Green Notes Week of December 9, 2012

12.12.12: Gateway Day to Healing for the World. Wednesday, December 12, 2012, at 12:12pm, people worldwide will be sharing the experience of Realignment with Our Collective Consciousness as Humans. This Recalibration prepares the world for winter solstice, December 21, 2012, the heralded, prophesied “ascension” for spiritual alignment. In Nebraska, the end of this 26,000 year cycle will be observed with a Program of original music, readings and guided meditation in the chapel of First-Plymouth Church, 2000 D Street, Lincoln, beginning exactly at noon on 12.12.12. Joining with an unprecedented World Meditation and Planetary Transmission, we will create a living field of powerful loving energy for Our Collective Shift to the Heart. The December 8th Lincoln Journal-Star article about 12.12.12 is here. EveryOne is invited to participate, either in person, or in Spirit. For more information, e-mail mjberry [at] inebraska [dot] com.

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.

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.

WACHISKA HOLIDAY PARTY . . . Thursday, December 13, 2012, the annual Wachiska Audubon Holiday Party will be at Aldersgate United Methodist Church, 8320 South Street, Lincoln, starting at 6:15pm. Jeff Kurrus, nature writer and photographer, will present “Writing with a Camera,” featuring photos from NEBRASKAland Magazine and his collaboration with Michael Forsberg about sandhill cranes, Have You Seen Mary?  Ernie Rousek will be honored as the first recipient of the Spring Creek Prairie Audubon Center Tallgrass Prairie Champion Award for his 40 years of prairie conservation work. All are welcome at this free potluck.

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.

OCCUPY LINCOLN . . . There is a calendar of Occupy Lincoln events here.  The Facebook page is here.  The Twitter feed is @OccupyLincoln. For more information, e-mail occupylincoln [at] gmail [dot] com or phone 402.585.5865. Corporate Greed is Revolution’s Seed!

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, December 12, 2012, the film will be “Frontline: College Inc.” investigating the $400 Billion business of higher education. The People’s Film Festival – Expanding Political Consciousness Since 2004.

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.

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 Twitter is
Leafletting in Omaha.

