Wednesday, August 24, 2011

The Think LocaGlobo Enviro Show


Greetings Earthlings. Time to talk local energy and sustainability as Chris Mason, Energy and Sustainability Officer for the City of Northampton returns to these microphones. You may recall Chris was on the show when he first started that position a few years back. We'll find out what he's been up to and look into some other related issues in our E-Valley-uation segment. We'll also visit The Enviro Show Echo Chamber and our Fool-on-the-Hill as well as give you the Quote of the week, but first it's time for.....Revenge of the Critters! Jaws comes home!



Since 2011 is the International Year of Forests we thought we'd check out some forests in our neck of the woods for the E-Valley-uation segment. Maybe you caught Chris Matera's recent letter in the Valley Advocate on the alleged biomass windfall(!) in the Brimfield State Forest. Chris points out that "even if 100 percent of the trees on all 1,200 acres of blown down Brimfield forest were chipped and burned it would only fuel a single biomass plant like the one in Russell for less than two months or all of the proposed Pioneer Valley biomass plants for only three weeks. Then what?" Hmm, let's take a stab at this...........clearcut the entire state?!



This week's Fool-on-the-Hill is U.S. Repugnican Rep. Rich Nugent. This from Grist: "Florida Tea Party members believe that federal efforts to protect manatees from extinction are part of a United Nations conspiracy to place manatee over man. Freshman Rep. Nugent is standing up for the Tea Partiers against the feared manatee overlords, offering an amendment to the FY 2012 Interior and Environment appropriations bill (HR 2584) that would block the creation of a manatee refuge in Citrus County" Did we mention manatees are listed as an Endangered Species? We're thinking if anything should become extinct the so-called Tea Party is the perfect candidate.



Our Quote of the Week goes out to all the corporados out there.

"I hope we shall crush in its birth the aristocracy of our monied corporations which dare already to challenge our government to a trial by strength, and bid defiance to the laws of our country." -- Thomas Jefferson



Dave Rovics' "Corporations are People, Too" seems like a good follow-up for Tom Jefferson. Then it's on to The Enviro Show Echo Chamber where the Tar Sands Action across from the White House has led to hundreds of arrests. Even union guys are coming out against the proposed Keystone pipeline. You can send YOUR protest to Obama here!



After our interview with Chris we move over to the Bus Stop Billboard:

August 30 to September 27 - Court appearances for the Shut it Down Affinity Group members following their most recent arrest at Vermont Yankee. Go here for specific dates.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:30pm. Shutdown VT. Yankee contingent in the Franklin County Parade. Line up in Parking Lot, behind Greenfield Middle School, Federal St, Greenfield, MA . Join us for the parade through downtown Greenfield and then party at the Fair! Get free entrance passes into the fair after the parade!

Saturday, Sept 10, 1:00-2:30. Rally to Support Vermont in its decision to shutter Vermont Yankee and replace it with sustainable energy solutions. Wells Fountain, Court House, Brattleboro, VT. Monday, September 12, Entergy's lawsuit against the state will be heard in Federal court in Brattleboro. It is important that people express their support for Vermont's courageous act to support the will of the people. Join us for good music and speeches!! Call: (413)339-5781

Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00pm - September 15 at 9:00pm. 24 Hours of Reality is a worldwide event that will share the reality of the climate crisis. From Tonga to Cape Verde, Mexico City to Alaska, Jakarta to London, people living with the impacts of climate change every day will tell their story. The event features a new multimedia presentation created by Al Gore and delivered once per hour for 24 hours, in every time zone around the globe. Go to: http://climaterealityproje​ct.org/the-event/

Saturday, September 17 at 6:00am. Occupy Wall Street! On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY! Go to: http://www.adbusters.org/b​logs/adbusters-blog/occupy​wallstreet.html

Saturday, September 24, 11:40 Gather at Pulaski Park for this year's 350.org parade in Northampton. It's the Moving Planet Big Freeze and Fossil Fuel Funeral. Go to: http://www.moving-planet.org/events/us/downtown-northampton/613

October 2, Jones Library, Amherst 2-4 PM; October 3, Art Space, Greenfield, 7-9 PM; October 4, Jones Library, Amherst, 7-9 PM. Auditions for RADIUM GIRLS, a play that takes an unflinching look at the peculiarly American obsession with health, wealth, and the commercialization of science as one lone woman battles a corporation, her own family, and friends to seek justice in the story of a landmark case in occupational safety and the environment. Large cast, multiple roles. Men and women, 17-70. Actresses 17-30 a necessity. Details: Robert Freedman, director, 413-586-6095, rpaulfre@gis.net.


