Having trouble reading this Atlas? Try here - http://sustainabilityalmanac.org/issues/2010_02_03.htm
Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Sustainability Logo
February 3 - 10, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Green Communities workshop

Cuttyhunk Seal Tour


Save The Date:

Owl Prowl

Wild and Scenic Environmental Film Festival



SEMAP hiring Executive Director

Brix Bounty Farm opportunities

Weekly Green Tip:

Save Energy Effortlessly

Clip of the Week

A 16:38 movie about
grass-fed beef

Weekly Quote:

There must be a better way to make the things we want, a way that doesn't spoil the sky, or the rain or the land"
- Sir Paul McCartney

Follow us!

Facebook | Twitter
Flickr | LinkedIn

Apply for our Online Sustainability Certificate Program

Leaf Bullet News
Global Ozone
Ozone hole healing could cause further climate warming
The hole in the ozone layer is now steadily closing, but its repair could actually increase warming in the southern hemisphere, according to scientists at the University of Leeds.

The Antarctic ozone hole was once regarded as one of the biggest environmental threats, but the discovery of a previously undiscovered feedback shows that it has instead helped to shield this region from carbon-induced warming over the past two decades. Read more here.

China's Clean Energy Ambitions
Obama said just the other day that “the nation that leads the clean energy economy will be the nation that leads the global economy,” and I got into a little discussion about the rivalry between Obama and the President of China, Hu Jintao, on this topic.

I thought I would leave that issue for awhile to cover other stories, but then this landed at my feet and I couldn’t resist. China’s upcoming Big Clean Energy plans are HUGE and are likely to dwarf what are currently the largest wind power and solar power projects in the world. Read more here.

Saudi Arabia to Replace Oil with Sun Power for Desalination Plants
You would imagine that a desert country like Saudi Arabia would have to rely a lot on desalination for a good part of the fresh water it uses. For example, a previous Green Prophet article told about the Kingdom building what they say is the world’s largest desalination plant in the Al Jubail Industrial Zone on the shores of the Persian Gulf.

Up to now, the more than 28 desalination plants scattered around the Kingdom have had to rely of fossil fuel, most notably fuel oil, to provide to power to run the equipment used to extract salt and other minerals from sea water. Read more here.

Paul McCartney
Stop Eating Meat and Save the Planet?
BRUSSELS — Delegates arriving at the gates of the climate conference in Copenhagen last month were met by women in furry animal suits holding placards showing pictures of lambs, cows and pigs and warning, “Don’t Eat Me.”

The women were representatives of Ching Hai, the leader of a group that advocates adherence to Buddhist precepts, including following vegan or vegetarian diets. Read more here.

ChurchesWater Vanishes on Western Farms
California's Central Valley is home to some of the most fertile farmland in the world. In 1901, USDA engineer Elwood Mead predicted it would be "the Egypt of the Western Hemisphere." But this rich land faces an intrinsic natural obstacle: it has little surface water and receives virtually no rain. Some areas get an average of just seven inches each year, on par with the Gobi Desert. Read more here.

El Nino to boost 2010 U.S. crops: report
CHICAGO (Reuters) - U.S. farmers grew record-large corn and soy crops in 2009 but production in 2010 could be even bigger, aided by an El Nino weather pattern that is typically a boon to the Midwest but less so for growers in Australia and southeast Asia, a forecaster said on Thursday. Read more here.

How a 13-hour train ride is better than a 1-hour flight
I live in San Francisco and have family in Los Angeles. This past weekend was a family event and I wanted to be there. But, being carless, transportation is a bit of a pain to figure out. Do I do a short-haul flight, do I rent a car, do I take the train, do I try to find someone on a ride-share service? Renting a car is not cheaper than flying or taking the train, and I'd have to actually make that very long drive by myself. Yuck. That ruled that out. A flight was a tempting alternative. It only takes about an hour to fly from San Francisco to Los Angeles. Read more here.

Local The Dump
Welcome to the nicest dump around
Walking along the road at the top of the Crapo Hill Landfill, your feet crunch. You look down and see that much of what they're crunching is shredded-up Christmas trees.

That's when your conscious mind realizes that what you've been smelling at the top of this 280-foot high landfill is not decaying garbage. It's Christmas trees! Read more here.

SUNNY DAYS AHEAD: Matouk & Co. invests in solar power
Fall River — With nearly 500 solar panels ready to be sparked to life, alternative energy isn’t the only thing abuzz at John Matouk & Co., the third generation bed and bath linen manufacturer located in Industrial Park.

Matouk President and CEO George Matouk Jr. said the idea behind the solar panels, set to be turned on within the next few weeks, came about in May when he realized that the roof of one of his buildings was in major need of resurfacing. Read more here.

