For This Child

Submitted by Jerry Halberstadt on Sun, 05/29/2022 - 23:40
Bonnie Bain and her daughter, Peyton Massie

Building a bridge to the future

For the future of this child, Peyton Massie, we demonstrate. We, the people demonstrating on the Danversport Bridge, are energy democracy in action. We are teenagers, grandparents, storytellers, musicians, poets, singers, teachers, ministers, doctors, reporters, videographers, photographers, and a man from Ireland. Our goal is to empower people to work together to save our planet from global warming, save our wetlands and forests, and protect everyone from harmful pollution. We share an obligation and a desire to improve our communities, work for the common good, and be stewards of the world today to preserve it for the future.

Yes, we came together to have fun by flying kites, riding bikes, and paddling kayaks; singing, chanting, and reinforcing our determination to bring more people into our growing circle. Fun is essential to creating and growing our community of activists. Look how we have grown over the past year! People have come from all over the Commonwealth.

Our leaders are failing us, from Washington to Beacon Hill, and in city hall. The municipal light plants that have bought into the peaker plant in Peabody have burdened their ratepayers not only with the likelihood of future costs but at a time when fossil generators are being shut down, have foolishly created a new boondoggle. The regional and federal regulators of electricity have placed barriers to slow the adoption of renewable energy, thus delaying the urgent need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions now.

We gathered on this bridge as a symbol of the transition to cross over from the fossil fuel economy to a clean, renewable, sustainable energy future. The technology and tools are here and improving, the people and institutions must now cross the energy transition, and this can be done with energy democracy.

Energy democracy—public participation in policy— is the best way to engage the whole community in our clean energy future. The energy revolution has begun—clean, climate-friendly power from renewable resources is beating fossil fuel on price, reliability, pollution, and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. To enable the transition, reform is needed at every level of the energy system. In "Everytown," we need education, transparency, citizen participation, and long-range planning.

To achieve energy democracy in Everytown, we must now engage with all neighborhoods and interest groups, the city council, city departments, the mayor or town manager, and the Everytown Municipal Light Plant. The future is bright if we will but work together. Please join us on the journey of energy democracy to the energy transition and a new pride in Everytown.

For this child, Peyton, and for all our grandchildren, let us now reach out to our communities and bring them into our circle as we join their circles. We, the people must create a worldwide village of care, concern, and action to assure the future for Peyton.  Together, we can involve the public and the leaders.

How can we do this? Pat Gozemba explained community organization very simply:

“Go to where the people gather, listen to them, share their concerns. Only then can we work together. It is hard work, you can’t just show up once. It takes time to build relationships.”

Let’s get started! 

Bonnie Bain and her daughter, Peyton Massie, face the future.
Bonnie Bain and her daughter, Peyton Massie, face the future.

More information

Coverage of the demonstration

Jerry Halberstadt, For This Child

Jerry Halberstadt, For the Children

Breathe Clean North Shore/Facebook

Hadley Barndollar, 'We're not giving up:' Protestors, neighbors rally near Peabody peaker plant site, Wicked Local/USA TODAY NETWORK, May 26, 2022

Caroline Enos, "Do your job;" Protesters call on lawmakers to stop new Peabody peaker power plant, Salem News, May 26, 2022

Jaime Campos, SLIDESHOW: Climate activists escalate opposition to Peabody Peaker Plant through protest in Danvers, Salem News, May 26, 2022