Murcoch and the Wall Street Journal, Carthage, NC




Very Shaky

Bush to announce sub-prime plan
President Bush will announce plans on Friday to help homeowners with sub-prime mortgages avoid defaulting.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/business/6971746.stm


Mountaintop-Removal Mining

[from Grist]
Bush administration eases restrictions on mountaintop-removal mining

The Bush administration has given a big thumbs-up to mountaintop-removal mining, the practice of blasting the peaks off of mountains and dumping the rubble into watersheds and valleys. A proposed rule issued Friday will exempt mining waste from an inconsistently interpreted 1983 rule that disallows mining activity within 100 feet of streams; considering that hundreds of miles of Appalachian streams have been obliterated by MTR mining in the last 20 years, it was basically a technicality anyway. Once officially free to dump mountaintops wherever the hell they please, coal-mining companies can continue to destroy ecosystems and communities in the name of reducing dependence on foreign oil. The rule is subject to a 60-day comment period; while officials have indicated that significant changes are unlikely regardless of public input, tell them what you think anyway. Then check out dispatches sent to Grist from writer Gabriel Pacyniak and photographer Katherine Chandler, who are traveling in West Virginia to report on MTR mining.

straight to the source: The New York Times, John M. Broder, 23 Aug 2007

straight to the source: Environment News Service, 22 Aug 2007

straight to the rule: Excess Spoil, Coal Mine Waste, and Buffers for Waters of the United States, [PDF]

see also, in Gristmill: Reports on MTR mining from West Virginia


North American Union

Without congressional discussion or our knowledge: Very important!



The Rooster’s Wife presents

Summer on the Porch

Jon Shain

Victoria Vox will open at 6 p.m.

August 26

The Postmaster’s House

204 E. South Street, Aberdeen, NC

Admission $8., Children under 12 free

Gates open at 5:30 Picnics welcome.

Info: (910)944-7502 theroosterswife.org


To Help Earthquake Victims, Peru


A 7.9 magnitude earthquake hit southern Peru on Wednesday, August 15th. At least 500 people are dead, thousands are injured, and tens of thousands of people are without shelter, food, or appropriate winter clothing. The Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies at Duke is organizing a relief effort to help the victims of this disaster.


Blankets and winter clothing: coats, hats, gloves, boots, scarves, etc.
(for adults and especially for children)

Financial Donations(Directly through the Peruvian Consulate, not through Duke University): Please see attachment for how to send money through the Peruvian Consulate in Atlanta


Center for Latin American & Carribbean Studies--Duke University
John Hope Franklin Center
2204 Erwin Rd, Room 139
Durham, NC 27705
919-681-3980, 919-681-3981, 919-680-3982

*Park behind the Franklin Center and give us a call. We will be happy to help you unload items from you car!


For information on the earthquake please visit:

Antonio Arce
Academic Program Coordinator
Duke Center for Latin American & Caribbean Studies
138 John Hope Franklin Center
919-681-3981 phone
919-681-7966 fax

The Obscenity of Carbon Trading



Rainwater Capture

Published: Aug 18, 2007 12:30 AM
Belly up to the barrel

Gardeners capture even the briefest showers to help quench plants' thirst
L.A. Jackson, Correspondent

These are not the best of days for gardeners. Temperatures are in the upper 90s and even spiking into triple digits. Even though we have showers here and there, municipal water restrictions hamper backyard growers' attempts to keep plants green and growing. So what is a gardener to do? Mike Ruck discovered a solution from his grandfather. "I received a rain barrel my grandfather had made many years ago for my grandmother, who was an avid gardener. She knew how much plants loved rainwater--they thrive on it, and besides, rainwater is free. I hooked up the rain barrel on our first home and used the water in the garden."

Ruck had found a practice that goes back thousands of years; the ancients well knew the value of collecting rainwater in large clay vessels for irrigation when dry times crept into gardens.

Well, maybe it's time to borrow from antiquity to deal with a modern problem. In areas of hard clay soil, which is extremely dense, water from quick downpours runs off into creeks and storm drains. Even gardeners with sandy soil have to deal with the sievelike qualities of such loose dirt.

For Ruck, a rain barrel not only became part of the solution but eventually a livelihood. He says, "We quickly realized we needed another one -- or two. We started looking for rain barrels but were unable to find them anywhere, so I decided to make my own. We found a guy who had some food-grade barrels, bought 10 of them and made them into rain barrels."

That was in 2000, and now Ruck and his wife, Lynn, are owners of Rain Water Solutions, a Raleigh-based company that sells rain barrels and cisterns. Thanks to the uncooperative ways of Mother Nature in recent years, business has been good -- since designing their own rain barrels (made with recycled materials) in 2002, the Rucks have sold more than 5,000 barrels.

Flexibility, filtering valuable

Some local cities and towns are also realizing the usefulness of rain barrels. Marie Cefalo, water conservation coordinator in Cary, says the town began a water conservation program in 1996 and began selling rain barrels during the drought of 2002.

Cefalo estimates Cary has sold about 1,500 barrels since it started making them available. And the town practices what it preaches. The Stevens Nature Center at Hemlock Bluffs Nature Preserve uses a rain barrel to water gardens and rinse tools, and the Senior Center at Fred G. Bond Metro Park uses two 1,000-gallon cisterns for irrigation.

Cefalo notes that, since rain barrels are exempt from city water restrictions, gardeners can use the collected water anytime they want to irrigate plants suffering from extremes in summertime temperatures.

