• Monthly
  • $25
  • $50
  • $100
  • $other
  • use PayPal

SPRING FUNDRAISER

Is it time for our Spring fundraiser already? If you enjoy what we offer, and have the means, please consider donating. The sooner we reach our modest goal, the faster we can get back to business as (un)usual. Please, stay safe and we’ll see you down the road.
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail

Putting Values Into Action

Earlier in May, two North Carolina Republicans intro’d state legislation that would place obstacles in the path of renewable energy development. Senate Bill 843, sponsored by Senators William Cook and Andrew Brock, leaves anyone with even semi-decent cognitive functioning asking WTF(?). Despite the unquestionable obviousness of the why of that What, you still can shake your head no, no, no in amazement, outrage, disbelief.

Senate Bill 843 mandates the location—a distance at least 1½ miles from a neighboring property line—of solar and wind facilities. Additionally, the bill requires that solar panels and wind turbines are concealed by landscaping, trees, shrubs, flowers. Because green energy is ugly, so ugly it must be hidden from view.

In contrast to the beauty (gasp) of a coal plant, like the University of North Caroline at Chapel Hill Coal Plant. This plant is near campus, adjacent to a residential neighborhood, a block from more residences and businesses, and a little over one mile from a public school. Someone told me the UNC Coal Plant meets industry safety standards. It doesn’t.

When coal burns, the following toxins are released: sulfur dioxide, nitrogen oxide, carbon dioxide, mercury and lead. Exposure causes respiratory illnesses, heart disease, and neurological disorders. And the pollutants degrade our home, this planet Earth.

Over the years, students have protested the UNC Coal Plant. Their efforts yielded results, albeit temporary. The university HAD committed to be coal independent in 2020, converting to renewables, however UNC rescinded the agreement. Its current coal permit expires in 2021 but the university is working on a new permit, one allowing the plant to emit four to six times the limits of sulfur dioxide and nitrogen oxide found to be safe by the Clean Air Act. More Chapel Hill neighborhoods (and schools) will be at risk.

Back to the why of What: Sen. Cook, one of the two sponsors of Senate Bill 843, is a retired manager at the Potomac Electric Power Company in Washington, D.C. where he was employed for 34 years. (He’s a fan of fracking.) Let’s hear it for Big Greed with a quote from Cook:

Numerous constituents have contacted me throughout Northeastern North Carolina with their concerns pertinent (to) the potential negative impacts. It is obvious, that many people (due to view, sound, flicker, etc.) would choose NOT to buy a home where there are industrial wind turbines close by.

So, are we to assume these constituents would rather suffer respiratory conditions, heart disease, neurotoxicity, early death than endure view, sound, and the flicker of windmills?

On Friday mornings, my friend and neighbor, Gary Richards, and I stand on a corner across from the UNC Coal Plant. We each hold a no coal sign. Last week, we wore gas masks to make a more profound statement. Motorists slow, give us a thumbs up, honk their approval. Cyclists wave, thank us.

Gary has been a peace and justice activist for years. His present concentration is huge and urgent—learning and teaching how to nurture our planet, to treat nature with the grace it requires, for you, for all, but also because his grandchildren attend the public school near the UNC Coal Plant.

More articles by:

Missy Beattie has written for National Public Radio and Nashville Life Magazine. She was an instructor of memoirs writing at Johns Hopkins’ Osher Lifelong Learning Institute in BaltimoreEmail: missybeat@gmail.com

June 03, 2020
Anthony DiMaggio
Revolution, Not Riots: Prospects for Radical Transformation in the Covid-19 Era
Jennifer Loewenstein
From Mississippi to Minneapolis: Leaving the ‘Abyss of Despair’
Kenneth Surin
The UK Compared With Other Countries on the Pandemic
Paul Street
“Total Domination”: Popular Rebellion in the Shadow of Trumpism-Fascism
Kenn Orphan
The Sadism of American Power
John Pilger
The Coup Against ‘The Most Loyal Ally’
Eric Murphy
The Police Are The Out-Of-Towners Provoking Violence
Melvin Goodman
How the Washington Post Accommodates Disinformation
Rev. William Alberts
It’s the Worshippers Who Are “Essential”
Georgina Downs
No, the Public Fury Will Not “Move On” Prime Minister!
George V. Wright
It is Happening Here
M. G. Piety
Tales from the Dark Side of Customer Service, or “Christians” Giving Christians a Bad Name
Chandra Muzaffar
A Superpower in Chaos
Thomas Knapp
Time to Stop Messing Around and Strike at the Root of Police Violence
Thomas M. Hanna
The Oligopoly That Controls Our Digital Infrastructure Has Deepened Economic and Racial Divides
Andrew Stewart
The Ethics of Police Murder Video Exhibition: Democratizing The News Feed, Re-Traumatizing The Survivors, Or Both?
Binoy Kampmark
Death, Protest and George Floyd
David Rovics
Who’s Trashing Downtown Every Night and Why?
Harvey Wasserman
Trump Is No Accident
Behrooz Ghamari Tabrizi
Biden and the Common Sense Voter
Timothy Ingalsbee
Ecosystems, Logging and the Definition of Insanity
Elliot Sperber
The Birds of Brooklyn
June 02, 2020
Zoltan Grossman
Deploying Federal Troops in a War at Home Would Make a Bad Situation Worse
Nicholas Buccola
Amy Cooper is Christian Cooper’s Lost, Younger Sister 
Manuel García, Jr.
Global Warming is Nuclear War
Patrick Cockburn
An Unavoidable Recognition of Failure: Trump’s Withdrawal From Afghanistan
John Feffer
Is It Time to Boycott the USA?
Kathy Kelly
Beating Swords to Plowshares
Lawrence Davidson
U.S. Urban Riots Revisited
Sam Pizzigati
“Failed State” Status Here We Come
Ron Jacobs
In Defense of Antifa
Cesar Chelala
Bolsonaro and Trump: Separated at Birth
George Wuerthner
The BLM’s License to Destroy Sagebrush Ecosystems
Danny Antonelli
The Absurdity of Hope
Binoy Kampmark
Sinister Flatulence: Trump Versus Twitter
John Stanton
How Much Violence and Destruction is Enough for Depraved American Leaders and Their Subjects?
Richard C. Gross
The Enemy Within
Thomas Knapp
Trump’s “Free Speech:” Doctrine: Never, Ever, Ever Mention He’s a Liar
John W. Whitehead
This Is Not a Revolution. It’s a Blueprint for Locking Down the Nation
June 01, 2020
Joshua Frank
It’s a Class War Now Too
Richard D. Wolff
Why the Neoliberal Agenda is a Failure at Fighting Coronavirus
Henry Giroux
Racial Domestic Terrorism and the Legacy of State Violence
Ron Jacobs
The Second Longest War in the United States
Kanishka Chowdhury
The Return of the “Outside Agitator”
Lee Hall
“You Loot; We Shoot”
FacebookTwitterRedditEmail