Category: Archived Posts

October Featured Climate Actions

This is the sixth our series of “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG).  It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change.  Each monthly bundle of actions touches on four levels:  personal, community, state/national/global and educational. To learn more contact Molly Hale at  hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

1.  Personal:  Drive slower on the highway to dramatically improve gas mileage.  In general, the performance of cars driving above 55 mph drops off rapidly because wind resistance increases at the increase  in  speed  squared.    Save  money  and  CO2   by  slowing  down!    For  more  information  see www.drive55.org and the Consumer Reports website.

2.   Community:   Attend one of the TD Bank Protests on October 5 in Amherst, Northampton, Springfield, Holyoke and Greenfield.
Civil disobedience as well as legal participation will protest TD Bank’s financing of Tar Sands oil mining and the pipelines (such as the Keystone XL) to transport the oil to the coasts for export and sale.  Such civil disobedience would be part of the “Pledge of Resistance” organized by the progressive phone company Credo Mobile.  Over 70,000 people all over the country have signed on so far, agreeing to take non-violent direct action to stop Tar Sands oil pipelines and shut down the Tar Sands mining in Canada itself.  Contact johnpberk@gmail.com for more information.

3. State/National/Global: Attend the Keystone XL Pipeline sit-in in Boston on Monday, October 7.
To build pressure on the Obama administration as it nears a decision on the Keystone pipeline, there will be a sit-in in Secretary of State John Kerry’s home town of Boston.  This will be a peaceful and dignified action organized by Credo, where participants can choose to risk arrest or participate legally.  All those risking arrest must be firmly committed to principles of non-violence and attend action training on Sunday afternoon before the action. To sign up click here.

4.  Inform yourself:  Watch the Bill Moyers interview on Making People Care about Climate Change.  Moyers interviews Anthony Leiserowitz, who specializes in the psychology  of  risk  perception.    Go  to  Bill Moyers’ website here to watch the interview.

September Featured Climate Actions

This is the fifth of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.


1. Personal: Attend a civil disobedience training workshop on Sunday Sept. 22 in Northampton. The workshop will cover the philosophy and history of non-violence, role-playing in how to carry it out in a peaceful, dignified manner, the legal consequences in dealing with the police, arraignment in court, what to expect in terms of fines/jail/community service, etc.  It will be led by Jeff Napolitano of the American Friends Service Committee and Luke Ryan, attorney and member of the National Lawyers Guild. Time: 2-8 pm, with short BYO dinner break at 6pm.   Place: Frances Crowe Community Room at the Media Education Foundation, 32 Masonic St.  Cost: Free!

 The workshop is not only for those considering civil disobedience at future actions but also for those who would like to help in a legal, support role for those choosing to risk arrest.

RSVP to John Berkowitz at 413 325-4533 or johnpberk@gmail.com

2. Community: Northampton residents–attend the City Council meeting on Sept. 5 at 7 pm to support the 2nd reading of the Resolution on Fossil Fuel Divestment, available to view here:http://www.northamptonma.gov/citycouncil/uploads/listWidget/12252/Resolution%20Fossil%20Fuel%20Divestment.pdf At the 1st reading on Aug 15, the resolution passed with 5 yes votes and 2 abstentions.

Residents of other towns: Join other residents to present a similar resolution to your own town government.

3. State/National/Global: 1.Sign the state pension divestment petition on gofossilfree.org  http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest-the-state-of-massachusetts-pension-funds.

2.Then attend the rally at the Statehouse in Boston when the petition will be delivered. The proposed pension divestment bill, S 1225, would require the Massachusetts Pension Reserves Investment Trust (PRIT) to freeze any new investments in fossil fuel companies, and to divest from direct holdings in fossil fuel companies within 5 years. The bill will be heard at 11 am. The rally is at 9:30. College groups, faith based groups, unions, retirees, and environmental organizations will all be represented.