Jay Butler, who lives in the University Park neighborhood in Raleigh, has used a rain barrel for six months. He originally bought it because he didn't like the way water was gathering in one spot after it flowed off his gutter. Now he's thinking about getting another one.

"It's a great source to water a nearby garden ... and it's free [water]," says Butler, who uses the rainwater on his vegetable and flower gardens.

Ruck sees another advantage: "Municipal water has ammonia, chlorine, fluoride and other chemicals in it that plants don't like or need. While such chemicals are important to keep water safe for human consumption, plants do much better on naturally soft, pH neutral water."

How the barrels work

Because commercial rain barrels are typically fitted with a spigot outlet that can be connected to a standard garden hose, using them is as easy as turning on a faucet. Setting them up is simple as well. Cefalo does urge gardeners to first check with their homeowners association to make sure rain barrels comply with regulations. After that, it is just a matter of locating the water collector under a downspout and shortening the pipe to the height of the open top of the barrel.

A rain barrel is a gravity-fed system, so the higher the barrel is in comparison to the plants it will irrigate, the better the water will flow. Setting the barrel on built-up cinderblocks or stones, or locating it on a deck or porch, will help give it some height if the lay of the land won't cooperate.

And what about mosquitoes? Still water is a prime breeding ground for these summertime pests, but Ruck's rain barrels have a screen-top that not only keeps mosquitoes out but also filters debris that might wash off a roof.

Cleaning needed once in a while

Rain barrels are low-maintenance, usually requiring only an occasional rinsing. "Over time, organics can build up in the rain barrel, especially in the springtime when the 'yellow haze' descends upon us," Ruck says.

Pollen buildup will give the water an odor, your cue that the barrel needs to be cleaned. Drain it and spray it with a garden hose.

As far as how long it would take to fill up a rain barrel, one good shower will usually do the deed. Cefalo notes that one inch of rain falling on a 1,000-square-foot roof is equal to 625 gallons of water -- more than enough to fill a typical 65-gallon barrel in short order, even with multiple downspouts coming off a roof.

Rain barrels offer one final advantage: awareness. Cary's Cefalo says that by using rain barrels, "citizens become more actively engaged in managing a natural resource and become conscientious about their water usage."

All rights reserved. This copyrighted material may not be published, broadcast or redistributed in any manner. L.A. Jackson is the former editor of Carolina Gardener Magazine. Visit his Web site at www.southeastgardeningwithla.com

Atlantic Cirulation

Atlantic yields climate secrets
For the first time, scientists plot the course of climate-crucial Atlantic circulation over a year's variation.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/6946735.stm


Birds, Atlantic Circulation

Climate fear for visiting birds
Climate change is causing a decline in the number of some birds visiting Britain each winter, the RSPB says.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/uk_news/6950711.stm

Atlantic yields climate secrets
For the first time, scientists plot the course of climate-crucial Atlantic circulation over a year's variation.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/science/nature/6946735.stm

Cutting Pollution

Beijing trials car reduction plan
Beijing begins a four-day trial of a car reduction scheme aimed at cutting the city's notorious pollution.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/asia-pacific/6950738.stm


Urban Farming, Berkeley


World on the Brink

The 11th Hour: Hollywood Documentary Takes on Environmental Crisis of a World on the Brink

"The 11th Hour" is a new feature-length documentary on the extent and gravity of the global environmental crisis and its impact on human life as we know it. The film is produced and narrated by actor Leonardo DiCaprio and includes interviews with Nobel Peace laureate Wangari Maathai, physicist Stephen Hawking, former Soviet President Mikhail Gorbachev and environmentalist Bill McKibben. We play clips from the film and speak to its two co-directors and writers, Nadia Conners and Leila Conners Petersen.


What Kinds of Bread?


Industrialization has given rise to wonder breads in plastic bags, yet some still hunger for the old ways of fresh local breads. This leads one to ask, “What kind of hunger can only be satisfied with local breads?”

This Saturday at 9am Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts author / baker Daniel Leader for a conversation about local breads of the world.

Log on www.metrofarm.com to listen on your radio, computer or IPOD.

Topics include why local bakers continue to survive in marketplaces dominated by industrial bakers; how location and tradition influence the baking of local breads throughout the world; and how local breads can be reintroduced into communities in which none exist.

Question of the Week: What kind of hunger can only be satisfied with local breads?

Press Conference Aug. 16, BREDL

Blue Ridge Environmental Defense League

www.BREDL.org PO Box 88 Glendale Springs, North Carolina 28629
BREDL@skybest.com (336) 982-2691 office (336) 977-0852 cell

PRESS ADVISORY, August 16, 2007


On Monday, August 20 environmental and community organizations from across North Carolina will gather in Raleigh for a press conference and rally. The groups will launch new campaigns for sound and just solid waste and energy policies. The press conference and rally will take place at the Old Capital and will begin at 11:30 AM.

Lois Gibbs, the Executive Director of the national Center for Health Environment and Justice will speak at the conference and rally. The Raleigh event will be the culmination of an 8-day barnstorming tour across piedmont and eastern counties.


A 25-foot inflated duck will be the visual centerpiece of the event. The duck features a banner: “Don’t Be A Sitting Duck for Mega-dumps and Dangerous Energy.”

CONTACTS: Janet Marsh 336-982-2691; Lou Zeller 336-977-0852

More on Peak Oil

Published on Wednesday, August 15, 2007 by The Christian Science Monitor
Why ‘Peak Oil’ May Soon Pique Your Interest

World oil production peaked in 2005, says one expert, and that presents serious problems in the future.

by David R. Francis

Do a Google search of the Web on “global warming” and it calls up more than 80 million references. Search for “peak oil” and the number exceeds 10 million.

