Thursday, December 11, 2008

Westchester County Green Drinks

Westchester County Green Drinks

December 16th will not only be the 4th anniversary of GreenDrinks Westchester, but also the introduction of and passing the crown to the new organizer, Seth Leitman at Memphis Mae's in Croton-on-Hudson. Seth is a very green guy, Westchester resident and the author of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle. He will talk about the new and updated version of this book. Seth will also sign copies of his book, which will be available for purchase.

The new, updated edition of Build Your Own Electric Vehicle contains everything that made the first edition so popular while adding all the technological advances and new parts that are readily available on the market today. Seth Leitman is president and managing member of the ETS Energy Store, LLC, which offers consulting services for energy efficiency, renewable energy and energy efficient transportation for business and the home. Previously, Leitman worked for the New York State Power Authority and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority, where he helped develop, market, and manage electric and hybrid vehicle programs serving New York State and the New York metropolitan area.

Seth is also the consulting editor for a series by McGraw-Hill Professional of upcoming titles called the "Green Guru Guides," which focus on implementing environmentally friendly technologies and making them work for you. Hop in your hybrid and join the good green folk at Memphis Mae's at 6:00 pm on Tuesday, December 16th. Memphis Mae's has tasty southern BBQ and has created a Green Eco-Friendly food menu just for the Green Drinks event! Included are organic beers and wines. It is located½ mile north of the Croton-Harmon train station off of Rte 9 in Croton-on-Hudson.

From the North (Peekskill, Cortlandt, Garrison, Cold Spring, etc.)
Rt.9 South. Take exit "North 9A/129",which is the exit after "Senasqua Rd.". At the end of the ramp make left at stop sign. Make a right at the first light. Memphis Mae's is located in the shopping center immediately on your left next to the Chase Bank

From Yorktown, Somers and surrounding areas
Rt.118 West/Southwest towards the Taconic Parkway. At the end of 118, make a right onto Rt. 129 towards Croton-on-Hudson. Go through two lights. There will be a shopping center on the right immediately after the second light. Memphis Mae's is right next door to the Chase Bank.

From Tarrytown, Sleepy Hollow and Ossining
Rt.9 North. Take the exit immediately after the Croton Point exit, called "129". Make a right at the stop sign at the end of ramp. Make a right at the first light. Memphis Mae's is located in the shopping center immediately on your left next to the Chase Bank.

From down County, Sprain Brook Parkway going north
Take exit for Rt 9A and follow 9A until it merges with Rt.9 in Croton. Take exit "129" which is immediately after Croton Point Ave. exit. Make a right at the stop sign at the end of ramp. Make a right at the first light. Memphis Mae's is located in the shopping center immediately on your left next to Chase Bank

Contact Tracey Corbitt at if you'd like more info or to be put on the e-list for a monthly reminder.

Or, go directly to
to sign up

Wednesday, December 10, 2008

Demo Tomorrow Morning at League of Women Voters in Manhattan!

From Marilyn Elie & Lorna Salzman

Green Brigade Press Conference @ 8:30 AM

An organization called Green Brigade has contacted IPSEC about a NYC event on December 11 and asked for our help. The League of Conservation Voters is planning a forum on sustainable energy and they are including nuclear energy in their description of what is sustainable and green house gas free. I plan on attending the forum and hope to have an opportunity to make the point that nuclear power at Indian Point is neither safe nor sustainable.

It would be great to have some company. I understand that it is difficult for most people to make a NYC event at 9AM on a Thursday morning. However, if you can, please do! If the League endorses nuclear energy you can bet that Entergy will seize on it as an endorsement for relicensing Indian Point. Green Brigade is planning a press conference at 8:30AM. If there are any early birds out there who work in NYC and can come by before going to the office, please do so!

The web site with more info about the forum is listed below. It is still possible to sign up to attend the forum and there is no fee.

Powering the Future: Nuclear The third in a series of policy forums "Greening the Empire State". Together with NYU's Robert F. Wagner Graduate School of Public Service and its Institute for Civil Infrastructure Systems, NYLCVEF will be hosting three events that lay out the facts about solar, wind and nuclear energy in the context of New York State. We'll hear from policymakers, regulators, industry insiders and financial experts who will discuss the pros and cons of each technology.

