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December 2 to 9, 2009

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Planting bulbs!

Senate Democratic Primary Forum


Save The Date:


Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting



Winter Study group at Brix Bounty Farm

Weekly Green Tip:

Sustainable Christmas Tree

Weekly Quote:

"It is horrifying that we have to fight our own government to save the environment."
- Ansel Adams

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Leaf Bullet News
Key oil figures were distorted by US pressure, says whistleblower
The world is much closer to running out of oil than official estimates admit, according to a whistleblower at the International Energy Agency who claims it has been deliberately underplaying a looming shortage for fear of triggering panic buying.

The senior official claims the US has played an influential role in encouraging the watchdog to underplay the rate of decline from existing oil fields while overplaying the chances of finding new reserves. Read more here.

Climate Emails Stoke Debate
The scientific community is buzzing over thousands of emails and documents -- posted on the Internet last week after being hacked from a prominent climate-change research center -- that some say raise ethical questions about a group of scientists who contend humans are responsible for global warming.

The correspondence between dozens of climate-change researchers, including many in the U.S., illustrates bitter feelings among those who believe human activities cause global warming toward rivals who argue that the link between humans and climate change remains uncertain. Read more here, or read a column in the Economist about it.

Tree Harvester Offers to Save Indonesian Forest
TELUK MERANTI, Indonesia — From the air, the Kampar Peninsula in Indonesia stretches for mile after mile in dense scrub and trees. One of the world’s largest peat swamp forests, it is also one of its biggest vaults of carbon dioxide, a source of potentially lucrative currency as world governments struggle to hammer out a global climate treaty. The vault, though, is leaking. Read more here.

National Species
Not just the polar bear: ten American species that are feeling the heat from global warming
A new report, America’s Hottest Species, highlights a variety of American wildlife that is currently threatened by climate change from a small bird to a coral reef to the world’s largest marine turtle.

"Global warming is like a bulldozer shoving species, already on the brink of extinction, perilously closer to the edge of existence," said Leda Huta, executive director of the Endangered Species Coalition which produced the report. "Polar bears, lynx, salmon, coral and many other endangered species are already feeling the heat." Read more here.

Coca-Cola's Quest for the Perfect Bottle Starts with Plants
Since joining the Coca-Cola Company in 1997, Scott Vitters has gone to work most days with one question on his mind:

"How do we get to our vision of a 100 percent renewable, 100 percent recyclable bottle?" Read more here.

Local Solar
$68m in solar rebates goes fast
Massachusetts is burning through money for solar projects.

A $68 million state fund to provide sizable rebates to homeowners and business owners who install solar panels was expected to last three or four years. But the program - offering homeowners rebates that averaged more than $13,000 - proved so popular that the $68 million was tapped out in October, just 22 months after the program began. Read more here.

UMass Dartmouth hopes small changes bring big energy savings
UMass Dartmouth hopes small changes bring big energy savings
DARTMOUTH — This is the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth campus’s unglamorous planned path to environmental-friendliness: thousands of high-efficiency light bulbs, new motors on a few hundred pumps and vents, and new boilers.

It isn’t the same as soaring wind turbines or shining solar panels, but if UMass Dartmouth wants to save up to one-fourth of its utility bill — or a few million dollars a year — low-flow toilets and showerheads might be the best way to get there. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Sustainability Film Series - Soylent Green

Wednesday, December 2, 6:30 pm, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
The is the year 2022. Overcrowding, pollution, and resource depletion have reduced society's leaders to finding food for the teeming masses. The answer is Soylent Green - an artificial nourishment whose actual ingredients are not known by the public. Thorn is the tough homicide detective who stumbles onto the secret so terrifying no one would dare believe him.

Dartmouth Wind Turbine Project Forum

Wednesday, December 2, 7-9 PM, in the Dartmouth Middle School auditorium
There will be briefings by the AEC, ADE, DPW, FinCom, ConCom and others who have been working with us. There will be questions from the audience and answers from us. Statements from folks who support the project are also welcome.

