Franklin Countys First News

Letter to the Editor: Thoughts on the Farmington Climate Rally and three great oaks

Yesterday I attended the Farmington Climate Strike at Meetinghouse Park. After hearing many young people speak, I was moved to add another perspective to the conversation but was unsure if it was right to speak up.

When we look to the climate crisis it is important to be wary of simple fixes. There is no one answer to a problem whose origins are so deep and multifaceted. We need supportive policy, wise governance, and green technology; we also need to understand the places in which we live and begin to inhabit them more wisely. I am wary of angry words demanding change that lack a shared vision of what that change really looks like. One facet of the change we seek, I believe, is a renewed connection to place. To know our backyard, the trees, the edible weeds, the medicinal plants. To tend the wild and the domestic, cut our firewood, grow our beans, and develop a relationship with the pine who cures our colds. Knowledge and awareness of the gifts that surround us and how to use them wisely are building blocks of a sane culture and empower us, not the corporations, to be the producers. Getting your deer, helping a neighbor put up firewood, making jam when the blackberries are thick, these are the benefits of a renewed engagement with place and cultural heritage. What’s more, these actions feed a consciousness of what matters and enable us to let go of the superfluous, sorry corporate America! When we frame a piece of our climate struggle in relation to our backyards and our daily actions, the potential for change becomes imminent and inspiring. Then, when we cry out for change our voices are backed by vision and the will to recreate a culture that honors the work and sacrifice of living well in place. It can be as simple as recognizing the gift of an oak.

At the rally we stood collectively, a group of concerned citizens, motivated by grief, fear, and love for the living world. Above us three great oaks spread their branches. What I wished to add in that moment was a word of gratitude for those three great oaks: gratitude for their shade, for the oxygen they provided us, and for their work pulling carbon out of the atmosphere. Also, as someone who has fed my family for years by baking bread from acorns, I could not help but feel gratitude for the multitude of food that rolled around under our feet.

So yes, we need to cry out and unveil the atrocities of corporate production, and at the same moment we need to connect to our place, pick up the acorn, the shovel, and the saw and start producing the world we want to see.

On that note, if anyone would like to learn the process of transforming acorns into delicious and nutritious flour I will offer a free workshop at the gazebo Sunday, Oct. 6 at 1 p.m. Please register by calling Chris Knapp at Koviashuvik Local Living School, 778-0318.

Chris Knapp

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22 Responses »

  1. "We need supportive policy, wise governance, and green technology; we also need to understand the places in which we live and begin to inhabit them more wisely. ...a renewed connection to place."

    Very nicely put.

  2. Green trees and grasses suck up CO2, planting more of those is pretty easy, but there is no money in doing that, fossil fuels for heat and electricity needs and to power vehicles is just a normal part of life, Wind turbines currently produce 6% of America's electricity, natural gas produces 63%, Maine used 13,500 gigawatt hours last year, while generating 17,400 megawatts of electricity, if Maine was going to use say wind turbines to get the amount of power we need, we would have to build at least another 30,000 windmills($60.2 billion dollars), just due to the fact that the wind doesn't always blow 30 miles an hour and given the fact that 60-70% of the time they produce very little or aren't producing anything. So we need to clear...1.5 acres per windmill...39,000 acres, plus transmission corridors, figure an average 150ft wide and however long they have to be, add to that the access roads needed to build the turbines, a project like that would make the NECEC look like an average thinning job. If we replaced ALL 260 million vehicles on the road today with electric cars, America's energy needs would increase by a billion fold, a Tesla uses a 17KW charger(17 100 watt light bulbs for 10 hours uses 17KW) or a 3.3KW trickle charger it takes 12 hours to charge that's 39KW per day, most homes use 600-800KW per month without a Tesla to charge.

  3. Yes, we should all try to be good stewards of our environment. We should be researching, learning, buying the tech that makes good sense (not by force...but because it's GOOD). We should support local businesses, we should help our neighbors. We should use renewables when we can, especially by cleanly burning our #1 renewable, firewood! And pellets and the other things, where they make sense. Industry is where it starts, on the large scale.

