Step it Up 2007 at Dartmouth

Bernie Sanders at Step It Up 2007

The Upper Valley joined the national Step It Up movement scheduled to take place nationwide on April 14, 2007. There were events that ranged from skiing in Wyoming to diving on a coral reef in Florida.
A little after one o’clock a group of walkers along with Senator Bernie Sanders crossed the Ledyard Bridge and walked up the hill to the Dartmouth Green. Several groups has set up display tables including VINS, the Sierra Club, Upper Valley Localvores and Advanced Transit. Senator Sanders was the first of several inspiring speakers for the event. The vegetable oil powered Big Green Bus was there along with another car that was also powered by vegetable oil and diesel.

Green Bags from the Co-op

Co-op Green Bag

I happen to see some some re-useable shopping bags for sale at the Co-op in Lebanon. I remembered Valerie’s Friday Five about recycling and knew I should buy some. I am guilty of throwing away many shopping bags, both paper and plastic, over my life. I thought it would be a good opportunity to do more reducing and reusing. There was an info sheet with the bags that has some interesting facts.

  • Plastic bags can take up to 1000 years to degrade and leave permenant toxins in the soil and water.
  • Paper bags create 70% more air and 50 times more water pollutants than plastic bags.
  • Plastic bags kill millions of sea creatures a year.
  • The US uses 14 million trees and 12 million barrels of oil per year in the manufacture of shopping bags.
  • The US uses approximately 100 billion plastic and 10 billion paper bags each year.
  • Less than 5% of bags are recycled nationally.

This seems to be an easy way to reduce my environemntal impact. I discovered they hold more than plastic bags. The Co-op also give you five cents off your bill per bag.

Current Events: Shiite rallies mark anniversary of Baghdad’s fall

This is a quote from an MSNBC article about the Shiite rallies on Monday, April 9th, 2007.

The rally was called for by powerful Shiite cleric Muqtada al-Sadr, who commands an enormous following among Iraq’s majority Shiites and has close allies in the Shiite-dominated government.

A day earlier, the renegade cleric issued a statement ordering his militiamen to redouble their battle to oust American forces and argued that Iraq’s army and police should join him in defeating “your archenemy.”

It appears that even even a portion of the Shiite population wants the US to leave. We are viewed as foreign occupiers rather than a force provifing security while Iraq forms a government. This is one very compelling reason to get the hell out. I have heard it said that our government is afraid that Iran will sweep in and take control if we leave. It has been said that would be bad for the region. I’m not sure that is a good enough reason to stay if people in Iraq want us out.

On TV: Planet Earth

Shallow SeasDesertsPole to PoleForests

The Discovery Channel is showing a fantastic new 11 part mini-series called Planet Earth.
The series is narrated by Sigourney Weaver and features some amazing Cinematography. I have seen part of the third episode (See the episode guide) titled Deep Oceans and all of Deserts and Ice Worlds. Next week on April 8, 2007 at 8pm, they are showing an episode titled Shallow Seas that looks very good.