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December 29 to January 5, 2011

In This Issue


Global, National, and Local news, plus our Voices section

This week:

End of 2011 Birding

New Year's Beach Ramble


Save The Date:

Green from the Ground Up

Winter Adventure at Great Neck Sanctuary



New Sustainability Newsletter

Top-10 Peak Oil Books of 2011

Weekly Green Tip:

Recycle Your Gift Wrap

Clip of the Week

The Scientization of Politics
How did climate science get so politicized—and what can we do about it? Climatologist Michael Mann responds in this TEDx talk.

Weekly Quote:

"Sustainability means running the global environment - Earth Inc. - like a corporation: with depreciation, amortization and maintenance accounts. In other words, keeping the asset whole, rather than undermining your natural capital."
- Maurice Strong

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Leaf Bullet Letter from the Editors
TortoiseRe-wilding is a term coined for re-introducing a species to its habitat after decimation by man's influence -- like the repopulating of Yellowstone National Park with wolves. It's a controversial strategy. But in this story of an isolated pacific island where the ebony trees once relied on giant tortoises to eat and redisperse their seeds, sailors' hunting of the original tortoises for sea-going fresh feasts left the trees without propogators. Now naturalists are introducing a similar island tortoise to take the extinct one's place. It's an example of how humans may need to reinterprete natural systems in the process of helping to restore them where ecosystems are threatened.

Several U.S. efforts to rebuild a healthier environment are in the news this week. The push for renewable energy in Vermont may lead to what's being called an "energy secession" from the U.S. power grid. In Seattle, a ban on single-use plastic bags is following a trend set by other smaller cities and towns that have already adopted that policy in Washington state. Across the nation, people's dedication to eating fruits and vegetables from local sources is leading to an upsurge in year-round farmers' markets. Good news amidst other articles that tell of global fear and strife over serious economic instability.
Leaf Bullet Blogging on the New Sustainability
Our blog supplements the Sustainability Almanac with thoughts about sustainable practices and lifestyle choices that invite comment. Blogging on the New Sustainability: Meditations on Sustainability and Freedom this week is on vacation. Tune in next week for a new submission.
Leaf Bullet News
Airplane Turbulence As EU Court OKs Fee On Plane Emissions
A European court ruled Wednesday that airlines flying into and out of European airports will have to pay a price for the carbon dioxide they emit when they burn jet fuel.

U.S. airlines, which had been fighting the idea in court, say the European Union is trying to force other countries to reduce carbon emissions. Europe currently limits carbon dioxide emissions from its major industries to curb global warming. The ruling cannot be appealed, and the decision is likely to end the dispute. Read more here.

Burning Ice Methane in the Arctic: The end of the world, or what?
Russian scientists have discovered that the Arctic is releasing hundreds, perhaps thousands, of enormous plumes of methane from the seafloor directly into earth's atmosphere.

This is strongly reminiscent of what is probably the worst possible climate scenario imaginable, a feedback loop so humongous and destructive that it would lead to runaway warming that makes today's runaway warming look tame by comparison. The last time this happened, it poisoned 90 percent of all life on earth with hydrogen sulfide gas, in a process described by paleontologist Peter Ward as "life killing itself off." Read more here.

World economy to trudge on in 2012 despite Europe
Europe faces another year of dismal economic performance in 2012 that will weigh on global growth, but emerging markets and the United States should at least keep the world economy moving in the right direction. There are several reasons why next year may be nothing to look forward to, according to Reuters polls from the last few months. Read more here.

Bird Traditional farming 'can save threatened species'
Traditional farming methods are crucial for protecting a number of threatened bird species in the developing world, including bustards, cranes, ibises and vultures, a study has found.

Livestock grazing and features associated with arable farming -- such as hedgerows -- create environmental conditions that certain birds currently depend on for food, shelter and breeding, the authors report. Read more here.

Woman at Hearth Quality control challenges for citizen science
Crowdsourced environmental data can be useful, for example in measuring black carbon emissions, but concerns remain about quality, says Yojana Sharma.

With mobile phone users becoming ubiquitous in the developing world, harnessing citizen science from networks of phone users could provide valuable environmental data for use in scientific analysis, the executive director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) has said. Read more here.

Oil Patch Nigeria on alert as Shell announces worst oil spill in a decade
Nigerian coastal and fishing communities were put on alert after Shell admitted to an oil spill that is likely to be the worst in the area for a decade, according to government officials.