Thursday, December 11, 2008

9 AM - 12 PM
NYU's Kimmel Center
60 Washington Square South
New York, NY 10012

Lorna Salzman

PROTEST: NY League of Conservation Voters forum

On Dec. 11th, from 9 am to 11 am, the NY LCV will be sponsoring a forum on "green" nuclear energy in NYS. It will be at the NYU Kimmel Center at NYU on Washington Square Park. (near W.4th St. subway stop).The NYLCV is and has been corrupt to the core for decades. It operates as a shill for corporate interests while pretending to be an impartial endorser of pro-environment candidates. This endorsement process lends it a veneer - a very thin transparent one - of impartiality and credibility that it in no way deserves.

NYLCV has become in recent years more blatant in its pro-corporate activities. Its name is deceitful inasmuch as a few handfuls of chosen establishment, corporate and business representatives, and a passel of high-placed, high-priced lawyers, are the ones who "screen" candidates by distributing questionnaires and conducting interviews.

NYLCV is Greenwashing Writ Large. It needs to be confronted and exposed.Anyone wishing to attend and protest its Dec. 11th forum promoting nuclear energy should contact me so we can co-ordinate our actions. My phone starting Nov. 5th is 718-522-0253.

If anyone has good press contacts, you would be well advised to try and interest them in exposing this fraudulent organization.

Lorna Salzman
Green Brigade


Dear friend:

We have initiated a NYC group, Green Brigade, to address global warming. Our first priority will be to work with Appalachian groups fighting mountaintop removal of coal, and to support the movement to stop the construction of new coal power plants (two are proposed in NYS), and support the phase-out of existing coal plants.

If you agree with our positions below, would you consider being an Endorser of this statement? It will be posted to our web site once the site is established. (please include any affiliation or ID with your name).

Please feel free to phone me if you have any questions or suggestions: 631-653-3387.


Lorna Salzman for Green Brigade

Credible scientists and climate studies are urging a reduction in CO2 emissions by 80% over the coming decade (as proposed by Lester Brown) and a reduction of CO2 atmospheric concentrations to 350 ppm (as proposed by James Hansen) in order to prevent the "tipping point" -- a 2 degree Celsius increase in average global temperature which could throw the planet into a new climate regime, with catastrophic consequences for humans and global ecosystems. Unless we stabilize energy use immediately and reduce it by at least 80% by 2020 we face dire social and economic chaos.

Therefore, we undersigned citizens urge our government to embark on a massive "Manhattan Project" to curb energy use and achieve a carbon-free/nuclear-free economy by 2050 through various means:

- ending tax breaks and subsidies to fossil fuels and nuclear power, including food-based biofuels;*- taxing all fossil fuels and rebating revenues to citizens;- accelerating renewable energy technologies and incentives;*- rejecting carbon trading;- imposing a national gasoline tax so price equals that of western Europe;- mandatory energy efficiency standards for vehicles, buildings, appliances, and industry;*- banning construction of new coal-fired power plants;* phase out existing ones;- ending direct and indirect support for fossil fuel exploration and power plants abroad;- funding and expanding public transportation at national, regional and local levels;- imposing international sanctions and wood tariffs to prevent deforestation;- facilitating massive global reforestation and revegetation;- imposing Border Tax Adjustment (BTA) to place tariffs on high carbon-footprint imports;- developing a global Marshall Plan for transfer of renewable energy technologies to poorer nations;- supporting relocalization of American economy, especially in agriculture;- signing on to all international environmental treaties

Solving the global warming and energy crises requires more than new technology. The mechanisms we have relied on have failed and created additional problems. Economic growth must mean ecological improvement, not ecological destruction. Market prices must reflect true costs for the market system to work. We must move to a full-cost pricing system, including consumption taxes, that will replace the traditional growth model that rewards increased extraction, production and consumption. The current "free market" is not free and is used to justify growth and profit at the expense of social welfare and ecological integrity. Development of new technological and entrepreneurial ventures has been suppressed by ill-advised government subsidies and tax breaks which reinforce the use of fossil fuel and nuclear energy. The urgent need to end the dependence of less developed countries on fossil fuels and bring them the benefits of renewable energy must be fulfilled in a global Marshall Plan to transfer technology and wealth from the wealthy countries to the poorer ones. We must move to a steady-state Conserver Society that makes the redistribution of wealth a major goal alongside ecological sustainability.