 

4. Inform yourself: To remind yourself of the urgency of our climate situation and consider a global course of action,read Eaarth by Bill McKibben. He explains how climate change is changing our planet so radically that it no longer operates like the old familiar Earth, and we need to shift our way of living on it just as radically if we are to survive. He lays out a vision of how we might survive by scaling our societies and economies back to essentials and building close-knit communities through which we can support one another.

 

Make MA the First State to Divest

STATEWIDE RALLY– MAKE MASSACHUSETTS THE FIRST STATE TO DIVEST FROM FOSSIL FUELS!!

mass-divest
College students, people of faith, environmentalists, economists, unions, mothers, and others will be converging on the State House on Sept. 10 to support S. 1225, a bill sponsored by Sen. Ben Downing that requires MA to divest from fossil fuels!
WHAT: Rally and Hearing for MA State Divestment bill S. 1225!
WHERE: State House, 24 Beacon Street, Boston
WHEN: Tuesday, September 10th, 9:30am
RSVP NOW ON FACEBOOK!: https://www.facebook.com/events/221918627960411/ Tell friends you are attending and invite them to RSVP.  Share it on your page.
TWITTER too: #divestma
WHAT TO EXPECT: Inspiring speakers, music, and hundreds of people supporting S.1225!
WHOM TO BRING: Your friends, children, community members, classmates!
WHAT TO BRING: Banners and clothing proclaiming “As a member of my community, school, union, or faith group, I want MA to divest from fossil fuels and take bold action on climate!”
CALL/WRITE OR VISIT: Your Senator and Representative to urge him/her to support S. 1225. (See sample letter,
postcard and fact sheet attached. The postcard can be copied on card and cut in half. No room numbers needed.)
PASS THE WORD: Resend this email to your networks. Pass out fliers at events. (See attached flier.) Write a letter to the editor. (See attached suggested language for a letter to the editor.) Retweet.
SIGN the Go Fossil Free petition here: http://campaigns.gofossilfree.org/petitions/divest- the-state-of-massachusetts-pension-funds  Take the attached petition to your events and return the signatures to Darcy below.
If you need help with transportation, please check to see if you can carpool with someone from your area of MA: http://www.groupcarpool.com/t/0mr2zk
WHY:
Our state pension fund has $1.3 billion invested in fossil fuel companies, including Exxon and TransCanada (builder of the Keystone XL pipeline). Even President Obama and Forbes magazine have come out in favor of divestment. These investments are immoral and fiscally irresponsible. Because we can’t burn most of those reserves and maintain a livable climate, the carbon bubble is predicted to burst.
The fossil fuel divestment campaign has grown by leaps and bounds this past year and now we have the chance for the biggest win so far. And we’ve seen what happens when MA leads: the rest of the country often follows close behind.
For more information, see our website Fossil Fuel Divest MA https://sites.google.com/site/fossilfueldivestma/
or contact Darcy DuMont at dumont140@yahoo.com. Send petitions to 142 Pondview Drive, Amherst,  MA 01002.

Movements Without Leaders

What to Make of Change on an Overheating Planet 

“It’s our job to rally a movement…big enough to stand up to all that money”

http://www.tomdispatch.com/post/175737/tomgram:_bill_mckibben:_a_movement_for_a_new_planet/#more

Think About It?

OK, I’m thinking about and it appears fracking is coming to the Pioneer Valley!

Heard this ad on WFCR during NPR’s All Things Considered today, July 24th at 5:29pm:

[quote]From America’s Natural Gas. Learn how a farmer in Ohio has helped support his family’s farm with the production of natural gas on their land. ThinkAboutIt.Org[/quote]

This is so unbelievable I’ve made a YouTube of the ad so you can hear it for yourself… it starts at 20 seconds after the Angie’s List ad:

From WFCR’s website, here is their target audience:

coverage-map-nepr

Pioneer Valley is ground zero!

It is pretty clear that the Natural Gas industry would NOT be wasting their money supporting our local public radio if they didn’t have ulterior motives: plans for fracking the valley.  In fact, I bet they don’t even like public radio.

