Friday, October 30, 2009
A proposal to remove the top few hundred feet of Mt. Tom in Mt. Tom State Reservation in Holyoke, MA was made public today by the Enviro Show, LLC. Mr. Glen Ayers, spokesperson for the company stated: "We are not sure exactly what important geologic materials are buried deep inside of Mt. Tom, but it could be something that is needed somewhere in the world, and who ever needs it should not be concerned about the impacts that blowing off the top of this mountain will have on our local environment."
The proposed operation would remove the top part of the mountain with explosives to get at the deeper, economically important geologic
materials. Ayers said the Old Growth Forest and the excess overburden from the blasting could be bull-dozed and dumped into the Whiting Street Reservoir which is conveniently located down hill, providing plenty of capacity for spoil materials and any associated toxic wastes that the mining will generate. The project is seen as a boon to economic
development in the region.
Ayers noted that "Immediately next to the Mt. Tom State Reservation is the Mt. Tom Power Plant on the banks of the Connecticut River, which gets its coal from mountain top removal operations in Central Appalachia, burning 1,200 tons every day to generate CO2 and 146 Megawatts of much needed electricity. That coal is delivered by 80-car long trains, directly from the mines in places like Rawl, West Virginia". Ayers says that mountain top removal has become an accepted practice and that it will benefit the community through the creation of jobs and eventual recreation
opportunities on the leveled area.
"This represents a good business opportunity", says Ayers. "We are looking for smart investors, and expect the State of Massachusetts and the Patrick Administration to fully support this important effort to improve the economy of the Pioneer Valley. Public lands are special places that should be used to benefit society, industry, and the local economy. Such uses have a long and proud history in the Valley."
The Enviro Show, LLC, plans for this site include creating a large flat treeless expanse that will better support future development
opportunities. Some ideas that may be pursued on the reclaimed site are community or private football and athletic fields, golf courses,
cross-country skiing, community gardens, parkland and open space, and solar panel arrays, making this proposal a truly "green" opportunity. Its win-win-win for everyone!
For more information contact Glen Ayers at The Enviro Show, LLC
Thursday, October 22, 2009
Greetings Earthlings. Time to pay the piper AND prepare for upcoming Halloween festivities. Anne Peterman of Global Justice Ecology calls in with scary tales of the FrankenTrees!. But, even scarier than that: we pitch and pitch and pitch until YOU, dear listener, surrender to our siren call. Yes, we're in a.....ahem....GRAVE situation here and need YOUR support! Valley Free Radio can't continue to serve you with excellent award-winning shows like The Enviro Show without your contributions. If your reading this on our blog PLEASE go HERE and donate today. We'll have more of that and some frightening news but first it's time for.... Revenge of the Critters! Spiders in Texas build MONSTER WEB. Don't get caught up in it!!
After we pitch, pitch, pitch for a spell we'll lay The Enviro Show Quote of the week on you thus:
"The cloning of humans is on most of the lists of things to worry about from Science, along with behavior control, genetic engineering, transplanted heads, computer poetry and the unrestrained growth of plastic flowers” - Lewis Thomas
We may never get into The Enviro Show Echo Chamber what with all our begging for donations, but if we did we'd be sure to tell you about Bill Gates pimping for biotech! Of course, the BIG news is all the 350.org events all over the planet (not to mention all over The Valley!). Least we fall under the spell of certain hero worshipper types, bear in mind it was the people who made all this possible. No single person can save the world.....except maybe Clark Ken.....err...I mean, Superman. Also this: The Yes Men have been working overtime these days. The faux New York Post (ugh!) during the UN Climate Summit; the Chamber of Commerce media heist at the National Press Club, and now a DC costume part, just in time for Halloween! AND this: 350 Reasons Crap & Trade won't work!
The "Climate Mash" will rock us to our E-Valley-uation segment where we may have some clips from the 350 Climate Action Carnival in Greenfield on hand. Maybe we'll play one for each $50 pledge that comes in? That's called.....what? an incentive? a bribe? We will, of course, have time for this: The Stop Spewing Carbon signature drive is critical for the ecological health of the Commonwealth. We need to collect 100,000 signatures by Nov. 16 from Massachusetts registered voters and we need YOUR help. If we get the needed signatures we can get a question on the ballot in 2010 to limit CO2 emissions from biomass incinerators. Go HERE to learn more. Big news for our local Biomess from Princeton science geeks!.
