Climate Change

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New York’s Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has been battling with Texas based oil giant ExxonMobil for nearly a year.  Last year, the Attorney General launched an investigation into whether ExxonMobil had deliberately ignored its own research about the dangers of global warming and instead set about a campaign to mislead the public – and investors – about the dangers caused by burning fossil fuels, one of which is oil.

Today in our Ideas Matter segment we check in with Mass Humanities and learn about the Earthcare Festival at the William Cullen Bryant Homestead in Cummington, Massachusetts. The Festival—on September 9th, 10th, and 11th—marks the beginning of the newly created Hilltown Chautauqua of Western Massachusetts.

Events during the Festival weekend will explore the human relationship to nature and will feature a series of in-depth talks by nationally known figures in forest ecology, sustainability, and environmental writing, as well as poetry readings, music, and a one-woman play.

We are joined by David Perkins, founder of the Hilltown Chautaqua, and by Lauret Savoy, Professor of Environmental Studies, who will be participating in the Earthcare Festival.

After record-breaking heat in the first half of 2016, Arctic sea ice is trending low. For the last three decades, the ice has been disappearing at a dramatic rate. Changes in the Arctic can have global impacts on sea level and climate.

In November, New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman announced that his office would investigate ExxonMobil—the world’s biggest oil and gas company—for misleading the public about global warming.  Under New York law, the Attorney General has the power to investigate whether companies issue misleading statements that could amount to financial fraud. 

Governor Peter Shumlin discusses executive order
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin signed an executive order today that will give preference when awarding state contracts to businesses working to fight climate change.

Blair Horner: NY Makes A Big "Green" Move

Jul 18, 2016

Following the hottest year in recorded history, and the warmest winter, New York State is enduring a scorcher of a summer.  In fact, the state Department of Environmental Conservation has declared that all of New York is now on a “drought watch.”  

Lake Champlain (file photo)
Pat Bradley/WAMC

A new $20 million federal grant will bring together scientists from a number of Vermont colleges and universities to study what makes some sections of the Lake Champlain watershed more resilient after extreme weather events.

Open Forum: Climate Change

Apr 20, 2016

Climate change is one of the most polarizing topics on the world stage today. It  inspires strong feelings on both sides of the debate. Union College Geology Department Chair Donald Rodbell is here for a discussion on this contentious topic.

Former Vice President Al Gore joins a group of state attorneys general Tuesday in announcing a coalition aimed at combating climate change. Top: New York AG Eric Schneiderman speaking. Bottom: Former Vice President Al Gore speaking
Facebook: Eric T. Schneiderman

Former Vice President Al Gore joined a number of state attorneys general Tuesday in announcing a coalition aimed at combating climate change.

Stephen Gottlieb: Looming Catastrophe Vs Stubborn People

Mar 22, 2016

Help. Two major problems have the same structure – it doesn’t look like people will deal with the problem until it is too late. Too late means the survivors will be refugees. Everyone else will be dead. And yet getting people to deal with the threat except at the fringes has been impossible.

An international conference is kicking off today in Burlington. It helps bring the science of climate change to those who implement policy and create practical applications for climate science.

Josh Fox Film To Screen In Ulster County

Mar 16, 2016
Courtesy of Woodstock Film Festival

Oscar-nominated Director Josh Fox will be in Ulster County Wednesday evening for the screening of his film on climate change.

  In How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change, Oscar Nominated director Josh Fox continues in his personal style, investigating climate change. Traveling to 12 countries on 6 continents, the film acknowledges that it may be too late to stop some of the worst consequences and asks, what is it that climate change can’t destroy? What is so deep within us that no calamity can take it away?

Josh Fox is best known as the writer/director of Gasland Parts I and II. He is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the issue of fracking and extreme energy development. Gasland premiered at the Sundance Film Festival 2010 and was nominated for the 2011 Academy Award for best documentary.

There will be a Woodstock Film Festival screening of How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change and a Q&A with director Josh Fox this Wednesday March 16th @ 6PM at Onteora High School in Boiceville, the event is part of The Let Go and Love tour.

  Climate activists rallied and marched at the State Capitol in Albany this morning to demand action on the climate – part of their State of the Climate Address.

