FirstLight Power is again being green-washed in the Greenfield Public School system

Extinction Rebellion activists calling for the immediate shutdown of FirstLight’s Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station, June 1, 2022. Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

THE FOLLOWING was a rather unfortunate and transparent attempt to entice truth-tellers away from the facts about sponsoring the deadliness of FirstLight’s grim venture capital cash cow–the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station and its monstrous impacts on the strangled Connecticut River here in Franklin County for the last half century. They were seeking to shunt away any controversy and gloss over FirstLight’s unending carnage–in a corporate-funded, green-washed sponsorship ploy, set to take place in a Greenfield public school. Apparently embarrassed, they sought to co-opt and pull others under FirstLight’s sullied public relations blanket…

“June 2, 2022 June 23rd, Robin Kimmerer

hi Karl and _____,
Last night Greening Greenfield agreed to partner with Nolembeka Project in hosting Robin at Greenfield High School. Discussion included possible protests because the event is being financed by a grant of $50,000 (!) from First Light. So we talked about offering your groups (river flow and preserving forests – is that yours ____ or is it someone else?) the option to have tables at the event in the hall outside the auditorium. If you are interested, get in touch with Diane Dix with Nolumbeka (If i can find her email i’ll forward it).
Sandra Boston”

You might see why I found it’s subtle trickery inappropriate and unworthy of a response. I don’t really know Sandra Boston. We’ve never corresponded. I didn’t reply.

It had arrived on the morning of June 2, 2022, the day after my blog post describing the actions of over half a dozen Extinction Rebellion Activists challenging the unconscionable, deadly, daily extinguishment of the Connecticut River’s life and ecosystem functions by FirstLight’s 50 year old Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station, It was also addressed to one other person, and others are mentioned whose names I’ve left off to respect their privacy.

What seems readily apparent is these sponsorships seek to keep the company’s grim ecosystem record and carnage quiet, they don’t want their relationship with the company and it’s death machine revealed while accepting the fruits of it’s poisoned tree.

At center it concerns the “free,” “public” program to be presented at the Greenfield High School this Thursday, June 23rd, sponsored by–and made possible via a big chunka-change (note the $50K!!) from FirstLight Power(now-Delaware tax-sheltered and parent-owned by Canadian global venture capital giant Public Sector Pension Investments), gifted to the Nolumbeka Project, and now–by extension, Greening Greenfield. As someone who has spent two decades writing about Northfield Mountain’s abject river brutality, it was a most unwelcome and insulting ploy. Here is the last piece I wrote on the subject in The Recorder, just a month prior:

https://www.recorder.com/my-turn-Meyer-Don-t-Take-FirstLight-for-Granted-46104531

What also seems quite likely is that the distinguished and celebrated author coming to present at Greenfield High School has little understanding of FirstLight’s grim plans for river-killing and profiteering out of the very soul of the Connecticut River for the coming half century. There was much misdirection apparent here. Any of the leaders of these entities could have reached out to me directly.

A week later–carrying water and working in the shadows for the program’s presenting sponsors, Nolumbeka and Greening Greenfield, there came this follow-up email from Ms.Boston:

“June 7, 2022, Robin Wall Kimmerer June 23

hi _____ and Karl
I told Diane Dix I had contacted you about a table at the event at GHS on the 23rd and she called me today wanting to know if I had heard from you. If you are interested could you please contact Diane at nolumbekaproject@gmail.com and let her know? thanks.and _____, would you mention this to _____ in case the _____ committee would like to have a table at the event? they would be welcome too. Greening Greenfield is going to have a table too.
thanks
sandra
ps let me know if you are not interested by replying to this email and i’ll let diane know.

The Auditorium entrance of Greenfield High School. Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer

After giving it a bit more thought, I decided I wanted to be clear that I wanted nothing whatsoever to do with this sorry bit of green-washing–particularly at the grim time when the future of a living Connecticut River ecosystem is at stake.

The following, line-by-line, is my reply. I hope they’ve now noted I will ALWAYS stand with the River and its People:

“I do not have a “group,” but find your solicitation rather creepy.

I can’t figure out exactly on who’s behalf you are “green washing”: venture capital giant PSP Investments and FirstLight, or Nolumbeka, or Greening Greenfield?

Anyway, as a journalist, citizen and stakeholder I’m always ready to offer my voice and knowledge on behalf of a living Connecticut River and a life-sustaining ecosystem. But not under the aegis of a sponsor capitalizing on killing them.

FirstLight’s monstrous machine is a continuing assault on both, and being asked to collaborate under their money-tent is particularly insulting.

Conversely, would’ve loved to explain river-crushing pumped storage from the stage!

Hey, perhaps its time to reconsider that creepy sponsorship?

I do hope the author fully understands whose tent she’ll be speaking under…

Karl”

A river without a watchdog:The Connecticut River on Juneteenth/Father’s Day, water-starved and failing in Franklin County for 50 years due to the monstrous suck-and-surge appetite of the Northfield Mountain Pumped Storage Station. FirstLight’s FERC license to operate Northfield expired on April 30, 2018, yet FERC and the responsible agencies let the killing continue. Photo Copyright © 2022 by Karl Meyer.

FirstLight deserves no honor; and certainly no place in our Public Schools. They have starved the river for profit, and taken their profits to Delaware. Attempts to quash facts and public engagement and protests are not honorable stances in a democratic society. The public has a right to know, but sitting under a FirstLight banner at a Greenfield public school sits in direct opposition to honoring the facts and democratic values.

These are things I believe Robin Kimmerer would agree with. I hope they’ve been honest with her regarding the facts of her sponsored appearance…