SCROLL DOWN to CD 3 Notes for this week’s Keystone XL pipeline Update.
Lincoln area: Congressional District 1
VIGIL AGAINST THE DEATH PENALTY . . . Every Monday, noon to 1:00pm, Nebraskans for abolition of the death penalty meet in front of the governor’s mansion when weather is good, 1425 H Street, Lincoln. When weather is bad, the vigil is inside the capitol, near the Information Desk. The lunch-hour presence reminds the governor of a constituency that does not want state killings. Weekly vigils have taken place year-round since July, 1991. All abolitionists are welcome to participate for a few minutes, or the hour.
NPPD OPEN HOUSES . . . Nebraska Public Power District Open Houses for public input continue on Monday, February 18, 4:00 to 7:00pm, at Divots Conference Center, 4200 W. Norfolk Ave., in Norfolk; and Tuesday, February 19, 2013, 4:00 to 7:00pm, at the Holiday Inn, Hwy 81 / 4619 South Lincoln Ave., in York. NPPD is getting ready to decide the next 20 years of energy policy in our state. It is critical they hear we want more clean energy. More details are here.
LINCOLN PEACE VIGILS . . . Lincoln peace vigils continue at the Federal Building, 15th and O streets, every Wednesday from 5:00 to 6:00pm. Contact Mark at 402.499.6672 or e-mail mark [at] weddleton [dot] com for more information.
OCCUPY EDUCATION LINCOLN . . . Occupy Education Lincoln and the Calvary United Methodist Church, 1610 South 11th Street, Lincoln, (corner of South 11th and Garfield Streets) will hold weekly Workshop/Skills Teaching Sessions, The Repair Cafe, every Thursday, starting at 5:30pm. (The time coincides with the start of FoodNet.) Toss It? No Way! Fix it, find another use, use some of its parts, recycle it, and say no to the throw away culture. Everything and everyone has value. We must discover the value. For more information, contact Barbara van den Berg, 402.488.6926, barbvandenberg [at] hotmail [dot] com.
HIKE NEALE WOODS . . . Sunday, February 24, 2013, there will be a Wachiska Audubon Field Trip to Neale Woods, a 550-acre nature center north of Omaha that is part of Fontenelle Forest. Its trails lead through wooded hills and the Missouri River floodplain. This will be a winter hike, off the beaten path, exploring some of those trails. Meet at 12:00pm, Sunday, February 24, on the south side of the State Capitol in Lincoln, 15th and H streets, across from the governor’s mansion. To join the group there, arrive at Neale Woods around 1:15pm. The public is welcome. If you have questions, call John at 402.475.7275.
Omaha area: Congressional District 2
OMAHA PEOPLE’S FILM FESTIVAL . . . There is a People’s Film Festival every Wednesday, 7:00pm, at McFoster’s Natural Kind Cafe, 38th and Harney in Omaha. Wednesday, February 20, 2013, the film will be “I Am,” a 2010 documentary by Tom Shadyac, which finds him conversing with prominent philosophers and spiritual leaders such Archbishop Desmond Tutu, historian Howard Zinn, philosopher Noam Chomsky and others, about what ails our world and how we can improve it. The People’s Film Festival – Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.
JOEL SARTORE ROAST . . . Friday, February 22, 2013, Nebraska’s longtime National Geographic nature photographer Joel Sartore [pdf] will be inducted into Nebraska’s informal hall of fame at the Omaha Press Club, 1620 Dodge Street, 22nd floor, original First National Bank Tower. The event will start with a 5:30-6:30 reception, followed from 6:30-7:30 by a “roast” of the honoree and his rebutal, and dinner at 7:45pm. Phone 402.345.8008 to make reservations for the dinner. The Omaha Press Club provides scholarships to journalism students at UNL, UNO and Creighton. The dinner fees are used to support these scholarships.
OMAHA PEACE VIGILS . . . Every Saturday, 1:00-2:00pm, there is a Peace Vigil at the northwest corner of 72nd and Dodge Streets in Omaha. Park next to 72nd Street, in the pet store lot. Contact Steve Horn, 402.426.9068, for more information about Saturday vigils.
SAVE THE DATES . . . Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin will be in Omaha April 30 and May 1, 2013. E-mail Frances Mendenhall at francesmendenhall [at] yahoo [dot] com, or phone 402.208.3717, to learn more, and for details about Saturday morning Code Pink meetings on Hamilton Street.
ATM LEAFLETTING IN OMAHA . . . An Alternatives To the Military supporter who lives in Omaha would like to put together and participate in a local leafletting group there. She wants to start small–maybe leafletting at just one or two schools. If you have an interest in joining a Omaha ATM group, please contact Kevin Haake, atmlincoln [at] gmail [dot] com. The FB link is http://www.facebook.com/atmlincoln. Twitter is http://www.twitter.com/ATMLincolnNE.
ENGAGE OMAHA . . . One of the nation’s first city-wide, virtual town hall websites, EngageOmaha, is now online. Omaha residents may weigh in on issues for the city to consider. Pick a topic, and join the mix at http://www.engageomaha.com/.
Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3
CENTRAL NEBRASKA PEACE WORKERS MEETING . . . Central Nebraska Peace Workers, a chapter of Nebraskans For Peace, will meet on Sunday, Februrary 24, 2013, 3:00 to 5:00pm, at Trinity United Methodist Church, 5th and Elm Streets, in Grand Island. Meeting Facilitator will be Del Roper.
KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . Leading up to the February 17, 2013 Forward on Climate Rally in Washington DC, corporate media declined to report or cover the mid week pre-rally Wednesday. High Profile Activists, including actress/activist Daryl Hannah; Julian Bond, former president of the NAACP; 350.org‘s Bill McKibben; Sungevity CEO Danny Kennedy; Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Sierra’s executive director, Michael Brune, were arrested putting pressure on the Obama administration to reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline through our state. Four Nebraskans were arrested Wednesday, and more than 125 local ranchers, landowners and activists have now arrived in DC for Sunday’s protest–expected to be the largest climate rally ever. Read Art Hovey’s Lincoln Journal Star coverage of the arrests, with photos, here.
Thursday, February 14th, Democarcy Now! interviewed Daryl Hannah, arrested and jailed twice in six months for protesting the Keystone XL. “It’s incumbent upon us, upon citizens, to show up and stand up and take action,” Hannah says. “The polls show that the majority of people in this country are very, very concerned about the climate crisis and want action. And so, the only way that’s going to happen is if we insist upon it. President Obama again and again says, ‘Push me.’ Well, we need to get out there and push him.” Watch the video here.
Also on Thursday, Bold Nebraska’s Jane Kleeb reported “Yesterday, four Nebraskans joined with national leaders including Julian Bond, Robert Kennedy, Jr. and Bill McKibben, to show a strong coalition of Americans asking our President to reject Keystone XL and begin serious action on climate change. Civil disobedience has a long history in our country of ordinary citizens taking a stand on critical issues facing our country. Tar sands threaten our land, water and property rights. We are confident the President will do right by ranchers and right by our country’s path to clean energy.” Photos of Nebraskans involved in Wednesday’s action are here. Read statements by Nebraskans and see photos of their arrests here.
A February 13th Common Dreams article, “Activists Plan White House Civil Disobedience to Pressure Obama on Climate,” by Jon Queally, also emphasized “We’re not protesting against Obama, …we’re applying the pressure he’s requested.” Several Lincoln Bioneers will join national Green Party Co-chair from Omaha, Charles Ostdiek, at the DC Rally.
Some of Sunday’s solidarity rallies across the country are summarized here. Omaha’s Climate Solidarity Rally is from 1:30 to 2:30pm at Memorial Park on the north side of the pedestrian bridge. Quoting Nebraska rancher Randy Thompson, “Our challenge, and our mission, is to stop once and for all, an ill-conceived project — the Keystone XL pipeline. Our political leaders have failed to protect our individual property rights, our land, our water, and all of our priceless natural resources. The burden to stop this project now lies squarely on the shoulders of we the people, and we will not stand down, but rather stand tall in our opposition until we prevail.”
Quoting “Sierra Club to Engage in Civil Disobedience For First Time in Organization’s History,” February 13th in Reader Supported News, “The Sierra Club Board of Directors has approved the one-time use of civil disobedience for the first time in the organization’s 120-year history. Recognizing the imminent danger posed by climate disruption, including record heat waves, drought, wildfires and the devastation of superstorm Sandy, the Sierra Club board of directors has suspended a long-standing Club policy to allow, for one time, the organization to lead a group of environmental activists, civil rights leaders, visionaries, scientists, and other high-profile individuals in a peaceful protest to dirty and dangerous tar sands. The action will be by invitation only and is being co-sponsored by 350.org.”
February 11th, Sierra released a letter from 30 notable entertainment and environmental leaders, calling on President Obama to cement his legacy by addressing climate disruption during his second term. The group, including Morgan Freeman,Yoko Ono, Robert F. Kennedy Jr., Susan Sarandon, Bonnie Raitt, et al, wrote “Your legacy as 44th president of the United States rests firmly on your leadership on climate disruption. Only the president has the power to lead an effort on the scale and with the urgency we need to phase out fossil fuels and lead America, and the world, in a clean energy revolution.” Read the press release here.
In “Ahead of Keystone XL Rally, Fossil Fuel Divestment Expands Across U.S. Campuses,” by Amy Goodman and Aaron Mate, Bill McKibben discussed the growing movement to divest from fossil fuel companies and what pressuring Washington has achieved so far.
Reader Supported News reporting on the KXL decision included “Keystone XL: A Presidential Decision That Could Change the World,” by Michael T. Klare, TomDispatch, February 11th; and “Big Steps Forward for US Climate Movement“, by Ted Glick, February 9th.
Quoting Klare, “Presidential decisions often turn out to be far less significant than imagined, but every now and then what a president decides actually determines how the world turns. Such is the case with the Keystone XL pipeline.”
