A List of Environmental and Telecommunications Events and Issues

May 16 to May 23, 1997

Published, Edited and Written by George Mokray for
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

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Saturday, May 17

Mystic Herring Run
Alewife/Mystic River Association
call 776-4160 days

Volunteer work day at the Cambridge Sustainable House - as part of City Year's Servathon
contact 868-7788
136 Appleton St

Junior Solar Sprints - students racing model solar cars
contact 49-SOLAR
MIT, Steinbrenner Stadium

9 am - 12 pm
Living Machines in Eudcational Tools: Designing and Buidling Recirculating Mesocosms for the Classroom or the Field
John Todd, Ocean Arks International
contact (508)563-2792 or http://www.cape.com/~bjosephs
Ocean Arks Int, 233 Hatchville Road, E. Falmouth MA 02536
members: $175, non-members: $195

9 am - 5 pm
Understanding and Applying the Natural Step
Contact: Donald Fried-Tanzer, 508-429-5004, donaldf@gis.net or: Paul Lipke, 413-367-2878, mplipke@library.umass.edu or: Alice Nichols, 617-527 2385, anichols@cs.tufts.edu
Wentworth Institute of Technology, 550 Huntington Avenue, Roxbury (2 blocks west of the Museum of Fine Arts)
$150 tuition

For information about rides during Bike Week, please see the Bicycle Coalition of Massachusetts web page at http://www.massbike.org or contact Becka Roolf (roolfbe@HUGSE1.HARVARD.EDU).

10 am
NOW Bike Ride: "Exercise Your Right"
Evelyn Neuber at 782-1056 or neuber@binah.cc.brandeis.edu
NOW office, 971 Commonwealth Ave., Boston.

10:30 am
Roslindale's Emerald Necklace Bike Ride
Doug Mink at 327-4489 or dmink@cfa.harvard.edu
Forest Hills Orange Line Station, Boston

Sunday, May 18

12 pm
Wake-Up-Your-Bike Ride
Jeffrey Ferris at 522-7082
Ferris Wheels Bicycle Shop, 64 South St., Jamaica Plain

7:30 pm
Your Health Care: Choice or Chance?
Jackie Jenkins Scott, Dimock Community Health Center; Mark Roberts, Harvard School of Public Health; John D. Stoeckle, Ma General Hospital; Rep Kay Kahn, Co-sponsor of Massachusetts Health Care Trust (S. 506/ H. 2673); Rep David Cohen, Moderator
contact 527-4136 or MASS-CARE (MA Campaign for Single Payer Health Care) at 357-7003
Mason-Rice School, 149 Pleasant Street, Newton Centre, MA 02159

Monday, May 19

10 am - 3 pm
Renewables Collaborative Meeting: "Why Should the DPU and the MA Legislature Support Renewable Energy?" pursuant to Electric Industry Restructuring, D.P.U. 96-100, and the administration and disbursement of a "Renewables Fund."
contact Wendy Foxman at 727-2224 ext. 317
COM/Electric, One Main St

12:10 pm
The Role of Mixed-Layer Time-Dependence and Entrainment Fluxes on Water Mass Transformation
Amit Tandon, UC at Santa Cruz
MIT Building 54, Room 1411

4 pm - 12 am
Bicycle Coalition of Massachusetts (BCOM) party
Redbones Restaurant, 55 Chester St, Davis Square, Somerville
$3 for a bar-b-que sandwich, pint of Pilgrim Ale, and a raffle

5:30 pm
Boston / Cambridge Mean Streets Ride
Charles Hansen at 734-0720h, 572-0277w or chansen@jhancock.com
Copley Sq Park, Boston

7 pm
Zero Population Growth of Greater Boston: Banquet and Election
contact Dan Bloom at (508)475-3227
Joyce Chen Restaurant, 390 Rindge Ave (Across from the Alewife T Station)
$15.00 per person by check to ZPG/Boston

Tuesday, May 20

12 pm
How Science Changes the American Research-Technology Community 1920 - 1970 Instrumentation for Science, Industry and the State
Terry Shinn, Centre National de Recherche Scientifique, France
MIT Building E56, Room 100

7:30 am - 9 am
Free Bike Breakfast
Copley Square, Boston (Compliments of Marriott)