Thursday, Oct. 6 - We call on people of conscience and courage—all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening. A concert, rally and protest will kick off a powerful and sustained nonviolent resistance to the corporate criminals that dominate our government. "Stop the Machine! • Create a New World!" is a clarion call for all who are deeply concerned with injustice, militarism and environmental destruction to join in ending concentrated corporate power and taking direct control of a real participatory democracy. Go to: http://october2011.org. Regional contact: deross2@yahoo.com, tel: 802-922-4029




OK, we are soooo out of here. Until next time, remember, listen to your Mother!

Wednesday, August 10, 2011

The Enviro Justice Show


Greetings Earthlings. Guess who suffers more than most from pollution and environmental degradation? OK, probably the critters, but next in line are low-income communities and people of color. Surprise! Some of this may become obvious as class warfare makes itself at home in the UK. The poor get dumped on amidst the plenty. Aron Goldman of The Springfield Institute's Environmental Justice Bike Tour joins us for the virtual tour. As always we take YOU for a tour in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber, our E-Valley-uation segment, a visit with the Fool-on-the-Hill among other familiar stops, but first it's time for.... Revenge of the Critters! Raccoon battles woman over turf!



In our E-Valley-uation segment we find radioactive Strontium in fish taken from the Connecticut River. The Union of Concerned Scientists wants the NRC to investigate Entergy Nuclear officials for lying to the public. What? Entergy lying? Can't be! And btw, why are fish being taken from their river anyway??



We have a two for the price of one BIG Fool-on-the-Hill. It's none other than Repugnican Rep. Bachman "solving" the energy problem and vowing to shut down the EPA!



In the Enviro Show Echo Chamber you can join Public Citizen and Friends of the Earth in calling on President Obama to reject the proposed tar sands pipeline and focus on clean, safe energy alternatives OR you can go right down to the White House on August 20th with a bunch of well-dressed protesters and make your voice heard! Speaking of protests, indigenous people are not pleased with plans for uranium mining in the Grand Canyon. And this: Anonymous hacks corporados here. Also: Friends of the Earth on what the debt deal means to the planet and the poor.



Then it's time to Meet the New Boss again and it's a sad state of affairs. We meld in our Quote of the Week from a New York Times op-ed by Drew Weston with the New Boss's latest cave-in to the Repugs:

"The president is fond of referring to “the arc of history,” paraphrasing the Rev. Dr. Martin Luther King Jr.’s famous statement that “the arc of the moral universe is long, but it bends toward justice.” But with his deep-seated aversion to conflict and his profound failure to understand bully dynamics — in which conciliation is always the wrong course of action, because bullies perceive it as weakness and just punch harder the next time — he has broken that arc and has likely bent it backward for at least a generation."

On the up side you can always sign on to the Contract for the American Dream, but we'd be negligent in our duty here if we didn't point out that much of that "dream" is a nightmare for the planet. After all, so much of prosperity involves over-consumption and waste. Hey, how about a NEW American Dream (this time we could include all of America!).