"Biotech is Godzilla" by Sepultura takes us to our interview with Anne Peterman and the Attack of the Franken Trees! Everyone run for your lives! Then it's on to the Bus Stop Billboard:
Thursday October 29, Noon. Billionaires for Wealthcare at Monarch Place, corner of Main St and Boland Way in Springfield. Monarch Place houses Health New England. (And Bank of America too!). Billionaires For Wealthcare describe themselves as “a grassroots network of health insurance CEOs, HMO lobbyists, talk-show hosts, and others profiting off of our broken health care system. We'll do whatever it takes to ensure another decade where your pain is our gain. "Counter demonstration" called!
October 30, All Day. End Mountain Top Removal Day of Action. EPA Offices Boston and The Enviro Show just may have a local event in mind too! Go to www.mountainjustice.org/
Saturday, October 31, 1 to 2pm. Bats are Cool! Great Falls Discovery Center. Avenue A, Turners Falls. What do you really know about bats? Are they really the scary creatures that a lot of folks think they are? Come by and learn some very interesting facts about them and while you're here, pick up a Halloween Treat!
Monday Nov 2, 7pm. Public hearing relating to the Biomess. Greenfield Middle School, Federal Street, Greenfield. This could be the last chance to be heard by the town.
Go to: www.greenfieldbiomass.info
Tentative: Tuesday Nov 3 6:30 p.m. Greenfield Economic Development Committee Water supply Agreement Lease of space for Installation of Pump(s) at WPC Plane. Greenfield P.D.
Wednesday Nov 4 6:30 p.m. Greenfield Ways and Means Committee. Water Supply Agreement. Lease of Space for Installation. Greenfield P.D.
Sunday, November 8, 10 a.m.-3 p.m. Hike the Holyoke Range with Ted Watt. Hitchcock Center for the Environment. Ted's areas of special knowledge include plants and birds. Identification, inter-relationships, life histories and special adaptations of theliving things we find will deepen our awareness of the beauties and complexities of the natural world around us! Pre-registration is required; please call (413) 256-6006.
Tuesday Nov 10, 6pm? Greenfield Town Committee Meeting. Greenfield Middle School (tentative venue). Matters related to Pioneer Renewable Energy on the agenda and most likely voted on. Check CCFC site for updates: http://www.greenfieldbiomass.info/
Thursday, November 19, 7:30pm. Ramona Peters, "Columbus & Thanksgiving - A Native Perspective". Leverett Town Hall.
OK, was that a treat? What? You thought it was a trick?? Well, trick or treat, we'll be back next time with A Friend of the Earth checking out the atmosphere. Sooo, if you're going out for some Halloween fun remember....listen to your Mother.
Thursday, October 15, 2009
Leave it to Washington and the corporados to come up with bogus responses to something as critical to our survival as the Climate Crisis. Like with the present health care reform debacle, decision-makers in DC and their sponsors in the insurance racket....did I say racket?...industry have come up with a host of half-measures and false solutions to the crisis in health care. Of course, their idea of reform is all about their own self-interest and continued over-the-top profits and perks. Surprise! Capitalism at its worst. OK, so it's no surprise. Likewise, their remedies for the GREATEST THREAT TO THE PLANET are pretty much useless.
Most members of Congress, firmly in the pocket of Big Oil and other energy interests, have been advocating "cap and trade" (crap and trade, actually) schemes as a way to reduce human-caused carbon emissions that are trashing Earth's atmosphere. Some believe these schemes will actually be worse than doing nothing and the movement grows to defeat them. In addition, it is believed that crap & trade could lead to another economic meltdown. So, what about a carbon tax? Dems are loath to advocate for ANY sort of tax increase, given that the Repugnicans will jump all over them and use "tax & spend Dems" as their mid-term elections theme. However, there's a lot going for this approach.
There is no shortage of other bogus schemes to address the Climate Crisis. Naturally (or should we say UN-naturally?) the biotech industry has climbed on-board the global warming gravy train. But perhaps so-called "biomass" seems to have gotten the most attention lately of a good many energy developers, as well as desperate greenwashers in government. These people claim industrial-scale biomass incineration is "carbon neutral". That might fly IF you had all the time in the world. We don't. A full-blown move to what we call The Biomess could also lead to massive deforestation; just the thing we DON'T need at this point in time given that forests CAPTURE carbon!
Of course, King Coal wants in on the action. Their snake oil comes in the form of such greenwashing schemes as "clean coal" and "carbon capture & storage". And, least we forget the worst of the worst, much of our coal comes from the clever use of explosives and massive machinery that blows off the tops of mountains and.....are you ready?....dumps them in streams! Mountaintop removal is such a bad idea it's hard to fathom what sort of thinking lies behind it.