Pancake Breakfast
Broadway Bicycle School, 351 Broadway St., Cambridge

12:30 pm
Beacon Hill Lunch & Bicycle Users Group Kickoff
State Representatives Paulsen and Stasik; SenatorTolman
Ashburton Park, Boston
Drinks, fruit and cookies provided; you bring your own sandwich

5:30 pm
Emerald Necklace Ride - from Government Center to the Arboretum
Charles Hansen at 734-0720h, 572-0277w or chansen@jhancock.com
Government Center, Boston

5:30 pm - 6:30 pm
The Boston Bicycle Advisory Committee
Room 721, Conference Room, Boston City Hall (Congress St entrance)

7 pm
Millennium Alliance Meeting
contact Julie Wormser 350-8866 or Kathy Sullivan 258-5583
Wilderness Society, 45 Bromfield St, Boston

Wednesday, May 21

7:30 am - 9:30 am
Free Continental Breakfast
Hosteling International,1020 Commonwealth Ave, Boston

4 pm
Thinking Like Water: Water as a Metaphor for Social Change
Fran Peavey
Harvard, Bunting Institute, 34 Concord Ave

Are Fractures Fractal?
Jens Feder, Univ of Oslo
MIT Building 54, Room 915

Volunteer Night at Bikes Not Bombs - Learn basic bicycle maintenance in a fully-equipped shop
contact 442-0004

7:30 pm
Telenation: 60 TV Shows That Made Us Who We Are
Steve Stark, author
contact 495-2727
3 Church St, Harvard Sq

Thursday, May 22

12 pm - 1:30 pm
Women as Transformational Leaders Support Group
facilitated by Virginia Mary Swain
contact 225-0403 or imagine@world.std.com
The Center for Strategic Change, 10 Milk Street, Boston, Third Floor (at corner of Milk and State Streets)
$100/$25 materials, participation must be confirmed in advance

7:30 am - 9:30 am
Boston Bicycle Festival - free breakfast, bicyclist fashion show, information booths, and an opportunity to find out about bicycling initiatives in Boston and the metro area
City Hall Plaza, Boston

6:30 pm
Bike Lane Tour of Cambridge (rain cancels) - Leisurely, 1.5-hour ride through Cambridge neighborhoods following and exploring the new bike lanes
Peter Desnoyers at 661-1979 or pjd@giga-net.com
Cambridge City Hall, Mass Ave

Friday, May 23

2 pm
Virtual Nuclear Weapons Science
Hugh Gusterson, MIT
Harvard, Science Center, Room 226

4 pm
CH4 and N20 Emission from Rice-Wheat System in Eastern China
Wang Mingxing, Chinese Academy of Sciences
MIT Building 54, Room 915

5:30 pm
Critical Mass Bike Ride
Government Center T, Boston

6 pm
MassGreens Annual Meeting
contact (508) 688-2068 , email massgreens@igc.apc.org or http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/massgreens
Camp Rotary, Boxford MA
sliding scale up to $50

6 pm - 7 pm
Women as Transformational Leaders Support Group
facilitated by Virginia Mary Swain
contact 225-0403 or imagine@world.std.com
The Center for Strategic Change, 49 Hancock St
$90/$25 materials, participation must be confirmed in advance

Saturday, May 24

Bicycle Tour of Orchards and Parks - Route (and pick-up points): Hatch Shell 9:30 am; Arlington & Comm Ave 9:50 am; Willow Pond Ave & Jamaicaway (Daisy Field) 10:30 am. Ride ends at noon
Bill Taylor at 983-WIND or erthwrks@thecia.net

Container Loading at Bikes Not Bombs - Help send recycled bicycles to Central America
contact 442-0004

10 am - 8 pm
MassGreens Annual Meeting
contact (508) 688-2068 , email massgreens@igc.apc.org or http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/massgreens
Camp Rotary, Boxford MA
sliding scale up to $50

Sunday, May 25

9:30 am - 8 pm
MassGreens Annual Meeting
contact (508) 688-2068 , email massgreens@igc.apc.org or http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/massgreens
Camp Rotary, Boxford MA
sliding scale up to $50

Monday, May 26

8 am - 2 pm
MassGreens Annual Meeting
contact (508) 688-2068 , email massgreens@igc.apc.org or http://www.envirolink.org/orgs/massgreens
Camp Rotary, Boxford MA
sliding scale up to $50

Sources for Listings:
MIT _Tech Talk_ :
Harvard _Gazette_ :
Harvard Environmental Resources On-Line:
MA Executive Office of Environmental Affairs calendar:
Earth Day Network international/national listings:
Earth Day Greater Boston calendar:

act-ma the Massachusetts activists mailing list:
subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org, leaving the subject line blank and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message

Peace and Justice Events Hotline at (617)787-6809

Table of Contents

Volunteers Online

Editorial Comment: Jim Davis (webmaster@vboston.com) posted this to the volunteers list at Virtually Wired (http://www.vw.org). Sounds like a great idea. Jim's Virtually Boston Webpage (http://www.vboston.com/) is so good that its design has been illegally copied for use in Israel as reported in a Netizen article (http://www.netizen.com).

