Archive for June, 2014

tree-greenGreetings Earthlings. Transparent apparently is the new green. Tom Butler returns to the show to delve into “Keeping the Wild – Against the Domestication of Earth”, an anthology of revelations into Corporate America’s latest ploy to destroy as well as a reminder of how things are supposed to be. Tom and his colleagues direct the sunlight onto what some call the “new conservationists”, most typified by the likes of the so-called Nature Conservancy. We call them the same old/same old Dominion freaks. [Excerpts here and here.] We’ll have a look at the likes of them and the wonders they seek to ruin, hopefully a call from the Climate Summer Riders‘ Georgette Sordellini as well as take you to a visit in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and with our Fool-on-the-Hill and more, but first it’s time for……….Revenge of the Critters! Tick-tock, time for some tick talk!

This week’s Fool-on-the-Hill is actually nicknamed Hil! It’s been awhile since she was on the Hill but that doesn’t mean she’s no longer a fool! We guess by now you know who we’re talking about, right? Yup, it’s Hillary Clinton and even if you are a die-hard fan (we are not) you have to admit her…..umm….unposition? on the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline is…..well…..mighty foolish.

We have some news from the smoke-free back rooms in various State  Houses and faux non-profit boardrooms in our E-Valley-uation segment and from here it looks like a true fracking disgrace. Our favorite hometown paper, The Montague Reporter picks up on the nefarious behind closed doors goings on regarding the proposed corporate fracked gas pipeline Kinder Morgan wants to ram through our blue-green state of Massachusetts. Other area news outlets have covered the story as well, here and here. Of course, the story of destructive logging about to take place in the Quabbin watershed continues to go unreported in this o, so green Valley (except by those tree-hugging dirt worshippers on The Enviro Show). Getting back to the fracked gas pipeline that’s getting all the press, remember The Franklin Regional Council of Governments and its Franklin Regional Planning Board hearing on the KM/TGP debacle that never happened? (It turned into a spirited demo instead). Well, it’s back on and scheduled for Thursday, July 24 at 6pm. Those fracking coprporados will be there, will YOU? Now there’s talk of rerouting the proposed disastrous gas pipeline on Interstate right-of-ways. Our response to that is: If these guys want to run energy infrastructure along the Interstates why not go for wind & solar and be done with it! Finally this: March organizers and marchers are needed for Deerfield section of Stop the Pipeline March through Ma. July 12 and 13. Email peterhud82@comcast.net at the Montague pipeline group. If you are in Greenfield email: Emily Greene at guacomolly@windstream.net.  There’s a Facebook page for this action here.

Our Quote of the Week comes straight out of the book we are building this show around, but if you want the original you’ll have a very loooooong trip in the Wayback Machine, going all the way back to the first century BC when Lao Tsu said:

“Do you think you can take over the universe and improve it?/I do not believe it can be done./The universe is sacred./You cannot improve it./If you try to change it, you will ruin it.”

The Enviro Show Echo Chamber is empty. All the echoes can be found above in our E-Valley-uation segment. Why? We don’t know. Maybe somebody left the door open and all the echoes floated up into the atmosphere? Wait! We are mistaken. Just found this Enviro Show Blog Bonus Action on the Monarch Butterflies. All you have to do is…….do it!  And there’s more and it’s a big f’ing deal: the New York Supreme Court ruled that towns can prohibit fracking. Can’t wait to see what the other Supreme Court has to say about THAT!

After out conversation with Tom Butler we move over to the Bus Stop Billboard:

July 1 thru 13. Climate Summer’s West Team cycles through the Valley. Climate Summer is a leadership development program for young adults who learn by doing. Participants engage communities across New England as educators, activists, and organizers as they travel exclusively by bicycle, calling for action on climate change and fossil fuels in communities across the region. Schedule & contacts here: http://www.nofrackedgasinmass.org/climate-summer-teams/

Saturday, July 12 thru Monday, July 14. Valley leg of the Rolling March Against the Pipeline to the State House! Walkers link in relay march across the state from Richmond to Dracut, then finish at the State House in Boston.  Kick the walk off with lots of support in Richmond, July 6th and  likely have a celebration in Dracut on July 26th. On July 30th  petitions go to the statehouse, after a rally across the Boston Common.  The vision is a sort of Daniel Shays drama —non-violent storming the statehouse with big flags, etc?  We imagine this being populated by 350.org, other such organizations looking for a way to make a big moment, as well any citizens who have been waiting to bring this fight to the State House. Full schedule & contacts here: http://www.nofrackedgasinmass.org/rolling-march/

Saturday & Sunday, July 12 & 13 All day. The Green River Festival. Many of our favorite enviro groups will have tables and info. Greenfield Community College, One College Drive, Greenfield, MA 01301. Greenfield is located at the juncture of I-91 (exit 26) and Route 2 in Western Massachusetts.  Go to: http://www.greenriverfestival.com/