    We should NOT be trying to force our often ignorant and arrogant wills onto others, we should NOT be taking our cue on how to live from politicians or blindly following 'scientists' (grant writers, mostly) without question. We should NOT think our own dung doesn't stink, and we should NOT be insisting that some collective top-down economy is an answer. That's foolish.

    We should question what we're told by authority. We should not be so prideful as to think that 'good tech' pushed on us by CORPORATIONS (in concert with politicians seeking virtue and re-election funds - liars all) are all they're made out to be (as Hrtlss is pointing out). Companies claiming their vehicles are 'made with love' is meaningless. We need to stop FEELING so much, and do some THINKING too. We need to stop proselytizing others and start being examples. Only kindness will attract others.

    NOBODY wants a dirty environment. PERIOD. The USA has made absolutely amazing strides in the last 30-40 years by spreading information and asking 'the market' to respond to desire...we are not evil. Business is not evil in and of itself. A quality living standard is not evil. We should keep up 'the good work', be good citizens who live freely but responsibly (the two are inseparable, and we've lost track of that). Vilifying those who disagree with extremist views will only make things worse, meaning you absolutely will NEVER achieve anything you're working towards. It takes ALL the people for a society to advance, which I hope we will, INTELLIGENTLY and while preserving our founding ideals. This isn't something a political party can make happen - I hope you all know that. I really do.

  4. That was beautifully said, thank you.

  5. It was a pleasure to read Chris Knapp's fine, inspiring letter.

  6. Burning wood and gardening are very noble activities, but they don’t scale very well. Ask someone who lives in a high-rise apartment building in a city how expensive they would be, if even possible at all, compared to the products and services of evil corporations.

    While you’re at it, ask him what he thinks of the Electoral College, that pesky little item in the Constitution that protects us wood burning gardeners from the dictates of densely populated cities.

  7. It's becoming more clear that we need a second set of laws, for city people. Rural living is generally good for the environment, at least neutral, as long as one doesn't do certain things (like dump oil on the ground. Nobody does that now, they like their property). And as you point out, THEIR idea of renewable is very different. We need diversity in how we live. We need another electoral college, at the state level, to protect us from their ideas.

    In fact, some may say we just need to be left alone, since Maine is about the cleanest place one could be (now), and any air pollution here comes from away, just like oppressive laws and 'lawmakers'. We emit .03 percent of the US's carbon emissions...but are about to be thrown to the wolves and have our lives destroyed by extremists nonetheless.

  8. Agreed, OverRegulated, especially about who is being thrown to what.

    Democracy: Two wolves and a lamb voting on what’s for dinner.

    Socialism: See above, but add that the lamb is supposed to like it for the collective.

  9. Nimbers, numbers, numbers: Americas needs would increase a billion fold....really? Wow!

    That Tesla you are charging overnight.....for 39 kWh's, how many miles is it ready to drive the next day? 150 miles? 200 miles?

    One answer please, not a page full of dribble?

  10. HB, I have read the article several times now and cannot find any mention of wind turbines, nor can I find mention of Teslas. Thanks for not including the electric car life cycle this time. There is never one magic bullet, addressing the mitigation of changes due to climate are obviously quite complex but anything that could produce a slight incremental benefit is better than nothing. Sometimes we are just balancing the losses we experience through corporate greed. Someone my age will likely expire before things become too 'hot' but my grandchildren will still be around when changes really begin to show. Wouldn't it be nice if people acknowledged the reality and started to work together to implement measures that might actually conserve resources, produce positive results, and actually did reduce the impact on a changing climate (whether it's natural or man-induced is really not the question). You have a pretty good mind - why not direct it toward solutions rather than what you currently do?

  11. Have any of these 'green activists' SEEN a lithium mine, dug to make the batteries for their electric vehicles which they so smugly virtue-signal around town?

    Just to heat Maine's homes on one cold winter night can take the output of SIXTY nuclear reactors - what's your answer? Forcibly re-locate everyone to warmer climates? Bet that comes up over time...all the solutions require FORCE.

