Thursday, July 26, 2018

The Highly Endangered Enviro Show

Greetings Earthlings. Is the rise of fascism in our nation making you feel endangered? At least we can all stand together and fight back, right? Other Endangered Species of the non-human persuasion however don't have the options we humans have (except for the ones featured on Revenge of the Critters that is). Stephanie Kurose, Endangered Species Policy Specialist at the Center for Biological Diversity calls in to spotlight The Mad King and assorted Reugnican's attack on the Endangered Species so many others have historically tried to protect. Also, our guy in Portugal, George Aguiar* calls in about those massive fires brought about by climate disruption (see The Echo Chamber below). As always we will also drag you along to see our Fool-on-the-Hill and His Malignancy The Mad King and his enablers, but first it's time for.............Revenge of the Critters!  Noted hunter and House of Reprehensibles Speaker Paul Ryan, known for his weak kneed enabling of the Mad King and endless Libertarian claptrap, had his oversized, gas guzzling Chevy SUV trashed by Woodchucks this past winter. Apparently their preferred habitat of grassy areas near woods also makes them abundant along roads and highways where they often become the victims of passing cars. Not this time!

This week's Fool-on-the-Hill goes plural once again 'cuz we never run out of fools on that Hill. Our friends at the Center for biological Diversity take it from here: "More than 75 legislative attacks have been launched against the Endangered Species Act since Trump took office and more than 300 since 2011, when Republicans took over the U.S. House of Representatives.  Today’s attacks are being led by Utah Rep. Rob Bishop, Arkansas Rep. Bruce Westerman, Arizona Rep. Paul Gosar, New Mexico Rep. Steve Pearce and other House Republicans beholden to oil and gas and other extractive industries. Among the bills, Rep. Westerman’s “Petition Act” would require the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service to declare a petition backlog if it is presented with too many species in need of protection and then suspend any deadlines responding to those petitions and prohibit consideration of any subsequently filed."

His Malignancy The Mad King and his court of crazed enemies of the planet are also busy endangering Endangered Species. Surprise!  Lyin' Ryan's Interior Department proposed the most sweeping changes in decades to the Endangered Species Act which Repugnicans say is "cumbersome and restricts economic development." The revisions have far-reaching implications making it easier for roads, pipelines and other construction projects to gain approvals. You can make a Public Comment on this travesty HERE. Of special interest to us here in the Connecticut River Valley, Ryan Zinke intends to make it more difficult to shield species like the Atlantic sturgeon that are considered “threatened,” which is the category one level beneath the most serious one, “endangered.”  You can go after Lyin' Ryan HERE. Meanwhile, over at The Mad King's Department of Energy Rick Perry has embraced Ol' King Coal....literally. The "Chief Creative Officer" who caught the big hug on camera was fired for blowing the whistle on what turned out to be coal baron Bob Murray's wish list being rubber-stamped into policy by Perry.

Meanwhile, over in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber we find the headline in Common Dreams: "As Wildfires Rage and Heat Records Broken Worldwide, Corporate Media Urged to Cover Climate Crisis' Link to Extreme Weather".  The New Republic concurs. We, of course, cover the Climate Crisis every week since we're decidedly NOT the corporate media but who pays attention to us?? In any case, The Mad King fiddles while the planet burns......as far north as the Arctic Circle. Our friends at Grist covering the same story have this mind bending paragraph buried in their piece: "It’s the hottest month of one of the hottest years in the history of human civilization, and unusual wildfires are sprouting up all over the map. Sweden has called for emergency assistance from the rest of the European Union to help battle massive wildfires burning north of the Arctic Circle. Across the western United States, 50 major wildfires are burning in parts of 14 states, fueled by severe drought. The wildfires burning in Siberia earlier this month sent smoke plumes from across the Arctic all the way to New England, four thousand miles away. Last year, big wildfires burned in Greenland for the first time in recorded history."

After our conversation with Stephanie and George we move on to the Bus Stop Billboard:


Monday August 6 - 9, 6am to Noon. Hiroshima Nagasaki Vigil on the Greenfield Town Common. Coming together as a community, we wish to devote the time and space this issue deserves. For four days between the anniversaries of the bombings of Hiroshima and Nagasaki, a vigil will take place on the Greenfield Common to bear witness, deepen understanding and take action. Besides focusing on the dangers nuclear weapons pose, we also want to affirm life, imagination and joy. With grassroots creativity, we want to express the magnificence of the world and its cultures. Along side the vigil, individuals and groups are invited to share displays, activities and performances. Related discussion
groups, workshops and events will take place day and evening in other venues throughout Greenfield. Go to: https://hn4vigil.org/


Friday, August 15, 7-9pm. Screening of Gasland Part II at the First Congregational Church, 514 Main Street, Dalton, MA


