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December 2 to 9, 2010

In This Issue


Global, national, and local news

This week:

Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region

Richard Heinberg to speak at UMass Dartmouth


Save The Date:

Free DOE Webinar

Wilderness First Aid Course



SEMAP Membership Drive

Coalition Seeks Communications and Outreach Associate

Weekly Green Tip:

Earth friendly rugs

Clip of the Week

SouthCoast Climate Challenge
This video is being used as we speak to educate high school & middle school about climate change and actions we can take to improve our global standings.
Climate Challenge

Weekly Quote:

"Adopt the pace of nature: her secret is patience."
- Ralph Waldo Emerson

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Leaf Bullet News
Rural Solar For the World's Rural Poor, Solar Innovations Offer Hope
Innovations in solar energy have the potential to bring electricity to much of the rural poor in developing countries.

The United Nations Development Programme estimates that 1.5 billion people—including 89% of rural sub-Saharan Africa—still lack electricity. African villages tend to rely on diesel generators and highly toxic kerosene lamps for light, even in rural clinics, despite the risk of respiratory diseases.

Solar power, however, is starting to make inroads in locations where extending the electric grid may not make economic sense. Various solar applications are becoming more affordable thanks to such technological innovations as photovoltaic panels that use thin films; light bulbs that capture energy during the day to provide light at night; and solar mobile-phone chargers. Read more here.

Seoul Seoul: on course to be one of the world's greenest cities?
Seoul, host of this year's G20, is well on the way to achieving its goal of becoming one of the world's most eco-friendly cities. But, as Anna Sheldrick reports, there may be room for improvement elsewhere in South Korea

Despite the disappointment of COP15 in Copenhagen last year, and wary expectation for COP16 in Cancun this year, delegates at the latest G20 (Group of 20 major economies) meeting in Seoul earlier this month reaffirmed their commitment to fighting climate change. World leaders there said they would 'spare no effort to reach a balanced and successful outcome in Cancun'. Read more here.

Tidal Tidal-Power Project Ebbs in U.K.
Tidal power has been hailed by some as the wave of the future. But in the United Kingdom, the shifting tides of public policy threaten to leave it high and dry.

Puns aside, last month, the U.K. government withdrew its support for one of the world's most ambitious renewable-energy projects—a $24 billion tidal barrage across the Severn Estuary that potentially could have generated as much as 5% of the U.K.'s electricity. The British government said a two-year feasibility study determined that the project would actually cost about $54 billion, and it couldn't justify public funding of such a high-cost, high-risk project. Read more here.

The Key to Cancún
For the U.S. to get what it wants in climate talks, says Michael Levi, it must stop obsessing about China
As the United Nations climate talks open today in Cancún, here's my advice for Washington: Stop focusing on China.

If fact, I'd go a step beyond that, and suggest the U.S. focus on everyone but China—and in particular China's partners in the Basic climate-negotiating bloc: India, South Africa and Brazil. Indeed, that may be the best way to move Beijing. Read more here.

Sarkozy French President Criticized for Environmental Shifts
PARIS — Shortly after taking office three years ago, President Nicolas Sarkozy of France surprised friend and foe alike by committing his administration to a series of wide-ranging and far-reaching environmental measures.

Arrived at through a highly publicized conference in 2007 involving industry, environmental organizations and trade unions, the measures included financial incentives to aid development of renewable energy; encouragement for organic agriculture; better infrastructure for mass transit and rail freight; and respecting biodiversity in local development projects. Read more here.

Hot in the city Worst case study: global temp up 7.2F degrees by 2060s
World temperatures could soar by 4 degrees Celsius (7.2 degrees Fahrenheit) by the 2060s in the worst case of global climate change and require an annual investment of $270 billion just to contain rising sea levels, studies suggested on Sunday.

Such a rapid rise, within the lifetimes of many young people today, is double the 2 degrees C (3.6 degrees Fahrenheit) ceiling set by 140 governments at a U.N. climate summit in Copenhagen last year and would disrupt food and water supplies in many parts of the globe. Read more here.

Portland Cycle City, USA
How Portland plans to become the first world-class bike city in America.
It's become a cliché that Portland is America's most livable city, a hotbed for innovative ways to support green policies, public spaces, pedestrian amenities, transit, and, of course, bicycles. In fact some people are growing weary (and the rest of us envious) of hearing about how great things are in Oregon's largest city.

When it comes to bicycling, at least, the cliché is true. Today Portland sports the highest share of bicycle commuters (6-8 percent) of any large U.S. city. It's also the only large city to earn the League of American Bicyclists' coveted platinum status as a bicycle-friendly city. Read more here.

