Archive for March, 2005


Bring Wind Power to Vermont

Wednesday, March 30th, 2005

The people of Vermont have a choice to make. Do we continue with the status quo of generating energy from fossil fuels or do we do our part to stop global warming and move toward wind-generated power?

East Haven Windfarm, of Montpelier, is proposing to install four state-of-the-art wind turbines on the summit ridge of East Mountain in East Haven, Vermont–about thirty miles north of St. Johnsbury, Vermont. More than seven miles from the nearest permanent habitation, these wind turbines will gracefully harness the wind to produce up to six megawatts of clean, emission-free power beginning in the fall of 2006.

Some Vermont residents worry that the wind turbines will change the landscape of Vermont and obscure our beautiful views. They are trying to stop the East Mountain Project.

Chelsea Green’s publisher, Margo Baldwin, came down on the side of wind power in a recent editorial in the Burlington Free Press. Read her editorial below.

In its campaign against clean energy, the Free Press editorial writers once again show they don’t understand the very issues they are trying to explain. Comparing clean energy from wind to the 1936 political fight over the Green Mountain Parkway (Free Press, Feb. 24) is a scare tactic pure and simple. Isn’t it time we have a 2005 debate about energy choices and not continue hashing over old history?

What the Free Press can’t seem to understand is the gravity of the environmental catastrophe facing this state, this country and the world. By stopping wind power, Vermont will not protect its ridgelines. Wind opponents seek to preserve a view out the back window. The coming global rise in temperatures will destroy people’s precious views, along with the ski industry, sugaring business and everything else that makes Vermont Vermont.

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Redaction Faction

Thursday, March 24th, 2005

Maybe the Bush administration has a taste for the literary after all. Jessica Azulay’s article in this morning’s New Standard News reported Senator Carl Levin’s recent success in getting the Pentagon to unredact a bit more of its censored literature on Guantanamo. Under pressure from Senator Levin, the Justice department penciled in a few more (previously hidden) words on the Guantanamo reports, making them look more like a complex crossword puzzle or a high-stakes game of madlibs than FBI memos protected under the Freedom of Information Act. Par for the course, really. Michael Ratner warned us a year ago that hard-won clues to the reality of Guantanmo will appear one by one, over time. Levin’s pushing for more…
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Ignorance is Bliss… Or So You Thought

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Dan Chiras will will be a regular guest blogger on the Flaming Grasshopper. Below is his first post.

Copyright 2005 by Dan Chiras

In today’s high-stakes political game, ignorance is essential to the victors and lethal to their victims, you and me, and most of America

In politics, image is everything. Perception reigns supreme. Who cares about the facts anymore? Winning and losing isn’t about facts. It is about image, often false portrayals, meant to win the hearts and minds of the electorate while those who spread the blatant lies pursue an agenda diametrically opposed to the values they purport to hold.

Truly, politics is misperception.

George W. Bush’s victory — and the virtual usurpation of the U.S. Congress by the Republican Party – is only one example of the blessing and curse of image-driven politics. In the high-stakes game of politics, a peek behind the deceitful imagery and purported values they convey is taboo. Ignorance of issues is what victors are praying for. It is their blessing to them that so few know so little or dig so superficially into the facts behind the issues – content, as it were, to base their votes on the deceptive images fostered by ads financed by a well-oiled propaganda machine funded by special interests, especially big business.
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Dan Chiras Fights Back

Tuesday, March 22nd, 2005

Chelsea Green is excited to announce that Dan Chiras will be a regular guest blogger on the Flaming Grasshopper. Dan is a Chelsea Green author who has written several green building books. We would like to introduce you to Dan’s more political side.

Most readers know Dan Chiras as a thoughtful, inspiring, and well-mannered advocate of green building, renewable energy, and sustainable development. His many books on the subject like The Solar House, The New Ecological Home, and The Natural Home have sold thousands of copies and stirred countless citizens to take action.

Dan has another side, too. He is a textbook writer. But wait you say, what could be less exciting than a textbook author?

