Saturday, September 11, 2010

Urgent! Incinerators comment, other news.

May our hearts be big enough to hold our memories.

– Help us flood EPA with our voices – the industry is pulling out all stops and we need to be heard, too!
US EPA is trying to do the right thing to protect our health and the planet by making new Clean Air Act rules that regulate greenhouse gases from industry smokestacks such as those of biomass and garbage incinerators. As usual, the biomass and garbage incinerator industry is fighting the rules, saying they should be exempt because their CO2 emissions are “carbon neutral.” We know that’s a lie!
EPA is seeking input from us – the anti-biomass, environmental justice, forest protection, public health, and anti-incinerator community - on whether greenhouse gas emissions (primarily CO2) from these incinerators should be subject to the new rule! OF COURSE THEY SHOULD BE – no exceptions!

Here’s the EPA link to the Call for Information:

The EPA rule is called the “Greenhouse Gas Tailoring Rule” because EPA is setting a threshold (emissions of 25,000 tons per year of greenhouse gases) at which an industry becomes subject to the rule. The typical 50 megawatt biomass incinerator emits about 500,000 tons per year of CO2, so they fall over the threshold and should be subject to the law. Industry says because their CO2 emissions are “biogenic” and part of the “carbon cycle” they don’t cause climate change now and should be subject to the “Tailoring Rule! BUNK!

Please write your personal message to tell EPA that you want biomass incinerator greenhouse gas emissions to be regulated! Here’s how:

1. ONE EASY STEP: Send a short email to saying something like “Emissions from biomass power plants should be covered by the tailoring rule. Burning biomass for electricity is not “carbon neutral.”

You can attach a document (say, a letter you wrote already, a report, etc.) No need to reinvent the wheel!

Include your name, address, and email and/or phone contact.
You can also send a letter by fax or snail mail – the addresses are at the end of this email.

2. More in depth comment letter. You can write something more specifically targeted one or more of the questions EPA is seeking information on. The questions are in the link:
EPA issued a correction to the questions on August 2, 2010. (Copied at bullet 5, below)

Here are some suggested talking points and resources:

** The federal Clean Air Act does not provide any legal basis for EPA to exempt biomass incinerator emission - the U.S. Supreme Court told EPA it must regulate greenhouse gases and biomass CO2 is no different!
**Fact sheets and important documents on biomass greenhouse gas and forest impacts are at:
** The Environmental Working Group report Clearcut Disaster: Carbon Loophole Threatens U.S. Forests says “Because wood and other biomass materials have a very low energy density, and because biomass power plants are significantly less efficient than gas or even coal plants, carbon dioxide emissions from biomass per unit of energy generated are about 1.5 times higher than from coal and three to four times higher than from natural gas.”
** Harvesting forests for electricity means those forests no longer serve as carbon “sinks” (sequestering carbon out of the atmosphere), which adds further to the impact of biomass on atmospheric CO2.
**An article in Science magazine by Searchinger et al. 2009 says: “However, harvesting existing forests for electricity adds net carbon to the air. That remains true even if limited harvest rates leave the carbon stocks of regrowing forests unchanged, because the stocks would otherwise increase and contribute to the terrestrial carbon sink.”
** Healthy plant growth depends upon healthy soils with adequate nutrients. Harvesting biomass not only results in CO2 emissions from soils as they are compacted and disturbed, but also depletes nutrients when plant material is removed and burned instead of being allowed to decompose and recycle and regenerate soils.
**The time scale for “re-sequestering” of carbon depends on how long forests take to regrow. When old growth forest is cut, it may take hundreds or thousands of years to regain it’s carbon stocks. Even fast rotation industrial monocultures require at least 15-30 years to regrow. This is time we cannot afford. Besides, when soils are compacted and disturbed by harvesting, they emit yet more CO2 and may no longer support regrowth. Synthetic fertilizers will be required, further contributing to greenhouse gas emissions. And there are yet more emissions from transportation. All of those would need to be resequestered to attain “carbon neutrality”.
**Pretending that it is carbon neutral and switching from fossil fuels to biomass will therefore greatly increase rather than decrease CO2 emissions over the coming decades and also reduce the capacity of carbon sinks.
**The distinction between “biological” and fossil carbon is no longer clear: So much carbon has already been taken from underground fossil stores and added to above ground “carbon pools” that ecosystems are saturated and unable to resequester or cycle it all, already. It is critically important that we cut down on fossil fuel emissions, but further compromising our stressed ecosystems by harvesting massive amounts of biomass and burning it will only make matters worse
** As long as EPA fails to regulate CO2 emissions from biogenic sources, we will continue to see biomass burning subsidized as the easiest and least expensive option for “renewable energy”, and especially so because it can be relied upon for consistent “baseload” electricity. An article published in Science points out that with the carbon neutral myth in place, combined with incentives to “reduce emissions”, we may see virtually all remaining native forests, grasslands, savannah and other ecosystems converted to industrial monocultures for energy crops. This is simply not acceptable. Biomass can no longer be subsidized under the false premise that it is “carbon neutral”.