Coal Moving Beyond the Tired 'Economy vs. Environment' Debate
The "economy vs. the environment" debate is as old as the environmental movement. Despite holding little explanatory power, the debate survives because the leaders in certain highly-polluting industries do not want to see their profits diminished by stricter regulation. They lack the creativity to think beyond 20th century technologies, and oppose environmental regulation with every means at their disposal.

The anti-regulatory forces pour millions of dollars into misinformation and propaganda campaigns, and finance politicians and political groups that fan the flames of fear and paranoia to defeat common-sense environmental goals. Read more here.

U.S. to keep emissions goal
The United States will keep a pledge to cut greenhouse gas emissions made last year perhaps with help from a domestic boom in cleaner-burning natural gas, Washington's lead negotiator said at the U.N. climate talks.

At last year's climate talks in Copenhagen, U.S. President Barack Obama pledged the United States would cut emissions in a range of 17 percent below 2005 levels by 2020. Read more here.

Coal Breaking Away From Coal
HOUSTON — Progress Energy Carolinas, one of the South's larger utilities, faced a dilemma last winter.

Several of its coal-fired power plants were aging and needed scrubbers to reduce emissions and meet North Carolina pollution laws. Executives figured that even tougher regulations were coming from Washington, and overhauling 11 generators at four plants would have cost nearly $2 billion, which would have been passed on to the company's 1.5 million electric customers. Read more here.

U.S. proved natural gas, crude oil reserves soar - EIA
U.S. natural gas reserves increased by the most in history last year, and crude reserves also rose, as companies drilled frantically into shale rock formations with new technology, the Energy Information Administration said in an annual report on Tuesday.

U.S. net proved natural gas reserves rose 11 percent, or 28.8 trillion cubic feet (tcf), in 2009 to total 284 tcf, underscoring the dramatic impact that new gas pumped from shale rock formations is having on world energy supply. Read more here.

The new front in the culture wars: food
If you shelled out $10 a pound for a "heritage turkey" this Thanksgiving, tea-brined it and stuffed it with rosemary bread (that you made), speck (from the local charcuterie guy), fennel (from the farmers market) and lemon (okay, there are limits to this), you might assume that everyone, if given the opportunity, would support such a makeover of a meal that not long ago was dominated by frozen Butterballs and jellied cranberry sauce.

In fact, not everyone would. And that is an important thing to understand about the effort to remake America's food culture. Read more here.

Consumer grid Making the Consumer an Active Participant in the Grid
SAN FRANCISCO — The chairman of the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Jon Wellinghoff, is a lawyer and a public servant. But he is also a visionary, which makes him something of an oddity.

In his view, the energy future of the United States looks radically different from its past. Most notably, he sees consumers as active parts of the grid, providing energy via their own solar panels or wind turbines, a system called distributed generation; stabilizing the grid by adjusting demand through intelligent appliances or behavior modification, known as demand response; and storing energy for various grid tasks. He thinks consumers should get paid to provide these services. Read more here.

UNLV researcher studies risk of lead in green turf
A University of Nevada, Las Vegas, professor is part of a team of researchers who say green synthetic turf should be monitored for lead hazards.

That's because the "green stuff" in fake grass is lead chromate, UNLV environmental health professor Shawn Gerstenberger told the Las Vegas Review-Journal.

When the compound breaks down, it can release lead that could be inhaled or ingested by those at play, including football players or kids in day care centers and parks. Read more here.

Farming Farming movement goes back to the roots for a nutrient-rich crop
They say you are what you eat. Some farmers are taking this logic beyond its people-centric focus, and applying it in innovative ways to their crops.

Enter the nutrient-dense farming movement — a start-at-the-soil approach to growing food that proponents say is much better for you, in the form of plants that are healthier themselves. Read more here.

Municipalities to share 'green' successes at sustainability conference
FALL RIVER — Cities and towns who have had success with green projects will share their best practices in the hopes of helping other municipalities at a sustainability conference Thursday at the Advanced Technology Manufacturing Center.

A joint project of UMass Dartmouth's Sustainability Council and the Southeastern Regional Planning and Economic Development District, "Leading the Way: Communities Building a Sustainable Region" will bring elected officials, town administrators, planning and facilities directors and others together to network and learn from each other. Read more here.