Dan’s currently taken on the Texas State Board of Education in a precedent-setting First Amendment suit filed in conjunction with the Trial Lawyers for Public Justice after the Board rejected his book for use in Texas high schools.

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caveat sitibus: beware the drought!

Friday, March 18th, 2005

We knew when we started that this blogging thing might be dangerous…

>Grasshopper Sparks Wildfire
Coulee City, Wash. (AP)–There are lightning-caused wildfires. There are wildfires sparked by human negligence. And there are fires started by flaming grasshoppers.
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An Interview with Derrick Jensen

Friday, March 18th, 2005

Derrick Jensen author of Listening to the Land, A Language Older Than Words, The Culture of Make Believe, Strangely Like War: The Global Assault on Forests, Walking on Water and Welcome to the Machine: Science, Surveillance, and the Culture of Control, all published by Chelsea Green, recently was interviewed by No Compromise. He talked about the destruction of the planet and the necessity of dismantling civilization.

I want to bring down civilization. It’s really clear that civilization is killing the planet. I’m interested in living in a world that has more wild salmon every year than the year before. A world that has more migratory songbirds every year than the year before. A world that has less dioxins and flame retardants in mothers’ breast milk. A world not being destroyed. A world where krill populations aren’t collapsing. A world where there are not dead zones in the oceans. A world not being systematically dismantled. I want to live in a world that is not being killed. I will do whatever it takes to get there. It is really clear that for the past 6000 years civilization has been killing the planet. It’s a way of life that systematically destroys its land base and right now it’s destroying the planet. I’m on the planet’s side.

Read the entire interview on Gorilla News Network

Fair Trade, Shade Grown and Organic–Make the Commitment

Thursday, March 17th, 2005

Jack’s Stir-Brew Coffee, a coffee shop in New York City that sells 100 percent organic, fair trade, and shade-grown coffee, has been voted “the best cup of coffee in New York” by New York magazine. We need more coffee houses like Jack’s—not only would we get a better cup of coffee, we would also get a healthier plant.

Jack Mazzola was inspired to go all organic, fair trade, and shade grown by Julia Alvarez’s ecofable, A Cafectio Story, published by Chelsea Green. This little book is a fictionalized account of how Julia and her husband Bill Eichner started Alta Gracia, an organic, fair trade, shade-grown, coffee farm in her home country of the Dominican Republic. The farm is situated on the slopes Pico Duarte, the highest mountain in the Caribbean.
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High Noon for Natural Gas in Europe

Wednesday, March 16th, 2005

Julian Darley, author of High Noon for Natural Gas: The New Energy Crisis, writes about the danger of Europe’s growing addiction to natural gas. Julian is a British environmental researcher living in Vancouver and is the director of the Post Carbon Institute. He runs an internet broadcasting station, GlobalPublicMedia.com and lectures widely on the profound implications of oil and gas peak and decline.

Europe should be trying as fast as possible to get off gas, instead of building new LNG infrastructure to addict themselves even more thoroughly to it.

Natural gas production in all countries in the European Union (E.U.) is either declining, or at peak and about to decline.

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Biofuels Forever

Tuesday, March 15th, 2005

Hey Folks! How about a Cure for Fossil-Fuel Addiction?

“The use of vegetable oils for engine fuels may seem insignificant today, but such oils may become, in the course of time, as important as petroleum … ”

Question: Who said that, and when?
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Strange Bedfellows

Tuesday, March 15th, 2005

As I promised on Friday, here is a full response to David Corn’s article that appeared on Alternet last week.

When I wrote the original article, which also appeared on AlterNet, asking why prominent left-liberal authors published their books with big corporate publishers, I got some guff from a few progressives… and embraced by a mainstream publishing maven. Was talking about the 800-pound gorilla in the living room of the Left a mistake? Nah! By the way, I’ve since heard back from David Corn, via email, today. I think we’ve finally reached a detente–but the issue (the Left sending its brightest stars off to make money for Big Media and the Right) remains one of grave importance. We must strengthen independent media and build our own infrastructure for disseminating media. Oh, and by the way, Mr. Corn, I still want to take you to dinner.

What you’re about to read appeared first on MediaChannel.org. Check’em out.
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