Environmental News & Action Items
"I recognize the right and duty of this generation to develop and use our natural resources,
but I do not recognize the right to waste them, or to rob by wasteful use, the generations that come after us."
— Theodore Roosevelt
"The Iroquois Confederation made their decisions based on the welfare of their children
and childrens' children for seven generations. Will our leaders do the same?"
— Joe Hoff, Chairman, Keuka Citizens Against Hydrofracking
In 2000, the following resolution was submitted and passed at the AAUW-NYS Convention:
Environment and Health
- Branches work in coalition with other community groups to become informed on environmental and health issues;
- Branches advocate legislation at the state and local levels to ensure a clean and healthful environment;
- A workshop on environmental and health issues be included periodically at the New York State Convention.
- Submitted by (the late) Judith Wagner and Ann Heidenreich, St. Lawrence County Branch.
North Country Matters: North Country 350 Alliance Update - NCM host Donna Seymour talks with Ginger Storey-Welch, a leader of the local North Country 350 Alliance. They discuss local Climate Change education efforts, how the military is responding to the real threats of climate change and the conundrum between the reality of climate change and the denial practiced by government leaders. They also look at the Prop 3 on the NYS Ballot to create an infrastructure land bank in the Adirondack Park. And they talk about several regional climate and energy conferences, including renewable energy, electric vehicles, micro grids, and municipal commitments to clean energy locally. (Filmed Oct. 27, 2017)
North Country Matters: Ginger Storey-Welch, Marching for Social Justice - NCM host Donna Seymour talks about social justice movements including the People’s Climate March and the March For Science with Ginger Storey-Welch, the leader of the local North Country 350 Alliance. They discuss how social mobilization around many different social justice issues has accelerated since January. (March 31, 2017)
North Country Matters: Canton Sustainability Committee - Three members of the Canton Sustainability Committee update us on the work and progress on Canton’s Community Action Plan which was adopted in 2011 to “strengthen Canton’s future through sustainable development.” We look at several goals of the Action Plan, including energy, transportation, and food. Joining us are Carol Pynchon, Canton Village Trustee, Klaus Proem, Canton Sustainability Committee chair, and Carol Gable, energy subcommittee chair. (Oct. 26, 2016)
The NC 350 Alliance represents the convergence of a number of groups with a long and rich tradition of activism on behalf of sustainability and social justice. Members and constituent groups have been engaged in campaigns against incineration, fracking, and industrial agriculture, and in the promotion of farmers markets, EBT/SNAP access to local foods, sustainable living and alternative energy fairs, school programs on nutrition, and university programs on sustainability, as well as conferences and demonstrations on climate change. We have brought numerous distinguished speakers to our campuses-- among them Bill McKibben, Michael E. Mann, William Blakemore (of ABC), and the anti-fracking activist Deborah Rogers.
The North Country 350 Alliance meets at 6:30 pm on every third Wenesday of each month at the Potsdam Community Room in the Public Safety Building.
How to Shop for Solar Power: Solar Panels, Inverters, and More
Updated: November 13, 2017
- Drinking water blamed in hundreds of illnesses, 13 deaths, CDC reports - In 2013-14, a total of 42 drinking-water-associated outbreaks caused by infectious pathogens, chemicals or toxins were reported to the CDC from 19 states. The reports do not include lead contamination. These outbreaks led to at least 1,006 cases of illness, 124 hospitalizations and 13 deaths across Alaska, Arizona, Florida, Idaho, Indiana, Kansas, Maryland, Michigan, Montana, New York, North Carolina, Ohio, Oregon, Pennsylvania, Rhode Island, Tennessee, Virginia, West Virginia and Wisconsin.
- United Airlines cancels Delhi flights on air quality concerns - "United has temporarily suspended Newark-Delhi flights due to poor air quality concerns in Delhi and currently has waiver policies in place for customers who are travelling to, from or through Delhi. We are monitoring advisories as the region remains under a public health emergency and are coordinating with respective government agencies," United Airlines spokesperson said.