Wednesday, August 20, 5:30-8pm. 350 Mass Node Meeting at the Unitarian Universalist (UU) Church, 175 Wendell Ave, Pittsfield, MA


Saturday September 8, 11am-5pm. WMass Pagan Pride Day at the Florence Civic Center,
Northampton MA. There is no admission fee to the event, however we ask that you bring a non-perishable food item for our food drive. You can come expecting to experience open ritual, musical entertainment, workshops and many vendors for a fun, family friendly community driven event. There will be some food for purchase on site, and there are a number of restaurants and cafes in the area. Go to: http://www.wmppd.com/


Saturday September 8, 3:00pm. Critical (and Kidical) Mass Bike Rally for Climate Action. New England Youth Theatre parking lot, 100 Flat Street. Brattleboro, VT. Contact Info: brattleboro@350vt.org


Saturday September 15, All Day+. Ambush Wall Street. Go to: https://www.micahmwhite.com/ambushwallstreet


That's it for now campers. Until next time remember to listen to your Mother, OK?



*George collaborated with d.o. and Tom Neilson on the YouTube video "Climate Chaos & the Quabbin Woodlands"

Thursday, July 12, 2018

The Forest Preservation & Protection Enviro Show

Greetings Earthlings. We can see the forest for the trees and all the lifeforms dwelling there. You? Shelby Perry, Stewardship Director at Northeast Wilderness Trust joins us to enhance the view and remind us "We are faced with the challenge of helping Nature continue to heal and flourish for future generations. The need to restore and protect wild lands and waters has never been greater." As always we will also invite you to meet this week's Fool-on-the-Hill and to thumb your nose at The Mad King and his vile enablers, as well as a visit to The Enviro Show Echo Chamber but first it's time for.......... Revenge of the Critters! Lions stand up for highly endangered Rhinos/Poachers lose

Let's go straight for The Mad King since he's was such an easy target this past week, but where to start?? His Malignancy's Prince of Darkness at the EPA followed The Mad King's lead by announcing "last Friday that [the EPA] would evaluate and require approval for new uses of asbestos but would not evaluate the health risks of asbestos already in the environment" (this before he was shown the door.....finally!). The Mad King is a fan of asbestos (and apparently a Ruskie asbestos operation is a fan of  His Malignancy!) . Back in '97 he stated: “I believe that the movement against asbestos was led by the mob, because it was often mob-related companies that would do the asbestos removal. Great pressure was put on politicians, and as usual, the politicians relented”. We're not sure if he ever asked his mobster friends about that but now you'll be glad to know all that old asbestos in your basement is no longer a problem! Another move Scott The Dark Prince Pruitt made before emptying out his bullet proof desk was to remove the old Obama cap on dirty polluting "glider trucks" that have old diesel engines not up to present day standards. Gliders can spew 55 times more pollution than newer trucks. Maybe Scotty will run in to one of those trucks as he hits the road. No more first class flights on the public dime for him. BTW, the guy who is replacing Pruitt may qualify as a Prince of Darkness too. Inside Climate News tells Andrew Wheeler a "former coal lobbyist inherits some important decisions from Scott Pruitt, including on the Clean Power Plan, auto standards, methane and use of science." (Check the link for some in-depth analysis). Of Course, His Malignancy doesn't need lame-ass underlings to do outragious things he's perfectly capable of doing himself. Just this past Tuesday The Mad King pardoned ornery cowpokes "Dwight and Stephen Hammond, the father-son team of Oregon ranchers whose 2012 conviction for arson inspired the right-wing Bundy militia's armed takeover and month-long occupation of the Malheur National Wildlife Refuge in 2016."  Speaking of cowpokes, The Mad King's guy at the Interior Department, lying' Ryan Zinke wants to allow landowners and hunters to kill any of the last 30 Red Wolves in the world that leave their refuge. You can try and talk some sense into him here.

We have another twofer this week for our Fools-on-the-Hill courtesy of the Mountain Journal: "Last December, U.S. Sen. Steve Daines of Montana introduced legislation that would open five Forest Service wilderness study areas in Big Sky Country, totaling 449,500 acres, to all kinds of multiple use, including intensive resource extraction. Then in March, newly-elected U.S. Rep. Greg Gianforte of Montana (and the previous boss of Daines in a tech business Gianforte founded) introduced companion legislation in the House. Apparently not satisfied with just joining ranks with Daines, Gainforte at the same time introduced still another bill that would release an additional 365,300 acres in 24 Bureau of Land Management wilderness study areas in his home state." Privateers at work!

