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September 9 to 16, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Fair Trade Futures Conference

Sustainability Film Series: Avatar


Save The Date:

Working Waterfront Festival

Watershed Ride



Water Quality Monitors Needed

Bioneers Volunteers Wanted

Weekly Green Tip:

New vs. Used Cars

Weekly Quote:

"Nature provides a free lunch, but only if we control our appetites." - William D. Ruckelshaus, former EPA administrator, New York Times, 30 November 1988

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Leaf Bullet News
Windy UK wind power hits record generation output
Britain's wind farms hit record power output levels on Monday and at peak period was generating the same amount of electricity as almost four nuclear power stations, according to energy network operator National Grid.

National Grid said 1,860 megawatts was being generated briefly on Monday night at 1930 GMT, mostly from Scotland, which accounted for 4.7 percent of total generation. A single nuclear power station in Britain generates around 500 megawatts. Read more here.

High Tech On Clean Energy, China Skirts Rules
Until very recently, Hunan Province was known mainly for lip-searing spicy food, smoggy cities and destitute pig farmers. Mao was born in a village on the outskirts of Changsha, the provincial capital here in south-central China.

Now, Changsha and two adjacent cities are emerging as a center of clean energy manufacturing. They are churning out solar panels for the American and European markets, developing new equipment to manufacture the panels and branching into turbines that generate electricity from wind. By contrast, clean energy companies in the United States and Europe are struggling. Some have started cutting jobs and moving operations to China in ventures with local partners. Read more here.

Editorial: America in the Caboose While the World Barrels Ahead on High Speed Rail
On Monday President Obama called on Congress to approve $50 billion for highways, landing strips and rail lines to stimulate the economy and create jobs. Specifically, to build or rebuild 150,000 miles of road, to lay and maintain 4,000 miles of rail track and 150 miles of runways.

Do we really need to focus on 150,000 miles of roads? They must be popping champagne bottles in the corner offices of the oil industry and at OPEC headquarters. Focusing on getting off the gasoline habit would have been a far wiser commitment. Read more here.

Glacier Balancing the risks of Greenland's melting ice sheet
Scientists investigating the geophysical and hydrological conditions beneath the Greenland ice sheet say their analysis will be vital for helping understand how the ice sheet will respond to climate change.

Researchers from the University of Bristol, who have carried out extensive fieldwork in Greenland over the past few years, are to lead a series of new experiments, which could yield important information about the wider risks to global sea levels. Read more here.

Glacier Global Warming's Silver Lining? Northern Countries Will Thrive and Grow, Researcher Predicts
Move over, Sunbelt. The New North is coming through, a UCLA geographer predicts in a new book.

As worldwide population increases by 40 percent over the next 40 years, sparsely populated Canada, Scandinavia, Russia and the northern United States will become formidable economic powers and migration magnets, Laurence C. Smith writes in "The World in 2050: Four Forces Shaping Civilization's Northern Future" (Dutton Books), scheduled for publication Sept. 23. Read more here.

Glacier Scientist Watches Glacier Melt Beneath His Feet
Earlier this summer, a group of scientists spent two weeks in Indonesia atop a glacier called Puncak Jaya, one of the few remaining tropical glaciers in the world. They were taking samples of ice cores to study the impacts of climate change on the glacier.

Lonnie Thompson, a professor of earth sciences at Ohio State University, led the team and what he witnessed shocked him: The glacier was literally melting under their feet. Read more here.

Uh oh Weird Weather in a Warming World
GIVEN the weather of late, extremes seem to have become the norm.

New York City just had its hottest June-to-August stretch on record. Moscow, suffering from a once-in-a-millennium heat wave, tallied thousands of deaths, a toll that included hundreds of inebriated, overheated citizens who stumbled into rivers and lakes and didn't come out. Pakistan is reeling from flooding that inundated close to a fifth of the country. Read more here.