The company said up to 40,000 barrels of crude oil was spilled while it was transferred from a floating oil platform to a tanker 75 miles off the coast of the Niger delta. Read more here.

Doc and Child Fiscal Crisis Takes Toll on Health of Greeks
PERAMA, Greece -- The free clinic here opened about a year ago to serve illegal immigrants. But these days, it is mostly caring for Greeks like Vassiliki Ragamb, who was sitting in the waiting room hoping to get insulin for her young diabetic son. Four days earlier, she had run out of insulin and, without insurance and unable to pay for more, she had gone from drugstore to drugstore, pleading for at least enough for a few days. It took her three hours to find a pharmacist who was willing to help. Read more here.

Treatment of Motherhood Illustrates Divides in European Union
LONDON -- As the past three years of financial and economic strife have made plain, Europe does not have a common narrative for the 21st century. There is no European Union of welfare states, no common philosophy on how to run one's economy or manage public finances, let alone European public opinion.

Partly as a result, nationalism is increasingly prevalent across the 27-country bloc. A familiar fault line has emerged: "The euro crisis has sharpened the focus on old divisions over the role of the state in the economy and in people's lives," said Ute Frevert, director of the Center for the History of Emotions at the Max Planck Institute for Human Development in Berlin. Read more here.

Turbines and Crops Planting Wind Energy on Farms May Help Crops
With the tremendous growth in wind energy in the past decade, turbines often have been planted in or near cropland--leading both farmers and researchers to wonder what effect the rotating blades might have on corn, soy, and other crops.

In traditional agriculture in many places, farmers grow trees along the edges of fields, a technique that slows the wind and stirs up the air, benefiting the crops in the field. Now researchers are studying whether wind turbines can have a similar effect--actually helping crops to grow. Read more here.

Barn with Solar Panels Vermont's "Energy Secession" Movement: 90% Renewables by 2050
Vermont is known for its lush Green Mountains, idyllic farm landscapes, and progressive politics. What many people may not realize is that Vermont has a pretty active secessionist movement too.

Vermont isn't likely to secede from the U.S. But it is undertaking an ambitious renewable energy program that could at least put it on a path toward "energy secession" -- developing a road map for procuring 90% of its heat, electricity and fuels from renewables by 2050. Read more here.

Bags in Hand Seattle Officials Ban Single-Use Plastic Bags
The Seattle City Council voted to ban single-use plastic bags from groceries and other retail stores, joining a growing trend among cities that embrace green values.

The ban is expected to reduce pollution, free up landfill space and improve the environment. Seattle's residents use 292 million plastic bags and 68 million paper bags a year. About 82 percent of paper bags are recycled, while only 13 percent of plastic bags are recycled. Read more here.

Tornado Wreakage The Year in Weather: It Was a Disaster
A once-in-five-hundred-year flood inundated the Mississippi River valley. A once-in-a-century drought in Texas shriveled the summer's crops and sparked sweeping forest fires. The deadliest tornado season on record tore communities to splinters. 2011 was clearly a year of extreme weather.

Perhaps it is a sign of the pending 2012 apocalypse, but more likely, it is the result of a changing climate that is amplifying extremes. The chart above marks more than 2,900 separate weather records broken this year, and these records were costly. In all, Mother Nature inflicted $52 billion dollars in damage on the United States. Read more here.

US Treasury US Treasury Building's Green Investment Pays Off in LEED-Gold Rating
Work to make the U.S Treasury Building more resource efficient has earned the third-oldest federal building in Washington, D.C., gold-level LEED certification from the U.S. Green Building Council.

Stretching for more than two city blocks, the Treasury Building was under construction for 33 years from 1836 to 1869. (Only the White House and the U.S. Capitol are older.) Read more here.

Green Jobs Banner Looking ahead: Green jobs in 2012
While I typically try to look at the positive side of a situation, I'm concerned about green job growth in 2012. My biggest concern about green jobs is that, overall, the job market is stale. If the job market is struggling it isn't going to be easy to convince lawmakers, investors and other decision makers that a clean energy economy is worthy of their time and financial support. Read more here.

Nuclear Plant and Cows U.S. clears another hurdle toward nuclear renaissance
U.S. regulators moved a step closer on Thursday toward clearing the country's first nuclear reactors since the Three Mile Island accident in 1979, even as the industry struggles against plunging natural gas prices and safety fears after Japan's Fukushima disaster. The U.S. Nuclear Regulatory Commission said it had approved the latest version of Westinghouse Electric's AP1000 reactor. Read more here.

