Lawyers Subpoena Bush White House

Lawyers Subpoena Bush White House in Phone Company Spying Case.
US Newswire, 29 August 2006


Contra Dance, West End, Sept. 16

Our next Sandhills Contra Dance, Sept. 16, is sure to be a great time. We have House Red. Shawn Brennenman will be calling and playing piano. Owen Morrison will be on mandolin and guitar. And Jonathan Thielen will be on the fiddle. You don't want to miss this fantastic trio.

This is a “Teacher Appreciation” dance. All teachers and school employees (and one guest) will be admitted for half price with school ID. Fliers will be emailed to all of the schools and placed at several businesses. However, please help us get the word out.

A Showcase of Good Things Happening


Link includes info on the natural learning environmental park at Southern Pines Primary School. Yes, right here in southern Moore County's backyard!

Gas-free auto

Here's a 40 mph town car for $9,000


Would be a comuter car only - 40 mile range with lead acid bateries. Plug into conventional outlet

Death to the Incandescent


People are finally starting to take to the streets to protest climate change. But for those who won't or can't do that, there are plenty of other actions we can take now to damp down climate change.

On the top of the list is getting rid of grossly inefficient incandescent light bulbs.


Hmmm, Idea. . .

[And why not. . .?]

On one of the grassy medians in our suburban town in the St. Louis area, someone planted a garden. It already had small trees down the middle, and the avant-gardener had added a peach tree, which was just loaded this year, and under each of the other trees was planted sweet corn, green beans, sweet potatoes, peppers, herbs, and squashes, all well-mulched.

[from permaculture listserve]

Counter Duke Energy's Greenwash

ACTION ALERT: Legal Hearings and Public Comment Opportunities

Counter Duke Energy’s Greenwash - URGE NC UTILITIES COMMISSIONERS to deny Duke Energy’s application to build two coal-fired power plants.

Energy efficiency must be considered BEFORE approval of dirty, costly new power plants.

Story and contact info at: ncwarn@ncwarn.org


Who's a Fascist?

The use of pejorative terms to demonize political opponents is too well established as an effective propaganda tool to expect that the President will cease to use it. However, the Islamic extremists he wishes to vilify do not technically merit the appellation of fascist.

It is important to use words carefully and accurately if we are to retain the possibility of political discourse. The President and his enablers among journalists and commentators should be called to account for demonstrably inaccurate and inappropriate characterizations. This is particularly true in cases where the pejorative term is demonstrably more applicable to Bush than to the Islamic terrorists, reprehensible as they unquestionably are.

For list of the traits ascribable to fascism, see:


Global Warming is . . .

. . . global warming is, well, global.

Before you reply "well, duh," consider that U.S. politicians have barely begun -- and that only at the local and state level, not the federal –- to think even about how to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, much less what our own shorelines, agricultural and forest lands, and ecosystems will look like here in America in 20 or 40 years.

But global warming also has profound implications for American foreign policy, and almost all of them are entropic: mass displacement and famine, battles for scarce fresh water reserves, unprecedented migrations of human beings across borders. It is in the interests of the United States to not only wean itself from its destructive fossil fuel reliance, but also to start investing in the global infrastructure and expertise that will be needed not only to save millions of lives, but to do what US foreign policy has always tried, often not so benignly, to do: protect and advance U.S. economic interests. Oh, and saving democracy around the world would be nice, too, right?

(News flash: democracy gets less likely, and wars and autocrats get more likely, in times of grave crisis. . .)

In short, global warming requires, urgently, that the U.S. back not only a more ambitious follow-up to the Kyoto Protocol, which expires in 2012 and for which negotiations on a successor treaty have not even begun.

We also need a plan for global investment on a scale that will dwarf the Marshall Plan: Investment in clean renewable energy, investment in seawalls and relocations, investment in public health and availability of food and clean water in poorer areas. Investment in the global future we have disproportionately helped create. Without such an investment by the world's wealthiest countries, the cost in war, including terrorism, lost lives, human misery, and global economic losses will be incalculable.

For the next two and a half years, of course, we can rest secure that our federal government will do absolutely nothing, comfortable in its lobbyist-induced, oil-addled addiction to petro-profits. But the climates are changing rapidly, everywhere, and by 2009 we will need a real plan. Urgently. Time to get busy.


Site for Checking Facts

Misquoting Lincoln
Bush supporters falsely quote Lincoln as advocating arresting, exiling or hanging members of Congress who damage military morale in wartime.


Loose Change

Michael Slenske, SMITH Magazine
How a 23-year-old Army grunt-turned-film producer is undermining the 9/11 Commission Report with $8,000 and a laptop.


p.s. No knee-jerks, please. Just watch the film.


We Have the Power

Finally, fired up over global warming
By Bill McKibben August 24, 2006

YOU'VE SEEN or heard of Al Gore's movie. The pictures of Hurricane Katrina remain in the back of your mind. You've sweated through this record summer. You sense -- with just a bit of panic -- that there's really no problem more important in the long run than global warming. So what do you do?