Green building Green Building: A Real Estate Revolution?
While much of the U.S. real estate market has been floundering, one area has not seen a dip. Green building now accounts for nearly one-third of new construction in the U.S. That's up from 2 percent in 2005, according to McGraw-Hill Construction, which tracks the industry.

The numbers suggest a revolution is taking place within an industry that is historically slow to change. There are many factors — and many players — in this move toward green building. Read more here.

Yum The Dirt on Organic Produce
Does growing organic really matter? Supporters of conventional agriculture say that organic farming is little more than a fad—and that organic produce lightens consumers' wallets for no tangible benefits. And unfortunately, since agro-ecosystems are so complex, scientists have had a hard time cutting through the haze of claims and counter-claims.

Until now: "Fruit and Soil Quality of Organic and Conventional Strawberry Agroecosystems," a study led by Washington State University Regents professor of soil science John Reganold, is one of the most comprehensive, persuasive studies yet to show the nutritional and environmental benefits of organic farming. Read more here.

Local? Food fight breaks out as locavores defend their turf
The locavore movement is now boiling over following a commentary last month suggesting that the 'math' underpinning the practice is flawed.

A new food fight has stirred up the locavore movement, which promotes eating of local products, after fresh challenges to the assumption that the practice promotes environmental sustainability.

The locavore movement, which has been gaining steam rapidly since emerging in California in 2005, is now boiling over following a commentary last month suggesting that the "math" underpinning the practice is flawed. Read more here.

Up in flames BP points fingers in oil spill blame game
BP Plc and its Gulf of Mexico oil well partners traded blame on Wednesday after an internal BP investigation tried to downplay the company's role in the world's biggest offshore spill.

The 193-page BP report offered a preview of how the British oil giant plans to vigorously defend itself against lawsuits arising from the disaster and any charges of gross negligence, which carry fines potentially in excess of $20 billion. Read more here.

US carmakers betting on fuel efficiency, upgrades
Detroit automakers are hoping to finally persuade American car buyers to buy American. But instead of using patriotic messages to appeal to consumers, they are betting on a handful of higher-quality, more fuel-efficient cars — both old and new.

That General Motors Corp., Chrysler Group LLC, and Ford Motor Co. have tried — and usually failed — to stunt the growth of import brands like Toyota and Honda is an old story. Read more here.

Recycling? Landfill could be greener than recycling when it comes to plastic bottles
For regions with adequate space and little recycling infrastructure, disposing of bottles in landfill generates a lower carbon footprint than recycling or incineration...

The ubiquitous PET bottle, used around the world to package drinks, may best be buried after use rather than burnt or reconverted into a second-life product. According to an independent study that I and a colleague just completed, the footprint of recycling is lower than that of landfills only if at least half of the plastic ends up being valorised. Read more here.

Venter His Corporate Strategy: The Scientific Method
THE scientific rebel J. Craig Venter created headlines — and drew comparisons to Dr. Frankenstein — when he announced in May that his team had created what, with a bit of stretching, could be called the first synthetic living creature.

Two months later, only a smattering of reporters and local dignitaries bothered to show up at a news conference to hear Dr. Venter talk about a new greenhouse that his company, Synthetic Genomics, had built outside its headquarters here to conduct research. Read more here.

Green marketing can help your business sprout
Small businesses can gain an edge by promoting environmentally sustainable products and services.
For small-business owners, creating and implementing effective marketing strategies can be an uphill battle. The question always becomes: What kind of strategies should you employ to grow your business and are they going to work?

So when a Miami Herald reader recently asked BizBytes whether green marketing strategies could help grow their small business, I turned to D. Steven White, professor of marketing at the University of Massachusetts at Dartmouth and interim director of its Sustainability Studies Program. Read more here.

Designed by Paul Rudolph Maligned for decades, City Hall Plaza to get EPA-aided makeover
City Hall Plaza has been skewered as a civic failure since a mason laid the final red brick in the late 1960s, completing the 7-acre expanse dubbed by an urban-planning group as one of "the most disappointing places in America.''