Bon Voyage Party for Senator Kerry's trip to Copenhagen

Wednesday, December 2, 7-9 pm, UMass Dartmouth Faculty Dining Room
Come to this unique opportunity to educate students and community members about both local and global efforts to fight global warming. John Bullard, the President of the Sea Education Association and former Mayor of New Bedford, will be the keynote speaker.

Evolution Forum on Recycling in Rhode Island

Thursday, December 3, 5:30 pm to 8 pm, 17 Gordon Ave Providence, RI 02905
Please join us for Apeiron’s next Evolution Forum! This month we will highlight Recycling in Rhode Island: Where we have been, where we are and where we want to be. Admission for Apeiron members and students with valid ID is free. Admission for others is $10. Learn more here.

Bulb Planting Day

Friday, December 4, 2-4pm at UMass Dartmouth Campus Center Patio
Facilities, Planning, Design and Construction, in collaboration with the Facilities Department and the Office of Sustainability, have planned a bulb-planting day. Our hope is that student groups, faculty, and staff will join together to plant hundreds of bulbs across the campus. Mary Rapoza, a local sustainable landscape designer, has designed a flowering display of blue and gold hyacinths, tulips, daffodils, scilla, and anemone that will bloom in March, April, and May. We need your help to make this happen

U.S. Senate Democratic Primary Forum

December 5 at 10 a.m. at the Main Auditorium at UMass Dartmouth
U.S. Rep. Michael Capuano, Attorney General Martha Coakley, City Year co-founder Alan Khazei, and Boston Celtics co-owner Steve Pagliuca have all indicated that they will participate in the forum. The forum will include the opportunity for each candidate to discuss the economy, education, health care and the environment.

The Alliance includes the University of Massachusetts Dartmouth, Herald News of Fall River, Standard Times of New Bedford, Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts, Women's Fund, Fall River Area Chamber of Commerce and Industry, and New Bedford Area Chamber of Commerce. Learn more about the council here.

Rev. Ann Fox: "Holiday Gift Giving from an Eco-Spirituality Perspective"

Monday, December 7th at 12-1:30 at UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
How can we nurture a wholesome abundance when we give gifts to our loved ones this holiday? Memories of holidays past will no doubt inform the present, but the future beckons us to change our expressions of love to more universal ones with deep ecology at its heart. Let us inquire together.

Ocean Acidification - What it means for you!

Tuesday, December 8, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Sarah Cooley, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution. Join us for the Ocean Voice speaker series every Tuesday evening at 7 PM. Admission is $3 adults and $2 for seniors and children.

Net Impact Fall Lecture Series Birds & Beans Coffee

Wednesday, December 9, 3-5 PM, UMass Dartmouth's Charlton College of Business - Room 115
Most of us have a fond relationship with our daily cup of coffee, and are concerned about sustainability, but what impact are your coffee beans and their production having on people, the planet and birds and their environment? It turns out, a lot.

But, before you stop drinking coffee: did you know coffee companies can be 'Triple Certified' with a focus on birds, people and planet? (and profits, of course!)

Join Net Impact for a lecture and coffee tasting by Birds & Beans Coffee to learn about a sustainable view (and taste) of coffee. Questions? Please contact NetImpactUMD@gmail.com for more information.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Quarterly Meeting of the Council on Sustainability

Thursday, December 10th at 4-6:00 p.m. at UMass Dartmouth's Woodland Commons
Details TBA. Learn more about the council here.

Exploring Supernovas - the Biggest Explosion in the Universe

Tuesday, December 15, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Dr. Robert Fisher, University of Massachusetts Dartmouth . Join us for the Ocean Voice speaker series every Tuesday evening at 7 PM. Admission is $3 adults and $2 for seniors and children.

