Blog Archive

Thursday, January 26, 2006

Clean-up the Filthy Five Mt. Tom coal plant....NOW !

We just got this alert from Virginia Schulman about the Mt. Tom coal-burning power plant, one of the Filthy Five in the Commonwealth. There's yet another hearing about this plant from hell and still, nothing's done. We'll be at the hearing. SEE YOU THERE! I posted my response to Virginia below her alert:

>>Some years ago a study was done, and the Pioneer
Valley was one of the Top Ten . . . in BAD AND DIRTY

There is a public hearing in our area on the
Massachusetts Filthy Five (most polluting power

Thursday, Feb. 16, at 6 p.m.
Holyoke Community College
Leslie Phillips Forum
303 Holmstead Ave., Bldg. C

This festering problem has been under "investigation"
for YEARS, perhaps DECADES. It's unconscionable that
it's still being "investigated"--this is what we of
Massachusetts get for continually electing Republican
governors. Yes, this is Romney's doing, this latest

Years ago, I took a camera and got five people to line
up and put mouth-and-nose masks on so I could say they
were worried about our air quality here in the Valley,
Happy Valley, and some other wonderful people with
toxic hazard suits came out with me and we all put
them on and someone photographed us in a row pointing
at the Holyoke plant. There was a public hearing that
year, too. I sent them to the Gazette, which didn't
publish them, but the Gazette did later publish a
great editorial saying that the proposed regulations
did not go far enough in protecting public health.

I can't remember all the facts, but the Filthy Five
have been studied like crazy, and they not only spread
dirty air in wide areas, they spread particularly
dirty and polluted air near the plants that emitted
them. Thus, if you live near the Holyoke plant, your
kids are more likely to have asthma, and more likely
to have MORE FREQUENT and MORE SEVERE asthma attacks,
than if you lived further away.

They were never intended to be allowed to go on and on
and on and on polluting. WHY IS THIS STILL HAPPENING?

Virginia Schulman, Northampton <<

Thanks for this alert, Virginia. I "remember the facts" 'cuz i was the one w/the bio-hazzard suits and the one who took some of the photos! :) As part of Mass Earth First! we also invaded a hearing on the Mt. Tom power plant held at the Bangs Center in Amherst. We wore those same white suits. We did it again on the shoulder of I-91 during the morning commute (not for long however, the state police kicked us off pronto).

It seems like nothing has changed and that's 'cuz IT HASN'T! The health and wellbeing of us, our children and grandchildren continues to compromised by that clunky old coal-burner that STILL does not comply with present clean air standards. I hope everyone reading your alert attends the hearing and that we all come together in one loud voice: ENOUGH! Clean it up, NOW!!

in solidarity,


Adding insult to injury, last August it was reported that the Bush regime's cronies at the Environmental Protection Agency were preparing to issue a proposal that would allow coal-fired power plants across the country to increase their toxic emissions by crippling a key provision of the Clean Air Act. Where do we get these people?? From the indusrty, of course! See more here:

Also more on the emperor's dirty laundry here:

Saturday, January 21, 2006

The Enviro Critters Show, Part 2

Jennifer Seavey, from the Clark Science Center at Smith College joins us to talk about critters at the proposed new WalMart site in Hadley. She's a wildlife biology grad student who is very familiar with the habitat at the site. The critters that would lose their homes to WalMart are definately not into shopping. All pain, no gain.

In the news today: Phony “ecoterrorism” arrests across the nation. Alleged members of the Earth Liberation Front and the Animal Liberation Front were busted by the FBI out West and more arrests are expected. The federales have said these guys who destroy only property that destroys the planet and free caged animals are "the nation's leading domestic terror threat". One of our least favorite rightwingnut enemies of the Earth, Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, chairman of the Senate Environment and Pubic Works Committee, has compared ELF & ALF to Al Qaeda. Our question: what are they smoking in DC?? Next question: Who’s next? pie throwers?

Next up: Big Oil casts its evil eyes on the Massachusetts coastline. Exxon/Mobil sucks! Take action and...did we mention BOYCOTT EXXON/MOBIL?

Like we said, it's the Critters Show, Part 2 so we'll have a look at some of the keystone species around the planet and how they fare in the face of six and a half billion humans and their toys. The whales; lions; wolves; lynx; sea turtles, to name a few.

What’s the matter with WalMart? Ask the Spotted Turtle or the Spadefoot Toad! Jennifer Seavey clues us in during the second half of the show on the critters who may be endangered by the new proposed WalMart in Hadley, MA Like the late Wampanoag medicine man, Slow Turtle used to say: "We don't need anymore stores".

