Saturday, November 6, 2010

Fracking Forum

Fracking ForumIthaca College hosted a forum on fracking Wednesday night. Because of the relevance to the Business Sustainability course I am teaching, the class attended the event. Panelists included:

  • Anthony Ingraffea, Ph.D., the D.C. Baum Professor of Engineering, Cornell University
  • John Holko, president of Lenape Resources, a gas drilling company, and secretary of the Independent Oil and Gas Association of New York
  • Lorin Cooper, chair of the Political Action and Public Relations Committee of of the Steuben County Landowners Association, a drilling advocacy group
  • Jannette Barth, Ph.D., president of J.M. Barth and Associates, an economic research and consulting firm
  • Robert Howarth, Ph.D., the David R. Atkinson Professor in Ecology and Environmental Biology, Cornell University
  • Helen Slottje, Esq., attorney with Community Environmental Defense Counsel, Inc.
  • Barbara Lifton, New York State Assembly member, 125th District (including Ithaca)
The organizers were very interested in providing a balanced panel, but the audience was likely 80% (or more) against fracking.

I learned much about the procedure of fracking (i.e., hydraulic fracturing), and became even more disturbed by some of its potential consequences. Perhaps the most worrisome comment came from Barbara Lifton, who recounted a story told by Josh Fox, director of Gasland. When he visited Albany to screen the movie for state lawmakers, he said that when making the movie, he wanted to present an alternative to the cities ravished by environmental and health problems after fracking has been instituted in their communities. When he went to oil and gas industry representatives and asked for a community that had benefited from the process, they couldn't give him one example.

Fracking Forum

Fracking Forum

Fracking Forum

The seats were actually all filled for the majority of the evening, but it was a long night. I even left early, but when I left and took the picture, most attendees had dispersed.

Friday, November 5, 2010

The Honeymoon Ends so Quickly!


I didn't even get a chance to change out of my wedding dress before the drudgery began!

Anna took this picture - we thought it was hilarious! In reality, the ironing board was out for Elita, my sister-in-law. I'm not sure I've ironed a piece of clothing since we moved to Ithaca!

Wednesday, November 3, 2010

From Green America: 10 Reasons to Stay Hopeful

A letter from Green America:

No matter what your hopes were for Tuesday’s election, one outcome that we’re all too likely to see is political gridlock.

That makes the work we do together -- advancing social justice and environmental responsibility through economic action -- more important than ever. Here are just a few examples:

1. By working to close the filthiest coal-fired power plants, we can work to meet our climate goals -- without one new piece of legislation.

2. By creating Clean Energy Victory Bonds, we can finance the next big wave of solar and wind -- without one penny of taxpayer dollars.

3. By focusing on energy efficiency, we can help every American family save hundreds or thousands of dollars a year -- better than a tax break, since it will happen year after year with no Congressional vote required.

4. By accelerating the transition to clean energy, we ensure the next big wave of good jobs.

5. By going local and organic with our food, and rebuilding local food systems, we can make sure there is healthy, affordable food for all.

6. By choosing Fair Trade, we can help families around the world lift themselves out of poverty.

7. By switching to community banks and credit unions, we can take support away from the mega-banks who were at the center of the global economic crisis – and invest in our local communities.

8. By supporting green businesses, we can rebuild our Main Streets and create new jobs. Recent studies confirm what you and I have known for years: According to the Kaufman Foundation, over the past 25 years, virtually all net new jobs in the US have been created by small, local and independent businesses that are less than five years old. The Pew Charitable Trust reported that green jobs in the U.S. grew more than twice as fast as the overall job market in the past ten years, and suffered fewer setbacks.

9. By choosing green products and services, people can improve their health, live better and save money when they go green.

10. By using our consumer and investing power, we can make real, lasting change. Steps forward include Home Depot shifting to sustainably-harvested wood and Ben & Jerry’s committing to be 100% Fair Trade with their flavors by 2012. Let's keep up the pressure on Hershey's to go Fair Trade!

Americans can and do come together for clean energy and jobs, healthy food, a fair deal for all, and financing systems that rebuild our Main Streets. As we work together on strengthening local businesses and local communities, we're also building alliances across political divides, reknitting the fabric of our country. We have powerful tools at our fingertips for accelerating the shift to a just and sustainable economy.

Quotation of the Day

"The best argument against democracy is a five-minute conversation with the average voter."

~Winston Churchill

Tuesday, November 2, 2010

I Voted

polling place

voting booths

i voted

While I am disappointed with the results in general, the three main races in New York were won by the candidates for whom I voted. Even more importantly, Proposition B in Missouri, which establishes minimum humane standards at puppy farms, passed. (See the YES! on Prop B website to find out what you can still do to help.) Another relief: defeat in Arizona for the completely insane Prop 109, which would eliminate the authority of the Game and Fish Department, instead giving the loony toons in the state legislature power to regulate hunting, fishing, and other wildlife issues (No on Prop 109).

Monday, November 1, 2010

Happy World Vegan Day!

Today is World Vegan Day, or, for me, a regular day! SuperVegan has a great list of things to do to support the occasion. If I hadn't spent most of the day in airports or on a plane, I would have done more!

One of my Ithaca friends reported on Facebook that she had a trick-or-treater ask if she were giving out anything vegan. You may be surprised to find some vegan treats in your bounty from yesterday - Smarties, pretzels, and many animal crackers are vegan. (I raided Gabriel and Lucas' candy bags for the Smarties!)
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