Snowman As eat-local trend grows, farmers markets go year-round
As Americans show greater interest in eating locally produced fruits and vegetables, an increasing number of farmers markets are selling year-round.

Since 2010, the number of winter markets jumped 38% from 886 to 1,225 in August 2011, according to the updated National Farmers Market Directory. These winter markets, defined as those operating at least once between November and March, now account for nearly 17% of the nation's 7,222 operating farmers markets. Read more here.

Protest in Greece Resilience: The Next Big Word for 2012
Big symbolic words come and go, and for various reasons they often annoy. That is not the fault of the actual words: articulating ideas like "corporate social responsibility" and "social entrepreneurship" in just one word is a difficult task. Environmental and conservation are words of yesteryear. Green fell out of favor and sustainability became the latest word. Now sustainability has caused grumblings for its repeated overuse and abuse. The bludgeoning of sustainability, alas, has become unsustainable. Read more here.

2011: The Year of the Activist
In 2008, community activists struggled to be heard as the noise from the presidential race convinced voters that the fate of our nation lay in a battle between two juggernauts, and that non-partisan organizing, once the back-bone of our democracy, had become superfluous.

Fast forward four years, and everything has changed. Seeing our hijacked democracy hurtling towards a fiery crash, the American citizen wrestled itself into the driver's seat, and is putting our country back on track. Read more here.

Smoke Stacks Even Canada doesn't believe its own spin on tar sands
It's time to pitch back into the controversy over Canada's lobbying offensive against proposed European penalties on fuels from tar sands. But this time we're going through the looking glass, with Canada secretly admitting it has no "credible scientific information on [the tar sands industry's] environmental performance" and the British government, which has bent over backwards to help Canada protect its highly polluting fuels, giving funding to anti-tar sands campaigners. Read more here.

Corn Field Finally: Wasteful corn ethanol subsidies ending
I turn 30 this weekend. That means that for my whole life, the corn ethanol industry has been receiving federal subsidies. From the Energy Tax Act of 1978, which gave ethanol its first tax exemption, to the American Jobs Creation Act of 2004, which put in place the Volumetric Ethanol Excise Tax Credit known as the VEETC, every gallon of corn ethanol produced over the last three decades has directly benefitted from taxpayer support in one form or another. That ends at midnight on Saturday, December 31st when the VEETC will finally expire, along with the tariff on imported ethanol. Read more here.

Cow Cartoon 5 Companies That Did Something Good for the World This Year
Occupy Wall Street has us all thinking about the bad things companies can do - and rightly so, because often those things are very, very bad. (The 2008 financial meltdown, anyone? How about the ongoing foreclosure crisis?) But sometimes some companies take steps in a positive direction, and it's worth giving those efforts a look as well.

First, let me make one thing clear: a company's inclusion on this list does not mean it is outstanding in every facet of its business. Quite the contrary. But each of these companies has done at least some things this year that are worthy of praise. Read more here.

Court backs Cape Wind power deal
The state's highest court has backed utility regulators' approval of the deal that lets National Grid buy power from the proposed Nantucket Sound wind farm.

The power-purchase agreement for half of the project's energy is not unconstitutional, as opponents of the deal had argued, according to a decision released Wednesday by the Massachusetts Supreme Judicial Court. Read more here.

Route 18 Route 18 project cruising to early finish
NEW BEDFORD — The $10.6 million reconstruction of Route 18 through the heart of New Bedford is proceeding so smoothly that officials anticipate it could be completed up to a year ahead of schedule.

"It was a three-year project but we're now nine to 12 months ahead of schedule. We feel pretty good about it and think we'll get it done in 24 months," said Ron Labelle, commissioner of the city's Department of Public Infrastructure. The goal now is to have Route 18 traffic flowing freely by next summer before the festivals begin, he said. Read more here.

Area landfills getting new lease on life due to solar, wind projects
Area landfills could be turned from idle, unwanted land into spaces for clean energy projects if a set of proposals becomes reality. In Westport, the old landfill off Hixbridge Road, which was capped in 1998, provides 13 acres and what the town calls "excellent southern exposure" for a solar panel project.