Change your light bulbs -- check. Think about a new hybrid Prius -- check.
Go organize a demonstration -- well, maybe.
The movement to tackle climate change is finally growing large in this country, and at least part of it is beginning to get a little more outspoken. In late spring, three activists locked themselves in Senator Max Baucus's Montana office when he refused to answer questions they had submitted about his stand on climate legislation. Later this month, protesters are expected to descend upon the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration in Maryland to demand the resignations of the nation's chief hurricane forecasters, arguing that they have downplayed the threat from climate change.
And over Labor Day weekend, thousands of Vermonters are expected to walk part or all of a five-day, cross-state trek from Robert Frost's old cabin in Ripton to the Federal Building in Burlington to demand that the state's candidates for national office pledge to support the strongest possible legislation to slow US carbon emissions.
These are among the first even slightly militant responses to global warming by average Americans, but I doubt they'll be the last. A small group of us began organizing the Vermont march because we found that we, and others like us, needed some way to make more noise. Most had done the obvious things: made our houses and our cars more energy-efficient, and worked with our businesses or campuses to find better ways of heating and cooling. We've lobbied hard in state houses and city halls to get local action for change. But it's not adding up to anywhere near enough -- and the reason is clear: Washington, unlike every other capital in the developed world, simply won't do anything. [italics by sutton]


p.s. One doesn't need permission to do the right thing. MS


How Cuba Survived Peak Oil

Film Review
Richard Heinberg, author, The Party's Over, Powerdown, and The Oil Depletion Protocol

"Everyone who is concerned about Peak Oil needs to see this film. Cuba survived an energy famine during the 1990s, and how it did so constitutes one of the most important and hopeful stories of the past few decades.
It is a story not just of individual achievement, but of the collective mobilization of an entire society to meet an enormous challenge.
Lest the point be missed, I will underscore it: this particular challenge – the problem of energy scarcity is one we will all be facing very soon."

The Power of Community: How Cuba Survived Peak Oil By John N. Cooper


Killing Us for Profit

[Some of us will remember when Smiley read from her book, Moo, at The Country Book Shop]


Jane Smiley, HuffingtonPost.com

Since Reagan's election, our government has catered to the needs of corporations that refuse to accept the destructive consequences of their actions.


Was There a Depression? (An Upper!)


Update on Coke, Pepsi

India Coke, Pepsi claims rejected
India's health ministry rejects an environmental group's findings over pesticide levels in Coca Cola and Pepsi.

Inactive U.S. Marines face call-up

President Bush gives an open-ended authorization for the US Marine Corps to call up inactive reservists.

Interview with Gore Vidal from The Progressive

Q: What can people do to energize democracy?

Vidal: The tactic would be to go after smaller offices, state by state, school board, sheriff, state legislatures. You can turn them around and that doesn’t take much of anything. Take back everything at the grassroots, starting with state legislatures.

See full interview at:



Fish Fry for Terry Marquez

A Meet-and-Greet for Terry, running for Moore Co. County Commissioner
Fish Fry
Sat. Sept. 9, 11 a.m.
First come, first served. Donations accepted but food is free.
The event will be held next to Purcell Funeral Home on Pennsylvania Ave. near the Douglass Center.
Take this opportunity to stop by and meet Terry and talk about your concerns and issues.
We'll have tables, tents, chairs set up or you can get plates to go.

Call Progress, Make Your Voice Heard

A statement from NC WARN Executive Director Jim Warren www.ncwarn.org

DURHAM, NC – NC WARN today filed a motion with the NC Utilities Commission seeking postponement of Duke Energy’s application for two coal-fired power plants. In light of the many initiatives currently underway to develop energy efficiency programs, and the sheer cost of building more old-style, polluting coal boilers near Charlotte, the Commission should not begin considering the “public convenience and necessity” of Duke’s plan until it examines the real potential of sustainable alternatives. Such programs – if administered in the public interest by a qualified party – could displace the need for new generation units for far less than the $2 billion projected for Duke’s new plant at the Cliffside site.

Since announcing the need for new coal-fired and nuclear power plants last year, both Duke Energy and Progress Energy have drawn much criticism for ignoring energy efficiency and clean generation technologies. In response, both have deployed aggressive public relations campaigns claiming they really do support efficiency and renewables, with programs in place to prove it. Duke CEO Jim Rogers even sits as co-chair of a much-heralded national task force on energy efficiency.

However, at Commission hearings in June regarding long-range planning for energy supply and demand, it was clear that neither Duke nor Progress have any substantial programs underway – or imminent – that actually save energy (they do use limited Demand Side Management programs that shift peak usage). Both announced they have begun extensive reviews of scores of efficiency programs used in other states to determine if some could work well here. Neither company would say when those reviews would be complete, or whether they would be done in time to consider the potential offset to their much-asserted need for new generation capacity.

It seemed apparent that both companies were simply going through the motions, pretending to be considering sustainability. Further confirming that suspicion is Duke’s pressing ahead for the two-billion dollar coal-burners in Cleveland County, instead of awaiting the results of its own efficiency assessment. And Duke and Progress opposed legislation to create an energy efficiency study and funding for the NC Energy Office. Let’s face it: Cutting energy demand runs counter to the utilities’ justification for new plants and desire for maximum revenue.

Duke’s energy planning reports (IRPs) don’t compare what that $2 billion could fund in energy efficiency programs. But case law shows that the purpose of the Commission’s IRP statute is to prevent costly overbuilding. Resolution of various issues under consideration by the Commission, including modernization of the long-range planning process, ratemaking issues, carbon dioxide regulation, renewable portfolio standards and public benefit funds, will have a significant impact on any determination of the need for these plants.

The utilities’ lack of experience with clean, efficient technologies is another reason that a third party such as the NC Energy Office or Advanced Energy – agencies with demonstrated expertise – should administer a comprehensive, statewide efficiency program. The Utilities Commission must fully consider efficiency before allowing billions of public dollars to be committed toward old, hazardous technologies that squander the time and resources urgently needed to cut greenhouse gases.


CA Moving On

California on Brink of Global Warming Breakthrough

California is forging ahead with the most aggressive US program to reduce global warming - a plan that pits Gov. Schwarzenegger against fellow Republican George W. Bush.

