Letter from the Editors
Spider silk is studied by countless biologists and engineers as a source of biomimetic technology because of its durability, flexibility, and lightweight properties. Breeding spiders to harvest silk won’t produce enough to manufacture any article of clothing. Synthetic spider silk has had varied levels of success; clothing, nets, bulletproof vests, medicinal tools, and musical instruments are just some of the products created and experimented with so far. Now, biodegradable computer chips comprised of spider silk are coming off the drawing board. Silk has properties that make it ideal for use in electronic devices. Light can travel through a silk strand as easily as it does through a fiber optic cable. Spider silk can be turned into a natural plastic that is also compostable. In years to come, synthetic silk electronics should become a reality.
Disney is coming into its own as a corporation devoted to sustainability. Disney announced that it will implement green purchasing regulations for all paper and paper products used under its brand. This means all paper will come from recycled content and/or will be guaranteed not to originate from endangered forests or other non-sustainable sources. Disney is the world’s largest publisher of children’s books and magazines. Disney also plans to work with non-governmental organizations to identify and support regions with poor forest management and high rates of deforestation.
What happens when you can’t recycle, sell, or give away junk? Do you throw it in the trash? Try turning it into art…or maybe finding an art program looking for supplies. The Recology Center in San Francisco is more than just a Resource Recovery and Waste Management facility – it is also a workspace and sanctuary for artists. The Recology Center’s Artist in Residence Program gives different artists access to seemingly infinite amounts of useful supplies, such as building materials, electronic waste, old furniture, and miscellaneous knick-knacks, to be recreated into something beautiful, expressive, and useful. It creates greater awareness of what we throw away and how we can put our unwanted items to better use.
Disney has announced it will be eliminating paper connected to the destruction of endangered forests and animals from its operations and licensees, while maximizing recycled content and fiber sourced from Forest Stewardship Council-certified forestry operations.
Disney is the world’s biggest publisher of children’s books and magazines. The new paper policy will be applied to the company’s entire global operations and those of its supply chain. The commitment includes Disney’s media networks, theme parks, resorts, cruise ships, and all its product packaging, copy paper and book publishing, as well as the 3,700 licensees that use Disney characters. It will also influence the operations of 25,000 factories in more than 100 countries that produce Disney products, including 10,000 in China. Read more here.
Reducing the risk of extinction for threatened species and establishing protected areas for nature will cost the world over $76bn dollars annually. Researchers say it is needed to meet globally agreed conservation targets by 2020.
The scientists say the daunting number is just a fifth of what the world spends on soft drinks annually. And it amounts to just 1% of the value of ecosystems being lost every year, they report in the journal Science. Back in 2002, governments around the world agreed that they would achieve a significant reduction in biodiversity loss by 2010. But the deadline came and went and the rate of loss increased. Read more here.
Also read 25 primates on the brink of extinction.
A case in which four Nigerian fish farmers have succeeded in taking the Anglo-Dutch owned oil giant Shell to Court in the Netherlands, marks a historic turning point on how oil pollution and oil damage cases are handled. The case has ramifications not just for Shell and other oil companies operating in Nigeria, but around the world.
What it means is that international oil companies like Shell and others may be held legally responsible for their activities, the activities of their subsidiaries, and even partners, abroad. The Nigerian farmers at the centre of the case going on in the Netherlands brought the case to the Netherlands because Shell has its headquarters here. The hearing of the case in the Netherlands means that oil companies may no longer be able to say they are not responsible or not to blame when disasters happen – away from home, where they have their operations. Read more here.
Also read Ecuador Orders Chevron To Turn Over $200 Million In Assets To Lawsuit Plaintiffs. Oil companies are watching the case closely because it may affect other cases accusing companies of polluting the areas where they operate.
Spiders and some insects use silk to build strong webs and spin cocoons, and now scientists have figured out how to use the material for something even more amazing: electronic computer chips. Many people have heard that spider silk is a sort of supermaterial: stronger than steel, tougher than Kevlar, and yet incredibly malleable and flexible. But the silk has other properties that make it ideal for use in electronic devices. Light can travel through a silk strand as easily as it does through a fiber optic cable. Read more here.
It’s a custom observed by folks everywhere in the Middle East. Neighbors and family get together, sharing a platter of the plump, salty, black seeds and sipping cups of strong coffee. In artist Noam Edry’s project, Jews and Arabs, Jordanians and Israelis travel to each others’ cities, sit down at cafes, and chew sunflower seeds together. In between chewing and spitting out the seeds, there’s plenty of chat and getting to know each other, at a grassroots level, if you will. The ostensible goal of the project is to make 10 tons of chewed and discarded hulls, which will then be shipped to London as part of an art exhibit. But the real goal is to open doors of friendship.