The town released a request for proposals in mid-December and plans to award a 20-year contract by the end of February. The town would simply lease the land to a contractor that would provide its own equipment. "It would cost the town nothing," Interim Town Administrator Jack Healey said. "The town would have no liability."

Healey estimated the contract could provide the town with a quarter-million dollars annually. "Towns are not going to survive in this economic climate unless they find alternative revenue sources," Healey said. Read more here.

Homeless Homeless activists urge Gov. Patrick for more assistance
BOSTON - After watching homeless prevention programs get cut during the recent lean budget years, advocates on Tuesday urged the Patrick administration to boost support for rental assistance and public housing as a way to support the governor's top four top priorities for his second term.

Supporters of increasing resources said investing in key homelessness prevention strategies would dovetail with Gov. Deval Patrick's stated goals of growing jobs, reducing health care costs, curbing youth violence and closing the education achievement gap. Read more here.

Occupy protesters drop legal battle against city of Boston
The plaintiffs in the Occupy Boston lawsuit against the city filed a voluntary dismissal today, putting an end to their quest for legal permission to reside on Dewey Square. The lawsuit, originally filed last month, was an attempt to ensure that the Occupy Boston protesters would not be evicted from the camp by police. Two weeks ago, Suffolk Superior Court Judge Frances McIntyre decided that the group did not have a constitutional right to live on the public park. Read more here.

State inks largest private land deal
A 5.4-square-mile forest in Leverett and Shutesbury will be protected from development through a land conservation restriction announced today by state officials who called it the largest of its kind in Massachusetts history.

The Brushy Mountain land restriction will protect 3,486 acres of working forest owned by the North Amherst-based W.D. Cowls Inc., protecting the land from development and vehicular traffic, but guaranteeing public access for hunting, fishing, hiking, cross-country skiing and snowmobiling. Read more here.

Health insurers slow rise in fees
Massachusetts insurers, taking a tougher line in bargaining with health care providers under pressure from financially strained customers and government regulators, have held payment increases to the lowest level in years.

The harder-line approach comes after two years of warnings by the administration of Governor Deval Patrick to rein in premiums that were crippling businesses and working families, and as state lawmakers prepare to take up a cost-control bill that would overhaul how health providers are paid. Read more here.

Lottery sales dipped throughout the recession, but still provided a bounty for cities and towns - and assorted winners
NEW BEDFORD - Money may be tight in Massachusetts in the current economic climate, but the state lottery is still a hot ticket, even though sales were flat throughout the recession. br>

But flat doesn't mean small. In fiscal year 2011, gross revenue topped $4.4 billion. The lottery gave back 72 percent of that amount in prize money and distributed almost $888 million to cities and towns, a cash infusion that many communities have come to depend upon. New Bedford's share of the bounty last year alone was $19,457,251.

The lottery, it seems, has become part of the social fabric of Massachusetts. Read more here.

T.F. Green Plans to Better Catch Harmful Runoff
WARWICK - The Rhode Island Airport Corporation plans to spend $25 million during the next three years to stop chemicals from airplane deicing trucks at T.F. Green Airport from polluting the environment.

Every winter, airports across the country, including T.G. Green, spray millions of gallons of deicing chemicals onto planes and allow the runoff to trickle away. When these chemicals end up in nearby waterways, the deicing fluid can turn streams bright orange and create dead zones for aquatic life.

The proposed collection system at T.F. Green Airport is scheduled to be completed in by March 2015. It's part of an agreement recently reached between the airport corporation and the state Department of Environmental Management (DEM) to reduce the amount of deicing pollutant that is discharged into Buckeye Brook and other nearby wetlands. Read more here.

Fairhaven selectmen OK request for wind turbine legal opinion
FAIRHAVEN - Fairhaven selectmen gave the Board of Health approval Tuesday to seek a legal opinion on whether it can challenge the town's two wind turbine projects.

Selectmen voted to authorize the three-member health board to seek legal counsel, pending the signature of Chairman Peter DeTerra, according to Selectman Mike Silvia. The decision allows the health board to ask Town Counsel Thomas Crotty if it can legally challenge the wind turbines as a health nuisance before the turbines are even operational. Read more here.

Unsold Christmas trees need a home too
It may be true that, as the song tells us, "O Christmas Tree, O Christmas Tree, your branches green delight us."But there are limits to the ecstasy, particularly for the people who are selling what is a very perishable product.