Toyota Pushes Ahead


". . . implementable hydrogen technology, as promising and clean as it is, remains at least another 20 years down the renewables road. That is another two decades for Exxon Mobil and others to reap massive profit margins and two decades of spiking carbon-dioxide emissions.
This at a time when many climate scientists say we have about 10 years in which to radically mend our carbon-gobbling ways.

"Meanwhile, the hybrid car, which gets about 55 miles per gallon, has been on the market for six years and is rapidly gaining popularity. The next generation of hybrids ramps up the efficiency even further by reintroducing that marvel of technology, the extension cord."

UK Comments on Airport Scare


Verrrryyy interesting. . .

Local Students Begin Campaign

Local students have started a campaign to contact state and national environmental groups and leaders about Kids for a Cool Planet, a real or virtual march on D.C.

The League of Conservation Voters, Conservation Council of NC, NRDC, Conservation Network of NC, Sierra Club, SEAC, SURGE, World Wildlife Fund, Nature Conservancy are just a few that will be asked to fall into line with kids who want the U.S. to do more to save the planet.

Can kids vote? No. Will they be able to breathe natural air and drink from local water supplies 10 years from now. Maybe not.

So voting is not the issue. Global warming is. And our kids are watching us.

Who Killed It?

Electric and Low Emission Car Show
Saturday, Aug 19, 6:00 p.m. at the Galaxy Theater in Cary. In the parking lot, a display of electric and low emission vehicles.
Followed by the new documentary, Who Killed The Electric Car?, 7:00 at the Galaxy. A movie about the "premature death of a revolutionary creation."
The Galaxy is near Cary Village Mall just off Walnut Street.

Legalize Industrial Hemp?

They say it’s a $250,000,000 crop waiting to be planted—but there is one hurdle: it is illegal.
So. . . "Should the U.S. legalize the cultivation of ‘industrial’ hemp?"

This Saturday, 9 AM Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts California Assemblyman Chuck DeVore (R) and Author John Roulac for a conversation about the prospective legalization
of hemp.
Log on to listen live or delayed, on your radio, computer or IPOD.
-differences between hemp and marijuana
-legal to import hemp into the United States, but not legal to farm it
-impact the legalization of hemp might have on the nation’s drug use.

Listeners are invited to call the program on their local station.

Draft Gore?

a site with background info and a petition if you want to draft Al Gore for the 2008 run.
Many are saying, though, that Gore, as a more-or-less free agent, is now doing much more for the environment than any President could under our existing system. It wouldn't hurt, though, to have him breathing down the necks of other candidates. What do you think?

Donations to ACLU Not Wasted!

US judge rules wiretaps illegal

A US government wiretap scheme breaches the constitution and should be halted at once, a judge says.

Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/5260892.stm


Read the Truth on Global Warming

The website for statistics and suggestions from the movie, An Inconvenient Truth



Water, Water

Water shortage 'a global problem' The World Wide Fund for Nature warns even the most developed countries face increasing water shortages.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/4796909.stm

If we haven't already done so, it's time to get the gutters up and the rain barrels in. A typical rain shower delivers MANY gallons of water we can use on our yards during dry spells. More postings later on ways to store water.


Local Expert Describes and Advocates Local Food Shed

"Like a watershed, a foodshed is the geographical region surrounding a community within which the food consumed in the community is grown and processed. The suppliers in the foodshed and the people in the community distributing and consuming the food, taken together, make up a regional food system.
"Can it work? The most pervasive impediment to developing sustainable, regional food systems is conventional wisdom which 'knows' that local food systems cannot work because 'the cost of food under a local regional system is so much higher than the existing global, industrial alternative, that consumers would not buy local items.'
"It is true that most consumers will not pay premium prices just for local food. However, years of research have failed to uncover even one study demonstrating that the cost of local food is inherently more expensive than the industrial global alternative. "

Think about The Triad as a focal point, then radiate out about 200 miles. Moore County is in that food shed.
More on this globally, nutritionally important issue in coming posts. . .

Local Mom Calls NRDC re: Kids for a Cool Planet

The idea has come!
A Southern Pines mom has called both Al Gore and NRDC to float the idea of a kids' march on Washington. Her daughter has dubbed the event Kids for a Cool Planet.
If we could get the word out to all our various environmental groups like Conservation Council of NC, Sierra Club, NRDC, League of Conservation Voters, Conservation Network of NC, League of Women Voters, etc. we could make it happen.
Late October would be ideal.
Think about this, talk it up with your neighbors. Let's help kids help the planet!


Patience, Courtesy, Golden Rule Prevail

After viewing An Inconvenient Truth, Marsh Smith offers this wisdom:

[There are many] reminders that more unites us liberal and conservative Americans than separates us. Leave it to the “hot button” pushers to keep us divided, and sometimes preventing us from saving the most precious things.

Did you ever see the Bugs Bunny cartoon about the two hillbillies who wanted to make rabbit stew out of Bugs? Every time the hillbillies would corner Bugs in an inescapable place, Bugs would begin to talk like a square dance caller and dance the hillbillies down holes, off cliffs, in front of trains, down open manholes, etc. While I’m glad that Bugs survived, I’m less than happy when politicians (of both stripes) use hot buttons, like the square dance calls, to divert our attention from saving the precious things in this life.

About ten years ago I was talking to a lady with a garden club about some environmental legislation that Senator Kinnaird had sponsored in the state legislature. The lady was very excited about the legislation until she heard that Sen. Kinnaird had sponsored it. She frowned and said that she could never support anything endorsed by Kinnaird, because Carrboro passed town ordinances favorable to gays when she was mayor. I’d say the garden clubber was “danced down an open manhole.”