AcushnetAcushnet Sawmill Restoration Receives Recommendation For Funding
Earlier this month the New Bedford Harbor Trustees Council, which distributes the funds from the legal settlement over PCB pollution in the Acushnet River, released its recommendations for Round IV of funding. In the following letter, Coalition President Mark Rasmussen discusses the importance of funding projects that benefit the ecosystem and the people who depend on it:

The New Bedford Harbor Trustees Council (NBHTC) should dedicate all of the $6 million available in this Round IV to projects that benefit the Acushnet River in the stretch closest to the greatest PCB impact. Read more here.

New Bedford City Council urged to consider mandatory recycling, trash limits
Officials from the Greater New Bedford Regional Refuse Management District on Tuesday urged the City Council to implement a mandatory recycling program or to impose limits on the number of trash barrels per household, arguing that a significant push is needed to improve the city's recycling rate.

"You need to get people's attention that this is not just sort of freebie," said Virginia Valiela, executive director of the refuse district. "They've got to think about their trash like it was a utility." Read more here.

Freetown selectmen not ready to consider compost facility proposal
A compost company has sought the endorsement of the Board of Selectmen in order to develop a compost facility on Copicut Road.

But selectmen will not consider the proposal until Peninsula Compost Group LLC first submits a special permit to the Planning Board. Read more here.

Turkey! FOCUS: Westport couple raising rare heritage turkeys
Bill and Sherri Battles know the best way to save their rare red, gray and brown turkeys is to eat them.

Owners of a 25-acre farm in Westport, the Battles are among a small but growing number of farmers raising breeds of turkey with bloodlines that date back centuriesyet are quite different — in size, taste and price — from the vast majority of birds sold at today's supermarkets.

Known as "heritage" turkeys, their survival may well hinge on Americans' willingness to create a market for them by putting them on their holiday tables. Read more here.

Money starts to flow for efficiency
Area businesses, residents, and organizations are starting to reap the benefits of a new state initiative to significantly expand funding of energy-efficiency projects by state utilities.

Under a plan approved this past January by the Massachusetts Department of Public Utilities, investor-owned electric and natural gas utilities committed to allocating $2.2 billion over three years in programs to help their customers reduce their energy use. Read more here.

Clean water! Solar array to provide green energy savings
Chelmsford residents, raise your drinking glasses to the new energy supplier who could be bringing you your water as early as this week. This newcomer, who's signed on to power the pipelines of the Chelmsford Water District, also happens to be the older than the Earth.

The Chelmsford Water District will soon be the proud owner and operator of Massachusetts' largest groundwater solar array. After a two-year project that combined the resources of the district, the EPA, MassDEP, UMass Lowell and the Nexamp company, the array's infrastructure and software are in place and running – all that's needed now is a green light. Read more here.

Blue Hills to get more wetlands
The state is planning a change in the Blue Hills Reservation that it believes will result in a net gain for the environment. While other proposed changes in the Blue Hills have called for using park land for man-made purposes — a cellphone tower in Milton, for example, or a new parking area for a Randolph function hall — this time the park's overseers propose creating a new wetlands area.

No one at a public information meeting last week questioned the value of creating the wetlands, but some park users challenged the state's proposal on where to put them. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

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.

Green Drinks Newport

December 2, 5:30 p.m.- 8:30 p.m., Newport location varies.
About: Green Drinks is an international organization that allows people in the "green" and environmental community to come together. Through this network people have made friends, found jobs, exchanged information, developed new ideas and have helped others in the field with special projects. Most of all, people have fun! Info: Contact Kara DiCamillo at kara@6square.com. 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.

Annual Farm to School Stakeholders Meeting

December 7, 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM, Providence
This is an opportunity for farmers, food service providers, and distributors to talk about the successes and challenges of the farm to school program. Hosted by Kids First at the DEM room 300: 235 Promenade St., Providence, RI.

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

DOE Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades

December 9, 3-4:00 PM, Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is conducting a series of Webinars to explain the origin, goals and schedule for the development of the Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades. The guidelines are designed to strengthen the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and foster the growth of a high-quality home energy retrofit industry and a skilled and credentialed workforce. They can be adopted by the WAP network and retrofit programs nationwide seeking to increase the consistency and effectiveness of the work performed—and utilized by—training providers to improve course curriculum and training materials. Details here.

Aha! Presentation at Coaltion for Buzzards Bay

December 9, 5-9:00 PM, Calvary Temple Assembly of God, 4321 North Main St., Fall River, MA
he Coalition for Buzzards Bay is now a partner of Aha!, New Bedford's free downtown cultural night and collaborative organization with over 60 downtown venue partners. Aha! night takes place on the second Thursday of the month from 5-9pm. At the Buzzards Bay Center, guests can visit the Richard C. Wheeler Bay Learning Center every month or enjoy our unique program offering each month.