    Lunatic arguments are being made now, when the US is so clean in our emissions, far far ahead of China and India...

  12. Over, what happened, did you and HB meet to discuss strategies? Really? Lithium is now the topic? Huh? Why don't we stick to the issue(s). Climate change is a real issue, regardless of what many people think, I have seen these changes first-hand and actually also believe in science and even the ice cores that HB brought up. Where did you possibly come up the 60 nuke reactors example? Please provide something other than Britebart for a link. (oh, fox 'news' doesn't count either). BTW - the US is NOT clean by a long shot, particularly since the EPA has been dismantled and laws such as dumping coal mining waste into rivers and the continued use of chemicals courtesy of monsanto. Take a sip out of the Androscoggin my friend. I often wonder where the mentality originated ...... 'well, china and india do it, so ..... uh..... why are we so bad?' This is getting as bad as hillary's e-mails crap. Yes, I agree, she should be held accountable along with bush, cheney, obama and trump. One thing does NOT negate another. It's about accountability ...... and when you and HB and others bring up ridiculous red herrings it's obvious you really don't get it or don't want to. Either way it's a shame.

  13. Ozerki, OMG! "whether it's natural or man-induced is really not the question." PLEASE - PLEASE - THINK! about that statement. THAT IS THE PRIMARY QUESTION. Because if it is a natural part of the cyclical nature of climate, then there is nothing we CAN do about it! All of any efforts to "change" it are essentially wasted efforts. And I'm not talking about reducing actual pollution, that is an entirely good thing. But CO2 is completely necessary in our world and has historically been much higher. We've also had warmer periods of time. Warming has tended to allow for civilizations to advance while cooling times have brought about food shortages, starvation, disease and the downfall of civilizations. I hope you don't think carbon credits, carbon taxes, electric vehicles or wind mills are going to actually change the climate. It will only continue to enrich the ruling class around the world.

  14. OverRegulated,

    Good point on the lithium mines. And don’t forget, some of that lithium involves child labor.

  15. Pine Tree - doesn't matter one bit. SOMETHING has to be done about it. Other than many many thousands of years ago when have CO2 levels been higher? Please provide link. Of course man has accelerated the CO2 problem, but does it matter WHO did it? What matters now is buying time and slowing the CO2 rate (along with CH4). I have been in midst of Kyoto talks years ago, discussed the benefits and costs of Carbon taxes and Cap and Trade with governments in many parts of the world. I don't like electric cars nor do I support wind mills. Carbon tax could work as could cap and trade if implemented correctly and honestly, but we all know that won't happen. I also know that I won't be around when the real climate change problems start, but can't say the same about my grandchildren. I also think that you and I are talking about different things. Your example of cooling and warming trends of natural weather cycles is NOT climate change. The increasing violence and magnitude of storms; sharper spiking of warm and cold temperatures; and melting ice to the point where Antarctica just lost a HUGE chunk and residents near Mont Blanc have been evacuated because its largest glacier could let loose at any minute - these are the real indicators and there are many more. The UK implemented a type of carbon credit/tax and has recorded the lowest carbon emissions since 1890. Not bad, hey? So, think about this and don't go off on what I write until you have reviewed it a bit more thoroughly.

  16. You keep asking people to do research for you, Ozerki. Look up the output of 60 typical reactors...look up Maine's electricity usage on a cold winter night. Compare. I don't generally save links to pages I've looked at to satisfy my curiosity, to post on the Bulldog.

    Many of the 'cures' for 'climate change', like involve horrible environmental insults, such as lithium mines, and child labor. Windmills take more energy to construct, assemble, and de-commission than they could EVER generate!!! However - you ARE making the elite more rich and powerful, and by extension creating more wealth inequality (a topic for another day, but one I'm sure is dear to you).

    What is most alarming to 'people like me' (who is extremely well-educated on environmental issues) is the readiness you guys have to turn over control of your lives (and mine!), standard of living, well-being, some of the WORST people in our society. Politicians. They prove this day in, day out, with their words and actions - but off ya go, "run run run run run, it's an EMERGENCY!" . You're just ok with that, because you think they're YOUR politicians, LOL! THOUSANDS AND THOUSANDS of scientists DISAGREE on this topic (which is not a theory, as it has NO predictive value. It's just an idea at present). The only ones saying "the debate is over" are the POLITICIANS. And the UN, of course - still using the 'hockey stick' of lies that the researcher won't turn over his data for, ha ha!

