April Featured Climate Actions

For the Pioneer, 3/21/2013


The USNF Climate Action Group (CAG) has been busy working on a number of fronts to address the issue of climate change. We know that many USNF members and friends are also deeply concerned and perhaps overwhelmed about this monumental problem and would like to feel that personal actions they take are meaningful. We believe that personal actions alone are inadequate without community support and infrastructure, and without political and economic policy changes. On the other hand, individuals have to be willing to change aspects of their lifestyles in order for policy changes to become acceptable in society. As a way to provide encouragement and build a spirit of collective action, the CAG is excited to launch this April the first of a continuing series of monthly “Climate Actions of the Month”. Each bundle includes a timely action on each of 4 levels: personal, community, state/national/global, and educational. We encourage you commit to one or more of these actions each month, knowing that we are working on the same goals together. If a suggested action doesn’t work for you, feel free to substitute an action of your choice that is meaningful to you. We are working on developing a website that will have more detailed info on the whys and hows of each action, as well as a way we can track our progress together, and collect your ideas of actions into a master list. The CAG meets the 1st and 3rd Sunday each month after the 2nd service. Please join us! To learn more about the CAG contact Molly Hale at hellomolly@comcast.net or 585-0791. This month’s actions focus on the tar sands, about which President Obama will be making a crucial decision within weeks.


April Featured Climate Actions


1. Personal:Get a residential energy audit through Mass Save to determine the energy improvements most appropriate for your home. 75% of the cost (up to $2000) of energy improvements may be paid by your utility. Whether you are a homeowner, a renter, or a landlord, call Mass Save at 1-866-527-7283.

2. Community: Organize a neighborhood potluck to develop familiarity among neighbors. This will help lay the groundwork for neighborhood cooperation on many levels.

3. State/National/Global:

a.) Call Obama ASAP at 202-456-1111 to urge him to say no to the Keystone XL pipeline that would carry tar sands material. We need to start reducing CO2 emissions significantly, not create new ways to increase them. If Keystone is approved then we’re locking in a several more decades of dependence on fossil fuels.

b.) Sign the CREDO petition to urge Obama to say no the Keystone pipeline. The URL is here: http://act.credoaction.com/campaign/kxl_seis/?r=13093920&id=55907-908966-vwHoWcx

4. Inform yourself: Learn about tar sands and the Keystone XL pipeline. Much info can be found on the web, but here are two articles to start with:


and http://ourworld.unu.edu/en/canadas-oil-sands/

Spill Baby Spill!

2 oil spills in the news this morning, one in Minnesota and the other in Arkansas and neither being reported very well by main stream media.

Image: THV11 news

The oil spill in Mayflower, Arkansas is an Exxon/Mobil pipeline that ruptured Friday afternoon spilling thousands of gallons of crude oil and causing over 40 homes to be evacuated.  Check out this local news where the evacuating families are saying the “smell is unbelievable” and the local TV gives a great look into peoples’ lives being interrupted by big oil.

AND, in Parkers Prairie, Minnesota a train derailment has resulted in between 20,000 to 30,000 gallons of tar sands oil leaking from a couple of tankers.  The train went into “emergency braking“??  Doesn’t this make you wonder what passes thru our neighborhoods now in those big tankers, both train and truck?

This photo from the Minnesota Pollution Control Agency shows crews at the scene of a Canadian Pacific train derailment that spilled thousands of gallons of crude oil near Parkers Prairie in western Minnesota on Wednesday, March 27, 2013.  Read more here: http://www.kentucky.com/2013/03/27/2576539/train-cars-derail-in-minnesota.html#storylink=cpy

Image: kentucky.com, AP

This is an amazing photo circulating Twitter this morning:

14 Canadian Pacific railroad cars carrying crude oil derailed and some ruptured early Wed. near Parkers Prairie MN, Image: Twitter P.P. Independent

Gas Industry Report Calls Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign”

Sometimes I wonder if what we do matters.  I’ve heard it said that if it wasn’t for the work we’ve done on Keystone XL that it would already be completed… who knows?  Now this piece from Yes Magazine about a gas industry report that calls the Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign”.