In two years or so, world concern over crude oils supplies should be so great that a Google search on that subject probably will top that of global warming, predicts Matthew Simmons, chairman of Houston-based Simmons & Company International, an investment banking firm for the energy industry.

Peak oil refers to the time when production of crude oil in the world (or in a country or in an oil field) reaches its peak and starts to slide. It doesn’t mean the world has run out of oil - only that the supply of oil isn’t rising to meet growing demand. That change could be reflected in even higher prices, if the demand for oil doesn’t stall or fall.

Last Tuesday, the price of oil futures on the New York Mercantile Exchange set a record, rising as high as $78.40. That exceeded the previous high of $77.03 set in July 2006 at the onset of Israel’s war in Lebanon.

The world output of oil actually already peaked in May 2005 at 74.2 million barrels a day, says Mr. Simmons. Since then, production has fallen about 1 million barrels a day (MB/D). If that trend continues, the results for the world economy will be “so real, so devastating” that peak oil concerns will overwhelm slower-moving global warming in grabbing world attention.

That’s because today’s civilization hangs heavily on an adequate supply of oil. It, for instance, fuels most vehicles, heats many homes and businesses, and is used in many chemicals and plastics. Oil and natural gas now meets some 60 percent of the world’s primary energy needs.

Oil shortages, warns Simmons, could lead to war.

Dr. Fadhil Chalabi, executive director of the Centre for Global Energy Studies in London, isn’t so pessimistic. He notes that with higher prices, the demand for oil has started to fall, at least in the 30 industrial nations belonging to the Paris-based Organization for Economic Cooperation and Development. Since 2006, their demand has dropped by about 400,000 barrels a day. And the demand for crude in bustling and populous China and India rose only 0.7 percent last year.

His research institute forecasts world demand will rise “not more than 1 percent a year.” Other researchers predict 1.4 to 1.5 percent a year, a significant difference.

Mr. Chalabi says forecasts for the world oil industry cannot be relied on, having proved wrong in the past. Today’s forecasts do not fully take into account the impact higher prices have in reducing demand and encouraging alternative energy sources, he adds.

However, concern over the world’s oil supply is mounting. Last month, the International Energy Agency (IEA) issued a report warning that world oil demand will rise faster than previously expected. The result could be a supply crunch - “extremely tight,” one IEA economist told the BBC. The report sees world oil demand soaring 2.2 percent a year to 95.8 MB/D by 2012. That’s up from the 2 percent annual growth rate it forecast in February.

The Paris-based IEA advises 26 industrial nations, and, in Simmons’s view, it now has a more realistic chief economist, Dr. Fatih Birol. So the agency, Simmons says, is no longer “a cheerleader for cheap oil,” always saying crude oil supplies are so large that oil prices will surely fall.

In July, the National Petroleum Council, a federal advisory group representing the oil industry, published a 476-page study titled “Facing the Hard Truths About Energy.” Simmons, one of 350 participants who prepared the study, holds that its wording is not stern enough considering the statistics on the oil demand/supply situation it includes. The study states, “The world is not running out of energy resources, but there are accumulating risks to continuing expansion of oil and natural gas production from the conventional sources relied upon historically.”

Simmons uses such terms as “hogwash” and “junk report” in describing the study.

For years, many in the oil industry viewed the peak oil forecasts by Simmons as odd. Now his position has a lot of company. Several websites publish sophisticated material on the issue. There’s the Oil Drum (www.theoildrum.com), featuring “Prof. Goose” and “Gail the Actuary.” Those pseudonyms hide a full professor at Colorado State University and an actuary in an Atlanta suburb. There’s also the Energy Bulletin (www.energybulletin.net). The site’s coeditor, Bart Anderson, say it receives 11,000 visits a day. Peak oil enthusiasts, he says, have now divided into a majority seeing life after an oil crunch and those he calls “doomers.”

In Britain, Douglas Low, director of the Oil Depletion Analysis Centre (www.odac-info.org), foresees a “crisis coming up” with a real shortage of oil. In June, he notes, the world used 1.5 MB/D more crude than it produced. He expects much higher oil prices in the future.

“It’s not a very happy message,” he says. “A lot of people want to slip it under the carpet.”


List of Toys Recalled


From Think Tanks to Battle Tanks

Naomi Klein: From Think Tanks to Battle Tanks, "The Quest to Impose a Single World Market Has Casualties Now in the Millions"

'Is Another World Possible?' That was the theme of this year's annual meeting of the American Sociological Association that was held in New York City this past
weekend. "We did not lose the battles of ideas. We were not outsmarted and we were not out-argued,² journalist and author Naomi Klein said. ³We lost because we were crushed. Sometimes we were crushed by army tanks, and sometimes we were crushed by think tanks. And by think tanks I mean the people who are paid to think by the makers of tanks." Klein is author of the forthcoming book, "The Shock Doctrine: The Rise of Disaster Capitalism."


Kick the Habit!

Published on Tuesday, August 14, 2007 by The Christian Science Monitor
Kick The Bottled-Water Habit
It’s Not Just Daft, It’s Decadent. And Tap is Often Better.

by Tom Standage

In 1783, George Washington visited the natural springs of Saratoga Springs, N.Y. Along with Thomas Jefferson and James Madison, he took a keen interest in the supposed medicinal qualities of mineral water, a subject of much scientific research at the time. The following year, a friend wrote to him to describe the difficulty of bottling the strongly effervescent Saratoga water. “Several persons told us that they had corked it tight in bottles, and that the bottles broke,” wrote Washington’s friend. The birth of the United States thus coincided with the origins of bottled water.