    I'll say it again...the USA, and earth, is doing FAR better than it was 30 years ago. We have about doubled our population in that time (look it up, Ozerki...). Emissions are at about 1985 levels. That is appropriate for now. Water pollution, muncipal waste systems....FAR AND AWAY better than 30 years ago. Many of our ecosystems are doing BETTER now than in the past. This is typical Liberal behavior - once they get their foot in, and things start to change...they demand MORE AND MORE AND MORE until they bankrupt a nation. If you increase poverty here with your nutty regulations, you'll have MORE eco damage, not less! People stop caring when they're hungry, bud.

    As technology improves, it comes on the market...people ask for it to be used, you know the drill....same way recycling took off. When it is FEASIBLE and WORTH DOING, then it WILL BE. Like E-cars, and Solar (not appropriate for our latitude, really, but keep trying with those toxic panels...). Until then, all your protest, demands for "WHAT" (you don't tell us what you want...I assume it's socialism, to end capitalism, and do some 'collective' crap)...are worthless. Throwing OUR money away. The 'fixes' that come around, like banning plastic bags, are worthless. They're just virtue signalling. So is 'making us carbon neutral'. There IS no way to do this, and it will be rescinded after Mills is, she doesn't have authority to dictate that (thought Trump was the dictator??).

    Found any of those pesky plastic needles on the ground from safe injection sites, BTW? THOSE aren't banned, are they? *wink*

  17. The Gulf Of Maine Is Warming, And Its Whales Are Disappearing

    "Andrew Pershing, the chief scientific officer at the Gulf of Maine Research Institute, says these changing patterns are bringing warmer currents into the area, which disrupts whales' prey: herring and sandlace fish, among other species."

  18. The progressives are naive.(AOC, JANET MILLS, BERNIE).
    As soon as we have funded the so called social and climate programs and UNfunded our ability to defend ourselves, we will be China.
    And the first thing they will do is BUILD THAT WALL!!
    Any guesses on what the minimum wage will be then??
    How about that Free College and Free Health care??
    Greenhouse Gases,, They don't care.
    We could call it the NEW "RED" DEAL...

  19. New Red Deal is absolutely correct. And climate fright is how they'll achieve this goal.

    You won't be complaining about "the one percent" then....because you won't be ALLOWED to! If they get any more power, the Socialists are going to radically change your lives, that's for absolute sure. They already are. "NPR", lol...national propaganda radio. Better go check your social credit score, Marie (virtue signalling gains you points, tho).

    In order for the oceans to be warming, even a bit, the atmosphere would have to be about 3,000 degrees. Consider things like this, please...use some common sense! Currents may move, but seal level is not rising (look at historic pics!), nor are 'the oceans warming'. You're just engaging in 'expert fetish'...."an expert told me!". Wow. Pretty Jim-Jones like over on the Left these days.

  20. Over - just give me a clue where YOUR information comes from regarding things are better now than 30 years ago ...... wow ........ try asking some fishermen who make their living from the ocean(s). Oh, and the pollution in the ocean...... or let's discuss GMOs .... or perhaps we ought to discuss hormone disruptors (Theo Colborn). You actually state " 'people like me' (who is extremely well-educated on environmental issues)". If you are really what you say then you should be alarmed and you are not. That tells me what I need to know. It is also quite disconcerting that you and others make judgments on who I am and what I believe without any evidence. Making assumptions based on a few comments also tells me that you stereotype people based on YOUR belief system and I find that more than curious.

  21. I am informed by both sides, and there are MANY, MANY scientists who disagree with your hysteria and 'quick, burn the Constitution! The sky if falling!" take on environmental issues. Dr. Judith Curry is one. These scientists are REPRESSED by the six media companies you turn to for all your 'information', which is fed to you by the elite class now attempting to turn the US socialist.

