Middlebury, Vt.

Life in the middle of Vermont.

Tuesday, September 27, 2005

Middlebury Peace Vigil

Local Peace Vigil Participants
Join Marches in Washington, Montpelier

MIDDLEBURY, September 27, 2005 -- Several Addison County residents marked the fourth anniversary of the weekly Saturday morning peace vigil on the Middlebury Green, by attending peace marches in Montpelier and Washington, D.C. last Saturday, Sept. 24.

Among them were Bristol resident Linda Knutson and her daughter, Mahli, age 7. They joined 55 others on a charter bus that traveled overnight last Friday to the nation's capital for a massive peace march. More than a half-dozen other buses from Vermont made the trip to Washington. Knutson is the mother of two and a technical writer at Middlebury College.

Among locals attending the peace march in Montpelier last Saturday were Weybridge residents Jim Morse, a self-employed oil industry consultant, his wife, Margie, and their children Nikki and Aaron.

Knutson and the Morses have been frequent participants in the Middlebury peace vigil, which began shortly after the tragedies in New York City and Washington, DC on Sept. 11, 2001. Originally organized by the Middlebury Friends (Quakers) Meeting, the vigil has expanded to include residents from throughout the county.

Since Sept. 22, 2001, there has not been a single Saturday without someone "holding witness for peace" next to the fountain. The vigil is sponsored by the Addison County Peace Coalition. In addition to the weekly event, which is open to the public, the coalition has an Internet listserve and provides transportation support for people who want to attend out-of-town peace gatherings.

Last Saturday's gatherings in Montpelier and Washington, D.C. were designed to rally public support for an end to the U. S. invasion of Iraq. An estimated 200,000 people from all over the country attended the Washington event, according to media reports.

The march and rally in Montpelier drew an estimated 1,500 people, said to be one of the largest political gatherings ever in the state capital.

"One of the most powerful parts of the march and rally involved 1,912 small white flags planted on the Statehouse lawn--one flag for each American soldier killed inIraq as of Saturday morning," said Jim Morse. "To most of us, 1,912 is just another number. It's hard to get a feeling for exactly how big it is. But standing on the edge of that sea of flags really brought home the magnitude of what we have lost, themagnitude of what the war has cost. Especially considering there were no little white flags to represent the American wounded, and the many more Iraqis who have been wounded and killed in the war."

The Middlebury peace vigil continues on the Village Green every Saturday morning for a half-hour at 10:30 a.m. A similar vigil occurs Friday afternoon at 5:30 p.m. in Bristol.

For more information, call Winslow Colwell at 388 1961, or e-mail win@wcolwell.com.

Monday, September 26, 2005

Climate Change & Global Warming

Will Farrell does a hilarious takeoff on George Bush's "concern" about global warming, here:



More from Bill McKibben, on why it's not OK anymore just to be polite about climate change. "The environmental movement is reaching an important point of division, between those who truly get global warming, and those who don't."



Here's a link to the video of the outstanding speech at the Middlebury College Clifford Symposium on Climate Change (9-22-05), by keynoter Bill McKibben. He wrote the first popular book on global warming ("The End of Nature") and is one of the most persuasive and intelligent commenters on the urgent need for change -- less driving, more alternative energy, etc.

To view the video, you'll need RealPlayer to view; scroll through intro remarks to about the 10-minute mark for the meat of the speech) :



No, it's not just you. It's getting hotter. The planet just had the hottest September *ever recorded*:


For all you Halloween lovers, a cute video on the "Climate Mash":



Green Power is now being largely driven by businesses, according to the nonprofit Center for Resource Solutions:

Renewable energy capacity in the United States supported by voluntary demand rather than regulatory requirements now tops 2200 megawatts (MW) -- up more than 1,000 percent in just 5 years, according to a new report from the U.S. Department of Energy (DOE) released today at the Tenth National Green Power Marketing Conference in Austin, Texas. The report also notes that purchases by large businesses, institutions and governmental entities are driving the growth of the U.S. voluntary green power market.

Green power currently accounts for about 2 percent of America's electricity supply, but voluntary purchasing of renewable energy is accelerating development of new renewable energy sources. The report, from DOE's National Renewable Energy Laboratory (NREL), "Green Power Marketing in the United States: A Status Report," shows that renewable generating capacity in the United States installed to meet voluntary green power purchasing soared from 167 MW in 2000 to more than 2,200 MW by the end of 2004. The report is available at http://www.eere.energy.gov/greenpower/resources/pdfs/38994.pdf

While the number of residential customers buying green power has more than doubled over the past 5 years, green energy purchases by large businesses and other U.S. organizations have increased dramatically. This is further illustrated by new data released today by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) Green Power Partnership. The Partnership, a voluntary program that encourages large organizations to switch to green power for a specified minimum portion of their annual electric usage, has grown from 21 Founding Partners in 2001 to over 600 Partners, including Fortune 500 companies, universities, trade associations, and local, state, and federal government agencies.


Here's a British perspective:



Andy Borowitz's (www.borowitzreport.com) hilarious take on Pres. Bush and energy conservation:


200-Vehicle Convoy to Send Message of Conservation, President Says

Hoping to send a powerful message about energy conservation, President George W. Bush said today that he would embark on an historic cross-country motorcade to promote less driving.

"The time has come for the American people to wean themselves from their dependence on foreign oil, and I intend to get behind the wheel myself to send that message," Mr. Bush told reporters at the White House today. Taking a hands-on role in the symbolic odyssey, Mr. Bush said that he would pilot the lead car in the motorcade, a Ford F250 pickup that he uses to drive around his ranch in Crawford, Texas. The president said that he personally ordered a ranch hand to drive the pickup truck from Crawford to Washington, D.C. so that Mr. Bush would have it in time for the historic journey.

Mr. Bush added that in the event a national security emergency should require him to leave his energy conservation tour before it is complete, Air Force One will hover over the motorcade at all times, refueling in midair.

While some skeptics wondered whether Mr. Bush's cross-country trek would succeed in convincing Americans to drive less, it has already inspired one citizen to do so, as Rep. Tom DeLay (R-Tex) today volunteered to cancel his trip to Texas to stand trial on conspiracy charges. "I asked myself, 'Is this trip necessary?' and I decided it wasn't," Rep. DeLay said.

Elsewhere, First Lady Laura Bush said she would appear on "Extreme Makeover: Home Edition," while Vice President Dick Cheney said he would appear on "Lost."