SAVE THE DATE:
THE 20th ANNUAL EARTH DAY BEACH CLEAN-UP
Saturday April 21, 2012, 10:00 am
Join VCS for a great
family event and annual tradition. This year we expect to clean over 20
of our beaches -- look for a complete list on our website soon!
If you would like to volunteer, please give us a call at the office (508-693-9588), or email email@example.com.
Visit our Website
Support Vineyard Conservation
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Quote of the Week
"Just refrigerator efficiency saves more energy than all that we're
generating from renewables, excluding hydroelectric power . . . I cannot
impress upon you how important energy efficiency is. It doesn't mean
you eat lukewarm food and your beers are lukewarm. You can still have
it; you just make a better thing"
-- Steven Chu, U.S. Secretary of Energy
Climate Reality Project Presents:
The Climate Crisis is Real & We Know How to Solve It
Tuesday, March 27, 7:00 pm at the VH Library
Mary Jane Sorrentino, an experienced presenter from the Climate Reality Project
will make suggestions for what role citizens can play in addressing
what the Pentagon calls the greatest long-term threat to our nation. The
Project aims "to reveal the complete truth about the climate crisis in a
way that ignites the moral courage in each of us."
Nursery School Naturalists
Thursday, Mar 29 (also Apr 5), 10:00 to 11:00 am, Felix Neck, Edgartown.
Join Felix Neck for this series
introducing young children and their parents to the delights of nature
at a hands-on level in an unhurried atmosphere. Each session includes an
introduction indoors, story, craft and a hike, stopping to discover
nature's treasures along the way. For children ages 3-5 with a
parent/friend. Younger siblings in strollers/backpacks welcome. Cost
($6.00m / $9.00nm) is per child, no cost for accompanying adults.
Drop-ins welcome, pre-registration preferred. For more info, call (508)
Land Bank Natural History Walk
Sunday, Apr 1, 1:00 pm, West Tisbury.
Join Land Bank staff for a free natural history walk through Wompesket Preserve. For more info, see the walks announcement
and the web page for the property
Electronics Disposal Day
Saturday, Apr 7, 9:00 am to 2:00 pm, Oak Bluffs.
Many electronic devices and appliances contain toxic chemicals that can
be harmful if not disposed of properly -- not to mention, it's expensive
to get rid of them! Bring your burdensome junk to the MV Community
Services campus (across the street from the high school) this Saturday.
Fees range from $1 - $30 and benefit Community Services. For more info,
In Season Recipe
Quick and Easy Local Lamb Roast
We are fortunate to have many great sources of local lamb, but do call first to check on availability:
ALLEN FARM SHEEP & WOOL
421 South Road, Chilmark, 645-9064
MERMAID FARM AND DAIRY
9 Middle Road, Chilmark, 645-3492
State Road, West Tisbury, www.allenwhiting.com
FLAT POINT FARM
Road to Great Neck, off New Lane, West Tisbury, 693-5685
Northern Pines Road off Lambert’s Cove Rd, Tisbury, 693-7354
THE FARM INSTITUTE
Katama Farm, 14 Aero Avenue, Edgartown, 627-7007
1 (5-pound) leg of lamb
3 cloves garlic, cut into slivers
3 teaspoons dried dill weed
1 1/2 teaspoons salt
1 teaspoon dried rosemary, crushed
1/2 teaspoon ground black pepper
Note: A unanimous 5-star recipe from allrecipes.com
Preheat the oven to 325 degrees F (165 degrees C).
Puncture the leg of lamb with
the tip of a knife just far enough to insert slivers of garlic into the
holes. Mix together the dill, salt and rosemary, and rub over the leg of
Place the lamb, fatty side up, on a rack in a shallow roasting pan.
Roast uncovered for 2 to 2 1/2
hours in the preheated oven, to an internal temperature of 155 degrees F
(68 degrees C) for medium. Tent with aluminum foil and let stand for 15
to 20 minutes before carving. The lamb will continue to cook a little
bit, and the juices will set up better for carving.
|Monday, March 26, 2012
hard freeze is possible tonight, with forecast lows of 27 - 28 deg F,
so take care if anything fragile is already growing outside!
Earth Hour Reconsidered
Lights Out, Everyone! (image of Sydney Opera House and Harbour Bridge from Wikimedia Commons contributor "madradish")
Earth Hour 2012 takes place this Saturday night from 8:30 to 9:30. As in
previous years, the environmentally conscious will be turning off all
non-essential lights and electrical devices for an hour to draw
attention to the problem of global climate change and our over-reliance
on fossil fuel derived electricity. Global participation in the annual
event, originally conceived by the World Wildlife Fund in 2007, has
grown tremendously over the past five years. However, here on Martha’s
Vineyard, the story is more complicated. In 2008, we were one of
relatively few communities to pioneer the spread of Earth Hour from its
origin in Sydney, Australia, and the effect on energy consumption was
significant: NStar estimated a reduction of 0.8 megawatts in the Vineyard's electricity usage for the hour, enough to power 750 to 1000 homes. In 2009, the reduction was estimated at 1.5 megawatts. But something happened in 2010; despite plenty of publicity, apparently very few participated, with NStar finding no significant reduction in power usage at all (all Gazette links subscription req’d).
