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May 19, 2016 NEWSLETTER
 
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Break Free Albany, May 14, 2016     Photo Attribution: Minister Erik R. McGregor
 

From Protest to Resistance


By Susan Theberge, Editor

The past week of Break Free From Fossil Fuels global actions marks a turning point in our collective struggle to keep fossil fuels in the ground. The climate movement is shifting gears from protest to resistance on a global scale. Massive, global resistance is the most powerful force we have to stop corporate extraction of fossil fuels and to protect our ecosystem from climate chaos.  

We saw this resistance in Albany on Saturday, May 14th as close to 2000 people from across the Northeast, including a large contingent from Western Mass, converged for a climate justice action including mass nonviolent civil disobedience. Our spirits were strong as we marched through the South End of Albany, to rally and blockade the railroad tracks that transport the bomb trains. One of the strengths of this action was the leadership from and solidarity with community members who live only a stone’s throw from the path of the bomb trains.  

We are now preparing ourselves to protect our public lands in Otis State Forest from another Kinder Morgan assault. We need to continue to use every tool available to us - legal, regulatory, media, conversations with friends and neighbors, public education and outreach, rallies, vigils, walks, marches and  non violent direct action - as we did in the work that led to the suspension of the NED pipeline.

Across the world we are taking a collective breath as we prepare ourselves for the next steps in building a movement powerful enough to resist the corporate assaults on life itself. As our movement escalates we will need our guiding star; a total commitment to bold and effective climate justice campaigns grounded in nonviolence and infused with compassion and love.
Speak Out About FERC
& Connecticut Expansion!
 


Thursday, May 19

5:00 - 8:00 PM
North Street, Pittsfield, MA
 

Join BEAT, 350 Berkshires and No Fracked Gas in Mass for the Rubber Stamp Rebellion at 3rd Thursday in Pittsfield
 
Bring yourself!
Bring a sign (Hand-held, no sign posts allowed in Pittsfield)
Bring your smart phone and/or camera
 
We'll be taking photos and/or video and tweeting them to @FERC and @BXEAction

Photo Attribution: Rene Theberge
 
 Climate Action Now Monthly Gathering

Monday, May 23
 7 - 9 pm

Unitarian Universalist Society of Amherst (121 North Pleasant St.)


Handicap accessible and on a bus line
RSVP on Facebook!
 
Help us organize to protect Otis State Forest from Kinder Morgan, stop gas leaks statewide and prevent the proposed biomass plant in Springfield. Come and be a part of creating a joyful and sustainable future. You are warmly invited to join us and find your place in the growing global movement for climate justice.

 
Photo Attribution: Rene Theberge

Fossil Fuel Divestment for Everyone: A Forum on Divestment and Sustainable Reinvestment

When: Saturday, May 21, 10 - 11:30 am
Where: Ralph Froio Senior Center, Pittsfield (330 North St.)

Join our friends from the 350MA Berkshire node for a discussion on the moral, political, and economic reasons for divestment, how to divest personal funds, getting involved in the state divestment campaign, and how to reinvest in sustainable alternatives. Financial professionals from Clean Yield Asset Management, Boston Common Asset Management, Sustainable Wealth Advisors, and Green Century Funds will speak on the panel. Read more here. Light refreshments will be served. 

NO BIOMASS INCINERATOR
Demonstration and Press Conference


When: Thursday, May 26, 5:30 pm
Where: Corner of Cadwell Drive and Page Boulevard in Springfield 
(Bring signs and banners!)
 
Palmer Renewal Energy is proposing a biomass facility next to a residential area, which would threaten the public health of Springfield residents by increasing the risk of asthma and respiratory ailments and threaten our state's forests. To learn more about this proposal and the grassroots resistance against it, visit Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield
 
We've all fought so hard-- and we continue to fight-- for clean air and a livable planet. Let's not stop now!  We need the HUGEST turnout for this event, so that city and state officials clearly hear us PUT OUR FOOT DOWN and say NO! to biomass, NO! to burning our forests, NO! to standing by silently while our planet burns."
 
Michaelann Bewsee
 Co-founder of Arise for Social Justice and  the Springfield Climate Justice Coalition
 
For more information, please contact Arise for Social Justice at 413-734-4948
Spring in a Hemlock Glen at Otis State Forest     Photo: Rene Theberge


ANALYSIS: Could Otis State Forest be saved on appeal of court pipeline ruling?
By Mary Douglas
The Berkshire Edge
Monday, May 16, 2016

 

While state residents have been focused on the massive Spectra Energy Access Northeast pipeline and Kinder Morgan’s now suspended Northeast Energy Direct, the much smaller Connecticut Expansion pipeline in tiny Sandisfield, which Kinder Morgan wants to construct in the pristine, constitutionally protected Otis State Forest, has quietly precipitated a significant state-federal legal battle.

