Tuesday, March 22, 2016

Carbon tax: the only way forward on climate change

Without a carbon tax, we're on course to pour more carbon into the atmosphere.
By Eric Smalley

Activists and researchers have long known that putting a solid price on carbon emissions is critical in the struggle to put the brakes on human-caused climate change. Thanks to a research paper by some of the country’s leading energy and environmental economists, we now know that a tax on carbon emissions is not the best tool we have. It’s the only one.

The paper, “Will We Ever Stop Using Fossil Fuels?,” published in the Journal of Economic Perspectives, makes the case that the dropping prices of renewable energy sources are being outpaced by the dropping prices of fossil fuels, and absent new taxes on carbon emissions the world will continue to use fossil fuels.

New extraction methods have made fossil fuels cheaper and increased the amount of oil and gas we can access. U.S. oil reserves expanded 59 percent and natural gas reserves expanded 94 percent between 2000 and 2014. We have consistently had about 50 years’ worth of accessible oil and natural gas reserves over the last 30 years. Global consumption of oil rose 7.5 percent, coal 24 percent and natural gas 20 percent from 2005 through 2014.

The authors of the paper are Christopher Knittel of MIT and Michael Greenstone and Thomas Covert of the University of Chicago. Greenstone was President Obama’s first Chair of the Council of Economic Advisors.

“You often hear, when fossil fuel prices are going up, that if we just leave the market alone we’ll wean ourselves off fossil fuels. But the message from the data is clear: That’s not going to happen any time soon,” Knittel told the MIT News Office.

To learn about getting a carbon emissions tax passed in Massachusetts, come to a presentation by State Senator Michael Barrett at the West Roxbury police station at 7 pm on Monday, April 11.

Wednesday, February 17, 2016

Roslindale Village (Walkable) Film Series

Check out the first Roslindale Village (Walkable) Film Series sponsored by WalkUP Roslindale in partnership with GreeningRozzie. The series is free. The first film is Holding Ground, a cautionary tale of urban policies gone wrong in Roxbury in 1985, and a message of hope for all American cities.

GreeningRozzie is sponsoring the last film in the series, This Changes Everything on Saturday, May 7 at 2 pm.

When: Thursday, March 3, 2016, 6:30 pm
Where: a private home on South Street
More Info and RSVP: see www.walkUProslindale.org/film

Tuesday, July 28, 2015

Massachusetts to tackle plastic bag pollution

By Pam Sinotte

What do Brookline, California and Hawaii have in common? Each has enacted laws to reduce plastic bag pollution – and now we in the state of Massachusetts have the opportunity to do the same.

Trees festooned with plastic bags may not be very appealing, but the problem of plastic bags goes much deeper than the visuals. Consider this:
  • 100 billion single-use plastic bags are used each year in the United States, and Massachusetts alone uses 4.2 billion.
  • The 700 billion plastics bags used in the world each year contribute to global warming and climate disruption via fossil fuel energy used to produce and transport them and carbon emissions as they decompose.
  • Plastic bag pollution in our oceans causes $13 billion in marine damage yearly.
There are four bills in the Massachusetts legislature’s Committee on the Environment, Natural Resources and Agriculture to reduce single-use plastic bags. The bills differ slightly, but all deserve our support. They are H. 663 – An Act to reduce plastic bag pollution (submitted by Rep. Lori Ehrlich), H. 739 – An Act relative to plastic bag reduction (by Rep. Denise Provost), S. 406 An Act relative to plastic bag reduction (by Sen. James Eldridge), and S. 434 – An Act to prohibit plastic carry-out bags by 2019 (by Sen. Brian Joyce). To read these bills in their entirety, go to malegislature.gov/Bills/Search.

Please email, call and/or write your state elected officials and ask them to support these bills in the Committee. Ask that these bills be sent to the Joint Ways and Means Committee. You can find elected officials’ addresses at Wheredoivotema.com. Please ask your friends to join the effort, and stay tuned for updates from GreeningRozzie.