Massachusetts Sets Ambitious Energy Standards
Massachusetts state officials on Friday announced new energy efficiency standards for utilities that aim to be the most ambitious in the nation.

The plan calls for a statewide reduction of 2.4 percent in electricity use and 1.15 percent in natural gas use annually for three years. The savings are to be achieved largely through $1.6 billion in incentives for utility customers who take certain steps to conserve energy, like insulating their houses or replacing conventional light bulbs with compact fluorescent ones. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

RI Local Food Forum

Wednesday, February 3, 7:00AM - 3:00PM, Providence, RI
A networking opportunity for farmers, restaurants and food service buyers. This year's theme is "Fresh for All". In addition to general networking and local food discussion, there will be a special focus on the exciting resurgence of RI agriculture is still just a few years in the making, and it's happening in large part due to the renewed interest of Rhode Islanders in where our food comes from. Yet this success presents new questions:
* Who is not being served by this recent success?
* How do we scale up to meet new demand?
Registration online. Free. Details here.

Science Cafe: Food Justice and Consumer Choices

Wednesday, February 3, 5:30PM - 6:30PM, Providence, RI (directions)
Which is better: local or organic? What do labels mean when they say “free-range,” “grass-fed,” or “cage-free”? Who gets access to what kinds of foods in urban areas? Join Kathryn DeMaster, Visiting Assistant Professor of Environmental Studies at Brown University, and other community members to discuss these food topics! Science Café is a joint venture of Brown University’s Superfund Research Program and the Environmental Justice League of Rhode Island. Registration online. Free. Details here.

The Elm Dance

Wednesday, February 3, 7PM - 9PM, 83 Spring Street, New Bedford, MA
We (Deirdre Healy, Marcia Glynn, Emily Johns, and Laurie Robertson-Lorant) hope that you'll be able to join us in at least a few rounds of The Elm Dance....Dancing one round takes 5 minutes, and dancers .... Created in response to Chernobyl (1986) ... it is a peaceful & joyous experience. CONTACT EJohns 508-994-2164; google Joanna Macy.

MCAN Green Communities Workshop

February 4, 6:30 - 9:00PM, City Hall Council Chambers, 77 Park Street, Attleboro
Learn how to make your town a ‘green community’ and qualify for new sources of state funding to promote municipal energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. Program will include update on statewide implementation of the program and specific challenges faced by communities adopting the "Stretch Code" and other requirements. Free and open to the public. To be held at Attleboro City Hall Council Chambers. Details here

Human and Environmental Impacts on Coral Reefs

February 4, Reception opens at 6:15pm, talk begins at 7pm, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford, MA
Explore the historical and current status of Coral Reefs around the globe. By understanding both human and environmental impacts on Coral Reefs we can take the first steps to save these threatened ecosystems. By Neal Cantin, Postdoctoral Investigator, Woods Hole Oceanographic Institution Details here

Grow A Garden At Your School - This Year!

February 6, 8:30AM - 12:00PM, Bristol, RI (directions)
A Very Special Workshop and Q&A with the Children's Garden Network. The Children's Garden Network Campaign 2010 is assisting communities to grow garden programs at every school in Rhode Island. Here's your chance to learn everything you need to know about year-round sustainable school garden education programs that work! Learn how to form a committed garden team, design a school garden layout, raise funds and access tools and other resources, incorporate garden activities into your class work, create a field guide for your school's environment, and ensure that students with special needs are always included. Bring your visions and questions for an open and exciting discussion - and let's get growing! Details here.

Seal watch and island tour - Cuttyhunk Island

February 7 (Feb 6 if bad weather on 7th),10AM - 2PM, Cuttyhunk Ferry Company parking lot, state pier, off route 18 in New Bedford
Venture out to the Elizabethan Chain to view overwintering seals 'hauled out' at low tide. Seals migrate from colder northerly waters in search of warmer, shallow embayments for wintering habitat - these secluded islands being a perfect topover.

Departing from New Bedford State Pier on the fabulous 'MV Cuttyhunk' vessel, you'll be treated to views of the open bay and the islands, rafts of winter waterfowl, and perhaps a wandering seal. Details here.

Slocum's River Long Walk

February 7, 1 - 4PM, Slocum's River Reserve (directions)
The extensive conservation efforts led by The Trustees make it possible to walk from the Slocum's River to the Westport River almost entirely on protected land. Before watching the Super Bowl, get outside and stretch your legs on this 4.5-mile walk from the Slocum's River Reserve to the Buzzards Bay Brewery (where you can stock up for the game). Be aware that trails may be icy, snow covered, or muddy. Transportation will be provided back to your car. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Animal Tracking

February 13, 9-11AM, Miller Brook Conservation Area, Copicut Road, Fall River
Join Bill Sampson, senior keeper at the Buttonwood Park Zoo, to learn the art of tracking animals in winter. Although the forests of the 13,600-acre Bioreserve might at first appear uninhabited in winter, they are, in fact, full of life all year round. While a few animals do head south or hibernate away the winter months, most remain in New England and are active all year. Most of the Bioreserve’s mammals are out and about, forging for food and leaving their tracks in the snow. Rabbit, deer, fox, coyote, turkey, and fisher are just some of the animals whose tracks may be found. Details here. FREE.