Friday Night Flicks Aug. 25 Dem Hdqts, Carthage

Why We Fight

Filmed during the Iraq War, this documentary dissects America's military machine with a keen eye to answering the question: Why does America engage in war?
Through personal stories of soldiers, government officials, scholars, journalists and innocent victims, the film examines the political and economic interests and ideological factors, past and present, behind American militarism.
Winner of the 2005 Sundance Grand Jury Award.

Drink the poison, or we kill you

US warns on India soft drinks ban
A US official warns India that bans imposed on Coca Cola and Pepsi could affect hopes of US investment.

Full story:

And keep an eye on Moore County Schools' shift away from junk food vending during school hours.


Sky-watchers alert

Sky-watchers await celestial show
The Earth makes its annual rendezvous with the Perseid meteors this weekend, promising celestial 'fireworks'.
Full story:http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/4784645.stm

Call on Easley to Back Cleaner Energy

This week CCNC (Conservation Council of NC) joined 15 other North Carolina groups in calling on Governor Mike Easley to support "innovative measures to meet our state’s growing energy needs" instead of more conventional power plant construction. The letter declared that "energy efficiency and renewable energy [can be] the cornerstones upon which North Carolina builds its 21st century economy."
Citing Duke Energy’s proposed new Cliffside plant as an example, the groups warned that building new conventional coal plants now could prove a major financial burden on ratepayers in the event of future carbon emissions regulations, as well as increasing other problematic pollutant emissions. They said that "North Carolina’s energy growth can be met first with energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources if we create the right political structure in which these initiatives can thrive and become profitable."
Co-signers of the letter (in addition to CCNC) included the Climate Connection project of the N.C. Council of Churches, as well as representatives of other local, state and national citizen conservation groups including the N.C. Sustainable Energy Association, Western North Carolina Alliance, Environmental Defense, Southern Environmental Law Center, Southern Alliance for Clean Energy, Appalachian Voices, Carolinas Clean Air Coalition, Clean Air Community Trust, Canary Coalition, Environment North Carolina, North Carolina Conservation Network, N. C. Waste Awareness Reduction Network, SouthWings, and the National Parks Conservation Association.

Campaign Watch: Incumbents Beware

from Conservation Council insider:

2006 is not the year of the happy camper electorate. Not just one, but three Congressional incumbents went down in party primaries around the country this Tuesday (one each in the very different states of Connecticut, Georgia, and Michigan).
The Democratic primary defeat of incumbent Sen. Joe Lieberman (D-CT) was certainly the most intensely-watched race of the week. Three-term (18 years) incumbent Lieberman, his party’s nominee for vice president just six years ago, lost his bid for re-nomination to businessman Ned Lamont, a political unknown just three months ago. Among the national pundits there has been much weeping and wailing about the voters’ attack on "bipartisanship" in Lieberman’s woes. The other side has responded bluntly that voters should not feel obligated to back a candidate who so strongly departed from their views on a central moral and practical issue of the time (in this case, the Iraq war). In either event, though, the outcome in a fairly high-turnout party primary spoke much of the strength of voters’ anger with the quality of their current representation.
Yes, we are aware that Lieberman has now filed a petition to run as an independent in November, despite losing his party’s nomination fight. And in Connecticut, where more voters list themselves as unaffiliated than register with either political party, he could win. However, trends indicate that voter attitudes are not heading that way at this point.
Instead, political observers suggest that polls are showing an increasing trend toward a "throw the bums out" year. It’s fairly typical for voters in responding to polls to express dissatisfaction with Congress while approving of their own Congressional representative. The difference this year is a rising degree of disapproval by polled voters of their own representative, especially in the 48 or so potentially competitive House races around the country.
The implications to national environmental policy of a shift in control of the House are enormous. The current House leadership has represented a nightmare in environmental issue terms of a degree that has not been seen or imagined in decades. With almost three months to go in the campaign season, however, it is too soon to project whether such a dramatic shift will take place.


A list of US military killed in Iraq July 1 to Aug 6

Jimmy Breslin, Newsday
The great journalist came out of retirement to remind us that thousands of American lives are being ruined and cut short for a disastrous and stupid war.


Equinox Gathering, Sept. 22, The Farm, West End

As he does each seasonal change, Jesse Wimberley hosts the Drumming/Potluck/Bonfire/ at his place, The Farm, in West End. Put it on your calendar now: Sept. 22, that's a Friday evening. For more info contact: suttonmaureen @ hotmail.com

Peak Oil Discussion in September

The Moore County Democratic Women will meet at 10am, September 9th at the Democratic Headquarters, 104-A North McNeil Strett, Carthage.
The speaker, Glenn Gilchrist, will discuss "Peak Oil" theory.


Pathway to Awareness Weekend begins Sept. 30

The National Alliance on Mental Illness of Moore County invites the public to join in the Pathway to Awareness Weekend in celebration of Mental Illness Awareness Week. The event begins on Saturday, Sept. 30th at 7:30 p.m. with Patty Duke speaking at Owens Auditorium, SCC (no admission cost). The event concludes on Sunday, Oct. 1st at the Pinehurst Village Hall Complex with a book signing by Patty Duke from 1:30 to 2:30.
Registration for a 1 1/2 to 2 1/2 walk around Pinehurst begins at 3 p.m. The walk begins at 4 p.m. Closing ceremony begins at 5:30 p.m. with the Candles in the Sky observance in the open meadow, including a launch of hundreds of helium-filled balloons in memory of or in honor of loved ones with a brain illness, their family members, friends, other caregivers and medical professionals.