I went to the info meeting for Citizen's School on Wednesday and met two guys from MIT you are doing an online database of volunteer opportunities.


Their goal is to put all of MA agencies online and in touch with Volunteers. They seem to be doing pretty well at it. The actual database is at:


You can, as a volunteer, answer a fairly detailed form and the database will spit up positions availible. They could be a bit better with phrasology (one of the questions, "Which categories best describe your activities and/or interests?" has "Alcoholism/Drugs" and "Violence/Abuse" as possible answers. ;^) ).

(P.S. If anybody is interested I just put up a page on the releasing of the public garden swans. My wife went down for me and took some pics - came out pretty good if I say so myself.)

Jim, Virtually Boston, http://www.vboston.com/

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Boston Media Collective?

Editorial Comment: Jay (jay@user1.channel1.com) posted this proposal to the act-ma list (act-ma@igc.apc.org, subscribe by emailing majordomo@igc.apc.org and typing "subscribe act-ma" as the message). The media world is changing. The "news" is becoming both more centralized and controlled while technological advancements make the barriers to entry lower and lower. Hell, even I can publish something like "A List..." as part of my $20/per month Internet account. What might a group of people do together if they started working on a joint project? Could they change the media environment of the city or the region?

Hello, all!

My name is Jay -- some of you know me, and some of you don't. I'm a Boston-dweller and occasional freelance writer who has recently become involved in a lot of independent media organizing. Specifically, I'm working on organizing the Direct Action News Center, a virtual media collective that will provide in-the-field coverage of progressive actions, marches, protests and campaigns and distribute the coverage worldwide through the web. As part of our DANC organizing we have been talking a good deal about local media collectives and why there aren't more of them. There are some cities that have very active media collectives that work in different ways to increase communication (and ultimately action) among the people who are involved in the progressive media community. The Toronto Media Collective meets the last Sunday of every month, and from what I hear have contributed to an incredible cross-pollenization of organizations and individuals that in turn has led to an increase of direct actions there. The Los Angeles Alternative Media Network meets monthly and attracts more than 50 people to each meeting. Seattle has an Independent Media Coalition, Philly and New York are holding meetings to form their own media collective, and after a successful romp through the Democratic National Convention and a subsequent burnout, Chicago's Countermedia is revitalizing into a working media collective of its own.

So, what are we doing with ourselves in Boston? Well, there are lots of independent media people out there. Though I've only lived here a couple years and am not around much due to my various occupations, I have crossed paths with more than enough people who are intereted in real independent media to make me hopeful about the things that we could do if we really put our minds to it. We all do great things on our own, that's for sure, but we all know that working on own has limited possibilities. I believe that our work is important and necessary enough that we should make every effort to take it to a more productive level.

What I'm proposing is that we all come together, at least once, to talk about the possibility of forming a Boston Media Collective in order to regularly cross wires with one another so that we may create a greater spark.

What?? *Another project??* In my already triply overbooked life? Well, not necessarily. A Boston Media Collective could be anything that we want it to be. In fact, we don't have to actually *do* anything as a group, and perhaps we shouldn't. The Toronto Media Collective does not take action together on any issue, as far as I understand, nor do they deal with developing formal decision-making processes and actually agreeing on any one thing. They get together once a month, though, discuss their individual projects, and then brainstorm about ways that they can help each other. The basic act of their meeting has inspired many of them to act together in ways they wouldn't have if they hadn't become involved with the Collective. I believe that coming together once a month as the Boston Media Collective could and should enhance and improve the effectiveness of our current activities (rather than be an activity in and of itself), and could therefore be very beneficial to the Boston activist community.