Executive Committee: JK Canepa, Stephanie Low, Rob Jereski, Roy Morrison, Lorna Salzman
Endorsers (to date): Ross Gelbspan


631-653-3387; 212-973-1782; 212-534-4103

* These positions are included in the IEER (Institute for Energy & Environmental Research) Statement of Principles, and are supported by CCAN (Chesapeake Climate Action Network), FOE (Friends of the Earth), IPS (Institute for Policy Studies), and NIRS (Nuclear Information & Resource Service) and over 100 local and regional groups in the USA and abroad.

New Entry @ The Environmentals

Go to The Environmentals for more information on Scott Church's beautiful image of Three Mile Island.

NRC Blames WestCan Council for Rejection of Contentions

In yesterday's post on the Mid-Hudson News Network, a division of Statewide News Network, Inc. is reported that the presidentially appointed commission that oversees the Nuclear Regulatory Commission has rejected an appeal by the groups and a state assemblyman challenging the Indian Point license renewal application under the umbrella of WestCAN.

The groups include the Westchester Citizens Awareness Network (WestCAN), Rockland County Conservation Association, Public Health and Sustainable Energy (PHASE), Sierra Club -- Atlantic Chapter and state Assemblyman Richard Brodsky.

On July 31, the Atomic Safety and Licensing Board panel handling the Indian Point license renewal hearing expelled WestCAN from the proceeding. It did so because the counsel for WestCAN repeatedly disregarded agency regulations and instructions from the panel.

In its ruling Tuesday, the commission upheld the expulsion, noting that the actions by WestCAN's counsel have "seriously disrupted the Board's efforts to meet its responsibility to conduct a fair, orderly and efficient hearing, has interfered with the other participants' efforts to use their own litigation resources efficiently, and has made our own review of the appellate documents and the underlying record far more time-consuming than necessary."

NRC spokesman Neil Sheehan said WestCAN does have additional appeal power.

"There’s no further recourse with the NRC. Certainly they have the options if they want to challenge this in federal court, they could seek do so, but as far as the NRC is concerned, this is the end of the line as far as any further appeals."

The commission has also taken the rare step of ordering the NRC's Office of the Secretary to not accept any further filings from Susan Shapiro or Sarah Wagner, the lawyers for WestCAN, unless they meet all procedural requirements. That applies to all NRC proceedings. This has happened in only one other NRC hearing, involving the Millstone case in Connecticut.
Comment from GNB:
"Sherwood Martinelli suggested to Susan Shapiro from the very onset that the original petition be filed UNDER HIS NAME as a NON ATTORNEY as prose petitioners are given FAR MORE room to make mistakes and remain in the process....SUSAN OBJECTED, insisted she be the LEAD FILER. If Susan had followed Sherwood's advice, FUSE USA's September filing would STILL BE INTACT, as would the one filed in October, and further Sherwood NEVER WOULD HAVE BEEN EXPELLED from the proceedings as an intervener after getting frustrated with the NRC in December."

Clearwater Sloop Sail to Indian Point October 10th

Pictured: Mannajo Greene, Steve Filler, Jeff Rumpf,
Alec Baldwin, Richard Webster, and Joe Mangano

Seems our invitation got lost in the mail!

For more, read here:

Climate Change => New Green Jobs Report

Tue, 9 Dec 2008

Climate Change => New Green Jobs Report

New study released by Duke's Center for Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness.

LED lighting: Leading U.S. manufacturers find it crucial to ensure high quality and to protect their innovations--two good reasons to keep the manufacturing close to home.

Report Sponsors:
Environmental Defense Fund
Building & Construction Trades Dept (AFL-CIO)
Industrial Union Council (AFL-CIO)
International Brotherhood of Boilermakers
United Association of Plumbers & Pipefitters

Center for Globalization, Governance and Competitiveness
919.681.6564 Fax: 919.681.4183
Bay B, Erwin Mill
2024 W. Main St., Durham, NC 27705
Attn: Mike Hensen, Sr. Program Coordinator
Box 90420 Duke University
Durham, NC 27708-0420

Monday, December 8, 2008

helium - produced by decaying uranium and thorium

Pikachu at the Macy's day parade is full of helium, which the New York Times describes as "a finite and increasingly scarce resource, produced extremely slowly by decaying uranium and thorium." Like anything else, when it gets scarce and expensive, people start thinking about using it more carefully. So this year, instead of just releasing it into the air, they recovered it.