On the Bus Stop Billboard we have FLOWN THE COOP: CHANGES IN MASSCHUSETTS BIRD POPULATIONS at the Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary, Easthampton on Tuesday, February 7, 7 p.m. and TAMING THE BEAST: REDUCING ENERGY USE AT HOME at the Hitchcock Center for the Environment, 525 South Pleasant Street, Amherst, MA. Check the Hitchcock website for other programs.

That's it 'til next time: same bat time, same bat channel!

Wednesday, January 11, 2006

The Enviro Critters Show, Part 1

Sorry about the delay, folks. We were clueless until the last moment as to whether the show would be pre-empted a half hour (We were going to call it the "Half-ass Show" with a nod to wild burros) by the Alito hearings. With that in mind, we had a look at the designee's record (such as it is) on the planet. We came up with a bad report card from those o-so nice people at the Sierra Club.

Check-out the GOOD NEWS on Big Mountain (below). We read a little on this from the alleged "paper of record".

Brad Compton, wildlife biologist at UMass, joined us to discuss the Endangered Species Act(ESA) and the beating it's taking on Capitol Hill. We had a look at NRDC's take on Senator Crapo's (we're not making this up.....really!) assault on the ESA, as well as the police report on Rep. Pombo's assault on the ESA last year. Listeners might want to TAKE ACTION on this critical issue. After all, we DO share this small blue planet with others.....but hey, we don't need to tell you that, right?

We had a good laugh at the Bush regime for their bogus move to add hatchery fish to the wild salmon count. A reprint in Green Living caught our eye on this. The original article appeared in The Ecologist (sorry, have to sign-up for that one), talking about the Enemies of the Earth trying to inflate, skew, or otherwise fuck with the numbers so they can go on destroying the planet at will.

As you may have heard: Jean is REALLY back! She told us about her adventures in Hong Kong with the WTO and that low-life org's efforts to endanger just about EVERYTHING!!

Next time, for Part 2 of The Enviro Critters Show, we'll have a look at some local issues (naturally, WalMart figures in on this one). Sooooo, remember as you find your way through the mists in the doorway of 2006: Listen to your Mother.

Thursday, January 05, 2006

Good news from Big Mountain

Some rare good news for the planet: a much under-reported story surfaced in the New York Times this past Tuesday about suspended operations at the horrific Black Mesa coal mining pit near Big Mountain in Arizona. Those of you with long memories will recall what a travesty that Peabody Coal site created for Hopi and Navajo families through forced relocations, depletion of the aquifer, and pollution of sacred lands.

The late Hopi elder and spiritual messenger, Thomas Banyacya made this statement to President Nixon in a 1971 letter about the travesty going on at Black Mesa:

"The white man, through his insensitivity to the way of Nature, has desecrated the face of Mother Earth. The white man's advanced technological capacity has occurred as a result of his lack of regard for the spiritual path and for the way of all living things. The white man's desire for material possessions and power has blinded him to the pain he has caused the Mother Earth by his quest for what he calls natural resources. And the path of the Great Spirit has become difficult to see by almost all men, even by many Indians who have chosen instead to follow the path of the white man ..."

aho! here's the good news excerpted from the New York Times:

>>For 35 years, the Black Mesa Mine has produced coal for a power plant in southern Nevada. But it suspended operations at the end of December....The mine is ceasing work indefinitely because the sole power plant it supplies, the Mohave Generating Station 273 miles away in Laughlin, Nev., is shutting down under a legal agreement with environmental groups that sued because of repeated pollution violations.
The power plant is owned by four utilities that have balked at paying the estimated $1 billion in upgrades to comply with the court order and keep the plant operating.

"Peabody has done us a favor by putting us in this situation," said Vernon Masayesva, 66, former Hopi chairman and longtime mine opponent. He said he sympathized with the workers, but added, "It's time for us to cut the umbilical cord to the company store."

Mr. Masayesva said that as a young man in the 1960's he listened to Hopi elders discussing the proposed mining of the coal beneath the Black Mesa, which gets its name from the low-slung pinyon trees that from a distance make the top of the 6,000-foot mesa look black. He said the elders believed that the coal could be of lasting value to the tribe, if mined at the right time, in the right way and for the right purpose.

But Mr. Masayesva said the agreements the Hopi and the Navajo struck with Peabody and the federal government were poor. "We should have waited until we were educated, until we had our own hydrologists, our own engineers, our own lawyers and economists," he said.

He said the mining had been destructive and wasteful, to the land and to the water. "Wasting water is criminal in our culture," he said. "It is the tribe's covenant with the earth, and we broke it."

Last, he said, the coal has been used for the wrong purpose. Rather than enriching the lives of all tribal members and contributing to a sustainable way of life, it is used to light the casinos of Las Vegas and heat the hot tubs of Los Angeles, he said."<<