Thursday, July 23, 2015

Recipes from the GreeningRozzie 2-21-15 Potluck

Want to re-create the delicious food we had at the GreeningRozzie potluck on February 21, 2015? Here’s a PDF of the recipes, including photos. 

The recipes:
  • Lentil Salad with Maple-Balsamic Vinaigrette
  • Whole Wheat Biscuits
  • Roasted Root Vegetables
  • Chocolate Pecan Oat Truffles
  • Spinach Salad with Pomegranate Dressing
  • Southwestern Quinoa Salad
  • Cornbread
  • Pan-Fried Potatoes
  • Marinated Tofu

Wednesday, June 10, 2015

Mayor Walsh in the kitchen with GreeningRozzie

Photo by Renée DeKona
By Eric Smalley

GreeningRozzie members had a fun time cooking and eating together at the community cooking event on Saturday. It was also a great opportunity to share ideas for making Roslindale greener. We were joined by Mayor Marty Walsh, city counselor Tim McCarthy and Sheila Dillon, chief of the city’s Department of Neighborhood Development.

We prepared and enjoyed a range of vegetarian dishes and talked about GreeningRozzie’s projects, including our plans to attract maker spaces to Roslindale. We also looked at a compilation of quotes from the mayoral candidates drawn from their responses to the Neighborhoods for Climate Accountability survey during the campaign. The quotes highlight many good ideas we’d like to see the city follow up on.

Mayor Walsh showed his stuff, both with a kitchen cutting board and in responding to questions about city environmental issues ranging from planting and maintaining street trees to next steps in the struggle to have our voices heard about the West Roxbury Lateral pipeline.

Photo by Renée DeKona
Here are more photos taken by the mayor’s office. Watch for future community cooking events.

Thursday, June 4, 2015

Protesters mark route of planned West Roxbury pipeline

By Eric Smalley

A pair of protesters spray-painted a line along the route of the planned West Roxbury Lateral high-pressure natural gas pipeline last month. The proposed pipeline would pass through densely populated residential neighborhoods, including a stretch of heavily trafficked Washington Street, and terminate across the street from the active West Roxbury Quarry.

The intersection of Washington and Grove Streets in West Roxbury
Here’s Universal Hub's coverage of the protesters’ action:
Protesters don hard hats, wield spray paint in protest against West Roxbury pipeline

For the latest updates on the pipeline and efforts to block it, check out West Roxbury Saves Energy’s pipeline page:
West Roxbury Lateral pipeline updates from WRSE

Here are our previous blog posts on the topic:
Residents say no to West Roxbury pipeline
West Roxbury pipeline: health, safety and climate at risk

Grove Street, approaching the West Roxbury Quarry

Saturday, May 9, 2015

Spring Planting 2015 got Rozzie thinking green

By Pam Sinotte

On March 14th, many braved the cold and rain to attend Spring Planting 2015 where they learned about vegetable and flower gardening, neighborhood “green” initiatives, and even about making a healthy smoothie! Presented by Foundation for a Green Future and Green Neighbors Education Committee, Inc. and free to the public, the event, which took place at the Menino Community Center in Roslindale, featured a variety of vendors and non-profit groups. GreeningRozzie was one of the co-sponsors.

The Friends of Healy Field unveiled the recently approved plan for a community garden at the field.

A Boston Climate Action Network volunteer gave out free perennial collard plants.

Photo by Renée DeKona
Trevor Harrigan, of Green Neighbors Education Committee, Inc., listened intently as Pam Sinotte of GreeningRozzie explained that while a Styrofoam container that once held mushrooms can’t go into the recycling bin, it can be used for seed starting.

Photo by Renée DeKona
Ellen Fine’s healthy smoothies table was by far one of the more popular. Children from the Menino Community Center Afterschool Program helped make the smoothies.

Photo by Renée DeKona
The children also learned about planting.