The Joshua Marcus song "Invisible City" takes us to our interview with Aron Goldman we move on to the Bus Stop Billboard:


Friday/Satruday August 19-20. Boston Greenfest. See: http://bostongreenfest.org/

Saturday, August 20th – September 3rd. Protest tar sands mining and the proposed Keystone pipeline! With people power and time-tested tactics of civil disobedience - join thousands of people from across the continent in a wave of sustained sit-ins at the White House. Together we’ll amplify our voices and escalate the movement and stop the Keystone XL pipeline to the Canadian tar sands. Go to:
http://www.tarsandsaction.org/ or Contact tarsandsaction@gmail.com

Saturday, August 27,1-4pm. Western Mass Green Consortium’s annual BBQ & Clambake: “Celebrate Sustainable Living” . Come have learn about projects, have fun, eat great food, dance to live music!! If you plan on attending, please register at www.westernmassgreenconsor​tium.org

Sunday, August 28, 11:30 am – 5:30 pm. JOIN THE ORGANIZING OF A REGIONAL CAMPAIGN OF NONVIOLENT DIRECT ACTION TO SHUT DOWN VERMONT YANKEE at the Norwich Congregational Church, 15 Church St, Norwich, VT. Informational sessions about Vermont Yankee and nonviolence training workshops will be scheduled for later dates, including a VT Yankee Action Camp at Wheelock Mountain Farm, in Wheelock, VT, on Friday evening Sept 9th – Saturday evening, Sept 10th – for info call Robin at 802-533-2296.

August 30 to September 27 - Court appearances for the Shut it Down Affinity Group members following their most recent arrest at Vermont Yankee. Go here for specific dates.

Thursday, Sept. 8, 5:30pm. Shutdown VT. Yankee contingent in the Franklin County Parade. Line up in Parking Lot, behind Greenfield Middle School, Federal St, Greenfield, MA . Join us for the parade through downtown Greenfield and then party at the Fair! Get free entrance passes into the fair after the parade!

Saturday, Sept 10, 1:00-2:30. Rally to Support Vermont in its decision to shutter Vermont Yankee and replace it with sustainable energy solutions. Wells Fountain, Court House, Brattleboro, VT. Monday, September 12, Entergy's lawsuit against the state will be heard in Federal court in Brattleboro. It is important that people express their support for Vermont's courageous act to support the will of the people.
Join us for good music and speeches!! Call: (413)339-5781

Wednesday, September 14 at 8:00pm - September 15 at 9:00pm. 24 Hours of Reality is a worldwide event that will share the reality of the climate crisis. From Tonga to Cape Verde, Mexico City to Alaska, Jakarta to London, people living with the impacts of climate change every day will tell their story. The event features a new multimedia presentation created by Al Gore and delivered once per hour for 24 hours, in every time zone around the globe. Go to: http://climaterealityproje​ct.org/the-event/

Saturday, September 17 at 6:00am. Occupy Wall Street! On September 17, we want to see 20,000 people flood into lower Manhattan, set up tents, kitchens, peaceful barricades and occupy Wall Street for a few months. Once there, we shall incessantly repeat one simple demand in a plurality of voices. It's time for DEMOCRACY NOT CORPORATOCRACY! Go to: http://www.adbusters.org/b​logs/adbusters-blog/occupy​wallstreet.html

Saturday, September 24, 11:40 Gather at Pulaski Park for this year's 350.org parade in Northampton. It's the Moving Planet Big Freeze and Fossil Fuel Funeral. Go to: http://www.moving-planet.org/events/us/downtown-northampton/613

Thursday, Oct. 6 - We call on people of conscience and courage—all who seek peace, economic justice, human rights and a healthy environment to join together in Washington, D.C., beginning on Oct. 6, 2011, in nonviolent resistance similar to the Arab Spring and the Midwest awakening. A concert, rally and protest will kick off a powerful and sustained nonviolent resistance to the corporate criminals that dominate our government. "Stop the Machine! • Create a New World!" is a clarion call for all who are deeply concerned with injustice, militarism and environmental destruction to join in ending concentrated corporate power and taking direct control of a real participatory democracy. Go to: http://october2011.org. Regional contact: deross2@yahoo.com, tel: 802-922-4029



There. You are rid of us 'til next time, but remember: listen to your Mother!

Sunday, August 07, 2011

Michael Perlman, presenta!