Annual Owl Prowl

February 21*, 3:30 a.m. – 8:00 a.m., Lloyd Center (van departs at 3:30 a.m.)
Venture out into various locations in the quiet, dark winter woods of Dartmouth during the predawn hours, when local owls of our region are highly active. Screech, Great Horned, Barred, and Long-eared owls are potential species heard and seen.

Around sunrise, you'll depart the forest to visit Barney's Joy beach, where other seabirds and the beautiful winter beach itself can be enjoyed. On occasion, diurnal owls such as Short-eared and Snowy owls can be seen.
(*Weather reschedule date- Sunday, February 28th) Details here.

February Environmental Coffee Hour

February 24, 7:30 AM – 9:00 AM, Room 314, New Bedford City Hall
Please Join us for an Environmental Coffee Hour. We will have our usual roundtable discussion about events in the Environment in the South Coast Region and will also have Two Topics of interest: 1. Update of the South Coast Rail and its relationship to Community sustainability 2. Alternative Energy in the South Coast Region. The latest in Local energy parks and energy alternatives.

Fall River Park Advocates Meeting

February 24, 5:30 PM in the cafeteria of Fall River Government Center
The agenda will follow-up on the points discussed at the previous meeting-namely structure, next steps and spring event. Email here.

Crude Impact - (Sustainability Film Series)

February 24, 6:30PM, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
Packed with abundant evidence and persuasive speakers, Crude Impact sounds the alarm over world peak oil. Once extraction of this non-renewable resource passes the tipping point, the biosphere and global economy could collapse (author Thom Hartmann claims it's already happened). This film examines the way in which the petrochemical industry has manipulated political events around the world to its advantage. Details here.

Aquaculture Panel Discussion sponsored by SIFE

February 25, 3 pm, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
Discuss aquaculture. Details here.

Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival 2010

February 25 - 28, various locations and times
For the 2nd year in a row, Save The Bay brings you some of the most popular short films from the Wild & Scenic Environmental Film Festival -- the largest of its kind in North America! This year the films will be shown over three days in three locations:
Thursday, February 25
6:00 - 8:00 pm La Grua Center 32 Water St., #7 Stonington Common Stonington, CT
Friday, February 26
6:00 - 8:00 pm Jane Pickens Theatre 49 Touro St., Newport, RI
Sunday, February 28 4:00 - 6:00 pm Avon Cinema 260 Thayer St., Providence, RI Details here, or order $10 tickets here

Nest Box Building

February 27, 1 - 3PM, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, 2929 Blossom Road Fall River
Help to improve bluebird habitat by building nest boxes to be installed at a number of our South Coast reservations. The populations of these beautiful birds have been in decline due to a shortage of natural nesting cavities and competition from non-native species. By helping to build well-designed nesting boxes you can encourage the return of these birds and improve the biodiversity of our region. Register here. $12 covers materials and refreshments.

Facing the Economic Upheaval Together

February 27, 1 - 5PM, The Paulist Center - 5 Park Street, Boston
A facilitators-training event. Who Should Come: People with experience in leading groups. No other expertise needed. We recommend coming in teams of 2 or more to make getting started easier. The Training: We will train you on our 5-session curriculum to get you started. It's simple, participatory and truly rewarding. The Trainers: Chuck Collins and Andrée Zaleska from the Institute for Policy Studies, and Alexa Bradley from On the Commons On-Going Support: We will provide you with all the materials you need, facilitation support and additional downloadable resources. Register here. FREE.

John Perkins, author of Confessions of an Economic Hit Man and Hoodwinked

March 1, 7 pm, UMass Dartmouth Campus Auditorium
The current crisis is a classic hit by economic hit men (EHM) – except this time the victims are us. Drawing on personal experiences described in his blockbuster books, John Perkins explains how tools honed during the past four decades in developing countries are enabling the extremely rich to purchase businesses and real estate at fire sale prices and exploit human and natural resources. However, crises offer opportunities. Perkins presents a plan for transforming the economy and describes ways each of us can employ our individual passions and skills to not only prosper but also create a world we will be proud to pass on to future generations. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements

SEMAP looking for Executive Director

Position announcement - accepting applications until March 1, 2010
The SEMAP Executive Director:

  1. Actively seeks economic development opportunities for the region’s commercial farmers. Is responsible for securing funding to implement the SEMAP mission, meet operating needs, and assure long-term fiscal stability of the organization. In addition to grant writing, the Executive Director is expected to use multiple approaches including a) corporate membership, b) individual membership, and c) community visibility and “revenue-positive” event planning.
  2. Provides leadership for the operations of SEMAP.
  3. Maintains and develops SEMAP’s signature programs and services.
  4. Works with and reports to the SEMAP Board of Directors.

