Third Thursday of each month
at 6:30 p.m.
Where: Huntington Woods Library, 26415 Scotia Road, Huntington Woods, MI.
Contact: Ed McArdle, Chair, email@example.com
Conservation Committee works in coalition with area
environmental and community organizations on a variety of
issues. Current priority issues include the following:
Opposition to Coal and Nuclear power plants.
Support for Energy Efficiency and Sustainable Energy
• Opposition to Trash Incineration
in Detroit and Macomb County
• Promotion of Recycling as an alternative
to incineration, and an excellent way to save energy and make
• Air Quality
• Protection of Public Lands
Sibley Prairie Complex: The Next Nature Preserve
• Urban Sprawl/Wetlands
• Support for Mass Transport and low-GHG Transportation
• Opposition to CAFOs and Genetically Modified
Food & Support for Sustainable Argicultural
For more information, contact Ed McArdle
at 313-388-6645, or firstname.lastname@example.org
Blue Water Committee (a subcommittee)
fourth Wednesday of each month
at 7 p.m. September to November and January to May (please check on November meeting)
Where: Community Resource Room, 514 Mcmorran Boulevard, Port Huron, MI.
Contact: Kay Cumbow: email@example.com or 810-346-4513 or
Jane Danjin: firstname.lastname@example.org
Since 2008, the Blue Water Sierra Club, a subcommittee of the SEMG's Conservation Committee, has offered local programs and outings in Port Huron and the surrounding St. Clair County area. It was founded by dedicated Sierra Club members and environmentalists, who wanted to ensure a healthy community through Sierra Club's important precepts of education, community activism and enjoyment of the outdoors through Outings.
The St. Clair County landscape was shaped by multiple glacial advances and retreats and their melt waters. The Port Huron moraine defines the form of the Black River in northern St. Clair County, and a large glacial lake plain spans much of the eastern side of the county. We have many unique natural features, including the largest freshwater delta in the world.
To the east our neighbors are Canada, Aamjiwnaang (the Chippewa Reserve near Sarnia) and Bkejwanong, (Walpole Island - unceded land of peoples of the Three Fires.) Together we share the waters of Lake Huron, the St. Clair River and Lake St. Clair. The last two are important connecting channels (along with the Detroit River, further south) that tie the upper Great Lakes to Lake Erie. Our watersheds include the Mill Creek/Black River, the Pine River, the Belle River and their tributaries. St. Clair County is home to beautiful state, county and municipal parks, forests, and bike paths. However, we also face serious environmental and health problems from long-time industrial, urban and agricultural pollution. Chemical Valley, located adjacent to Sarnia, Ontario, Canada, with its large oil refineries, petrochemical laboratories and plants, has left a persistent chemical footprint on the St. Clair River and communities downstream.
No more than 100 miles from Port Huron is a planned nuclear waste repository, close to Lake Huron, near the Bruce Nuclear Generating Station, in Ontario, Canada. Many of us are concerned about the short and long-term harm that may come to the water and the land in the entire Great Lakes area if this underground storage site is established.
As Sierra Club members, we believe that citizen involvement in nature and community education is key to a healthier future. We welcome your participation in the Blue Water committee's events and outings:
that informs environmental action. A number of public
education projects need to be stepped-up due to their urgency.
When we the public understand the interconnections between
issues, and what they mean to us, of concepts like "Peak-Oil,"
Global Warming, Population Growth, Resource Scarcity (Food,
Clean Water and Air, Fertile Soil...) then we'll know that
time is past due for the U.S. to make an all-out effort to
lead humanity to a sustainable future. This can be very good
for us and our economic future, as well as for everybody else
and every living thing on the planet. This importance is especially
true of our energy policies and our need to build out our
renewable energy future.
LOSE NUKES & GET FIT (Feed-In-Tariff)
Nuclear Power is not the answer to global warming
- Not carbon free when you consider the life cycle of prospecting, mining, milling, enriching and construction. The life cycle of uranium leaves a trail of human exposure to deadly radiation. The largest single user of electrical power in the U.S. is the enrichment plant in Paducah, Ky.
