Today is July 27th, and we’ve just had a very successful screening of Gasland I at All Saints Cinema. The theater was packed, and unfortunately several people had to be turned away. However, Transition Tallahassee and other local environmental organizations who hosted this screening, such as Physicians for Social Responsibility, are planning to show Gasland II in a larger venue as soon as the film license becomes available.
Following the film, we had a discussion panel consisting of Gwen Graham, candidate in Florida’s 2nd congressional district, Steve Masterson, former executive director of Florida Academy of Trial Lawyers, and Kim Ross, director of ReThink Energy Florida. We gathered 39 signatures for Food & Water Watch’s petition to ban fracking nationwide, and will continue to collect signatures. Additionally, 350 North Florida is drafting a Florida constitutional amendment to ban fracking statewide, and will begin to gather signatures to place the amendment on the ballot soon.
Fracking is a dangerous method of mining for natural gas in which a fracking fluid containing toxic chemicals is injected into the ground to fracture rock surrounding a gas well, releasing natural gas trapped in the rock. The toxic chemicals in the fracking fluid, often undisclosed and protected as trade secrets, as well as the gas itself, leech into local water, air, and soil, and have been known to cause health problems such as cancer, asthma, birth defects, and brain damage.
Transition Tallahassee also hosted a Gasland II house party on July 8th. Many Transition members, as well as some new faces, got together at steering group member Martha Lang’s house to watch the premiere of Gasland II on HBO.
For more information on fracking, visit Food & Water Watch: http://www.foodandwaterwatch.org/water/fracking/.
Earlier in the evening on July 8th, at Transition’s July meeting, we gathered and recorded our member’s visions for the future of Tallahassee to report to the new local organization Imagine Tallahassee. We submitted our input to Imagine, letting them know we look forward to a Tallahassee that is sustainable, resilient, and ready to stand up to the inevitable shocks that will come with peak oil and climate change.
Many Transition members also attended a rally on May 25th at the Florida capitol that took place as part of the international March Against Monsanto movement. The rally had an attendance of over 100 people, and we heard from speakers including Nathan Ballantine, the Man-in-Overalls and organizer with the iGrow youth garden on Dunn St, Simon Bevis, garden manager with the Salvation Army Garden on Jackson Bluff Rd, Priscilla Hudson, local master gardener and beekeeper, and Farmer Herman Holly from Turkey Hill Farm.
The rally speakers and sign-waving attendees shared their hopes for a strong, resilient local food system free of GMO’s and interference from large, profit-driven corporations such as Monsanto. Speakers touched on negative health effects caused by GMO’s, economic harms to small farmers caused by dependence on GMO seed and expensive herbicide inputs, and the people-powered, grassroots movement needed to address these issues.
Going further back, March and April each contained wild edible foraging walks hosted by Transition, as well as screenings of “End of Suburbia” in March, and “Anima Mundi” in April. Transition also hosted an Herbal Medicine Workshop with Frankie Messier at Wild Greens Cafe in April, and tabled at the 2013 Tomato Feastival at Turkey Hill Farm, and the 2nd annual Energy Ball hosted by ReThink Energy Florida.
Coming up soon, Transition Tallahassee will be hosting a World Cafe community discussion forum on Sunday, September 8th, from 2-4pm in the FSU Center for Global Engagement auditorium. The topic of discussion will be, “How can we best transition to a resilient, relocalized, and peak-oil-ready Tallahassee community?” The World Cafe will be facilitated by Martha Lang, Soil & Water Conservation Supervisor, Seat 1, and will feature Susan Cerulean, local nature writer, as a motivational speaker.
Please join us for our next general meeting, August 12th at 6:30PM at the Oasis Center for Women & Girls (317 E Call St). Learn how you can get involved in the local effort to build a strong, resilient Tallahassee community!