Connecting the Dots — Building Local Food Systems and Sustainable Energy

Two Local Events Explore Possibilities of Local Food and Renewable Energy

Saturday, June 24th from 1-4 p.m. — “A Celebration of Local Farms and Farmers” at Quabbin Harvest – 12 No. Main St., Orange, MA

Watch for New “Food from the North Quabbin” brochure this summer.

 

 

 

Tuesday, June 27th at 6:30 —   “Residential Solar Info Session at New Salem Town Hall

 

See Solar PV Facts June 2017

Thousands Marched for the Climate, Jobs and Justice — Now What?

What local, regional, and state projects can people work on now?

The climate crisis calls on us to continue our work in each community.  There are many activities that individuals can do on their own or with groups in the area.  Some of these include:

  • Speak up about climate change by writing a letter to the editor of local newspaper to talk about the need for energy conservation, efficiency and renewables.  Talk with your local legislators about these same issues. For more information on Mass Power Forward Coalition and Clean Energy Legislative Priorities for 2017-18 go to http://mapowerforward.com/legislative-agenda-2017-2018
  • Get involved with the work of town energy committees in the North Quabbin region.  To learn about the accomplishments of town energy committees see NQ Town Accomplishments GC… .
  • Contact Governor Baker to ask him to speak out against new gas pipelines and support more renewable energy projects in the state.
  • Attend a gathering of the MA Clean Energy Tour! — These are similar to Commonwealth Conversations – The Senate Committee on Global Warming and Climate Change chaired by Sen. Pacheco is hosting hearings throughout the Commonwealth to get input from you on pressing issues in clean energy and climate.  The hearing schedule for June includes: June 12th in Springfield at 6 p.m. at Western New England University’s School of Law.  For complete information on all the hearings in June  go to https://malegislature.gov/cleanenergyfuture.
  • For more information about current and future No. Quabbin Energy projects seeNQE Work Projects + Events May2017

Thousands Across the Country Marched in April to Speak Out about the Climate Crisis

 

People’s Climate March on April 29th — March for Climate, Justice and Jobs

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April 29 – People’s Climate Marches in Washington, D.C. with Sister Marches in Keene, NH, Greenfield, Springfield and Boston.  

MARCH FOR CLIMATE, JUSTICE AND JOBS —  
 
Washington, D. C. — There may still be room on some buses going from Western MA.  Buses going to DC leave from Amherst, Northampton and Holyoke.  See — http://www.climateactionnowma.org/bus-information-for-peoples-climate-march/

Sister Marches in region include:

Keene, NH – Climate March.  Carpooling from Warwick — carpooling from Warwick to Keene  (meet at 8:30 at Metcalf Chapel on Athol Road in Warwick, MA to carpool).  The day begins at 9:30am with a meet up of all marchers with signs, costumes, puppets and noise makers in the parking lot behind Margarita’s restaurant. At 10:00 am the March commences up both sides of Main St and up to Central Square. Rally from 11:00am-1:00pm.

Greenfield – Climate Rally – 10:30-12noon at Energy Park.  Contact pinthuddle2017@gmail.com for more information.

Springfield, MA  — Climate March at 3 p.m. – March will begin at the Federal Courthouse on State Street in Springfield and proceed to Springfield City Hall where it will culminate in a rally featuring local speakers, artists, and musicians. For more information see

http://www.arisespringfield.org/ClimateMarch

Boston, MA – 12-3:30 on the Boston Common.  Rally and Teach-in.  See http://masspeaceaction.org/boston-peoples-climate-mobilization/ for details.

Climate Disruption Calls for Reduction in Energy Use in U.S.A. — Can We Do It?

North Quabbin Energy Plans Follow-up Projects to March Event on “Local Action for the Climate”

Join Us on April 19th to Continue Work on Local and Regional Projects —  NQE Gathering and Potluck starting at 6 p.m. at Millers River Environmental Center (100 Main St., Athol, MA).  There will be a short film – The Economics of Happiness (20 minute version) with discussion.  Following this there will be discussion and planning which will include updates on town energy activities, the People’s Climate March (D.C., Boston, and Keene), banning plastic bags campaign, legislative up-dates on 100% Renewable Energy, funding questions, and beginning plans for Garlic and Arts Festival.

Local Action for the Climate — Many North Quabbin residents came out to hear Nathanael Fortune, a physics professor from Smith College and a member of the Whately Energy Committee, talk about the “Basics and Science of Climate Change”   on a Sunday afternoon in late March, 2017.

People listened quietly as Professor Nathanael Fortune spoke and emphasized the need to cut our energy use in the United States.  Fortune compared the Earth to a ship and pointed out that we are knocking more and more holes in the ship which means the ship is sinking if we do not plug the holes.  Fortune pointed out that consumers control the demand for energy, and in the United States we use five times as much energy as people in other countries.  In simple terms this means the United States needs to cut its energy use by 50%.  We all have a responsibility to work on this now.

Local projects that help connect the dots regarding issues related to energy use were presented briefly.  Highlights of  regional efforts include switching to  renewables and conserving energy, banning plastic bags, getting involved in strengthening the local food economy, conserving land and farms, getting involved with town energy activities and North Quabbin Energy projects.  Along with talking to neighbors and legislators on all levels, these are projects we can all work on now.