I propose that we meet on Sunday night, June 8, at 8pm, at my apartment in Brighton (I'll give directions later) to tell each other about our own projects and begin to envision how we can complement each other. (That is just a proposed date and time and place -- if there are any problems or suggestions let me know a.s.a.p.) We can see what happens there and judge whether or not a regular monthly meeting of the minds would make sense.

So, what do you think? Please contact me at this e-mail address (jay@user1.channel1.com) or at (617) 783-4328 to give feedback. Also, please spread the word. I am passing this message to people I know who are connected with Radio Free Allston, the Lucy Parsons Center, Homes Not Jails, Food Not Bombs, the Boston Commune, STEP, the Center for Campus Organizing, the Thistle, the National Writers' Union, a variety of public TV and video people and other individuals. Still, not everyone involved with each of these groups will get the message that I send, so spread the message far and wide.

That is all for now. I look forward to meeting those of you whom I don't know already,


P.S. Unfortunately, due to circumstances beyond my control (my girlfriend got into a phd program in a different city) I'm going to be moving out of Boston in a couple months. Before I go, at the very least I'd love to pull together at least one meeting to talk about the things that a Boston Media Collective could accomplish and to plant the idea of holding future meetings in people's heads. I hate to organize and run, but I figure that it's better to give it one shot and see if anyone wants to run with it. Who knows?

Table of Contents

The Energy Idea House Library

Over the last couple of months, I have had a few phone calls from Jerome Johnson. Mr Johnson used to work in the movies lighting sets and developing tools for lighting, one of which he transformed into a reflective umbrella for solar cooking. He started collecting information about solar energy and appropriate technology at the time of the first oil embargo in 1973 and eventually transferred his library to the Energy Idea House, a renewable energy test-bed, when that project started in 1979 in Brooklyn.

Now he finds that he can no longer financially support either the Energy Idea House or the library, which presently resides on 160 feet of shelving there. The library primarily consists of magazine articles and government publications and is organized by subject matter. There is history here. How can we preserve it?

If you have any ideas about what Jerome Johnson can do to save his library and revitalize the Energy Idea House, you can contact him at
Jerome Johnson
2016 East Second St
Brooklyn, NY 11223

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Frugality Online

Editorial Comment: I came across the Frugal Corner (http://www.best.com/~piner/frugal.html) while wandering around the Web. It is good to know that there is a Webpage and a newsgroup devoted to those who wish to simplify the consumer lifestyle. Another Website that covers alternative economics as well as frugality issues is Transaction Net (http://www.transaction.net).

Welcome to the Frugal Corner, home of the newsgroup misc.consumers.frugal-living!

Originally inspired by the Tightwad Gazette, the aim of this site is to provide and continually expand the informational resources needed to be successful at pursuing frugality. Because everyone has different priorities, the key is to minimize your spending of money and consumption of products in ways that allow you to be happy and not feel deprived.

Resources listed include various aspects of frugality and simplicity that consider things besides just money, including time, drains on your mental, physical, and spiritual energy, general quality of life, and the environment.

The philosophy behind this site is to remain completely free of charge. The best thing you can do for this site is to contribute information! It can be everything from Internet frugal resources not yet listed to your favorite tip or method to save money.

Send all suggestions, comments, and especially new listings to piner@best.com.

Table of Contents

Industrial Ecology Listserv

Editorial Comment: John Quinney (magichaa@together.net), ex of New Alchemy Institute and ex of Seventh Generation, asked me for references to industrial ecology as he is "doing some research for a couple of cold-climate zero-emission breweries on 'zero-emission' systems." In researching his interest I came across this industrial ecology listserv at one of the listserv search engines (http://www.liszt.com).

List Title: Environmental Issues Concerning Industry
List Name: industrial-ecology
Subscription Address: mailbase@mailbase.ac.uk
Owner: <industrial-ecology-request@mailbase.ac.uk>
Last Update: 07/20/96
Description: Environmental issues concerning industry, commerce, business.
Scope: enviro/economics, tools (life cycle analysis, design for the environment, auditing), implications of new legislation, clean technology/industrial ecology, EIA/sustainable planning, env-policy and integration with business strategy.

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Strategic Sustainability Tour

Editorial Comment: If only I could afford this educational jaunt. Gil Friend is very knowledgable and developments in Sweden and Germany have a lot to teach us here in the USA. Since my begging bowl will not bear the cost, I will have to rely on Gil's _New_Bottom_Line_ column to keep my up to date.

