November 2022 Newsletter
In this Issue
  • Save the Date!
  • Climate Guide to the Midterm Elections, Tuesday, Nov. 8
  • Legislative Team Takes Stock and Looks Ahead
  • Nuclear Power Redux?
  • Please Contribute to our National Organization!
  • What We're Reading:
  • To Speak for the Trees: My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest, by Diana Beresford-Kroeger
  • Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water's Edge, by Susan Hand Shetterly
A Climate Guide to the Midterm Elections
Tuesday, November 8
ECA Mass Legislative Team
Takes Stock and Looks Ahead
The ECA Mass Legislative Team held two strategy meetings in October to prepare for the upcoming legislative session and to engage with the new administration. Several activists from outside the team joined us, including some ECA Mass members and representatives of other climate groups. Thanks to all who participated!

Strategy Meeting #1

At the first meeting, we reviewed the team’s work over the last legislative session:

What worked?
Our relationships with legislators and other climate organizations and coalitions were highlighted as major strengths, along with the “bill manager” system that engaged several members in specific bill advocacy.

What can we improve on?
Recommendations included limiting the number of bills we actively support to allow for more in depth advocacy, identifying means to engage more members in legislative efforts, and organizing the team to more efficiently track developments in key sectors (e.g., building decarbonization, transportation electrification, energy).

Strategy Meeting #2

The second meeting focused on identifying priorities for the next year:
  • Advocating for key elements of bills and whole bills that did not pass last session but are still essential to meeting climate goals (e.g., performance standards for large buildings, electrification of vehicle fleets and commuter rail, workforce development, siting of utility infrastructure, forest protection, Green Bank).
  • Holding executive agencies accountable for implementing the dozens of measures in the Roadmap and Wind/Climate bills by tracking progress, influencing the new governor’s selection of leadership of key departments, engaging in hearings, and other means.
  • Continuing to advocate for bold progressive outcomes in the ongoing administrative deliberations on the building code, the future of gas, the decarbonization of building heating, forest management, and Green Bank development in the Clean Energy Center.
  • Engaging ECA Mass members to advocate for adoption of the soon-to-be-issued specialized building code in their hometowns.

Coming Up
Over the next few weeks, the team will be addressing in more depth our relationships with other climate organizations and coalitions, advocacy strategies, and our committee structure and processes.
Want to Get More Involved in Legislation?
The Legislative Team welcomes your feedback on these proposals and your engagement in our work at whatever level is possible for you. You don’t have to attend weekly meetings to make a contribution to our legislative efforts. Contact Roger Luckmann at to explore how you can be more involved in Legislative Team activities.
Nuclear Power Redux?
Curious about what’s happening with nuclear power these days? Wondering if nuclear power is the answer to our climate crisis? Check out our October Deep Dialogue, “Is It Time to Take a Second Look at Nuclear Power?” hosted by Carolyn McCreary and Roger Luckmann of our ECA Mass Research Team. A video of the presentation is here and the slide deck is here. Roger covered the current state of existing and planned nuclear plants in the U.S. and around the world, as well as changing attitudes towards nuclear power. He also covered the health danger posed by radiation from nuclear plants and nuclear waste. Carolyn addressed the benefits and concerns about nuclear power and looked at how nuclear power can complement renewables to create a reliable source of clean energy.

Nuclear power is a controversial, but potentially important source of non-fossil fuel energy to help meet the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. The presentation elicited wide-ranging comments from an engaged audience.

To catch up on earlier Deep Dialogues and chapter meetings, the ECA Mass website has them archived here
Please Contribute to Our National Organization!
ECA Massachusetts is one of a number of Elders Climate Action chapters across the country. Our chapter directly benefits by being part of the ECA community. ECA provides support, resources, actions, campaigns, programming, and educational opportunities for our chapter members and members across the country. 
Members of the Massachusetts Chapter participate on the ECA Council of Chapters and other national committees, attend ECA's national calls, workshops, and special programs, and take action through ECA national alerts and newsletters. With ECA's coordination, our members are encouraged to work at the national, state, and local level, and collaborate with other ECA chapters and partner organizations to maximize our impact.  
This year, the national Elders Climate Action needs our help to raise more than $25,000 between before the year end to meet its 2022 expenses. We are calling on our chapter members to help ensure ECA can fulfill its budget and enter 2023 ready to meet the growing challenges of the climate crisis. 
Can you help? Making a contribution is easy. Please visit: to make a donation of whatever amount is comfortable for you.
What We're Reading
To Speak for the Trees: My Life's Journey from Ancient Celtic Wisdom to a Healing Vision of the Forest
By Diana Beresford-Kroeger (Random House Canada, hardcover 2019;
Timber Press, paperback 2021)
Almost 20 years ago, I had the good fortune to hear a lecture by Diana Beresford-Kroeger. I was stunned by the breadth and depth of her knowledge of trees. What stood out to me was her combination of biology, chemistry, and indigenous wisdom about a whole array of trees.

She came to this continent from Ireland and brought with her the wisdom of Celtic peoples to which she added the insights of native people in North America. Her 2019 book, To Speak for the Trees, covers her life’s journey beginning as an orphan growing up in the Lisheens valley in County Cork where she absorbed an ancient body of knowledge from elders. She took those insights with her as she pursued her graduate studies. She now holds two Ph.Ds. (in biochemistry and biology) as well as a degree in botany. In time she developed new tools (for example, genetic smearing for studying microcosms) and was able to show that trees are a living library of medicine that have a chemical language and communicate in a quantum world. In the 1970s, she moved from Ireland to Canada simply because there were more trees to study there. (Most of Ireland’s forests were cut down a long time ago.) 
This is a remarkable book simply because her life’s journey has so clearly focused on bringing ancient, indigenous knowledge to the modern world. Like Suzanne Simard (Finding the Mother Tree), Diana has been able to show the importance of “mother trees” at the center of a forest and that trees learn and send messages to one another. I found myself with a whole new appreciation for the ancient wisdom which modern science can now show is also based in what we consider “reality.”

-- Rick Lent
Photo above taken by Rick in October 2022, of trees by his garden.
Seaweed Chronicles: A World at the Water's Edge
By Susan Hand Shetterly (Algonquin Books, hardcover, 2018)
Susan Hand Shetterly is a marvelous writer, and you are in for a treat if you read this book. Seaweed Chronicles is about Maine seaweed and kelp farming, but so much more, including the effects of climate change on the oceans, land and shoreline in Maine. Susan tells how seaweed and kelp have been farmed for generations in Maine, and originally in Ireland, Wales, Britain and Scotland. Not only did I learn all about seaweed and kelp, which are such an essential part of the ecological environment in Maine for so many living creatures, but also about the uses of them in many of our food, soaps, supplements and other products. 

Susan interviews marine scientists, naturalists, biologists and ecologists, and describes their thoughts and feelings about the effects of industrial seaweed farming on the local farmers and fishermen in Maine. Susan writes eloquently about the individual people who work and live at the shore. Devastated by the degradation of the ocean floor and shoreline, they are advocating for more regulation protecting the natural habitats of creatures who depend on the seaweed for their homes and food source.

Susan writes lovely descriptions of the tiniest micro-organisms and sea creatures who live in the seaweed and the eider ducks whose babies head for the seaweed as soon as they are hatched. And her book tells about other wildlife – fish, birds, snails and clams, from the tiny scuds to the big eagle who hunts in the bay. It is a delicious, informative read.

I just learned that Susan has a brand-new book, Notes on the Landscape of Home, published in September 2022! I can’t wait to read it, too.

-- Tina Grosowsky
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.