Climate Change

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

Capital Region leaders held a rally over the weekend outside the governor's mansion in Albany, calling on Andrew Cuomo to act on climate change.  

Susan Hand Shetterly has written about wildlife and wetlands for more than thirty years, in both articles and books, including "Settled in the Wild," a collection of essays.

In "Seaweed Chronicles," Shetterly takes readers deep into the world of this essential organism by providing an immersive, often poetic look at life on the rugged shores of her beloved Gulf of Maine, where the growth and harvesting of seaweed is becoming a major industry.

While examining the life cycle of seaweed and its place in the environment, she tells the stories of the men and women who farm and harvest it and who are fighting to protect this critical species against forces both natural and man-made.

Christopher White has written numerous books, including "Skipjack: The Story of America’s Last Sailing Oystermen" and "The Melting World: A Journey Across America’s Vanishing Glaciers." His articles have appeared in Audubon, The Baltimore Sun, The New Mexican, National Geographic, and Exploration.

In his new book, "The Last Lobster: Boom or Bust for Maine's Greatest Fishery?" he follows three lobster captains: Frank, Jason, and Julie (one the few female skippers in Maine), as they haul and set thousands of traps.

For the past five years, the lobster population along the coast of Maine has boomed, resulting in a lobster harvest six times the size of the record catch from the 1980s an event unheard of in fisheries. In a detective story, scientists and fishermen explore various theories for the glut. Leading contenders are a sudden lack of predators and a recent wedge of warming waters, which may disrupt the reproductive cycle, a consequence of climate change. Unexpectedly, boom may turn to bust, as the captains must fight a warming ocean, volatile prices, and rough weather to keep their livelihood afloat.

Blair Horner: Trump Fiddles While The Earth Burns

Aug 6, 2018

The summer rolls on and the heat builds up.  But this is not like any other summer, it’s getting hotter in unprecedented ways.  July’s heat, for example, fueled ferocious wildfires, from the arctic to Greece, where more than 80 people died, to the Western states, where it feels like the entire state of California is burning.

WAMC

WAMC's Dr. Alan Chartock shares his thoughts on Michael Cohen, a former attorney for President Trump, who is reportedly likely to cooperate with the Mueller investigation. Dr. Chartock also discusses climate change effects on Antarctica.

Research biologist and cancer survivor Sandra Steingraber was inspired to activism by the classic book "Silent Spring" by Rachel Carson, becoming one of America's leading environmental writers and anti-pollution advocates.

Steingraber has now edited the Library of America edition of Carson’s writings - an unprecedented collection of letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the extraordinary courage and vision of its author.

The volume presents one of the landmark books of the twentieth century together with rare letters, speeches, and other writings that reveal the personal courage and passionate commitment of its author.

Sandra Steingraber is the Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College.

Andrea Barnet’s new book "Visionary Women" tells the story of four visionaries who profoundly shaped the world we live in today. Together, these women, linked not by friendship or field but by their choice to break with convention, showed what one person speaking truth to power can do.

Jane Jacobs fought for livable cities and strong communities; Rachel Carson warned us about poisoning the environment; Jane Goodall demonstrated the indelible kinship between humans and animals; and Alice Waters urged us to reconsider what and how we eat.

Barnet traces the arc of each woman’s career and explores how their work collectively changed the course of history.

WAMC Northeast Public Radio and The New York State Writers Institute present a special Climate Change Roundtable Panel at Page Hall at UAlbany's Downtown Campus featuring the following experts:

  • Judith Enck – Senior Advisor at Institute for Governance and Sustainable Development, former regional administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency under President Barack Obama, and regular Roundtable Panelist
  • Jeff Goodell - a contributing editor for Rolling Stone and a frequent contributor to the New York Times Magazine. His latest book is "The Water Will Come"
  • Elizabeth Kolbert - Pulitzer Prize-winner for "The Sixth Extinction: An Unnatural History," observer on environmentalism for The New Yorker magazine.
  • Terry Tempest Williams - award-winning author of fifteen books, including her latest: "The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America's National Parks"

Hundreds of students protested at the Vermont Statehouse to demand more political action to combat climate change.