Truthout published “Why Organized Labor Must Stand Against the Keystone XL Pipeline,” by Mark Vorpahl, Occupy.com, February 13th: “The potential consequences of the Keystone XL pipeline’s operations are global and catastrophic because of climate change, and that’s why organized labor needs to stand up now in an alliance that has the power to defeat it. …At best, the two main political parties in the U.S. can only deliver too little too late because of their dependence on financial contributions from big business. Consequently, the “Forward on Climate” movement needs to build its power broadly by connecting and highlighting the dual issues: stopping climate change and providing full employment with a Green New Deal.”
“Four States Introduce Keystone XL Resolutions, Lifting Language From ALEC and TransCanada,” by Brendan Fischer, PR Watch, February 16th reveals “Legislators in four states have introduced bills in recent weeks supporting the controversial TransCanada Keystone XL pipeline, with language that appears to have been lifted directly from a “model” American Legislative Exchange Council (ALEC) bill and from TransCanada’s own public relations talking points.”
Truthout also published “Koch Brothers Driving Keystone XL Pipeline From Canada to Cut Out Venezuelan Oil,” Feburary 7th. In the 11:15 minute video, Greg Palast speaks with Paul Jay about how the Koch brothers could save $2 billion a year if they replaced Venezuela’s heavy crude with Canadian tar sands.
“The Koch Brothers’ Chavez Problem,” by Greg Palast, February 8th, reports “The Venezuelan president won’t hand over the crude. So the Koch’s are pushing for Keystone.”
It is time for President Obama to draw a line in the tar sands, and reject the Keystone XL pipeline. Click here to sign a CredoAction petition to President Obama. The petition reads: “If you are committed to fighting climate change, you must reject the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. You simply cannot have it both ways.”
Sign a Natural Resources Defense Council Action Alert telling Congress to reject all attempts to force approval of the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline by attaching it to any unrelated legislation. The Keystone XL will deliver billions in profits to Big Oil while the people get stuck with poisoned water, contaminated land and an overheated planet.
“The Keystone pipeline will spew a massive amount of carbon pollution into our fragile atmosphere. It should be stopped. ” –Jill Stein, 2012 Green Party Presidential Nominee.
SAVE THE BEES . . . Bees have been dying off in the US at an alarming rate — nearly 30% of our bee population, per year, have been lost to so-called colony collapse since 2006. Scientists have long thought that the pesticide clothianidin was at least partially to blame. But the EPA has repeatedly ignored scientists’ warnings and Americans’ urgings to ban its use, citing lack of evidence. Now, a blockbuster study released this week by Europe’s leading food safety authority, EFSA, has for the first time labeled clothianidin as an “unacceptable” danger to bees. For a credoaction petition telling the EPA to immediately suspend the pesticide that’s killing bees, sign automatically by clicking here.
STOP FRACKING NOW . . . From “Five Effects of Fracking You May Not Know About” by Alyssa Figueroa, AlterNet: “What comes to mind when you think of fracking? Perhaps it’s images of tap water being lit on fire or stories of families suffering health problems after nearby wells are fracked. Indeed, the health and environmental impacts of fracking are being documented, but it’s important to know that fracking is a catalyst for widespread negative consequences.”
“Studies Link Earthquakes to Fracking,” by Jessica Leber, MIT Technology Review, Reader Supported News, February 3rd, reported “At the American Geophysical Union meeting in San Francisco last week, scientists presented the latest evidence tying the disposal of wastewater from shale gas hydrofracking to increased earthquakes.”
Petition Congress: “We, the undersigned, call on Congress to pass the Fracturing Responsibility and Awareness of Chemicals Act this year. It’s time to hold the oil and gas production industry to the same standards as any other industry to ensure the safe protection of America’s drinking water.”
BUY FRESH. BUY LOCAL . . . . Farmers, gardeners, and craftspeople meet through The Nebraska Food Cooperative, an on-line, year-round farmers’ market and local food distribution service offering the best in local freshness. For ordering and pickup schedules, refer to the calendar here. Click here for products and prices from North Star Neighbors, a Cooperative member that doesn’t therapeutically medicate or unduly confine animals. Click here for Tomato Tomäto, Omaha’s year-round indoor Farmer’s Market at 156th & West Center. Shop for fresh foods grown in or very near your own community at Open Harvest, Lincoln’s member-owned natural foods retail cooperative at 1618 South Street. Buying local grows family farming, grows the local economy, and is thousands of miles fresher.
HELP NEBRASKA GREENS WITH GOODSEARCH . . . Each time you search the Internet (or shop online at a participating store), a donation can be made to Nebraska Green Party at no cost to you! To help NGP in this way, enter Nebraska Green Party where it asks you to name your cause at http://www.goodsearch.com/default.aspx. Enter the url you want in the GoodSearch search box. Each time you do, one penny will be donated to Nebraska Greens. THANK YOU for your support!
Remember, every man-made by-product of the petroleum industry could be replaced by hemp. “Help Save the Earth, Time to Substitute Hemp for oil.”