The business of bottling water really got going in the 1790s in Switzerland, where doctors acclaimed the medicinal benefits of the artificially carbonated water sold by Nicholas Paul and Jacob Schweppe. The pair began exporting their bottled soda water in 1800, and such was its popularity in London that Benjamin Silliman, a visiting American chemistry professor, decided to set up his own soda-water venture in the US. Others soon followed suit, and bottled water became a popular health drink.

But bottled water’s mass appeal really began in the US with the marketing of Perrier, imported from France, during the 1970s. In recent years, though, sparkling water has been eclipsed by still water in popularity. Last year, sales of bottled water in the United States reached $11 billion. Globally, the figure might be as high as $100 billion annually.

Go into a restaurant or a supermarket and you will be offered water from all over the planet. Bottled water might look and taste pure enough, but the whole idea stinks. For a start, bottled water is indistinguishable from tap water. Put five bottled waters up against tap water in a blind tasting and see if you can tell the difference. Los Angeles tap water came out on top in a 2006 blind tasting, beating water from New York and Seattle, among others. One judge called L.A.’s water “exceptional. Like a bottled water.”

In many cases, bottled water is actually derived from tap water and filtered - which is why PepsiCo has just agreed to add the words “public water source” to the label of its Aquafina water. But water from glacial springs is not inherently superior. Worse, shipping it around causes unnecessary environmental damage. Refrigeration wastes even more energy. Then there are the millions of plastic bottles, many of which end up in landfills.

Surely bottled water is purer and safer? Actually, no. The regulations governing the quality of public water supplies are far stricter than those governing bottled-water plants. True, there are sometimes contamination problems with tap water, but the same is true of bottled water.

The industry responds that it is not selling water; it is selling “portable hydration.” But filling a bottle from the tap works just as well. The industry also likes to point out that bottled water is a healthy, calorie-free alternative to sugary soda drinks. The same goes for tap water.

Bottled water would appear to be the ultimate triumph of marketing. If you can get people to pay so much for something that is already available at very low cost in their own homes, doesn’t that suggest that they will buy anything? Canned air, anyone? Of course, in a free society, people should be able to spend their money on silly things, provided they are in full possession of the facts. But many people are not, judging by the persistence of the idea that there is something magically superior about bottled water.

But now a backlash against bottled water is gathering pace as people realize just how daft it is. (Actually it is worse than daft; it is decadent to shun perfectly good tap water, given that more than 1 billion people on the planet lack access to it.) Many fancy restaurants now proudly proclaim that they serve tap water to burnish their green credentials. Restaurant patrons are increasingly prepared to ask unashamedly for tap water when offered expensive bottled stuff.

Campaigns such as “Think Outside the Bottle” attack bottled water as part of a corporate conspiracy to seize control of the world’s water. Meanwhile, UNICEF’s Tap Project, launched in March, uses the power of branding to promote tap water. New York tap water has, for example, been rebranded “NY Tap” and, on World Water Day, participating restaurants in the city suggest a donation for the tap water they usually provide for free, with the proceeds going to water projects in developing countries. I’ll drink to that. Sparkling or still? Tap, please.

Tom Standage is the author of “A History of the World in Six Glasses.”


Prioritizing Organic Purchases



Potluck in a Pasture

August 19: Historic farm, local artists, live music highlight "Potluck in a Pasture" at Harland's Creek Farm in Chatham County.

Enjoy heirloom plants, homegrown food, local artists and live music at ChathamArts’ annual meeting and “Potluck in A Pasture,” Sunday August 19 from 5:00-to 8:00 p.m. at Harland’s Creek Farm (http://www.harlands-creek-farm.com/). Judy Lessler’s organic farm features native flowers, herbs and produce and is located at the historic Alston-Degraffenried House on Plantation Drive four miles west of
Pittsboro off of U.S. 64 via Manco Dairy Road. Featured artists will include
ceramicist Salinda Dahl, sculptor Susan Draughon, wood turner Joel Hunnicutt
and “Touch of Pearl,” with vocalist Laine Lipson and pianist Avis Autry, who will perform lyrical standards from the 1930s and ’40s.

The annual meeting begins at 5:00 p.m., followed by a farm tour and potluck supper with artists and music from 6:00-8:00 p.m. Visitors are asked to bring a dish for eight made with at least one local ingredient, and a copy of their recipe for the Chatham Arts Potluck Cookbook. Adults and children over 12 are asked to donate $10, $5 ages 5- 12 (less for members); proceeds benefit ChathamArts, the non-profit county arts council that supports diverse arts and cultural programs in the schools and the community.
Visit their website at http://www.chathamarts.org for more information. For
Potluck info call 919.219-9840.

I hope to see you there!


Debbie Roos
Agricultural Extension Agent
Organic and Sustainable Agriculture
North Carolina State University
North Carolina Cooperative Extension
Chatham County Center
Growing Small Farms Website:


Conservation Insider Bulletin, August 10

[Attention Southern Pines, Aberdeen, Pinehurst, etc. When are we going to sign on, see below? When the federal govt. is foot-dragging, the 'little guys' must get up and lead the leaders.]