I just had the disturbing experience of finding one of the early voices on the climate crisis slipping down the cyber memory hole. Dr. Michael Perlman, author of "The Power of Trees - A reforesting of the soul" and other works lived here in the Valley in the '90s. He helped greatly to raise awareness of what he insisted we call "climate chaos" or "climate disruption" (instead of the less cogent phrase "global warming"). Below I've reposted Bob Leverett's heart felt tribute to Perlman. It is vital that we honor those who have sounded the alarm about what is the gravest threat to life on planet Earth. This, even more so since it is believed that Michael Perlman took his own life out of despair over humanity's lack of or concern or action regarding climate disruption.

- d.o.


In the 1990s I had a great friend named Dr. Michael Perlman, one of the co-founders of ENTS. He died in April 1998. Michael was absolutely brilliant. He had many credits. He wrote The Power of Trees - A reforesting of the soul . He was an adjunct professor at Vermont College, a Jungian psychologist, and an ecologist. He was editing the Einstein papers for Princeton University at the time of his death - a testament to his immense intellect. He was also working on a paper that explored the basis of mathematics as an expression of inherent universal structure and properties. He had previously thought of mathematics as a product of abstract human thinking divorced from any natural roots - an artificially developed discipline carried on within the confines of classrooms, private studies, and lecture halls, but not outdoors - conceptually perhaps, but seldom in practice. I don't know precisely what was in Mike's mind, but his new hypothesis may have been that true mathematics is in encoded in our DNA as an expression of the universal physical laws - and of course the architecture of trees. When mathematics is observed to ooze out of the brain of some precocious genius, Mike would likely maintain that that expression isn't a consequence of some sternly developed human talent, but the song of the spheres, so to speak, manifesting itself through genetic pathways formed from several million years of trial and error.

Mike and I used to walk the forest together and he would unabashedly hug trees. Feeling uncomfortable, I would always look around first to make sure nobody was watching. But, Mike? No hesitation. He talked freely of going to meet a tree. He saw trees as life forms with psychological structures as surely as he accepted the obvious physical ones. He didn't see the psychological structures of trees as human. He wasn't projecting his own traits into their outstretched branches. He was far too intelligent for that. His thinking occurred on many levels, and that left those of us trying to understand him groping. Language is not always a sufficient tool to convey understanding, so Mike's explanations as transmitted through his words were seldom sufficient to enable the rest of us to understand how he came to his conclusions. I finally gave up, but not before many conversations had taken place both in the forest and over a beer or two in the comfort of my living room.

Mike probably influenced me more than I can fully comprehend, and I can also say with humility that I influenced him. When in his presence, he coaxed me to think more deeply about the role of forests and tree and our interaction with them. Were he with us today, I can well imagine him struggling hard with the Forest Futures process, currently underway. He had little tolerance for corporatized thinking. He certainly would not have seen most of the TSC members as visionaries. By contrast, I am more tolerant and pragmatic. He sometimes envied that in me, and I sometimes disliked it in myself. We often served as a balance for each other - idealism and pragmatism. I suppose he could be pragmatic, but I don't think I ever fully witnessed it.

I have to smile when I think of Michael returning from a convention with his fellow and lady psychologists. He would come back fuming and complaining that none could climb out of the deep well of anthropocentric values and priorities. He would explain that everything of value to them had to be a byproduct of human emotions and personality traits, a self-absorbed examination of how one felt instant by instant. Such a preoccupation with a moment by moment fretting over what what is inside of one's head left no room for thinking more broadly, about what is good for plants and animals. I often wondered what had lead him to Jungian Psychology. Of course I always had the answer. It was his great compassion. He saved many from taking their own lives. He could save them, but not himself.

Mike has a tree named for him in Mohawk Trail State Forest. Mike's tree is perfectly straight and is located right on the Mahican- Mohawk Recreational Trail. His tree was not chosen out of impulse. It is the site of two friends coming together, Mike and John Knuerr. Mike's tree is on the docket to reach 150 feet in height at the end of next season's growth, an accomplishment that Mike would not have concerned himself from his own inner priorities, but would have indulged on my account.

I often think of Mike and visit his tree when in the Algonquin Grove. If I think of Mike, I must also think separately of his tree. To think only of Mike and not of his tree as a separate being would be to miss the whole point of Mike's life and what was important to him.

Bob