Okemo Mountain Resort
Ski Vermont

A professor at the University of New Hampshire has released a report concluding winter sports resorts need to adjust to warmer winters caused by climate change.

wikipedia commons

           Three municipalities in western Massachusetts are exploring banding together to pick an electricity supplier for their residents and businesses. It is an idea that is being pushed by climate activists that has caught on in other parts of the country.

On Town Meeting Day some Vermont towns will vote on resolutions that address climate change.

wikipedia commons

Former South Carolina Congressman Bob Inglis is a Republican who represented the state’s Fourth House District for 12 years before turning his attention to fighting climate change, which he says can be accomplished with conservative principles. Inglis is now the executive director of the Energy and Enterprise Initiative based at George Mason University.

Forests
Photo by R. Zajchowski / University of Vermont

A new paper from scientists in the Northeast finds that tree species are increasingly stressed by the changing climate. The paper is titled  “New England and Northern New York Forest Ecosystem Vulnerability Assessment and Synthesis: A Report from the New England Climate Change Response Framework Project.” According to the report, habitat conditions for current species like the sugar maple, northern white cedar and balsam fir will deteriorate and those species will likely be replaced by those found south of New England such as black cherry, yellow poplar and hickory.  University of Vermont Associate Professor and Director of the Forestry Program at the Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources Tony D’Amato was the second author on the USDA paper.  He says the study is an expansion of similar work he was involved with while in Minnesota several years ago.

Blair Horner: Climate News Just Keeps Getting Worse

Jan 29, 2018

Earlier this month, the European Union’s climate change center (the Copernicus Climate Change Service) named 2017 as the second hottest worldwide temperature on record, just behind 2016.  The EU said that the Earth’s surface temperature averaged nearly 58.5 degrees Fahrenheit, which is over 2 degrees warmer than the average in pre-industrial times.

We all want to be happy. Yet as we consume ever more in a frantic bid for happiness, global warming worsens. Alarmed by drastic changes now occurring in the Earth's climate systems, the author, a climate scientist and suburban father of two, embarked on a journey to change his life and the world. He began by bicycling, growing food, meditating, and making other simple, fulfilling changes. Ultimately, he slashed his climate impact to under a tenth of the US average and became happier in the process.

Being the Change explores the connections between our individual daily actions and our collective predicament. It merges science, spirituality, and practical action to develop a satisfying and appropriate response to global warming.

Peter Kalmus is a climate scientist at NASA’s Jet Propulsion Laboratory with a Ph.D. in physics from Columbia University. His new book is Being the Change: Live Well and Spark a Climate Revolution.

Jeff Goodell is a contributing editor at Rolling Stone and the author of five books, including How to Cool the Planet: Geoengineering and the Audacious Quest to Fix Earth's Climate, which won the 2011 Grantham Prize Award of Special Merit. Goodell's previous books include Sunnyvale, a memoir about growing up in Silicon Valley, which was a New York Times Notable Book, and Big Coal: The Dirty Secret Behind America's Energy Future.

His new book, is The Water Will Come: Rising Seas, Sinking Cities, and the Remaking of the Civilized World and he will discuss it at Northshire Bookstore in Saratoga Springs, NY tonight and at Northshire Bookstore in Manchester, VT on Friday.

Despite the nonsense that Americans hear from their national elected leaders, climate change is the single biggest policy challenge we face.  There is no doubt that the planet is heating up and that human activities are the primary driver of global warming.  The burning of fossil fuels, coal, oil and gas, are the most significant culprits in those human activities.

NRDC report cover
NRDC

A leading environmental advocacy organization has released a report outlining measures the country could take to increase renewable energy generation and cut greenhouse gases 80 percent by 2050.

