Tag Archives: stop global warming!

China is leading the way on climate change, and the U.S. should be ashamed

Rosalie’s kitchen table this a.m.: More corn please! pic:R.T.

By Jennifer Bates

China will soon surpass the U.S. to become the world’s largest economy.

And now it is poised to overtake this country by yet another metric: environmental protection.

In an unexpected development, China – known for its choking urban pollution and notorious Three Gorges Dam – has introduced new dietary guidelines that seek to cut its meat consumption in half.

If this sounds familiar, it might be because you remember similar guidelines proposed in the U.S. in 2015 — which were promptly rejected by officials on the grounds that dietary guidelines aren’t an “appropriate vehicle” for addressing sustainability concerns.

But what we eat is directly tied to the environment, and large-scale animal agriculture is destroying our planet. You probably know that this industry spews climate-changing greenhouse gases into the air, but animal agriculture’s adverse effects don’t end there. Because the industry relies on water-intensive crops and uses enormous amounts of water to clean out filthy enclosures, provide animals with drinking water and more, the average meat-eater indirectly consumes nearly 600 gallons of water per day more than someone who just eats plant-based foods.

One pig produces as much fecal matter as 10 humans, and that waste has to go somewhere. Often, the toxic stew finds its way into our rivers and oceans, poisoning aquatic life. Meanwhile, countless acres of rainforest are cut down every day to create more grazing lands or to plant crops intended solely to feed farmed animals.

This industry is also hell on the animals raised for human consumption, who are violently abused and traumatized from birth to death. Male pigs and cattle are castrated without painkillers. Farmed fish are kept in crowded, filthy enclosures full of their own waste. And each year, nearly 1 million chickens and turkeys are still alive and conscious when they’re immersed in the scalding-hot water of feather-removal tanks.

The average Chinese citizen consumes about 128 pounds of animal flesh each year. But the average American? Two hundred and sixty-four pounds, more than twice the amount of our Eastern competitors.

By cutting its meat consumption, China will spare billions of sentient beings a terrifying death. Cutting back on meat will also be a tremendous boon to public health, because it will reduce not only air pollution but also diet-related illnesses such as diabetes and obesity. China seems to understand what the U.S. refuses to acknowledge — that the health of our planet and the health of our citizens are irrevocably linked.

Fifteen years ago, the U.S. dropped out of the Kyoto Protocol — the world’s first concerted effort to tackle climate change — with the argument that it was unfair to expect Western nations to curb emissions while exempting China. But now that China has fully signed on to the new Paris Agreement and has taken this important first step toward reducing its meat consumption, what’s holding back the U.S.?

It is a travesty that China acts while we sit on the sidelines refusing to address the most pressing issue of our time. Rather than bickering over “appropriate vehicles” while the planet melts and burns around us, we must respond. The only way to reclaim our status as world leader is by going beyond China’s measures.

First, the U.S. should drop federal subsidies for the animal-agriculture industry in favor of subsidies for plant-based foods. Next, we must lead on the development of in vitro meat, which generates 96 percent fewer greenhouse-gas emissions and whose production requires up to 99 percent less land, 96 percent less water and 45 percent less energy than “traditional” meat. Finally, we must all do our part as Americans by curbing our crippling addiction to animal flesh.

Go vegan, and the health of our environment — not to mention our status as a world leader — will follow.

Clark U parked in yum yums … Wild and Scenic Film Festival



Clark University’s Earth Week!

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival comes to Worcester!

Clark University and the Greater Worcester Land Trust host the Wild and Scenic Film Festival on Tour at Clark University’s Razzo Hall – April 23


Doors open at 3:30 pm

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival is a collection of films from the annual festival held the third week of January in Nevada City, CA, which is now in its 14th year!

Wild & Scenic focuses on films which speak to the environmental concerns and celebrations of our planet. “Films featured at Wild & Scenic give people a sense of place,” says Tour Associate Director, Amelia Workman. “In today’s busy world, it is easy to disconnect from our role in the global ecosystem. When we realize that the change we need in this world begins with us, we start making a difference. Come get inspired!”

