Tag Archives: environment

Dee’s Green Party of Utah Party Office Candidate Speech

Yesterday (June 24) the Green Party of Utah held its state convention. Candidates for party offices were elected and Dr. Jill Stein was our guest speaker.

I was elected to state delegate to the national Green Party and as a state Grassroots Coorindator.  This is the speech I prepared, part of it was earmarked for an acceptance speech, but we ran behind so I did not get to deliver it in person, so I offer a slightly modified version of it here.

———-

Good afternoon , my name is Deanna Dee Taylor and I am a candidate for Grassroots Coordinator and  National Delegate. The following words, written by my husband Tom, hang on various walls in my home and serve as a daily reminder of what I believe.

I pledge allegiance to ALL life

in its interdependent diversity;

and to the Planet upon which it exists;

one World, under the sky, undividable

with harmony and balance for ALL.

I want to talk to you about the sunflower.

There is a project called the Fukushima Sunflower Foster Parent Project, launched in 2011 about two months after the nuclear power plant disaster. The hope was that sunflowers could be used to cleanse radiation-contaminated soil, as reported following the 1986 Chernobyl nuclear crisis. But it was determined that sunflowers actually had little effect on removing radioactive contamination, so Team Fukushima decided to focus its efforts on reviving the economy. What happened next was nothing short of miraculous, as reported in the Japan Times in 2015.

The project distributed more than 12,000 bags containing 5 grams of imported sunflower seeds to schools, businesses, groups and individuals.

Ten tons of harvested seeds were returned the following year and were then used across Fukushima to grow sunflowers, make edible oil and process used sunflower oil for fuel. As a result, people came to visit Fukushima, helping to restore the economy. The project helped to create jobs, restore businesses, and build tourism through a charter bus system that developed the use of biofuel, processed from waste sunflower oil, to power some of its route buses.

Team Fukushima represented the desires of its people to restore life from disaster through the sunflower, which is also the international symbol of nuclear disarmament and of the Green Party. As a Green Party National Delegate, I plan to represent the members of the Green Party of Utah to the national Green Party in an effort to be active in the movement to restore the interests of our people TO our people, from the disaster of our political climate today.

Since I was a small child I have loved life. I have always felt a kinship to the planet. This passion has led me down many wonderful paths as I have grown. One of those paths led me to the Green Party 17 years ago. Today I formally reaffirm my commitment to furthering the values of the Green Party through my active participation in the Green Party of Utah, and through the example I strive to live each day in alignment with the Ten Key Values. My hopes and desires for the GPUT are to see it develop as a viable party in Utah to truly represent the will of the people of this state and offer REAL choices to the state’s voters of candidates who hold the interests of the people, of the environment, and of all life, ABOVE everything else!

Most of all, my heart is with our Mother who provides us the air we breathe and water we drink, and to whom I owe my existence.

Having served as Green Party National Delegate in the past, I am familiar with the role and responsibility of Delegate to fully represent the will of the GPUT membership on all issues discussed and up for vote at the national level. I fully intend to serve on the membership’s behalf to the National Committee of the Green Party and to ensure that the values upon which the Green Party is built, are a priority.

In the words of Petra Kelly, founder of the German Green Party – the FIRST Green Party – and leader in the disarmament and social justice movements– “If there is a future, it will be Green.”

Well, that future has arrived, Green Party of Utah! And we ARE green and growing!

The Field Trip 10

tar-sands-arrests1

Detainees were put in shackles and transported to the county jail – two hours away.

June 17, 2016

I pledge allegiance To all life In its interdependent diversity.
And to the planet Upon which it exists
One world, under the sky, Undividable,
With harmony and balance For all.

~ Tom King, 2001 

I went on a field trip with friends on June 11, 2016  to study the biodiversity of the open land adjacent to the Utah Tar Sands Mine. We ended up being arrested. We are dubbing ourselves “The Field Trip 10”.

This field trip was not a direct action with anticipated legal consequences.  This field trip is an annual family tradition. Plants are studied and data are recorded in a field journal.  Comparisons are made from the previous year to witness the impact of mining on the land.

The Intergenerational Campout has been held at PR Springs on the Tavaputs Plateau for four years.  The campout is designed for people of all ages to come together to experience the beauty of the land, reflect on the legacy of future generations, witness the threat to all life forms as a result of man’s destruction, and provide education on the effects of industry on those life forms. By holding this gathering in the heart of the land that is victimized by destruction, citizens experience the direct impact on every living thing.

