Saturday, October 24, 2009
Anti-biomass work has taken over my life
I was looking at the stats for how many posts I've written recently and it's not what I would like. Seems like I'm spending so much of my time recently talking on the phone, at meetings and writing/answering emails about biomass that by the evening, I'm just out of words for my blog. I can change that, though.
Last night a friend and I went to the No Biomass Harvest Dinner & Dance at the VFW in Russell. Driving down Route. 20, I was struck by how the small town prettiness and warmth of Russell rests in wildness. The Westfield River runs beside much of the road, and it's that river, among other things, that Concerned Citizens of Russell wants to protect. Some 800,000 gallons a day would be drawn from the river if the Russell biomass plant is constructed, with 100,000 gallons of heated water re-added. As the Concerned Citizens website points out, in the summer there are many places where you can walk across the Westfield River. A thriving fishing and sporting industry will suffer if the river suffers.
Biomass opponents are sometimes accused of acting from NIMBY-- not in my backyard-- motives. But this is not a question of esthetics. Just why should any community be willing to accept pollution and environmental degradation in return for a few jobs and some tax revenue?
I had a good time at Concerned Citizens' dinner and dance last night, and I know they raised some money. But best of all was getting to hang out with folks that I know have their priorities straight.
For information about the biomass incinerator planned for Springfield, go to Stop Toxic Incineration in Springfield.
Photos: Jana Chicoine, organizer extraordinaire, with Chris Matera from Massachusetts Forest Watch and his wife; a celebratory cake; the Slickpickers; and the woman I'm told did 90% of the organizing for the event and whose name I don't know. (Anybody?)