The day after Christmas, any evergreens left on the lot can't even be given away. So just how many trees to order in advance of the holidays is always a ticklish subject even for experienced Christmas tree vendors. Read more here.

Schools R.I.'s Idling Law: Unenforced or Unenforceable?
Emissions from diesel engines, when compared to those of an everyday car engine, are a nastier lot. What makes these emissions more dangerous than typical car exhaust fumes is the presence of fine particles in the puffs of black smoke emanating from exhaust pipes. According to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), these fine particles can aggravate asthma and cause lung damage. They are also classified as a likely human carcinogen.

Fortunately, all six New England states have enacted diesel idling restrictions. In Rhode Island, owners and operators of diesel-powered vehicles are subject to fines of up to $100 for the first violation, and up to $500 for successive violations. The regulation has a host of caveats concerning emergency vehicles and the like, and restricts idling to five consecutive minutes in any 60-minute period. Read more here.

Freetown residents living with Crapo Hill landfill odors
FREETOWN - After several weeks of residents enduring a foul odor believed to be coming from the Crapo Hill Landfill in New Bedford, relief is in sight.

According to Freetown Board of Health Agent Paul Bourgeois, the state Department of Environmental Protection has been making daily visits to the landfill and promises to have the problem under control within the next week. Read more here.

Westport housing village finally moving forward
WESTPORT - The long-stalled Noquochoke Village housing development is moving forward - town officials hope to soon sign a contract with a company to purchase the property, then build and manage the 50 apartment units.

"This is a long time coming," said Elizabeth Collins, the chairwoman of the Housing Partnership, a town board that has planned the project for years along with the Affordable Housing Trust. Read more here.

Schools Unsealing the future in bids on old schools
Some of the envelopes being opened at Government Center this morning will not contain late-arriving Christmas cards, and the monetary value represented inside them may not be the most generous at first glance. But the real value of the highly anticipated contents to the city of Fall River could surely be in the millions.

Tuesday at 11 a.m., city officials will open bids for the purchase and redevelopment of five long-vacant school buildings. Between 29 and 32 request for proposal specifications have been taken out on the old schools by businesses, developers, organizations and individuals interested in learning more about the properties. Read more here.

Salem to launch lightbulb swap program
The City of Salem is launching a "CFL Swap" program to encourage residents to exchange their old, inefficient incandescent bulbs for energy-efficient Compact Fluorescent Lightbulbs (CFL). Efficient lighting decreases utility costs and reduces environmental impact. For each incandescent bulb that is exchanged for a CFL, a consumer can save an average of $8 - $11 a year in electric costs. CFLs also have a much longer service life than incandescents, greatly reducing bulb replacement frequency. Read more here.

Pilgrim nuclear plant shut down because of safety relief valve leak
The Pilgrim Nuclear Power Station in Plymouth was shut down early this morning because of a leak detected in one of four safety relief valve systems. The steam leak was slightly radioactive and contained inside the plant. It posed no threat to the public or to plant workers, according to a spokesman for the Nuclear Regulatory Commission.

The leak occurred in a small valve that triggers a larger safety valve to open to relieve pressure, according to Rob Williams, a spokesman for Entergy Nuclear, which owns the power station. There are four such safety valve systems that are used in the case of pressure buildup, to vent steam from the reactor to the "suppression pool," a donut-shaped reservoir of water at the bottom of the reactor building. Read more here.

Leaf Bullet This Week in Sustainability

Last Dance, Last Chance For Birds: An Audubon Outing

December 31 8-11am, North River Wildlife Sanctuary, Marshfield, MA
With the year closing down for good at the end of the day, we're taking the final Saturday morning of 2011 as a chance to pump up our year lists! We'll scour the data from the local Christmas Bird Counts and find the best birds around, making our decision of where to go once we leave the end of the driveway. It's a free-form birding adventure, and a great way to say goodbye to 2011. Adults $15.00 members / $20.00 non-members. Details and registration here.

Save The Bay Newport Seal Cruises

December 31, January 1, 12 noon, Save the Bay Exploration Center, 175 Memorial Boulevard, Newport, RI 02840
Want to see a cow or pup that doesn't live on land? The Save The Bay Seal Watching Cruises, which treat peepers to panoplies of splash-happy seals, kick off on Thanksgiving weekend. These cruises provide the perfect opportunity to introduce holiday guests to the many wonders Rhode Island has to offer.One- or two-hour tours provide stunning glimpses of harbor seals while peppering guests with fun facts about the aquatic mammals -- such as their social habits and frequent haunts. Expert guide and binoculars included in ticket price! Guests of all ages welcome. Tickets:$20 to $30 adults, $15 to $25 Save The Bay members, seniors and childrenages 5 to 12; free for children younger than 5. For more information or to make reservations, visit www.savebay.org/seals.