Conservation Insider Bulletin

Published weekly for the Conservation Council of North Carolina

Conservation News to Peruse & Use

Editor: Dan Besse, earthvote@ccnccpac.org

August 10, 2007

Only the most radical true-believers are wasting their breath denying the reality of climate change THIS week. The dog days of summer are howling, but we still have environmental news to report.

Around the State: More Cool Cities Greet Heat Wave

Asheville, Winston-Salem, Durham, Carrboro, Chapel Hill, and a dozen others were already included. Now Raleigh and Gastonia have signed on, and Greensboro is considering it. In this case, "it" is the U.S. Conference of Mayors' Climate Protection Agreement.

Twenty North Carolina cities and towns are now among the more than 600 United States municipalities to formally join in this cooperative effort to help control global warming through cumulative local action. Raleigh's city council this week voted 7-1 to join the agreement.

Charlotte, the Carolinas' largest city, has approved climate-related actions, but its Mayor Pat McCrory has declined to sign on to the Mayors' agreement. However, neighboring city Gastonia's Mayor Jennie Stultz has signed. She told the Gastonia Gazette that the city already has a no-idling policy for vehicles and may consider purchasing alternative-fuel vehicles. She said, "We're also asking, 'What else can we do?'"

On a related note, we observe that University of Illinois Urbana-Champaign researchers said this week that the area of floating ice in the Arctic Sea has shrunk farther this summer than in any previous year monitored.

The Other Side: Bad Timing

It arrived during record-breaking heat, in the midst of a string of unhealthy air days throughout North Carolina's major metro areas—Charlotte, the Triad, the Triangle—and beyond. It was the latest Carolina Journal, the John Locke Foundation's house organ, squealing about the "alarmist organizations" affecting North Carolina's policies toward climate change.

Results of the latest public opinion poll by the Civitas Institute indicate that 63% of the surveyed public "believe global warming is a threat to North Carolina."

Campaign Watch: Round One Warms Up in Charlotte

Charlotte's environmentally interesting mayoral contest is warming up for round one, which will culminate with the Republican primary on September 11.

Incumbent Mayor Pat McCrory is a pretty progressive type when it comes to transportation issues, especially his strong support for development of the Mecklenburg rail transit system. That stance has put him sideways with the anti-tax, anti-transit wing of his own Republican party, which has produced a challenger as a result.

Republican challenger Ken Gjertsen, a Mecklenburg County school board member, has made a campaign centerpiece of repealing the local half-cent sales tax which supports transit services (buses as well as rail). Further, Gjertsen says that if he's elected and voters decline to repeal the tax, he'll push to divert more of it from bus and rail service to building new roads.

The Republican winner will face N.C. Rep. Beverly Earle, the Democratic candidate, in November. Transit supporters are likely pulling for a McCrory-Earle contest, in which the incentive for anti-transit voters to turn out (and vote to repeal the half-cent sales tax) would be reduced.

Education & Resources: Sustainability Awards; Clean Transportation Alternatives

Sustainability Awards: The group Sustainable North Carolina is inviting applications for its sixth annual North Carolina Sustainability Awards. The awards are intended to recognize organizations that "have taken up the challenge of integrating social responsibility and environmental stewardship into their operations." The awards include three business categories and one category for public/non-profit organizations. The application deadline is August 31. Past winners have included programs by recipients as varied as Warren Wilson College, Wyeth Vaccines, the Cherry Point Marine Air Station, Piedmont Biofuels, and the N.C. Solar Center. More information is available at www.sustainnc.org/2007/awards.

Clean Transportation Alternatives: Speaking of the N.C. Solar Center, here's an online resource we recommend for your review: www.cleantransportation.org. The clean transportation program which it features focuses on "alternative fuels and advanced transportation technologies." The website includes fact sheets, news, meetings and events, funding opportunities, and other resources. (For example, it includes a map to alternative fuel stations.)


Concert, Aberdeen, Aug. 12

The Rooster’s Wife


Summer on the Porch

Strictly Clean and Decent

Martha Bassett
will open at 6 p.m.

August 12

The Postmaster’s House
204 E. South Street, Aberdeen, NC
Admission $8., Children under 12 free

Gates open at 5:30 Picnics welcome.

Info: (910)944-7502

It's the Petrol

Canada PM asserts Arctic claims
Canada's PM reasserts his country's claims to the Arctic, days after Russia staked claims to the North Pole.
Full story: http://news.bbc.co.uk/go/em/-/2/hi/americas/6939732.stm

from MetroFarm.com


Rising food prices… sky-rocketing transportation costs… escalating populations of the hungry… There is a perfect storm of trouble blowing along the food chain, which leads one to ask: How will we feed the world’s hungry?

This Saturday at 9am Pacific, the Food Chain with Michael Olson hosts
Jennifer Parmelee from the United Nation’s World Food Programme for a conversation about feeding the hungry.

Log on www.metrofarm.com to listen on your radio, computer or IPOD.

Topics include why the need for food aid continues to escalate in spite of all that is done to end that need; what impact price increases have on the agencies that feed the hungry; and what, if anything, can be done to end hunger.

Question of the Week: Given the costs, how can we feed the world’s hungry?


Activism as Usual Not Good Enough

No Time for Activism as Usual
By Ted Glick
t r u t h o u t | Guest Contributor

Wednesday 08 August 2007

"The Weather Makers," a book by Tim Flannery, is one of the best sources for those who want to understand the global heating process that is seriously destabilizing the world's climate. In it, Flannery explains the three main 'tipping points' "that scientists are aware of for Earth's climate: a slowing or collapse of the Gulf Stream; the demise of the Amazon rainforests; and the release of gas hydrates from the sea floor.... There is some geological evidence for all having happened in Earth's history.... Given the current rate and direction of change, one, two or perhaps all three may take place this century."