Now, let’s see what ThinkAboutIt.Org is all about.  The first thing I notice, web geek that I am and taking a peek behind the curtain, 379 cookies!  Yikes, this little bit of web surfing is probably being watched in real time by the Koch brothers, Dick Cheney, 1/3 of the NSA sys admins with a Top Secret clearance, Rupert Muddock and all the rest of those greedy bastards.  Normally, a website would use less than a dozen cookies so this tells me they are doing their “Mad Men” best to figure out who is looking and then how to deal with them next in focusing, targeting and general misleading in their future advertising campaigns.

Here’s their home page:

think-about-it-org-website

 So look at what this website is selling?  family-owned farms!  Safety?  Come on, these pictures are bucolic and all, but give me a break.  This website is squarely aimed at family farms here in the valley and they are getting the word out that natural gas can save  family owned farms that are economically distressed.  Makes me wonder what other advertising campaigns are now taking place.

Click on the Safety picture and watch their You Tube video… a moving picture is worth 1,000,000 words!

Do we really want our ground water poisoned?  What can we do??  One thing is we can organize and have our towns and cities pass local ordinances banning fracking ASAP.  Also, we can support current legislation already in the house, H788 and sponsored by Northampton’s (1st Hampshire District) Rep. Peter Kocot.

We’ve got our work cut out for us however, the writing is clearly on the wall.  After the aptly named “American Groundwater Trust” group held their conference at UMass last December and now this ad… we have truly been fore warned!

1 if by land, 2 if by sea, and 3 if fracking horizontally!

July Featured Climate Actions

This is the fourth of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.


1. Personal: If you own a house or business in Northampton, check out the website solarizenorthampton.com and sign up for a personal home or business evaluation with Real Goods Solar. The deadline to sign up is Sept. 30. If you have thought that you can’t afford solar, you may be surprised. Typical payback for owning your own system takes only 5 years, but the solar panels keep generating electricity for at least 25-30 years.

If you live outside of Northampton, contact an independent local solar installer about getting a PV system. Currently available rebates and low prices on the hardware make this a really good time to get PV, whether through Solarize or another program.

And if you haven’t already done so, contact the Center for Ecological Technology for a free Mass Energy audit: laura.biddulph@cetonline.org This is a requirement prior to installation of a solar system through Solarize Northampton.

 

2. Community: Volunteer to help Solarize Northampton by tabling or hosting an informational house party for neighbors. Contact solarizenorthampton@gmail.com to help.

 

3. State/National/Global: Participate in the“Summer Heat” mass mobilization of non-violent direct action organized by 350.org and taking place at sites across the country. Our region’s action will be in Somerset, MA to shut down the Brayton Point Coal Plant, the largest fossil fuel plant between Maryland and Maine. The action takes place on Sunday July 28, with training on July 27. Learn more and sign up at http://joinsummerheat.org/

 

4. Inform yourself: The Summer 2013 issue of UU World magazinehas 3 articles related to climate change. Links to these articles are below. Read them and initiate conversations with others in our congregation.

 

“Adaptation and Defiance” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285901.shtml

“Fossil Fuel Divestment is Moral, Strategic” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285524.shtml

“Fossil Fuel Divestment is Not the Answer” http://www.uuworld.org/ideas/articles/285525.shtml

 

Fracking and Public Health

“Fracking doesn’t sound like something the earth, or any community, or any language would wish upon itself. What is it exactly? Fracking is a technique that involves the injection of enormous volumes of water and chemicals underground at very high pressure in order to create fractures in underlying shale rock formations in order to extract the natural gas below the surface. Fracking is rapidly expanding all across the U.S. and Canada. It is touted by big corporations as a practical solution to energy needs. Citizen groups oppose fracking because of its huge water use, its high carbon emissions, its impacts on human health, the disruption it causes to wildlife, and the peril it poses to groundwater and local drinking water. They are insisting that people’s health and the environment are non-negotiable. And, that this widespread and dangerous practice of fracking be stopped.”

