700 Acres Saved

About 85 people attended an abortion rights rally in Bellows Falls, Vermont. Bellows Falls is on the Connecticut river, and is in the same county as Brattleboro. Leslie Goldman is a member of the Vermont legislature. She told the Valley Post she was at the rally. Jeanette Staley was one of the event organizers. She told the Valley Post that Goldman “spoke eloquently at the rally.” The rally was on August 19.

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Jessica Bryant works for the Mount Grace land trust. On August 19 she told the Valley Post that her group and others have permanently protected from development about 700 acres in the Pioneer Valley this summer. The land is in the towns of Royalston, Warwick, and Orange.

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On August 31 the city of Greenfield announced the police chief would be getting his job back. He had been suspended on May 6 following a jury verdict that found the police department discriminated against the department's only African American officer.

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A federally funded web site shows that the Pioneer Valley, Brattleboro and Keene are in a drought. The site is https://droughtmonitor.unl.edu

In the past 10 or so summers, droughts and floods have been more common than in the past 100 or so summers. This makes it harder for farmers to grow food. Climate change causes more frequent, and more severe, droughts and floods. Climate change is caused by over-population. Solutions to over-population are at:

www.biologicaldiversity.org/programs/population_and_sustainability/climate

Other ways to address climate change include:

--protecting farmland and forestland from development (land trusts like the Nature Conservancy and Kestrel Land Trust do this – politicians decide how much money land trusts get, in addition to private donations);

--raising taxes on fossil fuels and using the money to reduce trains fares, and to make passenger trains more frequent and faster, and to improve freight trains, bicycle paths (separated from cars by a physical barrier), sidewalks, and crosswalks;

More information on false solutions like nuclear power and dams is at www.nirs.org and www.NorthEastMegaDamResistance.org.

Electric cars are not the answer because just three percent of the USA's electricity is solar. Much more electricity would be needed if everyone switched to electric cars. Adding more windmills has been rejected by voters in Vermont towns where the 600-foot-tall windmills would go.

In 2020, protests stopped a facility proposed for Brattleboro that would have converted trees to electricity. It would have been worse for climate change than a coal power plant that would produce the same amount of electricity, according to the Center for Biological Diversity. The Brattleboro facility would have caused lung cancer, according to the American Lung Association. More information is available by searching these group's web sites for "biomass."

Large scale energy storage facilities like the one on the Connecticut river in Northfield, Massachusetts kill fish and have been the target of protests in the Valley in recent years.

Stephanie Feldstein works for the Center for Biological Diversity. On August 30 she told the Valley Post, "We support sustainably-sourced battery storage. We do not support hydrogen storage."

How much sustainably-sourced battery storage can be built remains to be seen. It is needed if solar power is to become a major source of power in the USA. There are dozens of big box stores, factories, and warehouses in the Valley that lack solar panels on their flat roofs. Many of the roofs are too weak to support the weight of snow on unusually snowy winters and the panels make it harder to remove the snow. But politicians could require companies like WalMart to make the roofs stronger. WalMart usually rents its store buildings but WalMart could pay the building owner to reinforce the roofs.

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