Last Call:
10 day executive study mission to Sweden and Germany, June 5-15

Meet with business leaders to investigate how breakthrough approaches to "strategic sustainability" are driving innovation and competitive advantage.

Details by sending email to <ecobiztour-info@eco-ops.com>.

Please feel free to forward. (But quickly, since time is short.)

Gil Friend & Associates
Strategic Sustainability(tm)
48 Shattuck Square #103
Berkeley CA 94704
Tel: 1-510-548-7904
Fax: 1-510-849-2341
Email: gfriend@eco-ops.com
_New_Bottom_Line_ subscription details: nbl-info@eco-ops.com
Sustainable business in Europe: ecobiztour-info@eco-ops.com
"Natural Step" training:

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Another Side of Working Assets

Editorial Comment: Last week I published Jon Entine's (runjonrun@earthlink.net) criticism of the way Working Assets works. This week I am publishing Shaun Paul's (spaul@igc.org) appeal to nominate EcoLogic for Working Assets' support. Equal time or hypocrisy? You make the call.

Dear Friends,
Recently, one of EcoLogic's supporters asked if she could nominate EcoLogic to receive support from the Working Assets company. This company is her long distance calling service. Working Assets also offers a credit card and provides a portion of its profits to nonprofit organizations nominated by their customers.

For this reason, I am writing to ask if you use Working Assets' telephone or credit card services. If you do, I hope you will consider helping us by nominating EcoLogic to be a recipient of Working Assets support BEFORE THEIR DEADLINE ON MAY 31. Last year, the average amount of support received by an environmental group was $60,000. Your nomination of EcoLogic could go a long way in furthering our work to conserve endangered wildlife and wildlands by working with local organizations to advance community-based development and resource management.

If you would like a sample letter to write, please let me know. Otherwise, please direct your nominations for EcoLogic to:

Working Assets Nominations
Attn: Clarice Corell
701 Montgomery Street, Fourth Floor
San Francisco, CA 94111

THE DEADLINE IS MAY 31. And remember, you must be a current Working Assets customer to make a nomination.

Thank you for considering this unusual request for assistance in furthering EcoLogic's work.

Shaun Paul, Program Director
EcoLogic Development Fund, PO Box 3405, Cambridge, MA 02238-3405
TEL: (617) 441-6300 FAX: (617) 441-6307 EMAIL: ecologic@igc.org

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Terri Swearingen Talks Power

Editorial Comment: Carolyn Chase of the Earth Day Network (earthday@qualcomm.com) sent this around. Terri Swearingen speaks for herself and to all of us. Pity that those with political and economic power refuse to listen.

In only 2000 words she covers some of the most critical issues of our time and links together environmentalism and social justice. Amazing.

[People in the Ohio Valley have spent 15 years fighting one of the world's largest toxic waste incinerators, known as WTI.[1] One grass-roots community leader in the WTI fight, Terri Swearingen, was honored this week by receiving the Goldman Environmental Prize for North America --the environmental equivalent of the Nobel Prize.

The WTI incinerator, in East Liverpool, Ohio, was initiated in 1982 by one of President Clinton's wealthy political backers in Arkansas --Jackson Stephens of Stephens, Inc., in Little Rock.

President Clinton and Vice President Gore visited East Liverpool while campaigning for election in 1992; at that time, Mr. Clinton said that, if he were elected, WTI would never be allowed to operate. Mr. Clinton was elected in 1992.

In 1992, U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) admitted during Congressional hearings that it had illegally issued an operating permit to WTI. The huge incinerator began burning hazardous waste in 1993, 1100 feet from an elementary school. Mr. Clinton has not returned to East Liverpool since he became President.

Here is Terri Swearingen's acceptance speech for the Goldman Environmental Prize, given April 14, 1997.]

I am like the turtle on the fencepost. I did not get here alone. In addition to the many caring and courageous people I work with in the Ohio Valley, special recognition goes to Greenpeace, and to Dr. Paul Connett and his wife, Ellen.[2] And all my love, respect and deepest gratitude go to my husband, Lee, my daughter, Jaime, and my family. I accept this award on their behalf, and on behalf of all the environmental activists across the country who are working just as hard, but whose work has not been recognized in such a profound way. It is appropriate that the work of grass-roots activists be recognized. I am excited about this award, not just for personal reasons, but I believe it vindicates the efforts of thousands and thousands of grass-roots activists in this country, and around the world, who work on environmental issues on a daily basis. To the Goldman family, my most heartfelt thanks.

