For all the details, see this page: http://justiceandpeace.net/PioneerValleyCares/events/
For all the details, see this page: http://justiceandpeace.net/PioneerValleyCares/events/
Time is of the essence here – Gov Baker wants to open our public lands.
Now, we’ve gotten word that Governor Baker’s administration is pressuring the Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as the Department of Fish and Game to open the gates to our public lands, giving Kinder Morgan’s surveyors free range.
Join us in calling on Governor Baker and his administration to stand strong, keep these lands protected, and deny access to Kinder Morgan.
We need everyone to call, tweet and email state administration officials with your objections to pipeline survey permission on Massachusetts Public Lands. For instructions go here.
photo credit: Rene Theberge
Blockadia and Ferocious Love: This is how it’s done.
Naomi Klein describes Ferocious Love and Blockadia in her book, “This Changes Everything”:
The power of this ferocious love is what the resource companies and their advocates in government inevitably underestimate, precisely because no amount of money can extinguish it. When what is being fought for is an identity, a culture, a beloved place that people are determined to pass on to their grandchildren, and that their ancestors may have paid for with great sacrifice, there is nothing companies can offer as a bargaining chip. No safety pledge will assuage; no bribe will be big enough. And though this kind of connection to place is surely strongest in Indigenous communities where the ties to the land go back thousands of years, it is in fact Blockadia’s defining feature.
A weekly vigil has sprung up in Northfield at the proposed site of a compresser station. This action started with one or two people. Last week it was 25.
Many people have been working tirelessly to stop the monstrosity that is the proposed Kinder Morgan pipeline. From understanding the complexities of the energy business, politics, and law, to spreading the word, making phone calls, contacting legislators, speaking up, writing, organizing, learning, documenting the fight and the beauty of this place, making signs and standing, standing up. This is the latest installation in our story of ferocious love for our land, the region, the habitat, the creatures that share this place with us, and our children.
“Love will save this place”.
Thank you, Deirdre Derchin Olson for these gorgeous photos!
Check out all the dates below and join in. Bring hiking boots / Rain or Shine
Wednesday, August 5th
6:30 pm Rally
Signs, Songs and Chants
7 pm Hearing
Massachusetts Energy Facilities Siting Board
Greenfield Community College
1 College Drive
Rally outside Dining Commons, hearing inside
This Wednesday, August 5th, the Energy Facilities Siting Board (EFSB) is holding a hearing to help inform the Commonwealth’s position at FERC. We can use our rally and this hearing to tell Governor Baker that Western Mass says no to the pipeline!
Many of them called for a restart of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission environmental scoping process based on the fact that Kinder Morgan released their 6500 page, 79 volumee report last Friday, July 24th – giving participants only five days to respond. Another source of frustration was concern about the incomplete nature of this report.
One hundred members of the public signed up to speak. FERC staffers agreed to stay until everyone who wanted to speak had their chance; the hearing lasted until 11:45 PM and about two thirds of those who wanted to speak were able to stay late enough to have their number called.
Comments were thoughtful and heartfelt, and covered a wide range of issues including the devastating environmental impact of the pipeline. People spoke about climate change, wetlands, rivers and farmland. Residents of Northfield highlighted their multiple concerns about the gigantic compressor station proposed for their town, citing its many toxic effects. Kinder Morgan’s attempts to build the pipeline through protected lands and its impact on environmental justice communities were also highlighted. Speakers emphasized the urgency of moving now to renewable energy sources and the many jobs that will result. Residents spoke movingly about their love of our region, and their commitment to preserve our way of life and rich ecosystem for our children and grandchildren.
photo by Rene Theberge
The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) Scoping Hearing begins at 6:30 PM. Let’s pack Greenfield Middle School again with another overflow crowd! Invite your co-workers, neighbors, relatives and friends.This is our chance to ensure that FERC does its job and conducts a thorough environmental impact study (EIS) of the proposed Kinder Morgan fracked gas pipeline (Northeast Energy Direct or NED).FERC is asking for public comments on potential environmental, public safety and socio-economic impacts, reasonable alternatives, and measures to avoid or lessen negative consequences of the pipeline.Everyone’s voice is needed! You do not have to be an expert. Our job is to demand that FERC ask the right questions during their investigation. Please submit your comments in writing, whether or not you speak out at this meeting. Visit the No Fracked Gas in Mass website for further details.
This past Sunday we came together in Northampton to protest the Bomb Trains, and to remember the victims at Lac Megantic, Quebec . The protest vigil commemorated the two-year anniversary of the deaths of 47 people and the destruction of the town of Lac Mégantic, Quebec when a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed and exploded there. Arranged by members of Climate Action Now/350MA and the Unitarian Society of Northampton’s Climate Action Group. Photo by Rene Theberge.
Read more about the bomb trains here
Press coverage in MassLive here
Mourn the Victims, Stop the Bomb Trains
Sunday, July 12, 11:30 am,
The steps of Memorial Hall, 240 Main Street, Northampton
NORTHAMPTON, MA. On Sunday, July 12 at 11:30 am there will be a protest vigil commemorating the two-year anniversary of the deaths of 47 people and the destruction of the town of Lac Mégantic, Quebec when a train carrying Bakken crude oil derailed and exploded there. Climate Action NOW/350.ma and the Unitarian Society of Northampton’s Climate Action Group are spearheading the protest, which will be held in front of Memorial Hall, 240 Main Street in Northampton.