Summarizing the issue in her brief defending the conservation status of the land, the Massachusetts Attorney General said, “Whether a FERC Certificate [of Public Convenience and Necessity] preempts [i.e., overrides] a state Constitutional provision like Article 97 is, to our knowledge, a question of first impression raising important issues about state sovereignty and the balance of federal and state power over a state’s right to protect and control its sovereign territory.”



In his May 9 opinion, however, Associate Justice John A. Agostini of the Berkshire County Superior Court sided with Kinder Morgan subsidiary, Tennessee Gas Pipeline Co. (Tennessee), holding that the Natural Gas Act preempts Article 97 of the Massachusetts Constitution. Justice Agostini stayed his order until July 29, so that an appeal could be filed or a legislative vote could be taken during the current session, which ends July 31.

More of this comprehensive summary of the current situation with the CT Expansion pipeline can be read here

For an in-depth video interview with Representative Smitty Pignatelli in Otis State Forest, click here

 
Image Attribution: Ben Hillman

Alert: Tell Our Attorney General to Take Action To Protect Public Lands  


We need Attorney General Maura Healey to defend the Commonwealth of Massachusetts and Article 97 Public Lands in court by appealing the May 9th decision that would allow Kinder Morgan to take land in Otis State Forest by eminent domain for the Connecticut Expansion Pipeline project! Please take action today! Click here
 

 

Photo Attribution: ReneTheberge



Upcoming Non-Violent Direct Action Trainings

When: Saturday, May 21
 9am - 5pm (part 2 begins at 1:45 pm)
Where: Mount Toby Friends Meeting House, Leverett, MA.
To Register: contact Carole Horowitz 

************************
When: Saturday, June 4, 1 pm to 5 pm
PART ONE 
&
Sunday, June 5, 1 pm to 4:30 pm
PART TWO 
Where: Notchview, Windsor, MA.
To Register: contact Janet Bradley 


***********************************
Learn the basic principles of non-violence and what makes an action effective. Find out about the Sugar Shack alliance, how to find and form an affinity group to join and what an affinity group is. Discover what you need to think about if considering arrest and how to participate if you choose not to risk arrest, practice de-escalation of a confrontational situation and the fine art of consensus decision-making. 
 
This highly interactive and well facilitated training is free but we do ask for donations to cover printed materials and a small amount for trainers' time and gas. Usual donation is $5 - $20 per person.  If you have been in an affinity group/ participated in a large action that could have involved arrest in the past 5 years, or if you completed part 1 but not part 2 of the training, you may come to part 2 only. You must pre-register: Include name, town, affinity group (if you belong to one) and whether you are coming for both parts or only part 2.

Community Forums on Local Methane Gas Leaks

When: Thursday, June 2
 5 pm in Springfield (Trinity Church, 361 Summer Ave.)
 7:30 pm in Northampton (Unitarian Society, 220 Main St.)
RSVP on Facebook

For decades, methane has been leaking from our citys' old gas pipelines, with at least 500 known leaks in Springfield and 90 in Northampton. Join us for an expert discussion on the effects of this leaking methane and how we can stop this together. Anina Camargo of Mothers Out Front and the Home Energy Efficiency Team (HEET MA) will lead the forum and answer questions. 
 
In the meantime, sign the petition to Columbia Gas to stop the leaks and stop charging ratepayers for this lost gas!
Attorney General

Energy and Environment Public Listening Session


When: Thursday, June 16, 6 - 8 pm
Where: UMass Center at Springfield, Tower Square (1500 Main St.)
RSVP: email agocommunityengagement@state.ma.us

 
The Office of Attorney General Maura Healey will be hosting Listening Sessions devoted to hearing directly from residents about a range of issues, including: drinking water quality, asthma, lead paint, energy costs, and more. This is the chance to directly voice our concerns about the biomass incinerator, gas leaks, and the need for a Climate Justice Plan in Springfield!


Photo Attribution: Bread and Puppet Theater

We Love This World: A Celebration of Interdependence

 

July 2, 2016

 

 First Annual Northampton Interdependence Day Festival!
Children’s Theater!
Street Theater! Puppets! Music!
Inspiration for one and all!