Sunday, July 13,12:30pm – 4:00pm. Stop Fracked Gas Exports! Come together in Washington, DC to send a decisive message to President Obama and the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission: Say “no!” to fracked gas exports. Fracking fighters everywhere, movement leaders like Tim DeChristopher and Sandra Steingraber, mothers fending off compressor stations, fathers fighting pipelines – and everyday people demanding solutions to climate change – will march together by the thousands. Go to: StopGasExports.org

Saturday & Sunday, Sept. 21 The biggest demonstration in the history of the climate movement is happening in New York City. The People’s Climate March will be held as world leaders and members of the United Nations gather to discuss the climate crisis. If we expect real action on global warming, we need to make our voices heard. Tens of thousands of activists are gathering for this important event. This peaceful protest for a healthy climate will include a massive march through New York City, street theater, music, speakers and whatever creative energy you and your friends can bring. Go to: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/

That’s all for now but PLEASE remember to listen to your Mother!

 

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This just in from Don Berwick’s aide, Dave Marsh:

Don is deeply committed to conservation and environmental protection. Don supports the Environmental League of Massachusetts’ call for an increase in investment in environmental protection programs to 1% of the state budget. In fact, he would go further and propose doubling the 0.6 % of the budget currently spent on environmental stewardship and protection to 1.2%.

In addition to the crucial intrinsic value of protecting our beautiful open spaces for our posterity and preserving treasurers that have become part of the identity of our state, a focus on conservation has several tangible benefits:


  • Preserving open space and maintaining plant life helps reduce carbon dioxide from the atmosphere. For the scientific reasons you mention, development and logging are directly contrary to our goals of carbon neutrality
  • Conservation is a job creator. Data indicates that every dollar spent on conservation creates a minimum of 3 dollars in sustainable economic activity (as opposed to the one-time economic benefits from the logging industry). 
  • An insistence on conservation encourages denser housing, transit oriented development, vibrant downtowns and complete streets. This will reduce our reliance on cars and encourage more environmentally friendly modes of transportation, which also a crucial part of our push towards carbon neutrality.

 

TheEndIsNearGreetings Earthlings. We just said that to get your attention (sorry if we dashed your last best hope). Actually the show isn’t going extinct (yet) but everything else is! Elizabeth Kolbert calls in on her most recent book, The Sixth Extinction wherein we humans of the Anthropocene take out all manner of lifeforms as we grow beyond the planets capacity to sustain us. Great stuff, huh! Like they say: “The sixth extinction is likely to be mankind’s most lasting legacy; as Kolbert observes, it compels us to rethink the fundamental question of what it means to be human.” Listen up all you secular humanists! With the Summer Solstice coming up it’s time to check in with The Good Green Witch to get the meaning. As always we check in with our Fool-on-the-Hill and take a spin through The Enviro Show Echo Chamber as well as have a listen to the Quote of the Week, but first it’s time for…………Revenge of the Critters! When endangered species attack!

Our Fool-on-the-Hill is the one who almost got away. In February of ’07 Congress held its first hearing on the landmark IPCC report on climate change. That report concluded that global warming is “unequivocal” and human activity is the main driver, “very likely” causing most of the rise in temperatures since 1950. During the hearing, Rep. Dana Rohrabacher (R-CA) — one of the 87 percent of congressional Republicans who do not believe in man-made global warming — questioned the authors of the report about a period of dramatic climate change that occured 55 million years ago. “We don’t know what those other cycles were caused by in the past. Could be dinosaur flatulence, you know, or who knows?’ Mr. Rohrabacher is currently serving as Vice Chairman of the Science, Space and Technology Committee.

In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we echo the Daily Hampshire Gazzette’s piece on the closing of the Mt. Tom coal plant this coming October. Regular Enviro Show listeners know we’ve seen this coming for a long time now but given how much longer we’ve all been trying to shut that dirty sucker down it seems like a good time to celebrate. Folks in Holyoke are certainly celebrating.  OK, now that we’ve done that, let’s talk about what’s going to be done with old clunker! Natural gas? We don’t think so!  Next: you know we’ve been trying hard to stop the logging of the Quabbin woodlands at the hands of our ever so environmentally conscious Commonwealth, right? Why stop there? How about an Enviro Show Blog Bonus about deforestation in far-off Tasmania? Some of the tallest trees in the world are about to be trashed. Make you mad? Do something here! Make that two Blog Bonuses: here is a handy interactive map on seafood fraud.

Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week is totally in keeping with this show:

“What is your personal carrying capacity for grief, rage, despair? We are living in a period of mass extinction. The numbers stand at 200 species a day. That’s 73,000 a year. This culture is oblivious to their passing, feels entitled to their every last niche, and there is no roll call on the nightly news.”

― Lierre Keith, Deep Green Resistance: Strategy to Save the Planet

In our E-Valley-uation segment we once again remind everyone here in this beautiful valley that THE largest intact forest in Southern New England is about to be destructively logged by the bluest state in the Union (that would be the Quabbin woodlands if you haven’t been paying attention).  See our video HERE. Then call the Gov and tell him to STOP IT!! Call 888-870-7770 or 617-725-4005. Did we mention that we need intact forests and undisturbed forest floors to sequester vast amounts of CO2 in this age of climate chaos? No? We wish organizations like 350MA & the Better Future Project would actually DO SOMETHING about this! How about YOU ask them to? (they’re not listening to us anymore…….pesky dirt worshipping treehuggers that we are). And speaking of dirtworshipping, checkout d.o.’s latest commentary on our Climate page here.