Please join by WALKING and/or PLEDGING. CONTACT LAURA GINGERICH AT lgingerich@earthlink.net or 949-6569 for more information.

Letter to Governor re NC energy issues--Important!

These are the signers:

· Appalachian Voices · Canary Coalition · Carolinas Clean Air Coalition · Clean Air Community Trust · North Carolina Council of Churches · Conservation Council of North Carolina · Environmental Defense · Environment North Carolina · National Parks Conservation Association · North Carolina Conservation Network · North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association · North Carolina Waste Awareness Reduction Network · SouthWings · Southern Alliance for Clean Energy · Southern Environmental Law Center · Western North Carolina Alliance ·

August 8, 2006
Governor Michael F. Easley
Office of the Governor
20301 Mail Service CenterRaleigh, NC 27699-0301

Dear Governor Easley;

On behalf of the undersigned organizations, we are writing to encourage the exploration and deployment of innovative measures to meet our state’s growing energy needs. North Carolina has enormous unrealized economic development potential in improving our energy efficiency and using our in-state renewable energy resources. Knowing this, we do not accept that economic growth in North Carolina must be fueled solely by polluting power plants and a continuation of the status quo, but instead we envision a future where energy efficiency and renewable energy are the cornerstones upon which North Carolina builds its 21st century economy. From the passage of the Clean Smokestacks Act to the creation of the Global Warming Commission, North Carolina has consistently showed the Southeast region, and the nation, that it is a leader in finding innovative and mutually beneficial solutions to our national and now global challenges.

It is time for North Carolina to lead the Southeast away from the dirty, inefficient energy practices of the past toward the clean energy future taking shape throughout the country. One important aspect of a clean energy future is energy efficiency which simply means finding ways to use less energy to get the services we expect from the electrical devices we use every day.

The financial benefits of energy efficiency are clear: a researcher at Appalachian State University calculates that energy efficiency programs in North Carolina could save $3 billion per year and support over 150,000 jobs at an annual salary of $42,000. These programs help consumers save money by reducing the amount of electricity they buy while simultaneously preventing the rise in rates commonly associated with rising fuels costs and the capital expenditures of power plant construction. These programs save the utility companies money because it costs more than 4 cents per kilowatt hour to create electricity in a coal or nuclear plant but only 3 cents per kilowatt hour to finance energy efficiency programs.

Despite a growing interest among businesses and residents in energy efficiency, none of the state’s utilities fully utilize their energy efficiency capabilities and the State Energy Office is nearly out of funds for the Energy Management Program which provides energy education and technical support to large industrial, commercial and government entities. Research indicates that in 2003, all southeastern states spent below the national average of $4.65 per person on energy efficiency, with North Carolina spending only 44 cents per person. Clearly there is immense potential for improvement in energy efficiency. In fact, the Oak Ridge National Laboratory recently reported that more than 20% of North Carolina’s energy consumption could be eliminated with cost-effective energy efficiency programs.

Renewable energy is another important component of a clean energy future that North Carolina is particularly well suited to exploit. Renewable sources, such as wind, solar, and methane from landfills and animal-waste, are readily available in large quantities throughout the state. The technology to utilize these resources already exists and, in some cases, is in use in North Carolina. Investing in these technologies, rather than more coal and nuclear plants, will not only help to improve human health and the environment, but will also strengthen the state’s economy.

Currently the North Carolina economy is highly susceptible to market fluctuation in the price and supply of coal and uranium since more than 95% of our electricity generation relies on these two fuels. Pursuing renewable energy will diversify the states generation portfolio while supporting local businesses so that we need not send $10 billion out of state each year to purchase coal, uranium and other fuels that are not available within our borders.

Despite these clean, safe and sustainable energy alternatives, for the first time in 20 years Duke Energy is proposing to build two new 800-megawatt coal-fired units at its Cliffside power plant in Rutherford County. We have grave concerns about this proposal, as well as other new conventional coal and nuclear plant proposals that loom on the horizon, because any new power plant would have an operational life that extends for decades. Building new conventional coal plants now could place a significant economic burden on the electric utility companies and ratepayers of North Carolina in the near future as our nation more seriously addresses the problem of excessive carbon dioxide emissions contributing to global warming and possibly requires control of this pollutant.

Quite recently, the CEOs of both Progress Energy and Duke Energy stated that carbon regulation will one day be a reality, and building more conventional coal and nuclear instead of first diversifying our electric generation portfolio exposes us to even greater carbon risk. Global warming is an issue that North Carolina is already addressing with the Legislative Global Climate Change Commission and we need consistent approaches to our energy needs with these initiatives.

Although their proponents tout nuclear power plants as a pollution-free alternative to fossil-fueled power plants, nuclear plants are actually responsible for extensive fossil fuel usage. Due to the large fossil fuel consumption in the construction, decommissioning and the multi-faceted, energy-intensive fuel cycle, nuclear is far from an emission-free energy source. Expanding nuclear power also raises very serious questions of safety (especially in this age of terrorism), waste storage and nuclear proliferation. Moreover, expansion of nuclear power requires enormous expenditures which would have much quicker and surer results for reducing greenhouse gas emissions and job creation if invested aggressively in energy efficiency and renewable energy. In addition, there are negative environmental impacts and global warming pollutants associated with coal mining and coal-fired power plants.

It is also well established that these power plants pose a serious public health threat to North Carolina citizens. They are a major source of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide, precursors to ozone and fine particle pollution, which contribute to asthma attacks, other respiratory illnesses, increased risk of cardiovascular disease, and premature deaths.

