Good morning everybody and welcome to the MCAN Climate Minute. This morning Ted and Rob talk climate action far and near, while ambient noise levels at the pink and orange coffeehouse reach epic proportions. Oh, and Rob drops his laptop and makes loud angry squeaks moving his chair. NPR we are not this morning, folks…
Let’s start off with a little fun. Tomorrow night’s Powerball prize is projected to be $550 million, which is about $350 million in the cash option (there’s that magic number again!). Let’s ignore the taxes for a minute (Wait, that’s how they got Al Capone, isn’t it?) and do a little fantasizing. How would you spend $350 million to address climate change?
Whichever entry we deem best, based on a completely arbitrary decision on our part of which idea sounds the “neatest,” will get two complimentary admissions to the New England Grassroots Environment Fund Rootskills event on Saturday, June 8th (Friday night event not included, although I’m sure you could sign up for that separately). Listen to the podcast for our ideas, or you can check out the Grist story that got Ted and I thinking about this. Please include your email if you want to be considered for the prize, if not feel free to leave that field blank.
Okay, on to the other things we covered this week:
In Keystone news, unnamed Administration sources have told Reuters that a White House decision on Keystone is unlikely until this fall at the earliest, and maybe not even until 2014. Depending on your level of cynicism you either applaud this as the President giving thoughtful consideration to the project, or wonder if he’s just waiting for Congress to take the decision away from him entirely…
Local climate hero Wen Stephenson (quitting your job and putting your professional future in doubt because of your belief in the media’s lack of serious attention to climate change rates in my book as heroism) has piece in The Nation again discussing the need for parallels between the abolition movement and the climate movement, particularly the need to become the radicals strong enough to support a revolution, not a simple change.
Interestingly enough, a couple of local activists embodied that spirit earlier this week when they anchored their (relatively small) boat in the path of (somewhat gigantic) freighter bringing a coal shipment to the Brayton Point powerplant. Jay O’Hara and Ken Ward blocked the freighter for hours before finally moving on at the behest of the Coast Guard. Check out the Globe story here. My favorite line? Brayton spokesperson called the powerplant “one of the cleanest electricity generators of its kind,” which is kind of like, oh, I dunno, calling Hurricane Katrina one of the least damaging superstorms of its kind, as it didn’t cause as much monetary damage as Superstorm Sandy…
Here’s our previous blogpost on the movement to bar “do gooders” from filming agricultural industry violations which is likely to be used against those recording fracking problems in Pennsylvania.
The Falmouth town election which will decide the fate of the two turbines at the wastewater treatment plant will take place this Tuesday. Here’s an informative and thought provoking article from the perspective of a turbine supporter. If you’d like to give the pro-turbine folks a little love you could visit their Facebook page.
The UNESCO document which discusses the “Ethical Principles and Responsibilities for Climate Change Policies” can be found here. It’s a long read, but a valuable filter to apply as you pursue your local climate action.
Big week for climate related stories on WBUR. For more on the Boston Greenovate program, go here. You can also listen to a the BUR report about Millennials forsaking the car, or read their discussion of how energy efficiency is working in the Northeast to lower energy demand during the summer. (For those of you really into this kind of thing, feel free to peruse the Energy Efficiency market reports put out by the Division of Energy Resources in the early 2000′s — we were noticing the beneificial economic impacts of efficiency way back then. Here’s the 2000 report.
Good luck to Gina McCarthy as her nomination progresses to the floor of the Senate. If there is a more capable and effective choice for EPA, I don’t know who that would be.
For the local events we mentioned, including the Green Needham Collaborative discussion with officials from the City of Boston about their climate action plan this Monday, check out our Climate Action Calendar.
We’d also love to see you at our Climate Education Meeting on the state Clean Energy and Climate Plan and Green Communities Program on Wednesday, May 29th, at 8pm in the Arlington Senior Center.
As always, it’s been a pleasure sharing climate news and views with you. You know, you can subscribe to our iTunes feed and get our podcasts automatically here. Feel free to give us your thoughts on our Facebook page, or through old-fashioned email.
You can donate and support the Climate Minute and all of MCAN’s other climate change fighting activities by hitting that “donate now” button, or going to www.massclimateaction.net/donate. Remember, for climate activities near you check out our MCAN climate action calendar. You can enter events as well as browse for interesting things to do. As always — remember, for these reasons we have discussed, the United States must place a price on carbon.