Having an unexpected chance at a last-minute final column for Metroland, is a blessing and a curse. No pressure, after an almost-12-year run. At first I scrambled to try to assemble a column on one of the topics I hadn’t gotten to, wanting to just continue as I had been, but over the holidays and it being a big topic, I couldn’t pull it together properly.
Instead, I will leave you with a distinctly non-exhaustive spattering of some questions I didn’t get to, or that I (and plenty others) have written about but remain important and unanswered, some rhetorical, some deeply not. Though Metroland was one important place we could have conversations like these, it needn’t be the only one. Continue reading
Didn’t I write this column already?
The one where I say, hey, it’s so awesome that New York state banned fracking, but companies are still trying to criss-cross our state with new pipelines that allow gas fracked in other places to get to market—whether that market is New England, or abroad via tankers.
The one where I explain how these companies who care for nothing but a quick buck and destroying the climate in the process are using eminent domain and federal regulations to force us to allow them to transport stuff across our state that (a) does not benefit us and (b) needs to stay in the ground for the future of humanity.
Oh right, I did. Continue reading
The land where Patricia Kernan grew up, in the foothills of the Northern Catskills, is 1,000 acres of unbroken forest, from which trees have been carefully, sustainably harvested for at least 70 years. It contains a rare pristine sphagnum moss bog that has no invasive species in it, and just outside its borders is a lake that has been similarly protected. The land is now owned by a land trust, with Kernan and her four siblings making up the five trustees. Forestry covers the property taxes and allows the land to remain protected.
Or it has so far. Continue reading
Part of progressive frustration with the Tea Party, aside from shaking our heads over the sheer lack of enlightened self-interest shown by most of its on the ground supporters, is jealousy. They run primary campaigns against the mighty, like Eric Cantor, they expect and intend to win, and sometimes they do. Sometimes losing doesn’t change their audacity.
It seems sometimes like progressives have decided that because sometimes choosing the lesser of two evils might be the right political choice, that it’s actually always going to be the only choice available to us.
But it’s not. Continue reading
If you have paid even a modicum of attention to the climate justice fight over the past couple years, you have probably been aware of both the movement to keep fracking out of New York state, and the fight to prevent the Keystone XL pipeline, which would carry oil from North Dakota and the tar sands of Alberta to the Gulf of Mexico, from being built.
If you are like some of us, you have admired the ranchers, farmers, and First Nations people along that pipeline and in the tar sands itself who have been creatively and consistently and bravely saying they want no part in this horrendous environmental catastrophe that is destroying communities in the short term and threatening to keep us from being able to head off catastrophic climate change in the not-that-much-longer-term. You might have wondered whether you would do the same if you lived in these threatened communities, and felt quietly grateful you did not.
Well, now you do. Continue reading