Via the Federal eRulemaking Portal: Follow the online instructions for submitting comments.
By Email:
By Fax: (202) 566-1741.
By Snail Mail: EPA Docket Center, Attention Docket OAR-2010-0560, Mail code 2822T, 1200 Pennsylvania Avenue, NW, Washington, DC 20460.
By Hand/Courier Delivery: EPA Docket Center, Public Reading Room, Room 3334, EPA West Building, Attention Docket OAR-2010-0560, 1301 Constitution Avenue, NW., Washington, DC 20004. Such deliveries are only accepted during the Docket's normal hours of operation, and special arrangements should be made for deliveries of boxed information.
4. EPA August 2, 2010 correction to call for information from 75 Federal Register 45112

In the published
document, the text of the first bulleted
item in Section I.D (beginning on page
41175, third column) was incorrect. The
correct text for that item is as follows:
• Biomass under PSD/BACT. What criteria
might be used to consider biomass fuels and
the emissions resulting from their
combustion differently with regard to
applicability under PSD and with regard to
the Best Available Control Technology
(BACT) review process under PSD?
In addition, the first full sentence of
the third bulleted item in Section I.D
(first column, page 41176) contained a
typographical error. The correct text for
that sentence is: ‘‘The Clean Air Act
(CAA) provisions typically apply at the
unit, process, or facility scale, whereas
the IPCC Guidance on accounting for
GHG emissions from bioenergy sources
was written to be applicable at the
national scale.’’
Margaret E. Sheehan
Attorney at Law
cell 508-259-9154

Reiki I in the Usui Tradition for complete information visit website at - Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts, Rev. Patricia C. Coleman, Bloomington, Indiana


Monday, Sept. 20, 2010 - Grief Workshop
- 10am to 5pm at Wild Grace Retreat, Nashville, Indiana - Express “that which cannot easily be shared” with the help of experienced guide, Carol Bridges, who will lead you through simple healing artforms to bring you back to feeling good. Whether your sadness comes from loss of health, home, a loved one, the fate of the Earth or any other situation (new or old), we will listen with loving kindness. This workshop is free to the first five registrants, $50 after that. Call 812-988-0873 to register.


September 23rd - The 2010 Simply Living Fair & Midwest Permaculture Convergence, at 7:30pm - September 23 - 26th, Bloomington, IN - a four-day celebration of simple and sustainable living that includes speakers, workshops, children's activities, hands-on demonstrations, tours, and green vendor booths! contact fair coordinator Maggie Sullivan at (812)-345-1592, - email:, phone: (812) 332-8796; web:


October 2, 2010 - "Council of All Beings” (COAB): 10:00am to 4:000pm - Gather with others to explore your life within the natural world through the voices of plants, animals and other natural elements.