Check out Sandra on Alternative Radio recorded March 4, 2013: http://www.alternativeradio.org/products/stes001

Sandra Steingraber is a biologist, writer and environmental health expert. She is from a distinguished line of women ecologists such as Rachel Carson and Lois Gibbs, who have alerted lawmakers and the public to the real cost of toxic trespassing. She is the author of Living Downstream: An Ecologist Looks at Cancer and the Environment. She is a leading voice opposing fracking.

 

 

 

 

June Featured Climate Actions

This is the third of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide focus and build a spirit of collective action as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

 

1. Personal: If you have a vegetable garden, focus on keeping it mulched, watered, and tended consistently this season. If you don’t, try growing vegetables in containers such as 5 gallon buckets. Here’s one website with details on how to do this: http://containergardening.about.com/od/vegetablesandherbs/tp/5-Tips-For-Growing-Tomatoes-In-Containers.htm

2. Community: Plant fruit trees with other neighbors. Many fruit trees require more than one plant in order to pollinate. Why not plan with your neighbors to coordinate planting trees that will pollinate with each other? Local garden centers can advise on the best varieties for our region and how to get started.

3. State/National/Global: Support Ed Markey for U.S. senator. Mark your calendar to vote in the Special Election on June 25. Markey is a far better candidate in terms of climate change, by supporting the Kyoto protocol, voting against the Keystone Pipeline and leading the congressional investigation into the BP oil spill. To volunteer or contribute to his campaign, visit http://www.edmarkey.com/. His opponent, Gomez, supports the Keystone pipeline and on his official website seems to favor business over meaningful climate actions.

4. Inform yourself: Plan a movie night with friends or neighbors to watch a documentary about climate change. It’s important to keep reminding ourselves of why dealing with climate change is so urgent. Some possibilities are Six Degrees Could Change the World by National Geographic and available from our local library system, Do the Math by 350.org, available on YouTube, and Chasing Ice, available from Netflix.

 

 

May Featured Climate Actions

This is the second of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”, brought to you by the USNF Climate Action Group (CAG). It is a way to provide encouragement and build a spirit of collective effectiveness as we each do what we can to tackle climate change. Each monthly bundle of actions touches on 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. Our website will be coming soon and will offer resources to support the monthly actions. To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791.

 

1. Personal:Make a personal pledge tohang your laundry to dry whenever possible. On average 5.8% of U.S. residential energy use is from using clothes dryers. Laundry lines, umbrella-style outdoor drying racks, or wooden racks for indoors or outdoors are some of the many options, all available at your favorite local hardware store. A great source of info and support including FAQs about wrinkles, stiff clothes and drying in winter is http://www.laundrylist.org

2. Community: Attend a meeting of a local climate action group. The USNF Climate Action Group meets after the 2nd service on 1st and 3rd Sundays: this month May 5 in the Sam Hill Room and May 19 in the Parlor. The local group Climate Action Now is meeting Sunday, May 19 at ARISE, 4pm-6pm, 467 State St, Springfield. Their website is http://dev.climateactionnowma.org/

3. State/National/Global: Donate money to a group actively campaigning against climate change. Some choices:

350.org http://350.org/about

National Resources Defense Council http://www.nrdc.org/globalwarming/

Friends of the Earth http://www.foe.org/

The Sierra Club http://www.sierraclub.org/

Greenpeace http://www.greenpeace.org/usa/en/

4. Inform yourself: The July 2, 2012 issue of Rolling Stone magazine contains a pivotal article by Bill McKibben titled, “Global Warming’s Terrifying New Math”. In it he clearly lays out the argument of why much of the fossil fuel resources now considered available by fossil fuel companies must stay in the ground if we are to avoid a severely compromised future climate. The article is also online at http://www.rollingstone.com/politics/news/global-warmings-terrifying-new-math-20120719

 

 

 

Entering a Resource-Shock World

Michael Klare has published what should be a must read for everyone because everyone needs to know what is happening here.  What it is, is starting to be clear (sorry Buffalo Springfield):

Entering A Resource-Shock World

Michael Klare is a professor of peace and world security studies at Hampshire College

[quote]Michael Klare looks into the future with sharper eyes than almost anyone else around. Pay Attention![/quote]

Bill McKibben

Load more