“Our kinship with Earth must be maintained; otherwise, we will find ourselves trapped in the center of our own paved-over souls with no way out.”

Terry Tempest Williams, Finding Beauty in a Broken World

Read the rest of the story here.

 

 

Save

Mineral and Petroleum “Literacy” Act: “Balanced” curriculum?

Legislators are on the move this year to take control of Utah’s education system (SJR1 and SJR9).  It seems that there are already steps being taken to write curriculum in the form of legislation.

Rep. Jack Draxler, R-Logan, is pushing legislation that would require educators to "consider" adding lessons into the curriculum about energy development, with the "Mineral and Petroleum Literacy Act", HB25.  The bill has passed the house and has moved on to the Senate.

Recommended by the Natural Resources, Agriculture and Environment Interim Committee, and, in Drexler’s mind, in an effort to "balance" the curriculum, the bill

seeks to "educate" children about mining and petroleum drilling. The funds for the program would come out of surplus mining profits….most Utah kids don’t know that oil, gas and coal contribute to their education, and to the state’s economy. "Most of them," he[Drexler] said, "don’t know their iPods, their toothbrushes, their homes and their roads are all products of this kind of natural resource development."

(Jillian Rayfield, TPMMuckracker, November 19, 2010, who adds "The plan, it seems, is to show young Utahans how great oil is.")

It’s not enough that information about Utah is taught in elementary and middle school Utah Studies curriculum, including industries of the Beehive state. I t is speculated by some that legislators fear the knowledge that children are receiving in other curricular areas about energy and conservation.

The Salt Lake Tribune gives this bill a "thumbs down" to this piece of legislation:

Rep. Jack Draxler, R-North Ogden, has convinced his colleagues in the House that Utah schoolchildren are learning too much about energy conservation and recycling and not enough about the benefits of drilling for gas and oil. We’re not sure why they see this as a scale that must be balanced. Somehow, they seem to fear, children will be persuaded that if conservation and recycling are good then energy development is bad. Draxler’s bill would allocate all-too-scarce dollars so that teachers can explain that Americans should continue to rely on and subsidize fossil fuels. If balance is needed, we’d like to also see an explanation of how burning carbon fuels and drilling for them are contributing to the air that’s so bad these same children can’t go outside at recess.

Not to mention education about the longevity of the natural resources being extracted and the impact to the ecosystems as a result of the degradation of the land.

The funding allocation is vague as well.  While it is stated that monies would be generated from the surplus funds of the Oil and Gas Conservation Account, which is a fund that has a state mandated cap, it doesn’t say how much would be given from that and how much beyond the cap would need to come from Utah taxpayers.

This is a biased and unbalanced piece of legislation that has not brought all interests to the table for discussion.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

It’s that time of year again….

I am being inundated with donation solicitations from organizations as a last minute reminder to get those 2010 tax write-offs taken care of.

 

While most of the solicitations I receive are from worthy organizations, here are my top picks, by all means not inclusive of all the great organizations out there doing wonderful things for our communities and our world, along with links to their websites:

 

UTAH:

OUTSIDE OF UTAH

Dee’s top pick for political organization support (NOTE:  Not tax deductible) 

Still We Rise

The last day of the Utah Legislature for 2010 saw a rally by students called “Still We Rise”, a group of activists, students and community members which unveiled  a “Student Bill of Rights.”

https://i2.wp.com/uol.sltrib.com/tribphoto/photos/2010/xgractivistrallylh47_0311.jpg

(Leah Hogsten | The Salt Lake Tribune)

Rally Statement:

“We the Communities take back the power to declare our inalienable rights that have been promised but not practiced. We rise to protect our civil liberties and to show our legislators they will be held accountable for their actions today and tomorrow. We march to the heartbeats of our ancestors and we rise together united by our struggles.”

The 2010 legislative session has become increasingly frustrating for community members. A number of bills were considered and implemented this session intended to mute the present opportunities and programs that benefit Utah’s marginalized communities. Community members from all over SLC have followed this session and have organized to express their opposition to the bills considered in 2010.

Event organized by student community groups including: The Magpie Collective, Mestizo Institute of Culture and Art (“MICA”), SLC Brown Berets, Movimient Estudiantil Chicano de Aztlan (“MEChA”), Family School Partnership (“FSP”), Utah Coalition of La Raza (“UCLR”).

Highlighted bills that were considered by organizers to be detrimental to marginalized communities included:

HJR 24-A proposition to end Affirmative Action.

HB 428- A proposition to repeal in-state tuition for resident and hard working undocumented students.

