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September 2 to 9, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Screening of Coal Country

Meeting of the Coalition for Responsible LNG siting


Save The Date:

Transportation Expo/Council Quarterly Meeting

Eco-Energy Fair



Farm Volunteers Needed

Organic Agriculture Closes Starting Imminently

Weekly Green Tip:

You vs. Stuff: Five Ways to Win Every Time

Weekly Quote:

"You go into a community and they will vote 80 percent to 20 percent in favor of a tougher Clean Air Act, but if you ask them to devote 20 minutes a year to having their car emissions inspected, they will vote 80 to 20 against it. We are a long way in this country from taking individual responsibility for the environmental problem."
- William D. Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator, New York Times, 30 November 1988

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Leaf Bullet News
Windy France to Have 3,000 MW of Offshore Wind by 2015
According to Agence France Presse (AFP), the French government will launch next month a tender for contracts of 10 billion euros ($12.6 billion) to build 3,000 MW of offshore wind capacity.

600 wind turbines will be implemented within five to ten sites in Normandy, Brittany and the regions of Pays de la Loire and Languedoc. They are scheduled to start producing electricity by 2015. Read more here.

Scum! Pond scum seen lucrative in Argentine biofuels push
An Argentine company opened Friday the country's first factory to make biodiesel from algae, hoping to use pond scum as a replacement for soy in making biodiesel as part of a push for renewable energy.

Argentina is the world's top exporter of soyoil, but using the edible oil to make fuel is controversial because it cuts into food supplies. Read more here.

Can the World Be Powered Mainly by Solar and Wind Energy?
Continuous research and development of alternative energy could soon lead to a new era in human history in which two renewable sources -- solar and wind -- will become Earth's dominant contributor of energy, a Nobel laureate said in Boston at a special symposium at the American Chemical Society's 240th National Meeting on August 24. Read more here.

Skeptic no more Top Climate Skeptic Reverses Course, Now Urges Bold Action
Bjørn Lomborg may not be a household name around here, but that's through no fault of his. In November 2001, this Danish environmental author and economics professor was selected "Global Leader for Tomorrow" by the World Economic Forum. Lomborg was selected as one of TIME magazine's 100 most influential people of 2004. In June 2002, Business Week named Lomborg one of the "50 Stars of Europe" in the Agenda Setters category. The magazine noted, "No matter what they think of his views, nobody denies that Bjørn Lomborg has shaken the environmental movement to its core." Read more here.

Japan and the Ancient Art of Shrugging
GROSS domestic product figures for the second quarter show that China has overtaken Japan as the world's second largest economy. I have been traveling while on leave from the university in Tokyo where I teach, and was in Paris when the news broke last week. My first reaction, frankly, was one of relief. In English, perhaps, one might say it was "a load off my shoulders." Read more here.

Salmon Fishermen 'excited' for largest sockeye salmon run in nearly a century
VANCOUVER — Fishermen are all geared up for the largest Fraser River sockeye run in nearly a century, but many say this will not help the struggling industry recover.

This year is being heralded as a "banner year" for Vancouver-area sockeye salmon by the Department of Fisheries and Oceans. An estimated 25 million fish are to return, according to the Pacific Salmon Commission. Read more here.

Gulf Oil platform fire reported in Gulf of Mexico
A well connected to an oil and gas production platform caught on fire in the Gulf of Mexico Thursday, engulfing the vessel in flames about 100 miles off the central coast of Louisiana and forcing 13 people overboard, Gov. Bobby Jindal said.

All 13 people have been accounted for, said Petty Officer Bill Colclough of the Coast Guard. They were found floating on a raft, officials said. Mariner Energy, which owns the Vermilion Oil Rig 380, said none of the crew members was hurt in the incident, despite earlier reports of a single injured worker. Read more here.

Gulf BP's internal probe faults its own engineers: report
BP Plc's internal probe of the Gulf of Mexico oil spill has placed some of the blame on mistakes by its engineers while finishing the deep sea oil well, Bloomberg reported, citing a person familiar with the report.

The probe also blamed BP engineers for misreading pressure data which indicated a blowout was imminent, the news agency said. Read more here.

Gulf Lessons from the Gulf: How Can We Better Prepare for Disasters?
Poverty and inequality magnified Hurricane Katrina's effect on the Gulf. A resilient New Orleans means addressing these social issues first.

"Strictly speaking, there are no such things as natural disasters." So reads the U.N.'s International Strategy for Disaster Reduction, which lays out how countries can better prepare for things like hurricanes, tsunamis, or other catastrophes. As the U.N. points out, there are only "natural hazards"—which become "disasters" depending on human-made policies that make people more or less vulnerable to harm.