- Election Wins Give Climate Action a Boost - The wave of state and local success for Democrats across the country during Tuesday's election also brought a surge of good news for climate and clean energy.
- Cities can cut greenhouse gas emissions far beyond their urban borders - "It turns out that the same activities that cause most local emissions of urban households -- housing and transport -- are also responsible for the majority of upstream emissions elsewhere along the supply chain," says lead-author Peter-Paul Pichler from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK). "People often think that mayors cannot do much about climate change since their power is restricted to city limits, but their actions can have far-reaching impacts. The planned emission reductions presented so far by national governments at the UN summit are clearly insufficient to limit global warming to well below 2 degrees Celsius, the target agreed by 190 countries, therefore additional efforts are needed."
- Trump Ignores Climate Change. That’s Very Bad for Disaster Planners. - The controversy around the climate rule illustrates how tricky preparing for future disasters can be in today’s political landscape, especially since experts argue that adapting to stronger storms and several feet of sea level rise could require upfront investments beyond what the federal government has been willing to consider to date. “I don’t think the scale of what we need to do has sunk in,” said David W. Titley, a retired rear admiral and former chief oceanographer of the Navy who heads a climate center at Pennsylvania State University. “We’re not talking about elevating a few structures by a foot. We’re talking about elaborate flood defenses and relocation efforts that could cost billions — or trillions.”
- Climate change 'will create world's biggest refugee crisis' - Experts warn refugees could number tens of millions in the next decade, and call for a new legal framework to protect the most vulnerable. The study published on Thursday calls on governments to agree a new legal framework to protect climate refugees and, ahead of next week’s climate summit in Germany, urges leaders to do more to implement the targets set out in the Paris climate agreement.
- Australia: Why we’re building a climate change game for 12-year-olds - In most countries, the topic of climate change is usually introduced at around the age of 16. Unfortunately, students at this age have largely made up their minds about climate change. Any efforts to teach them about the science may cement those opinions (both for and against) – particularly if it threatens their existing opinion. So around age 12, children’s worldview is still open to change and they can take on board new information in a way that their older selves may not.
- State aims lawsuit at Trump administration over smog control rules - On Thursday, state Attorney General Eric Schneiderman filed a notice of intent to the sue the Environmental Protection Agency for allegedly violating the federal Clean Air Act by not imposing stricter pollution limits on states including Illinois, Michigan, Pennsylvania, Virginia and West Virginia.
- The female face of climate change - There used to be a time when the lines connecting climate change and gender were non-existent or blurred. women are 14 more times likely to die than men during a disaster. This is an alarming demography, if you consider that 68 per cent of all disasters are related to climate change. This supports the contention that climate change affects women in particular, when broken down into demographic factors. Women comprise the majority of agricultural workers all over the world.
- Enviros Oppose Con Con - Not surprisingly, the Environmental Advocates of New York on Monday announced they “strongly” oppose the upcoming referendum over whether to hold a constitutional convention on ballots next month. Conservation and environmental groups are concerned a convention would impact the “forever wild” clause that protects the Adirondack and Catskills regions from development and environmental degradation.
- Climate change already costing U.S. billions, GAO report says - A Government Accountability Office report released Monday said the federal government has spent more than $350 billion over the last decade on disaster assistance programs and losses from flood and crop insurance. That tally does not include the massive toll from this year's three major hurricanes and wildfires, expected to be among the most costly in the nation's history. The report predicts these costs will only grow in the future, potentially reaching a budget busting $35 billion a year by 2050. The report says the federal government doesn't effectively plan for these recurring costs, classifying the financial exposure from climate-related costs as "high risk."
- Pollutants from fracking could pose health risk to children, warn researchers - “This study is really the first comprehensive look at whether there is a risk for this type of harm from fracking,” said Ellen Webb, co-author of the research from the Center for Environmental Health, a US-based non-profit organisation.
- NYC could see 500-year flood every 5 years - Within the next three decades, floods that used to strike the New York City area only once every 500 years could occur every five years, according to a new scientific study released just days before the fifth anniversary of Hurricane Sandy.