Conventional coal plants are also heavy emitters of toxic mercury pollution, accounting for more than 70 percent of in-state emissions. Fetuses, infants and children are especially vulnerable to the serious health effects of mercury, including lowered intelligence and developmental disabilities.

Fortunately, we need not rush to build more power plants but can first maximize sustainable energy choices that will allow us to meet the state’s energy demand while improving North Carolinians’ standard of living.

To be clear, investing in sustainable energy technologies and efficiency, rather than more conventional coal and nuclear plants, will not only strengthen the state's economy, but will also help to improve human health and the environment. We believe that North Carolina’s energy growth can be met first with energy efficiency measures and renewable energy sources if we create the right political structure in which these initiatives can thrive and become profitable.

Let’s live up to our reputation as leaders and create ‘out-of-the-box’, innovative ways to solve our energy needs – safely, responsibly, and sustainably for the future of our children.

Mary Anne Hitt, Executive Director Appalachian Voices Boone, NC
Avram Friedman, Executive DirectorCanary Coalition Sylva, NC
June Blotnick, Executive Director Carolinas Clean Air Coalition Charlotte, NC
Margie Meares, Executive Director Clean Air Community Trust Asheville, NC
Alice Loyd, Director Climate Connection of NC Council of Churches, Interfaith Power & Light Raleigh, NC
John Runkle, General Council North Carolina Conservation Council Raleigh, NC
Michael Shore, Senior Air Policy Analyst Environmental Defense Raleigh, NC
Elizabeth Ouzts, State Director Environment North Carolina Raleigh, NC
Greg Kidd, Senior Program Manager Blue Ridge Field Office National Parks Conservation Association Asheville, NC
Brian Buzby, Executive Director North Carolina Conservation Network Raleigh, NC
Ivan Urlaub, Policy and Executive Director North Carolina Sustainable Energy Association Raleigh, NC
Jim Warren, Executive Director N. C. Waste Awareness Reduction Network Durham, NC
Taylor Barnhill, Executive Director SouthWings Asheville, NC
Ulla Reeves, Regional Program Director Southern Alliance for Clean Energy Asheville, NC
Marily Nixon, Senior Attorney Southern Environmental Law Center Chapel Hill, NC
Jody Flemming, Director Western North Carolina Alliance Asheville, NC

cc: Franklin Freeman Secretary William B. Ross, Jr.
North Carolina Utilities Commission Members: Chairman JoAnne Sanford, Commissioner Robert V. Owens, Jr., Commissioner Sam J. Ervin, IV, Commissioner Lorinzo Little Joyner, Commissioner James Yancey Kerr, II, Commissioner Howard N. Lee, Commissioner William Thomas Culpepper, II

Galloway Runs for NC House

Galloway is making his run for Richard Morgan's seat. With the Republican ticket split, he has a good shot at it! Get to know Gerald Galloway.

From his website: http://www.galloway4nchouse.com/

Gerald Galloway served the Town of Southern Pines for 30 years as a policeman. He was the Chief of Police for 17 years. During those years he forged a reputation of integrity and service as he learned first-hand about the community, the county and government.
Gerald Galloway is smart, and he's shown time and time again that he can be trusted to do the right thing. As a 30-year veteran of the Southern Pines Police Department he's seen the impact government has had--and has not had--on the people who live here and the things which are important to them.
Galloway is currently serving our community as Chair of Board Development of the United Way of Moore County as well as serving on the Board of Directors, and he has also been teaching criminal justice at Sandhills Community College.
He recently completed a two-year stint as the Chairman of the Board of Directors of the United Way of Moore County.
He is supported by a broad spectrum of Republican, Democratic and un-affiliated citizens who live in this district. He is truly NON-partisan.


Is it hot, are we brainwashed?

July 2006: Second Hottest July On Record in U.S. New government records show that last month was the second hottest July on record in the United States. Last month’s heat wave broke more than twenty three hundred daily temperature records across the country.

PR Company Tied To Online Video Mocking Al Gore Meanwhile a new video has appeared online mocking Al Gore’s fight against global warming and his film “Inconvenient Truth". In the short video Gore appears as a sinister figure who brainwashes penguins and bores movie audiences by blaming the Mideast crisis and Lindsay Lohan's shrinking waist size on global warming. The video is purportedly the work of a 29-year-old video-maker in Beverly Hills. But the Wall Street Journal has revealed the video appears to actually be the work of the public relations and lobbying company DCI Group. The company’s clients include Exxon Mobil.

How to Microfinance Entrepreneurs Outside the U.S.


presents various articles about Kiva. The idea looks pretty strong and reliable to me.

Moore Co. Schools' Marquez Runs for Co. Commissioner

Terry Marquez, Media Specialist with Southern Pines Elementary, has served as Town of Aberdeen Commissioner, 2001-05. She's worked with Malcolm Blue Historical Society Board, Skaters for Moore, and Smart Start boards in Wayne, Pamlico, and Moore Counties.
Native of Cameron, married, with two children, Terry's focus lies in issues of education, business development and job creation, children and families, getting younger people engaged in our communities, and preservation and conservation of historical and natural resources.


Tracing Gasoline to its Source

Chicago Tribune series traces a gasoline fill-up to its source

Told that tracking gasoline from a single gas station back to its sources was impossible, reporter Paul Salopek did it anyway. In compiling a multimedia series for the Chicago Tribune, Salopek sourced gas dispensed at a Marathon station in South Elgin, Ill., to the Gulf Coast, Venezuela, Nigeria, and Iraq.
He then interviewed the varied cast whose lives were affected along the way, from the gas station manager who spends a third of her paycheck fueling her SUV to Nigeria's Ibibio people and their love-hate relationship with infrastructure-building, oil-spilling ExxonMobil.
Salopek visited Iraq, noting that the oil-addicted U.S. buys 15 to 20 percent of its imported crude from the Middle East.
He traveled to Venezuela, where gasoline costs 14 cents a gallon. And he talked to economist Milton Copulos, who calculates the true cost of U.S. gasoline made from imported oil -- factoring in defense spending and jobs lost to steep prices -- at $8 a gallon.
Conclusion? The petroleum economy is "beholden to hostile powers and ... clearly unsustainable."

