Concerned Citizens of Westchester County
Concerned citizens of New York joined by clergy, health professionals and farmers will unite to oppose fracking of shale gas in New York State and all activity related to it. A solemn vigil will be held on Wednesday, Sept. 5 in front of St. Mark’s Episcopal Church, 85 East Main St., Kisco, NY from 6 to 7:30 p.m. If it rains, the vigil will be held inside the Parish Hall.
This is the second vigil in five weeks as New Yorkers bring their message to Governor Cuomo’s home community amidst growing concern that the Governor is failing his constituents in his mandated duty to keep them safe and healthy. A decision about permitting fracking is reported to be imminent. Governor Cuomo’s constituents expect him to manage and protect in a responsible and sustainable manner our natural resources of water, air and the land that grows our food and supports other species and ecosystems. Fracking would endanger all of this.
The vigil will heighten awareness of the Governor’s destructive plan to frack New York State. The theme of the vigil, “Hear our Voices,” will be echoed as speakers address concerns regarding the gas industry’s widespread invasion into New York State with destructive drilling and the extensive infrastructure necessary to carry out natural gas activities. This includes vast miles of fragmenting pipelines, compressor and metering stations that vent methane, storage facilities, unresolved waste disposal and massive water withdrawals for each well from New York lakes and streams. Water will become permanently poisoned by the frack chemicals and removed from our precious, finite supply of fresh water at a time of increasing water scarcity.
"We are one state," says co-organizer Jennifer Lahey. “New York cannot be divided between upstate and downstate, rural, urban and suburban, or safe and ‘sacrificed.’ We are interconnected by geography, policy and most importantly by our humanity. Other countries are doing unprecedented things with renewable energy to get off fossil fuels, to address global warming effectively. Why aren't we? We could be leaders. Instead our policies are killing my three-year old daughter. Enough is enough of gas and oil campaign contributions influencing our politicians and the policies they set. Ban hydrofracking in New York State, Governor Cuomo and set the example for the world to follow suit."
Brother David Andrews in an article in National Catholic Reporter says, “Fracking is a method of extracting gas which has incredible dangers for which the moral remedy is that it be banned in the name of human dignity, environmental protection and animal welfare.” Among clergy speaking will be Rev. Dr. Chip Andrus of South Salem Presbyterian Church who does not want to have happen in New York what has happened in other fracked states. Renowned Buddhist teacher and author Bhikkhu Bodhi of Chuang Yen Monastery in Carmel, Rev. Melissa Boyer of Katonah United Methodist Church and Rabbi Douglas Krantz of Congregation B'nai Yisrael in Armonk, will share prayers and petitions to the Governor to steward the land with care and prohibit fracking in New York. Dr. Larysa Dyrszka, a retired pediatrician, will address adverse health effects and citizens will appeal for a ban. Music will intersperse speakers’ pleas.
Although the Governor has yet to decide whether or not to open our state to fracking’s ravages, sickness from natural gas has already impacted communities such as Minisink Valley, New York where Millennium Pipeline Company has a 30-inch gas pipeline that transports fracked gas from other states. “The pipeline is known to have faulty welds and numerous safety violations. We also have a metering station in our town that is a smaller version of a compressor station,” said Malick from StopMCS, a group fighting a proposed Minisink Compressor Station. “Millennium pipeline had water in its line this past April and flared methane gas from its valves for two weeks. Many children suffered unusual rashes, nosebleeds, and nausea.”
EPA scientist Wilma Subra who conducted extensive air studies in Dish Texas, a town with similar infrastructure, informed Malick that these symptoms are a result of methane poisoning toxins routinely released by leaking welds and venting of gas infrastructure. Now because of Cuomo's energy policies, Millennium has received approval to build a massive gas compressor station in Minisink. Subra stated that if the proposed compressor station to process large amounts of fracked gas is built in Minisink, people will experience these symptoms all the time.
“Minisink is next door in Orange County and is on the front lines in the battle for New York State,” said Malick. “We are home to many police officers and firefighters who protect New York City. We are the home of many dairy farms and organic farms that nourish New York City and its surrounding areas. Our struggle today is what towns throughout the state will face tomorrow. The idea that the impact from this policy will be confined to remote parts of the state is an unconscionable public deception by the Cuomo administration.”
“The gas running through the proposed pipelines will contain radioactive materials which come up from the Earth with the frack waste when drilling. Westchester County and New York City residents should be concerned about radon coming through their kitchen stoves,” said Lahey. Radon is the second leading cause of lung cancer according to the National Cancer Institute.
