ECA Mass Newsletter

March 2020
 Stop the Weymouth Compressor Station
and Help Fight Climate Change

By Seth Evans
ECA Mass Action Planning Team

 
       Weymouth and other towns on Massachusetts’ beautiful South Shore face imminent disaster: the construction of a fracked-gas compressor station that poses serious threats to the health, safety, environment and economy of the entire region. But this compressor is not just a local concern. What happens at Weymouth is of critical importance to all of us who care about climate change.
       Recently I joined a group of other ECA Mass climate activists who went to Weymouth to look and learn about the efforts there to stop the compressor station. What we saw was both heartbreaking and inspiring. Heartbreaking, because the Weymouth compressor station has been sited smack in the middle of the most densely populated location ever used for such a facility in the U.S. – among working-class communities already suffering health problems and other effects of decades of industrial infrastructure. More than 3,000 children live or go to school within one mile of the site. Facilities like this don’t get built in Wellesley or Winchester.
  
     Heartbreaking, because for five long years, the Fore River Residents Against the Compressor Station (FRRACS) has fought tooth and nail to oppose the project, recruiting every politician in the region to its cause, and demonstrating at the site every week. So far, however, the fossil fuel industry and the politicians that support them – in this case, Governor Baker and President Trump – have prevailed. Enbridge, the largest fossil fuel infrastructure company in North America, began breaking ground to construct the compressor station early this year. But the fight is not over. 
       As ECA Mass has become involved in supporting FRRACS, we also have been inspired by the persistence of the residents to NEVER back down, with many risking arrest to protect the health and safety of their community. We’re inspired by the solidarity of our climate allies, who while wishing to end the construction of all fossil fuel infrastructure, recognize that for local residents the issues of health and safety are primary and, indeed, existential. We’re inspired by heroes such as Nathan Phillips, the Boston University professor whose two-week hunger strike finally forced the Department of Environmental Protection to install air quality monitoring equipment at the construction site. 
       Weymouth is where the proverbial rubber meets the road. We can’t fight climate change without standing up to powerful fossil fuel companies and the financiers and politicians that support them. Weymouth is where we can do that now. Check out the information at the FRRACS website. Then, join us as we participate in future actions – not all of which require you to drive to Weymouth! – to stop the compressor station from being built and put into operation. If getting to Weymouth is an obstacle for you, the FRRACS website details other ways to support the cause, including donating to the FRRACS legal fund, and calling elected officials and government agencies. We need your help! 
Be sure to get all our Action Alerts and meeting announcements. Please email Dawn Edell and ask her to put you on our ECA Mass "Activist" list (dawnedell1017@gmail.com)
  
In This Issue
  • Stop the Weymouth Compressor Station
  • Mark Your Calendar!
  • ECA Mass Team and Activity Updates
What's Happening
Check out the ECA Mass event calendar 
This newsletter is published for members and friends of ECA Mass

Editors: Paul Dryfoos, Diane Rapaport
Publisher: Arnie Epstein
Membership/circulation: Dawn Edell
Subscribe to our newsletter
Stay connected to ECA Mass! Click on the Newsletter button above for our subscription form. Check “Chapter Newsletter only,” or, for more about what YOU can do, check “Active participation – Newsletter plus Chapter Action Alerts.”
Elders Climate Action on the web

Elders Climate Action Massachusetts is a chapter of the national ECA organization. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate.
 
Visit the ECA Mass website here to learn more about our chapter's activities and state level climate information.  For helpful information at the national level and to learn how concerned citizens can become effective climate change activists visit the ECA National website here.
 
 
Mark Your Calendar!                                                  

Saturday, March 7, 9 AM – 5 PM, Boston
            Local Environmental Action Conference, Curry Student Center, 360 Huntington Ave., Northeastern University, Boston. Join community leaders, environmental advocates and activists from across the region for an exciting day of skills training, networking and inspiration. ECA is one of the 100+ co-sponsoring groups. Please stop by to support us at our table there.Tickets available at the door.
 

