kids have gone off to meet the school bus? O, did we mention the CLIMATE CRISIS and CO2 emissions? Fracking fluids in someone’s drinking water? No? Also we take a call from Sam King about the upcoming student led Keystone XL action scheduled for DC on March 2!

After our  interviews we move to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Sunday, March 2, 2014, all day. XL Dissent!  On March 2nd, throngs of young people from around the country will converge at Georgetown University to demand of President Obama that he follow through on the promise he made there during his speech. From Georgetown, we will march to the White House. When we get there we will have a huge rally featuring speakers from communities that are at the frontlines of the fight against tar sands oil.  We will proceed to engage in an act of peaceful and principled civil disobedience at the White House gate. We hope that this action will set the record for the largest single-day act of civil disobedience at the White House in American history. This is a student-led action.  Go to: xldissent.org/

Sunday, March 2, 9am & all day.  This year, Toxics Action Center and Massachusetts Climate Action Network are collaborating to jointly put on the Local Environmental Action Conference at Northeastern University in Boston. It’s an opportunity to join community leaders, environmental advocates and activists from across New England for an exciting day of skills training, networking, and inspiration.  Go to: http://www.localenvironmentalaction.org/

Wednesday, March 5, 7pm. Valley organizing meeting on resistance to the proposed Kinder  Morgan/TPG Fracked Gas Pipeline slated for the Berks & Franklin County. The meeting will be at Co-op Power, 15A West St. (Rt. 5-10), West Hatfield, MA. Go to: http://www.nofrackedgasinmass.org/

Saturday, March 8, 1:00 – 3:00 pm. A  presentation on the TGP Northeast Expansion Pipeline being planned to run through the Berkshires and across northern Massachusetts. Cummington Community House, Main Street, Cummington, Massachusetts.

Monday, March 10, 11am. Wake-up the Governor Rally! Close the Pilgrim nuke/No more Fukushimas!  Grand Staircase, State House, Boston,MA. After repeated requests for a response, Governor Patrick has ignored all the Cape voters who passed a resolution last year calling for him to respectfully request the Nuclear Regulatory Commission uphold its mandate to close Pilgrim because the public safety cannot be assured. Citizens and representatives from each town will gather at the Grand Staircase and deliver statements. After, we will gather written testimony and the 15 town extracts of the votes and deliver to the Governor’s office up the stairs. A bus is leaving Harwich, MA at 8:00 AM with stops in Barnstable and Sagamore.  Reservations can be made by calling Elaine at 508-432-5023 or 508-246-4563.  The round trip cost is $16 or less according to ability to pay.  The bus leaves Boston at 2:00.  Go to: http://capedownwinders.org/

 

Saturday, March 15, 9am.  Sign up to attend the Civil Disobedience training on March 15 in Springfield in preparation our local Pledge action, Pioneer Valley Central Labor Council, 640 Page Blvd., Springfield, MA brought to you by the Climate Action Group of the Unitarian Society of Northampton and Florence. To learn more contact Molly Hale at: hellomolly@comcast.net or 413-585-0791.

March: Help out with the Henry Street Salamander Tunnel Maintenance on some weekend in March determined by the weather and snow cover. As the snows of winter melt and the ground gradually warms, spotted salamanders are cued to initiate their annual breeding migration. [Of course, if the proposed “Retreat” is built in the woodlands of Cushman where the salamanders live all your work might be in vain!] Call or email Hitchcock Center to volunteer your help cleaning out the sands of winter and repairing the drift fences that guide the animals to the tunnel entrances. We’ll also have a brief talk on these wonderful animals, their adaptations and life cycle [Will they adapt to heavy machinery ripping up their habitat? Will they adapt to drunken students throwing toxic trash in what’s left of the woods? Let’s not find out!].  The Center will email you when they have scheduled the work day, either a weekend or weekday late afternoon. All are welcome! Bring work gloves and a shovel. Call 413-256-6006 or email info@hitchcockcenter.org and leave us your contact information.

Enough! Remember……….listen to your Mother!