At the end of each meeting, all the hulls are swept up and stored in plastic bags against the day that they’ll reappear as art – and proof that friendship can sprout even in the conflicted soil of the Middle East. Read more here.
Other Global Headlines of Interest
- Canada set to lose WTO green energy dispute
- World’s biggest geoengineering experiment ‘violates’ UN rules
- The Incredible Edible Town
When you think of the words “garbage dump,” the first thoughts or images that spring forth from your mind probably aren’t related to art. But if you were to visit the Recology collection center in San Francisco, you would be seeing-and thinking about-trash in a whole new way. What you would witness is not only the incredible amount of debris that comes in every day, but also the artists who thrive on it. Twice a year, Recology SF brings in new artists to its Artist in Residence Program, a one-of-a-kind program that utilizes the center as inspiration, as a studio, and as an art supply closet. Created in 1990, the Artist in Residence Program creates greater awareness of what we throw away and how we can put our unwanted items to better use. Read more here.
An ambitious partnership between California’s College of the Desert (COD) and Palm Springs is set to launch America’s first self-sustaining college campus, following other U.S. colleges blazing a higher education sustainability trail. The West Valley Campus, a satellite location to COD’s 50-year old main campus, will be LEED Platinum certified; achieve net-zero energy, waste, and water status through of innovative design elements; and integrate sustainability initiatives into all construction and operation activities. Read more here.
One way to measure greenhouse gases is simply to capture them at the source: You put an instrument on a smokestack, for example. Cities, however, are full of cars, buses, factories and homes that all use fuel or electricity. No one really knows how much carbon dioxide, the main greenhouse gas, comes from each. Ecologist Kevin Gurney says he can find out.
At Arizona State University, Gurney has come up with a software package that analyzes what he calls a city’s metabolism. Gurney collects piles of information about a city’s energy diet – from utilities, transportation departments and air-pollution monitors. When he analyzed Indianapolis, Gurney and colleagues from Purdue University and other institutions could pinpoint emissions down to the level of a building or a street. “We can actually see, through CO2, people waking up, leaving their homes, getting in their cars, going to work,” he says. “They move from sector to sector.” Read more here.
Federal officials approved a plan that sets aside 285,000 acres of public land for the development of large-scale solar power plants, cementing a new government approach to renewable energy development in the West after years of delays and false starts. The government is establishing 17 new “solar energy zones” on 285,000 acres in six states: California, Nevada, Arizona, Utah, Colorado and New Mexico. Most of the land – 153,627 acres – is in Southern California.
The Obama administration has authorized 10,000 megawatts of solar, wind and geothermal projects that, when built, would provide enough energy to power more than 3.5 million homes Read more here.
Under the E.P.A. program, initiated in 2009, a producer who makes diesel fuel from vegetable oils and animal fats receives renewable energy credits for every gallon manufactured. The producer can then sell the credits to refiners, who pay millions of dollars for them under a government mandate to support a minimum level of production. The credits can also be resold, a commonplace activity in the arena of corporate compliance with federal environmental rules. The problem is that at least three companies were selling bogus credits without producing any biodiesel at all, the E.P.A. has said in announcements over the last year.
Now no one is certain how many of the credits are real. So far, more than $100 million in fraudulent credits have been identified, the refining industry estimates. That amounts to roughly 5 percent of the credits issued since 2009, but the percentage could rise as current investigations of other producers progress. The credits are easier to counterfeit than hundred-dollar bills. Known as “renewable identification numbers,” or RINs, the 38-digit credits have no physical form and are traded electronically. Exxon Mobil, Marathon and Sunoco are among the many big companies that have bought bogus credits. The Environmental Protection Agency is scrambling to retool a program that relies on such credits to encourage the use of cleaner diesel fuel in engines. The refining industry has meanwhile seized on the schemes to argue that government fuel mandates don’t work and the rules should be relaxed or scrapped. Read more here.
Other National Headlines of Interest
- Keystone XL pipeline opponents turn to civil disobedience
California’s renewable-energy plans may hinge on presidential race
The Chesapeake Bay Is a Polluted Mess: Are Chickens to Blame?
Green jobs are one of America’s best-kept secrets, but they shouldn’t be. When you consider the fact that at least 3.1 million Americans already work in green jobs, and that green industries and businesses can help solve some of our country’s biggest problems — from pollution to poverty and economic stagnation — you’d think we’d be hearing our leaders talk about green jobs all the time. A new report released last week by the Economic Policy Institute takes a close look at green jobs data, and finds that the growth and benefits of the green economy are even stronger than we previously thought. Among the report’s findings:
So why isn’t there more support from policymakers for green jobs? One reason is because green industries present a threat to the old, entrenched, dirty way of doing business. Read more here.