There has been an enormous increase in the number of “bomb trains” carrying their dangerous cargo throughout the United States. The New York Times reported in January 2014 that about 400,000 carloads of crude oil had traveled by rail the previous year to the nation’s refineries, up from 9,500 in 2008 – an increase of 4,111%. Regulations governing the fragile tank cars and the nation’s deteriorating railway infrastructure are widely seen as inadequate. One hundred thirty-five trains a day run within a mile of the homes of over 25 million people. In Massachusetts, these trains may travel a route paralleling Route 2 (data not confirmed).
The number of accidents has also climbed steeply. From 1975 to 2012, federal records show, railroads spilled 800,000 gallons of crude oil. Last year alone, they spilled more than 1.15 million gallons, according to an analysis of data from the Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration. The “bomb trains” may be as long as 100 cars, magnifying the risk. Their cargo of Bakken crude and tar sands oil is more volatile than other grades of oil.
Organizers of the protest call for an end to rail shipment of oil. However, they emphasize that shipment by pipeline, such as Keystone XL, is not the answer. “Tar sands oil and Bakken crude are much dirtier than traditional crude, and burning them will only intensify our global climate emergency,” says Daniel Ritchie, one of the organizers. “This oil isn’t destined for domestic consumption; it’s all for overseas sales. We shoulder all the risk while the oil companies take all the profits. We believe strongly that we have to move to a renewable energy economy. And at this point renewables are economically competitive with fossil fuels.”
ForestEthics, a nonprofit environmental coalition, has designated July 6-12 as a week of awareness and action against the oil trains in memory of the victims of Lac Mégantic. Over one hundred events have been organized across North America, of which this protest is one.
Recently I awoke to scientist Sue Natali of the Woods Hole Research Center discussing the rapid melting of the Northern Hemisphere permafrost on NEPR’s Living on Earth.
I was alarmed. Hence, I am compelled to be alarmist.
The earth is a very complicated place. When changes are made in one area, like warming the atmosphere and oceans through pumping massive amounts of greenhouse gases into the air, that small rise in temperature can trigger other changes that release much more carbon independent of the original trigger. These carbon feedback loops have long been predicted by climate scientists, and now it seems they are happening.
The air temperatures in the Arctic are warming twice as fast as in the rest of the world, as Alaskans can tell you. The permafrost – by definition all of the ground frozen through two straight years (and much of it for tens of thousands of years) – is beginning to melt. The melting allows for bacterial degradation of the organic – previously living – matter. That breakdown process emits carbon dioxide and methane, a greenhouse gas much more potent than carbon dioxide. The thawing also causes drying of the ground which encourages fires, which then generate more rapid emissions release and faster thawing.
Permafrost covers 25% of the Northern Hemisphere land area. There are 1.5 trillion tons of carbon stored there, about as much as remains in our fossil fuel reserves and three times as much as is stored in the world’s forests and ocean plants.
If the world’s carbon emissions continue at the present rate, we can expect the permafrost melt to release 130 to 150 billion tons by the end of the century. That is equivalent to what our own country will spew during the same period, so the permafrost will double our country’s climate impact.
And, let me repeat: once it starts, we cannot stop it, because it proceeds on the basis of the effects of greenhouse gases already in the atmosphere.
If we cut emissions drastically now, we can rein in its contribution to only 60 billion tons of carbon by the end of the century. But that means acting now.
Pope Francis obviously gets it. His recent encyclical reaches out to all of us, not just Catholics, to immediately change our lifestyles and policies away from the profit-and-consumption frenzy that has put us in the position of threatening our very life support systems.
It seems that segments of corporate America now get it, too, in a perverse way, and are shifting their tactics from outright denial of climate change to promoting ways to profit from our desperate straits. Bill Eacho’s column “Capitalism can stop climate change” bluntly lays out a plan to further enrich those that for the last century or so have used our atmosphere as a free garbage dump for their pollution, and now want to subvert the movement for change. http://www.gazettenet.com/home/17451039-95/bill-eacho-capitalism-can-stop-climate-change
One of the few effective methods of enacting large-scale emissions cuts quickly has been a carbon fee and rebate or carbon tax. http://www.gazettenet.com/home/16628306-95/marty-nathan-it-ought-to-be-a-law-and-can-carbon-fee-and-rebate . It has been effectively imposed in several countries and in Canada’s British Columbia province. Environmentalists have long demanded it in the US, but up till now it has been fought tooth and nail by corporate financial influence in Congress and the White House.
Eacho seems to be the mouthpiece for the wealthy who now see the writing on the wall in favor of putting a fair price on carbon. His article supports the popular measure with this crucial change: instead of the rebate going equally to all (with some invested in infrastructure), half of it would go cut corporate taxes. He says the change is necessary in order to protect the “job-creators” from the “decreased competitiveness” supposedly inherent in the measure.
This excuse is at once bogus, immoral and counters the aim of the carbon fee.
Bogus, because where carbon fee-and–rebate has been implemented, as in BC, the economy has grown.
Immoral, because he is talking about paying back the culprits who have been obscenely enriched by the profligate fossil fuel consumption era.
Contrary to the goal of reducing emissions, as amply demonstrated this week with the passage of the deeply unpopular Trans-Pacific Partnership that was bought-and-paid-for by major corporate lobbyists. The TPP has the potential to undermine every environmental law in twelve countries around the Pacific rim, including the US, if that legislation “threatens future profit”. Putting more money in corporate hands, history assures us, will only increase their power to destroy the sustainable economy we are trying to build.
We are facing disaster as never seen before by humanity. We must be alarmed. We must right now begin to change our lifestyles and our economy, and a carbon tax or fee and rebate is one tool to do both. But using it as a ploy to strengthen Exxon-Mobil and its ilk is not a path we can afford to take.