UPEC Livestreams: Keeping you connected with the UP environment

Our series of livestreams, co-hosted by Board President Horst Schmidt and Vice President Evan Zimmermann, keeps you up-to-date with environmental issues facing the Upper Peninsula.

Please note: as of November 2021, you can view all archived recordings of the livestreams anytime on UPEC’s Facebook page. Earlier posts below link to UPEC’s YouTube channel, which is no longer being used for this purpose.

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This installment of the “This Is It!” livestream of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition featured a close look at a controversial proposal, sprung upon the Marquette community with great fanfare last summer: a spaceport on Lake Superior. Our guest was Dennis Ferraro, president of a new nonprofit called Citizens for a Safe & Clean Lake Superior.  You can find out more about them at https://www.facebook.com/Citizens-for-a-Safe-Clean-Lake-Superior-101326901764542.

After an online petition garnered 21,000 signatures opposing a spaceport, CSCLS formed to defeat the plan, which is seen as damaging to an outdoor recreational-based economy, a danger to public safety, an interference with vested property rights, and a threat to the quality of life enjoyed by Powell and Marquette Township residents.

When Ferraro, a retired trial attorney with long-standing family ties to the UP, took up residence three years ago with his family on the shoreline of Lake Superior near Marquette, he was inspired to become involved in environmental issues. After getting his feet wet and learning from activists, Ferraro now finds himself as president of  CSCLS. He will make the case that there is no compelling need to industrialize the pristine Lake Superior shoreline at the estate of Granot Loma.


You can contact CSCLS at contactcscls@gmail.com.


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“The Energy Show” is the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition Livestream program that looks at the future of energy use in the UP. On this program, we visited with Jennifer McKay, Policy Director of the Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council in Petoskey. Jennifer has extensive experience on water issues and frequently testifies before legislative committees on bills. as well as talking to groups. She and your UPEC livestream hosts had a conversation about what is happening with Enbridge’s Line 5 fuel pipeline, including the latest legislative, legal, regulatory, and technical issues. The controversy over Line 5 has become an octopus with multiple tentacles, each raising different questions and unresolved problems.

Then, with the election less than a week away, we switched to voting, with an environmental focus. We went over some basics in case you're not familiar with Michigan voting requirements. Then we talked about how your vote affects public environmental policy. A good example is Proposition 1, which asks voters how state trust funds for our natural resource acquisitions and infrastructure should be spent.


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Updated: Oct 15, 2020

On this installment of the“This Is It!” livestream of the Upper Peninsula Environmental Coalition, Professor Jennifer Daryl Slack of Michigan Technological University addressed what has been called “the crisis of expertise” in American culture, in which the value and advice of “experts,” most notably in the sciences, are increasingly being challenged and disregarded. She spoke about the different kinds of challenges to expertise, the sources of these challenges, and their implications, particularly with respect to addressing the COVID-19 pandemic. She also considered a strikingly odd feature of this crisis: challenges to expertise are arising in tandem with an increasing reliance on science and technology in American culture.

(Further information on MTU perspectives on Covid-19 and the crisis of expertise.)

Our guest

Slack is Director of the Institute for Policy, Ethics, and Culture and Distinguished Professor of Communication and Cultural Studies at MTU. She has been a professor at Michigan Tech for 32 years, where she has conducted research and taught primarily on technology and culture, cultural theory, creativity, and media. Her recent work has been on the role of algorithms in culture. She is also a pastel painter and an active member of the arts community.


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