MOTHER's Newsworthies: James M. Jeffords, Mike Farrell, Pam Dawber, E.F. Schumacher and Marcel Marceau

Learn how James M. Jeffords is founder of the Congressional Solar Coalition; Mike Farrell, is a committed vegetarian; Pam Dawber is concerned with the country's energy crisis; E.F Schumacher, wrote the book Good Work; and Marcel Marceau has purchased a farm and has planted lots of trees for forest restoration.

| September/October 1979

Brief: James M. Jeffords

Jim Jeffords, the activist Republican Congressman-at-Large from Vermont, is deeply involved in environmental issues. A founder of the 75-member Congressional Solar Coalition (the group's first meetings took place in his office), Jeffords continually stresses the use of alternative energy sources. A bill filed by the congressman this spring, for example, would mandate that gasoline be mixed with alcohol, to "reduce dependence on oil, rather than just increase fuel production."

Another Jeffords bill would aid small hydro plants by turning licensing — which is now handled by the federal government and is the most serious hydro-development bottleneck — over to the often-more-efficient states ... and by making federal loan funds available for small hydro systems. The congressman advocates a tax credit for wood stove purchasers, too. Perhaps partially because he represents a state in which 70 percent of the homes have wood heaters and 27 percent of all heating oil consumption has been replaced by wood, Jeffords criticizes "the Administration's policy which seeks big solutions, and ignores completely the ingenuity and ability of individuals to find our own solutions."

Vermont's congressman has not limited his attention to energy, however: In 1978 he attended the Canadian seal "harvest" (as a representative of both Congress and Greenpeace) and — in June 1979 — the American seal slaughter in the Pribiloff Islands. While admitting that there may be economic — or even ecological — arguments in favor of killing the seals ... Jeffords poignantly says, "No one can come away from the destruction of pups still in the process of nursing from their mothers without feeling a sense of general shame." As chairman of the House Environmental Study Conference, Jeffords this year introduced bills which would require the federal government:

  • to determine whether the harvest of seals threatens the continued existence of the species (and to take action to assure the survival of the mammals), and
  • to play a leading role in seeking an international moratorium on the commercial killing of whales

As both an advocate of human-scale energy solutions and an environmentalist, Jeffords serves his constituents — and the nation — well.

Brief: Mike Farrell 

M*A*S*H has always been a different sort of television show ... less simplistic and more involved with human values than are the run-of-the-mill comedy programs. It's not surprising, then, that many members of the cast exhibit concern about the very issues dramatized in the series ... and there's no better example than Mike Farrell, who plays Dr. B.J. Hunnicutt.

Farrell's activities are a refreshing contrast to the too-frequent disco-dumbness of celebrity life. He's a committed vegetarian, for example, who frequently speaks out about the dangers of chemical additives in food. Something of an activist, Mike numbers human rights, the campaign for the ERA, prison reform, the protection of endangered species, and improving the plight of the farm-workers among the causes he's advocated.

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