Tweed Airport and Climate Change: The Environment Is Both Local and Global

by Jeffry Larson, PAR Subscriber, CT Green Party member

Tweed Airport astride the New Haven-East Haven city line has long been an environmental concern to its neighbors because of the noise and pollution it creates. So they have organized a group, stoptweed.org, to limit the airport’s adverse impact. Unfortunately, they have been dismissed as NIMBYs by the corporate and academic jet-setters who find Tweed a convenient amenity.

The City of New Haven has recently abrogated its agreement to limit the length of the runways at Tweed Airport, and, with the state’s permission, plans to increase air traffic there. So, in addition to more local noise and pollution, there will be an increase in the amount of jet fuel emissions–one of the worst greenhouse gases–being poured into the atmosphere.

Tweed is a low-lying shoreline facility, vulnerable to rising sea levels: this would be one of the risks of a proposal hastening catastrophic climate.

Last fall the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued another report on the state of climate change. Denialists predictably dismissed it as “alarmist.” Even climate change activists take its conclusions as somehow assuring us that we have 12 more years to mend our fossil-fuel ways. But the IPCC has been severely criticized by actual researchers for being consistently overly cautious and loath to emphasize the real urgency of our plight. We do not have a guaranteed 12 years to forestall or mitigate climate change. Some leading scientists even believe we’ve already passed the carbon budget turning point.

Apparently, no environmental group or politician or journalist has expressed concern about this. They need to join with local grassroots groups. It is the jet-setters who are the NIMBYs here. As the director of Transport & Environment, one of the mainstream anti-aviation groups in Europe, says, “Air travel is the fastest and cheapest way to fry the planet.”

Ask your local elected officials, environmental groups or reporters why they are not raising questions about this proposed increase in our carbon footprint.

jeffrylarson73@yahoo.com

New Haven stands with Standing Rock outside Wells Fargo Bank

Thirty-five people protested outside of Wells Fargo Bank across from the New Haven Green on Oct. 20 because of the bank’s support of the Dakota Access pipeline.

Melinda Tuhus, organizer of New Haven Stands with Standing Rock, reports: ” …we shut down the bank for the last 10 minutes of the day… We got 25 more names for future work and handed out 100 flyers. We sang and chanted for quite awhile and local activist Norman Clement (Penobscot) spoke about his visit last month to Standing Rock. Afterward some of us discussed potential future actions, most likely around Thanksgiving.”

From the flyer at the protest:

Wells Fargo is a major investor in the Dakota Access pipeline, being built by Energy Transfer Partners at the edge of the Standing Rock Sioux reservation and on their historic territory in North Dakota. The tribe is leading a global campaign to stop the pipeline, which threatens their water source – the Missouri River – and that of millions of people downstream.

Wells Fargo is contributing $467 million to the $3.8 billion globally funded project; the bank needs to cut off its financial support for this pipeline. If you are a Wells Fargo customer, please ask the bank to pull its funding for the pipeline. You can back up your request by moving your money to a local bank or a credit union.

Thousands of indigenous “protectors” are putting their bodies on the line to stop the destructive fracked oil pipeline. Its 1,100-mile path would move 500,000 barrels a day of heavy oil across four states from North Dakota to Illinois, not only threatening the water but also – through its massive carbon emissions – contributing to the over-heating of the planet beyond its capacity to maintain life as we know it.

While the issue is tied up in court, construction continues, and the protectors are facing increasing arrests and more repressive police action in response to their militant but non-violent stance. They say this pipeline cannot and will not go forward, and we stand with them.

For more information go to http://www.nodaplsolidarity.org, or contact New Haven Stands with Standing Rock nhswsr@gmail.com.

70 People Rally for Environmental Justice in Bridgeport

Dan Fischer, Capitalism vs. the Climate and Gabriella Rodriguez, Moral Monday CT

On Sunday, April 3, about 70 people attended a rally at Bridgeport’s McLevy Green to raise awareness about environmental justice. The rally was hosted by Healthy CT Alliance, a Bridgeport-based health advocacy group, Capitalism vs. the Climate, a statewide climate justice group, and Moral Monday CT, a faith-based affiliate of the #BlackLivesMatter movement.

bridgeport-pseg-harbor-coalSpeakers included Bishop John Selders, founder of Moral Monday CT, and Reverend Sekou, an author and theologian active in the #BlackLivesMatter movement. They declared it unjust that low income communities and communities of color are consistently exposed to higher levels of pollution.

Selders said, “Environmental racism is bound up with Connecticut’s industrial past and continues to feed health disparities and economic injustice. Natural resources and marginalized peoples have been relegated as dumping grounds in our urban areas – five cities are home to 71% of Connecticut’s people of color and at least 20% of pollution sources. Yet, large majorities of people of color support environmental justice. That’s why Moral Monday CT supports clean power – to the people! Green is for all of us. Black loves Green!”

Toxic facilities in Bridgeport include wastewater treatment facilities, a trash incinerator, a coal-fired power plant, and a fracked-gas plant. PSEG plans to begin building a new fracked-gas plant next year, locking in decades more of pollution in the South End. Forbes Magazine has ranked Bridgeport the country’s fourth dirtiest city. Meanwhile, Spectra Energy’s fracked-gas pipeline construction near New York’s Indian Point nuclear power plant endangers Bridgeport residents and others in the New York metropolitan area, since there is a small but real chance that a pipeline rupture could trigger a meltdown at Indian Point. A recent headline in The Nation warned, “A High-Pressure Pipeline Next to a Nuclear Power Plant… What Could Possibly Go Wrong?” For photos and videos from the rally, visit http://capitalismvsclimate.org.