Wednesday, April 3, 2013

April Environmental Justice Film Series: The problems and solutions!

April Environmental Justice Film Series: Communities SPEAK OUT .... Mountain top removal, sand mining,  water, land and health in jeopardy from fracking, and how we can make a transition to resilient communities! Don't miss these great films!

For additional information contact: Wanda Guthrie 412-596-0066 or email:

The Last Mountain:  Tuesday evening, April 9, 7pm
The Price of Sand:   Saturday evening, April 20, 7pm
Triple Divide:            Monday evening, April 29
Transition 2.0:          Tuesday Evening, April 30
Tuesday evening, April 9  7 pm The Last Mountain
Community House Presbyterian Church
120 Parkhurst St  Pittsburgh, PA (North Side Community) 15212
The message of The Last Mountain is that is not enough to simply be outraged anymore. We are all users of the electricity and power that is generated from the sacrifices of the Appalachia residents and miners. The imagery of environmental devastation is so shocking, the deregulation and egregious indifference of the coal mining companies’ various violations so appalling, that we begin to feel somehow complicit in perpetrating this modern American tragedy. Ordinary people, banded together in a common purpose, can indeed move mountains. And sometimes, they can even save them.

We are preparing for an action on April 23: The Earth Quaker Action Team (EQAT) has identified an age old way to address civic action. Civil disobedience is the response of ordinary people to extraordinary injustices. “American Quakers have historically been at the forefront of civil and human rights issues, and climate change is no exception,” explains EQAT executive director Amy Ward Brimmer. “Spurred by our moral conscience and sense of shared responsibility to help right the wrongs of our society – slavery, child labor, suffrage, segregation, marriage equality and immigrant rights, to name just a few – we have a tradition of engagement in creative nonviolent resistance. Climate change threatens the health and security of all Americans, and action proportional to the problem is required–now.

Lou Martin, a participant in EQAT actions, will be leading questions and answers when the Environmental Justice Committee TMC sponsors a showing of the Last Mountain in April.
Saturday evening, 7 pm, April 20 The Price of Sand
The Episcopal Church of the Redeemer
5700 Forbes Avenue (Squirrel Hill Community) 15217

Jim Tittle received a call from his mother two years ago that an open-pit frack sand mine was being considered for the Hay Creek bluffs south of the city.
“It really threw me for a loop,” said Tittle, who remembered the area well from his youth.
The curious Tittle set off with a video camera to research the issue of frack sand mining. His work culminated into the documentary film “The Price of Sand.” 

The documentary features interviews with people on both sides of the frac sand debate, from displaced homeowners to drivers who found work with mining companies. The goal of the film was to raise awareness of the human impact of frac sand mining, Tittle said.
“I want people to see other peoples’ stories,” Tittle said. “Wherever I could find a person affected by this, I’d go there and talk to them.”

Linda Three Crows Meadowlark, resident of both LeSueur County, Wisconsin and Pittsburgh will talk about sand mine activism. 

About the sand mines: 
In parts of rural Wisconsin, the presence of sand mines is something you can feel, smell or taste.  The presence of those mines and the trucks hauling its powdery sands toward natural gas drilling sites has been devastating. The sand is an essential ingredient in the fracking process.

Sand, fracking, health, volumes: It has been tough for residents of Pennsylvania to prove that natural gas production is harmful to health. It has been equally difficult for  our Midwest neighbors to convince the public of the health hazards posed by the frack sand mining. The process of fracking requires blasting large volumes of water, chemicals and silica sand into bedrock. Up to 4 million pounds of the sand is used per well to prop open the newly created rock fractures that release the natural gas and Wisconsin's sands happen to be perfectly suited for such a task. Since May 2010, the number of mines and processing plants in the state jumped from 10 to about 110, according to Thomas Woletz of the Wisconsin Department of Natural Resources.

The tune is familiar as are the singers: Burgeoning business, say industry representatives, is a boon for the state's economy.

But the relative lack of research or monitoring of the sand mining's impacts has left a "big gaping question mark," said Jim Tittle, whose documentary film "The Price of Sand" 
Sand at Marcellus Shale fracking sites: An occupational hazard alert was release in June, 2012.  A Study found that the majority of air samples taken at fracking sites had more silica dust than the recommended limit. In fact, about a third had at least 10 times the limit. There has been no study on the effects of the dust on nearby residents. 

While silica dust can be small enough to bypass the body’s defenses, the freshly fractured crystalline silica from mining and processing operations is particularly damaging. Although the dangers are known and apparent, crystalline silica dust is not regulated as a hazardous pollutant by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency or by Wisconsin. So the danger during mine blasting or blowing off trucks, trains, conveyors or storage piles is sobering. 
Monday evening, April 29, 7 pm Triple Divide
5401 Centre Ave  Pittsburgh, PA (Shadyside Community)15232 

Hollywood actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates this 18-month cradle-to-grave investigation by
Public Herald, an investigative news nonprofit co-founded by journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. Triple Divide features uncovered state documents, never before seen interviews with industry giants and advocates, exclusive reports with impacted landowners, and expert testimonies.

Triple Divide reveals how state regulators have abandoned the public they’re meant to serve. And though the industry says fracking can be done safely, the film shows that no amount of regulation can prevent the corrosion of wells casings, illegal burying of radioactive waste, or the “pressure bulb” effect fracking creates underground.

The film’s title represents one of only four Triple Continental Divides in North America, a place that provides drinking water to millions of Americans and signals to the audience that everything, and everyone, is downstream from shale gas extraction.

Public response to Triple Divide:
“Powerful” ... “Amazing” ... “Beautiful” - Pennsylvania Screenings
“This documentary deserves an oscar!” - Celia Janosik
“This documentary is absolutely fantastic!” - Joe Shervinski
“Best Documentary on Fracking Ever, Better Than Gasland!’ - OUE

The documentary filmmakers, Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. will lead a question and answer session. 
Tuesday evening, April 30, 7pm   Transition 2.0

Kingsley Association  
6435 Frankstown Avenue Pittsburgh, PA 15206 (East Liberty Community)

If you want to know the present state of Transition both here in Pittsburgh and all over the globe, this is your movie (site and trailer here!). It covers Transition Initiatives and the diverse, powerful communities driving their relocalization and community-rejuvenation efforts, from Europe to Asia to America and beyond, including an appearance from the Whitney Avenue Urban Farm right here in Wilkinsburg!

The filmmakers' description:
"In Transition 2.0 is an inspirational immersion in the Transition movement, gathering stories from around the world of ordinary people doing extraordinary things. You'll hear about communities printing their own money, growing food, localising their economies and setting up community power stations. It's an idea that has gone viral, a social experiment that is about responding to uncertain times with solutions and optimism. In a world of increasing uncertainty, here is a story of hope, ingenuity and the power of growing vegetables in unexpected places".

Time: Doors will open at 6:30pm, and after a short introduction to Transition Pittsburgh's recent activities.  The audience can stay afterwards for group discussion of Transition in Pittsburgh past, present, and future with Fred Brown, Associate Director for Program Development, Kingsley Association. 

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