Clearly there is growing sentiment in favor of reforming American agriculture and interest in questions about where our food comes from and how it was produced. California’s Proposition 37, which would require that genetically modified (G.M.) foods carry a label, has the potential to change the politics of food not just in California but nationally too. What is at stake this time around is not just the fate of genetically modified crops but the public’s confidence in the industrial food chain.
Americans have been eating genetically engineered food for 18 years, and as supporters of the technology are quick to point out, we don’t seem to be dropping like flies. But they miss the point. The fight over labeling G.M. food is not foremost about food safety or environmental harm, legitimate though these questions are. The fight is about the power of Big Food. Read more here
The Failure Of ‘Drill, Baby, Drill’: Wall Street Journal Reports ‘Oil Boom Providing Little Relief For Consumers’
U.S. oil production is on track to hit its highest level since 1993. What has that done to gas prices for consumers? Virtually nothing. Yet again, analysts are pointing out the obvious: even with massive increases in domestic oil drilling, the impact on gasoline prices is minimal. That’s because oil is a global market and U.S. supplies – even with historic increases – still don’t make a major dent. The evidence is clear. Despite what the oil industry and other interest groups representing fossil fuels claim, more domestic drilling is doing very little to help consumers. Read more here.
Read the Wall Street Journal article here.
PROVIDENCE – Jill Stein, the national Green Party candidate for president, didn’t put the environment at the center of her campaign, but instead focused on building her party for future elections. During a 40-minute talk in the bar of a downtown restaurant, Stein listed her priorities as forgiving student debt, offering tuition-free college education and legalizing marijuana. Of course, environmental initiatives are ingrained in her Green New Deal economic stimulus plan. “We’ll turn the White House into a ‘Greenhouse,’” Stein said.
A nationwide weatherization initiative and an improved public and “active” transportation system would create jobs and improve the nation’s chronic health problems, she said. Stein’s other environmental goals include ending off-shore and Arctic oil drilling; new grants and loans for green businesses; additional research in wind, solar and geothermal energy; reductions in waste and pollution; and investment in permaculture, sustainable forestry and regional food systems. Read more here.
SouthCoast cities and towns join growing roster to ban tobacco products in pharmacies
Westport has joined a tide of communities snuffing-out pharmacy tobacco sales in SouthCoast and beyond. Westport’s new rule, approved in August by the town’s Board of Health, went into effect in October and bans tobacco sales in all pharmacies as health care institutions, according to Judith Coykendall, program manager for the Seven Hills Behavioral Health Tobacco-Free Community Partnership.
Coykendall – whose program is funded by the Massachusetts Department of Public Health’s Tobacco Cessation and Prevention Program – has urged communities to pass these regulations. Read more here.
More than 100 cyclists hit the back roads Sunday – a few literally – as they pedaled an environmental message 75 miles across Southeastern Massachusetts, biking in support of the sixth annual Buzzards Bay Watershed Ride. “I think it’s a resource people need to be aware of, not just the bay, but the watershed,” said Donald Bishop, 46, of Marlboro, who used to live on the Cape and was the first rider to make it to the Rochester lunch stop, 35 miles in. “We really have to take care of it.”
Organizers from the Buzzards Bay Coalition, which hosted the ride, said they expected it to raise about $65,000 for the organization this year, the most in its six-year history. Participation has also grown from 47 riders in 2007 to 147 on Sunday, about a third of whom were first-time riders, they said. Read more here.
Squirrel population boom frustrates fruit growers
Last year’s mild winter and a bumper crop of nuts have caused an apparent explosion in the squirrel population in patches of the country, bewildering fruit growers with their ravenous appetites, littering highway shoulders as roadkill, and keeping homeowners and pest control experts busy.
Biologists know squirrel populations have rare but periodic “eruptions,” when conditions coincide to produce abundant foods that fuel the fast-reproducing animals. This year’s squirrel boom in parts of Vermont followed two seasons of bountiful acorn and beechnut crops and last year’s mild winter. In addition to eating up cash crops, squirrels can also prevent future harvests by “girdling” trees – eating away a band of bark around the trunk, causing it to die. Read more here.
New Bedford will have to live with its mistakes forever if it gets harbor cleanup wrong
Like many city residents, I’m not quite sure what to make of the $366 million AVX settlement that will forever bury PCBs in New Bedford Harbor. Everyone from the EPA to Attorney General Martha Coakley to Mayor Jon Mitchell seems to think it’s just the thing to do.