There’s no obvious explanation for the decline in enthusiasm, but there
are valid reasons to reconsider the concept of Earth Hour, both as a
practical method of reducing energy use, and as effective advocacy for
environmental protection. Energy experts have pointed out that the
one-hour event does not actually reduce carbon emissions
because power companies don't reduce the amount of electricity they put
into the system; instead, there is simply less of the supply used, with
the rest wasted. Further, the nearly synchronous re-lighting at the end
of the hour puts a huge strain on the electrical grid. But more
important (though less concrete) are the political and psychological
considerations. To some extent, Earth Hour surely has achieved its goal
as described by the WWF, which – to be fair – is not to directly reduce
carbon emissions, but to raise awareness of the problem of climate
change. However, viewed as political messaging, it's been a mixed bag:
it has also become a powerful cudgel to be wielded by the opponents of
environmentalism, touted as evidence that the green movement is
fundamentally opposed to progress and prosperity, and that what we truly
desire (secretly, down in our scheming hearts) is to return humanity to
the Stone Age. Because this typically comes from the same intellectual
ground as the other conspiracy theories claiming that environmentalism
is insincere, and really about controlling the economy and people’s
behavior, this idea may also seem easy to dismiss. But in the case of
Earth Hour, I fear they're on to something. To some,
the imagery of the planet going dark isn't beautiful, or peaceful; it's
frightening, or primitive, or impoverished. And every time a crime is
committed, or a medical emergency occurs during the hour, it is sure to
be highlighted by the usual suspects.
Now, all those caveats aside, we don’t want to ruin everyone's Earth
Hour! It is still visually striking, a wonderful display of community
action, and a reminder of all that is good about a simpler way of life.
But if the criticisms above resonate, or you just don't want to turn out
the lights for personal reasons, VCS has an Earth Hour alternative
suggestion. Let's call it Efficiency Hour: this Saturday night, spend an
hour on a project or two that will have a real impact on reducing
carbon emissions for the rest of the day, week, and year. Check the car
tires and pump them up if they need it. If they don't, maybe it's time
for an oil change or new air filter. Pick up some spray foam insulation
and fill any cracks where there's a draft, or replace worn weather
stripping. Grab a stake, some garlic, and an extra power strip and go
hunting for “power vampires”
– there's always one more hiding somewhere in the house. No ideas come
to mind? Call Cape Light Compact at (800) 797-6699 for a free home energy assessment; they’ll even pick up a large portion of the cost of improvements.
If this doesn't sound like a lot of fun for a Saturday night, you could
always reschedule Efficiency Hour for 8:30 A.M. – we won't tell anyone.
Or, for a different type of Earth Hour, go vegetarian or locally grown
for dinner; either (or both!) will reduce the carbon footprint of our
most necessary activity. We just ask that if you choose to embrace both
Earth Hour and Efficiency Hour, definitely go with the morning
alternative; home improvement by candlelight seems unwise.
Chilmark Mulls Mega-Mansions
For more than 10 years, VCS has been working to encourage community
conversation about large-scale, high-impact residential development.
Lately, these efforts have been increasingly successful, with Chilmark
the most recent town to seriously consider the issue of regulating
construction of giant houses. As described in the Gazette, the town
Planning Board is considering the requirement of a special permit,
a step that would not prohibit the building of “mega-mansions” but
would allow for addition time to review the impacts of the species
proposal. See the previous link for more information on the current
proceedings in Chilmark; click here for a recent letter from VCS Executive Director Brendan O’Neill laying out our position in more detail.
Real Solutions to High Gas Prices
Looks like a campaign button, right? Think bigger.
Despite their promises, there’s nothing any American politician can do
to lower the price of gas to $2.50 a gallon. That’s just not how
international markets featuring limited supply and growing demand work.
We could modestly lower the cost (or, perhaps, slow its increase) by
drilling everything and pipelining everywhere, but there are smarter
alternatives. One such method, being promoted by the Union of Concerned
Scientists, is a National Oil Savings Plan.
If you’re concerned about climate change, toxic pollution, or just the
cost of filling up, please take advantage of UCS’s resources to more
effectively contact local representatives or write a letter to the local papers.