See what this young man has done!


A WORLD blog where YOU can ADD GOOD STUFF!
Pass it along. It's about time someone gave some focus to what could be.

Grande Dames of the Dem Party Honored

The Democratic Women of Moore County
will honor these outstanding women at a luncheon
Aug. 26, 11:30, Days Inn, Southern Pines
Wilma Cunningham
Anna Davenport
Charlotte Gantz
Lulu Knibbs
Sue Phillips


From Ann in Seven Lakes, great links











Liking this wet weather!

Night-blooming Cereus.

Contra Dance Saturday Night, West End

The Sandhills Contradancers' monthly dance
Saturday, Aug. 12, 7:30, West End gymnasium
No partner necesary, bring soft-soled shoes. If you've not contradanced before, you'll find it a good group work-out, somewhat similar to squaredancing but with Celtic-flavored music, various partners and no particular costuming.
Come check it out!

Meanwhile. . . .

President Bush arrived in Crawford on Thursday for a 10-day vacation.
Meanwhile in Britain, Prime Minister Tony Blair has postponed his summer vacation in order to deal with the crisis in the Middle East.

see www.democracynow.org

The Pilot starts free wireless Internet service

see www.RuralJournalism.org

The Pilot of Southern Pines, N.C., will start a wireless Internet service for southern Moore County to "bind the community together in a dynamic and compelling way with The Pilot's products and Internet service," the three-times-a-week newspaper announced in a story yesterday.
"The Pilot wants southern Moore County to unplug and access the Internet's infinite space unburdened by wires," wrote online coordinator Ryan Tuck, who paraphrased Publisher David Woronoff as saying the service will be accessible at no cost to everyone in the newspaper's service area, whether readers of the 15,300-circulation paper or not. "It's just another example of our commitment to serving Moore County in a complete and comprehensive fashion," Woronoff said.
The paper's Web site averages about 5,000 unique visitors and 23,000 page views per day. "The online push has energized The Pilot's staff, providing new and exciting tools to tell the community's stories," said Steve Bouser, the paper's editor. "We're determined to think about The Pilot as more than a newspaper. It's an information portal. The main thing readers will notice is that there'll be lots of opportunities online to dig deeper into stuff they'll read in the paper."
Later in the year, the newspaper will launch a fee-based high-speed wireless broadband network to complement the WiFi network," Tuck reports. "Woronoff predicts that the launch of such a network, which will utilize the cutting-edge WiMax technology, will be complete by the end of the year."
The Pilot's web site has been owned since 1996 by Woronoff, Frank Daniels Jr., Frank Daniels III, Jack Andrews and Lee Dirks, all previously associated with the News & Observer of Raleigh.

Save up to $600 a year on electricity

Top 10 Steps www.kilowattours.org

1 Take the Pledge! Sign the Kilowatt Ours Pledge and join the Kilowatt Ours Net-Zero Network.

2 Audit Your Home Complete a simple on-line, home-energy audit to find out how much energy and money you can save at home. Most homes can feasibly save 25% to 50% or more. Make a list of the steps you would like to take, and get started.

3 Be Conservative Turning off lights, computers and electronics when not in use can save 5% on your energy bill (or more, if you are really dedicated!).
Annual Savings: $65 720 pounds of coal

4 Change Your Lights Replace incandescent light bulbs with efficient, compact fluorescent bulbs. Start with your five most frequently used lights, or upgrade your entire home.
Annual Savings: $60 (for upgrading your five most frequently used lights) 662 pounds of coal

5 Adjust Your Thermostat Setting the thermostat no higher than 68 degrees in winter, and no lower than 78 degrees in summer will result in dramatic savings. Or install an Energy Star** programmable thermostat for greater comfort, while cutting your heating/cooling bills 15% to 20%.
Annual Savings: $78 864 pounds of coal

6 Weatherize and Seal The average home has about 5 square feet of air leaks from gaps around windows, doors, pipe and cable penetrations, plus significant leaks in air ducts. Use mastic to seal the ducts. Use caulk, spray foam and weather stripping on the rest.
Annual Savings: $175 1,872 pounds of coal

7 Upgrade to Energy Star For the biggest savings, replace your refrigerator, clothes washer or HVAC system with new Energy Star products. For example, a new Energy Star refrigerator is 60% more efficient than models more than 10 years old, and 40% more efficient than models before 2002.
Annual Savings: $31 by upgrading your refrigerator $54 by upgrading your clothes washer 942 pounds of coal saved by upgrading both

8 Improved insulation in your attic, exterior walls and floors will result in better comfort and big savings.
Annual Savings: $137 1,518 pounds of coal

9 Finance it (optional) Make your home makeover more affordable by financing a complete home energy renovation with an Energy-Efficient Mortgage (EEM). Your monthly savings will likely be greater than your extra payment.

10 Buy Green Power Use a portion of your savings to pay for green power, and you could reach net-zero at home with no extra cost compared to your current energy bills. How? Most local utilities offer green power pricing programs, which allow you to purchase wind or solar generated electricity every month at a nominal cost. For example: $4 per month will get 150 kilowatt hours of wind-generated electricity from the TVA Green Power Switch program. The Green Power Locator can help you find a green power program near you, or contact your electricity provider for details.