HB 227-A proposition to require prospective business owners to present documentation that verifies they have the “right” to be in the United States.

SB 251-A proposition that mandates the use of e-verify for every employer.

HB 90-A proposition to benefit public and higher education through a slight tax increase on high wage earners did not leave committee as legislators sacrificed quality education to ensure attractive tax rates for prospective corporations to settle in Utah.

HJR 21-A proposition to withdraw Utah from the Western Climate Initiative.

SB 54-A proposition that would require schools to incorporate instruction about contraception in heath education courses which would benefit communities did not pass through committee

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

Utah Citizens Organize “Clean Air” Rally

There will be a “Rally for Clean Air”  on the Steps on the South Side of the Utah State Capitol, Wednesday, March 10, 2010 from 3-4pm.  The rally will be an effort to get legislators to reconsider their positions on HJR 12 Climate Change Resolution and HJR 21 Joint Resolution on Energy Policy.  Organizer Drew Thompson sent out this announcement today:

The Legislature has had its say, now it’s our turn. Despite our phone calls, letters, emails, and testimonies HJR 12 passed resoundingly in both the House and Senate, and HJR 21 is well on its way to the same fate.

This complete disregard of both science and the economic and environmental future of our state demands our protest. Utilize your right to assemble and join all those who still reject scientific half-truths and scare tactics in favor of reason and justice.

We will be rallying on the steps of the Utah State Capitol on Wednesday, March 10 at 3:00 pm. Former SLC Mayor Rocky Anderson, BYU Geologist Barry Bickmore, Senate Minority Leader Pat Jones, and U of U Sociology Professor Andrew Jorgenson will be speaking at the event.

Bring picket signs, bring your friends, and ride your bike.

Check out the event “Clean Air Rally” at http://www.facebook.com/event.php?eid=376479900791.

View previous posts on these two Resolutions here.

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)

The Heat is On: Utah’s House Votes to Withdraw from Western Climate Initiave

Utah’s House yesterday voted to support HJR21 Joint Resolution on Energy Policy, which calls for Utah to withdraw from Climate Change Initiative.

Initially the Resolution used words like  “conspiracy”, claiming that efforts were afoot to manipulate climate change data.

Solve Climate, a publication on daily climate news and anaylsis, reports on action by Utah’s lawmakers:

Among other things, the resolution claims there is “a well organized and ongoing effort to manipulate global temperature data in order to produce a global warming outcome.”

A last-minute amendment removed the words “conspiracy,” “gravy train” and “tricks,” but the statements remaining are still inflammatory, echoing the claims of conservative groups such as the Heartland Institute, Science and Public Policy Institute (SPPI), and Utah’s Sutherland Institute.

A group of Brigham Young University scientists were so disturbed by the wording of the resolution, HJR 12, that they wrote to the legislature last week highlighting several inaccuracies and urging the legislature to reconsider.

“Even if all the political solutions proposed so far are flawed, this does not justify politicians in attacking the science that indicates there is almost certainly a serious problem,” the scientists told lawmakers.

The article continues to discuss Utah’s possible motives behind this resolution, along with a transcript of Rep. Mike Noel confronting a University of Utah’s Bioengineering professor’s opposition to the Resolution (Noel is reported, too, to have contacted Utah State University to complain about a Physics professor there who question the Resolution).  Read the article in its entirety here.

Drew Thompson, of  the Stop HJR 12 group on Facebook, sent out this message yesterday to citizens:

House Joint Resolution 21, which would call for the withdrawal of Utah from the Western Climate Initiative, passed in the House today [Thursday, February 25] by a margin of 52 to 18.  When it is assigned to a committee in the senate we will start to reach out to those committee members, and anyone interested in testifying at the senate committee hearing is encouraged to do so. To get live updates on HJR 21 visit http://le.utah.gov/~2010/htmdoc/hbillhtm/HJR021.htm and sign up to track the resolution.

HJR 12 will likely be voted on in the coming days. The best thing for [citizens] to do now is to contact members of the senate with [their] concerns. Senators care most about the opinion of their constituents. Find out who your senator is and call, write to, or email them you feelings about HJR 12. To find out what district you are in and who you senator is visit http://www.utahsenate.org/map.html. For students I would suggest writing to the senator from your parents’ district as the senators representing the U probably won’t support the resolution to begin with.

A petition to warn our elected officials about climate change is in circulation, and if you haven’t had a chance to sign it yet please visit the following link to learn more.
http://climateletter.highroadforhumanrights.org/

(cross-posted to Utah Legislature Watch)