Blog Archive

Thursday, December 29, 2011

The Immeasurably Diminished Enviro Show

Greetings Earthlings. Another year gone by, another lost opportunity to save the planet. On our very first show, over six years ago, we read excerpts from the 1992 World Scientists' Warning to Humanity which said in part: "No more than one or a few decades remain before the chance to avert the threats we now confront will be lost and the prospects for humanity immeasurably diminished." In case you missed that from the 1992 Warning, we repeat: "No more than one or a few decades". It's 2012. Happy New Year? Brenda Ekwurzel calls in. Brenda is Assistant Director of Climate Research and Analysis for the Union of Concerned Scientists. The World Scientists' Warning was spearheaded by the late Henry Kendall, former chair of UCS's board of directors. If all that is way too much doom & gloom for you, we'll bury our collective heads in the sand looking for the Fool-on-the-Hill and the Quote of the YEAR!, as well as search for some good news in our Enviro Show Echo Chamber and maybe the E-Valley-uation segment, but first it's time for... Revenge of the Critters! A classic for the New Year: Elephant vs. Big Oil!

The big news in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber was last week's EPA announcement that it has finalized The Mercury Rule, one of the most important updates to the Clean Air Act in the Act's 40 year history. That's the good news, OK? (You see, it's not all doom & gloom here, no matter what people say). You've no doubt heard that the zombie Keystone Pipeline may rise from the dead in two months, yes? Well, for what it's worth, here's an action link requesting Obama to put that monster out of its misery. Did we say action? Here's our Enviro Show Blog Bonus: tell Montana Gov. Schweitzer to Stop Shooting Wolves! Meanwhile, it's mixed messages for wolves closer to home. Wolves in the Great Lakes region have been stripped of protection, though a proposal to remove protections for wolves in Northeast is delayed and likely dead.

In our E-Valley-uation segment we hinted at good news, and here it is: Cinda Jones of Cowls Lumber & Kristin DeBoer, executive director of Kestrel Land Trust have saved Brushy Mountain in Leverett and 666 adjacent acres, much of it in Shutesbury from development forever. It's the biggest conservation deal on a block of privately owned land in Massachusetts history. Congrats to all involved! Of course, there is some bad news: this from Westborough regarding highly questionable logging practices.One hand giveth/one taketh they say!

The second (or is it third?) time candidate for Fool-on-the-Hill has gone so far off the rails that we hesitate to trash her once again and risk being accused of making fun of the mentally challenged. Be that as it may, Rep. Michele Bachmann takes the cake for her recent comment on the science of climate change: "I think all these issues have to be settled on the base of real science, not manufactured science.” Manufactured, we assume, by the vast, vast majority of the world's senior scientists?

The Enviro Show Quote of the Week is from (surprise!) the 1992 World Scientists' Warning to Humanity!

After our interview with Brenda Ekwurzel we amble on over to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Wednesday, January 4th, 7:00-9:00pm. Occupy Franklin County meets at the Second Congregational Church, Court Square, Greenfield. Email:

Friday, January 6th,7:30 AM - 10:00 AM. Environmental Business Council of New England Breakfast Meeting with Mark Sylvia, Commissioner, Department of Energy Resources. ML Strategies, LLC. One Financial Center, Boston. Commissioner Sylvia will discuss the status and near- term goals of Massachusetts energy programs, as well as their ramification for businesses and communities in the Commonwealth. Hefty entrance fee. Call: (617)505-1818

Tuesday, January 10th and Tuesday January 24th, 6 to 8pm. Community Action for a Renewed Environment in Springfield meetings at Springfield Technical Community College, One Armory Square, Springfield; Scibelli Hall, 7th Floor. Call: (413)794-1454

Wednesday, January 11, 5:30 to 7:30 p.m. Green Drinks Northampton is at the Northampton Brewery. If you have any materials to swap, please bring them: books, cds, dvds event announcements -- anything of Green or Sustainable interest. GD will start at 5:30 pm and will overlap with the end of Western Mass Green Consortium meeting which begins at 4pm. Call: (413) 586-7350 ext. 28

Tuesday, January 17. All Day +. Occupy Congress! The U.S. House of Representatives convenes for the first time in 2012 on January 17th, and they will be welcomed by the largest national unification of Occupiers to date. This grassroots assembly of nationwide occupations will be a peaceful and non-violent demonstration against our corrupted political system, aiming to further the movement’s success at shifting the political discourse towards real issues that matter to the people of America. Email: Go to:

Thursday, January 19, 7 to 8:30pm. How much wood do we use? Where does our wood come from? How do our local forests fit into the picture? Can wood be “better?” Join Outreach Service Forester Peter Grima from the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation to learn about the local and global consequences of our wood consumption, and take away some bits of knowledge that may enable you to make better wood purchases. Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A., Turners Falls, Call: (413) 863-3221

January 25, 6:30 pm. Greening Greenfield Energy Committee presents: "A SEA CHANGE" This film is both a personal journey and a scientifically rigorous, sometimes humorous, unflinchingly honest look at the reality we have created in our oceans. It conveys the urgent steps we need to make to reduce the severity of the chemistry of our oceans. Greenfield Public Library, Greenfield.

