We are at a point now where New York State is deciding whether or not to frack for gas, and if they decide to allow it only the five counties of Broome, Tioga, Chenango, Steuben and Chemung will be drilled. Some people are calling this plan for the area a Demonstration Project, while other people are saying it makes the area a Sacrifice Zone. But while everyone is waiting to see which side will win, depending on whether drilling happens or not, I am starting to think that neither side can really win.
Both sides sincerely want to build an economy with jobs and a bright future but the fact is that neither side can build such an economy without the other side being a part of it. Battles might be won but the war will be lost. Rather than waste any more time on a tug-of-war I have been thinking lately about what both sides really want, to see if there is a way to get the most people pulling the rope in the same direction. On one hand there are people with a lot of land who want to get into the business of creating energy. On the other hand are a lot of people who want to buy energy, but it has to be energy that does no more damage to the planet. It is actually a perfect partnership that is just waiting for an idea to bring them together.
Here’s an idea: the rural landowners of these five counties should get into the energy business and sell the type of energy that the majority of their customers want, in order to maximize profits. That energy, the one that solves the problem of empty land no longer making money and the increasingly real problems of a hot Earth, is solar energy. There is a new phrase being used to describe large areas around the world being devoted to large arrays of solar panels- a solar park.
A date has been set for a discussion of the book Local Dollars, Local Sense: How to Shift Your Money from Wall Street to Main Street and Achieve Real Prosperity--A Community Resilience Guide by Michael Shuman. Peg Johnston put out a call for people to read this book "because the missing piece for development of Binghamton is often the lack of capital--there has to be ways for ordinary people to invest locally."
This will be the kickoff for a new community gathering, the Binghamton Cabaret, styled after the Science Cabaret. Topics relating to Binghamton development will be offered for open discussion, regularly on the Third Tuesday of the month (with changes for holidays) at the Lost Dog Cafe Violet Room. David Sloan Wilson of the Binghamton Neighborhood Project and David Currie of BRSC invite the public to the Binghamton Cabaret.
Participants may have dinner at the Lost Dog ahead of the meeting or just attend the meeting at 7:30pm
The Patient Protection and Affordable Care Act, legislated by Congress and signed into law by President Obama in 2010, has produced a bitter birth control brouhaha. "Diametrically opposed worldviews about the nature and purpose of human sexuality," as activist Gloria Feldt puts it*, have created a battleground out of equitable access to reproductive care, family planning, and thus, women’s bodies. There has been a lot of debate about whether mandating all employers, including religious ones, to provide health insurance that covers contraception is a religious freedom issue, a health care issue, or a women's rights issue. All of these important topics play a role, and how the controversy is framed greatly affects the discussion. In the first few months after this issue became news, another overarching issue was touched on in some articles but I didn't see it actually named. That topic is Reproductive Justice.
Attention Chenango Area Gardeners and Growers,
Late Blight has been confirmed on tomatoes in a garden in the eastern portion of the Town of Norwich.
Late Blight is a disease of tomatoes and potatoes. It moves quickly within and between gardens and can devastate whole crops within days. Dark lesions form on the stems and leaves, and eventually the fruit. These lesions look “watery” and have no yellow margin. Drought stress can look similar. To see images of Late Blight and some look a-like diseases please go to
If you believe you have Late Blight, please submit a sample to the Cornell Plant Diagnostic Clinic. Call or see the website for sample packing and handling.
A real analysis of the United State’s economic history is rarely discussed by politicians or media alike, since the conclusions that would be inevitably drawn would be out of step with what politicians are currently advocating.
Thanks to Occupy, most working people are well aware of the growing inequalities in wealth. But for those who lack the specifics, former Secretary of Labor Robert Reich provides a useful overview:
“…the rich have been getting a larger and larger portion of total income. From 9 percent in 1980, the top 1 percent's take increased to 23.5 percent by 2007. CEOs who in the 1970s took home 40 times the compensation of average workers now rake in 350 times.” (“Confessions of a Class Warrior,” August 22, 2010).
The U.S. media has made its intentions clear: the 'rebels' attacking Syria's government must have more support to advance Syria's "revolution.” This was the result of the much-hyped advance of Syria's rebels into the country’s two largest cities, which the western media portrayed as a defining moment in global democracy. But "journalists" like these have blood on their hands, with much more in the works.
Echoing the story of David vs. Goliath, janitors in Houston are on strike and taking on such corporate giants as JPMorganChase and Exxon Mobile in an effort to pressure the janitorial companies they employ to agree to the workers' modest demands. It is these big business behemoths that are the real powers behind cleaning contractors such as ABM, GCA, ISS etc. By striking against these contractors, and publicly targeting these contractors' employers, the janitors are using their collective power in a showdown that has great significance for not only the Labor Movement but all workers.
There is a new article by Bill McKibbon on global warming in Rolling Stone that everyone is talking about and you will want to read. It's in the current issue or you can read it online here
In it, McKibbon of www.350.org, argues that three numbers matter:
1. 2 degrees Celsius, the number of degrees we can afford to increase the average global temperature before we a permanently screwed.
2. 565 Gigatons is the amount of carbon we can afford to pour into the atmosphere by mid century
3. 2,795 Gigatons is the amount of fossil fuels the industry has in reserves, ready to burn right now.
McKibbon makes a convincing argument for targeting the fossil fuel industry and making them pay for the by product of their industry. See article below on same topic.
To support the Kickstarter funding of this project and to view the movie, go to http://www.kickstarter.com/projects/506241886/frack-you.
Frack You! - a highly combustible comedy that ignites a dialogue about fracking.
* Funding ends: Aug. 10, 2012