Your Total Annual Savings:
a. $600
b.6,578 pounds of coal that remain in the mountains of West Virginia, Kentucky, Tennessee
c. 61 pounds of asthma-causing sulfur and nitrogen oxides eliminated
d. 8,788 pounds of CO2 emissions avoided EVERY YEAR from your home alone
* Actual savings may vary by geographic region, current energy usage, size of building, the weather, and other factors. Potential savings are based on US EPA, US Department of Energy and Energy Information Administration data
** Energy Star is a federal program that rates the most efficient products on the market today

BONUS TIP! Install a solar hot water heater. They have come a long way since the 1970s. Newer models are reliable and efficient, and use the sun's energy to heat your water for free. Up front cost: $1,500 to $3,500.
Annual Savings: $224 3,200 pounds of coal

Or improve the efficiency of your existing water heater for a lot less! Turn the water temp down to 120 degrees, install an insulating tank jacket, and insulate the first three feet of the hot water pipes.
Annual Savings: $100 1,108 pounds of coal

Need Help? Download a DIY Guide For detailed instructions on how to make many of these home improvements, you may download a 95-page do-it-yourself guidebook available from the Southface Energy Institute: Get More Info on Alternative Power Find out everything you need to know about energy conservation, energy efficiency, Energy Star, and pollution free green power for your home at the Department of Energy's Energy Efficiency and Renewable Energy Website: Where to Shop Visit the Buy Energy Efficient Products page on the Kilowatt Ours website for a list of companies. We are always adding new companies to this list and some of them even offer special discounts to our Network members!

You Can Help Us Spread the Message of Energy Conservation!
a. Make a donation to get a copy of Kilowatt Ours!
b. Organize a screening of Kilowatt Ours.

Trust for the Future, PO Box 60322, Nashville, Tennessee 37206, USA

What is permaculture?

These links can take you to lots of info about permaculture, a concept that relies on sustainability, locally-grown and -consumed food, and community-building.



Hey, would you like to start a local chapter of SlowFood? There's one thriving in The Triad, and one seems to be languishing in Fayetteville. Let's have one here!

Do you know that NC has The Conservation Council?

I've been on the Board of CCNC, The Conservation Council, for about 12 years. We have paid staff, an excellent lobbyist in Raleigh, and a Board committed to moving NC's legislators closer to the voting public's wishes on issues that impact NC air, water, and general environment.

Take a look at CCNC! Join up! We also offer a scorecard so that you can see how YOUR legislators are voting.


MTV Breaks the Addiction

A groundswell among the younger generation. A new MTV reality TV show for teens.

Third show has already been shown, but there's a website with recaps:


For those of you wondering whether sustainability could hold its own with the MTV set, consider that MTV has launched Break the Addiction, a "12-month action plan for fighting global warming and the effects of over-consumption in your environment and your world."

Over the course of a year, the program offers a monthly tip for reflecting on your personal habits and finding ways to change them. Thesteps include being a conscious consumer, calculating personal carbon consumption and designing your space in an eco-friendly way.


At the Sunrise Theater starting Aug. 11

An Inconvenient Truth
Aug. 11-15
Fri., Mon., Tues., Wed., Thurs. @ 7:30pmSat. & Sun. @ 2:30pm & 7:30pm

Humanity is sitting on a time bomb. If the vast majority of the world’s scientists are right, we have just ten years to avert a major catastrophe that could send our entire planet into a tail-spin of epic destruction involving extreme weather, floods, droughts, epidemics and killer heat waves beyond anything we have ever experienced. A catastrophe we have helped create. If that sounds like a recipe for serious gloom and doom -- think again.

From director Davis Guggenheim comes the Sundance Film Festival hit, AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, which offers a passionate and inspirational look at one man’s commitment to expose the myths and misconceptions that surround global warming. That man is former Vice President Al Gore, who, in the wake of defeat in the 2000 election, re-set the course of his life to focus on an all-out effort to help save the planet from irrevocable change. In this eye-opening and poignant portrait of Gore and his “traveling global warming show,” Gore is funny, engaging, open and downright on fire about getting the surprisingly stirring truth about what he calls our “planetary emergency” out to ordinary citizens before it’s too late.

"In 39 years, I have never written these words in a movie review, but here they are: You owe it to yourself to see this film. If you do not, and you have grandchildren, you should explain to them why you decided not to." Roger Ebert, CHICAGO SUN-TIMES

High Performance Schools Program coming to Sou. Pines in October

Sustainable Sandhills will host a High Performance School Buildings Symposium on October 23, 2006 at Mid Pines Inn & GolfClub in Southern Pines.

The symposium will focus on the costs and benefits of building high performance school facilities.

It will run from 9 am to 1:30 pm and include lunch.

Though designs differ from school to school, all High Performance Schools share three characteristics: 1) They provide a healthy and productive environment for students and teachers. 2) They are cost effective to operate and maintain. 3) They are environmentally sustainable.


Getting a start. . .

At the urging of Jan Leitschuh, with whom I watched the documentary, Kilowatt Ours, last week, I'm starting this blog in order to help inform about happenings in The Sandhills.

Of special interest are issues and events that affect:

sustainable energy use
residential permaculture
community gardening
protection of small towns' character
smart, controlled growth
conservation of energy
walkable, bike-able downtowns
protection of the environment, especially as it's related to local and state government
local food production and availability
slow food
sustainble schools
a growing Hispanic population

As I learn more about this blogging business, I'll be more useful. Please offer suggestions you think will help move this effort along!