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

Greater Nebraska: Congressional District 3

KEYSTONE XL PIPELINE UPDATE . . . The Sisters of Mercy West Midwest Community was one of the first to promote action in response to the outrageous conflict of interest of the president’s choice for US Secretary of State, Susan Rice, who holds millions of dollars of stock in Canadian energy companies and banks that will profit tremendously if the Keystone XL pipeline is built. If confirmed by the Senate, one of Rice’s first duties likely would be consideration, and potentially approval, of the controversial mega-project. Did they think we wouldn’t find out?
Action Alert: Please send a message to President Obama expressing deep concern about UN Ambassador Susan Rice’s blatant conflict of interest within the next few days at the Roots Action website.
To read more about this issue, click here and here.  Act in harmony and interdependence with all creation.
Reader Supported News reported “Susan Rice Has a Major Financial Stake in Canadian Tar Sands,” November 28, 2012: “Susan Rice, the candidate believed to be favored by President Obama to become the next Secretary of State, holds significant investments in more than a dozen Canadian oil companies and banks that would stand to benefit from expansion of the North American tar sands industry and construction of the proposed $7 billion Keystone XL pipeline.”
Meanwhile, December 5th, Art Hovey reported for the Lincoln Journal Star from Albion, Nebraska as “Hundreds show for final say on pipeline project.
And a December 4th NebraskaWatchdog report by Deena Winter, “Passions run high at Keystone oil pipeline hearing,” estimated “800 people filled a huge metal county fairgrounds building Tuesday night to talk about a proposed $7 billion oil pipeline that would be built through Nebraska en route from Canada to Texas. A whopping 168 people signed up to testify at the hearing, which went from 6 p.m. until about 2 a.m. today. More than 100 people testified, but others left as the hour got late.” Considering the number of people who could not testify, the Department of Environmental Quality extended the comment period to 5 p.m. on Friday, December 7th.
Bold Nebraska responded with a press release, also December 4th: DEQ Hearing Doesn’t Assuage Nebraskans’ Keystone Concerns: “Last night, hundreds of anti-pipeline Nebraskans crowded the DEQ hearing room in Albion to voice their concerns about the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. That the hearing was mismanaged and kept many pipeline opponents from speaking illustrates the serious issues with Nebraska’s DEQ process. On a press call today, landowners and advocates discussed the failure of the DEQ to truly consider Nebraska’s risks, the concern that the pipeline goes along the Ponca’s Trail of Tears, and growing anti-pipeline momentum in the state.
“The fight over this export pipeline goes beyond the environment and beyond jobs,” said BOLD Nebraska Executive Director Jane Kleeb. “What is really driving this fight is the basic fundamental American principle that our families have a right to own land without a foreign company coming in and taking away.” Kleeb continued, “The so-called re-route is nothing but a PR move. The wishes of over 75% of Nebraskans, Governor Heineman and Senator Johanns have not been met. Those people asked that the pipeline avoid the Aquifer and the Sandhills. Those requests have not been met.”
“I was shocked by the lack of attendance of our elected officials,” said Nebraska landowner Randy Thompson. “This is a critical issue for our state, and our political leaders have essentially dropped this hot potato in our lap and said that it’s up to the citizens to solve it. To me, that is a shameful thing on their part—that they don’t have the courage to come and listen to the concerns of the people of NE.”
“There is no indication that DEQ has read and analyzed the legal documents of the easements,” said Nebraska Easement Action Team lawyer Brian Jorde. “If the DEQ has not analyzed each and every term of that taking of Nebraska land, how possibly can they effectively have analyzed the impacts on Nebraskans, on the people who are the collateral damage of this route that is going from Alberta to Houston? If these impacts have not been considered and evaluated, the DEQ analysis is inherently flawed.”
“Last night’s DEQ hearing showcased the deficiencies in this process,” said Sierra Club Nebraska’s Ken Winston. “Only 2.5 pages of the entire 600 pages that DEQ put together in their draft report addressed the issue of what would happen to the groundwater or Aquifer if there was a pipeline release, and there was no analysis whatsoever related to climate change or the drought that is gripping the entire state of Nebraska.” Winston continued, “If the President wants to be taken seriously on climate change, he cannot approve Keystone XL”
“The route that is currently being proposed for this pipeline passes through multiple points along the Ponca’s Trail of Tears,” said Indigenous Environmental Network’s Marty Cobenais. “There are spots along the route where they have buried their ancestors along the Trail of Tears. In fact, Nebraska’s tribes consider this entire region to be sacred, even where there aren’t burials and other sacred sites.”
For the Citizens’ Report, click here. [pdf]
Quoting Ken Winston, Nebraska Sierra Club Policy Advocate, “The Nebraska Department of Environmental Quality has numerous statutory duties to protect our air, land and water. However, the report from DEQ’s highly paid consultant looks more like an attempt to carry water for a foreign pipeline company than the critical assessment of issues required by Nebraska law to protect our natural resources. The thousands of Nebraskans who have spoken up about their concerns about this pipeline deserve better than the report that DEQ is presenting to the public. Because Nebraska law declares that we are the owners of our groundwater, we all deserve a better and more thorough examination of potential threats to our vast and vulnerable Ogallala Aquifer posed by this pipeline.”
This week, National Wildlife Federation released a report [pdf] shining a spotlight on the miserable records of Big Oil companies backing a massive expansion of tar sands pipelines in the U.S. The report warns that if the U.S. commits to thousands of miles of new pipelines, including Keystone XL, then it commits to decades of high carbon dirty fuel. The report urges policy makers to reject Keystone XL and put in place a series of incentives to spur development of clean energy. “Crude Behavior: TransCanada, Enbridge, and the Tar Sands Industry’s Tarnished Legacy,” by Peter LaFontaine, describes tar sands sludge and warns that a “veritable spider web of tar sands pipelines is being proposed to stretch to ports in British Columbia, Maine, and even others in Texas, with more likely to follow.
From “To Stop Climate Change, Students Aim at College Portfolios,” by Justin Gillis, New York Times, December 4, 2012: “…In recent weeks, college students on dozens of campuses have demanded that university endowment funds rid themselves of coal, oil and gas stocks. The students see it as a tactic that could force climate change, barely discussed in the presidential campaign, back onto the national political agenda. … Mr. McKibben’s goal is to make owning the stocks of these companies disreputable, in the way that owning tobacco stocks has become disreputable in many quarters.
…Mr. McKibben has laid out a series of demands that would get the fuel companies off’s blacklist. He wants them to stop exploring for new fossil fuels, given that they have already booked reserves about five times as large as scientists say society can afford to burn. He wants them to stop lobbying against emission policies in Washington. And he wants them to help devise a transition plan that will leave most of their reserves in the ground while encouraging lower-carbon energy sources.”
Lessons learned, by Mark Daharsh, is a December 8th Lincoln Journal Star letter to the editor: “… Those folks at TransCanada have taught me a lot about the oil market since they arrived on Nebraska soil. For example, they taught me how they have helped displace thousands of their own Native citizens by developing the boreal wetlands, releasing methane, polluting waterways, and destroying pristine wilderness and wildlife.
They taught me that the minimal rerouting of the Keystone XL pipeline still crosses a portion of the shallow aquifer.
They taught me that being a bully on the playground in Nebraska is not worth it after getting their own noses bloodied by landowners.
They taught me promising thousands of new jobs is just a form of propaganda.
They taught me this pipeline will be a conduit for only what eventually will be sales to China.
They taught me the people of their own country would not approve such a pipeline to the West Coast of Canada because of environmental concerns.
They taught me how the world now faces the very real threat of our planet warming, mainly because of burning fossil fuels.
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.” If you are on Facebook, click here to post the petition to your Wall. If you have a Twitter account, click here to automatically tweet:
Tell @BarackObama: You can’t have it both ways on climate change. Reject the Keystone XL pipeline.
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.
Dear President Obama: 171 reasons to deny the pipeline.
“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.

STOP FRACKING NOW . . . 4 Scary New Finds About Fracking This Week, by Tara Lohan for Alternet, adds to the continually growing list of warnings about fracking.
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.” 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.”  A new article, “Fracking Our Food Supply,” was published by Reader Supported News, and Truthout published “Fracking’s Health Calamaties Left to Fester,” both on December 1, 2012.

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 here.  Bookmark the GoodSearch Homepage, or make it your own Home Page. 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.