 

North Quabbin Energy Event March 26, 2017– Local Action for the Climate

Local Action for the Climate      Sunday, March 26 – 4-6 p.m.  at Millers River Environmental Center — 100 Main St., Athol, MA

Part I – Dr. Nathanael Fortune – Smith College Science Professor and Member of the Whately Energy Committee  Speaking on – “The Science and Basics of Climate Change”   Followed by Q&A

Part II – Highlights from No. Quabbin Projects on “What Can We Do Now in Our Region?  Portal to the Future — Hear about Renewables, Plastic Bag Ban Campaign, Regional Food Systems, Land/Farm Projects, No. Quabbin Energy Work, and Town Energy Activities.     Followed by Q&A with Discussion and time to talk with people working on projects.

Light Refreshments Served.  Center is handicapped accessible with parking in rear. All are Welcome.

Sponsored by No. Quabbin Energy.    Co-sponsors – Athol Bird and Nature Club, Earthlands, No. Quabbin Garlic & Arts Festival,  Orange Town Energy Committee (ad hoc),  Quabbin Harvest, Seeds of Solidarity. and other groups. (Poster Mar 26 (1) C to share and post.)  Questions: Contact plarson24@hotmail.com (978-575-1226)

 

 

Working Toward Clean Energy and Solar PV in 2017

Looking Toward 2017 — People Begin More Work on Moving Toward Clean Energy at the Individual, Local and State level

Rooftop Solar PV —  It is still a good deal to buy a system for your rooftop.  See short solar-facts-latest information from Orange Town Energy Committee (ad hoc).

100re-for-all-local-campaigns-presentation-12-2-16

Mass Power Forward begins statewide Local Clean Energy Campaign for 2017  to work toward cleaner power across MA.  You can view the webinar presentation viewed by over 100 people from across the state at https://docs.google.com/presentation/d/1PGkOyUx6isP1coZBwhx-nWB6BFJYUrJtepXJMaZRBJ8/edit#slide=id.p4

Also see interview with Senator Stan Rosenberg — Senate President Stan Rosenberg says energy and climate change to remain on Beacon Hill front burner  by Mary Serreze.  See at http://www.masslive.com/politics/index.ssf/2016/12/sen_president_rosenberg_utilit.html

#NoDAPL Work continues….

water-protectors-dapl

Water Protectors at Standing Rock peacefully protest DAPL recently.

For some of latest developments see 
https://popularresistance.org/army-corps-of-engineers-will-shut-sacred-stone-camp-by-december-5-2016

From the Recorder —  Dakota Access Pipeline protester: ‘It was a war zone’

By AMANDA DRANE
For The Recorder – 11/26/2016

Locals who lent a hand in the fight against the Dakota Access pipeline this month describe the experience as “life-changing” and the clashes with law enforcement “like being in a war zone.”

Amherst activist Jehann El-Bisi said the juxtaposition of peaceful, prayerful indigenous people with the omnipresent police force made for a lasting impression.

“To have this great beauty contrasted with being assaulted by these agencies — it’s jarring, to say the least, and disturbing,” she said, adding that tear gas burned her throat and she saw rubber bullets hurt fellow organizers.  El-Bisi, 48, has traveled to North Dakota twice since September. And she’s not alone.

Read more

Material from the Associated Press was used in this report. http://www.recorder.com/It-was-a-war-zone-6373655

Simple Actions to take to help the Standing Rock Water Protectors and #NoDAPL — Make phone calls –  North Dakota Gov. Jack Dalrymple, at 701-328-2200.  The White House, at 202-456-1111.

Army Corps of Engineers, which issued the permit allowing construction of the pipeline, even though it would cross under the Missouri River within a half-mile of the Sioux reservation boundary, at 202-761-5903.

 

 

Energy Bill Passes House and Now Goes to MA State Senate

Omnibus Energy Bill Includes Off-Shore Wind and Hydro with NO Ban on Pipeline Tax

On June 8, 2016, the Massachusetts House of Representatives voted on the long-awaited energy bill. The final version of the bill, which passed 154-1, included 1,200 MW of offshore wind — a historic step forward, although we still need to go much further —  and a great amendment on fixing gas leaks. Unfortunately, amendments banning the pipeline tax and increasing the RPS were “laid aside” without coming to a vote.   From here, the energy bill will go to the Senate, where citizens and State Senators may be able to make some changes.  See MassLive news story on passage of House Bill  4377  by House.

Meanwhile the MA Department of Energy Resource is working to develop a new solar incentive program and will hold “listening sessions” and take written comments during June.

Some June and July happenings continue to be posted under Events.

Continuing Work Toward a Clean Energy Future — Town Solar Open Houses Set

Warwick “Solar Sunday” Open Houses Set For June 5, 2016

Residents of Warwick have graciously agreed to participate in an “Open Solar – House”  self-tour.  The homeowners will be available to answer questions about their solar-electric (PV) systems.  Take advantage of this great opportunity to see the real deal and get the scoop on what it is like to “Go Solar.”

See schedule with addresses and times — Warwick Solar Sunday Schedule.  For more information about getting solar (PV) for your home see HOME SOLAR IS READY FOR YOU and Home Solar (PV) Facts.

Northfield Solar Open Houses — June 25-26, 2016.

Watch for upcoming schedule for Northfield.

 

Other News  — Latest on Kinder Morgan NED Project — Solar Open Houses and other activities  all being planned as Kinder Morgan/TGP filed a withdrawal of their application with FERC on May 23, 2016.  See

TGP Kinder Morgan Withdraws Proposal May2016  

See Upcoming Events for May and June plus Actions to Take Now!

State Legislature and Energy Bills  –  The Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy released a large energy bill today. It contains language re: offshore wind and hydropower, and omits language on gas. That is a huge step forward from prior language being thrown around in the legislature!