The Wild & Scenic Film Festival was started by the watershed advocacy group, the South Yuba River Citizens League (SYRCL) in 2003.

The festival’s namesake is in celebration of SYRCL’s landmark victory to receive “Wild & Scenic” status for 39 miles of the South Yuba River in 1999.

The 5-­day event features more than 150 award­winning films and welcomes over 100 guest speakers, celebrities, and activists who bring a human face to the environmental movement. The home
festival kicks­off the international tour to over 150 communities around the globe, allowing SYRCL to share their success as an environmental group with other organizations.

The festival is building a network of grassroots organizations connected by a common goal of using film to
inspire activism. With the support of National Partners: Patagonia, CLIF Bar, Sierra Nevada Brewing, Orion Magazine, Klean Kanteen, Earthjustice, and Barefoot Wine & Bubbly, the
festival can reach an even larger audience.

Featured at the tour event in Worcester, The Thousand Year Journey: Orgeon to Patagonia, Jedidiah quits his job to bicycle to the southern tip of Patagonia; One Woman Roadblock, Marilyn led her community in defeating proposed mine sites, and several more. The festival is a natural extension of GWLT’s work to inspire people to engage with and act on behalf of natural spaces. This event is part of Clark University’s Earth Week, a celebration of our planet.


Date and Time: Doors open at 3:30 pm and shows start at 4 pm.
At Razzo Hall, Traina Center for the Arts, Clark University; 92 Downing

WSU parked in A.I. … Worcester State University students and faculty join fossil fuel divestment fund

The Worcester State University divestment team will start investing in the Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund.

It will join 29 other universities across the country to ensure that donations go to investments that uphold the university’s core values rather than to the Worcester State Foundation’s current portfolio, which includes fossil fuel stocks.

“Students and faculty have worked since the spring of 2013 to persuade the
university’s president and foundation board that Worcester State must divest of its fossil fuels portfolio,” said Patricia Benjamin, associate professor in the Department of Earth, Environment and Physics. “The science is overwhelmingly on our side. We
must leave the oil in the ground and invest in wiser energy choices.”

The student-led divestment effort has included talks in classes, meetings
with university leaders, and a die-in at the university’s Board of Trustees meeting in March, said Ashley Seymour, a junior student divestment leader and biology major.

“One of the university’s core values is engaged citizenship,” Seymour said.
“WSU says it is preparing students to be active and informed citizens. It wants us to be involved in community service, the democratic process and environmental
sustainability efforts.”

The group’s divestment efforts yielded no results.

It will join the Multi-School Fossil Free Divestment Fund so those who want to support the university can do so
without violating their own moral principles.

Tax-deductible donated funds will be held in escrow in a socially responsible
investment account that does not invest in fossil fuels. These escrowed donations will be released to the Worcester State Foundation if it pledges, before the end of
2017, to divest from fossil fuels.

“The foundation must publicly announce that it has halted new investments
in the fossil fuel industry and present a plan to withdraw all existing investments in this sector within five years,” Benjamin said. “The Divestment Fund will then turn over the escrowed funds to Worcester State’s foundation.”

At the current rates of fossil fuel burning, the earth’s temperature could rise by 4 degrees Celsius by 2050, which is 2 degrees Celsius warmer than an
internationally agreed-upon limit. The World Bank has called this amount of
warming “devastating.”

The WSU student-led divestment site is http://wsudivest.wix.com/fossilfree

For further information about the Multi-State Fossil Fuel Divestment Fund, see

Massachusetts Residents Applaud First National Plan to Curb Carbon Pollution

BOSTON – Massachusetts elected officials, clean energy and public health advocates, environmental justice leaders, and many more today applauded President Obama and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency for finalizing the Clean Power Plan, the nation’s first protections from dangerous carbon pollution emitted by existing power plants.