Will Governor Cuomo hear the voices of sick children? Elizabeth Meyer-Gross of South Salem says, “I abhor Governor Cuomo’s lack of concern for the young children. As a pediatric occupational therapist and part of the medical community, I ask the Governor to listen to the findings of peer-reviewed science which demonstrate that fracking is dangerous causing serious health effects and death. Failure to heed these warnings and institute a state-wide ban on fracking in New York will most certainly pose a serious health risk to young children and the unborn.”
Governor Cuomo, hear our voices! No more gas. No more oil. No more fossil fuels. We will not sacrifice any American for energy.
Visit EcoWatch’s FRACKING page for more related news on this topic.
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By Gwen Ranniger
In the midst of a pandemic, sales of cleaning products have skyrocketed, and many feel a need to clean more often. Knowing what to look for when purchasing cleaning supplies can help prevent unwanted and dangerous toxics from entering your home.
1. Fragrance – Avoid It<p>One of the fastest ways to narrow down your product options is immediately eliminating any product that promotes a fragrance, or parfum. That scent of "fresh breeze" or lemon might initially smell good, but the fragrance does not last. What does last? The concoction of various undisclosed and unregulated chemicals that created that fragrance.</p><p>Many fragrances contain phthalates, which are linked to many health risks including reproductive problems and cancer.</p>
2. With Bleach? Do Without<p>Going scent-free should have narrowed down your options substantially – now, check the front of the remaining packaging. Any that include ammonia or chlorine bleach ought to go, as these substances are irritating and corrosive to your body. While bleach is commonly known as a powerful disinfectant, there are safer alternatives that you can use in your home, such as sodium borate or hydrogen peroxide.</p><p>While you're at it, check if there are any warnings on the label – "flammable," "use in ventilated area," etc. – if the product is hazardous, that's a red flag and should be avoided.</p>
3. Check the Back Label<p>Flip to the back of the remaining contenders and check out that ingredient list. Less is more, here. Opt for a shorter ingredient list with words you recognize and/or can pronounce.</p><p>You may notice many products do not have ingredient lists – while this doesn't necessarily mean they contain toxic ingredients, transparency is key. Feel free to look up a list online, or stick to products that are open about their ingredients.</p>
4. Ingredients to Avoid<p>We already mentioned that cleaners containing fragrance or parfum, and bleach or ammonia should be avoided, but there are other ingredients to look out for as well.</p><ul><li>Quaternary ammonium "quats" – lung irritants that contribute to asthma and other breathing problems. Also linger on surfaces long after they've been cleaned.</li><li>Parabens – Known hormone disruptor; can contribute to ailments such as cancer</li><li>Triclosan – triclosan and other antibacterial chemicals are registered with the EPA as pesticides. Triclosan is a known hormone disruptor and can also impact your immune system.</li><li>Formaldehyde – Causes irritation of eyes, nose, and throat; studies suggest formaldehyde exposure is linked with certain varieties of cancer. Can be found in products or become a byproduct of chemical reactions in the air.</li></ul>
Cleaning Products and Toxics: The Bottom Line<p>Do your research. There are many cleaning products available, but taking these steps will drastically reduce your options and help keep your home toxic-free. Protecting your home from bacteria and viruses is important, but make sure you do so in a way that doesn't introduce other health risks into the home.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from </em><em><a href="https://www.ehn.org/how-to-shop-for-cleaning-products-while-avoiding-toxics-2648130273.html" target="_blank">Environmental Health News</a>. </em><a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2649054624#/" target="_self"></a></p>
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
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Twenty-five years ago, a food called Tofurky made its debut on grocery store shelves. Since then, the tofu-based roast has become a beloved part of many vegetarians' holiday feasts.
By Jessica Corbett
A leading environmental advocacy group marked Native American Heritage Month on Wednesday by urging President-elect Joe Biden, Vice President-elect Kamala Kamala Harris, and the entire incoming administration "to honor Indigenous sovereignty and immediately halt the Keystone XL, Dakota Access, and Line 3 pipelines."