People in the Gulf Coast have a deep appreciation of this interplay between "natural" and "unnatural" disasters. Over the last five years, the Gulf has been hammered by Hurricanes Katrina, Rita, Gustav, and Ike, and the BP oil catastrophe. Read more here.

Factory Farm Heart of Iowa as Fault Line of Egg Recall
CLARION, Iowa — The scrambled eggs, as always, were hissing in a skillet on a recent morning at a coffee shop here, in an egg-producing county that has suddenly found itself at the center of the nation's egg recall over salmonella. But the conversation at the weekly gathering of local ladies turned uncharacteristically tense.

One woman suggested that the company at the focus of the recall of hundreds of millions of eggs, with huge facilities here, had done more harm than good locally. Read more here.

Editorial: Egg Factory
On Friday, most of the country's major newspapers, including The Times, featured reports from a small town called Clarion, Iowa. Just outside Clarion are the egg operations, owned by the DeCoster family, at the heart of the salmonella outbreak. The factory — no point calling it a farm — called Wright County Egg, is the source of 380 million of the more than 500 million recalled eggs. Read more here.

Egg More Lessons From the Tainted Egg Recalls
Saturday's print edition of the New York Times carried a front-page story on the egg recalls: "U.S. ties farm to Salmonella; town is tense." The reporter, Monica Davey, wrote from Clarion, Iowa, the town where the tainted eggs came from.

Her story reminded me of Eric Schlosser's movie Fast Food Nation. The film was intended as fiction, but much of what we are hearing about these egg operations makes it seem like fact. Read more here.

Posters Posters from the Past that Can Guide Us in the Future
This summer we have seen a lot of interest in posters from the World Wars, thanks to the opening of an exhibit at the National Agricultural Library. There is a wonderful online presentation of the show, curated by Corey Bernat, at Beans are Bullets.

I have been fascinated by the similarity in the messages from the two World Wars to the messages environmentalists are saying today: walk more, conserve more, save more. We previously looked at food, gardening and canning with Food Posters From the Past are Recipes for the Present; here we look at more posters addressing conservation. Read more here.

Cars U.S. proposes grading cars on emissions, efficiency
Gasoline misers like the Toyota Prius would get an 'A-' while muscle cars -- including the Ferrari 612 -- would get a 'D' under a labeling program proposed by Obama administration, which wants to convince consumers to buy vehicles that use less energy.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and the Department of Transportation proposed on Monday that fuel economy labels on the windows of new cars in showrooms compare both mileage and emissions of gases blamed for global warming. Read more here.

Grade Dealers say grades could hurt car sales
A new window sticker proposed by the Environmental Protection Agency that would assign new cars a letter grade based on their emissions has the support of some local car buyers, but some auto dealers are worried the labels might hurt sales.

The fuel economy stickers, which have been required to be displayed on all new cars since 1977 and were only redesigned once, in 2007, would show a large letter grade from A+ to D based on the car's carbon dioxide emissions and combined fuel economy. It's similar to the rating system in the United Kingdom, where cars are taxed on their carbon dioxide emissions.

The rating system is designed to promote electric cars — those vehicles get an A+, while most average cars would get a B. About 1,980 models would rank in the B and C ranges, whereas only 14 current models would receive an A-. Read more here.

Study: Home Pesticides Linked to Childhood Cancer
As if links to Parkinson's disease, diabetes and obesity, cancer, low sperm counts and other reproductive health problems, and childhood developmental problems and diseases were not enough ... or that pesticide residue is common on foods, or that that children are even more susceptible than previously thought, or that pesticides stick around in the home for decades after being used, or that the EPA is slow to remove known toxic pesticides from the market, and doesn't require chemical makers to even list toxic "inert" ingredients ... now there's another reason to avoid using pesticides around the home. Read more here.

Local Eggs Farmers tout locally grown eggs after recall
Buy local and skip the salmonella.

That's the message some farmers hope consumers are receiving after a national recall of more than 550 million eggs.

The eggs were pulled after a salmonella outbreak linked to huge Iowa farms might have sickened more than 1,000 around the country since May 1, according to Reuters. Read more here.

Bawwwk 'On his farm he had some ... chickens'
Why did Mayor Thomas M. Menino cross the road? To get to his new chicken farm.


