July 2022 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • Legislative Team Update: Climate Bills, New Clean Energy and Climate Plan, and Draft Building Code
  • More news about our members and climate allies
  • Climate rally at the State House
  • Petition to ban logging on state land
  • Field trip to old-growth forest
  • ECA Mass Acton/Stow area gathering
  • New climate article by Rick Lent
  • Remembering activist Joan McCabe and her legacy
Legislative Team Update

Roger Luckmann and ECA Mass Legislative Team

A conference committee continues to work on reconciling the House wind bill and the Senate climate bill. For the legislature to pass a second climate bill this session, they will need to report their bill out by July 15 to allow time for the governor to act before the end of the session on July 31.
In response to a series of Action Alerts over the last several weeks, about 180 ECA Mass members sent 1349 messages to legislators, mostly members of the joint conference committee. Lawmakers were urged to craft and pass a strong climate bill that mandates and funds the key tasks to be undertaken if we are to get to the goal of a 50% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030.
The fate of a number of climate bills still in the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy remains unclear as of July 7. They had been extended until June 30, when they needed to be reported out or extended again. While it is highly unlikely any of these bills will be acted on this session, a favorable report out would provide some momentum for a bill in the 2023-24 session. Stay tuned for the final word on these bills.
On June 30, the Executive Office of Energy and Environmental Affairs released the final version of the 2025 and 2030 Clean Energy and Climate Plan, a 104-page document with a hefty 166-page appendix. While the overall goals and design of the plan appear to be little changed from the outline presented in April, the report contains a lot of interesting detail about the reasoning that underlies the interpretation of analyses and recommendations. However, specifics about programs, regulations, legislation, and funding needed to reach ambitious emissions goals are limited.
Members of our legislative team are digging into the report soon and hope to work with our allies in the climate movement to come up with some recommendations to help our next governor hit the ground running on climate policy and program development.
Also out recently from the Department of Energy Resources is the second draft of the stretch building code revisions and the new specialized stretch code (see this link). A webinar and hearing have been scheduled. Check out dates and times at the link above.
The specialized code still allows for “mixed-fuel” new constriction (e.g., gas + electric) if a number of other requirements are met. Although this is still a draft building code, it is highly unlikely that the final version will allow for a town to require all-electric new construction. For that reason, it is critical that the new climate bill include the provision in the Senate climate bill that gives a limited number of municipalities the option to ban fossil fuels in new buildings.
Thank you to all the activism of the members who have been calling and emailing your legislators!! The ECA Mass legislative and action teams are sponsoring a get together of members engaged in our Action Alert efforts to provide feedback on those efforts and help develop new approaches that can increase regular member participation in advocacy actions. Check your email box for an invite and details.
More News about our Members
and Climate Allies

Tina Grosowsky

On June 21, I joined more than a hundred climate activists from Mass Power Forward, MA Youth Climate Coalition, 350 Mass, Mothers Out Front and Elders Climate Action Mass for a rally at the State House. The theme of the rally was “Wake Up the Legislators,” and many activists brought pans and spoons to make noise. The legislative session ends July 31, so time is short! Legislators must act soon to pass a comprehensive climate bill and get it to the governor’s desk in time to either sign it or send it back to the legislators for an override vote.

At the State House, we visited our legislators and provided educational materials on bills we support. In addition to advocating for climate bills, we and our allies asked legislators to consider social justice when making decisions on decarbonization of buildings, retrofitting buildings and transportation electrification.

As the Greenfield Recorder reported on June 16: "Members of the Greenfield-based Save Massachusetts Forests and the Concord-based Restore: The North Woods delivered a petition with more than 4,900 signatures to Gov. Charlie Baker’s office on Wednesday seeking a moratorium on logging and other methods of forest clearing on state land through the passage of two proposed bills." The organizers of this petition, Janet Sinclair and Michael Kellett, are both members of ECA Mass (and Maiyim Baron of the ECA Mass Leadership Team was there - wearing her green ECA Mass shirt - when Janet and Michael delivered the petition).
Photo above, from the Greenfield Recorder article: Famed naturalist E.O. Wilson (who died Dec. 26) signed the petition last year. Read the article here:

