Wisdom, Not Hypocrisy

Peter Adrian, Pullman

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 5/16/12

Tucked in among the political endorsements on Thursday’s editorial page (May 10) was a tart bit of criticism from Frank Luzzo, accusing (it is presumed) the megaloads protesters and those who support them of hypocrisy.

I beg to differ.  It is not hypocrisy to realize that an energy extraction process which requires more energy input than it returns as output is unsustainable; that allowing one’s community to be used as a doormat for corporate profiteering is ultimately destructive to that community; that the growth-obsessed, consumption-driven economy in which we grew up has brought us to the brink of ecological catastrophe; that the extent of our benefit from the era of cheap oil should be the measure of our responsibility for leading the transition away from it; and that we, as a society, have been headed the wrong way, and it is time to change course.

That is not hypocrisy.  It is wisdom.

Climate Justice Forum: Selene Gonzalez & Jim Prall 5-14-12

After an opening half-hour of current regional and national climate activism news, the Monday, May 14, Climate Justice Forum radio program hosted by Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) will feature Selene Gonzalez of Rising Tide Chicago discussing a national Rising Tide gathering, climate and environmental direct actions, and the NATO Summit protest march in the Windy City on May 18 to 21.  Moscow anti-megaload demonstrator and arrestee Jim Prall will also talk about his 1960s and recent protest experiences and his climate nurturing forest restoration endeavors.  Listen to KRFP Radio Free Moscow between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PDT online or at 92.5 FM and adopt WIRT as your DJ!

Oil is a Part of Our Life

Frank Luzzo, Troy

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 5/9/12

This letter is to the people who think Dan Carscallen was wrong when he opposed the Moscow mayor in the acknowledgement of the megaload protesters.

If you have one piece of plastic in your possession or have rubber tires on your bicycle, then you are a hypocrite.

And how much oil did it take from conception to finished product if you are reading this newspaper today?

Also, 98 percent of a pro football player’s outfit is a by-product of the petroleum industry.

Climate Justice Forum: Bruce Mohun & Justin Ellenbecker 5-7-12

On the Monday, May 7, Climate Justice Forum radio program, Wild Idaho Rising Tide (WIRT) will host Bruce Mohun of North Vancouver, spokesperson for British Columbians for Climate Action, who warned Burlington Northern Santa Fe Railway owner Warren Buffet of their intent to impede Asian export coal trains near White Rock, B.C., and were arrested for their peaceful blockade on Saturday, May 5, International Stop the Tar Sands/Climate Impacts Day.  Justin Ellenbecker of Occupy Spokane will also talk about the Climate Justice Protest against ExxonMobil’s Megaloads, in observance of the same occasion, which mobilized Spokane citizens opposing Alberta tar sands expansion on Sunday night, May 6.  Listen to the KRFP Radio Free Moscow show between 7:30 and 9:00 pm PDT at 92.5 FM or online for other regional dirty energy resistance news and adopt WIRT as your DJ!

Spokane Climate Justice Protest against ExxonMobil’s Megaloads 5-6-12

In recognition of International Stop the Tar Sands/Climate Impacts Day on Saturday, a group of about eight activists met near East Third Avenue in Spokane, Washington, on Sunday evening, May 6, to protest megaloads of oversized equipment bound for Alberta tar sands operations from the Port of Pasco.  ExxonMobil/Imperial Oil has been using Highway 395, Interstate 90, and city streets in Spokane and Spokane Valley since mid-October to transport road damaging shipments weighing up to 400,000 pounds and stretching over 200 feet long.  Diverted in Idaho from their originally intended Highway 12 route by court challenges and from their alternative Highway 95 path by Moscow area protests, these pieces of a tar sands/bitumen processing plant will expand Canadian carbon fuel extraction, American dependence on oil, and continental greenhouse gas emissions, while reaping exorbitant profits for one of the wealthiest corporations on Earth. Continue reading

Hunt is on for More Natural Gas in Idaho

BOISE – The new owners of natural gas wells in western Idaho plan to spend more and drill more to find more gas in the state.

“This is exciting news for Idaho,” Snake River Oil and Gas President Richard Brown told the Idaho Statesman in a story published Saturday.  “This acquisition of the productive wells and the thousands of associated leased acres means we can expand our oil and gas exploration program, drill more wells, and bring major investments to the region and the state.”

The company is partnering with AM Idaho LLC, a subsidiary of Texas-based Alta Mesa Holdings.