Finally, an old Enviro Show favorite, Cape Wind and other promoters of industrial-scale wind plants have touted their plans for erecting massive windmill arrays as a remedy for the Climate Crisis. We call Cape Wind the "Right project in the WRONG place" not only because it calls for the corporate privatization of The Commons (Nanutucket Sound), but also because it is proposed to be sited next to The Great Atlantic Flyway (would you believe?) and because the Wampanoag Nation identifies the site as sacred land. Actually, windpower IS one of the rational remedies for the Climate Crisis, but it's important that such operations are carefully sited and are scaled to local energy needs.
Did somebody say energy CONSERVATION? How quaint! Yes, far tooooooo little attention is being paid to conserving energy here in the U.S. Truly, government, industry and even Big Green are guilty of putting energy conservation and efficiency on the back burner while pushing snake oil schemes like some of those above on us marks in the crowd. Given the critical time frame we face it's time to prioritize conservation and lifestyle change. It's also time to resist phony remedies.
Wednesday, October 07, 2009
Greetings Earthlings. Sick and tired of having your peace & quiet disturbed; having the fields & streams & critters trashed; the lakes and bays polluted and abused, all by off-road vehicles, snowmobiles and jet-skis? Kyla Bennett calls in to talk about off-road "wreckreation" and guys with little motors. In our "Meet the New Boss" segment: is Obama closing down on openness? As usual, we visit The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and the Quote of the Week, but first it's time for....Revenge of the Critters! Fed-up stingray takes revenge on jet-ski rider!.
In The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we hear from The Irregular Times on an alternative to offshore oil drilling!. Also this from The New York Times: Paul Krugman on the Casandras of Climate. Our Enviro Show Blog Bonus? Well, it's a two-fer again:The girl who silenced the world for 5 minutes (ok, so not The World, but at least some world leader-types!) AND, The Huge Mistake. We echo the award-winning Enviro Show (ahem!) with this: The Stop Spewing Carbon signature drive is critical for the ecological health of the Commonwealth. We need to collect 100,000 signatures by Nov. 16 from Massachusetts registered voters and we need YOUR help. If we get the needed signatures we can get a question on the ballot in 2010 to limit CO2 emissions from biomass incinerators. Go HERE to learn more.
The Enviro Show Quote of the Week puts us back in the Wayback Machine and is spot-on with regard to that jet-ski guy in Revenge of the Critters:
"The squirrel that you kill in jest, dies in earnest." - Henry David Thoreau
Time to "Meet the New Boss". The editors over at The New York Times think they can see through Obama's promise of transparency.
Then it's on to our interview with Kyla Bennett. We'll talk about off-road "wreckreation" and all those annoying mud-spattered ORV's, dirt-bikes and woodland-trashing snowmobiles out there. Besides the environmental aspects of wreckreation, there are also issues of tresspass here in the Commonwealth.
OK, now let's see what's posted on the Bus Stop Billboard:
THURSDAY, OCTOBER 15, 7:30 PM. "EARTH 2100" Or: Will America Collapse Due to Climate Change? ~An ABC-TV Special with animation, interviews, and documentary footage to be followed by a discussion with Hampshire College professors Elizabeth Hartmann, Michael Klare, and Steve Roof. HAMPSHIRE COLLEGE Franklin Patterson Hall, Main Lecture Hall. Call: 413-559-5563
Oct. 15, 7:00 - 8:30 pm. New England Forests Thruogh Time. Come here John O'Keefe, co-author of the book New England Forest Through Time. Dr. O'Keefe will share information on the present state as well as the history of our local forests. Great falls Discovery Center,2 Avenue A,Turners Falls. Call: (413)863-3221
Friday October 16, 7pm. FREE FILM: "CONSUME THIS MOVIE". Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, same building as Woodstar Café, Northampton. Discussion following. Consume This Movie takes a critical look at social injustice, peak oil, resource depletion, and our need to feel connected to each other through what we choose to consume. Info: http://www.northamptoncommittee.org/.
Saturday, October 17th, 2009, 10AM-5PM. Bill McKibben, Benjamin Barber and Alisa Gravitz speaking at First Congregational Church, Stockbridge, Massachusetts. Registration & admission. Call: (413) 528-1737
Sunday, October 18 beginning at 10 a.m. on Hadley’s historic West Street Common. The 5K Road Race (or 2 mile walk) to Benefit Kestrel Trust. Call: 413-549-1097
Tuesday, Oct. 20, 6 - 9pm. Screening of "Looming Crisis In Oil Depletion": Richard Heinberg, nationally known authority on peak oil, describes the history of energy use from the dawn of agriculture to the present industrial and computer age, while offering solutions to the coming collapse of cheap oil. Sponsored by the Town of Amherst's Energy Task Force, the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, and the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project (PVRP), the latter being an environmental group working in Amherst and the Pioneer Valley to educate on peak oil and global warming. Info: Steve Randall, 256-2130 or Rob Crowner, 253-6526
Tuesday, October 20, 7:30 pm. GREEN Northampton & WRSI are co-sponsoring a debate between Mayor Clare Higgins & City Councilor At Large Michael Bardsley in the auditorium at Northampton High School. It is scheduled to last 90 minutes and will include 30 minutes of Q&A with the audience and the candidates. Call: 413 584 8785.
