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Sustainability Logo
November 12 - 18

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Bill McKibben to speak at SEEAL Annual Meeting

East Over South Opening


Save The Date:

Winter is for the Birds!

Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region



DOE Webinars

Lloyd Center still seeking Director of Development

Weekly Green Tip:

Stopping junk mail

Clip of the Week

The Story of Electronics
employs the Story of Stuff style to explore the high-tech revolution's collateral damage

Weekly Quote:

"U.S. consumers and industry dispose of enough aluminum to rebuild the commercial air fleet every three months; enough iron and steel to continuously supply all automakers; enough glass to fill New York's World Trade Center every two weeks. " - Environmental Defense Fund advertisement

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Leaf Bullet News
Run awaaaaay Cool The Earth With Geoengineering? Some Say Wait
At a recent meeting in Japan of the U.N. Convention on Biological Diversity, diplomats tried to set some rules for future geoengineers. They issued what some are calling a moratorium on all geoengineering activities until the science is clear and there are global regulations in place.

If you want to see what geoengineering might look like, go back to 1991, to the eruption of Mt. Pinatubo, in the Philippines. Read more here.

China mulls pollution rules for rare earth output
China's industry ministry is considering regulations to tighten pollution standards for rare earth producers, Xinhua news agency reported on Sunday, a move the country's top firm said might further raise export prices.

Yang Wanxi, a government adviser involved in preparing the new regulations, said a draft had been filed with the Ministry of Industry and Information, aiming to force producers to upgrade production techniques, Xinhua said. Read more here.

Peak oil ain't pretty Has the World Already Passed "Peak Oil"?
New analysis pegs 2006 as highpoint of conventional crude production
The year 2006 may be remembered for civil strife in Iraq, the nuclear weapon testing threat by North Korea, and the genocide in Darfur, but now it appears that another world event was occurring at the same time—without headlines, but with far-reaching consequence for all nations.

That's the year that the world's conventional oil production likely reached its peak, the International Energy Agency (IEA) in Vienna, Austria, said Tuesday. Read more here.

Brrr The Siberian Energy Rush
Global warming is opening up the Arctic Circle, and Russia would like to control its bounty of natural resources. An exclusive dispatch from the Yamal Peninsula, where reindeer give way to railroads and gas rigs every day.

Old but sturdy, our Russian helicopter flies low over the endless flatness of the Siberian taiga, the MiG's incessant whine barely softened by Styrofoam plugs wedged into my ears. We pass thick stands of pine trees, where brown bears lurk, and rust-colored rivers whose banks are dappled with ice. Hundreds of ponds and lakes glint beneath low-hanging clouds. Read more here.

Plant plastic, not plastic plants Engineered Plants Make Potential Precursor to Raw Material for Plastics
In theory, plants could be the ultimate "green" factories, engineered to pump out the kinds of raw materials we now obtain from petroleum-based chemicals. But in reality, getting plants to accumulate high levels of desired products has been an elusive goal. Now, in a first step toward achieving industrial-scale green production, scientists from the U.S. Department of Energy's (DOE) Brookhaven National Laboratory and collaborators at Dow AgroSciences report engineering a plant that produces industrially relevant levels of compounds that could potentially be used to make plastics. Read more here.

Italian Car? Italy Goes Solar With First Sun-Powered Road
Most people will be surprised, but Italy was the first country in the world to build motorways. In fact, the A8 "Milano-Laghi" motorway ("Milan-Lakes", as it connects the city of Milan to Lake Como and Maggiore) was completed in 1926. Time has passed and all developed nations now boast wide motorway networks, a strategic infrastructure that helps interconnecting people, places and is ultimately essential to economic growth. But Italy will soon be able to claim a new "first": the A18 Catania-Siracusa motorway, a 30km addition to Sicily's 600km motorway network, will be a fully solar-powered motorway, the first in its kind. Read more here.