Big news in The Enviro Show Echo Chamber from The Boston Globe (and that's surfaced elsewhere): The testing for CO2 emissions related to efforts to deal with the Climate Crisis may be inaccurate.  “Without actual measurements of changes in emissions, we don’t know — and we can’t know — if we’re meeting our goals, and that’s a problem,” said Lucy Hutyra, an associate professor of earth and environment at Boston University, one of the lead authors of a new study on emissions..... Current methods of quantifying emissions don’t actually measure the carbon dioxide, methane, and other greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Instead, they rely on complex calculations that estimate emissions by tabulating the pollution from power plants, buildings, transportation, and other sources. That method often overlooks a range of factors, such as unknown natural gas leaks, traffic from outside the state, or the amount of photosynthesis by trees and other vegetation."  Come on guys, it's not rocket science.....O wait....maybe it is

We have a bit of E-Valley-uation here regarding that proposed assault on the Wendell State Forest's 110 year old-growth oak stand near Wickett Pond by the Department of Cut & Run (DCR). There was a meeting of the DCR Stewardship Council in Turners on Thursday with recipients of The Enviro Show's Big Green Clearcutters Award, DCR's Leo Roy and Elisa Campbell and others. Both Lisa Hoag from Wendell and our own d.o. spoke on behalf of the trees. Here's d.o.'s testimony:           

" I strongly support the proposal from Wendell Residents calling for an 80-acre, 110-year old-growth oak forest to be placed in reserve status, and classified as a zone 1 wildland pursuant to the forest management policies of the Commonwealth of Massachusetts. 

It is the 21st century and science has confirmed we are in a Climate Crisis. Forests are among the few natural systems capturing the excess of CO2 in the atmosphere and old-growth forests are particular in their ability to sequester those emissions.

It is the 21st century and we are in a Climate Crisis. Many old notions of “forest management” are no longer valid in this crisis. Even students of forestry who graduated a few years ago have not been brought up to date in their knowledge base. Forestry has changed and experts are changing our thinking on the need to preserve and protect our forests almost daily. DCR and the DCR Stewardship Council must be in step with the times if our children and grandchildren are to have a livable world." 


After our conversation with Shelby we move over to the Bus Stop Billboard:



Beginning Monday July 23, 350MA and Better Future Project are planning a series of vigils next week outside the Beacon Hill offices of the conference committee members who are failing to act on climate and immigration:
    • Monday from 12-1pm 
    • Tuesday from 11-12pm (there will also be an Immigrant Rights vigil from 12-1:30)
    • Wednesday from 12-1pm
    • Thursday from 12-5pm (culminating in a HUGE mobilization)

Click here to fill out your availability for vigil spots. And feel free to sign up for more than one if you can!  Go to: http://www.betterfutureproject.org/


Monday, July 23, 7 - 9pm. Climate Action Now MA Monthly Gathering. We come together once a month to meet each other, plan, and imagine how to contribute, in our corner of the world, to the urgent fight against climate change . We love to meet newcomers, whether you are brand new to activism or have been doing this a long time. We do not have a membership or dues. People give of their time and talent when they see fit. You are welcome to join us!  Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst (UUSA), 121 N. Pleasant Street, P.O. Box 502, Amherst, Massachusetts.  Go to: http://climateactionnowma.org/  


Tuesday July 24, 4 to 6pm. Protest Baystate Medical Center's Pig Lab!  Baystate Health

759 Chestnut St, Springfield, MA. We'll be at the intersection of Dover St. and Chestnut St. (right in front of Baystate Medical Center sign, at traffic light)! Please attend if you can and give the pigs needlessly suffering and dying for Baystate's Advanced Trauma Life Support (ATLS) training program a voice. Go to: https://www.facebook.com/events/246545272806601/ 


Wednesday July 25. 6:00 to 7:00pm. Saving Massachusetts Forests for Climate, Nature and People, a presentation by Michael Kellett, Executive Director, RESTORE The North Woods. Bascom Lodge at the top of Mt Greylock. Free and Open to the Public. Presented on the porch. Optional : Sunset Beverage Hour starts at 4:00 PM      Dinner at 7:00 PM  Reservations requested   413-743-1591 or MAIL@BASCOMLODGE.NET


Monday, August 6, 7 PM.  "Call of the Forest: The Forgotten Wisdom of Trees" at the Amherst Cinema, 28 Amity Street, Amherst, MA.
https://amherstcinema.org/films-and-events/call-forest-forgotten-wisdom-trees


Saturday September 8, 11am-5pm. WMass Pagan Pride Day at the Florence Civic Center,
Northampton MA. There is no admission fee to the event, however we ask that you bring a non-perishable food item for our food drive. You can come expecting to experience open ritual, musical entertainment, workshops and many vendors for a fun, family friendly community driven event. There will be some food for purchase on site, and there are a number of restaurants and cafes in the area. Go to: http://www.wmppd.com/ 


Saturday September 8, 3:00pm. Critical (and Kidical) Mass Bike Rally for Climate Action. New England Youth Theatre parking lot, 100 Flat Street. Brattleboro, VT. Contact Info: brattleboro@350vt.org



That's it for now. Remember, always listen to your Mother.