They point out that instead of a 40-year-cleanup, the Acushnet River will now be cleaned up in five to seven years, finally giving New Bedford Harbor back to residents of the city, Fairhaven and Acushnet after well over a half century. But I can’t help worrying about this CAD cell technology, which will bury the carcinogens beneath tons of sand, and maybe even relocate another portion of it along the banks of the river itself. Read more here.
SWANSEA – In some ways, Star Pickling’s retail business may the area’s best kept secret. But at this time of year, business is booming as local farmers, gardeners and home cooks stop in at the off-the-beaten path business to pick up a jug or two of its pickling liquid to preserve their harvest. Sold by the gallon, the vinegary liquid is a way to preserve and pickle products without having to go through the time-consuming preservative process of using heat. Fresh-picked produce can be pickled by just putting the produce in a jar and pouring the pickling liquid right over it. Read more here.
As violence among gangs and their young members thrives in Fall River, local agencies are stepping up to offer positive alternatives to gang life and violence on the street. One is the Youth Outreach Program at CD Rec in the Armory building. The program serves 44 young men from ages 16 to 24 – who are court-involved because of violent crimes and are at risk of joining a gang or have already been inducted into one – through intensive one-on-one mentoring with Outreach workers, said Christian McCloskey, the city’s youth services coordinator.
The intervention program, officially titled Safe and Successful Youth Initiative, is in its first year. It is being funded from a $1.2 million grant through the Executive Office of Health and Human Services. The program coordinates intervention efforts with another CD Rec program, the Shannon Community Safety Initiative, which works with at-risk young men and women ages 14 to 24. Read more here.
Marion – Geocachers are kind of like spies. There’s an international network of them. They hide messages and objects in obscure places. They’re often known by their codenames. And sometimes they get into dangerous situations. Geocaching is a free, global treasure hunting game where members try to find containers, or geocaches, left by other members using a GPS or smartphone.
Gallant and Camacho started geocaching in 2008. “My neighbor took us out with a GPS and we were hooked,” said Gallant. Caches can be as small as a pen top and may be hidden under a log in the woods or a parking lot light pole at Stop and Shop. Read more here.
Bylaw rewrite could halve turbine height, wattage in Fairhaven
FAIRHAVEN – A first draft of a new turbine bylaw would halve both the height and power output of future Fairhaven wind turbines.
Under the draft bylaw, the blade-tip height of new turbines could be no higher than 265 feet, and turbines could produce no more than 600 kilowatts. Fairhaven’s two existing turbines at the Waste Water Treatment Plant have a tip height of almost 400 feet and produce 1,500 kilowatts. They would be unaffected by a new bylaw as they were built in accordance to the town’s current ordinances, which were written in 2004. The draft bylaw would also increase the required distance between turbines and residences from one times the turbine height to 1.5 times the turbine height. Read more here.
Jacob Kubel is a man on a mission. The 36-year-old conservation scientist with the Massachusetts Division of Fisheries and Wildlife’s Natural Heritage and Endangered Species Program has been crisscrossing the state since late August in search of the Commonwealth’s rarest salamander – Ambystoma opacum, also known as the marbled salamander – to document where it is breeding and to get a feel for how the population is doing. And he only has a couple more weeks to do so before the salamanders head back underground.
With the help of others – including personnel from the Division of Fisheries and Wildlife and the state Department of Conservation and Recreation, as well as academic institutions, land trusts, other nongovernmental organizations, and biologists in the private sector, he has documented marbled salamanders from Bolton to New Bedford, Attleboro to Berlin, and several places in between. Read more here.
Desa Van Laarhoven joined AmeriCorps, a group similar to the Peace Corps except its members work in America. AmeriCorps engages more than 80,000 men and women in intensive service each year through more than 15,000 nonprofits, schools, public agencies, and community and faith-based groups across the U.S, according to its website. Van Laarhoven is now the executive director of the Marion Institute, which has hosted the Connecting for Change Bioneers by the Bay Conference since 2005. The 8th Annual three-day conference will be held Oct. 26 to 28 in New Bedford.
Full-time AmeriCorps members who complete their service earn a Segal AmeriCorps Education Award to pay for college, graduate school, or to pay back qualified student loans; members who serve part-time receive a partial award. Some AmeriCorps members may also receive a modest living allowance during their term of service, according to their website. Read more here.
Situated on the former Sprague Industries site, a brownfield still laden with residual toxins from its factory days, Hope Tree Nursery will give the surrounding Elmwood neighborhood access to affordable trees grown locally, according to organizers.