Stephen Gottlieb: God And Texas

Aug 29, 2017

I mentioned to Ian a couple of weeks ago, as I was preparing to take a brief vacation, that I thought I had enough commentary ready for a couple of months. Ian just smiled and said it might depend on what happened. He didn’t mention a biblical flood in Texas.

A standard page out of the American Business playbook is that if there is a serious problem emerging down the road, corporate chieftains ramp up a massive disinformation and lobbying campaign to undermine the threat.

Blair Horner: The State Of The Climate

Aug 14, 2017

Last week the nation’s top science agencies released a report on the planet’s deteriorating climate.  The report, State of the Climate 2016, by the National Aeronautics and Space Administration’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration made it official: 2016 was the warmest year in recorded history.  And it was the third year in a row that the record was set.

The former EPA regional administrator under President Obama says scientists who leaked the report on further evidence of climate change to the New York Times should be commended as “whistleblowers."

Blair Horner: The World Gets A New, Huge Iceberg

Jul 17, 2017

Last week a gigantic portion of the Antarctica ice sheet broke off.  This isn’t the first time an enormous chunk collapsed into the sea, but it may be the biggest.  This gigantic iceberg is part of the “Larsen C” ice sheet and measures 6,000 kilometers in size, or roughly the size of the state of Delaware. 

Rob Edelman: An Inconvenient Truth, Part 2

Jul 17, 2017

It is at once unsurprising and refreshing that, just as President Trump trumpeted his decision to pull the United States out of the Paris climate agreement, announcement came of the upcoming release of a sequel to what arguably is the most celebrated and influential climate change documentary. That film is AN INCONVENIENT TRUTH, and it was released in 2006.

Voice Theatre is a professional company based at the historic landmark Byrdcliffe Theater in Woodstock, NY. They create new productions and explore relevant dimensions of classic works.

Their production of Thornton Wilder’s The Skin Of Our Teeth opens tonight. In it - the prehistoric world meets Suburbia. The Antrobus family – George and Maggie, their children, Gladys and Henry, and Sabina, a maid who is also George’s mistress – survive the Election, Climate Change and the End of the World. Combining tragedy with comedy, wit, intelligence and imagination the play is one of the defining moments in American Theater.

To tell us more – we welcome actors: Christa Trinler playing Sabina and Phil Mansfield who is playing George Antrobud along with Shauna Kanter - director and artistic Director of Voice Theatre. 

Sean Philpott-Jones: Time For Citizens To Take The Lead

Jun 29, 2017

Earlier this month, President Trump finally honored one of his many (often contradictory) campaign promises. He formally withdrew the United States from the 2015 Paris Climate Accord. America is now one of only three countries in the world who are not party to this landmark agreement, joining Syria and Nicaragua in refusing to work collaboratively to combat the threat of global climate change.

Fred Kowal: Silence Is Not An Option

Jun 20, 2017

As the nation’s largest union of higher education professionals, United University Professions strongly supports the search for truth based on scientific facts and exploration.

Burlington Mayor Miro Weinberger
Burlington VT Mayor's Office

President Donald Trump announced on June 1st that his administration would pull the U.S. out of the Paris Climate Accord.  The move was criticized not only by environmental activists but also business and municipal concerns.  Earlier this week more than 200 members of the Climate Mayors coalition signed the U.S. Climate Alliance’s “We Are Still In” open letter to the global community.  Among those in this region committing to support the Paris agreement is Burlington, Vermont Mayor Miro Weinberger.  The Democrat says the letter is consistent with the city’s long-time position on the environment.

Fred R. Conrad

Paul Krugman is the Distinguished Professor of Economics at the Graduate Center of the City University of New York and an op-ed columnist for The New York Times. He was the recipient of the 2008 Nobel Prize in Economics.

This past Sunday, after a screening of the Academy Award winning 1976 film, All The President’s Men, Krugman joined Alan Chartock at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington, MA as part of the Berkshire International Film Festival for a conversation about current events and The Trump Administration. 

Pages