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.

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

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. 

This was a truly dark week in American history.  The President of the United States ignored the advice of the world’s scientific experts and decided to pull the nation out of the global climate agreement hammered out in Paris in 2015.  Among the community of nations, only worn-torn Syria and Nicaragua—which believes it does not go far enough to combat climate change—have refused to sign the accord.

The governors of four New England states, including two Republicans, are joining a bipartisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

Bill McKibben
Pat Bradley/WAMC

"There's no way to get around the fact that yesterday was a disaster," renowned environmentalist Bill McKibben says of President Trump's decision to pull the U.S. out of the Paris climate agreement. "It's the thing that Trump will be remembered for for hundreds of years, assuming we're around for hundreds of years to's on the short list of the dumbest things America has ever done."

McKibben is an author, environmentalist, and activist. The Vermonter spoke with WAMC's Pat Bradley on Friday. In 1988, he wrote The End of Nature, the first book for a common audience about global warming. He is the co-founder and Chairman of the Board at

Indian Point Nuclear Power Plant
Wiki Commons

Democratic Governor Andrew Cuomo says he’ll sign an executive order committing New York state to meet the Paris Climate Accord standards, calling President Trump’s decision Thursday to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.” And the governor says he’s joining with the governors of the states of California and Washington to form a coalition of states that are committed to upholding the Paris Accord. ​ New York state has already begun a plan to get 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030.

The number one challenge facing all of us is climate change triggered by the warming of the planet.  The rising temperatures have heated the world and have already resulted in significant changes: the melting of the ice caps, famine and drought, as well as rising sea levels, and new and unpredictable weather patterns.

WAMC, Allison Dunne

Congresswoman Nita Lowey was in Rockland County Monday at one of the largest earth science research institutions in the world. The Hudson Valley Democrat was there to highlight what she called “devastating” local impacts on science during the first 100 days of the Trump administration. Her visit comes a few days after the White House removed climate change data from the Environmental Protection Agency website. WAMC’s Hudson Valley Bureau Chief Allison Dunne has more.

Hudson Valley To Hold Sister Climate Marches

Apr 28, 2017

The Hudson Valley is the site of at least two sister marches to the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C. Saturday.

Activists are hoping to build grassroots support for the Massachusetts legislature to approve some form of a carbon tax to combat global warming. 

Nine western Massachusetts municipalities this spring are scheduled to vote on non-binding carbon pricing resolutions.  

WAMC’s Pioneer Valley Bureau Chief Paul Tuthill spoke with Richard Pree , who is a local leader of the national Citizens’ Climate Lobby.

4/21/17 Panel

Apr 21, 2017

      The Roundtable Panel: a daily open discussion of issues in the news and beyond.

Today's panelists are WAMC’s Alan Chartock, Director of the Journalism Department at the University at Albany, and former EPA Regional Administrator Judith Enck.

March for Science - Albany, NY/Capital District - April 22
People's Climate March - Washington D.C. - April 29 (site links to sister marches all over the country)

From the California drought, to the Oroville Dam flood, to the drilling of the Dakota Access Pipeline - environmental and humanitarian issues are at the forefront of conversation as the new administration takes the helm.

Water problems in the Western United States are just the tip of the iceberg, and they can seem tantalizingly easy to solve: just turn off the fountains at the Bellagio, stop selling hay to China, ban golf, cut down the almond trees, and remove the lawyers the equation.

In Where The Water Goes: Life And Death Along The Colorado RiverNew Yorker writer David Owen takes a closer look at a vast man-made ecosystem around the Colorado River that is far more complex and interesting than the headlines let on.