Greetings Earthlings. Rev. Billy is on a roll, as usual, and will be with us to praise the planet and all her inhabitants (with some reservations on your hosts’ part). He’ll be joining us prior to his appearance in Brattleboro on May 19th. Some rabble rousers may be joining us to talk about the upcoming Rubber Stamp Rebellion at FERC in DC as well. As always, we’re still inclined to take you to meet our Fool-on-the-Hill, the New Boss and into The Enviro Show Echo Chamber, but first it’s time for……..Revenge of the Critters! This one goes out to those beleaguered Shortnose Sturgeon suffering in the dead reach of the CT River below the Turners dam: Wildlife officials in Florida report a man riding a personal watercraft [better known as one of those stupid jetskis] was knocked out by a sturgeon. Blake Fessenden was left unconscious when the four-foot-fish jumped out of the water and hit him. His girlfriend was riding another [stupid jetski] behind him and managed to hold Fessenden’s head above water. The 23-year-old man was airlifted to a hospital with what officials say were non-life-threatening injuries. The accident happened on the Suwannee River, where the experts say there are similar incidents once or twice a year. The fish can weigh as much as 200 pounds and can leap up to eight feet out of the water. Yet another reason to abandon stupid jetskis!
Let’s stick with our submerged neighbors for this Week’s Fool-on-the-Hill as we welcome the return of presidential campaign dropout Sen. Ted Cruz who drags out that old saw about eating endangered critters (ha,ha,ha…..sorry). Recently Cruz, in his eternal wisdom…(ha,ha,ha,ha) blamed California’s drought on tiny little smelt. Who knew such little fish needed so much water! [insert more laughs here]
Breaking News! The long awaited judgement on allowing TGP access to Otis State Forest in Sandisfield was just announced. Judge Agostini sided with Tennessee Gas writing that federal legislation allows natural gas companies right-of-way authority to land for projects to ensure an adequate supply of gas. He stated FERC approval is evidence that the federal regulatory agency has determined the project “advances the public interest” ! Obviously the judge knows absolutely nothing about the Climate Crisis and his action puts him squarely on our Climate Criminals list. The only good news out of this is Agostini also ruling a stay until July 29 giving defenders of the Commonwealth and the planet plenty of time to prepare.
In our E-Valley-uation segment we share a piece from Karl Meyer about the plight of the Sturgeon at that dead reach on CT River. Yes, we’re talking about those endangered Shortnose Sturgeon again. You know, the fish that have been here since the….dinosaurs! Of course, there’s other critical issues being addressed here in the Mid-CT River Valley and one of them concerns that “suspended” fracked gas pipeline you may have heard about? Breakout the popcorn ‘cuz we’re gonna watch TV! Tax rebellion, anyone? Yup, Stop the Pipeline Tax to be specific and we got all into it last Tuesday with a busload of other WMass folks at the State House hearing on Global Warming and Climate Change focused on fracked gas. Of course, the Baker Administration, such as it is, represented by ace used car….um…overused fossil fuel salesman, Energy and Environmental Affairs Sec. Matthew Beaton was all about Massachusetts being “in desperate need of more gas”. But given all the other voices in the room (take the Attorney General for example!) were of a different view, the desperation was surely all his. That officious Chairperson from the DPU, Angela M. O’Connor was in attendance as well but spoke not a word, perhaps due to her need to appear non-partisan….hah!…ha, ha…..ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha,ha….(sorry, again). After Beaton and the DPU flew from the room, their ears must have been burning like a faucet full of fracked gas as the quote bombs dropped in their absence. Katlin Sloan of the Conservation Law Foundation pointed out, “The DPU never met a contract for gas they didn’t like.” (Does that remind you of some other agency?). But our favorite quote of the day should probably qualify as The Enviro Show Quote of the Week. It came from Northeast Energy Solutions, Vincent DeVito, “Kinder Morgan/TGP was trying to build a [fracked gas] highway without an exit ramp.” In other words, the pipeline was headed offshore, no real exit ramp for the Commonwealth. Sorry little people! Finally this: Fossil Fuel Divestment Group Targets Amherst College.
Over in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we have Grist telling us that a fracking industry “report put a number on the quantity of methane (a greenhouse gas that’s by some estimates 86 times more potent than carbon over a 20-year timeframe) that new fracking wells released into the atmosphere in 2014 [at] 5.3 billion pounds.” And that’s the industry’s report. Who knows what the real numbers are! We have more candidates for a Blog Action Link than Pennsylvania’s got fracking wells but we thought it a good idea to try and get the entire state of Massachusetts to ban plastic bags instead of waiting for Greenfield to do it! Having said that, we still need to bring this Action Link to YOUR attention. Clair Miller of Toxics Action tells us: “the MA energy bill will come out next week and that as of right now it has bad language supporting a pipeline tax.” We’re going to echo Democracy Now! here with a story they broke on March 11 in which assassinated enviro activist Berta Cáceres singled out $hillary Clinton for basically “endorsing the coup” that resulted in Cáceres’ murder. Speaking of action, isn’t it time for a Rubber Stamp Rebellion? Ya’ think??
It’s time to Meet the New Boss as he continues pumping air into leaky trade deals like the TPP. Reportedly “Obama has his own potential incentives to push for the TPP: His presidential foundation has been relying on support from industries that could profit from the agreement……The same financial industry that could benefit from the TPP has forged deep ties to Obama’s foundation. The organization’s current president is J. Kevin Poorman, the CEO of investment firm PSP Capital Partners. PSP was founded by billionaire Penny Pritzker, daughter to a co-founder of Hyatt hotels, a longtime Obama ally and the current head of the U.S. Commerce Department. Other members of the foundation’s leadership team include John Doerr of the venture capital firm Kleiner Perkins Caufield and Byers; Martin Nesbitt, co-founder of the private equity firm Vistria Group; John Rogers of the financial firm Ariel Investments; and Michael Sacks, chairman and CEO of the investment management firm GCM Grosvener. Doerr also serves on the board of directors for Google.”
