200 at Keene Rally

In Keene on September 8, more than 200 people attended a rally calling on politicians to deal with climate change. Millions of people die of starvation every year, increasingly due to climate-change-caused floods and droughts that make it hard for farmers to grow food.

One solution is to raise taxes on billionaires and use the money to help the world's poorest people, especially with better schools. On average in the USA, and around the world, the poorest and least educated people have the most kids. Overpopulation is the biggest cause of climate change. On average, one person in the USA uses as many natural resources as 53 people in China. That's according to:

www.scientificamerican.com/article/american-consumption-habits

MIT professor Noam Chomsky writes that the USA's $1.4 trillion annual military budget (much higher than any other nation) keeps poor people poor around the world.

One of the groups that organized the Keene event has a web site at www.monadproalliance.org.

While the chances of stopping climate change and dramatically cutting U.S. military spending may seem small, in 1989, the chances of Nelson Mandela -- who was then seven years into a life sentence in prison -- becoming president of South Africa were also small. In 1994, Mandela was elected president and one of the world’s most brutal and racist governments was overthrown.

In the United States, 153 years ago, ending slavery and granting women the right to vote both seemed unlikely. Mass movements of ordinary people won justice.

In other news from the Valley, on September 11 in New York City two powerful light beams will be shone into the night sky from lower Manhattan to commemorate the terrorist attacks 17 years ago. About six months before those attacks, federal regulators fined the Vermont Yankee nuclear power plant for failing a security test. In 2002, Peter Shumlin, who would later become Vermont governor, told the Valley Post, “If something like the World Trade Center is a target and if humanity is using commercial aircraft with passengers on them as a weapon... it wouldn't take a genius to figure out that you could create a nuclear weapon by the same methods.”

A plane hitting the nuclear waste dumps now at the site of the defunct Vermont Yankee reactor – three miles from Massachusetts and a stone's throw from New Hampshire – and in Rowe, Massachusetts near Greenfield, could kill thousands of people. A group that has a web site at www.NukeBusters.org is calling on federal regulators to require the waste be surrounded by berms, which scientists say would better protect it from an intentional or accidental plane crash. The group will host public events in Brattleboro on September 19 at 6 p.m. and in Greenfield on September 20 at 7 p.m. One of the speakers will be Leona Morgan from the Navajo Nation, where Trump wants to send the nuclear waste. Details are at:

www.nukebusters.org/pdfs/Press%20Release%20HLNW%20Tour%20CAN.pdf

In other news from the Valley, a local land trust is planning to add people of color to its staff and board. Kestrel Land Trust is “researching ways to increase diversity organization-wide,” spokeswoman Kari Blood told the Valley Post on September 10. All of the 23 people who make up the group's board and staff are white. One of the towns where Kestrel works, Holyoke, is home to about 40,000 people, 56 percent of whom are people of color.

In recent years, Kestrel has saved more open space than the several other land trusts in the Valley combined.

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