Tag: GreenRoots

Saving History…or trying to do so

I decided that under the current circumstances, providing some distraction would not be unwarranted…and I have a bit of an update to pass along.

Tonight will be another meeting of the West Orange Zoning Board…concerning the desire of Seton Hall Prep and the Archdiocese of Newark to turn McClellan Old-Growth Forest into sports fields and parking lots.

For those who haven’t been following, that is General-in-Chief of the Union Army George Brinton McClellan, who was fired by President Lincoln

If General McClellan does not want to use the army, I would like to borrow it for a time.

–Abraham Lincoln

…and subsequently ran against Lincoln for president as an anti-war Democrat in 1864.  McClellan was also governor of New Jersey from 1878 to 1881.

Community Action: Working to Save our Environment

A student with one of the trees

Never underestimate the power of a small but committed group of people to change the world. Indeed, it is the only thing that ever has.” – Margaret Mead

This is another update of a the original piece Save the Trees.  The first update was DK Greenroots:  Saving the trees…and maybe the bats.

Here in West Orange, NJ, past home of Thomas Alva Edison and present home of Whoopi Goldberg, a small but committed group of people is fighting the powers that be…in this case the West Orange Zoning Commission and Seton Hall Prep (and through it, the Archdiocese of Newark) in order to prevent the demolition of McClellan Old-Growth Forest in order to build sports fields.

I’m posting tonight in order to provide a conduit between those local voices and a larger community of activists.  At least I hope so.

EcoJustice: About Darfur, Part 1.


There is a years long grisly struggle between ethnic groups in Darfur — with one government-backed militia brutalizing civilians with ethnic connections to the guerrilla rebels they fight. There is a refugee crisis, starvation, drought, and horrible violence.

The conflict in Darfur is complicated. It has several causes, and the people who fight sometimes do so for different reasons. Sudan is riddled with deep ethnic divides, fueled by the colonialism that favored one ethnic group over others. There is political posturing and finger pointing in Khartoum that might occupy a handful of doctoral theses on the subject before we understand it all. But at least two of the reasons this conflict persists are rooted in ecojustice: desertification and oil. And that oil doesn’t even lie under Darfur.

EcoJustice: How is the dream?


Forty six years ago, Dr. Martin Luther King Jr. delivered I Have a Dream. In that speech, even one hundered years after emancipation, he spoke of black communities crippled by segregation and discrimination. They lived, ‘on a lonely island of poverty in the midst of a vast ocean of material prosperity.’

Today, blacks participate in all levels of professional society and leadership. We have a beautiful first family, former Secretaries of State, and even Supreme Court judges. It is common to see black lawmakers, doctors, lawyers, business professionals, and professors. Perhaps that ocean is embracing the island. One might think that discrimination is a thing of the past — that America is a place that tends toward racial equality…

Discrimination is a hellhound that gnaws at Negroes in every waking moment of their lives to remind them that the lie of their inferiority is accepted as truth in the society dominating them. –Dr. Martin Luther King, Jr.

If Dr. King could return and look at America, would he say the same thing today?

Fighting War on the Backlines


We often gauge a war by who conquers whom, and look to which army stands at the gates when the fighting ends. We talk about insurgents and militias and which warlords control what parts of the globe. So often, we fail to see the distinction between winning the war and creating the peace.

When we look at the outcome of war, we talk about property damage, refugee camps, monetary cost, number wounded, and how many people died. We rarely mention life. If our goal is to overcome anti-American extremism, we have to talk about how people live. How do people survive in the midst of war? How do they rebuild their communities?

An army can win a war on the frontlines, but creating a peace takes a backline effort — work that our government cannot do as a unilateral occupying force. This is work that must be done in the non-profit sector by active people like us. Winning the peace is a matter of empowering the survivors of war in their everyday lives.

Winning the peace is a matter of ecojustice.  

GreenRoots: Inhofe v Galileo. Speak not in the ears of a fool.

KuangSi2Senator Inhofe commonly makes claims about the science of global warming. When Chris Mooney asked about Inhofe’s disdain for the scientific mainstream, a member of his committee staff responded

How do you define ‘mainstream’? Scientists who accept the so-called ‘consensus’ about global warming? Galileo was not mainstream.


Galileo’s spirit looked on, more than a little irritated. But it wasn’t provoked to return until Inhofe said:

…God’s still up there. We’re going through these cycles…The [AGW] science really isn’t there.

That very night in Inhofe’s office, a spectre rose up from the floor in a great, billowing cloud.

California State Parks will close after Labor Day. Take action.


The California state budget crisis lead to a sharp funding reduction for the State Park system — a proposed total of more than $143 million from a budget already operating on a shoestring. One hundred or more California State Parks are expected to close after Labor Day weekend, and the list of parks on the chopping block has not yet been announced.

Today I want to share one of my favorite places threatened by the budget crisis — that is Calaveras Big Trees State Park. It contains a stand of Giant Sequoia, the rare and famous Sierra Redwood, and holds a telling history about our approach to the natural world. The Sequoia are the biggest living creatures on the earth today, and some of the trees in these small groves are more than 3000 years old.