- Every nuclear power station emits radioactive isotopes.
- After 60 years there is still no final depository for high level waste. Currently nearly 2,000 tons of highly radioactive waste deadly for millions of years are being stored in pools of water or dry casks along the shores of the Great Lakes
- Nuclear plants are dangerous; Davis-Besse near Toledo had a near meltdown in 2002. Fermi 1 near Monroe, MI was the subject of a 1974 book "We almost Lost Detroit". Out of 104 U.S. reactors there were 14 near misses in 2010 according to the NRC.
- Not affordable- Fermi 3 proposed by DTE is estimated to cost $15 billion+ and take 10 – 15 years to build. Nuclear industry relies on huge taxpayer subsidies and could increase electric rates by 40%.
- Not needed—DTE's forecast is a sales decline for electricity every year through 2020 in part due to the bad economy, loss of population, energy efficiency programs and renewables coming on line. And this is with only a tepid 10% Renewable requirement and 1% per year energy efficiency target, which is much lower than most states and countries. We can do far better.
- According to a study in Scientific American (Nov. 2009), it is possible to get all energy from wind, water and solar by 2030 with present technology. How to get there? – With a Feed-In-Tariff .
- A FIT allows homeowners, farmers, and businesses to sell renewable energy into the electrical grid for a guaranteed reasonable profit usually for a 15-20 year contract with only a modest increase in electric rates.
- A FIT is the most effective and least costly method to accelerate renewable energy according to U.S. Department of Energy. Over 80 countries, the state of Vermont, Gainesville, FL public utility and recently Ontario have adopted versions of a FIT.
- A well-designed FIT attracts manufacturers and suppliers of renewable energy. Ontario's FIT passed last year has already attracted 60 suppliers and manufacturers. Ontario expects to create 70,000 jobs in solar alone. Germany, the originator of the FIT concept claims over 300,000 jobs created because of the FIT. The Ontario government has promised to shut down North America's largest coal at Nanticoke and has canceled 4 new nuclear proposals but unfortunately is proposing 2 new nukes.
- Michigan is especially fit for a FIT. – Good wind especially offshore, more sunlight than even Germany, industrial infrastructure, trained workers, and a rising renewable sector. Wind and solar manufacturers are already here. Let's keep Michigan dollars in Michigan instead of purchasing dirty coal from Appalachia and Wyoming and uranium from Canada and Australia.
To begin with, consider
the concept of "Peak-Oil."
At the SEMG General Membership Meeting of March 6, 2008 we
had the Film Presentation
of “A Crude Awakening:
The Oil Crash” which is all about "Peak-Oil"
and what it means for us all:
Al Gore presented us with
“The Inconvenient Truth” about
global warming in 2006. Now comes “A Crude
Awakening: The Oil Crash” from the award-winning
European journalists and filmmakers Basil Gelpke and Ray
McCormack. This film tells the story of how our civilization’s
addiction to oil puts it on a collision course with geology.
Compelling, intelligent and highly entertaining, this documentary
film interviews the world’s top experts and comes
to the startling, but logical conclusion—our industrial
society, built on cheap and readily available oil, must
be completely re-tooled and re-imagined. After the film,
we had a guided discussion about peak oil and sustainable
“local future” strategies for metro Detroit.
Here are some web links for those who would like to pursue
understanding "Peak-Oil" further:
Local Future is an organization that develops compassionate,
sustainable, local, community systems to provide basic needs
such as food, energy, transportation, community services,
money and jobs. Local Future hosts the International Conference
on Peak Oil and Climate Change: Paths to Sustainability.
NEW! - Watch
conference presentations & download podcasts for free.
