Backbone Campaign’s people-powered plan to electrify America’s railroads

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“In our fractured political climate, it’s hard to envision a cause that could unite a rural farmer with a big-city tech worker, a union laborer with a grassroots environmentalist, or a tribal leader with a government official, but Bill Moyer thinks he’s found just the cause: Solutionary Rail.”

Solutionary Rail proposes that the public electrify America’s railroads, run them on renewable energy and transform railroad corridors into electricity superhighways transmitting wind and solar energy from remote rural areas to urban centers. If enacted, Moyer said the proposal would recenter the role of rail in U.S. transportation and provide the public with a new sustainable source of economic vitality.

In other words, with Solutionary Rail, everybody wins.

“It provides almost a psychic relief from the burden of being defined by what we oppose,” said Moyer, who serves as executive director of the Washington state-based Backbone Campaign, a nonprofit that creates “artful activism.” “This offers an opportunity to be for something great, to be in dialogue with communities that we may not have anything else otherwise in common about some shared interest.”

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Excited to share my first story for Real Change. Real Change is an award-winning weekly newspaper that provides immediate employment opportunity and takes action for economic, social, and racial justice. If you live in Seattle, pick up a paper from your local vendor this week!

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Book Review: The Passenger Pigeon by Errol Fuller

THE PASSENGER PIGEON
By Errol Fuller

An unexpectedly humorous and enthralling illustrated memorial to the extinct North American Passenger Pigeon.

passenger_pigeon_AudubonNaturalist artist and writer Errol Fuller defies the odds and crafts an entertaining historical narrative on an arguably bland subject, the extinction of the Passenger Pigeon. The author’s enthusiasm for the bird is infectious and the book reads like a bedtime story or an urban legend told over a campfire. “There are many, many stories like these, all worthy of the telling,” Fuller writes. “But there is one that stands out from the rest, a story so remarkable, so intense, that its elements strain credibility to its limits. It is the story of the Passenger Pigeon, and it is a tale that has everything: great drama, tragedy, intrigue, violence, mystery.”

Passenger Pigeons numbered in the billions at the start of the nineteenth century. The flocks were so large that they blotted out the sun for days at a time. The bird inspired famous writers including Henry David Thoreau and Mark Twain, artists, and even marthamusicians. Yet by 1914, after years of slaughter and destruction by technologically advanced European colonizers of North America, only one Passenger Pigeon was left. Her name was Martha and she died alone at the Cincinnati zoo.

Fuller’s book is a beautiful and well-researched study of a highly evolved species forced into extinction by human thoughtlessness and greed. The primary source illustrations and quotations engage the reader while demonstrating the fragility of our natural world. An evocative and visually stunning book for readers of all ages.