Friday, October 23, 6pm-11pm. No Biomass Autumn Harvest Dinner & Dance. At the Russell VFW on Route 20 in Russell. This is a community fundraiser to benefit the Concerned Citizens of Russell. Dinner, dancing, raffles, cash bar, homemade salads & desserts, and just a great time with friends. For more information or to volunteer please call Debbie Hoppe at 862-4035.
Friday, October 23, 7pm. FREE FILM: "BLIND SPOT",Media Education Foundation, 60 Masonic Street, same building as Woodstar Café, Northampton. Discussion following. Blind Spot investigates peak oil – the links between the energy we use, the way we run the economy, and the effect it has on the environment. Info: http://www.northamptoncommittee.org/.
24 October 2009 - 350.org Actions in The Valley: 9:30AM-2:30PM: Greenfield Climate Action Carnival at Greenfield High School (off Silver Street, off Federal) Call 774- 5952/773-7004; 10:00am-11:00am: Across from Leverett P.O. to raise the flags and ring the bell at the church 350 times. Contact Barbara@wetlanded.com; 11:00am-12:00pm: 1st Churches in downtown Northampton; 11am: Montague Center Common, group photo with the 350 banner; 12:00pm: Ashfield Main Street Town Common; 12:00pm-1:00pm: Grace Church will ring its bells 350 times while 350 "maple trees" on the Amherst town common will stage a Maple Tree Drama; Student-run actions on Amherst College campus all day; All day at 91 South Main Street in Sunderland, musicians, speakers, children's art displays; 4:00pm-6:00pm: The Gill Tavern, 326 Main Road Gill, they ask guests to arrive by bicycle, for there is no better way to travel. It's all about the bike.
We are so out of here once again. Next time: Franken Trees. Just in time for HALLOWEEN!! We'll go out with "Snowmobile Driver", almost as scary as Halloween but not nearly as much fun. Soooo, remember: when your're out at night on your bike, wear white and.....LISTEN TO YOUR MOTHER!
Tuesday, October 06, 2009
The designation of the Cape Cod National Seashore, made possible by the Kennedy family and others decades ago, was an effort to save what is left of the fragile eastern U.S. coastline from the forces of development. Anything erected within the boundaries of the Cape coastline detracts from its unparalleled beauty and ecological fragility.
The proposed Cape Wind project is an industrial-scale wind plant the size of Manhattan slated for Horseshoe Shoals in Nantucket Sound, off the southern coast of the Cape. It is another example of the corporate privatization of The Commons. Nantucket Sound is public property and Cape Wind is a private for-profit corporation. Do we really need to lose more of the commons to the corporados? Some find it curious that outfits like Greenpeace and other progressive organizations who have railed against corporate America in the past and privatization in general, make exceptions for Cape Wind.
It is also an odd position for environmentalists to take given that The Wampanoag Nation has identified Horseshoe Shoals as sacred ground. They have stated publicly that Horseshoe Shoals was once above ground and that some of their ancestors may be buried there. In addition, as Keepers of the Eastern Door, the Wampanoags must have an unobstructed view of the water as part of their spiritual practices. Would supporters of Cape Wind deny First Nations their heritage?
Also, there is the issue of the project's potential effects on wildlife living in and passing through the Great Atlantic Flyway in Nantucket Sound. The Humane Society has highlighted many of these effects and is part of a coalition of environmental groups opposed to the sitting. Bill McKibben and others seem to be making the argument that non-humans would benefit in the long run from Cape Wind's project due to its possible lessening of the effects of climate change. Some would say it is most humane to protect our non-human neighbors here and now from potential death and maiming by the construction and operation of this industrial facility.
We can say yes to wind power, but put it where there is wind AND existing development. Buying into the development of fragile coasts; continued corporate privatization of The Commons; further marginalization and disrespect for First Nations; and God Squad trade-offs on non-human life forms in the name of "saving the planet" sounds a lot like destroying the planet to save it.
Links of interest:
http://www.usetinc.org/_searchfordocument.aspx (gateway to PDF)