Green Notes Week of February 3, 2013

FORWARD ON CLIMATE RALLY . . . Nebraska activists,, The Sierra Club, the Hip Hop Caucus, and tens of thousands of Americans will meet at the Washington Monument on the National Mall in Washington DC, Sunday, February 17, 2013, 12:00 Noon, for a Forward on Climate Rally to encourage the president’s leadership on climate change. First step: deny the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline. Help Move Us Forward. Register to be there here.

SCROLL DOWN to CD 3 Notes for this week’s Keystone XL pipeline Update.

Boycott Bud, Support Pine Ridge.” Students from Creighton University, University of Nebraska-Omaha and University of Nebraska-Lincoln announced a boycott of Budweiser products at a news conference in January. They asked Anheiser-Busch, brewer of Budweiser products, to end alcohol sales in Whiteclay by purchasing the beer stores in that town and retiring the liquor licenses, and to provide funding for expanded alcohol rehabilitation on the Pine Ridge Indian Reservation. Read the Omaha World-Herald story here.  Read a transcript of prepared statements by students at the news conference here.  Join the boycott here.
Sign a We the People petition: “we petition the Obama administration to Replace Pine Ridge Reservation’s buffer zone via executive order, making alcohol sales illegal in Whiteclay, Nebraska.”

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.

EN THOMPSON FORUM . . . Monday, February 4, 2013, at the Lied Center, 12th & R Streets, Lincoln, the EN Thompson Forum will present “Protecting the Human Rights of Religious Minorities Worldwide: International Religious Freedom in U.S. Policy. The speaker will be author and human rights advocate Felice Gaer, Director of the American Jewish Committee’s Jacob Blaustein Institute for the Advancement of Human Rights. The Forum is free, and open to the public.

FUTURE CANDIDATES WORKSHOP . . . There will be a Nebraska Public Leadership Foundation Future Candidates Workshop, 7:00pm, Monday, Feburary 4, 2013, in the Nebraska Association of School Boards Conference Room, 1311 Stockwell, Lincoln. Speakers will include Lincoln Board of Education President Ed Zimmer, and Lancaster County Election Commissioner Dave Shively. The Workshop is free, and open to prospective candidates for elected office.

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.

GEOLOGY DAY . . . Sunday, February 10, 2013, from 1:00 to 4:00pm, will be Geology Day at Pioneers Park Nature Center, Chet Ager Building, 3201 South Coddington, in Lincoln. Learn about fossils, minerals, rocks and gemstones from the Lincoln Gem and Mineral Club during this free drop-in program.

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

HELP SAVE DEMOCRACY NOW! IN OMAHA . . . Until last week, Democracy Now! has been showing on Omaha Public Access Channel 22. It has been taken off the air, but it can be put back on if there is a public outcry to the governing board, CTAC. Current members of CTAC are:
District 1 – Molly Maguire – mollyandbill [at] cox [dot] net 402-553-7618
District 2 – Addie Donald-Hardrick III (Secretary) – addiedonaldhardrick [at] gmail [dot] com 402-455-4600
District 3 – Charles Bruno – cjbruno2 [at] cox [dot]net 402-991-9920
District 4 – William Gaughan – gh5048 [at] hotmail [dot] com
District 5 – Charles Cogar (Vice President) – ccogar [at] tconl [dot] com
District 6 – Dennis Lee – denny [at] leelawoffice [dot] com 402-334-8055
District 7 – John Fullerton (President) – fullertonJ [at] rtbsv [dot] org 402-572-3003
At Large – Frances Mendenhall – francesmendenhall [at] yahoo [dot] com 402-208-3717
Please contact these CTAC board members expressing your disappointment about the removal of DN! and support for returning it to the air. Then, if possible, please attend the next CTAC meeting, Monday, February 11, 2013, 4:00pm, in the City Council Chambers, 18th & Farnam Streets.  CTAC does listen to the public, and raising your voice about keeping Democracy Now! will make a difference. You do not have to live in Omaha to be a stakeholder in this matter. AnyOne can comment. Just include your address with your comments. Phone Frances Mendenhall at 402.208.3717 for more information.