Holly Hill Farm New Year's Day Walk

January 1, 1pm, 236 Jerusalem Road, Cohasset, MA
Join us for a very special New Year's Day family-friendly walk through the beautiful woods of Holly Hill Farm with experienced naturalist, Steve Ivas as our guide. Steve will lead the group past natural phenomena such as edible rock tripe and other winter delights. Dress for the weather and meet at the main barn at 1 pm. Enjoy warm cocoa at walk's end. Free for members of the Friends of Holly Hill Farm, $5 per person suggested donation for non-members. Dogs welcome. A fabulous, informed way to start the New Year! For directions or more information call 781-383-6565. Details here.

New Year's Day Beach Ramble

January 1, 2-3:30pm, Allens Pond Wildlife Sanctuary, Dartmouth, MA
Start the new year off with a Beach Ramble! Explore our Beach Loop Trail and discover what the forces of nature have left for us on the beaches and in the wracklines with volunteer naturalist, Doug Hlousek. You'll walk from the field station through winter meadow to our rocky coastline, hike over glacial moraine and then explore our sandy beach ecosystem. The walk is completed along Allens Pond, our salt pond, and ends through the grasslands as you return to the field station. This program is FREE and open to all.Details here.

Leaf Bullet Save The Date

Teaching Land Care Professionals to "Go Organic"

January 9 to 13, 1 to 4 pm, Worcester State University
The Northeast Organic Farming Association (NOFA) annual Accreditation Course in Organic Land Care will be a five-day intensive course providing professionals and master gardeners with the education needed to create thriving landscapes. The 30 hour course features a faculty of respected scientists and experienced organic land care practitioners. Class topics include: Site Analysis, Design, and Maintenance; Rain Gardens and Storm Water Infiltration; Soil Health; Fertilizer and Soil Amendments; Client Relations and Running a Business and more. Four hands-on case studies are also included in the course. Attendees may take an optional exam on the final day of the course to become NOFA Accredited Organic Land Care Professionals (AOLCPs). AOLCPs are entitled to use the NOFA Organic Land Care logo and be listed in the AOLCP Online Searchable Database at www.organiclandcare.net as well as in online and print versions of the annual NOFA Guide to Organic Land Care. This year, NOFA will be offering a group discount of 15% off total registration to any company, agency or organization sending three or more members or employees to the Accreditation Course. For information, contact the Program Coordinator, Caro Roszell at (508) 360-0874 or caro@nofamass.org or visit www.nofamass.org/programs/landcare/ to register online.

Southeast Agricultural Mediation Workshop: Conflict Resolution Skills

January 18, 6 to 8 pm, Carver Public Library, 2 Meadowbrook Way, Carver MA
This free, interactive workshop will introduce farmers and agricultural commissions to basic communication and conflict resolution skills to enhance their ability to address conflicts that arise in day-to-day dealings with customers, suppliers, neighbors, the public, etc. Participants will take a look at their own perceptions of conflict, and also learn effective techniques for better communication, as well as managing and resolving conflict. The workshop also includes a "conflict clinic" where participants have the opportunity to discuss real conflicts and get tips on how to address these situations. Facilitated by Courtney Breese is the Program Manager at the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC) and runs the Agricultural Mediation Program at MOPC and Loraine Della Porta is Deputy Director of the Massachusetts Office of Public Collaboration (MOPC). For more information and to register go to www.semaponline.org.

Green from the Ground Up: Winter Adult Education Class

January 19, Thursday nights for 10 weeks, 6 to 8pm and 5 to 8pm depanding on date, Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School
In this 10 'week class, we'll go well beyond the usual Green Building Basics and Minimums, and get into the most important High Efficiency Green Building Essentials that actually pay for themselves. After all..."he most important thing a Green Building can do is Conserve Energy." Learn about "Real World" effective and affordable green building technologies and strategies. Learn new advanced methods, materials and techniques that are very efficient and cost effective, many that can be implemented right away in your next home remodeling project. We'll provide you with the most important information you'll need to plan for a truly sustainable green build, remodel or retrofit project. Learn to build Green for much less, plus many ways to $ave on various construction and hidden costs. For more information and to register, visit the Greater New Bedford Voc-Tech High School Web site.