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TheEndIsNearGreetings Earthlings. We will be your server this evening. We have an exceptional selection of disasters for you tonight on our menu. First, we have a melange of melted Vermont fuel rods, highly radioactive, spewed over a gorgeous landscape of locally sourced organic flora and fauna, blended with a variety of intriguing house dressings. Leslie Sullivan Sachs of Safe & Green will be doing the presentation. Also on the menu this evening, a fabulous selection of tar sands piped into a vibrant bed of earthen textures, lending an irresistible atmosphere of……well…..doom, actually. In addition, we offer some selections that are surprisingly good for you!  As always, for your listening enjoyment, we offer today’s  special family-sized portion of The-Fool-on-the-Hill as well as The New Boss to aid in your….er…digestion, or maybe not, but first it’s time for………Revenge of the Critters!  “Snowball” the goat gets even.

Back to our disastrous menu in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber.  We rewind Think Progress’ piece on the U.S. State Department serving up a tasteless word salad to go with a heaping pile of steaming Keystone XL.  They also presented us with a side dish chocolate ordure! Of course, it’s up to the Chef whether or not to serve this dish to everyone on the planet and we’ll get to that when we Meet the New Boss. Also on the menu: a seared medley of regionally sourced coastal flavors we call Pilgrim’s Fry! There’s “No Escape from the Cape” with this dish. Finally, we go off-menu to advise everyone that wolf hunts are truly stupid. Did someone say stupid? How about Great Moments in Stupid!

[Last night during the show we broke the news about that ruling in Vermont on a proposed biomass plant. Here’s a news link on that]

We Meet the New Boss, along with other Corporate Dems, hyping disastrous trade deals for their corporate masters. The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) always reminds us of toilet paper for some reason. We are not alone in that association: Flush the TPP!  Interestingly, some Dems and even some Repugnicans are saying no deal (or at least no fast tracking the deal). In our E-Valley-uation segment you should find some news on the local stop the TPP action in front of Rep. Richie Neil’s office in Springfield but instead we put it HERE! Now, on to that Keystone XL pipeline entree: it looks like The Boss may be looking for some way to dodge this bullet (the one in the……House Chamber?). You can lean on Secretary of State John Kerry concerning Keystone HERE if you like. Maybe remind him how concerned he once was about the CLIMATE CRISIS!! Will science and common sense prevail? What? In Washington?? Ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha………

We’ve gone plural in the past in our Fool-on-the-Hill segment but this time it’s a virtual feast! Are you ready? Make sure you have plenty of napkins on hand, maybe even some…um…hot air sickness bags? OK, prepare to cast off with the entire ship of fools! Ahoy, mateys! (sorry about the mixed metaphors….would you like something to drink with that?). If however you want avoid any unpleasantness with hot air sickness might we recommend something less overwhelming? How about just one fool? Say Doc Hastings? He just released a proposal to dismantle key portions of the Endangered Species Act. What’s up with that, Doc!

In our E-Valley-uation segment we first turn to the Stop Keystone XL vigil we co-sponsored with a host of other Valley groups on the Amherst Town Common on February 3rd. During the event it was reported that “Margaret Bullitt-Jonas, a representative of the Episcopal Diocese of Western Massachusetts, asked those in attendance to ‘fight for a habitable planet’ “.  Yes! This is what we’ve been saying: it’s the fight of your life! Fight for life on Earth and future generations! AND, part of that fight involves protecting our community from the frightening number of old decaying radioactive fuel rods improperly stored just up the river at Entergy’s Vermont Yankee nuke. Leslie will get into that before we ship off to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Wednesday, February 12, 3:30 to 4:30pm. Next meeting of Transportation Justice Franklin County at The Brick House, 24 3rd Street, Turners Falls, MA

Friday, February 14, 7:30pm. Love in the Time of Surveillance with Tom Neilson & Lynn Waldron. Music & song to start the year out. Odyssey Bookshop, 9 College St (Routes 116 & 47), in the Village Commons, S Hadley. Cover charge.  http://www.odysseybks.com

Friday February 14, 7pm. Special Showing of “Students and Goliath”, with local film-maker Alex Leff. It is fitting that this will be the last film shown in the Frances Crowe Community Room of the Media Education Foundation, as the film’s purpose is to educate, empower, and promote action on the most important issue of our time– climate change.  Students & Goliath follows the divestment campaigns of five schools: Amherst College, Hampshire College, Mt. Holyoke College, Smith College, and the University of Massachusetts, capturing a burgeoning movement that now engulfs colleges nationwide. Come see this film, engage in discussion with the local film-maker, and pay tribute to the Northampton Committee to Stop War which has sponsored films like this one over the past ten years, in the community room donated by the Media Education Foundation. The Frances Crowe Community Room of the Media Education Foundation is located at 60 Masonic Street, Northampton (behind Woodstar Café).