Maiyim Baron

On June 21, the longest day of the year, ECA Mass friends gathered at the William Cullen Bryant homestead west of Greenfield, to see some old-growth forest here in Massachusetts. Member Janet Sinclair arranged for us to have the privilege of being guided by Bob Leverett. Bob is co-founder of the Native Tree Society, chair of the Massachusetts Department of Conservation and Recreation Forest Reserves Scientific Advisory Committee and known for developing more accurate methods of measuring old trees – which is how he came to identify the old-growth forest remaining in our Commonwealth.
Assisted by Bob’s wife Monica and ECA Mass member Glen Ayers, our group learned to clearly distinguish young forests growing back from "pioneer species," which are then followed by "settler species" like sugar maples. Bob explained how cooperation in the forest increases as the trees mature. Personally, I enjoyed hearing how the work of Canadian forester Suzanne Simard has spread among scientists and foresters and is finally getting the recognition it deserves.
We learned to see the undulations of hillocks and indentations in an older forest floor, created over many decades as trees that fell over whole and pulled up their root balls gradually returned to the ground. It is where they intermix, with older hardwoods like sugar maples and beeches germinating on nurse logs, that determines when a woods can be called Old-Growth Forest. Only a few small pockets of forests that old are left in Massachusetts' less-accessible places, as most lands here were logged less than 300 years ago.
Bob has generously agreed to do another walk for us in the fall, so stay tuned for that one if you missed this one. I'd urge you to spend some time at the Bryant homestead when you are out in that part of the state. Already one member says her family is planning to do that after she told them how much she enjoyed our expedition.
And here's a podcast of Bob Leverett for your learning and pleasure, till we can go walking with him again. Thank you, Bob!

On June 29 a group of 15 people from the greater Acton/Stow area met at the Acton Arboretum for an in-person gathering. Against the backdrop of the lush arboretum, Sharon Brownfield, Rick Lent, Tina Grosowsky, Tom Amiro, Margie and Tony Lee, Launa Zimmaro, Russ Hart, Lawrence Fine, Arnie Epstein, Orian Green, Nyanna Tobin, Carolyn McCreary and Linda Kaylor enjoyed seeing each other in real time and exchanging a hug, handshake and real eye contact! Over lunch we engaged in conversation about involvement in ECA Mass and hopes for positive climate legislative action in the coming weeks. Most people are involved in their own towns with clean energy initiatives and reported on that. Tony Lee shared that he is continuing the “Can I Stop Climate Change?” Project with a Texas initiative! Tom Amiro announced he was driving his electric car in the Chelmsford July 4 parade! We hope to have another gathering in the fall.  
"The Give and Get of Climate Change Work"

Rick Lent, one of the founding members of ECA Massachusetts, and a member of the chapter's Leadership Team, tells why he became a climate activist, and how his granddaughter's concerns about her climate future clarified his focus. "I began to look for the ways my actions could contribute to the work of others and leave a better legacy for her." Rick interviewed six other ECA members, and he shares their perspectives in his new article, appearing in the Summer 2022 issue of the American Society on Aging's Generations Journal.
Remembering ECA Mass Member
Joan McCabe and her Legacy
Maiyim Baron

Joan McCabe, who was a founding member of ECA Mass, passed in December 2021. Her sons and daughter invited ECA friends to attend a memorial service for Joan and her husband Paul. l used to live quite close to them in Washington Square and visited with them in their last condo there until they moved to DC to be near their daughter in 2018. 
I attended the memorial service at All Saints Church in Brookline, where Joan's grandchildren who greeted me knew of ECA. Family members who spoke during the service emphasized Joan's commitment to environmental work. The sign that Joan carried for the September 2014 People's Climate March in New York City was displayed by her daughter Claire with family photographs in the church reception area. After that 2014 march, Joan connected with Grady McGonagill, founder of our ECA Massachusetts Chapter, and she participated in our early meetings in Brookline.

Joan would have been thrilled to know that ECA Mass now numbers over 1100 supporters across the Commonwealth. Joan's legacy of activism for environmental causes passed down to her children and grandchildren who are acutely aware of climate change and remember often discussing it with their grandmother. 

I was touched to see that our ECA Mass Chapter was the second organization listed in the memorial service program as donation suggestions in Joan's memory. 
Have you mentioned ECA to your kids or put it in your last wishes? Joan has reminded me to add that to my plans.

Photo above left: Maiyim Baron with the memorial service program and the sign that Joan carried in the 2014 People's Climate March in NYC.
This Newsletter is Published for Members and Friends of the
Elders Climate Action - Massachusetts Chapter
ECA Massachusetts is a chapter of the national Elders Climate Action. We are a movement of elders committed to making our voices heard... to change our nation's policies while there is still time to avoid catastrophic changes in the Earth's climate. Visit the ECA Massachusetts website, event calendar, and Facebook page to learn more about our chapter's activities and climate news. JOIN ECA MASSACHUSETTS AND STAY CONNECTED! Subscribe to our monthly newsletter, and for more active participation, sign up to receive Action Alerts and meeting announcements. Fill out our subscription form.