- Gillibrand, Tonko seek more cleanup of PCBs in the Hudson - U.S. Sen. Kirsten Gillibrand and six Congress members from New York are pushing the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency to declare more work is needed on the $1.7 billion PCB cleanup of the Hudson River.
- Air Pollution Kills 9 Million, Costs $5 Trillion Per Year - "For decades, pollution and its harmful effects on people's health, the environment, and the planet have been neglected both by Governments and the international development agenda. Yet, pollution is the largest environmental cause of disease and death in the world today, responsible for an estimated 9 million premature deaths."
- Preparing for climate change impacts - Five years after Superstorm Sandy, the Regional Plan Association says New York is still not doing enough to prepare for the impacts of climate change. The group is out with a new report that looks at the effect of rising sea level on New York and its neighbors. It argues for a new approach that's pro-active rather than reactive. But the planners also say New York can't do it alone. RPA vice president for energy and environmental programs Robert Freudenberg explains.
- Scientists explore how climate change may affect mental health - A study from March found that climate change can affect mental health following a major disaster, such as hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria, or potentially have longer-term effects. While data is in its early stages, researchers say that over time, rising temperatures can lead to increased aggression, violence and depression in a region. Dr. Susan Clayton, one of the professors on the study from Wooster College, said that while many long-term effects can only be speculated, it's likely that researchers will find more negative consequences.
- Climate Change Is Complex. We’ve Got Answers to Your Questions. - We know. Global warming is daunting. So here’s a place to start: 17 often-asked questions with some straightforward answers.
- The only California county that sent a warning to residents’ cellphones has no reported fatalities - Five years after it was launched by the Federal Emergency Management Agency, the use of the nation’s alert system remains uneven. And despite a campaign by FEMA to encourage local governments to participate, most U.S. counties could not order an alert today if they faced an emergency. More than 65 percent of the nation’s 3,500 counties do not have agreements in place with FEMA to send alerts through the Wireless Emergency Alert system, as it is known, the agency said.
- September sets alarming global temperature record and negates a favorite denier talking point - It was also the most active month on record for North Atlantic hurricanes. September 2017 smashed multiple climate records, alarming scientists and further negating a favorite talking point of climate science deniers. First and foremost, last month was the hottest September ever recorded in the four decades of satellite data analyzed by the University of Alabama at Huntsville (UAH).
- Growing majority believes global warming is happening - New polling shows that three quarters of the public believes global temperatures have been rising in recent decades, including a growing share of Republicans, but a wide partisan gap on climate change persists.
- Trump Plays Down Health Hazard in Justifying Climate Rule Repeal - The Trump administration, however, is preparing to assert that the potential health benefits of cutting that pollution ends at a certain point -- when levels are cut to match a national standard or a threshold examined in two long-term health studies, according to documents obtained by Bloomberg.
- Schneiderman Vows To Sue Over Clean Power Plan Repeal - The decision by President Donald Trump’s administration to scrap the Clean Power Plan will be challenged in court by Attorney General Eric Schneiderman, his office said on Monday.
- Columbus Day: Not a day of hope for the environment - The Columbus mindset is the same one that is driving our global civilization toward environmental catastrophe. At this point in the early 21st century, we are beginning to encounter the disastrous consequences of the mindset that Columbus and those who followed him, brought with their voyages of conquest. The rapacious approach to mineral wealth that caused the Spaniards to extract every last grain from the world’s richest silver mine at Potosí, Bolivia, is the same mindset that drives today’s fossil fuel companies to rape the earth through fracking and tar sands extraction, even while carbon emissions threaten the future of civilization. The moral ease with which Europeans drove millions of enslaved Native Americans and Africans to their deaths is the same grotesque mentality that today permits the wealthiest six men in the world to own as much as half the world’s population.
- Report: New York needs $27 billion to fix local bridges - New York State needs $27 billion to repair hundreds of aging, locally owned bridges, according to a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. About half of the state's 17,000 bridges are owned by local governments. Nearly 13 percent of these locally owned spans are considered structurally deficient. Some need repairs to allow them to carry heavier loads; others are prone to floods.