Choose a part of nature and give it voice within our Council as we listen and learn about our natural community and the impact of human activity. We will acknowledge the crisis and pain as well as the wisdom and life force within all beings. Explore and deepen your natural connection through meditation, song, movement, maskmaking, and a focusing intention with clear ideas and wisdom for ways to reconnect with nature through this living ceremony.

Join Real Compost and Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts on October 2nd from 10am to 4pm at May Creek Farm in Bloomington, Indiana. Limited spaces. $45.00, Registration required. To reserve your place, email and mail your payment to – COAB Workshop, P.O. Box Bloomington, IN. Limited number of work scholarships available.

Sponsored by Real Compost, Reiki Peace and Wellness Arts, Indiana Holistic Health Network, May Creek Farm, Quilter’s Comfort, Green Dove Network, Inc, Local Food Bloomington and Love Works

Questions call – Patricia at 812- 331-0886 or Dave at 812-824-6875


October 29, 2010

Five Women Poets

A reading of original poetry by "Five Women Poets"

Patricia C. Coleman
Deborah Pender Hutchison
Antonia Matthew
Leah Helen May
Carol Paiva
Anya Peterson Royce
Margaret Fisher Squires

Friday, October 29, 2010
7-9 p.m.

Rachael's Cafe
300 East 3rd Street, Bloomington, Indiana

free admission ~ food & beverages available for purchase


Blessings of health,


Monday, September 6, 2010

The Arts Alliance of Bloomington

The Arts Alliance of Bloomington group has been formed as a group for artists; "...a facilitating and communications agency that ideally will connect artists and groups of artists (or “guilds”) with one another and,through a steering committee and a smaller coordinating committee, flow that connection on to those entities, such as local government, IU, the Chamber of Commerce, Ivy Tech and others that may have resources or can otherwise help materially achieve whatever goals are identified."

Why do I post this to the Indiana Holistic Health Network Blog? I offer this information here because I believe that the arts are among the major ingredients to healthy people and communities. Lots of research data exist about the benefits arts offer in support of mental, emotional and spiritual wellbeing. I have also been a working artist for my entire adult life; and I personally know the valuable role arts have played within my own life, to the art viewing public and to the hundreds, maybe thousands of students, I have had the joy of sharing my artist skills with.

If you are an artist working the Bloomington, Indiana area and would like to connect with the AAB join the group here -

Blessings of health and art!

Wednesday, September 1, 2010

Upcoming Sanshinji Retreats -

Sanshinji, a part of the Indiana Holistic Health Network has a regular practice schedule and various retreats and teachings scheduled through out the year.

September Sesshin (September 1 - 6) at Sanshinji

During this sesshin we practice in complete silence. The sesshin is an opportunity for participants to focus strictly on zazen with minimal distractions. If you wish to participate, we recommend that you read Opening the Hand of Thought by Kosho Uchiyama Roshi in order to understand the significance of the sesshin. We also recommend you have some retreat experience before participating in an Uchiyama Roshi-style sesshin.

Genzo-e at Dharma Field Zen Center (September 15 - 20)
Genzo-e at Dharma Field Zen Center will be Shobogenzo Bussho (Buddha Nature) Part 3.
Please contact Dharma Field ZC for more information and registration.

Walking Retreat in Hot Springs, NC (October 15 - 17)

Okumura Roshi has been annually leading a walking meditation retreat on the Appalachian Trail. Lodging at the historic Sunnybank Inn with organic vegetarian meals and evening soaks in the nearby geothermal warm mineral springs.

"My idea of a walking retreat is rather like a pilgrimage (junrei) in Japan. Even though there are no Buddhist temples to visit on the Appalachian Trail around Hot Springs, as Dogen wrote in his Mountain and Water Sutra, 'The mountains and rivers at this moment are the manifestation of the ancient buddhas.' We will 'just walk,' letting go of our thoughts, opening ourselves to being truly intimate with ourselves and nature." - Okumura Roshi

For more information visit or contact