Jill Stein will be presenting a powerpoint presentation on the very grave
dangers of global warming this Sunday, October 19 from 5 to 7 pm at my
house (26 Middle Street, Amherst), and I would love you to come to help
spread the word to your friends and neighbors after seeing what this is
all about. There is a local ballot initiative on the ballot Nov. 4 called
Secure Green Future, which asks for 80% reduction in global warming by
2020, not the meaningless 15 - 20% in the new Massachusetts bill and in
similar bills around the country. Come get educated on why we need to act
much more quickly! And why a massive infusion of government funding into
green jobs is what we have to do - as spelled out by world famous food
activist Lester Brown in his Plan B.
This Secure Green Future initiative is on the ballot in Amherst and
Granby (Ellen Story's district) and in Hatfield, Montgomery, and the
Hamptons (Peter Kocot's district). The reason we ask you to come is so
that you will see the urgency of voting yes, and that your knowledge and
enthusiasm after seeing the powerpoint and the follow-up discussion will
charge you with enthusiasm to call your friends with a short phone call
to each to help spread the word. You will also be wanting to ask them to
pass it on to their friends.
We must rely on these houseparties around the state since this is a local
ballot initiative - and as such - does not get described in the mailing
booklet from the Sec. of State. We are working to get this as a state
wide initiative as soon as possible so this occurs next.
Please go to
for more information. At this site you can also sign the state-wide petition now in the works.
Below I paste a 600 word piece -taken form the webpage above - which very powerfully describes why it is so important that this initiative pass in the towns I enumerated above. We are going to get this into the Gazette soon, and I am trying to get it also into the Amherst Bulletin.
Please RSVP if you can come - via email or by phoning me at 256-6044. We especially need some people from Hatfield, Montgomery, and the Hamptons - the Peter Kocot district. If you or someone you know live in the Peter Kocot district, we especially want to find out if someone there can host Jill on Sunday, October 19 from 1-3 or 2-4. She is really fun and dynamic. This is an opportunity you should not miss.
Thanks so much!
Embracing a New Economy Before It's Too Late
by John Andrews and Larry Ely
As an ocean liner approaches an iceberg there is often a point at which the danger becomes clear and decisive action can avert disaster. If that moment slips away, the ship's fate is sealed. There is mounting evidence that humanity has reached such a decision point with regard to our addiction to fossil fuels. The double threat of climate chaos and economic collapse are staring us in the face. If we fail to act, our world may begin to unravel in ways that are beyond our ability to control.
Of course, everyone is talking about going green and using oil more efficiently. But will we move fast enough to avoid the "tipping points" beyond which all remedies fail? Recently the Massachusetts legislature passed legislation calling for an 80% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 - which is 42 years from now. In the light of recent scientific studies showing that global warming is moving more rapidly than expected, waiting four decades to reach the 80% goal seems like flirting with disaster.
An alternative to the go-slow approach has been offered by Lester Brown, president of the Earth Policy Institute. His "Plan B" would launch a national mobilization of resources comparable to the wartime mobilization of World War II. By investing in wind, solar, and geothermal power, Plan B would create hundreds of thousands of green jobs and cut our greenhouse gas emissions 80% by the year 2020.
On November 4, voters in 11 House districts in Massachusetts will have a chance to vote on a non-binding "Secure Green Future" question that asks the Legislature to adopt targets similar to Brown's Plan B. This question calls for an 80% reduction by 2020, with a focus on local job creation. In our area, the Secure Green Future question will be on the ballot in Amherst, Granby, Hatfield, Montgomery, Northampton, Southampton, and Westhampton. Anyone in Massachusetts, regardless of where they vote, can sign a Secure Green Future petition by going to securegreenfuture.org.
Breaking our oil addiction would be a priority even without the global warming crisis. It is clear that the world is running out of cheap oil. We see evidence of this in the rising price of gasoline - a key driver behind the world economic slowdown that collapsed global credit markets in October. As oil supplies get tighter, disruptions due to war and natural disasters become sharper and oil-dependent businesses begin to fail. While price fluctuations may occur, a return to the days of cheap oil is not going to happen - it's an economic and geophysical impossibility. But making our economy run without a dependence on oil can be done.
The Secure Green Future question envisions strengthening our local green economy by redirecting state subsidies away from energy-intensive, unsustainable misadventures - such as destination casinos, airport expansion, high end and inefficient housing, and sprawl development. Instead, it calls for investing our tax dollars in local small businesses and cooperatives creating jobs in renewable energy, conservation and sustainable agriculture. Such a sustainable, relocalized economy would provide a much sounder foundation for our future prosperity than the globalized Wall Street economy that tends to exploit communities rather than strengthen them.
Maybe it's time to insist that our national wealth go into building a sustainable green economy rather than being squandered on futile bailouts. Saving the planet and saving the economy can become one mission. Let's hope that the idea catches on.
John Andrews is president of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healthy Communities. Larry Ely resides in Amherst. He is on the board of the Massachusetts Coalition for Healhty Communities, and is coordinator of the Pioneer Valley Relocalization Project, a special project of the