Saturday, March 11, 2017

Renewable Energy for All


Binghamton, NY; March 11, 2017

From the Organizers:

Let us give our community an opportunity to participate in a sustainable future.

Join us in a discussion of community solar and a new bill by NY Renews, The Climate and Community Protection Act.

Governor Cuomo stated that clean and affordable power should be available to New Yorkers regardless of zip code or income. This is not happening, Solar energy is being reserved for those who can afford to put up thousands of dollars, and this is not fair! We need to fight for equity in solar policy.

Why not us? We are being left out of this movement and need to demand solar in our area!

Presenters:

Amber Johnson, Environmental Justice Organizer, Citizen Action

Amber graduated from SUNY Oneonta in 2014 and since then had been active with many advocacy groups around Central New York and New York City. She has been with Citizen Action since late 2016, working on environmental justice issues.

Adam Flint, Southern Tier (NY) Solar Works Program Manager at the Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, which he co-founded in 2008.

From 2011-2013, Adam ran the Energy Leadership Program at Cornell Cooperative Extension of Broome County, where he coordinated the Southern Tier Green Jobs Green New York program. He has worked as an educator in the Southern Tier for more than twenty years, including posts as Assistant Professor of Sociology at Hartwick College and as lecturer in Environmental Studies at Binghamton University. Adam co-founded the NY Energy Democracy Alliance, serves on the steering committee, and coordinates COSHARE, the Community Owned Shared Renewables Working Group. He also works on NY State energy policy with a focus on the ‘Reforming the Energy Vision (REV)’ proceeding, He is also a founding member of the Tier Energy Network of the Southern Tier.

Peter Iwanowicz, Executive Director, Environmental Advocates of New York

This is a return to the organization for Peter who served as its Air and Energy Program Director in the late 1990s. Before this position he served as Assistant Vice President with the American Lung Association where he directed the Association’s Healthy Air Campaign – an effort to protect the Clean Air Act. Between 2007 and the end of 2010, Peter was an appointee in the Spitzer and Paterson administrations, serving as the Acting Commissioner of the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) and as Deputy Secretary for the Environment. While in State government Peter also served as the Assistant Secretary for the Environment, and was the very first Director of the New York State Office of Climate Change. Peter’s responsibilities as the head of the Office of Climate Change included overseeing the state’s involvement in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) and acting as the New York State representative to the International Carbon Action Partnership. Before joining State government in 2007, Peter served as Vice President for the American Lung Association of New York State where he directed the association’s advocacy efforts.

Sponsored by NY Renews, Citizen Action of New York, Binghamton Regional Sustainability Coalition, and Southern Tier Solar Works.

There is also a livestreamed video of this event on YouTube.

Tuesday, March 7, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Drone Resister Ed Kinane

Ed Kinane (left) and Danny Burns at the Big Books action

OVOC Podcast 7: On iTunes and  SoundCloud.

Press Release from the Syracuse Peace Council:

Four drone resisters, James Ricks, Daniel Burns, Brian Hynes and Ed Kinane, from the 2015 Big Books action at Hancock Air Base were found innocent of all charges at 11pm Thursday, March 2, at the Dewitt Town Court. After deliberating for only about a half hour, the jury returned with a verdict of not guilty on all charges. Applause erupted in the courtroom.

The four had been charged with obstruction of government administration, disorderly conduct, and trespass and faced a year in jail. Following the rendering of the verdict, a juror approached Brian Hynes and said “I really support what you are doing. Keep doing it.”

During the trial, Brian Hynes told the jury, “This is not a case about contested facts, this is a case about contested meanings.” Hynes went on to explain to the jury that they could, in the words of the 4th Circuit of Appeals, acquit for any reason which appeals to their logic or passion.

In powerful testimony, James Ricks told the jury about meeting the families of drone victims and seeing the wreckage of hellfire missiles. Jurors were brought to tears several times. Daniel Burns said, “Would any of us deem it acceptable for our precious loved ones to be sacrificed for another nation’s anticipatory self defense? Of course not!  Moreover, if drones were being aimed at my children by another country, I would hope with all my might that the citizens of that country might try and stop their country’s illegal and immoral actions.” Ed Kinane told the jury in clear and powerful language about his time living in Iraq during the war and about the terror sown by drones. Closing arguments were given by lawyers Daire Irwin and Jonathon Wallace as well as James Ricks and Brian Hynes.

The trail resulted from an action on March 19, 2015. On the 12th anniversary of the U.S.’ illegal invasion of Iraq, seven members of the Upstate Coalition to Ground the Drones and End the Wars shut the main gate of the Hancock Drone Base (near Syracuse, NY) with a giant copy of the UN Charter and three other giant books – Dirty Wars (Jeremy Scahill), Living Under Drones (NYU and Stanford Law Schools), and You Never Die Twice (Reprieve).

The nonviolent activists also held a banner quoting Article 6 of the U.S. Constitution, stating that every treaty signed becomes the supreme law of the land. They brought the books to Hancock to remind everyone at the base of the signed treaties that prohibit the killing of civilians and assassinations of human beings. The group attempted yet again to deliver a citizens’ indictment for war crimes to the Hancock Air base chain of command.

Tuesday, February 21, 2017

Hell and High Water - New York Responds to Climate Change


 
Endicott, NY; February 21, 2017

A Talk by Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst, DEC office of Climate Change

From the Organizers:

Climate change has already had effects on New York State's natural resources and infrastructure.
 
Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst in DEC Office of Climate Change, will describe anticipated future effects, the level of greenhouse gas emissions, reductions needed to avoid catastrophic effects, New York State climate change programs in the context of international and federal efforts, and the state's support for municipalities that wish to reduce emissions and adapt to unavoidable effects of climate change.
 

Thursday, January 26, 2017

Podcast: A Conversation with Ray McGovern


This is a recording of my skype conversation with ex-CIA analyst Ray McGovern, in two parts. Among other things, we spoke about the strained relations between the US and Russia, and the underlying causes.

Part 1 (OVOC Podcast 4): On iTunes or SoundCloud.

Part 2 (OVOC Podcast 5): On iTunes or SoundCloud.


The following are links referred to in, or relevant to, the interview:

Part 1:

Ray McGovern's statement at the 2015 UNAC Conference

Bill Bradley on Russia and NATO

Victoria Nuland plots the US-backed coup in the Ukraine

Part 2:

President Obama and Russian President Medvedev - Open Mic

Zbigniew Brzezinski on the global political awakening

Vladimir Putin's speech

The William Casey quote: "We'll know our disinformation campaign is complete when everything the American public believes is false."

The Cantonsville Nine burn draft records (1968)