The Greater Long Island Clean Cities held its annual Advancing the Choice Conference on October 14th, 2011 at Bethpage Park. This event highlights alternative fuel vehicles, alternative fuels, and all the people locally who are helping to make them a reality here on Long Island. Peter Scully, Regional Director of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) addressed the crowd with facts about climate change to remind the group why their efforts are so important. He pointed out a scary fact– because we are releasing so much carbon into the atmosphere that is binding with oxygen, there is now actually less in oxygen in the atmosphere. On the positive side, it’s therefore always inspiring to hear about successes with fleets being converted from conventional fossil sources of fuel, and to actually see cutting edge vehicles on display. See GLICC.org.
An Argument On Wind
Today’s NY Times featured a great letter that I thought was worth re-posting here. It is in response to an op-ed on 9/29 stating strong opposition to wind turbines being placed on a mountaintop in Vermont, the state where I went to graduate school. [Read more…] about An Argument On Wind
Tribute to Professor Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
(Excerpted from the United Nations Environment Programme tribute)
Professor Wangari Maathai, Nobel Peace Prize laureate, founder of Kenya’s Green Belt Movement and patron of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) Billion Tree Campaign, died 9/25/11 in Nairobi. She was 71 years old. Professor Maathai was one of Africa’s foremost environmental campaigners, internationally recognized for her commitment to democracy, human rights and conservation. She founded the Green Belt Movement in 1977, encouraging women in rural Kenya to plant trees in order to improve their livelihoods through better access to clean water, firewood for cooking and other resources. Since then, the Green Belt Movement has planted over 30 million trees in Africa and assisted nearly 900,000 women to establish tree nurseries and plant trees to reverse the effects of deforestation. In 2004, the Nobel Prize Committee recognized Professor Maathai’s lifelong commitment to environmental sustainability and the empowerment of women by awarding her the Nobel Peace Prize. She was the first environmentalist and the first African woman to receive the honor. In December 2002, Professor Maathai was elected to Kenya’s parliament and appointed Assistant Minister for environment and natural resources. [Read more…] about Tribute to Professor Wangari Maathai (1940-2011)
Moving Planet Sounds the Call for Climate Action
September 24, 2011 was the annual global day of climate action organized by Bill Mckibben’s 350.org. Groups from 175 countries (!) called on elected officials to move on climate change policy and reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Several actions took place on Long Island and NYC, and the photo of our Walk for 350 at Jones Beach is below. Photos of all the inspiring actions from around the world can be viewed at moving-planet.org.
The creativity was incredible!–And the message was loud and clear: we need to achieve at least 350 parts per million of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere in order to stabilize the global climate and avoid more of the intense storms, floods, and droughts we have already been experiencing. Right now we are at 390ppm. It’s not time for politics, it’s time to MOVE!
Ecofest NYC 2011
On Sunday Sept. 18th, New Yorkers celebrated the annual Ecofest, this year beside the Intrepid Museum at Pier 86. Many nonprofit environmental organizations participated, as well as NY State Energy Research & Development Agency (NYSERDA), green entrepreneurs, and green vehicle companies. One highlight was the eco-fashion show on eco-friendly “ice” that is made of a slippery resin. It is skate-able just like real ice, but requires no water or energy.
Two designers displayed their lines: Roxi Suger of Angelrox and Heidi Vanderhoof. Heidi is a figure skater and also a costume designer that makes use of recycled fabrics, and Angelrox creates clothing such as adjustable wraps out of bamboo fiber, as well as organic cotton tunics and tops. The Angelrox line strives to use American grown fabrics and is all sewn right in Brooklyn. See angelrox.com.
Climate Change Deniers
In response to TX Governor Rick Perry’s proposition that climate change data has been altered by scientists, NY Times Columnist Thomas Friedman got it right. Friedman was interviewed by Piers Morgan on CNN several days ago, and his response was to point out that the oil and gas industries donate millions of dollars to congressional campaigns, but we question the collective thinking of climate scientists working for grants of $25,000? Scientists could make more money by denying it! Also, Texas happens to be facing numerous wildfires burning at the moment, causing Governor Perry to declare a state of emergency last week. Friedman pointed out that such wildfires are fully in line with the extreme weather/drought/flood predictions of climate scientists.
I hope many people heard his comments and discernment starts to sink in, that the opinion of a politician on climate change is simply not as informed as the thousands of climate scientists around the world, including those who signed onto the last IPCC Report (2007) and the National Academy of Science’s reports. Opinions should be based on facts, not politics. Science can certainly change, but there is a huge foundation of reports and studies validating human–induced climate impacts. To not act on this knowledge is irresponsible and has serious implications for the future.
Watch the CNN clip here: http://piersmorgan.blogs.cnn.com/2011/09/08/thomas-friedman-climate-change-actually-happening-under-rick-perrys-nose-and-hes-denying-it/