Menino opened a chicken farm. And it's not in the City Council. It's a real chicken farm, with almost 50 Rhode Island Red hens. Standing yesterday at the edge of the 40-by-40-foot pen, the mayor did what he always does when he meets new constituents. He tried to speak their language.

"Bawk,'' Menino said. "Bawk, bawk, bawk.'' Read more here.

Coaltion Bay coalition's new headquarters bursting with green
NEW BEDFORD — The Coalition for Buzzards Bay officially opened the doors Friday at its new headquarters, a multimillion-dollar "green" renovation of the historic Coggeshall Counting House on Front Street.

The $2.6 million rehabilitation preserved and restored the building's historic exterior while upgrading the interior into a modern facility designed to be as environmentally friendly as possible, according to coalition officials. Read more here.

SJC ruling gives Cape Wind project green light to build
A divided Supreme Judicial Court ruled yesterday that a state board had the power to sidestep community opposition to grant the controversial Cape Wind energy project local and state permits it needs to start construction in the waters off Cape Cod.

The long-awaited 4-2 decision removes a potential obstacle to the wind farm as its developers prepare to start building 130 turbines in Nantucket Sound within the year. If the court had sided with opponents, the project would probably have been delayed indefinitely or killed outright because several permits would have had to come from a community and a regional agency that oppose the project. Read more here.

Shrek's home? Marsh makeover completed in Somerset
The restoration of a salt marsh off Dublin Street has been completed, giving new protection to coastal fish and plant habitat, the state announced Thursday.

The 11-acre marsh, once used for skating when the pond was frozen over, was restored in part by replacing an undersized culvert that ran underneath the narrow parking lot dividing the marshland in two. Too little water was allowed to pass through, allowing an invasive reed to take over half the marsh. Read more here.

New Horseneck building celebrated for its 'green technology'
WESTPORT — Beachgoers, state and local officials are celebrating the opening of a new building at Horseneck Beach that is being touted for its environmentally friendly features.

Representatives of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation, which runs the Horseneck Beach State Reservation, were joined by state and local officials for a recent ribbon-cutting ceremony at their new Beach Services Building. Read more here.

The Great Pumpkin THEY CALL IT PUMPKIN LOVE: Tiverton couple coddles their crops every morning
TIVERTON — Arnold Feliciano remembers fondly his days as a strolling troubadour, walking through restaurants singing love songs to couples over food.

Now he is skipping the middle man: Feliciano starts his mornings by singing to a pumpkin.

And the pumpkin clearly loves it: It is 3-feet tall and growing every day. Read more here.

Attleboro ironing out details on cluster housing
City councilors continued an intensive review of two major changes in the city's zoning ordinance Friday.

The ordinance committee, headed up by Cherie Felos, is ironing out details of the changes which cover 33 pages and create new options for denser subdivisions, known as cluster developments, and lays out the site plan review process in black and white for the first time. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Community Gathering and Screening of "Coal Country"

September 8, 6 p.m., The Garage (79 N. Water Street, New Bedford)
As a lead-up to Appalachia Rising, the Green Jobs Green Economy Initiative is hosting a local screening of the documentary "Coal Country." Join us in New Bedford on September 8th at 6pm at The Garage (79 N. Water Street) to learn about both sides of the struggle to bring prosperity and justice to the coal fields. Every time we turn on a light, we are supporting the coal industry and their actions. Come to learn what that means and what we can do to help shape the future for ourselves and for the people of Appalachia. Please click here for more details on the film screening.

Electric Car Talk

September 8, 6 p.m., BRAVO, 123 Empire St., Providence.
Al Dahlberg, coordinator of Project Get Ready RI, will talk about advancements in legislation, infrastructure and public awareness that are paving the way for adoption of electrical vehicles in the state. The Rhode Island chapter of the Northeast Sustainable Energy Association is sponsoring the meeting. Free. Details here.

Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities

September 9, 7 p.m., Calvary Temple Assembly of God, 4321 North Main St., Fall River, MA
Please make every effort to attend. Bring a friend! Email: nolng1@yahoo.com

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Fair Trade Futures Conference

September 10-12, Quincy, MA
rom September 10-12, 2010, the Fair Trade Futures Conference will bring together entrepreneurs, students, advocates, faith community members, and interested individuals, in Quincy, MA for the largest Fair Trade event in North American history! The event will include workshop, debates, site visits, discussions, social activities, and an exposition of 50+ Fair Trade vendors to educate and inspire about the holistic approach to business and poverty alleviation that Fair Trade provides. Details here.