Beyond the Barways

January 21, 1pm, 1100 Main Rd., Westport.
Barways are those inviting openings in stone walls and fences that lure us to the fields and paths ahead. Join The Trustees of Reservations for a guided walk on protected, privately-owned land. Learn about land protection from the experts and get a rare glimpse of open space preserved for Westport's future. Be prepared for uneven ground and grand surprises! Pre-registration required. Details here.

A Winter Adventure at Great Neck Sanctuary

January 21, 9am to Noon, Great Neck Sanctuary, Wareham
Join Bay Coalition conservation and education staff for a guided nature walk and exploration at one of the best hidden treasures in Buzzards Bay. The Great Neck Sanctuary (managed by Mass Audubon) has everything that makes this region so specatular - forests, wetlands, beaches, and the bay - and you will be surprised at whats happening all winter long. Reservations requested. Contact Rob Hancock at 508.999.6363 or hancock@savebuzzardsbay.org.

Barn Raising: Marketing Your Farm Business and Increasing Your Sales

January 24 to March 6, Tuesdays, 5:30 to 8:30 pm, UMass Extension Cranberry Station, Wareham, MA
SEMAP has partnered with Kelly Pelissier owner of Sage Hill Design and Katie Cavanagh Farms Forever Coordinator to offer a very comprehensive workshop series that takes you through the steps of developing a marketing plan for your farm. The workshop series will help you:
- Develop a branding concept for your farm.
- Develop an overall marketing campaign for your farm - plus mini-campaigns for different seasons.
- Understand and decide what marketing tools (web, print, etc.) best attract customers to your farm.
- Learn how to plan and create the framework for your farms website.
- Plan and create a WordPress website for your farm.
For more information and to register, visit the SEMAP online.