Tuesday, March 10, 11:30 AM – 2:30 PM, Belmont

            ECA Mass Monthly Chapter Meeting (second Tuesday of each month) at the home of Tony Alcorn and Evelyn Corsini, 172 Waverley Street, Belmont. Lunch at 11:30 (bring your own bag lunch and/or something to share which meets your own needs). Meeting starts at noon, featuring two presentations: “Talking with Others about Climate Change” (Rick Lent and other ECA members); and “Saving Massachusetts Forests for Climate, Nature and People” (Michael Kellett, Executive Director, RESTORE The North Woods). Please join us - and bring a friend! Contact Maiyim Baron (maiyimbaron@gmail.com) with questions, or if you can’t attend in person and wish to participate via Zoom.


 

Thursday, March 12
     1:00 – 3:00 PM, Chelmsford
      Climate Conversations, Chelmsford ECA Group (second Thursday of each month), Chelmsford Public Library, McCarthy Meeting Room, 25 Boston Road, Chelmsford. Informal public gathering for people concerned about climate change. Presentations: “Regenerative Agriculture” (Chelmsford resident Eric Tatara); and Melissa Joyce, Chelmsford’s Sustainability Manager, discussing composting and rain barrel programs.
      6:00 – 8:00 PM, Cambridge
      GPS to Net-Zero Emissions, Partnership Loft, 678 Massachusetts Avenue, Cambridge. A conversation with Larry Rosenberg, of Elders Climate Action and 350 Massachusetts, about the most active response to climate change, the 2050 Roadmap Bill, pending in the Massachusetts House of Representatives.


These are only a few of the many climate-related events coming up this month in Massachusetts. Check the ECA Mass event calendar and ECA Mass Facebook page for more events, details and updates.

ECA Mass Team and Activity Updates
How We’re Fighting Climate Change – and How You Can Help


 
ECA Mass is evolving a shared leadership, organizing teams, and working hard, but we need more people to join us in these exciting and important efforts! Here are highlights of recent actions and plans for the future:
 
Action Planning Team
On February 25 ECA Mass testified in support of the GreenWorks bill (H.3997) at a hearing held by the MA Senate Committee on Bonding, Capital Expenditures and State Assets. ECA was one of many climate and environmental groups testifying, and we joined a panel with our close allies, League of Women Voters, Mothers Out Front and Gas Leaks Allies. The Greenworks bill, already passed in the House, would fund municipality-based investments in climate adaptation and resilience. ECA’s testimony highlighted the importance of putting a complementary policy framework in place to reduce carbon emissions to net zero by 2050 — the Roadmap bill (H.3983).
 

[Photo above: ECA’s Seth Evans testifies with climate allies at February 25 hearing on GreenWorks bill, as ECA members listen in audience. Panel, left to right: Launa Zimmaro, League of Women Voters; Seth Evans, ECA Mass; Sue Swanson, Mothers Out Front; and Marilyn Rae Smith, Gas Leaks Allies.]

Looking ahead to next month, ECA Mass (and ECA National) are co-sponsors of Earth Day 2020 — the 50th anniversary of the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970!   Here in Massachusetts ECA will be participating in three days of activities: 
• Wed., April 22 — Earth Day rallies in Boston and other communities, including a youth climate strike, and tens of thousands in the street marching and rallying.
• Thurs., April 23 — Climate Finance Day of Action, targeting fossil fuel financiers JP Morgan Chase, Liberty Mutual, BlackRock, and Bank of America, to stop the money pipeline.
• Fri., April 24 — Political Action Day, focused on political accountability of elected officials and government leaders. It will also be a day of massive voter registration.

If you would like to help plan and organize ECA’s participation in these activities, please contact Seth Evans (setherkim@verizon.net).

Legislative Team
The ECA Mass Legislative team is re-forming with Arnie Epstein and Roger Luckmann as co-leaders. The Legislative team reviews pending legislation to determine how well it aligns with our overall mission of combating climate change and recommends which bills to support. For priority legislation, such as the 2050 Roadmap bill (H.3983), the team keeps tabs on status and recommends actions to advocate for the bill. If you are interested in participating, contact Arnie Epstein (arnold.epstein@comcast.net).