That about does it for the New Year. How about a REAL resolution, like listen to your Mother?

Tuesday, December 13, 2011

And Another Winter Solstice Enviro Show!

Solstice Greetings Earthlings! Here it is, another Winter Solstice, another Enviro Show to make you wonder why you're not dancing naked around the Solstice Bonfire. Our favorite house witch, Michelle returns to tell us why we might be doing that and Mark Serreze, Director of the National Snow and Ice Data Center at the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Science (and brother to Mary, we might add) calls in with news from the North Pole. If that sounds a little frosty we have some hot news that may warm your heart in our E-Valley-uation segment regarding the scary Vermont Yankee nuke. Also, news all the way from South Africa, Japan and closer to home in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber, as well as a peek at this week's Fool-on-the-Hill and more, but first it's time for....Revenge of the Critters!Another Reindeer attack!

Since we're getting into the warm glow of the season with Michelle, let's move our attention toward that radioactive hot spot just over the border in Vermont. It's our E-Valley-uation segment featuring our own Jean, busted yet again at Vermont Yankee along with the Shut it Down Affinity Group! Also this: nuke safety experts disturbed by operator errors. Come on! What's the worst that could happen anyway??

Did someone say Fukushima? In the Enviro Show Echo Chamber we have dueling opinions on the chances of a China Syndrome event at Reactor #1. This audio interview with Keven Kamps of Beyond Nuclear on the Thom Hartmann Show is flat-out bad news for anyone even remotely close to Northern Japan, but the folks over at Nuclear Information and Resource Service see it differently. Will someone please make-up their mind. If nuclear meltdown isn't of much interest to you, how about complete ecological collapse! The news from the COP17 climate summit in South Africa? COP17 fails, world melts down. We should add however, that at least The Rights of Nature were introduced at this press conference. How about something a bit more positive, OK? The next generation's response: sue the bastards! Finally, our Enviro Show Blog Bonus: will you help Stop Biomass Incineration Subsidies?

This week's Fool-on-the-Hill is Texas Rep. Ralph Hall, the chairman of the House Committee on Science, Space and Technology. We're wondering if the Space might be in Hall's head, underneath that tinfoil hat. He has launched a probe of NOAA, claiming that the agency was conducting "a shadow climate service operation". Ooooooo! Science geeks plotting for the end of America! If you'd like to send Hall and his nutjob climate crisis denier friends some actual tin foil hats for the Holidays go here!

Tim Story's "In the Winter's Pale" takes us to our interview with Mark Serreze, then it's on to the Bus Stop Billboard (thanks to Hilltown Families):

Wednesday, December 21st, 2011

6-8:30pm – SOLSTICE FIRE & SONG: Celebrate the solstice with a bonfire and music! Aracadia Wildlife Sanctuary hosts a solstice celebration for families tonight- bring a nonperishable food item to donate to the Food Bank of Western Massachusetts. 413-584-3009. 127 Coombs Road. Easthampton, MA.

Thursday, December 22nd, 2011

7am and 3pm – SOLSTICE SUNWHEEL: Watch the sunrise or sunset at the UMass Sunwheel. There will be a presentation on the significance of the solstices and equinoxes, phases of the moon, and other sunwheels around the world. Learn about the cultural significance of the solstice worldwide! Rocky Hill Road. Amherst, MA.

5-8pm – SOLSTICE STORIES & SONGS: Celebrate the winter solstice at a community event on the Shutesbury town common. Bring your own light source to light up the circle, and share stories and songs. Town Common Road. Shutebury, MA.

6-9pm – SOLSTICE HIKE: Hike with a headlamp tonight at Northfield Mountain! Celebrate the solstice by enjoying nature- especially the stars and moon. Ages 12+, registration requested.. 800-859-2960. 99 Millers Falls Road. Northfield, MA.

7-9pm – SOLSTICE PAGENT: Celebrate the solstice with students from the Hartsbrook School! They’ll be performing seasonal music and songs, as well as sharing stories, at the Northampton Center for the Arts. 413-584-7327. 17 New South Street. Northampton, MA.

A new coalition of regional anti-nuclear groups, is planning non-violent direct actions to stop the re-licensing and continued operation of Vermont Yankee. The court case between the State of Vermont and Entergy is still pending. However, we know that Entergy will try everything it can to keep the reactor open past March 21 2012 - its scheduled shut down date. It's time to get involved! Nonviolence trainings are about to begin and March 21 is not far away. But we need you to get in touch with us, even if you're part of a longstanding group that is reviving. Once we know where you are, we can plug you into the local organizing, training and affinity group formation. We also hope you will spread the word to friends and co-workers so they'll join us as well. Even if civil disobedience is impossible for you, support people who do not risk arrest are vital affinity groups members. And nonviolent training is necessary for all action participants. Please go to the SAGE website and fill out your contact info at or email the Convener of the SAGE Affinity Group Committee, David Detmold at