For more information, contact info@semaponline.org -- include "SEMAP search" in the subject line

Brix Bounty Farm Apprenticeships and Other Opportunities

Visit - http://www.brixbounty.com/about/apprenticeships/ for more information about agriculture production apprenticeships, urban agriculture apprenticeships, internships & research opportunities, and mini-apprenticeships at Brix Bounty Farm. We also have a listing of other local farms currently offering apprenticeship opportunities on the apprenticeship page. The next round of "mini-apprenticeships" are scheduled to begin in mid to late February 2010.

Interested in Joining the Brix Bounty Team? Please send a letter of interest to derekchristianson@gmail.com or call 508-992-1868.

Bourne looking for Energy Coordinator

The Town of Bourne is seeking an experienced and motivated Part-Time (15 hours per week) Energy Coordinator. The Coordinator will work through the Town Administrator’s office but will be responsible to the Town’s Energy Efficiencies Committee. Some responsibilities will include the development of the Town’s energy efficiency action plan, research and secure outside funding sources to implement this plan, educate town employees and residents on sustainable practices, and work with individual departments to assess energy use as well as needs and opportunities for saving. The selected individual will be familiar with The Green Communities Act and also have experience working with government agencies and municipalities. This program is funded through Clean Energy Grant program funds. Resumes are to be received no later than close of business on February 04, 2010 at 4:00 P.M. The Town of Bourne is an Equal Opportunity Employer. Details here.

Roots Down Winter Schedule

4 Thursdays (Feb 11, 25 and March 18, 25) 4PM-6PM
This series of four workshops is geared toward new and experienced gardeners who are interested in learning more about organic growing techniques, connecting with other gardeners, and learning about nutrient dense food production. Each workshop will build on topics presented in the earlier workshops, so we invite and recommend attending all four dates. More details about each session available at brixbounty.com

Please RSVP to preregister by contacting us at 508-992-1868 or emailing derekchristianson@gmail.com. We plan to resume monthly Roots Down - New Bedford Workshops in April 2010. Visit www.BrixBounty.com for more information.

Where: At the Rotch-Jones-Duff House&Garden Museum, 396 County St. in New Bedford. Meet in the Coachman’s House (enter off 7th st.)

Living On Spaceship Earth and Making the Right Decisions – James Munger

Monday 9:30AM -11:30AM, February 22 – April 12
Take a quick look at the economy of the US at the present time. Take a look at recent history and the impact of space exploration. Look at the limits of the earth and what we should be doing to insure the future of the next generations. What education is needed? What rules are needed to encourage fairness worldwide? We will answer these questions. James Munger received his Bachelor’s degree from Michigan State in 1957 and his Master’s degree from Stanford in 1962. He participated in the first Earth Day in California in 1970. He taught Environmental Chemistry at Roger Williams University for 29 years and has farmed in Dartmouth since 1980. Learn more here.

Learn Organic Beekeeping

Organic Beekeeping Practices course will be offered at Bristol Community College (BCC) in Fall River for beginning beekeepers from February 22 through March 29. Honeybees are responsible for almost 1/3 of our food and we need more beekeepers. It's a great hobby and can be a small business too. More information and registration is available at the BCC website. Look under Noncredit Course Search, "Home & Garden" courses. Questions? james.corven@bristolcc.edu.

Participants wanted for 2010 Green Fair

ROCHESTER — TEAMS and TRWA are seeking individuals and businesses that would like to display their environmentally friendly services or products at the 2010 Green Fair, which is scheduled for Saturday, March 20, from 10 a.m. to 4 p.m. at Old Colony Vocational Technical High School at 476 North Avenue in Rochester. Space is limited. Anyone interested should contact TEAMS at teams-info@hotmail.com and visit the web site www.teams-on-web.org for more information. Read more here.

Lloyd Center Seeking Director of Development

The Lloyd Center for the Environment, a highly regarded research and educational organization, headquartered in Dartmouth Massachusetts, seeks an experienced Director of Development to work closely with the Executive Director and the Board of Directors in developing and executing an aggressive fundraising strategy. Details 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)

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

Save Energy Effortlessly

Plus, avoid getting shocked by light switches. Learn more here.

Have information you'd like to add to the Almanac? Send an email and we'll add it to the list.

Subscribe or Unsubscribe to the Sustainability Almanac.