Research Team
The ECA Mass Research Team continues to study climate-related topics and reach out to community groups and others to share what we’re learning. In our latest effort, team member Larry Rosenberg spoke at the Attleboro Public Library on February 26. In a purposely not-very-technical presentation, "Dramatically Reducing Emissions by Changing the Electrical Grid," Larry delved into why high-voltage, direct-current, transcontinental transmission lines are the key enabling technology for getting massive amounts of solar and wind energy into the grid. The Research Team would like to make this and other presentations to groups throughout the Greater Boston area.
 
 
Presentation and Education Team
The Presentation and Education Team has begun revising and updating our existing materials – including our illustrated presentation, “What Can One Person Do About Climate Change?” – to make them more effective in communicating about the climate crisis. We are particularly interested in engaging and motivating elders to take actions for the climate, and to build our ECA membership, reaching out to communities where we do not yet have many members. We are training team members and scheduling public presentations as we continue to receive requests from libraries and other groups. The team will meet again (on Zoom) on Monday March 16 at 7PM.  Contact Rick Lent (rickmlent@gmail.com) if you’d like to know more.  

Chelmsford ECA Group
In February the Chelmsford ECA group conducted a climate forum with state Senator Michael Barrett, who discussed his climate bills, which were recently passed in the Senate and are now in the House awaiting action. This forum was filmed by our local cable access studio and will be available on their website soon (ChelmsfordTV.org)

Our group also held our monthly Climate Conversation - open to the public- aimed at pulling together area residents concerned about climate change. Our Climate Conversations take place on the second Thursday of each month from 1 to 3 p.m. at the Chelmsford Library, 25 Boston Road in Chelmsford Center. Our March 12 program will feature two topics:  Chelmsford resident Eric Tatara will discuss “Regenerative Agriculture" in which more natural livestock rearing can actually reduce our carbon footprint. Secondly, Melissa Joyce, Chelmsford’s Sustainability Manager, will talk about the benefits of the Composting and Rain Barrel programs in town and possibly Storm Water management. Public welcome.

On Saturday, March 7, ECA reps will participate in Chelmsford’s annual Volunteer Fair at the Chelmsford Senior Center from 1:30  to 4 p.m.  
 
Promote the Vote
 
Elders Promote the Vote is ECA's initiative to contact several million potential environmental voters with a strong get-out-the-vote message. This is a volunteer-driven initiative that could turn out tens of thousands of environmental voters who would not have otherwise voted. We are now almost 200 volunteers strong. Another 100 volunteers would put us in range of 5 million voter contacts by Election Day! Please sign up at www.eldersclimateaction.org/promotethevote, or contact Paul Dryfoos (pauld@eldersclimateaction.org) for questions.

Social Media
Our Mass’ Facebook page is updated daily (sometimes hourly!) with climate news and information about ECA Mass and National events and activities. Check it out, add your comments, and post articles you want to share.

A temporary glitch in February highlighted the importance of everyone inviting their friends to “like” our Facebook page. Facebook adopted stringent policies regarding “boosting” (i.e., advertising), the sorts of posts that appear regularly on our page. As a result, many fewer people engaged us through Facebook in February than in previous periods. The situation has now been resolved. But, if you’re on Facebook, the more you encourage your Facebook friends to look at and use our page, the better. 

In addition to Facebook, ECA Mass will soon have a Twitter feed and an Instagram account! These new ways for us to engage on social media should bring positive attention to our chapter’s work. 

A team of folks working with us on Facebook and other social media could expand our presence and impact significantly. If you would like to help, please contact Michael Sales (mjsales@mac.com).

 
Email
Facebook
Website

Our email is:
massinfo@eldersclimateaction.org


Want to change how you receive these emails?
You can update your preferences or unsubscribe from this list
 






This email was sent to <<Email Address>>
why did I get this?    unsubscribe from this list    update subscription preferences
Elders Climate Action Mass Chapter · 51 Taylor Rd · Stow, MA 01775 · USA

Email Marketing Powered by Mailchimp