Leaf Bullet Announcements
Sustainability Newsletter
We are thrilled to announce the launch of our latest newsletter, for Winter of 2011! Check out stories about our new forest living lab, our big campus-wide energy retofit, successful sustainability alumni, the southcoast bike path, and more! Download the PDF here.
The Top 10 Peak Oil Books Of 2011
"Peak Oil" is the term for predictions about when we will have passed the mark for extracting oil from the earth in its best quantities. After Peak Oil, extraction supplies will only dwindle. Experts say we already passed that mark three decades ago. For the best, most recent reading on the subject, including its effects on the economy, energy supplies, and other factors expected to peak and dwindle, click here.
New SouthCoast Rail Project Manager's Fact Sheet Updates
Newly minted SouthCoast Rail Project Manager Jean Fox is reaching out to her constitutents with an informative Fact Sheet which includes recent area improvement grant recipient descriptions. She is also gathering community ideas and concerns about the Rail Project as she works on its Final Environmental Impact Statement/Final Environmental Impact Report (FEIS/FEIR). For more information, visit www.mass.gov/southcoastrail. To read the Fact Sheet click here.
Save The Bay to host Bay-themed art sale and exhibit featuring more than 200 original works of art by local artists
The Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit is designed to bring iconic images dotting the state's landscape, from sunset over Narragansett Bay to scenic beachfront. Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit provides the perfect opportunity to pick up a Rhode Island-inspired holiday gift while supporting a worthy cause. Pieces, valued between $50 and $3,000, will include paintings, photography, jewelry, and sculpture. 50 percent of the sale proceeds will benefit Save The Bay programs. More information on the Artists for Save The Bay Sale and Exhibit available at www.savebay.org/artists.
New Report: "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate."
The American College and University Presidents' Climate Commitment (ACUPCC) has released a new resource titled "Higher Education's Role in Adapting to a Changing Climate." This report was developed by the ACUPCC Climate Adaptation Committee to support the ACUPCC network in addressing the timely issue of climate adaptation. It includes examples of how campuses are handling issues related to adaptation in their education, research, operations, and community engagement activities, and provides an overview of the key issues presidents, trustees, and administers need to address in light of the impacts of climate change. Details here.
Job Opening: Director of Environmental Stewardship
The City of New Bedford is currently accepting applications for Director of Environmental Stewardship. The Director serves as the executive head of the Department of Environmental Stewardship, and promotes and coordinates the integration of environmental management and sustainability issues into policies, rules, produces, services and operations. The Director is responsible for overseeing site assessment and remediation projects, environmental planning projects, providing assistance to the Conservation Commission and advising City departments (including the School Department) on environmental compliance issues. The Director works under the general supervision of the Mayor. A complete job description is available at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/jobs/Director_of_Env_Stwd.pdf. Instructions for how to apply can be found on the City's Personnel/Employment Opportunities website at: http://www.newbedford-ma.gov/Personnel/employ.html.
Bioneers Connecting for Change Conference Videos
This year, the Marion Institute is making youttube videos of its featured Bioneers keynote conference speakers available online for everyone to experience. First up is Amy Goodman from Democracy NOW! with her comments about the state of our nation's media and its coverage of sustainability issues. Check the Connecting for Change Facebook page for links and announcements of further video postings. Check for video releases on Facebook.
UMass Center for Marketing Research Accepting Requests
The UMass Dartmouth Center for Marketing Research is accepting requests from area businesses and other organizations to perform marketing research for the spring semester, beginning in Jan. 2012. The UMass Dartmouth center performs customized market research at affordable prices. Clients range from small and start-up businesses to Fortune 500 companies and include firms from both the commercial and nonprofit sectors. Each semester, about eight clients are selected for participation in the ongoing research program involving graduate and undergraduate marketing students. The final project is a statistically valid, survey-based research study. For a full listing of past clients and testimonials from them, visit http://www.umassd.edu/cmr. Any business interested in becoming a client should contact center director Nora Ganim Barnes for more information regarding fees and semester timelines. Barnes can be reached at 508-999-8756 or nbarnes@umassd.edu.
Organic Farming Practices Course at BCC
Registration for winter/spring course in Organic Farming Practices (OFP 115) is open at Bristol Community College in Fall River. The course is designed for gardeners, farmers, landscapers, community organizations, and concerned citizens. The course will cover farm management (planning, records, & budgeting), plant propagation, season extension, and major crop cultivation. Senior citizens and veterans may be eligible for waiver of tuition for credit courses. Courses begin January 24, 2012. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Natural Beekeeping Course at BCC
Get the buzz about beekeeping. Bristol Community College is offering open enrollment to its spring Natural Beekeeping course. Aspiring and new beekeepers will learn the essential skills necessary to begin a hobby or small enterprise as a beekeeper including purchasing and establishing a hive, disease and pest management, and harvesting the honey. The 6-week course, which emphasizes organic methods of beekeeping, includes at least one field day demonstration of installing, feeding, and the beginning steps of establishing a hive. Participants will have the opportunity to purchase their own bees, hives and equipment. The course will be held on Mondays, from 6:00 to 9:00 pm, starting February 27. It may be taken as a noncredit course or for one college credit. For more information contact Professor Jim Corven james.corven@bristolcc.edu.
Regional Bikeway Conversation
Conversations about the Regional Bikeway are heating up and we need your help! The Fall River, Dartmouth, and New Bedford bikepath committees are seeking members. For more information contact:
New Bedford: Angela Bannister bannist324@yahoo.com or Pauline Hamel phamel@bu.edu
Dartmouth: Wendy Henderson whenderson@town.dartmouth.ma.us
Fall River: Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net
For information about the regional bikeway, contact Adam Recchia arecchia@srpedd.org.
For information about upcoming bikerides, contact Brian Pearson btrekman@comcast.net.
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. The writing contest is open to all young people in the world from the ages of eight through seventeen (8-17). There is a $400.00 award every month to eight or more young authors with scholarship awards ranging from $25.00 to $100.00 through 2015. In addition, the judges will select the best essay in the calendar year and that young person will receive a $500.00 scholarship award. Yearly the top fifty essays will be sent to the White House and be made available to governments across the world. Bi-yearly, the best one hundred winning essays will be published as an e-book for world wide distribution. Learn about the contest here.
Buy Carbon Credits with the Marion Institute
Offset one ton of carbon emissions for just $7. Your tax-free donation will go directly to the Marion Institute's Gaviotas Carbon Offset Initiative, which has been reforesting tropical rainforest for over twenty years. Donate here.

Leaf Bullet Weekly Green Tip
Recycle Your Gift Wrap
The trick is to prepare by having a box or bag ready, so when everyone starts tearing through their presents under the tree in an ecstatic frenzy, you can easily divert the scraps into one convenient location.
Learn more here.

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