Fiat Fiat Develops First 'Green' Tractor
If it's hard to make money selling commoditized subcompact cars, which it is, then perhaps moving to the vanguard of pollution-free agriculture is the ticket.

Watch Fiat, then. Read more here.

Fuel cell or fool cell? WTC Taps Fuel Cells
High-End Energy Efficiency for Towers

Late last month, six box-shaped objects each almost as large as a shipping container arrived at the World Trade Center site on six trucks, were picked up by a crane, and deposited at the bottom of the construction pit near the intersection of Liberty Street and Church Street.

The contents of the nondescript cargo: six fuel cells, which together will provide about 30% of the power for towers 3 and 4 of the World Trade Center office complex. Once the cells start providing power, the World Trade Center site will become one of the biggest fuel-cell installations in the world, the developers say. Read more here (with video).

Bike An Interstate Bicycling System
"People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized."

When U.S. Secretary of Transportation Ray LaHood made this announcement at the National Bike Summit last March, he became an instant superstar with bicycling advocates who work hard to create and maintain cycling routes as part of their local, state, and regional transportation networks.

n July, Secretary LaHood took it a step further—embracing the creation of a U.S. Bicycle Route System (USBRS), a project that will connect many of the existing (and envisioned) bicycle routes around the country into an official, national network of cycling routes, linked coast-to-coast across state lines. Read more here.

Turbine Cost of Green Power Makes Projects Tougher Sell
Michael Polsky's wind farm company was doing so well in 2008 that banks were happy to lend millions for his effort to light up America with clean electricity.

But two years later, Mr. Polsky has a product he is hard-pressed to sell.

His company, Invenergy, had a contract to sell power to a utility in Virginia, but state regulators rejected the deal, citing the recession and the lower prices of natural gas and other fossil fuels.

"The ratepayers of Virginia must be protected from costs for renewable energy that are unreasonably high," the regulators said. Wind power would have increased the monthly bill of a typical residential customer by 0.2 percent. Read more here.

Solar roads? Researchers Aim to Harvest Solar Energy from Pavement to Melt Ice, Power Streetlights
The heat radiating off roadways has long been a factor in explaining why city temperatures are often considerably warmer than nearby suburban or rural areas. Now a team of engineering researchers from the University of Rhode Island is examining methods of harvesting that solar energy to melt ice, power streetlights, illuminate signs, heat buildings and potentially use it for many other purposes Read more here.

EPA issues greenhouse gas guidance
The EPA is taking its first steps to begin regulating greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions under the Clean Air Act. It was ordered to consider greenhouse gases under the act by a Supreme Court ruling and, as a result of that consideration, found that greenhouse gases do, in fact, present a hazard that requires regulation.

Toward that end this week, the EPA has issued guidance to help those industries that will be affected, as defined under the EPA's GHG Tailoring Rule enacted in May. Read more here.

Border Patrol EPA and US Customs and Border Protection Team Up to Enforce Clean Air Act
The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is working with the US Customs and Border Protection (CBP) on ensuring that imported vehicles and engines comply with Clean Air Act (CAA) requirements. Such items are commonly imported from foreign countries, such as sports cars, motorcycles, and even electrical generators. These items can now be found on the list with other contraband like drugs and guns. Read more here.

Foam Our foam cups runneth over
The stuff that works well to keep coffee hot proves dauntingly hard to recycle
Few modern conveniences induce more frustration among environmentalists, and guilt among the rest of us, than the plastic foam coffee cup.

Its insulating qualities — 2 percent polystyrene, 98 percent air — are unparalleled. The same material, twisted into bulky, nearly weightless "peanuts,'' is perfect for cushioning breakables. Read more here.

EV for me? San Francisco to See Electric Taxis
What’s the quickest way to reduce tail-pipe emissions in cities? Better Place believes it’s electric taxis. This leading electric vehicles service provider, with support of the U.S. Department of Transportation via the Metropolitan Transportation Commission, recently dropped word that they’ll be bringing a switchable battery, electric taxi program to the Bay Area (in partnership with the cities of San Francisco and San Jose. Read more here.