After our conversion…um…that’s conversation with the good Reverend we take you over to the Bus Stop Billboard:
Saturday, May 14, All Day. Break Free From Fossil Fuels! We will gather in Albany knowing that, whether we are planning on taking direct action or rallying around the world in support, to “Keep it in the Ground” and protect our communities we are going to have to step out of our comfort zones to take on a fossil fuel industry that does not have our interests in mind. On May 14th our action will be centered on taking direct action to stop the bomb trains, imbued with hope and in solidarity with frontline communities from extraction to refinery. By acting together we will be safe, respectful and powerful. There will be ample room for those to participate without risking arrest, so all are truly welcome. Go to: www.albany2016.org/
Saturday May 14, 7:30pm. Montague Plains for Nightjars. Dave Small will lead this trip to one of Massachusetts premier Sandplain habitats for a chance to hear Whip-poor-wills and other evening birds. Flashlight, headlamp, and insect repellant recommended. Meet us about 7:30 at the intersection of E. Mineral Rd and Millers Falls Road (just east of the Turners Falls airport) info c all Dave@ 978-413-1772
Wednesday, May 18, 7 to 9pm. Community Energy and Local Innovation around the Globe. An informative presentation about leading-edge community energy practices in Australia, Japan, the UK, Germany, Denmark, and the U.S. The event will be at the Northampton Unitarian Church. The presenter, Heather Smith, is investigating the dynamic between community energy and the traditional energy systems. For more information and to sign up for the event, click on https://www.facebook.com/events/267698413563969/
Thursday, May 19 at 5 – 8pm. The Pittsfield Rubber Stamp Rebellion! BEAT and 350Mass Berkshires have historically tabled together on pipeline issues during Pittsfield’s Third Thursday events. This month, along with No Fracked Gas in Mass, we’re turning it into a standout action for Beyond Extreme Energy’s Rubberstamp Rebellion! This is an awesome opportunity reach lots of people in one 3-hour session. North Street,
Pittsfield, MA. 3rd Thursdays are held rain or shine and there is plenty of free parking throughout downtown’s Upstreet Cultural District. Go to: www.facebook.com/events/1087831031260825/
Thursday, May 19, 8am. The Rubber Stamp Rebellion! We’ll be gathering at 8 am to greet FERC employees as they enter the building and to hear from Jane Kleeb, Rev. Lennox Yearwood and Mike Tidwell, as well as stirring songs from Luci Murphy and Bethany Yarrow. We will continue our presence outside until 9:30. At that point those who wish to do so are encouraged to go into FERC to attend the public meeting. This action on the 19th is part of Beyond Extreme Energy’s week-long Rubber Stamp Rebellion, beginning on May 15th after the D.C. Break Free from Fossil Fuels action, which begins at 1 pm at the White House. More information on the week can be found at http://beyondextremeenergy.org.
Saturday, May 21, 9 AM – 5pm. Non-violence Training. Friends Meeting House Leverett MA. This training is necessary for anyone considering participating in a Sugar Shack Alliance action that could involve arrest. To register, please contact Carole Horowitz, email@example.com
Saturday,. May 21, 9:00am. to 5:00pm. Green-Rainbow Party Convention 2016 Green-Rainbow Party Rising. Go Green in 2016. First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester. Details on Workshops at THIS LINK. For info go to: http://www.green-rainbow.org/
May 21st and 28th, and June 18th and 25th. The World We Love Puppet Workshops! The Festival is intergenerational, and the highlight will be a play created by and performed by children. Puppets for the play and street processions will be created in workshops on May 21st and 28th, and June 18th and 25th. A week-long camp for children 10 and up will take place from June 27th through July 2nd, when the play will be created. To sign up for the workshops and for more information click on this link: https://www.facebook.com/The-World-We-Love-A-celebration-of-Inter-dependence-July-2nd-2016-254059111599659/ or email Beth at firstname.lastname@example.org To participate in planning the event, contact Tim Holcomb at email@example.com
Monday, May 23, 7pm – 9pm. Climate Action Now General Meeting in AMHERST. Everyone is welcome! To change everything, we need everyone! Unitarian Universalist Society, 121 N Pleasant St, Amherst, MA 01004, United States (map). Whether you’re a seasoned activist or a concerned citizen who wants to find out more about actions being taken in our area, we would love to have you join us. Go to: climateactionnowma.org
Thursday, May 26, 5:30pm. Biomass Opponents Rally and Press Conference. Corner of Cadwell Drive and Page Boulevard, Springfield, MA. Opponents of the proposed biomass incinerator will hold a press conference and demonstration near the site of the proposed incinerator . The event is being sponsored by Arise for Social Justice.
Opponents will present information on the following topics related to the Springfield incinerator. For more info contact Arise for Social Justice @ (413) 734 – 4948, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Thursday, June 2, 5:30pm. Springfield; 7:30pm Northampton. Stop the Methane Gas Leaks Campaign in Springfield and Northampton! Sites for both events will be posted on the Climate Action Now! WMass website and in our newsletter. Go to: climateactionnowma.org/
June 4, 1 to 5pm. AND June 5, 1 to 4:30pm. Sugar Shack Non-violence Training. If you want to participate in a Sugar Shack sponsored large action that could involve arrests, you need to take the complete training. You must commit to both dates unless you only need to attend part two, which will be on the 5th. Notchview, Windsor MA. To register e-mail Janet Bradley, email@example.com
That’s all folks! Remember to……ready? LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!!