A climate "tipping point" is a point beyond which it will be very difficult if not impossible to prevent catastrophic climate change - truly apocalyptic climate change.

We may be seeing one unfolding right now. That is how serious the climate crisis is. And that is why, a month from now, on September 4, the day Congress returns to DC, a Climate Emergency Fast will be launched, which will see some of us go without food for weeks. For me personally, it will be open-ended with no set ending date.

A July 24th 2006 news story by Geoffrey Lean in Britain's Independent newspaper, "A disaster to take everyone's breath away," underlines why some of us are taking this admittedly dramatic - some would say extreme - action. Lean reported that "severe drought is returning to the Amazon for a second successive year. And that would be ominous. New research suggests that one further dry year beyond that could tip the whole vast forest into a cycle of destruction ...

"The consequences would be awesome. The wet Amazon Basin would turn to dry savannah at best, desert at worst. This would cause much of the world to become hotter and drier. In the long term, it could send global warming out of control, eventually making the world uninhabitable."

One year later and one week ago, the New York Times carried a major story, "Brazil, Alarmed, Reconsiders Policy on Climate Change," on page three. They quoted a Philip Fearnside of the National Institute for Amazon Research as saying, in reference to the drying out of the Amazon, "Obviously the uncertainty range is huge, but the momentum is pushing us in that direction, and the fact that it is close is important, because the process is like steering a big ship. People on the Titanic saw the iceberg, but they couldn't turn in time."

As I write this column, it is four years after one of the most disastrous single climate events this century - the deaths of 35,000 people in August 2003 in western Europe as a result of a summer heat wave. Something of this magnitude had never happened before in recorded history. This event forced me to undertake serious study to understand what was happening as far as global heating, which in turn has led to my full-time activism on this issue for the last three years.

In that time I've seen a lot of positive developments. There is no question but that there has been a political sea change on this issue in the US. Large majorities of the population - Democrat, Republican and independent - support moving rapidly to a clean energy economy. As a result, there is some movement on Capitol Hill - involving mainly Democrats but also a handful of Republicans - toward possible enactment of global warming legislation this fall.

The problem is that it is unrealistic in the extreme to expect this Congress, under normal circumstances, to adopt the kind of legislation needed, given the power of the coal, oil and automobile industries over legislators of both parties.

We need to make this fall a very "unnormal" circumstance.

We need a deep, wide grassroots political uprising demanding a major course correction on energy policy, a rapid shift to energy conservation, efficiency and clean, safe and jobs-creating renewable energy.

We need to demand that we fight climate change, not wars for oil!

Literally, we need our government to act as if the country were in mortal danger, on a war footing, declaring nonviolent war on behalf of our threatened ecosystem, joining forces with peoples and governments all over the world who will welcome us with open arms if we do.

The US could go from being the most hated country on the planet to a very different reality in just a few short years.

This is an issue that transcends politics, and there are many concrete examples of how this understanding is growing among our peoples. One of the most recent is a statement, "Scientists and Evangelicals Unite to Protect Creation," released in January of this year and signed by 30 prominent scientists and religious evangelicals, including conservatives. It stated:

"We declare that every sector of our nation's leadership - religious, scientific, business, political and educational - must act now to work toward the fundamental change in values, lifestyles and public policies required to address these worsening [climate and environmental] problems before it is too late. There is no excuse for further delays. Business as usual cannot continue yet one more day."

But in a war, including a morally just nonviolent war for survival, troops are needed who are willing to make sacrifices, willing to disrupt business as usual, willing to get in the faces of those who have their hands on the levers of power. Those hands must be reversed or removed to enable a great turning of our Titanic-like system which is moving rapidly toward that dangerous iceberg, that tipping point which we must do all in our power to avoid.

Can we do it? Is it too late?

Hard questions, very hard, because a sober assessment of the odds against us is not encouraging. It's not just the power of the corporate interests dragging the whole world toward the precipice; it's the uncertainty about whether we have enough time to make the dramatic changes necessary, or if the global heating process is so far advanced that we have little chance to reverse course.

There are days when I despair over these odds, these realities. But then I remember that there is really no one who knows for sure what the future holds. The vast majority of scientists believe that we do have enough time to avoid climate catastrophe if we move quickly now.

And I think of the lesson of history that, all of a sudden, seemingly from out of nowhere, massive uprisings of the people have ended laws allowing segregation that had been in place for centuries, or overthrown apartheid, or brought down a hated wall dividing the people of a country.

Mahatma Gandhi, probably the greatest nonviolent revolutionary of the 20th century, once said that, "Fasting is the sincerest form of prayer." Beginning now, deepening on September 4, and for some of us for weeks afterward, let us pray and act not just for future generations but for those living right now.

"There is no excuse for further delays. Business as usual cannot continue yet one more day."
To join or for additional information about the Climate Emergency Fast, go to www.climateemergency.org.
Ted Glick is the coordinator of the US Climate Emergency Council and is in the leadership of No War, No Warming, which is planning mass nonviolent civil disobedience on Capitol Hill this October (www.nowarnowarming.org). He can be reached at indpol@igc.org or at P.O. Box 1132, Bloomfield, NJ 07003.