    I note the hoaxes such as the East Anglia data fraud scandal, and the fact that the IPCC still uses a lot of that data to scare THE WEST (not the actual polluters, India and China...they're ok). I note the hiding of data (Dr. Mann) used to compile the 'hockey stick chart' that was used to terrify everyone for years, and which now is under fire for 'creative statistical methods' being INVENTED to make it. The sea is not rising, nor is it warming more than would be expected in a cyclical, dynamic system such as THE EARTH. Do things change? Yes. Do they change back? Yes. I have no doubt we're in a time of change, but there IS much doubt as to how harmful it is, and if it is permanent. This system does NOT stand still!

    Do you know how hot the atmosphere would have to be in order to raise the sea temperature by two degrees??? But - this was the big claim, for decades! Suddenly, it's something different. Move the goalposts. The fact that you are leaning on ideas like 'if you WERE educated, you'd believe those scientists!" simply further reinforces the FACT that this whole issue is more of a cult than any sort of science. You have FAITH that this is true, even with the data manipulation and outright faking. You have faith in a actual scientific theory can MAKE PREDICTIONS. This cannot! It's NOT SCIENCE, IT IS A BELIEF SYSTEM.

    And funny enough - it all leads to "we must give up individual rights and be collective under an authoritarian regime", while ignoring the other authoritarian regimes' roles in polluting, completely. Government priests want you to sacrifice your liberty and standard of living on their altar, all so you can stop feeling guilty for having been born in the US, the world's best nation, which has freed the most people in history, and provided the best standard of living for the most people. "Quick, take my freedom, now!!" They want you to return to serfdom. There was a book about that once...

    "You all" act like we DON'T invest in clean tech, that we DON'T clean up where and what we can...we are in the top tier in activities like that! We are ALWAYS innovating and improving. Emissions are at about 1985 levels with TWICE the population! You're just sad that we're not flipping, politically, to where you want to go, and that's pretty obvious. I direct you to advances in municipal waste systems, if you need to know some more about how we clean / keep clean....the REASON the oceans take a hit is because India/China DON'T have good municipal waste management! I will again ask specifically what you would have us do. Not "move from fossil fuel" vagueness, but....SPECIFICALLY...HOW, and AT WHAT PACE, and with what TECH to make our living standard comparable to right now! Without harming people or taking their property and/or freedom. STOP 'sky is falling', and make your demands in a rational way.

    The biggest problem on earth is access to clean water - your obsession with systemic failure that never occurs is blocking millions from it, and is actually killing people in the third world.

  22. Over, just for the record, I was responding to your claim that the environment is better now than it was 30 years ago and you really didn't give me much on that.

    I suppose that one question regarding climate change might be appropriate: The world seems split over the realities of a changing climate that is serious enough to alter life on this planet. A huge percentage of the scientific community supports the indicators and, as you state, many do not. My comment is as follows: if we act as if climate change is a reality and make changes that may influence things in a positive direction such as my example about the UK carbon tax, and there ISN'T a real problem does that really hurt much? I mean lowering emissions, increasing efficiency and so on ....... Yet, the other side of the coin is that we do nothing and climate change turns out to be a reality then we have screwed up a real opportunity. Just kind of curious what media companies i turn to? Do you have some spy cam in my house? You don't even know who I am or where I live and you make that assumption. My understanding comes from actual field research both first-hand and second (over which I had control). I think the media is pretty much in collusion with corporate hacks. (so we might agree on that front). So, where do you go from here with your stereotypical comments? You seem to make broad assumptions and for an environmentally-aware person that's pretty much a non-starter. And I agree on your point about access to water. And where do you get the idea that I am obsessed with systemic failures? I might point out that water problems are not only 3rd world - ask the people from Flint about that? Or any number of families across the country who have been victims of contamination from fracking. If you would take time to actually read what I write and synthesize it you might be surprised how much common ground we share. However, you seem to simply be bent on putting me in some category that satisfies your own world understanding, but in reality is not even close. Try having an open mind, it's refreshing.