- Climate Crisis: What We Can Learn From Indigenous Traditions ... ›
- 10 Organizations Honoring Native People on Thanksgiving ... ›
- Biden Vows to Ax Keystone XL if Elected - EcoWatch ›
Returning the ‘Three Sisters’ – Corn, Beans and Squash – to Native American Farms Nourishes People, Land and Cultures
By Christina Gish Hill
Historians know that turkey and corn were part of the first Thanksgiving, when Wampanoag peoples shared a harvest meal with the pilgrims of Plymouth plantation in Massachusetts. And traditional Native American farming practices tell us that squash and beans likely were part of that 1621 dinner too.
Abundant Harvests<p>Historically, Native people throughout the Americas bred indigenous plant varieties specific to the growing conditions of their homelands. They selected seeds for many different traits, such as <a href="https://emergencemagazine.org/story/corn-tastes-better/" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">flavor, texture and color</a>.</p><p>Native growers knew that planting corn, beans, squash and sunflowers together produced mutual benefits. Corn stalks created a trellis for beans to climb, and beans' twining vines secured the corn in high winds. They also certainly observed that corn and bean plants growing together tended to be healthier than when raised separately. Today we know the reason: Bacteria living on bean plant roots pull nitrogen – an essential plant nutrient – from the air and <a href="http://www.tilthalliance.org/learn/resources-1/almanac/october/octobermngg" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">convert it to a form that both beans and corn can use</a>.</p><p>Squash plants contributed by shading the ground with their broad leaves, preventing weeds from growing and retaining water in the soil. Heritage squash varieties also had spines that discouraged deer and raccoons from visiting the garden for a snack. And sunflowers planted around the edges of the garden created a natural fence, protecting other plants from wind and animals and attracting pollinators.</p><p>Interplanting these agricultural sisters produced bountiful harvests that sustained large Native communities and <a href="http://dx.doi.org/10.1353/eam.2015.0016" target="_blank">spurred fruitful trade economies</a>. The first Europeans who reached the Americas were shocked at the abundant food crops they found. My research is exploring how, 200 years ago, Native American agriculturalists around the Great Lakes and along the Missouri and Red rivers fed fur traders with their diverse vegetable products.</p>
Displaced From the Land<p>As Euro-Americans settled permanently on the most fertile North American lands and acquired seeds that Native growers had carefully bred, they imposed policies that <a href="https://doi.org/10.1086/ahr/87.2.550" target="_blank">made Native farming practices impossible</a>. In 1830 President Andrew Jackson signed the <a href="https://guides.loc.gov/indian-removal-act" target="_blank">Indian Removal Act</a>, which made it official U.S. policy to force Native peoples from their home locations, pushing them onto subpar lands.</p><p>On reservations, U.S. government officials discouraged Native women from cultivating anything larger than small garden plots and pressured Native men to practice Euro-American style monoculture. Allotment policies assigned small plots to nuclear families, further limiting Native Americans' access to land and preventing them from using communal farming practices.</p><p>Native children were forced to attend boarding schools, where they had no opportunity to <a href="https://doi.org/10.5749/jamerindieduc.57.1.0145" target="_blank">learn Native agriculture techniques or preservation and preparation of Indigenous foods</a>. Instead they were forced to eat Western foods, turning their palates away from their traditional preferences. Taken together, these policies <a href="https://kansaspress.ku.edu/978-0-7006-0802-7.html" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">almost entirely eradicated three sisters agriculture</a> from Native communities in the Midwest by the 1930s.</p>
Reviving Native Agriculture<p>Today Native people all over the U.S. are working diligently to <a href="https://www.oupress.com/books/15107980/indigenous-food-sovereignty-in-the-united-sta" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">reclaim Indigenous varieties of corn, beans, squash, sunflowers and other crops</a>. This effort is important for many reasons.</p><p>Improving Native people's access to healthy, culturally appropriate foods will help lower rates of <a href="https://www.cdc.gov/vitalsigns/aian-diabetes/index.html" target="_blank">diabetes</a> and <a href="https://www.apa.org/pi/oema/resources/ethnicity-health/native-american/obesity" target="_blank">obesity</a>, which affect Native Americans at disproportionately high rates. Sharing traditional knowledge about agriculture is a way for elders to pass cultural information along to younger generations. Indigenous growing techniques also protect the lands that Native nations now inhabit, and can potentially benefit the wider ecosystems around them.</p>
By Jake Johnson
Amid reports that oil industry-friendly former Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz remains under consideration to return to his old post in the incoming Biden administration, a diverse coalition of environmental groups is mobilizing for an "all-out push" to keep Moniz away from the White House and demand a cabinet willing to boldly confront the corporations responsible for the climate emergency.