The companies recently purchased the Idaho gas wells from Bridge Resources Corporation and its partner, Paramax Resources Ltd.  Those companies in 2010 produced what appear to be commercially viable natural gas wells after drilling 11 wells in Payette County.

The new owners plan to use advanced technology that allows geologic mapping of the region to find more natural gas. Continue reading

Civil Disagreement, Not Disobedience

Victoria Seever, Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News

It is not illegal to gather in protest against an action or law – it is a guaranteed freedom in this country.  For many, it is a civil duty if things get to that point.  When done well, opposing parties maintain a respectful demonstration and neither property nor persons are injured.  In this country, political dissent does not reap the immediate response of prison and torture or death – a point not lost on our founding fathers.

The megaloads are a hot button and part of a critical issue on multiple fronts.  Please do consider the many angles and make your concerns known in appropriate venues where you feel compelled to do so.

If it is the mayor’s prerogative to include megaload protestors as an Earth Day award, I’m sure she is recognizing it takes commitment to stand up and be counted, even on the streets.  I’m sure she knows there would be some flack and disagreement because of it. Continue reading

Megaloads Protester Turns to Forestry

Megaloads protester Jim Prall has started planting a small forest in a hay field on the edge of Moscow (The Lewiston Tribune/David Johnson photo).

Veteran activist Jim Prall begins ambitious tree-planting project at Moscow

Two months after being jailed for going into the street to protest passage of oil company megaloads through town, Jim Prall said he’s making amends by planting a forest.

“I’ve never felt so good about being patriotic as I have this spring, planting these baby trees,” said Prall, 67.  “I feel like, well, it makes up for the trouble I’ve caused with the megaloads.”

More importantly, Prall said while extracting a bit of his tongue from cheek, converting his five-acre hay field to an urban forest will be a lasting reminder that natural resource extraction must be countered by restoration.

“It’s really an honor to be making this place appropriate for the 21st century by planting trees on the edge of Moscow.”

Prall was among the last three of 11 protesters arrested here during months-long demonstrations against oversize oil company infrastructure loads being trucked through town en route to tar sand fields in Canada.

More than 30 demonstrations ranged in size from around 300 people in the beginning down to a couple of dozen toward the end.  Prall, who was among those protesting the Vietnam War in the 1960s, initially stayed away from the late-night megaload protests.

“It was past my bedtime,” he quipped. Continue reading

Dishonest and Ignorant

D’Wayne Hodgin, Moscow

The Moscow-Pullman Daily News 5/5/12

This letter is not about politics.  It’s about not letting ignorance have the day.  Don Meyer’s letter to the editor (Opinion, May 1) displays he knows next to nothing about the “megaload protests.”  He says “on many occasions … your group disobeyed lawful directives given you by the police.”  Since I never saw Meyer at the protests, I wonder how many police he quizzed to get his “facts.”

On the half-dozen times I joined the protesters, I saw no one break the law.  On each occasion, I talked amicably with police officers while I waved my sign at the passing megaloads.  Several officers even mentioned they respected our (and anyone’s) legal right to protest.  The only folk I saw come close to breaking the law were a few anti-protester protesters who yelled at (disturbing the peace, anyone?) the protesters.  The only time citations were given (yes, once, Meyer) was on the first or second time – of the more than 30 times – that megaloads came through Moscow.  Yet Meyer says the protesters broke the law “on many occasions.” Continue reading

Ren Fair Royalty Ready for Spring Revival

David Hall and Helen Yost are the king and queen of the Moscow Renaissance Fair this year (The Moscow-Pullman Daily News/ Geoff Crimmins photo).

Helen Yost, David Hall to promote nature at annual event this weekend

The 39th annual Moscow Renaissance Fair starts Saturday, and this year’s royalty hope to use their stations to promote environmental sustainability and celebrate spring’s return.

Queen Helen Yost credits her placement on the throne to her community involvement, which involved leading the charge for Wild Idaho Rising Tide’s campaign against Imperial Oil/ExxonMobil’s transport of refinery modules to Canada for its Kearl Oil Sands project.

“I was pretty excited,” she said.  “I felt that was recognition of our community coming together to fight the latest industrial invasion.”

King David Hall, who manages the Renaissance Fair’s website, said he was surprised by the nomination.

The two are working together to craft a speech for the fair’s commencement.

“We are intending to enter with our entourage,” said Yost.  “We would not like to release our statement in advance.”

She said they are working with the fair board to ensure the message is embraced by everyone involved.

A five-year resident of Moscow, Yost said she’s only missed one Ren Fair – in 2007 – and Hall said he’s been to every fair since the fifth celebration. Continue reading