Our Fool-on-the-Hill this week may well take the prize as the biggest fool on the year. Sen. Mike Lee is a Utah Libertarian Repugnican who recently addressed the uber-conservative Federalist Society. Daily Kos reports "It was during that address that he warned that if the federal government is not neutered, including the wholesale elimination of most Federal government programs, agencies and departments, then there “will be civil war.” Lee’s claim is that unless Democrats join Republicans and “move to a system granting de facto sovereignty to the states and eliminate massive federal programs like public education and interstate highways there will be a civil war.” Sorry Mike, been there/done that. Do you know how it turned out?
We Have Broken News! Lyon' Ryan Zinke is out as Secretary of the Interior. Toooooo many unanswered questions leading to too many investigations. We guess after his Christmas party it's home, home on the range, good place for the deranged. Speaking of which, his creepy probable replacement was a lobbyist for........Big Oil! The folks who brought you THIS.
In case you haven't heard, His Malignancy The Mad King is about to wipe away the landmark Clean Water Act. Common Dreams tells us: "As a result of the change, an estimated 60-90 percent of U.S. waterways could lose federal protections that currently shield them from pollution and development." Apparently not content with trashing our water, His Malignancy's former lobbyist for Old King Coal Andrew Wheeler, now acting head of the Environmental Protection Agency, was sent out to break the news they want to gut an Obama-era rule "requiring coal-fired power plants to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, [thereby]defying increasingly desperate international negotiations to scale down planet-warming gases." Why stop there? This Wheeler-dealer is also proposing to roll back the requirement to reduce methane emissions from the oil and gas industry and allow Big Oil to emit more smog- and soot-forming volatile organic compounds, as well as hazardous air pollutants such as cancer-causing benzene and formaldehyde. Of course, you recall that methane is even worse than CO2 emissions when it comes to the atmosphere, right? Meanwhile in rightwing Poland at the COP-24 Climate Talks lackeys for His Malignancy "offered an unapologetic defense of fossil fuels on Monday, arguing that a rapid retreat from coal, oil and gas was unrealistic." Had enough? But wait, there's more! The Mad King wants to reclassify highly radioactive waste from nuclear weapons production as "low level" waste so it's easier and cheaper to dispose of! What about this: "Bulldozers are expected to soon plow through the protected habitat of the National Butterfly Center along the Rio Grande to clear the way for President Trump’s border wall."
Our Quote of the Week requires a brief trip in the Wayback Machine but it should be worth the effort 'cuz it's very much in keeping with the Winter Solstice:
"Come forth into the light of things, let nature be your teacher." - William Wordsworth
It's the Climate Crisis, Stupid! (don't be offended, it's just rhetorical) And protecting and preserving forests and forest soil is a big part in countering that crisis. Here in the Commonwealth you can add your voice in defense of our forests HERE. This critical point is being made at COP-24 along with some truth telling on dirty wood biomass but is anybody listening? We're glad to see some people are listening to the Valley's own Dr. Mary Booth. Inside Climate News tells us: "scientists found that the trend of increasing surface melting across the [Greenland] ice sheet began in the mid-1800s as greenhouse gas emissions from the growth of industries were ramping up, and that it shot up over the past three decades. More meltwater is running off Greenland's ice sheet now than at any time in the last 350 years, and probably since long before that, going back 6,000 to 7,000 years" The new study is in Nature magazine.
After our conversation with Michael and Jim we take you to the Bus Stop Billboard:
EVERY THURSDAY 4 – 5PM— MASSACHUSETTS STATE HOUSE, BOSTON— #SitWithJohn, Give Us A #MassGreenNewDeal Weekly Climate Action. Since the federal government is incapable of doing anything we're pressuring the Commonwealth and the Legislature for a Massachusetts Green New Deal. The ask? A 40%-50% reduction in emissions by 2030, and completely carbon-neutral by 2050 to help limit warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Massachusetts State House, 24 Beacon Street,
January 6 - February 2, 2019/ Registration deadline: January 1, 2019. Climate Change:
The Science, Uncertainty, and Risk. An Online Series of Courses on Climate Change Resilience
Instructor: Michael Simpson, MS. This course consists of foundational knowledge in the science of our changing climate, understanding the boundaries of “uncertainty” in future projections posited by the scientific community, how to translate the “risk” faced by a community, business, or sector, and finally, the different concepts of climate resilience and how they manifest as solutions. Go to: https://www.antioch.edu/new-england/resources/centers-institutes/center-climate-preparedness-community-resilience/climate-change-resilience-series/
Saturday, January 12 , 1pm. THE PEOPLE HAVE SPOKE SAVE OUR OAKS! Rally to STOP the commercial logging of 100 year old oak trees in Wendell State Forrest. Ranger Station, Wendell State Forest, 392 Wendell Rd, Millers Falls, MA. 01349 The Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation is moving forward with a contract to harvest 80 acres of 100 year old oak trees in OUR state forest in Wendell. It is imperative that these oaks be preserved. These oaks are essential to our environment and the fight against climate change. They are more valuable to the citizens and ecosystem as carbon sequesterers than they are to the citizens and ecosystem as commercial products.Followed by walk of “Love for the Forest”. For further information contact: Erik 413-262-1587
to the 80 acres of oaks
Saturdays, January 19 and January 26, Seminar 1: Seminar 2: Saturdays, February 2 and February 9. Dawndale Farm Wildlife and Cummington Wildlife, Inc. are hosting our annual two-day seminars on "Becoming a Wildlife Rehabilitator". This year we are holding two seminars consisting of two consecutive Saturdays running from 8:00am - 4:00pm each day. The cost is $180 and we have a NEW location this year! Tufts Wildlife Clinic located at 50 Willard Street, North Grafton, MA. The seminars will run from 8:00am - 4:00pm on two Saturdays. Questions? Message us or call 413-834-5733 (Nancy), 413-695-6854 (Judy).
January 27 - March 24, 2pm. Native Voices: Recovering American Histories. “The Indian World of George Washington,” Presented by Colin Calloway, Darmouth College. This winter’s free lecture series is devoted to re-centering indigenous peoples’ experience and perspectives within broader American narratives and histories. Each presenter will share new scholarship and insights that bring to light Native men and women as active participants and autonomous history makers. Join us as we consider George Washington through the lens of great Native leaders, William Apess as a voice of and for indigenous survival and identity in the nineteenth century, and how “reverse fieldwork” can be deployed to reveal new insights into the relations between collectors and informants during the era of salvage anthropology. Go to:
And that is all for now. We won't be back until January 29 when Dahr Jamal joins us. Until then remember: Listen to your Mother, OK?