Currency Time for a New Theory of Money
The reason our financial system has routinely gotten into trouble, with periodic waves of depression like the one we're battling now, may be due to a flawed perception not just of the roles of banking and credit but of the nature of money itself. In our economic adolescence, we have regarded money as a "thing"—something independent of the relationship it facilitates. But today there is no gold or silver backing our money. Instead, it's created by banks when they make loans (that includes Federal Reserve Notes or dollar bills, which are created by the Federal Reserve, a privately-owned banking corporation, and lent into the economy). Virtually all money today originates as credit, or debt, which is simply a legal agreement to pay in the future. Read more here.

Green center Former Quaker headquarters is BCC energy program's new home
FALL RIVER — Bristol Community College is opening its new center for "green" courses in the same building that once hosted hundreds of manufacturing jobs.

The Green Center, as the new location is called, was created in the five-story brick mill building on Davol Street that once served as the headquarters for Quaker Fabrics. Where there was once old fabrics machinery is now learning space for teaching electricians how to install solar panels or for students to learn to install insulation. Read Herald News coverage here, or Standard Times coverage here.

Greater Fall River communities outline plan for SouthCoast Rail grants
With an eye toward the future, several communities are using technical assistance grants from South Coast Rail to plan for the arrival of the proposed project to extend passenger rail service from Boston to Taunton, Fall River and New Bedford.

"We are looking forward in a very excited manner about being the gateway to the SouthCoast," Taunton Mayor Charles Crowley said during a Southeastern Massachusetts Commuter Rail Task Force meeting Wednesday in Raynham. Read more here.

RI EV Electric cars: Rhode Island plugs in
Can the smallest state make the biggest use of electric cars — and help save the world?
"I'm not a car guy," says Al Dahlberg, sitting in his office on a recent afternoon.

It seems an odd admission, coming from Rhode Island's chief evangelist for electric vehicles. But for Dahlberg, next-generation plug-in cars like the Nissan Leaf and Chevy Volt are much more than the latest in whiz-bang technology.

For Dahlberg, the vehicles are nothing less than America's best chance to confront the central economic and national security challenge of our time: weaning ourselves off foreign oil and declaring energy independence.

And Rhode Island, he maintains, is well positioned to lead this radical shift in how we consume energy. Read more here.

Author to address environmental group
NEW BEDFORD — Author and activist Bill McKibben will be the keynote speaker for a joint annual meeting of the Community Foundation of Southeastern Massachusetts and the Southeastern Environmental Education Alliance.

The foundation and SEEAL are teaming up for the meeting and year-end celebration, set for 5:30 to 8:30 p.m. Nov. 18 at the Ocean Explorium, 174 Union St. Read more here.

Local? Plan Addresses Possible Climate Change Impacts to R.I.
cientists believe that climate change is affecting, and will continue to affect, New England waters. But just how much, how fast and in what way climate change impacts our oceans is hard to estimate.

These unknowns pose a challenge for long-term ecosystem planning efforts like Rhode Island's newly approved Ocean Special Area Management Plan (SAMP). Read more here.

UMD looks to erect wind turbine
DARTMOUTH — Students at UMass Dartmouth will have something new to look up to if a wind turbine on the 700-acre campus is approved.

The state Division of Capital Asset Management is overseeing the project and preliminary studies, including the installation of a meteorological tower to gauge wind strength, have now been completed.

A meeting is scheduled for 6:30 p.m. Nov. 17 in the Claire T. Carney Library on campus to discuss the project. Read Standard Time coverage here, or read Herald News coverage here.

Bikes Group wants bicycle path between New Bedford and Fall River
DARTMOUTH — About 60 bicyclists made their case on a cold and windy Sunday afternoon for a bicycle path that connects the cities of New Bedford and Fall River.