"The purpose of this website is to give you up-to-date
links to all the information you need to understand Peak
Oil and what you can do to deal with its consequences."
news by category; home, search, peak oil primer, about us,
contribute; Related Issues; Regions; Resources (Oil, Natural
Gass, Tar Sands, Shale Oil, Coal, Methane, Nuclear, Other
Resource Depletion, renewables...)
Discussions (and videos) about Energy and our Future; "Cassandra's
curse: how "The Limits to Growth" was demonized"
gets us into trouble is not what we don't know,
it's what we know for sure that just ain't so.”
New to Peak Oil? If this is the first time you are hearing
about Peak Oil, you are among the majority of the population.
In the book, "Plan
B 3.0," “Lester
R. Brown gives concise, but very informative, summaries
of what he regards as the key issues facing civilization
as a consequence of the stress we put on our environment.
. . . a valuable contribution to the ongoing debate.”
—The Ecologist. Download
the whole book (and
It's also good to buy a case to pass out at local activist'
meetings. We plan to start a book club in the Fall of 2008
with this as the first book.
Nuclear Power Plants and Uranium Mining.
The Sierra Club has national policies
that oppose these plants and mines, here are some
fact sheets and websites to help you understand why, and what
you can do to help. URGENT! stop Fermi 3
from being built in Monroe, MI!
those looking for the (MORE) content
to the article from the THE ACTIVIST Vol. 26, Issue 1,
"NEW NUCLEAR PROPOSALS IMPACT MICHIGAN AND THE GREAT
LAKES," click for the link to the complete article:
McArdle, Conservation Chair, submits this (PDF) fact sheet
about nuclear power in Michigan.
Here is the Club's fact sheet, “The Basics of Nuclear
Nuclear This organization is a great source of information
and might help in appreciating the Sierra Club endorsed
presidential candidate Obama (whose policies oppose nuclear
power to the extent of a few caveats), versus the unendorsed
McCain (who is gung-ho for 40+ more of these unsustainable,
expensive, nuclear accidents-waiting-to-happen, power plants.
J. Keegan, Coalition for a
Nuclear Free Great Lakes.
- DWM. "The
MIDWEST"S YUCCA MOUNTAIN," The Canadian nuclear
industry and government are proposing to bury all of Ontario's
"low" and "intermediate" level radioactive
wastes (at the
Deep Geological Repository in Kincardine, ON) 1 kilometer
(0.6 miles) from the Lake Huron shoreline at the Bruce Nuclear
Complex, just 50 miles east across Lake Huron from Michigan.
Ontario has a whopping 20 nuclear reactors (by comparison,
Illinois is the U.S. state with the most reactors, with
"just" 12 operating reactors; Michigan has "just"
4 still-operating reactors, and 1 permanently shutdown reactor).
That's a lot of radioactive waste targeted for burial on
Canada's Lake Huron shoreline!"
Opposing Construction to Deep Geological Repository in Kincardine,
ON (Near "Bruce").
Lakes United, "With an
energy crisis looming across the eastern seaboard, several
jurisdictions are contemplating nuclear revival to meet
demand. Great Lakes United points this discourse to the
legacy of radioactive waste in storage facilities along
the shores of the Great Lakes and to the enrichment and
processing facilities that provide feedstock to a radioactive
future. Nuclear fuel is mined in your neighbor's backyard
and the waste is stored in yours. It’s not cheap.
it’s not safe. it’s not good.
Great Lakes United
is building a coalition of community groups from across
the Great Lakes basin. We’d like to know your thoughts
on a nuclear-free clean future, email us at: email@example.com.
Information and Resource Service, Routine
Radioactive Releases, Aging Reactors, Reactor Accidents;
Water and Reactors; Emergency Preparedness, Nuclear Security,
Fire Protection, Mother Nature & Nukes, Counterfeit
Parts, Price Anderson Act, Decommissioning, Licensed to
Kill, and NIX/MOX (militarization, and plutonium proliferation).