Elmwood is among several city neighborhoods deemed as “low canopy,” according to a 2006 study of Providence’s tree canopy. The study revealed that the city only has 23 percent tree canopy, and the Providence Neighborhood Planting Program (PNPP) and Groundwork Providence’s Trees 2020 program have been working to increase that canopy to 30 percent by 2020. Groundwork Providence aims with its Trees 2020 program to have 40,000 trees planted by 2020. The project specifically focuses on increasing the amount of trees planted on private property. The presence of Hope Tree Nursery also will help educate the neighborhood about the importance of trees. Read more here.
Biophilic architecture embraces “nature or natural elements to improve occupants’ physical and mental health, increase productivity, and enhance overall well-being.” Several places in the country – and around Boston – are taking such studies to heart. Read more here.
UMass Dartmouth protest zone under fire
A university policy restricting public assemblies to an official “public forum space” creates a “chilling effect” on student willingness to protest or engage in political demonstrations, students and faculty told The Standard-Times. “It says in this spot and this spot only can you protest,” said philosophy professor Phil Cox, who describes the policy as unconstitutional. “It’s a very unfortunate compromise of students’ rights.”
The public forum area, commonly called the “free speech zone” by students and faculty, encompasses a patch of grass 75 feet southeast of the campanile at the center of campus and bordered on each side by walkways. “My thought is that they put those (rules) in place to prevent students from demonstrating,” said Brian Pastori, a 2008 graduate of UMass Dartmouth who protested the policy when it was created. Read more here.
This Week in Sustainability
Thursday, October 18, 7 pm Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River, MA
We are involved in a wide range of environmental issues which affect the quality of life in our community. Join us for our monthly meetings and learn more about our projects! Contact us: (508)676-3091, Office hours 8:00-1:00, Monday to Friday
Household Hazardous Waste Drop-off Day – New Bedford and Dartmouth Residents Only
Saturday, October 20, 9 am – 12 noon Crapo Hill Landfill, 300 Samuel Barnet Blvd., New Bedford, MA
Household hazardous wastes such as oil-based paint, paint thinner, and waste fuel (kerosene or gasoline) will be accepted. No latex paint; dry out and throw it in trash. No empty aerosol cans; recycle empty aerosol cans at the Shawmut Avenue Transfer Station. Collection is for households only. Proof of New Bedford or Dartmouth residency is required. Rain or shine. For more information, call (508) 979-1493 or email Recycling New Bedford Read more here.
New England Regional Transition & Resilience Gathering
Saturday, October 20, 9:30 am – 5 pm Boylston Congregational Church – 207 Amory Street, Jamaica Plain, Boston, MA
Thanks to the excellent work of activists and organizers across the region, New England is home to many thriving grassroots efforts to create economic and environmental justice by transitioning away from fossil fuels towards sustainable food, energy, and transportation systems. How might we increase the effectiveness of our work by connecting with one another?
Please join us on Saturday, October 20th as we consider this exciting question. You’ll have the chance to meet folks from across New England, share stories, think systemically about the region, and consider next steps. There will be plenty of opportunities for informal conversation and connection. Hosted by Transition Keene, Transition Newburyport, the Jamaica Plain New Economy Transition, and the New England Grassroots Environment Fund (NEGEF).
Travel stipends and some in-home hospitality in Boston are available. Please contact Sarah Byrnes 617-477-8630 x307. Read more here.
How to Sheet Mulch
Saturday, October 20, 10 am – 1 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 – Garden at Cedar Dell
The Office of Campus and Community Sustainability at UMass Dartmouth is sponsoring a sheet mulching workshop at the Cedar Dell Gardens – come to help us prepare our soil for the spring and to learn about tending your own garden. Contact Katrina Semich at 774-319-0539 or email for more information.
THE RIVER PROJECT – ARTISTS’ WALK
Saturday, October 20, 10:00am – 12:00pm Slocum’s River Reserve – Between Horseneck Road and Slocum’s River, 1 mile south of Russell’s Mills Village.
Take a guided walk with sculptors from The River Project and learn about their creative process. For more information visit the River Project 2012 web page. Read more here.
Saturday, October 20, 2012, 12-4pm Westport Town Farm, 88 Drift Road
Bring your family to celebrate the third annual harvest at the Westport Town Farm’s Community Gardens. Enjoy a festive day of local food, music and activities for all ages. Read more here.
Wednesday, October 24, 3 pm International Church of the Nazarene – 284 Pleasant Street, New Bedford, MA
SEMAP is proud to partner with the International Church of the Nazarene & The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network to present an afternoon of learning, sharing, eating, and a movie viewing.