SAVE THE DATES . . . Code Pink co-founder Medea Benjamin will be in Omaha April 30 and May 1, 2013. She is interested in speaking on campuses, and elsewhere. E-mail Frances Mendenhall, francesmendenhall [at] yahoo [dot] com, or phone 402-208-3717 to be involved with making plans. Save the dates.

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 6, 2013, the film will be “Soundtrack for a Revolution,” telling the civil rights movement story “through the freedom songs protesters sang on picket lines, in mass meetings, in paddy wagons, and in jail cells as they fought for justice and equality.” Watch the trailer here.
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 . . . Please start this week’s KXL Update by watching a new 4:16 minute video “Keystone XL the ‘Lynchpin’ for Tar Sands Growth,” by Kevin Grandia. It features “four energy experts, outlines the issues surrounding the proposed Keystone XL pipeline, the Alberta tar sands and climate change. The video describes the Keystone XL tar sands pipeline as a “lynchpin enabling the climate intensive tar sands industry to grow unimpeded.” The video is here.
From “Bold Nebraska, Natives protest pipeline, impact on land,” by Kevin Abourezk, Lincoln Journal Star, January 29, 2013: “…Idle No More, a grassroots Native social justice movement, hosted the rally with support from pipeline foe Bold Nebraska. The event included Native ceremonial songs, drumming, Lakota and Christian prayers, and a round dance. Children and others held signs that read “You Don’t Own the Earth!” and “Down With White Clay!” Idle No More began as a response to proposed legislation in Canada that would reduce drastically the number of legally protected waterways and lower the threshold of consent needed to allow Native communities to surrender their lands. It has grown to include rallies and flash mobs by Native people across the country and in Canada.” The article is continued here.  Photos from Monday’s Rally are here.
The entire January 28th LJS letter to the editor, “Stand on Keystone XL,” by Britton Bailey reads “Democracy is challenging. Remember when the U.S. State Department was called out when it hired Cardno Entrix, a TransCanada contractor, to draft the environmental impact study? An impartial review it was not.
Legislation is challenging, too. Remember when Sen. Jim Smith, Nebraska chairman of the American Legislative Exchange Council and sympathetic with TransCanada, proposed LB1161 to exempt TransCanada from the laws passed during a special session of the Nebraska Legislature?
That is how LB1161 created special provisions for TransCanada. That is how the Department of Environmental Quality deck was stacked against concerned Nebraskans. That is exactly how HDR Inc., with close ties to TransCanada, got the nod to conduct the environmental impact study. The governor and the DEQ learned that trick from TransCanada’s insider tampering with the U.S. State Department. Impartial? No! Immoral? Yes!
The governor’s rubber stamp approval on such a biased report defies reason. Because the constitutionality of LB1161 is being challenged in the courts, his decision now seems politically wrong and a bit premature. Hopefully the courts will reason in favor of Nebraska landowners and the Ogallala Aquifer. Opponents are asking Gov. Dave Heineman to live by his earlier promise to stop the Keystone XL pipeline if it passes over the Ogallala Aquifer in areas where groundwater tables are high. The current route is not a sustainable solution and puts Nebraska’s economy and environment at risk.
I urge people to let Gov. Heineman know they stand with the Nebraska citizens challenging the LB1161 antics that are undermining a democratic Nebraska government. We want a democratic Nebraska and clean water for our children and all future generations.”
Take care of water, by Bob Servedio, a February 1st letter, observes “If the recent drought should teach us anything, it’s that we need to take care of the water. This simple fact seems to have eluded Gov. Dave Heineman, given his approval of the Keystone XL pipeline route.”