Bicyclists, in two groups, left UMass Dartmouth's Advanced Technology and Manufacturing Center in Fall River and the SRTA Park and Ride in New Bedford and pedaled to Cornell Pond off Old Fall River Road in Dartmouth to underscore the importance of having a safe bicycle path that would be off-limits to motor vehicles. Read more here, or see a video of the event here.

Group to expand into Mount Hope Bay
BRISTOL — Clean the Bay, the nonprofit organization that removes debris from Narragansett Bay, announced Monday that is has been awarded a $120,000 federal grant to move its work into Mount Hope Bay and the Taunton River, largely Massachusetts waters.

The group also hopes to win funding next summer to begin cleaning up Westerly's Little Narragansett Bay and move into Connecticut waters as far west as the Mystic River. Read more here.

Yankees? High Energy Prices, Meet Yankee Ingenuity
Just outside Providence, on a back road in Attleboro, Mass., there is an oddly shaped building with a vertical array of mirrors behind it, and another just off to its left. The casual passerby might think that there is some kind of extraterrestrial communiqué being attempted by less than lucid characters, but what is going on here is science, not science fiction.

Scot Comey got so fed up with high energy prices a few years ago that he put an ad on the local public access channel calling for people who were also tired of high energy prices to join him in applying their Yankee ingenuity to solving energy production problems. Read more here.

Nature Conservancy to address Taunton River water concerns
Taunton's roads were flooded last spring, causing local authorities to close a section of Route 44, but the inconvenient detour was not the only problem created, according to the Massachusetts chapter of an international conservation organization.

The water that flowed over the roads eventually drained into the Taunton River, and carried along with the water were pollutants, said Casey Shetterly of the Nature Conservancy of Massachusetts. Read more here.

Op-Ed: Green is good economics
IN TOO many communities, climate change is just a point to argue about or ignore. Fortunately, that's not Boston. In fact, at many levels, Boston is fast becoming a national leader in the fight against climate change, and the business community is helping lead the way — for good reason.

As Mayor Menino's Climate Action Leadership Committee proposed in a recent report, taking climate action now will bring substantial economic benefits to Boston. Read more here.

Massachusetts and Rhode Island senators seek ban on LNG terminal
The four U.S. senators representing Massachusetts and Rhode Island are calling on their Capitol Hill colleagues to support a measure that would eliminate funding for reviewing the proposal for a liquefied natural gas terminal on the Taunton River. Read more here.

Filthy plant Salem power plant seeks delisting
Move could mean coal-burning facility will be phased outl
Salem Harbor Power Station, a North Shore power plant that burns coal and oil, may be nearing retirement.

The plant's owner, Dominion, has requested that Salem Harbor be permanently delisted — a move industry observers say is often a first step toward closing a plant. Read more here.

Gov. Patrick will be telling his story at YouthBuild dinner
FALL RIVER — When the prominent person speaking later this month at the initial YouthBuild dinner tells his story, it's sure to echo with the disadvantaged high school kids looking for a second chance.

It will be a story about sharing a bed with his sibling, not knowing when the next meal will come. Read more here.

Larger fines sought for illegal dumping in Fall River
Dumping of trash around city watersheds and elsewhere should start costing violators heftier fines, the City Council's Committee on Ordinances and Legislation agreed this week.

"There's a lot of dumping going on," said Councilor Raymond Mitchell, who issued a resolution to increase fines to $500 after the town received complaints of illegal dumping in the watershed areas off Blossom Road, Wilson Road and Meridian Street. Read more here.

RI getting $10 million more to weatherize homes
The U.S. Department of Energy announced today that because the state has achieved certain benchmarks in weatherizing homes for low income residents, the department has authorized an additional $10 million for weatherizing additional houses in Rhode Island. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

East Over South Opening

November 13, 1:00 PM, East Over South, Marion
Join us as we celebrate the opening of new trails at the East Over Reservation. This land, owned by the towns of Rochester and Marion and managed in partnership with The Trustees, contains more than three miles of walking trails through the diverse East Over landscape. Details here.