Starting at 3pm at the International Church of the Nazarene (284 Pleasant Street, New Bedford), you will tour the neighboring Serenity Gardens and talk to urban farmers, then return to the Church for children’s activities, a community potluck & food drive and a screening of the documentary film, Ingredients (showing 6:30-8:00 pm). The Southeastern Massachusetts Food Security Network will also launch their new website which shows where to find food at food pantries and community meal programs throughout the region!
Faculty Panel: WHAT’S YOUR FRACKING PROBLEM? Scientific Controversies in the 2012 Election
Wednesday, October 24, 3:30 pm – 5 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Road, North Dartmouth, MA 02747 – Library Grand Reading Room
What role should science play in political debates? Where there is disagreement about science, whose side wins? Whom should we trust to interpret science for the electorate? Does scientific literacy make us better voters? A panel of faculty experts will be on hand to consider these questions with regard to hot-button political issues such as hydraulic fracking, nuclear power, climate change, and evolution.
Panelists include Professor Peter Friedman, Professor Chad J. McGuire, Dr. Kelly G. Pennell and Guillermo Paz-y-Mino. Moderated by Professor Robert Darst. This presentation is part of the Speak Up, Speak Out Series.
Campus Forest Walk
Thursday, October 25, 12:30 pm University of Massachusetts Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Behind Athletic Center
Description – Fall into the Forest! This autumn season the Sustainability Initiative is hosting six guided forest walks on our extensive trail system and want you to join in! We’ll be meeting in the parking lot behind the athletics building at 12:30 pm and will take roughly an hour to explore the trails of the UMD woodland. Wear sturdy shoes and grab a friend for this fun and informative walk that will match your interests to the talk of the day. If you have any questions you can contact Chance Perks at email or 508-910-6484
The Risks and Efficacy of Solar Geoengineering
Thursday, October 25, 5 pm The Green Room, Bldg. 54 Room 915 (Access via 21 Ames St.), Earth, Atmosphere & Planetary Sciences, Massachusetts Institute of Technology Cambridge, MA
Solar geoengineering may enable a significant reduction in climate risks by partially offsetting climate change due to increasing greenhouse gases, however this emerging technology entails novel risks and uncertainties along with serious challenges to global governance. Professor Keith will attempt a rough summary of recent findings regarding (a) the climate’s response to radiative forcing by stratospheric aerosols, (b) methods of producing appropriate aerosol distributions, and (c) risks. In closing he will discuss the trade-off between solar geoengineering, emissions reductions and adaptation in climate policy.
Solar geoengineering is the concept of deliberately cooling the Earth by reflecting a small amount of inbound sunlight back into space. It is the only currently known method for reducing temperatures in the short term (years to decades), and therefore has the potential to reduce many of the worst impacts of global warming. But what would be the side effects, both physical and socio-political? How would it work and who gets to decide if it is deployed?
This seminar series, held jointly by the Harvard University Center for the Environment (HUCE) and MIT’s Joint Program on the Science and Policy of Global Change, will explore the science, technology, governance and ethics of solar geoengineering. In bringing together international experts, participants will learn some of the greatest challenges and hear opinions on how this technology could and should be managed. Lisa Matthews Read more here.
Fall Farmers’ Market at UMass Dartmouth
ONGOING: Wednesdays in September and October, 10:00AM – 3:00PM, Center of Campus, Outside Campus Center Facing Academic Buildings
Vendors selling at the market will be supplying produce, eggs, natural bottled foods, homemade cookies, coffee cakes, oils and vinegars, home made soaps, acrylic paintings and much more. Please come and join the fun. Parking available in Lot 7a at UMass Dartmouth. Follow the walkway to the stairs leading towards the center of the campus.
Fairhaven Farmers’ Market: Beyond the Bicentennial Series
ONGOING: Every Sunday, Septembers running to October 21, 1:00PM – 4:00PM, Fairhaven High School, 12 Huttleston Ave.(Rt. 6), Fairhaven, MA
Get your greens while “Being Green.” The town of Fairhaven is hosting a special Fall series of Farmers Markets dubbed “Beyond the Bicentennial.” Each Market will carry themes significant to the town: water quality; clean energy; recycling; local food and gardening; transportation, etc. In addition to local/regional food and craft vendors, there will be workshops, recreational activities, informational booths, and organizational participation corresponding to every Sunday theme. Enjoy the local market with family and friends every Sunday afternoon through October 21. Access the parking lot off Main Street to the rear of the Academy Building. Handicap parking. Free admission. Coordinated by the Fairhaven Sustainability Committee. Information on vendors here. Follow us on Facebook.