Act of 1957, United States (Encylopedia
of Earth - Content, Credibility, Community)
Nuclear, an article on nuclear's
high costs and poor advantages by By Amory B. Lovins, Imran
Sheikh, and Alex Markevich found on the Rocky Mountain Institute's
This [PDF] "Uranium
Fact sheet" comes from IEER
(Institute for Energy and Environmental Research)'s website
where a great number of factsheets and a full, free PDF
book can also be found: http://www.ieer.org
The book, "Carbon-Free and
Nuclear-Free: A Roadmap for U.S. Energy Policy" covers
a great many subjects including a large section on some
pros and cons of biofuels.
• • • • •
• • • • •
Protection of Public
Lands. The Sierra Club continues
to work hard to protect southeast Michigan's wetlands and
other sensitive habitats, such as Humbug Marsh.
Michigan Tomorrow (PMT), Land
Policy Institute 3rd Fl. Manly Miles Bldg., 1405 S. Harrison
Rd., East Lansing, MI 48823 PH: 517.432.8800 Fax: 517.432.8769.
This site gives us a way to visualize changes in land use
into the future.
• • • • • •
• • • •
any other name... (including
mass-burn, gasification, pyrolysis, plasma arc, refuse derived
fuel and other incinerator technologies. [PDF] Learn
Up" Metro Times article from May 21-27,
2008 Issue; Incinerators
Here's the latest on the Detroit Incinerator. "When
Detroit Deputy Mayor Anthony Adams spoke at a "stop
the incinerator" rally last week, it was a little bit
like walking into a lion's den and then poking the lion
with a sharp stick.... "
up" (Metro Times) Detroit incinerator's
by Curt Guyette 4/30/2008 (Dirty business down in Motown)
[Google Search Link] Zero
Sierra Club (PROPOSED Policy) Zero Waste – Cradle-to-Cradle
Principles for the 21st Century. [PDF] Sierra
Conservation Policies. Approved by the Sierra Club Board
of Directors, February 23, 2008.
The National Sierra Club has a whole [Weblink] "Zero
Waste" committee and website section (http://www.sierraclub.org/committees/zerowaste/).
And, among the great links
from that page are:
Waste - Don't Burn or Bury Garbage (http://www.sierraclub.org/committees/zerowaste/garbage/)
is Not Renewable Energyand,
Garbage from Renewable Energy Standards
Here's what you need
to know to fight back:
Trash Michigan (For more information, go to: http://www.stoptrash.org/.)
The Sierra Club endorses the "Don't Trash Michigan"
campaign, a movement whose focus is to clean up Michigan
by working to reduce the amount of trash that comes into
the state from Canada and Michigan’s neighboring states.
This group also works to improve recycling and end illegal
dumping in Michigan communities.
Story of Stuff Video (as seen in the SEMG General Membership
Program 5-1-08). Watch the 20 minute video about the value
of recycling, the life cycle of consumer products, and trash:
. While you're there,
check out the [Weblink] "Resources"
Section; especially about [Weblink] "Another
Way." And don't miss the [Weblink] "Recommended
Reading" section, for example, there's lots of
info about [Weblink] "Another
Way, Taking Action, Solutions." “Zero
Waste." We have the right, and duty, to speak out
about community well being.
Bottled Water (just
May 16, 2008 7:12 PM, On Behalf Of Carl Pope
At the suggestion of a number of
Sierra Club volunteer leaders, and in agreement with the Club's
overall value of using resources efficiently and avoiding
waste, bottled water should no longer to be offered at any
Sierra Club event or be sold from any Sierra Club office vending
machine. For additional information on the down side of using
bottled water, please visit the following Sierra Club web
Eco Friendly Organic
Lawn and Garden
After extensive research on how to do lawns organically (without
artificial pesticides or fertilizers), I (Hal Newnan) discovered
Our lawns in South East Michigan are cold-grass types whose
roots are only growing during 2 periods each year:
1) a) a short time (about a
month in the Spring, about the 2nd Week in May, right after
the Forsythia bloom (I have lots on the Northern edge of
my property), and
1) b) from mid-September to the end of October. This second
period is the better time to apply fertilizer if you are
only going to do one application.