From “Ignorance costly,” by Gene Sengstake, January 31st, “It’s unfortunate that Nebraska’s governor, politicians and so many citizens in general are ignorant to the realities of not only the Keystone XL pipeline itself, but also the massive environmental damage being done that will be further enhanced by its construction. The XL pipeline is all about short-term greed and lack of foresight. The TransCanada commercials flooding the airwaves about how safe and economically desirable the pipeline is should be red flags in and of themselves, but when you tell people what they want to hear all caution goes to the wind. Spills are inevitable no matter how safe the pipeline, and even small spills will have devastating and lasting effects on the environment. Canadian tar sands mining operations are literally destroying the ecosystem, which has already proved detrimental to wildlife and people. It can never be restored.”
Yet another letter to the LJS editor, “Environmental devastation,” by Jenni Harrington, February 2nd, expresses more concern: “I’ve written a letter to President Barack Obama about the tar sands XL pipeline. I realized the issues of tar sands extraction when Ken Ilgunas was walking by our family farm. He is on a trek to walk the entire route of the proposed XL pipeline. Ken showed my family a video he took while flying over the tar sands in Alberta, Canada. I suddenly realized this wasn’t only my family’s issue but a global issue.
Tar sands extraction is an environmentally devastating process. If the whole tar sands area is developed, it will destroy an area larger than the state of Florida. This part of the boreal forest will never be reclaimed.
The bigger issue of tar sand extraction is that it is the dirtiest oil in the world with the highest carbon emissions. It will be sold on the world market and bought by developing countries like China.
Oil companies are blocked going west in Canada because of First Nations’ actions. I believe this is an export pipeline; the oil is not for the United States.”
January 31st, “Tribal members sign treaty calling for an end to Alberta oil sands development and Keystone XL,” by Carol Berry, Indian Country Today Media Network, begins “Nebraska Governor Dave Heineman’s approval of that state’s section of the disputed Keystone XL pipeline has united not only indigenous from the U.S. and Canada but also non-Native ranchers, farmers and concerned citizens who oppose the pipeline.” Post a comment here.
January 31st, “Obama faces angry liberals over pipeline,” by Joe Garofoli, was published in the San Francisco Chronicle, reports “As he begins his second term, President Obama is barreling toward what one Bay Area activist predicts could be “all out warfare” with environmentalists who want him to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline, the transcontinental conduit for tar sands fuel from Canada that many scientists say could expedite climate change.”
Also on January 31st, “Keystone pipeline decision to languish until mid-June-US source,” by Timothy Gardner, Reuters, reported “The Obama administration’s decision on the Keystone XL oil pipeline will not be made until at least June, a U.S. official said, which would delay the project for months and frustrate backers of Canada’s oil sands.”
5 Power Brokers Who’ll Determine the Fate of the Keystone XL Pipeline,” by Tara Lohan, Alternet, was sourced to Reader Supported News February 2nd: “The Keystone XL Pipeline will be a definitive line, if allowed to be built. Here’s a look at the people who can influence the decision and may be holding our future in their hands.” [Governor Heineman is Number 1 in the list, followed by a BOLD Nebraska statement in response to the new route approval.]
From “The Question No One Is Asking About Keystone XL,” by Thom Hartmann and Sam Sacks, The Daily Take, Truthout, January 30th: “Instead of letting foreign companies build terrorist-target oil pipelines across our entire country, shouldn’t we be supporting homegrown companies that could make America the world leader in renewable energy? …All around the world, and right here at home, we see the potential for clean energy use on a massive scale. We have 21st Century energy solutions that work now, today; we don’t need another 19th Century oil pipeline.”
How much will tar sands oil add to global warming?” by David Biello, Scientific American, January 23rd, asks the lucking question: “How much of the planet’s remaining fossil fuels can we burn?”
Garth Lenz: The true cost of oil” is a revealing, heartbreaking 17:40 minute TEDxTalk filmed in November, 2011.
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 . . . 4 Scary New Finds About Fracking, 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.”

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 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 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.