Feast in the Field

September 10, 6:00PM - 10:00PM | Portsmouth, RI (directions)
You are cordially invited to join us for the Third Annual Feast in the Field - a unique culinary experience celebrating locally produced seasonal foods, native wines and a spectacular coastal New England setting To Benefit New England FarmWays (NEFW) Since 2005, NEFW has benefitted farm operators in southern New England through training programs, technical assistance and marketing support to position and promote their farms as places of significant history, culture, ecology and beauty; farmers as stewards of our lands and natural resources; and agriculture in its many forms as essential to the economic development and quality of life we enjoy in the region. This year's Feast is part of NEFW's 2010 Campaign - "The Farm – Southern New England''s Next Great Destination." Details here.

Chaos, Fractals, and Patterns in Nature

September 11, 10AM - 12Noon, Watuppa Reservation Headquarters, 2929 Blossom Road, Fall River, MA
Free. No description yet. Details here.

3rd Annual Eco/Energy Fair

September 11, 10AM - 2:00pm, Harrop Center at the Unitarian Church, Fairhaven
Please join us for our 3rd annual Eco/Energy Fair in the Center of Fairhaven from 10am-2pm. As in past years there will be educational booths and companies available to explain their alternative energy products. Join us for this wonderful free event. Lunch will be available for purchase on the porch of Harrop Center at the Unitarian Church. Details here.

Extending the Season: Growing Winter Greens

September 11, 3:00PM - 5:00PM, Providence
he garden is on the corner of Westminster and Bridgham Streets Hosted by Urban Agriculture Task Force at the Bridgham Community Garden: 1200 Westminster St, Providence, RI. Contact Urban Agriculture Task Force at (401) 273-9419 x27 for more information. Details here.

Fifth Annual Slocum River Regatta

September 11, Demarest Lloyd State Park, Barney's Joy Road, Dartmouth
Price varies by event category. Pre-registration required. This event is open to single/double racing/recreational shells, single/tandem kayaks, canoes, single/double fixed-seat rowboats – five-oared whaleboats (with cox), all in men's, women's and co-ed categories. Races will start and finish near the mouth of the Slocum River (nearby the Lloyd Center's pier and dock) and traverse a two-mile closed-loop buoyed course on the tidal waters of one of New England's most beautiful estuaries. The emphasis of the regatta is on good fun and enjoyment of the scenic Slocum River. A post-race light lunch and awards ceremonies will follow the race. Details here.

Sunset Kayak Tour

September 16, 5:00 p.m.-7:00 p.m., Lloyd Center Headquarters, Dartmouth
What better way to end the day than a peaceful paddle along the Slocum River. You'll feel your stress dissolve as you glide along this spectacular estuary, enjoying the setting sun. Watch wading and shorebirds flock to feed, see fish jump and await the multitude of color changes in the sky. This is a wonderful and relaxing way to explore the delicate ecosystem of this salt marsh. Details here.

Gulf Oil Spill Symposium

September 15, 12-1:30 p.m., UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
Gulf Oil Spill Symposium with Author John Perkins, SMAST Dean John Farrington, Dr. Garry Clayton, and Dr. Dean Moosavi. Join us as we discuss the environmental, political, and economic aftermath of the Gulf Oil Spill as well as other oil spills worldwide.

Green Futures Monthly Meeting

September 16, 7:00 p.m., Union United Methodist Church, corner of Highland Ave.& Pearce St., Fall River
Please make every effort to attend. Bring a friend! Email: info@greenfutures.org Details here.

Coastsweep 2010: New Bedford

September 19, 11:00ap.m., Palmers Island in New Bedford
Did you know it takes 1 million years for a glass bottle to decompose? Come join the fun and volunteer in the beach cleanup at Palmers Island in New Bedford (located at the end of Gifford Street) on September 18, 2010 at 10:00 AM. The rain date will be on Sunday September 19, 2010 at 11:00 AM. If you are interested in volunteering, please contact Kerry Muldoon at 508-991-6188 or by email Kerry.Muldoon@newbedford-ma.gov by September 15, 2010 to register for the event.

Please dress appropriately for the event - bring thick soled shoes or sneakers to protect your feet, sunscreen, a hat, work gloves or rubber gloves. Please note that volunteers will have to climb down a rock jetty to get onto Palmers Island. To make this an environmental friendly event – please bring a reusable water bottle, we will provide drinking water. We hope to have a local sponsor to feed all who participate in this event to clean up New Bedford's Coastline. Please contact us if your business is interested in donating.

Coastsweep is the Massachusetts Annual Statewide Beach Cleanup, presented by of Massachusetts Office of Coastal Zone Management and Urban Harbors Institute. Details here.

Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting & Transportation Expo

September 23, 1:00PM to 5:00PM, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Please save the date for the September quarterly meeting of the Southeastern Massachusetts Council on Sustainability, with a focus on transportation. The meeting will take place on Thursday, September 23, 2010 from 1:00PM to 5:00PM at the Ocean Explorium.

This event will feature an afternoon of speakers and displays that show that our transportation system is about so much more than "the movement of people and goods". Details here.

From Burping Fish to Giant Oil Spills: How can a local Sea Grant Agent help fishing communities survive?

September 23, Reception at 6:15, talk at 7, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Mr. Theberge writes that "Right now one of the popular ideas/issues in ecology is how do we insure that natural communities stay resilient, so that they can recover from disturbances. We should have the same goal for fishing communities: How can we keep them resilient against climate change, fluctuating fish populations, changes in fuel prices, oil spills and other natural, social and economic factors?" Details here.

Working Waterfront Festival

September 25-26, 11am - 7pm (5pm on Sunday), New Bedford State Pier Area
Join us in New Bedford, America's largest commercial fishing port, to learn about the men and women who harvest the North Atlantic. Walk the decks of a scalloper, dine on fresh seafood, mend a fishing net and watch a Coast Guard rescue demonstration. Experience the workings of the industry which brings seafood from the ocean to your plate. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Volunteers Needed to Monitor Water Quality in Buzzards Bay
Now in its 19th year, Baywatchers is Massachusetts' largest volunteer-based coastal water monitoring effort. From May through September, more than 100 dedicated volunteers help to monitor the health of Buzzards Bay by testing water samples in more than 30 harbors and coves from the Westport River to Woods Hole and the Elizabeth Islands.

A strong science background is not necessary. A good Baywatcher is someone who can consistently commit to one hour a week, between 6-9 am, from May-September. Baywatcher volunteers must be able to follow scientific instructions on how to test the water using the provided test kit and be agile enough to work on docks and piers along the water's edge. Learn more here.
Organic Agriculture certificate courses open for September
Bristol Community College (BCC) announces the opening of registration for its Organic Agriculture program with courses leading to a 29-credit certificate in organic agriculture. Courses are offered in the Fall 2010 and Spring 2011 semesters. Organic Farming Practices I is the first of a two-semester course sequence focusing on soils and raising crops organically. Other courses include plant biology, water management, and sociology of food, famine, & farming. Additional courses planned for the Spring semester (2011) include Natural Beekeeping. Upon completing the coursework students can do an on-farm practicum with local farms to apply the theory learned in the classroom. The certificate will provide graduates with the skills to strengthen their farming/gardening capabilities as producers, consultants, or employees of the regionally developing small-scale agriculture sector. BCC is an open enrollment college and students are invited to enroll in the program or to take single courses to meet their own needs.

Details about the program and course descriptions are online, or email Dr. Jim Corven at james.corven@bristolcc.edu
Fall Sustainability Courses
We are pleased to announce our summer and fall sustainability courses, including several online-only courses for those hot summer months. See the course list here.
Farmer's Markets!
With the harvest in full swing, it's time to get out and buy from your local farmers. Support local growers, raisers, craftspeople, and other businesses at your local farmer's markets this summer. See the local list here.
Sharing the Harvest Volunteers Needed
In the Dartmouth YMCA's Sharing the Harvest July newsletter they have put out a call for volunteers to help them bring in the harvests for 2010. It's a great way to get your hands dirty, pitching in to help grow food for the Hunger Commission of SE Massachusetts and community members in need. They have volunteer drop in hours on Wednesdays and Saturdays 9AM-Noon and Thursdays 2:30PM-5PM. For more information just stop by the Dartmouth YMCA or call their volunteer coordinator, Donna at 508-993-3361 x13 or email: sharingtheharvest@ymcasouthcoast.org.

Bioneers Seeking Volunteers

Volunteering at Bioneers by the Bay is a wonderful and economical way to experience the conference as well as a tremendous opportunity to help a great cause. We will give you a one-day pass in exchange for your full-day volunteer shift. Details 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.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
You vs. Stuff: Five Ways to Win Every Time
Over the weekend, we tag-teamed a huge yard sale with my in-laws. Truth be told, it looked and felt more like a bonafide flea market than willy-nilly yard sale: Table after table of stuff laid out under canopies; long lines of people meandering through like cattle through the gates; even a lemonade stand to help raise money for the local food bank. Learn more here.

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