The "1) a)" period is a good time to put down
an application of Corn Gluten because it inhibits the germination
of broad leafed weeds (including crab grass, dandelions,
and others that are considered unsightly). Corn Gluten also
slowly releases nitrogen which is good for your lawn and
okay for the environment.
A second application of Corn Gluten about 3 months later
will discourage weeds for the whole year.
For the 1) b) application (the 3rd application), I recommend
Fertrell Super N 4 - 2 - 4. It's another slow release (very
good!) organic fertilizer; as it says on the package: "An
organic plant food for all plants" (including vegetables,
flowers, african violets, roses, shrubs, and bulbs of all
kinds). "It encourages earthworms and feeds soil bacteria
and the diverse micro-organisms that constitute a healthy
Eco Friendly Organic
Lawn and Garden Supplies
Where do you get this stuff at the best price? Many garden
supply stores might carry similar products. I recommend
(but the Sierra Club does NOT endorse):
1.) Uncle Luke's Garden Supplies
Troy MI 48098-1540
Questions? I recommend asking Dale of Uncle Luke's
2) GardensAlive.com (this is a mail-order online store and
Gardens Alive! (Indiana)
Contact Us. Our Customer Service team is here to help in
anyway we can. Please drop our Customer Service department
a note, or give us a call weekdays at (513)354-1483
SOCRRA Communities - Recycling
SOCRRA link: http://www.socrra.org/srr.htm
In this website you can find the list of hazardous materials
which they will take along with the phone number to make
an appointment for drop off. You will need to show ID to
verify that you are a resident of one of the listed cities
participating in this recycling program.
Most rain barrels are fairly expensive. However deals can
be found; buyer beware. These barrels are made of food grade
plastic. Please keep in mind that shipping costs might increase
their price. Here are the links:
Craigslist -Metro Detroit ==>
(Most are 55 gal, prices range from $65- $95)
You can also find some out of state sales in ebay ===>
Our tour hosts, Anne & Peter, said that plastic
barrels don't last very long (approximately 3 yrs).
Wooden barrels are preferable. They got
their gorgeous barrel at California Wine Grape Co. in Detroit
and adapted it into a rain barrel. Peter said that wine
barrels are very expensive, but this company also sells
barrels that contained vanilla which are
a lot cheaper.
Also, rain gardens don't necessarily have to be in a land
rain garden fact-sheet (http://www.raingardens.org/docs/rain_garden_factsheet.pdf)
says the best rain garden location is "down-slope from
building foundations and up-slope from storm drain infrastructure".
Last but not least... below is the link to the Rain Garden
Tour pictures. I, Italia, took over 90 shots! If you would
like to have any of these, e-mail me the photo description
and I will send you the file.
Sierra Club - Rain Garden
About the set, there are 45 pictures | of the Rain Garden
& Lawn Elimination
Tour - Birmingham, MI, 5/17/2008
Crude – The Bottom of the Barrel
By Ed McArdle, January 5, 2008:
In the debate over record high gas prices, some experts point
to dwindling supplies unable to meet soaring demand while
others stress lack of refinery capacity in the U.S. Marathon
Oil located in southwest Detroit at Fort St. and Schaefer
is Michigan’s only oil refinery. Download the complete
essay here: MarathonOil.pdf.
thanks but NO THANKS....
Subject: catalogs, thanks but no thanks....
Date: Monday, May 12, 2008, 3:11 AM
In the latest issue of AARP magazine (perhaps you are too
young to receive it!!!)... They included a website for getting
rid of the endless number of catalogs that come to our homes
each day. "every
year these catalogs consume 3.6 million tons of paper and
use 53 million trees"...they
didn't even mention the poor mailperson!!!!! the website
Fairly easy to use, you can get rid of the worst offenders.... and by all means pass this on to those on your mailing list that you think may get more than their fair share.