Ace Hoffman's Pick for Secretary of Energy would be Harvey Wasserman:

via [NucNews]

December 7th, 2008

Dear Readers,

Apparently John Bryson is on Barack Obama's short list for Secretary of Energy. And NASA climatologist James Hansen has endorsed nuclear power as a solution to global warming.

With such support, barring a meltdown, the 104 licensed nuclear power plants in this country will still be operating when Obama leaves office. And maybe a few "mini-nukes" will ALSO have been built by then, either for military, or for rich civilian use. And maybe a few new large ones, too, and a score of military propulsion units. Yucca Mountain will keep moving slowly, inexorably forward, unless there is a large earthquake nearby (there are routinely, lots of small ones).

Obama could leave America at least as vulnerable to terrorism, to human error, to unwatched embrittlement, and to unchecked creeping cracks as it is today.

Tritium and a thousand other radioactive isotopes could be pouring into our air, seas, and soil from every reactor that operates today. No change.

All Obama has to do, is do nothing.

And that's not good enough. The world has to undo this mistake; it can't just assume nuclear plants will go away by themselves, run out of raw materials or be shut down for cost reasons. NO. It won't work that way. They'll keep them going with toilet paper and spit and "recycled" military weapons -- thorium, anything -- until something awful happens.

Nuclear reactors employ a lot of union workers. Each of these workers -- every one of them, or they'd quit -- thinks radiation isn't so dangerous. Government and industry wouldn't lie to them to make a buck off their misery, they think. They don't know any better. They believe what they want to believe, to preserve the cocoon of self-confidence, and there's always someone "qualified" (a Health Physics professional, usually) to tell them it's safe -- to tell them it might even be good for them. To tell them everything is dangerous. Crossing the street is dangerous.

So Obama will have no trouble keeping the nuclear power plants open, if that's what he really wants. And there ARE more operating civilian nuclear power plants in his home state than in any other state in the nation.

Nevertheless, by his near-utter silence on the issue during the campaign, Obama practically single-handedly HAS killed the "Nuclear Renaissance," which is withering on the vine these days (but by no means is it dead). Was this just good politics, or what? We'll see.

It's certainly good to watch one multi-billion dollar nuclear project after another around the world falter, as has been happening, but it's not nearly enough, and perhaps is more due to the financial -- pardon the term -- meltdown than to anything else. We need to close the operating nukes -- all of them. Obama can take office with them already closed. Nuclear power produces an unreliable 1/5th of our (U.S.) electricity, about 7% of our total energy needs -- we can close them all and quickly replace them with wind power, peaking power -- ANYTHING.

But of course, it won't happen.

Unless there's a meltdown.

And that's not all that unlikely, when you think about it. With 104 nuclear power plants, most of them many decades old, with the entire NRC focused on trying to issue as many preliminary site licenses as possible before Bush leaves office, with "self-regulation" rampant throughout the nuclear industry, with constant demand for maximum power, with cost pressures forcing fix-on-fail for everything not called a "critical" part according to some arcane NRC regulation, with deadly dry casks popping up all over the country and then being forgotten about while they multiply -- and multiply their dangers -- with spent fuel pools full, even as some of the fuel is being offloaded into the even-more-deadly dry casks, a meltdown -- or something worse -- is not unlikely. It's not too late to impeach George Bush for not shutting the nukes down, for Dick Cheney's secret pro-nuke energy plan, for torture, for the million dead from the War on Truth, or for complacency in the face of imminent threats to the national security.

Finding the right person for Secretary of Energy is certainly one of the most important tasks Obama faces right now. Bryson doesn't fit the bill, but be warned: In a letter to this author, Harvey Wasserman stated, "the rest of the list I've been seeing isn't all that great."


Ace Hoffman
Author, The Code Killers: An Expose:
Author and programmer, All About Pumps, Animated Periodic Table of the Elements:
Carlsbad, CA