These new standards, which are part of President Obama’s Climate Action Plan, will clean up the industries that create the lion’s share of carbon pollution in our country, while advancing the growth of clean, renewable energy in Massachusetts and across the country.

The new protections will also help reduce other life-threatening air pollution including mercury, soot, and smog.

“In state, we’ve already seen the enormous economic benefits of reducing carbon pollution and investing in clean, renewable energy like wind and solar,” said Emily Norton, Director of the Sierra Club’s Massachusetts Chapter. “Through state leadership under the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, Massachusetts is working towards a bright future with cleaner air and more clean energy jobs. We hope Massachusetts leaders will seize this opportunity with the Clean Power Plan to continue to go above and beyond in protecting public health, advancing clean energy solutions, and maintaining our region’s position as a national leader in clean energy.”

The northeast corner of the country is already leading the country in reducing pollution with the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI). Since launching the program in 2008, states participating in RGGI have led the nation with significant reductions of carbon and health-damaging air pollution while lowering electric bills and creating tens of thousands of new jobs, generating billions of dollars in net economic benefits.

Carbon pollution is the main contributor to climate disruption, fueling superstorms, floods, wildfires, and record drought. Power plants spewing dangerous carbon pollution also have a disproportionately negative effect on low-income communities and communities of color already suffering from the worst effects of toxic pollution, including heart attacks, asthma, and premature death. By establishing carbon pollution protections, President Obama and the EPA are beginning the essential work of cleaning up and modernizing the way we power our country.

“From extreme and devastating weather patterns to unsafe air quality, Massachusetts residents know the consequences of dangerous carbon pollution all too well,” concluded Norton. “Today, our nation is taking a bold and historic action to address the growing threat of carbon pollution and climate disruption and to protect the health of families across our country. While there is more work to be done, I applaud President Obama and our Environmental Protection Agency for finalizing these historic safeguards to reduce dangerous carbon pollution from power plants and ensure that our kids, our communities and Massachusetts’ workforce are healthier, while also creating much-needed jobs and fighting climate disruption.”

As RGGI states have proven, complementary investments in energy efficiency, wind, and solar have made reducing carbon pollution from dirty power plants easy: the region includes 6 of the top 10 most energy efficient states in the country and every single state already has their own successful clean energy target. Energy consumers in the RGGI region– households, businesses, government users, and others – have saved $460 million, as their overall energy bills drop over time. States participating in RGGI can seize that opportunity by continuing to set carbon pollution reduction targets for power plants above and beyond minimum federal limits through the forthcoming RGGI Program Review, and expanding successful energy efficiency and clean energy targets to achieve 100% carbon-free electricity.


The Sierra Club is America’s largest and most influential grassroots environmental organization, with more than 2.4 million members and supporters nationwide. In addition to creating opportunities for people of all ages, levels and locations to have meaningful outdoor experiences, the Sierra Club works to safeguard the health of our communities, protect wildlife, and preserve our remaining wild places through grassroots activism, public education, lobbying, and litigation.

For more information, visit http://www.sierraclub.org.

Chandler Street: at Worcester State University


350 Massachusetts – Central MA Node is co-sponsoring …

an Environmental Film Night …

at Worcester State University, 486 Chandler St.

Sunday, July 26

5 pm – 8 pm

Ghosh Sci-Tech building, Room 102

The evening will begin with several selected short films, including Forest Man, an award winning short!

Our feature film is Chasing Ice.

Chasing Ice is the story of one man’s mission to change the tide of history by gathering undeniable evidence of our changing planet. Watch as a team of photographers deploys revolutionary time-lapse cameras across the brutal Arctic, capturing a multi-year record of the world’s changing glaciers — and undeniable evidence of our changing planet. This movie is not to be missed!

The night will include refreshments, door prizes and plenty of opportunity to hear more about the growing environmental movement in Massachusetts and beyond!