But finally America has come to lend a hand: The Environmental Protection Agency selected Boston to receive technical assistance to make the windswept urban tundra more inviting.

The EPA will help Boston draft "greening options'' with a down-to-earth catch: This time the plans have to be realistic. Read more here.

Grapes Farmers' smiles grow in Earl's wake
As Hurricane Earl barreled last week down its stormy path, Bill Russell of Westport Rivers Vineyard and Winery worried about what it might do to his grapes. But as Earl petered out and passed, he left the fruits of Russell's vines just fine.

Westport Rivers plans to take advantage of an early growing season by making large quantities of red wine, from the farm's own grapes, for the first time in the vineyard's history. Read more here.

Sustainability Experts to discuss aftermath of Gulf Spill
Lunchtime panel at UMass Dartmouth
NORTH DARTMOUTH - In the aftermath of the Deepwater Horizon Oil Spill (BP Oil Spill) on April 20, 2010, a global conversation has erupted over the environmental, political and economic impact of oil on global activities.

Join international author and economist John Perkins (via Skype), SMAST Dean John Farrington, Dr. Garry Clayton and Dr. Dean Moosavi in a Gulf Oil Spill Symposium Wednesday, 15 September 2010 from Noon to 1:30 p.m. at the UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area. Read more here.

River Man on a mission
A single floating soda can started Al Peirce on his personal quest to clear rubbish from local rivers and waterways
Before Al Peirce can even get his Surge Marine kayak into the water, he is distracted by something along the leafy edge of the Assabet River.

He pulls on thick rubber gloves that nearly reach his elbows and nonchalantly walks over to the far side of the parking lot, where he scoops up two empty beer cans from beneath a sapling. Read more here.

Light shines on farmers markets
Did you know that Massachusetts now ranks sixth nationally in its number of farmers markets? Now, the state's Department of Agricultural Resources has made it even easier to locate one convenient to you, along with providing a wealth of other information.

DAR Commissioner Scott J. Soares last week announced the official launch of a new website that directs Massachusetts residents and visitors to our state's rich agricultural offerings. Read more here.

Map! Dismay surfaces over coastal map project
It has been promoted as a groundbreaking document that will zone the waters off Rhode Island to determine the best locations for wind turbines with the least impact on the ecosystem and local fishing industry.

The two years and more than $8 million of research will help generate standards and regulations that would apply to any development within the covered area. Governor Carcieri particularly likes that the project should expedite the permitting process and help Rhode Island in its quest to have the first offshore wind farm in the country. Read more here.

Castle! A Man's Home is His Renewable Energy Castle, Thanks to New Fuel Cells
A new fuel cell being developed at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology is set to take households a giant step closer to energy independence. MIT researchers envision an integrated system consisting of a solar installation and a fuel cell. During the day, the solar array produces electricity to power the household, and to charge batteries including electric vehicle batteries. At night, the system would shift to the fuel cell, which would produce additional electricity as well as clean drinking water. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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

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. What are fractals? Are there recurring patterns and themes in nature? Discover the hidden structures that surround us in the natural environment as we investigate these and other exciting questions. Presentation followed by walk outdoors. 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.

Sustainability Film Series: Avatar

September 15, 6:45 p.m., UMass Dartmouth Auditorium
Set in the future on a distant planet, Avatar spins a simple little parable about greedy colonizers (that would be mankind) messing up the lush tribal world of Pandora. A paraplegic Marine named Jake acts through a 9-foot-tall avatar that allows him to roam the planet and pass as one of the Na'vi, the blue-skinned, large-eyed native people who would very much like to live their peaceful lives without the interference of the visitors. Although he's supposed to be gathering intel for the general who'd like to lay waste to the planet and its inhabitants, Jake naturally begins to take a liking to the Na'vi, especially the feisty Neytiri. If you're won over by the movie's trippy new world, the characters will be forgivable as broad, useful archetypes rather than standard-issue stereotypes, and you might be able to overlook the unsurprising central plot. It doesn't measure up to the hype (what could?) yet Avatar frequently hits a giddy delirium all its own.