Mapping the Edge: Nature Writing and Education for Sustainability

November 16, 7 - 8 p.m., Moses Brown School, Sinclair Hall, Providence, RI
Author and environmentalist Dr. John Elder's dedication to the environment goes hand in hand with MB's commitment to sustainability. Described as the "green guru" by former students, Dr. Elder will speak about his call to ecological action and the global obligation to respect the environment. Details here.

SEEAL Annual Meeting

November 18, 5:30-8:30 p.m., Ocean Explorium
SEEAL Annual Meeting with Bill McKibben. After McKibben's keynote presentation at 6, SEEAL and the Community Foundation will host a reception featuring local, nutritious food and beverages, partner exhibits, music and a visual demonstration of glacial ice melt projected via Science on the Sphere, the main feature of the Ocean Explorium. www.seeal.org.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Newport Recycling Day

November 20, 8:00 AM - noon, Newport, RI
Newport's Clean City Program invites area residents to recycle electronic waste, plastics (#3- #7), Styrofoam, clothing & household items, books, bicycles, cooking oil, shred sensitive documents, purchase recycling bins at a discounted rate, or purchase compost bins. No hazardous materials are accepted. Details here.

South Shore Locavores: Cranberries and Bogs

November 22, 7:00PM - 8:30PM, Kingston, MA
Discover what is actually involved in maintaining those beautiful bogs you drive by every day, and learn how can you make the most of the harvest and support your local cranberry growers.

Where does your food come from? How does it get to you? How healthy is it? How can you support local farmers and food producers through your food purchases? The Kingston Public Library and edible SouthShore magazine have teamed up to present an ongoing series of programs about the phenomenon of “eating locally.” Details here.

Post-Thanksgiving Day Walk

November 27, 9:00 am - 11:00 am, Destruction Brook Woods
Free and open to the public. Walk off your Thanksgiving-day feast on one of our most popular loctions.

Winter is for the Birds!

November 27, 1:00PM- 2:30PM, Buttonwood Park Zoo
Members: $10/family Non-members: $20/family
Would you like to make your yard more wildlife-friendly? Does it really matter what birdseed mix you use? Join us for this family workshop to learn about the food, water and habitat needs of our feathered friends. We'll wrap up the workshop by making a wood and Plexiglas bird feeder to take home. The program fee includes 1 bird feeder kit per family. Additional kits will be available for purchase the day of the workshop at $6 each. Participants must pre-register and pay in advance by calling the North Woods Gift Store at (508) 991-4556 x 14 or by visiting www.bpzoo.org.

Intro to Nutrient Dense Crop Production

November 30, 7:00PM - 9:00PM, Friends' Academy
Free! Introduction to Nutrient Dense Crop Production and the Real Food Campaign. Presented by Dan Kittredge, life-long organic farmer, Director of Real Food Campaign, and instructor of a 5-part course in Dartmouth 2011: www.realfoodcampaign.org. Dan is giving a series of free public lectures about principles of biological management and nutrient density all over the Northeast this Fall in October and November of 2010. Visit the FREE event in Dartmouth, MA!! Details here.

Sustainability Film Series: The Gulf Coast Blues: Oil in Our Veins

December 1, 6:30PM, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
This project is about one man's narrative intersecting with an entire region's collective story. Marc's film shows the frustration of trying to help and being turned away. His film shows the initial reaction of oil seeping onto the beaches of Grand Isle. But it's through his lens, as he paddles his sea kayak around booms and barrier islands, how we witness what compels a human to ditch his security to find out how all his years working for the environment translates into getting down with the natives. He comes back with a story of raw decay and rampant admonition. He is spot-on when it comes to people, wildlife and a system of dirty energy extraction and exploitation crashing head-first into each other. Details here.

Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region

December 2, 1:00PM - 5:00 PM, Advanced Technology & Manufacturing Center Auditorium (ATMC), Fall River
Throughout Southeastern Massachusetts dozens of elected officials, government employees, and community activists have been developing sustainability programs. These leaders may have differing motivations, but their programs are advancing fiscal responsibility, ecological restoration and building resilient communities.

These leaders are tackling the difficult issues of our time. They're overcoming obstacles and creating successes. Come hear their inspiring stories. Details here.

World Sustainable Development Teach-in Day: Food, Wine & Sustainability

December 3, 1:00PM, UMass Dartmouth Library Browsing Area
Join Indic Studies and the Sustainability Initiative for World Sustainable Development Teach-In Day to discuss Sustainable Development towards local solutions to a global change including Food, Wine and Sustainability on the South Coast. Details here.

Richard Heinberg: Peak Oil, the Financial Crisis, and the Path to Sustainability

December 7, 6:30 PM, UMass Dartmouth Woodland Commons
Peak oil expert Richard Hienburg will speak at UMass Dartmouth's Woodland Commons on Tuesday, December 7, about peak oil, it's impact on the financial crisis, and how to move forward from there.

Coalition for the Responsible Siting of LNG Facilities

December 9, 7:00 PM, 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

DNRT Holiday Party

December 10, 6:00 pm - 8:00 pm, Old Southworth Library
The Board of Directors of Dartmouth Natural Resources Trust invites you to its annual Holiday Celebration. Help us celebrate another successful year of land conservation! Mulled Cider and Hors D'oeuvres will be served. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Coalition Seeks Executive Assistant
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay seeks a highly-organized and personally engaging professional to serve as Executive Assistant to the President of this rapidly growing regional conservation organization. The full-time position reports directly to and works closely with the President and joins a talented staff and dedicated Board of Directors. The Executive Assistant provides support to the President in the areas of nonprofit governance, major gift fundraising, and administration. Projects Learn more here.
DOE Technical Assistance Program Webinars
The U.S. Department of Energy announced Technical Assistance Program Webinars for Fall 2010. Visit to see the list of webinar topics and to sign up for the webinars. The TAP Webinar series will address key issues and challenges that energy practitioners may face in implementing their projects and programs, including: * Structuring incentives to effectively drive demand for residential retrofits * Tips and tools for promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy projects in your community * Maximizing energy savings in buildings by using energy management systems * Tracking data and developing savings estimates for energy efficiency Projects Learn more here.
Take Action: Help Support EECBG Funding
We need your help. In order to secure ongoing funding for the EECBG program, we must show how cities and counties are effectively using their EECBG dollars to create jobs, reduce energy consumption and curb carbon pollution. The Energy Block Grants Work! campaign invites you to join us in showcasing how your community and your colleagues throughout the nation are effectively using your EECBG funding. Right now we need information on how your community is using its EECBG funding. We will develop a profile of your clean energy projects for our national report and include your locality among the many EECBG stories we intend to promote.

The EECBG program will not be funded again if cities and counties sit on the sidelines. With your support, we can successfully demonstrate that Energy Block Grants Work! Learn about the grants here.
Essay Contest for Kids and Teens
Like A Drop of Water's writing contest offers young people, ages eight through seventeen, world wide the opportunity to share their ideas on how they and their countries can reduce climate change and pollution. We hope parents, grandparents and teachers will feel free to share their ideas with their young author. Teachers and their students may submit a class essay as well as serve as judges. Read the market blog here.
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 winding down, 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.

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
Stopping junk mail
The average adult in the USA receives a whopping 41 pounds of junk mail a year and approximately 44% of this mail winds up in a landfill without having been opened. That's a lot of trees, water and other resources being wasted. Learn about services that can help stem the junk mail flow. Learn more here.

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