- The US Defense Department takes climate change seriously - While President Donald Trump has dismissed climate change as a hoax, the Department of Defense is focused on understanding and preparing for continued climate disruption and the security threats it poses in a warming world.
- U.N. Sec Gen visits Barbuda, calls for greater climate change commitment - “We need an enhanced engagement of the international community in order to be able to dominate climate change and to avoid the dramatic multiplication of disasters we are seeing.” U.N. Secretary General António Guterres made the statement while speaking to local, regional and international media practitioners on Saturday during a visit to hurricane ravaged Barbuda to get a first-hand look at the extent of the damage caused by Hurricane Irma on Sept. 5-6. “There is a collective responsibility of the international community to stop this suicidal development,” the UN Secretary General said as he urged the international community to increase its commitment to combat climate change.
- White House quietly cancels wildlife protections - The pending rules were mostly withdrawn in March and April. But environmental groups and others didn’t know about the action because the administration only noted it in passing in a broader posting from the White House on the status of regulations. The Center for Biological Diversity, which has filed multiple lawsuits against the government seeking stronger protections for endangered species, wasn’t aware the rules were withdrawn until asked about it by Bloomberg, said Noah Greenwald, who directs the group’s efforts on the issue. “They are required by law to issue these,” Greenwald said. “If they are taking them off the schedule, they are in violation of the law and they are also putting species at risk of extinction. I think it’s totally unacceptable.”
- State A.G. joins 13 others in threat to sue EPA over smog - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency failed to meet a deadline to designate which areas in the United States were being plagued by smog pollution. State Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman and 13 other attorneys general from various states and the District of Columbia filed on Thursday a notice to sue the federal agency to force it to comply with those requirements set by the Clean Air Act.
- Most Americans want government to combat climate change, poll finds - Sixty-one percent of Americans think climate change is a problem that the government needs to address, including 43 percent of Republicans and 80 percent of Democrats, according to a new survey from the Energy Policy Institute at the University of Chicago and The Associated Press-NORC Center for Public Affairs Research.
- Wild Center gets climate-change funding - TUPPER LAKE – A $494,000 grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will support the Wild Center as it helps students and teachers in the Adirondacks, New York City and the Catskills respond to climate change. As part of the project, high schoolers will learn to assess the effect climate change is likely to have on their communities, work on techniques to convey those impacts to others and develop the leadership skills needed to shape localized solutions.
- NYSERDA releases updated solar guidebook - The state Energy Research and Development Authority released an updated version of the New York Solar Guidebook to help communities site and review solar projects. The 2017 edition contains new chapters that provide step-by-step instructions for navigating the State Environmental Quality Review process for solar facilities, describe methods local governments can use to site solar projects while protecting farmland and help them navigate payment-in-lieu-of-tax agreement negotiations.
- Climate Change Refugees Face Militarized Borders - As more and more climate-ravaged communities are forced to relocate by droughts, floods and superstorms, the business of fortifying borders is booming. In his new book, Storming the Wall: Climate Change, Migration, and Homeland Security, Todd Miller travels around the world reporting on the corporate border militarization cash grab, and the emerging movements for environmental justice and sustainability. The hi-tech militarized barriers between developed and undeveloped nations are increasing. Built to keep out refugees driven by economic and political need, these borders are now faced by those fleeing the ravages of climate change, author Todd Miller tells Truthout in this exclusive interview.
- Preparing Your Home for a Disaster - Disaster, even one experienced through a television screen, has a way of sharpening the mind. And the recent cascade of hurricanes, forest fires and earthquakes has reminded many Americans, including those thousands of miles from danger, that there is no time like the present to think about all the things that could go wrong. The Federal Emergency Management Agency, the American Red Cross and the Department of Homeland Security all provide advice on preparedness. Yet a 2015 FEMA survey found that only 39 percent of respondents had an emergency plan that they had discussed with their families, even though 80 percent of Americans live in counties that have suffered weather-related disasters since 2007.
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