Christmas Bird Count. From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season. Contact: Greenfield: Mark Fairbrother 413-367-2695; Southern Berkshire: René Laubach 413-637-0320 x8351

Arcadia Wildlife Sanctuary. Nature Center/Trail Hours: Monday through Thursday, 9 a.m. - noon, Friday 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Saturday, 9 a.m. - 3:30 p.m., Sunday and most holidays except Christmas, noon - 3:30 p.m. 127 Combs Road, Easthampton. Call: 413-584-3009

Friday, January 13,7pm. "What Pentagon Spending Means to Your Community: What is Behind the Numbers?" Chris Hellman, the Senior Research Analyst at the National Priorities Project will be speaking at the Leverett Town Hall Friday evening followed by a community discussion led by Chris and the Leverett Peace Commission
on: "Building a Community Peace Budget in Leverett". Call: Tom Wolff 367 0239 or Jim Perkins at 367 9520.

January 25, 6:30 pm. Greening Greenfield Energy Committee presents: "A SEA CHANGE" This film is both a personal journey and a scientifically rigorous, sometimes humorous, unflinchingly honest look at the reality we have created in our oceans. It conveys the urgent steps we need to make to reduce the severity of the chemistry of our oceans. Greenfield Public Library, Greenfield.

We go out with "The Christians & the Pagans" by Dar Williams and some holiday advice: Listen to your Mother!

Friday, December 02, 2011

The Tortured Brook Enviro Show

Greetings Earthlings. Recovered from tropical storm Irene yet? The Chickley Brook hasn't. It's gotten trashed by some engineers who should probably be working for the Once-lers. Andrea Donlon, River Steward for the Connecticut River Watershed Council joins us for some river talk and some serious E-Valley-uation. Then it's on to the Enviro Show Echo Chamber and a meet-up with the Fool-on-the-Hill, as well as treating you to our Quote of the Week, but first it's time for....Revenge of the Critters! Otters may be feed up with humans!

In the Enviro Show Echo Chamber we applaud Bolivia on recognizing The Rights of Nature. You may recall Ecuador did this as well. Hey, we've got nature in the U.S. also........well, at least some, but no rights, right? Remember 'The Story of Stuff?' Now, we've got The Story of Broke. It's not about the broke there. Our friends at The Global Justice Ecology Project are doing report-backs from the COP17 climate talks in Durban, South Africa. If you want to know what the actual grassroots are up to over there, follow their Climate Connections blog. And this: you want jobs? How about 1.5 million jobs? It's here. Finally, a follow-up on our last coal show: Coal exports bigger climate threat than the Keystone pipeline!.

This week's Fool-on-the-Hill is actually not on the Hill anymore BUT he's truly still a GIGANTIC fool! It's none other than former Rep. Newt Gingrich who once believed the science of the climate crisis so much he did this video with Nancy Pelosi. Now that he's trying to be the Repugnican candidate for prez he's trying to explain his old position......and not very well....actually, kinda' pathetic...he is..

Our Enviro Show Quote of the Week is all about rivers. "What makes a river so restful to people is that it doesn't have any doubt it is sure to get where it is going, and it doesn't want to go anywhere else." - Hal Boyle

Our interview is THE heart of our E-Valley-uation segment, but before we go there we'd like to read an excerpt of a Letter to the Editor of The Montague Reporter concerning the use of live pigs in trauma training at Baystate Medical Center which eventually leads to their untimely, and perhaps painful death. We will read it and weep. Also we look into the windpower controversy that's picking up......wind? in Franklin County.

Following our interview with Andrea Donlon we move on to the Bus Stop Billboard:

Wednesday, December 7, 6pm. Green Speaker Series at GCC - Deb Katz, Act Today to Change Tomorrow. Room C208, (Second Floor Core Building), GCC, Greenfield. For more information you can email us at or call (413) 775-1472.

Thursday, December 8th, from 6:00 to 8:30 pm VT Yankee Supper/Briefing the Center Congregational Church in Brattleboro VT (193 Main Street, in the basement). The briefing will include the status of the federal court case (Entergy v. State of Vermont), preparations for non-violent direct action if Vermont Yankee is still operating on March 21st, and the many important ways you can participate in and/or support such action. Contact:

Saturday, December 10, 10:30am to 2pm. Second Saturday Children's Nature Series. Daily activities may include crafts, games, investigations, or outdoor adventures. Great Falls Discovery Center, 2 Avenue A., Turners Falls, MA 01376, Call: 413.863.3221

Saturday, December 10, 9:30 AM to 5:00 PM. Green-Rainbow Party of Massachusetts Annual Convention. Unity Hall, First Unitarian Church, 90 Main Street, Worcester, MA. Contact:
Dick Vaillette ·

Thursday, December 15, 7 PM. Western Mass Fund Our Communities Not War gathering at Open Square in Holyoke (UAW office). What local actions can we actively support and mobilize for in the near future? What are your ideas for building sustainable community? Call: 413-253-2161

Whoa! That went fast. Maybe it's the 60 minute news cycle? In any case, did we remind you to listen to your mother yet?