After our visit with Elizabeth & The Good Green Witch we move over to the Bus Stop billboard:

June 18, 7 pm. KM/TGP Fracked Gas Pipeline Presentation.  The “CAFE”, Greenfield Community College, 1 College Dr., Greenfield, MA. For info email: Snowalkerjim@gmail.com

Thursday, June 19, 7:00 p.m. Screening of “Chasing Ice,” the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Within months of his first trip to Iceland, the photographer conceived the boldest expedition of his life: The Extreme Ice Survey. Leverett Library, Montague Rd., Leverett, MA

June 15-20: Michael Pollan, best-selling author of “The Omnivore’s Dilemma” will be the featured speaker as UMass Dining hosts the Tastes of the World: Chef Culinary Conference at the University of Massachusetts Amherst. The conference will feature a conversation and book signing with Michael Pollan on Tuesday, June 17 at noon in the Campus Center Auditorium. Contact: Daniel J. Fitzgibbons 413/545-0444

June 21-22, 2014, Transitioning to Community & Regional Resilience. A gathering for Sharing, Learning & Launching Regional Initiatives. All Souls Unitarian Church, Greenfield, Massachusetts. Hefty fee, but scholarships may be available. For more information: Go to http://www.TransitionUS.org, or contact Susal Stebbins (susalstebbins@hotmail.com) or Tina Clarke (TinaClarke@TransitionNetwork.org)

Monday, June 23rd, 7pm. Climate Action NOW/350 MA general meeting at the social hall of the Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst, 121 North Pleasant Street, featuring a presentation on the new Environmental Protection Administrations regulations on CO2. The meeting is free, open to the public, handicap accessible and light refreshments will be served.
Email: martygjf@comcast.net

Thursday, June 26, 6pm. Community Meeting. Why We Need a Climate Change Plan in Springfield & How to Get It. Wesley United Methodist Church, 741 State Street, Springfield, MA. Food & childcare available. Call: 413-734-4948

June 27-July 2 Northampton. Climate Summer Riders Team West start their journey in Northampton. Climate Summer riders travel exclusively by bicycle in small teams across New England, spending approximately one week in a community before biking on to the next. While in each town, riders connect with community leaders who are actively addressing society’s addiction to fossil fuels by crafting local solutions that strengthen communities. Email: marla@betterfutureproject.org

June 28, 4:00-6:00PM. CAN’s Annual Meeting. First Congregational Church, 43 Silver St, Greenfield, MA. Annual meeting to find out what Entergy and the nuclear industry is up to! Hear what’s happening and what CAN is planning in the next year. We’ll have pizza and other refreshments. Please join us! Info at: can@nukebusters.org

 

That’s all folks! (for now). We go out with “The Naure Hatin’ Blues by The Lone Tones. Remember, it’s never too late to LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!

Dirtworshippers

Posted: June 12, 2014 in Uncategorized

On The Enviro Show we often refer to ourselves ironically as tree hugging dirtworshippers. Of course we do this to own the terms and deflate those Enemies of the Earth who use those words derisively. I have no problem hugging a tree now and then when the spirit moves me (it’s safer than hugging bears), perhaps just as some macho owner of a gas guzzling overpowered SUV may have no problem with fondly caressing his pathetic machine with a soapy sponge. As for dirtworshipping there is a whole other level involved.

My co-host on the show, Glen Ayers, is a soil scientist and he often points out to our listeners that undisturbed soil in the woods and the lifeforms within it sequester even more CO2 than the trees above. In fact, soils are the largest terrestrial pool of carbon, storing some 22% or more of carbon. Forest soils in the U.S. have the potential to store from 48 to 185 million metric tons of CO2 per year. With this in mind. one can’t help but realize that dirt, like the trees the soil supports, helps us to live in balance on the plane……theoretically. Yet, when the soil and all the life within are disturbed, say by logging or development, all that stored CO2 is emitted back into the atmosphere. The worse the soil is disturbed the more CO2 is released.

As you may have heard, us humans have managed to increase the amount of CO2 in the atmosphere to 400ppm (parts per million), something not seen since the Miocene Era some 15 million years ago, with no human soul in sight. Now, scientists and a good many of your neighbors are warning us that we must reduce these emissions (especially the even more destructive methane emissions) and store more CO2 if our children and grandchildren are to survive in any semblance of a livable world. Soils, the lifeforms within them, and the trees and understory must be preserved. All the old notions about new commercial or residential developments and so-called forestry need to be updated for the Climate Crisis.

It’s been said that trees are our climate saviors, but so is the soil, dirt. It is a savior you can see, in fact you are standing on it.

 

– d.o.