Seeds of Sustainability at BCC Fall Workshop Series
ONGOING: Every Wednesday, 2:00PM-3:00PM, September 26 – November 28 Bristol Community College, Fall River, MA
The student organization Seeds of Sustainability is sponsoring a series of workshops this fall to encourage people to become more self-sufficient and sustainable. Topics/activities for classes include edibles walk, canning and preservation, composting, seed saving, permaculture, the art of brewing tea, and making your own household cleaners. Please note that all are FREE and will be held in room E-101 on the Fall River campus of BCC. Questions? Contact Dr. Jim Corven at (508) 268-2811, ext. 3047 or email firstname.lastname@example.org or Mark Zajac, Director of Seeds of Sustainability, here.
Save The Date
October 26 – October 28, 2012 Downtown New Bedford, MA
The 8th Annual Connecting for Change Conference is a three-day SOLUTIONS-BASED gathering that brings together a diverse audience from all over the globe to create deep and positive change in their communities. Presented by the Marion Institute, Bioneers is an unforgettable weekend filled with: live keynote speakers – including Sandor Katz, Judy Wicks and Bill McKibben, afternoon workshops, FAMILY programming, Youth Initiative program, exhibition hall featuring sustainable businesses and organizations, farmers’ market, films and live music, an open mic night; seasonal, local and organic food; art installations and more. Join the Movement. Visit www.connectingforchange.org or call (508)748-0816, to register, apply for a scholarship or to volunteer. Read more here.
Paper Shredding Day for South Coast Businesses and Residents
Saturday, October 27, 9 am – 12 noon Parking lot across from New Bedford City Hall on the corner of William and North 6th Streets, enter on the William Street side.
Businesses and residents of New Bedford and the surrounding communities are welcome to bring paper that they want shredded (e.g. bank statements, medical forms, insurance forms, retired tax forms, receipts, personal files). There is a charge of $5 per box for a standard size box used to hold reams of paper. Paper clips and staples do not need to be removed, but please remove paper from folders and binders. Shredded paper will be recycled into new products such as paper towels. New service added: there is a charge of $5 for the destruction of a computer hard drive. For more information, call (508) 979-1493 or email Recycling New Bedford Read more here.
Tuesday, October 30 – Wednesday, October 31, 2012 Crowne Plaza, Providence/Warwick, RI
Hosted by the New England Marine Renewable Energy Center, A Center within UMass Dartmouth. Two days of technical presentations on research relating to wave, tide, ocean and river current, offshore wind, environmental monitoring, policy and regulations, industry lessons learned, and more. Now in its 4th year, the Annual New England Marine Renewable Energy Center’s Technical Conference brings together engineers, scientists, policy makers and industry developers to share results of research that will advance the field of water energy.
Join US and international colleagues in a highly technical professionally reviewed and chaired format that is building the body of literature (albeit digitally) on the subject of renewable ocean and river energy generation. There will be ample time for networking with engineers, scientists and policy professionals from government, academia and industry. Technical papers, posters, and exhibits will be available. Graduate students are encouraged to submit abstracts. Attendees are expected from all over the world.
Rates include full access to all technical sessions, keynote addresses, exhibit and poster display area; daily continental breakfast, morning and afternoon coffee breaks, lunch and ticket to hosted reception on Tuesday October 30, 2012. See rates here. Register here.
Sunday, November 4, 2012, 1:00PM – 4:00PM Fairhaven Town Hall, Center St. Fairhaven, MA
The “Beyond the Bicentennial” campaign’s Community Visioning Forum concerns all residents, organizations, and businesses in Fairhaven, MA. It will be a professionally facilitated action-planning session and opportunity for community members to have their voices heard regarding their idealized vision for Fairhaven’s future. It’s a means to officially determine what the people of Fairhaven want and believe their town needs, and how to attain and/or preserve them. From all this sharing of ideas and acknowledgment of the issues, groups and strategies will be formed to continue courses of action. This forum is true community participation meant to bring about real change. Don’t miss out on the chance to shake up Town Hall. This forum is sponsored by the Fairhaven Sustainability Committee and the Fairhaven Bicentennial Committee. People wishing to attend should RSVP at our official event page, Event Brite. This isn’t required, but we’d like to attain a strong headcount for providing refreshments.
For more information, go to our website, or email here. You can also follow us on Facebook.