8/29, Day of Presence for Nola and Gulf Coast

I’m just back from the Essence Music Festival in New Orleans, which was a grand success, contributed more than $120 million to the city and raised the hope and spirits of our people throughout the region. While there, Tommy Dortch and I, our spouses Carole Dortch and Khephra Burns, Marcia and Michael Eric Dyson and PR guru Terrie Williams met privately with Mayor Ray Nagin about the deplorable and shameful conditions that the people of New Orleans and the Gulf Coast region are still suffering under, the obstacles the mayor has faced in trying to marshal resources for the recovery and the actions we all can and must take on August 29, the second anniversary of Hurricanes Katrina and Rita.

There must be a national outcry, a day of outrage, a day of protest, pray and possibility that the media cannot ignore; a day during which we demand that our national decision makers redirect our tax dollars away from war and war profiteering to create a regional Marshall Plan that restores New Orleans and the Gulf Coast.


We Matter. We Care. We Act.

We’re all weary, and our lives are overscheduled. But taking a stand at this crucial moment is something we must do. As Frantz Fanon said, “Each generation must discover its mission and, having discovered its mission, either fulfill or betray it.” Our generation is at grave risk of the latter. There’s not an issue killing our community that African Americans have stood solidly together on and remedied since the Civil Rights Movement. Let’s write a new history. Let’s stand together on this and win social and economic justice for the people of the Gulf Coast region. With the hope and courage garnered from that victory we can then address the failing schools, the over-incarceration of our young and the other ills sucking the life out of our community.

This is the call: On 8/29 the tens of thousands who can travel to New Orleans will gather for the massive demonstration being planned there. (The exact time and place to follow)

Millions of Black people, our White, Latino, Native and Asian brothers and sisters – all who are committed to social and economic justice – are to call their congressional and state representatives and the White House to demand the restoration and betterment of New Orleans, Gulf Port, Biloxi and the entire Gulf Coast region. The telephone number for the White House switchboard is (202) 456-1414; the U. S. Congressional switchboard operators at (202) 224-3121 connect callers directly to their Senators' and Representatives' offices, after asking for a state of residence and zip code.

America will inundate Washington with a storm surge of phone calls, emails and faxes, loudly protesting this administration’s shameful disregard for the people elected officials are supposed to protect. We want the state and national headquarters of both the Republican and Democratic parties to get a startling and disturbing wake-up call: Black people will not be taken for granted.

On 8/29 we must be fully present with all of our caring, compassion and determination. Present on that day we must have our national leaders, presidential candidates and elected officials, faith communities, fraternities, sororities, union members and celebrities present in full force.

Tyler Perry, Kimberly Elise, Regina King, Victoria Rowell, Sheryl Lee Ralph, Blair Underwood and others are with us in spirit, checking their schedules and awaiting details. CSI’s Hill Harper is taping and is requesting the day off. Comedian and festival host Jonathan Slocumb, who kept the 8/29 initiative alive each day and evening before the tens of thousands of festival goers, cares and will be present on that day. Tom Joyner will be broadcasting from New Orleans on 8/29. We need Harry Belafonte and Danny Glover; we need Oprah, Spike, Halle, Angelina, Brad and Bono, Sean Penn, Wynton Marsalis, the hip-hop community et al.

And of course, we need a huge turnout from the people of New Orleans and the Gulf region and as many thousands of displaced evacuees as can manage to return and have their presence register in Washington, in the media and the national consciousness.

We want all presidential candidates to take heed of the national discontent and our resolve to hold them accountable.

Americans are unaware of how gravely people of the Gulf Coast region are still suffering. Mayor Nagin said, "We are physically, emotionally and spiritually tired." A flood of media nonsense has washed over the facts of life for the people of New Orleans: Nearly two years later, 200,000 people are still living in trailers. More than 250,000 evacuated residents are still scattered throughout the nation. Two year later, 70 public schools in Orleans Parish remain closed. There are no mental health services, no hospitals to serve the uninsured poor.

And yet, as Barack Obama pointed out the evening he spoke at the festival, $165 million a day is being spent on the war in Iraq. Other research puts the number at an average of $259 million each day – an amount that could pay for a full year in Head Start pre-school programs for 35,000 three- and four-year-olds. For less than the amount spent in one month in Iraq, all of New Orleans could have been completely rebuilt.

Marian Wright Edelman noted that the Day of Presence is taking place at an opportune moment, just before Congress reconvenes to make its final decision, along with the President, on whether or not to fund the State Children’s Health Insurance Program (SCHIP) and help the dispersed children of Katrina get the mental health support and health coverage they desperately need.

Regional co-conveners include Mayor Nagin; Councilwoman Cynthia Willard-Lewis, who represents the Ninth Ward; committed activist lawyers Tracie Washington, president and CEO of The Louisiana Justice Institute, and Judith Browne, co-director of the Advancement Project; and the Rev. Norwood Thompson, Jr., president of the New Orleans chapter of SCLC. The Louisiana Justice Institute is the lead organization and is forming a broad coalition of regional and community-based groups to plan the day’s program and work on the regional turnout.

Marian Wright Edelman will help to organize our faith communities, and Marcia Dyson is working on a framework to sustain the movement beyond 8/29.

Who will step up as national co-conveners, along with Melanie Campbell, executive director and CEO of the National Coalition on Black Civic Participation, ESSENCE Cares and those leaders who joined me in meeting with the mayor? Please contact Melanie Campbell at melaniec@ncbcp.org and me at taylor@essence.com .