I am not a scientist or a Ph.D. I am a nurse and a housewife, but my most important credential is that I am a mother. In 1982, I was pregnant with our one and only child. That's when I first learned of plans to build one of the world's largest toxic waste incinerators in my community. When they began site preparation to begin building the incinerator in 1990, my life changed forever. I'd like to share with you some of the lessons I have learned from my experiences over the past seven years.

One of the main lessons I have learned from the WTI experience is that we are losing our democracy. How have I come to this sad realization? Democracy is defined by Merriam Webster as "government by the people, especially rule of the majority," and "the common people constituting the source of political authority." The definition of democracy no longer fits with the reality of what is happening in East Liverpool, Ohio. For one thing, it is on the record that the majority of people in the Ohio Valley do not want the WTI hazardous waste incinerator in their area, and they have been opposed to the project from its inception. Some of our elected officials have tried to help us, but the forces arrayed against us have been stronger than we or they had imagined. Public concerns and protests have been smothered with meaningless public hearings, voodoo risk assessment and slick legal maneuvering.

Government agencies that were set up to protect public health and the environment only do their job if it does not conflict with corporate interests. Our current reality is that we live in a "wealthocracy"--big money simply gets what it wants. In this wealthocracy, we see three dynamics at play: corporations versus the planet, the government versus the people, and corporate consultants or "experts" versus common sense. In the case of WTI, we have seen all three.

The second lesson I have learned ties directly to the first, and that is that corporations can control the highest office in the land. When Bill Clinton and Al Gore came to the Ohio Valley, they called the siting of the WTI hazardous waste incinerator --next door to a 400 student elementary school, in the middle of an impoverished Appalachian neighborhood, immediately on the bank of the Ohio River in a flood plain--an "UNBELIEVABLE IDEA." They said we ought to have control over where these things are located. They even went so far as to say they would stop it. But then they didn't! What has been revealed in all this is that there are forces running this country that are far more powerful than the President and the Vice President. This country trumpets to the world how democratic it is, but it's funny that I come from a community that our President dare not visit because he cannot witness first hand the injustice which he has allowed in the interest of a multinational corporation, Von Roll of Switzerland. And the Union Bank of Switzerland. And Jackson Stephens, a private investment banker from Arkansas. These forces are far more relevant to our little town than the President of the United States! And he is the one who made it that way. He has chosen that path. We didn't choose it for him. We begged him to come to East Liverpool, but he refused. We begged the head of EPA to come, but she refused. She hides behind the clever maneuvering of lawyers and consultants who obscure the dangers of the reckless siting of this facility with theoretical risk assessments.

I always thought of the President of the United States as an all-powerful person, who could even, if necessary, launch a war to protect his nation's people. But in the case of WTI, we have this peculiar situation where the President dare not come to East Liverpool, Ohio. It may be the one place in the whole of this country, maybe even the world, where he cannot go. He cannot go to East Liverpool to see for himself what he has allowed. He cannot go to East Liverpool to see with his own eyes where this incinerator is operating. We know that if he came to East Liverpool to see it for himself, he would not be able to say that it is okay. We know that he would never have allowed his own daughter, Chelsea, to go to school in the shadow of this toxic waste incinerator. And that's precisely why he dare not come to East Liverpool. He knows that it is wrong. He knows that it is unacceptable. The decision to build the incinerator there was political, and the decision to allow it to operate, despite the stupidity of its location, is political. The buck stops with President Clinton. No child should have to go to school 1000 feet from a hazardous waste facility, and no president should allow it. He cannot shove off the responsibility to a bureaucracy. I believe you cannot have power without responsibility.

The third thing that I have learned from this situation, which ties in with the first two, is that we have to reappraise what expertise is and who qualifies as an expert. There are two kinds of experts. There are the experts who are working in the corporate interest, who often serve to obscure the obvious and challenge common sense; and there are experts and non-experts who are working in the public interest. From my experience, I am distrusting more and more the professional experts, not because they are not clever, but because they do not ask the right questions. And that's the difference between being clever and being wise. Einstein said, "A clever person solves a problem; a wise person avoids it." This lesson is extremely relevant to the nation, and to other countries as well, especially in developing economies. We have learned that the difference between being clever and being wise is the difference between working at the front end of the problem or working at the back end. Government that truly represents the best interest of its people must not be seduced by corporations that work at the back end of the problem -- with chemicals, pesticides, incinerators, air pollution control equipment, etc.