 
Led by Beth Fairservis, puppet master and pied piper extraordinaire, a group of local artists, poets, dramatists, and activists are planning to fill downtown Northampton with sights and sounds evoking the world we love, the world that is in our grasp to create. As Beth says, “we’ll be sharing gratitude for the beautiful world in which we live and clarifying our vision for the future which encompasses sustainability, resiliency, ingenuity and love. Our name for this Festival is ‘We Love This World’!” The Festival is intergenerational, and the highlight will be a play created by and performed by children.
 
Puppets for the play and street processions will be created in workshops on May 21st and 28th, and June 18th and 25th.

A week-long camp for children 10 and up will take place from June 27th through July 2nd, when the play will be created.

To sign up for workshops please contact Beth Fairservice.


Photo Attribution: Rene Theberge
 

Lifestyle change not enough to undo climate damage


By Climate Action Now member Daniel Ritchie
Daily Hampshire Gazette              
Monday, May 09, 2016
 

...Although using mass transit, buying local, changing to lower-energy light bulbs and even installing solar panels are important and valuable contributions to reducing greenhouse gas emissions, they are not enough to “effectively address climate change” and turn us to a trajectory that averts the impending consequences... small acts help. However, I think it is true to call these collective acts necessary but not sufficient.

... the key ingredient in avoiding the worst consequences of climate change is advancing the people’s movement that pressures, interrupts, disrupts and otherwise foils corporations’ ferocious drive (and governments’ enabling of them) to reap profit from the destruction of the earth and exploitation of human and nonhuman communities.

We can walk and bike as much as we’re able — and we should — but it will be inadequate as long as fossil fuel extraction and development is legal. For as long as it is, someone will keep burning it. Only a large scale people’s movement with a strategy that matches the scale and power of the corporate-government-military system will be able to change our future. Read more here 

Support our friends at The Bean Patch
 

Visit their website, TheBeanPatch.org, to learn more about their project, to donate to their fundraiser, and to view their Wish List of materials they are hoping to source from the community - you just might have something lying around that they're looking for!
The following piece by Robert Meeropol is meant to educate and encourage discussion. Robert has been researching and writing about global warming induced climate change for several years. The positions presented in this piece are not necessarily those of Climate Action Now nor any group. They are his alone. His articles are a regular feature of this newsletter.
 

Methane


…I’ve worried about methane since I read WHEN LIFE NEARLY DIED, Michael Benton’s 2003 book about the greatest mass extinction event our planet has experienced. It is common knowledge that a giant meteor strike wiped out 50% of the earth’s species, including most dinosaurs, 67 million years ago. Benton’s book focuses on a more terrifying event 251 million years ago that destroyed 90-95% of the planet’s species. He wrote that the extinction “was no local phenomenon, since it has been detected in rocks from China to Spitsbergen, from Greenland to South Africa, from Russia to Australia. In every case, whether looking at events on land, or in the sea, the rate of species loss seems to have been similarly huge. There were no safe refuges, nowhere to hide.”
 
Scientists are still debating the cause of this die-off that transformed the lush and diverse web of life at the close of the Permian geologic period into a world-spanning wasteland from which life took millions of years to recover. Scientists consider the “Siberian Traps” the leading culprit. These were gigantic volcanic eruptions that inundated an area equivalent in size to the current European Union with lava 4,000 to 10,000 feet thick. These eruptions lasted a million years and spewed massive quantities of carbon and sulfur dioxide. Devastating acid rain and warming followed. But initially scientists had trouble accounting for the 6 degree centigrade global temperature jump that accompanied this calamity.
 
Enter methane: The 2011 edition of the ROUGH GUIDE TO CLIMATE CHANGE states that  “Among all the by-products of the melting Arctic, one stands out in its sheer horror-movie potential. Trapped within the permafrost are billions of tonnes of methane hydrates (also known as methane clathrates). … Beside their presence in permafrost, methane hydrates are even more extensive in seafloor sediments around the margins of continents across the globe. In their supercompacted form, methane hydrates are more than 150 times more concentrated than gaseous methane.”
Read more here

Climate Action Now

 
Climate Action Now is a people powered, grassroots Western Massachusetts based organization dedicated to building a powerful, unstoppable climate justice movement. We work in our communities and in collaboration with diverse partners across the region to educate, advocate, and mobilize for climate action. Newcomers are welcome! Let's work together to create an inclusive, unstoppable movement for climate justice!
 
 
Photo Editor: Rene Theberge

Please send feedback, comments, and ideas for stories to Newsletter Editors Susan Theberge and Dineen O'Rourke.
 
Copyright © 2016 Climate Action Now MA, All rights reserved.


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