On August 28 The Louisiana Justice Institute, Mississippi Economic Policy Center, Gulf Coast Young Leaders Network and a coalition of regional organizations, with support from Oxfam, Rutgers University and other institutions, are also convening a policy forum: Recovery and Renewal for Gulf Coast Working Families. For more information about the policy forum and the time and place of the 8/29: A Day of Presence rally, log on to the Institute's Web site, louisianajusticeinstitute.org, after July 17.

We need all hands on deck. Our job – all of us – is to mobilize the masses to act. Together we have the compassion, the will and spiritual resources to help our sisters and brothers in the Gulf region to reclaim and better their lives. They matter and deserve to be treated with the dignity and respect due every human being, none more than tax-paying African Americans, whose ancestors helped build and make the nation the wealthiest on earth.

Please give this email, and the related ones that will follow, the widest possible distribution. Let’s organize our community to stand up and stand together as we haven’t done in decades. With the needs of our people – not our egos – leading the way, we will win.

Susan L. Taylor

Sou. Pines Historic District Comm, Aug. 9,

COME TO THE MEETING ! (please pass this notice on...)
Thursday, August 9 at 4:00pm
Planning Department
180 SW Broad Street (next to Post Office)
If you can't attend, please email your comments TODAY to the HDC staff liaison:

Bart Nuckols, Planning Director nuckols@southernpines.net

To email the HDC members directly, see below:

Scott Boulton (Chair) r.scott.boulton@us.army.mil
Paul Harkness hawknhark@pinehurst.net
Carl Kessler CarlKessler@nc.rr.com
Clemm Shankle cshankle@earthlink.net
Louis Scribner Louie@Scribner.com
John Heckathorn jdhaia@earthlink.net
Heather Mcdonald heather.mcdonald1@us.army.mil

The Cedar is on property that is within the boundaries of the Town's Downtown Historic District and, therefore, is subject to review and regulation by our Historic District Commission.

The property was purchased by MVOC LLC of Cary which has plans to demolish the building (the old La Terrace Restaurant) on the site and cut down the Cedar to make way for a 6,500sf steakhouse.

Owners of property within the Historic District must submit their plans to remodel or demolish buildings and/or objects (including landscape) to our Historic District Commission for evaluation along with an application for a Certificate of Appropriateness, which only the HDC can issue.

A Certificate of Appropriateness is required before the owners can apply to the Town for a building permit.

The HDC reviews the plans to ensure that improvements conform to the Town's historic preservation/architectural guidelines and that nothing of historic significance is destroyed or modified. The NC Statutes and our local ordinance allow the HDC to include "significant landscape" as part of its review.

When the cedar was brought to the attention of the HDC, it's members voted to submit the issue to the State Historic Preservation Office (SHPO) for a ruling on whether the cedar deodara qualifies "significant landscape." SHPO ruled that it does.

Now the HDC has to decide what to do. Please let them hear from you today!


Smithfield Walk-Out, Sit-In over Water

For immediate release Contact: Leila McDowell 202 306 7947

Tuesday, August 7

Smithfield workers walk out and hold sit-in over lack of drinking water today

Smithfield livestock workers at Tar Heel, the world's largest pork processing plant, say it took over three hours to get clean drinking water yesterday despite the heat advisory. This morning, after requesting a meeting with plant management, who refused, forty percent of the livestock workers walked out and are now holding a sit in the grassy area in front of Livestock. Production at the plant has been dramatically reduced. Livestock workers move 32,000 pigs a day from the trucks to the plant for processing.

Workers have been trying for 5 months to get regular access to clean drinking water, have signed petitions and tried unsuccessfully several times to meet with management over the issue which they say is dangerous to their health. An OSHA complaint filed by the workers several months ago over water and other safety issues resulted in an inspector accepting the company's contention that the problems have been corrected. The workers appealed that decision with state and federal OSHA.

Libby Manly
Community Organizer
Smithfield Campaign
United Food and Commercial Workers
1408 Hillsborough Street
Raleigh, NC 27605
Cell: 919-491-2262
Fax: 919-828-2102


For Lieutanant Governor

Many of you already know me through our shared involvement in progressive causes across North Carolina over the past 30 years.

Experienced leaders and activists such as you hardly need to be reminded of the critical challenges facing North Carolina now and in the coming years.

Explosive development, high dropout rates, air and water pollution, and a lack of basic health care access among our most vulnerable populations are only a few of the issues facing not only North Carolina's policy makers, but each and every one of us.

I'm Dan Besse, and I am running for the office of Lieutenant Governor of North Carolina because I am passionate about meeting these challenges and I am committed to positive change in our state. I have the hands-on experience as a public interest advocate and as an elected official to be effective as a voice for change. While many candidates are "talking green" this year, I have a proven commitment to living my beliefs through a 30 year career dedicated to environmental stewardship and social justice.

I KNOW we can solve these problems—but not if we continue to allow our choices to be limited by the deep pockets who financially out-shout reasoned voices for real progress. This election season, we have a grand opportunity to break away from politics as usual, and put a real progressive Democrat into statewide executive leadership.

To make that happen, I need to ask for your support. Please visit my website, www.danbesse2008.org, and explore my detailed background. Read my issue pages. Contact me directly with your questions and ideas. If you like what you learn, let your friends know.

2008 can be a watershed year in North Carolina. Our state is changing, and our policies and leaders need to change to meet those challenges. Politics as usual won't do.

Together, we can make "politics as usual" the way things USED to be done in North Carolina.

Dan Besse

Democrat for Lieutenant Governor

P.O. Box 15346
Winston-Salem, NC 27113