Sunday, February 16, 7:00-9:30pm. Pete Seeger Celebration. First Congregational Church, 165 Main Street, Amherst. Free & open to all. Songleaders will include: Karen Brandow & Charlie King, Sarah Pirtle, Paul Kaplan, Annie Patterson & Peter Blood, Lorre Wyatt, Jay Mankita, Tom Neilson & Lynn Waldron, & more.  We will share songs, stories, and memories of Pete.  Please bring a copy of Rise Up Singing if you have one.

Sunday, February 23, 9:30 AM.  Local Pledge of Resistance training, to prepare for protest of the Keystone XL tarsand oil pipeline: We will from 9:30 to a little after noon (focussing on protest preparation), break for lunch, and then continue from 1:30 to 3:30pm (focussing on organization and planning). Pledge of Resistance Brattleboro Community Room, Brattleboro Food CoOp, 7 Canal St. Brattleboro, VT . Email: crumbs@marlboro.edu

Wednesday, Wed. Feb. 26, 6:30 pm. Screening of “Queen of the Sun: What are the bees telling us?”.  A fresh look at the global bee crisis, from multiple angles, and offers proactive life-affirming solutions. Certain pesticides called neonicotinoids have been identified as having a particularly devastating impact on bee health and survival by weakening the bee’s immune system. There will be a discussion after the film led by Dan Conlon of Warm Colors Apiary in South Deerfield Massachusetts. Saint James Church Parish Hall, Corner of Church & Federal in Greenfield. Enter via parking lot side door. Call:  413-773-5165

Wednesday, February 26, 6:30-8:30 pm. The Native Bee and Native Plant Connection at Nasami Farm, Whately, MA. With the decline of the European honeybee, pollination crisis awareness is on the rise but the most bio-diverse pollinators in New England are native bees. Learn the basic needs of native bees, their nesting strategies, and native flower resources attracting high numbers of native bees to your landscape by creating beautiful pesticide-free restored habitat.  Registration & fee required. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Call: (413) 256-6006 or email: info@hitchcockcenter.org

Sunday, March 2, 2014, all day. XL Dissent!  On March 2nd, throngs of young people from around the country will converge at Georgetown University to demand of President Obama that he follow through on the promise he made there during his speech. From Georgetown, we will march to the White House. When we get there we will have a huge rally featuring speakers from communities that are at the frontlines of the fight against tar sands oil.  We will proceed to engage in an act of peaceful and principled civil disobedience at the White House gate. We hope that this action will set the record for the largest single-day act of civil disobedience at the White House in American history. This is a student-led action.  Go to: http://xldissent.org/

Wednesday, March 5, 7pm. Organizing meeting on resistance to the proposed Kinder  Morgan/TPG Fracked Gas Pipeline slated for the Berks & Franklin County. The meeting will be in Northampton (place TBA). Go to: http://www.nofrackedgasinmass.org/

March: Help out with the Henry Street Salamander Tunnel Maintenance on some weekend in March determined by the weather and snow cover. As the snows of winter melt and the ground gradually warms, spotted salamanders are cued to initiate their annual breeding migration. [Of course, if the proposed “Retreat” is built in the woodlands of Cushman where the salamanders live all your work might be in vain!] Call or email Hitchcock Center to volunteer your help cleaning out the sands of winter and repairing the drift fences that guide the animals to the tunnel entrances. We’ll also have a brief talk on these wonderful animals, their adaptations and life cycle [Will they adapt to heavy machinery ripping up their habitat? Will they adapt to drunken students throwing toxic trash in what’s left of the woods? Let’s not find out!].  The Center will email you when they have scheduled the work day, either a weekend or weekday late afternoon. All are welcome! Bring work gloves and a shovel. Call 413-256-6006 or email info@hitchcockcenter.org and leave us your contact information.

And with that we say……….listen to your Mother!