First Annual edible South Shore Tortellini Festa

Wednesday, December 16th 6:30-9:00 pm, Overbrook House, 5 Old Head of the Bay Road, Buzzards Bay
Join us as we prepare for holiday feasting – Italian-style. Local Italian, that is. We’ll sit down at a big table and each prepare dozens, even hundreds, of teeny tortellini in the Bolognese style familiar to generations of Plymoutheans as "toodalings". These are the pork tortellini that entire families, from patriarch to toddler, sat down together to make in preparation for Christmas.

Workshop participants will learn to make the pork filling (and, okay, if there’s demand at registration, a non-pork filling, too) and mix and roll out the pasta dough; they will work their fingers to the bone folding and shaping a billion toodalings; they’ll laugh and swap stories; and they will take home their fair share of minuscule delicious stuffed pasta.

To sign up: There is a fee of $30. Class-size is limited, so advance registration is required. Contact laurie@ediblesouthshore.com.

"FRESH" at the Plimoth Plantation Cinema

Thursday, December 17, at 2:30; 4:30; 6:30 pm, suggested donation of $5. (Sharing proceeds with Plymouth Food Warehouse).
FRESH celebrates the farmers, thinkers and business people across America who are re-inventing our food system. Each has witnessed the rapid transformation of our agriculture into an industrial model, and confronted the consequences: food contamination, environmental pollution, depletion of natural resources, and morbid obesity. Forging healthier, sustainable alternatives, they offer a practical vision for a future of our food and our planet.

Among several main characters, FRESH features urban farmer and activist, Will Allen, the recipient of MacArthur’s 2008 Genius Award; sustainable farmer and entrepreneur, Joel Salatin, made famous by Michael Pollan’s book, The Omnivore’s Dilemma; and supermarket owner, David Ball, challenging our Wal-Mart dominated economy. Learn more here.

A School of Adventure - especially for Kids!!!

Tuesday, December 29th, 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Our aquarist staff will take you on a behind the scenes tour of our living exhibits, come learn all the extra things you always wanted to know!

NOFA/Mass 23rd Annual Winter Conference - "Food From Farms For Families"

January 16, 2010 Worcester Technical High School, Worcester, Ma
Northeast Organic Farming Association Massachusetts Chapter (NOFA/Mass) presents their 23rd Annual Winter Conference "Food From Farms For Families". Joel Salatin to present keynote speech and all day seminar "Introducing Livestock to your Farm." Over 40 workshops on organic farming, gardening, landscaping, and sustainable living. Lively exhibit area, NOFA/Mass Annual Meeting, great children and teens program, potluck lunch!

General registration fee $50 with discounts available. Registration for Salatin seminar $115 (includes entrance to entire conference). For more information visit http://www.nofamass.org/conferences/winter/index.php or contact Conference Coordinator, Jassy Bratko, jassy.bratko@nofamass.org or 978-928-5646

Leaf Bullet Announcements

Spring Sustainability Courses

UMass Dartmouth is pleased to announce its spring, 2010 sustainability courses. See the course list here.

Winter Study 2009/2010

Mondays at 7 PM (with an option to join us at 6PM for a simple Soup, Salad, and Bread Potluck Supper)

Small is Beautiful: Economics as if People Mattered - Monday November 23rd through approx. January 4th/11th

Healthy Crops: A New Agricultural Revolution - Jan 25th through approx. Feb 22nd/March 1st

We'll plan on gathering for 6 evenings for each book, leaving a little room in the schedule for any weather related cancellations.

To register for the either Winter Study (registration is free) please contact Derek Christianson at 508-992-1868 or derekchristianson@gmail.com.

We'll also be coordinating a wintertime garden planning course held in New Bedford in January and February... Planting Seeds in January stay tuned for more details.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip

Sustainable Christmas Tree!

How to Make Your Christmas Tree Like the Rockefeller Tree. The 30,000 LED holiday lights strung on the Rock's tree aren't just available to NYC bigwigs. See how you can illuminate your tree efficiently. Learn more here.

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