The corporate value system is threatening our health, our planet and our very existence. As my good friend, Dr. Paul Connett, says "WE ARE LIVING ON THIS PLANET AS IF WE HAD ANOTHER ONE TO GO TO." We have to change the way we look at the world. We must change our thinking and our attitude. This is so important. We MUST change the value system. We have to live on this planet assuming that we do not have another one to go to! We must get to the front end of problems so that we avoid the mistakes of the past. Thinking about our planet in this way puts a whole new perspective on what we do and how we act.

For example, if we are dealing with issues of agriculture, we need to be thinking about sustainable agriculture with low chemical input. If we are looking at energy, we need to look at solar energy, energy that is sustainable. If we are discussing transportation, we should be looking at ways of designing cities to avoid the use of cars. And when it comes to hazardous waste, we should [be] talking about clean production, not siting new incinerators. We should be trying to get ahead of the curve. People at the grass-roots level get taught this lesson the hard way --they get poisoned by back-end thinking. They learn that we have to shift to front-end solutions if we are to save our communities and our planet.

Citizens who are working in this arena -- people who are battling to stop new dump sites or incinerator proposals, people who are risking their lives to prevent the destruction of rainforests or working to ban the industrial uses of chlorine and PVC plastics -- are often labeled obstructionists and anti-progress. But we actually represent progress -- not technological progress, but social progress. We have become the real experts, not because of our title or the university we attended, but because we have been threatened and we have a different way of seeing the world. We know what is at stake. We have been forced to educate ourselves, and the final exam represents our children's future. We know we have to ace the test because when it comes to our children, we cannot afford to fail.

Because of this, we approach the problem with common sense and with passion. We don't buy into the notion that all it takes is better regulations and standards, better air pollution control devices and more bells and whistles. We don't believe that technology will solve all of our problems. We know that we must get to the front end of the problems, and that prevention is what is needed. We are leading the way to survival in the 21st century. Our planet cannot sustain a "throw-away society." In order to survive, we have to be wise, not just clever.

This is why, ultimately, it is so disastrous that there are people who think that they've solved the WTI problem with more technology. You cannot patch up an injustice --an unjust situation -- with technology. The developers behind WTI made a fundamental mistake in the beginning by building the incinerator next door to an elementary school and in the middle of a neighborhood. This is a violation of human rights and common decency. As Martin Luther King said, "INJUSTICE ANYWHERE IS INJUSTICE EVERYWHERE."

Even after seeing so much abuse of the system that I have believed in, I still hold on to the slender hope that my government could once again return to representing citizens like me rather than rapacious corporate interests.

If they do, then perhaps there is a future for our species; if they don't, we are doomed.

Carolyn Chase, Editor, San Diego Earth Times,
Please visit ;-)

Tel: (619)272-7423 (SDET)
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Table of Contents

The Begging Bowl

I'm running out of steam, folks. I find less and less to interest me from among all the listings I publish. When I do go to an event, I find that I've generally heard most of the information before. I keep looking for those new ideas but seldom find them. It's frustrating.

I also find that I'm beginning to take "A List..." for granted after only two and a half years of publication. I'm looking for new ideas here too and haven't yet found any. Oh well.

If any of you have suggestions or comments, I'd like to see them. As well as articles, information, good wishes, and checks, stamps, cash, or any other token of support.

How "A List..." works:
If you want to have a listing included in "A List..." please send it to me before noon on the Friday before the event and if said even is deemed suitable for coverage, it will be included in the appropriate edition of "A List..." Articles and reviews, ideas, rants and opinions are also solicited. Publication is up to the erratic discretion of the editor.

"A List..." is also a listserv. You can subscribe or unsubscribe to the listserv by emailing a-list-request@world.std.com, leaving the Subject line blank, and typing "subscribe" or "unsubscribe" as the message.

"A List..." is a freeware/shareware publication. If the information is of any value to you, please contribute - money, information, encouragement, prayers and good wishes are all valid currencies for feedback and will be gratefully appreciated by
George Mokray
Information Ecologies
218 Franklin St #3
Cambridge, MA 02139

This publication is copyrighted to George Mokray and the individual writers of the articles. Permission to reproduce is granted for non-profit purposes as long as the source is cited.