Gas Industry Report Calls Anti-Fracking Movement a “Highly Effective Campaign”


Opponents of hydraulic fracturing rally in New York City.

[quote]A report intended to help the oil and gas industry squash the anti-fracking movement turns out to be full of useful information—and admits that much of what activists are saying is true.[/quote]

So, the next time the winds in your sails need a boast, remember this report and know… we’re “mad as hell

[quote]The report advises oil and gas companies to give anti-fracking activists much of what they’re asking for or risk having the process banned altogether.[/quote]

Various Voices

VariousVoicesDariaOne of the benefits of living in the Pioneer Valley is the amazing number of people committed to working to make our lives better, correcting things we see as problems and generally, just really nice people.  One of those folks is Daria Fisk and she has a radio show on WMCB out of Greenfield.

Daria describes her show as one about, “getting to know each other—everyday people, neighbors, and friends sharing insights, perspectives, and experiences.”  She wants to be, “talking about what matters to each of us and all of us; personal and collective histories, pressing issues, and abiding passions.”

Today, March 18th, from 3-4pm on Various Voices, 107.9 lpfm & www.wmcb.net, “we’ll talk with Becky George of the Franklin County Chamber of Commerce about the upcoming Creative Economy Summit, 3/22-24 in Turners Falls & then w. Greening Greenfield’s Susan Worgaftik  about the 4/6 public forum at GCC to consider how to Create a Sustainable Future for Greenfield by 2050. “

 It would be great if you could tune in.

If you don’t know about the organization Greening Greenfield, it is worth a listen.  I attended their monthly meeting for the first time this month and they are a great group of people doing wonderful things and being very, very effective.  Check ’em out at  http://greeninggreenfield.org/

A Presidential Decision That Could Change the World!

We’re 1 Signature AWAY!

This might be the most important weekend for the future EVER! Up to 1,000 activists from the Valley are heading to Washington D.C. this Sunday to participate in the Forward On Climate Rally to send the message to Obama and John Kerry that we don’t want these climate destroying tar sands, that they should reject the toxic Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and consider their legacies… because we are.

Michael T. Klare, author of “The Race For What’s Left: The Global Scramble for the World’s Last Resources”, explains in “The Strategic Importance of Keystone XL” how if President Obama shoots down the Keystone XL pipeline, it might be GAME OVER for the tar-sands industry. It’s time to turn up the heat on this do nothing government!  Act Up!! Head to DC this weekend and do your part.

Join Us In DC, Feb 17th!  For information on buses, public transportation, carpooling, housing, etc:  http://www.climatewma.org/

[quote]If you could burn all the oil in those tar sands, you’d run the atmosphere’s concentration of carbon dioxide from its current 390 parts per million (enough to cause the climate havoc we’re currently seeing) to nearly 600 parts per million, which would mean if not hell, then at least a world with a similar temperature.[/quote]

Bill McKibben

Could KXL, if built, make the Koch Bros an extra $3 billion annually?



Tell your parents: I want you to go to jail!

50 > 50 x 50

Why 50 Over 50 x 50?
We call this effort 50 over 50 x 50 because we believe that we boomers and others over 50 years old have the means and the responsibility to get organized and that a few dozen of us in each of the 50 states (50×50) can tip public opinion in favor of action if we are prepared to speak out, risk arrest and occasionally spend some time in jail.


Nurses Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline!


[quote]On July 25, 2010, a tar sands oil pipeline ruptured near Marshall, Mi. The diluted bitumen traveled 40 miles down the Kalamazoo River to Morrow Lake. More than a month later, health providers reported 145 patients with symptoms associated with the spill. State officials surveyed 550 people from communities along the river and found 53 percent of the residents reported health problems – headaches, nausea and respiratory ailments.[/quote]

Directly seeing the impact on the health of their neighbors, National Nurses United have joined with others opposing the Keystone XL Pipeline.

Thank you nurses!


Nurses Oppose Keystone XL Pipeline, Cite Adverse Effects of Increased Air Pollution, Climate Change


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