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. 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.

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.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Wild Edibles Walk

September 18, 9 a.m., Copicut Woods
Ever wonder how long you could survive in the woods by living off the land? Well, Southeast Massachusetts is home to more than 150 species of wild edible plants, and late summer is the season of fruits and nuts. From wild grapes and blueberries to hickory nuts and edible roots, join Education Coordinator Linton Harrington for walk and an all natural snack. Details here.

Coastsweep 2010: New Bedford

September 18, 10:00 p.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.

Elephant Events

September 19, 10:30 and 1-4 pm, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Elephant Tracks • 10:30 am Cost: Registration + Sponsorship (see Elephant Tracks page) Join the American Association of Zoo Keepers in this fundraising walk at the Buttonwood Park Zoo. All monies raised will benefit wild populations of elephants. For more information, please visit the Elephant Tracks Page.

Emily & Ruth's Birthday Bash/Elephant Appreciation Day • 1:00 – 4:00 PM Cost: Free with Zoo admission We'll celebrate all elephants with a day of demonstrations, activities and crafts. Join us for a day of elephant-sized fun! Don't miss Ruth & Emily's Birthday Bash! Details here.

Council on Sustainability Quarterly Meeting & Transportation Expo

September 23, 1:00PM to 5:00PM, Ocean Explorium, New Bedford
Rethinking Transportation--the quarterly meeting of the Council on Sustainability--is an event that will change how you think about our current transportation system, increase awareness of transportation options and resources, and build consensus on actions that support a sustainable transportation future. Please join us to move Southeastern Massachusetts closer towards sustainability. 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.

Kayak the Westport River

September 26, 9AM - 1PM, Osprey Sea Kayaks, 489 Old County Rd, Westport, MA
Paddle north from The Let to Spectacle Island, viewing protected properties along the way. Bring water, sun block and water shoes. Please pre-register Details here.

Fun Day in the Forest

September 26, 11AM - 4PM, Forest HQ, Slab Bridge Rd., Freetown, MA
Come enjoy a fun-filled day outdoors! We will have Rainforest Reptiles, a HAM Radio Demo, Eyes on Owls, the climbing wall, field games, great music, great food and much, much more! FREE admission and programs! For more info:508-672-2417 Details here.

Fungus Foray

October 2, 10AM - 12Noon, Copicut Woods
We'll explore Copicut Woods while looking for fungus, this often overlooked kingdom of forest life. We promise, you'll come to appreciate the delicate beauty of fungus with the help of amateur mycologist Joe Metzen of the Audubon Society of Rhode Island. Details here.

Fourth Annual Watershed Ride

October 3, 10AM - 12Noon, Westport to Wood's Hole
Help us pedal our way to a healthier Bay by participating in the Third Annual Watershed Ride - a fully-supported, one-day, 75-mile cycling event to build awareness and raise funds to Save Buzzards Bay. Cycle through pastoral farmlands, coastal villages, cranberry bogs, working waterfronts and the back roads of Cape Cod - all while helping your Bay and its watershed. 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/Winter Indoor Farmer's Market in Fairhaven!
We are excited to announce that we will have a Fall/Winter Indoor Farmers Market in Fairhaven this year. The market will be held at The Nemasket Gallery on the corner of Green and Bridge Streets. The first date for market is Sunday, October 24th from 1-4pm. Now we can all continue to buy local and support our farmers and crafters. More details to follow! Read the market blog 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
New vs used cars and the environment
If you're tossing up whether to buy a new or used car and the environment is an issue you want to incorporate in your purchase decision, here are some issues to consider. Learn more here.

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