On December 9th, to celebrate this month's Starry Night theme, The Coalition will host a multimedia presentation by Captain and Maritime Historian Carl Herzog who will be discussing the night sky and how mariners have been using it for centuries to navigate the world's oceans. Carl is a Master Mariner and former editor of Reed's Nautical Almanac who has taught Celestial Navigation for Sea Education Association in Woods Hole. A formal presentation takes place at 7pm with questions before and after. Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

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.

DOE Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades

December 15, 2-3:00 PM, Webinar
The U.S. Department of Energy Office of Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy (EERE) is conducting a series of Webinars to explain the origin, goals and schedule for the development of the Workforce Guidelines for Home Energy Upgrades. The guidelines are designed to strengthen the Weatherization Assistance Program (WAP), and foster the growth of a high-quality home energy retrofit industry and a skilled and credentialed workforce. They can be adopted by the WAP network and retrofit programs nationwide seeking to increase the consistency and effectiveness of the work performed—and utilized by—training providers to improve course curriculum and training materials. Details here.

Providence Green Drinks.

December 16, 5 p.m.- 8 p.m., Location varies
Providence Green Drinks meets the third Thursday of every month at a different location in our capital city. Info: Contact Bill Mott at bmott@theoceanproject.org.

Cedar Swamp Exploration

January 8, 10AM - 12Noon, Copicut Woods
Join Bioreserve Education Coordinator, Linton Harrington to explore the Atlantic White Cedar Swamp being restored at Copicut Woods. Once common in southeastern Massachusetts, cedar swamps are becoming increasingly rare. Since 2003 The Trustees have been growing seedlings in a restoration nursery and in 2010 volunteers and youth corps students began transplanting cedars into the swamp. The swamp at Copicut Woods has nearly 200 mature trees some of which are well over 100 years old. Come discover the beauty of the cedar swamp in winter and learn how you help with the restoration project. Boots are highly recommended. Details here.

Wilderness First Aid Course

January 22-23, 9am-5pm, Old Southworth Library
The Westport River Watershed Alliance and Bristol County Agricultural High School are hosting a Wilderness First Aid Course. This course is a must for anyone traveling in the wilderness, from the outdoor enthusiast to the trip leader. This wilderness emergency medical course will be coordinated in partnership with SOLO Wilderness Medicine, leaders in the field of rescue and emergency medicine both in the US and abroad. Participants completing the course will receive a certification in Wilderness First Aid. Call WRWA to register or register online. Cost $150. Details here.

Animal Tracking

January 29, 9 - 11AM, Bullock Rd., East Freetown
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 actually 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 foraging 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.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
SEMAP Announces First-Ever Membership Drive!
At Thursday's Annual Meeting, SEMAP's executive director, Bridget Alexander Ferreira, announced SEMAP's first-ever membership drive. "We want to keep the momentum from the relaunch going," said Alexander Ferreira. "Our goal is 500 new and renewing members by January 1, 2011," she continued. With SEMAP's newly established 501(c)(3) designation as a charitable non-profit, donations are now tax deductible and with the new website, memberships can be taken on-line. Invest in your community – invest in you - support SEMAP. See "Get Involved" above to become a member, volunteer or sponsor. Projects Learn more here, or join here.
EPA Webcasts and Podcasts: Local Climate and Energy Webcasts
The Local Climate and Energy Webcast Series assists local governments as they explore topics related to local government climate change and clean energy efforts. These monthly webcasts highlight EPA resources available to local governments and present examples of successful climate and energy programs and policies implemented locally. Presentations, recordings, and other supplemental materials are available sorted by topic or sorted by date. Learn more here.
Journal of Environmental Investing Scholarship Program supports original research on environmental investing
The Journal of Environmental Investing Scholarship Program (JEI SP; www.jeisp.org) will award US$3,500 to a graduate student who writes the most original and rigorous manuscript on a topic related to environmental investing. Students seeking an advanced degree in a discipline related to environmental investing (for example, environmental science, environmental policy, sustainability, finance, economics, environmental law, and public affairs and policy) are invited to present ideas and research. Learn more here.
Coalition Seeks Communications and Outreach Associate and Executive Assistant
The Coalition for Buzzards Bay is growing and we are looking for talented, energetic, and passionate staff members and volunteers to help further our mission. Check out the opportunities below: 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. Learn about the contest 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
Earth friendly rugs
Rugs with a lower environmental impact aren't confined to just organic cotton and wool. I was amazed at the range of natural fibers that are being used in rug making; such as sisal, jute, hemp, coir, bamboo, mountain grass, abaca, seagrass and even paper. Learn more here.

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