Speakers included Oscar-nominated actor James Cromwell, a long time political activist, who was arrested last month protesting the CPV power plant and fellow activist Pramilla Malick who is from Protect Orange County. They join us to discuss the climate, the plant and the importance of activism.

Sean Philpott-Jones: Dreaming Of A White Christmas

Dec 31, 2015

Most of my friends, upon learning that I was raised in sunny California, are shocked to find that winter is my favorite season. Since first moving to this area in the mid-90s, I’ve relished in the fact that I now live in a place with seasons, a region of the country that enjoys subzero temperatures and frequent snow during the darkest months of the year. No wonder then that the Snow Miser from the classic cartoon ‘A Year Without a Santa Claus’ is my yuletide Facebook avatar.

  What will the Paris climate accord mean for Americans?

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the time for action is here.

In a year of much bad news – both in New York and across the world – something positive has happened.  In Paris, France 195 countries met to hammer out an agreement to commit to curbing global warming.

Environmental and social justice activists from around the world were in Paris during the last two weeks to observe and demonstrate during the conference that ended with nearly 200 countries agreeing to a plan to limit global warming. 

Among the activists was Paki Wieland of Northampton, a member of Western Massachusetts Climate Action Now.   

She spoke from Paris with WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill.

Weather events.

The Director of the National Weather Service is in Albany today to deliver a talk called "Building a Weather-Ready Nation."

Mayor Kathy Sheehan
WAMC composite photo by Dave Lucas

As world leaders meet in Paris at the UN Climate Change Conference, Mayor Kathy Sheehan announced that Albany has joined the global Compact of Mayors coalition.

Picture of Governor Peter Shumlin
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Governor Peter Shumlin is in Paris this week attending the United Nations climate change conference.  He phoned home Wednesday morning to update regional reporters on the global meeting.

Following his acclaimed Atlantic and The Men Who United the States, New York Times bestselling author Simon Winchester offers an enthralling biography of the Pacific Ocean and its role in the modern world, exploring our relationship with this imposing force of nature. Simon Winchester discusses his new book, Pacific, on this week’s Book Show.

Nine Northeastern states are sharing $115 million from the latest auction of the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, which limits power plant carbon emissions while supporting renewable energy.

Michael Meeropol: Economists And Climate Change

Dec 4, 2015

There is a joke that defines an economist as a person who knows the price of everything and the value of nothing. Economist jokes often suggest that they are just ivory tower professors --- not to be taken too seriously. Yet in fact, the opposite is true. Economists are everywhere. (For example, the entire Federal Reserve is run by economists – both as members of the Board of Governors and as staffers.) Economists as intellectual hired guns provide supposedly “scientific” rationalizations for most policies. They are more powerful than we might think.

A photo of Hampshire College Professor Michael Klare
Hampshire College

The proliferation of violent conflicts and social upheaval around the world is likely to increase as a result of climate change. That is the view of Michael Klare, Five College Professor of Peace and World Security Studies at Hampshire College. 

Klare, who has written widely on U.S. military policy, is delivering a special lecture today on war and peace in the climate change era.  

     His lecture at 4:30 this afternoon at Hampshire College’s Franklin Patterson Hall is sponsored by the Five College Consortium.

Stephen Gottlieb: Refugees And The Impact Of Immigration

Dec 1, 2015

Two things have been capturing our attention, the plight of Syrian refugees, and the environmental summit in Paris. They are in fact closely connected.

WAMC photo by Dave Lucas

One of Albany's busiest thoroughfares is getting a makeover, but there's more to the project than meets the eye.

It is a well-established fact that the planet is heating up.  2014 was the hottest year on record and last week, the first prediction of 2015 came out – it wasn’t good news. 

New Paltz Climate Action Coalition

What organizers say will be a major "climate action" is set for Friday afternoon on the Walkway Over the Hudson.

Activist writer/director Josh Fox’s two Gasland films had a symbiotic relationship with the worldwide anti-fracking movement. 

Next Wednesday, September 30th, Fox will open the 2015 Woodstock Film Festival with a keynote address about the intersection between human rights and climate change  --- and how film can illustrate and transform our approach to this complex political problem.