Film Screening: A Sea Change (2009, 83 minutes)
Wednesday, November 7, 2012, 6:30PM UMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons Building
This film follows the journey of retired history teacher Sven Huseby on his quest to discover what is happening to the world’s oceans. After reading Elizabeth Kolbert’s “The Darkening Sea,” Sven becomes obsessed with the rising acidity of the oceans and what this “sea change” bodes for mankind. His quest takes him to Alaska, California, Washington, and Norway as he uncovers a worldwide crisis that most people are unaware of. Speaking with oceanographers, marine biologists, climatologists, and artists, Sven discovers that global warming is only half the story of the environmental catastrophe that awaits us. Learn more here.
Thursday, November 8, 2012, 8:30AM – 1:00PM UMass Dartmouth, Woodland Commons Building
One of four seminars being presented by SRPEDD and the Sustainability Office designed to help municipalities in the Southcoast region realize the financial and environmental benefits of energy efficiency, renewable energy generation, and local food production.
The first seminar is on Energy Efficiency. Keynoted by Rick Sullivan, MA Secretary of Energy and Environmental Affairs. With a welcome by Chancellor Grossman. Other speakers include Steve Grattan from NStar, Steve Smith from SRPEDD and officials from Fairhaven, Lakeville and Mansfield. They will introduce the numerous programs available to help Massachusetts cities and towns become more energy efficient in their buildings, streetlights, vehicles and public works operation. Attendance is FREE. Contact the Sustainability Office for more information. Register here
Film Screening: Happy (2011, 75 minutes)
Tuesday, November 27, 6:30 pm UMass Dartmouth – 285 Old Westport Rd., No. Dartmouth, MA. 02747 – Woodland Commons CR1
The latest award-winning film from Academy Award nominated director, Roko Belic (Genghis Blues) and Executive Producer, Tom Shadyac (I AM), takes us on a journey from the swamps of Louisiana to the slums of Kolkata in search of what really makes people happy. Combining real life stories of people from around the world and powerful interviews with the leading scientists in happiness research, HAPPY explores the secrets behind our most valued emotion. Read more here.
Internship/ Independent Study Abroad in Panama available for almost all majors
Kalu Yala is a sustainable community that will be built in the mountains about 45 minutes outside Panama City, Panama. Working to build a truly sustainable community, Kalu Yala is founded on the core tenants of culture, new urbanism architecture, organic food, wellness, recreation, education, preservation, and conservation of the natural environment. The Kalu Yala Valley is located in the rainforest highlands of Central Panama in a 7,000-acre valley that backs up to the Chagres National Park. The internship program allows students and young professionals to come to Panama and gain cultural exposure, work experience, and knowledge in order to create a project that will ultimately help shape this sustainable community. Internships take place in 3 venues: creating the town’s foundation in the Kalu Yala Valley; creating relationships in the neighboring town of San Miguel; and working on business logistics in Panama City. Since Summer 2010, Kalu Yala has had interns from 38 states, 12 countries and 80 colleges.
Upcoming semester dates:
Spring Internship Dates: January 14th- April 12th
Summer Internship Dates: May 20th- August 2nd (Early Admission Deadline: February 4th)
- Programs include:
- Business Development and Entrepreneurship in Panama City
- Community Outreach in the rural town of San Miguel
- Digital Development in Panama City
- Education in San Miguel
- Living Systems (Agriculture, Animal Science, and Biology) in the Kalu Yala valley
- Outdoor Recreation in the Kalu Yala valley
Interns are encouraged to come up with and implement their own semester project. Some interns choose to do solo projects while others work in groups to make their dream a reality. Along the way, our Program Directors are always happy to help them plan and lend a helping hand. Students can apply online by filling in the application form here or email for more information.
Read more about the program here
Watch a video from the program here.
Massachusetts Honored for Second Year in Energy Efficiency
Originally appeared in the Boston Globe
Massachusetts is the most energy-efficient state for the second year in a row, according to rankings by the American Council for an Energy Efficient Economy. This is the sixth year the council, a nonprofit advocacy group in Washington, has rated states according to criteria such as utility programs, state initiatives, policies, and building codes aimed at improving energy efficiency. The council said the state’s Green Communities Act – one of several pieces of environmental legislation passed in 2008 – contributed to Massachusetts’ keeping the number one spot. “The Act laid the foundation for greater investments in energy efficiency programs by requiring gas and electric utilities to save a large and growing percentage of energy every year through energy efficiency,” the report said. Read the full story here
Caulk Now, Before Winter’s Chill
Simple caulking and weatherstripping is a home improvement that pays off. Learn more here.
15 Preparedness Tips
From the City of Worcester. The following 15 tips will help prepare you and your family for emergencies. Preparedness Tip #1: Assess Your Current Emergency Preparedness Level … (description and details follow) Learn more here.
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