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 remember...it'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 350.org.

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. 

Facebook: Williams College

Williams College hosted a climate change roundtable last night. The focus: to come up with strategies to better communicate climate science. Panelists say in a post-fact world, compassion speaks louder than truth.  

NASA

President Donald Trump’s first budget proposal includes spending cuts for many programs and departments, including the Environmental Protection Agency and the National Science Foundation. Minority Democrats in Washington and their counterparts in state capitals around the country have been assailing the planned cuts — and celebrating small victories. For example: During a recent committee hearing, Connecticut Congresswoman Elizabeth Esty got an anti-climate science panel to agree that the country needs more science funding.

This is a photo of Williams College in Williamstown, MA
Facebook: Williams College

Williams College will host a climate change roundtable next week to suss out how to communicate climate science in a post-fact world.

Denial documentary poster
Denial/Derek Hallquist

A film that will be screened in Saratoga Springs this weekend interweaves two topics close to the heart of the filmmaker.  Derek Hallquist intended to make the film “Denial” to explain the electric grid and its impact on the environment.  For years he followed his father, the leader of a small electric utility, as he tried to confront how the electricity sector addresses climate change.  But Hallquist says that as filming on the documentary progressed he discovered and then interwove his father’s personal story of confronting gender denial.

  Traditional economics measures the ways in which we spend our income, but doesn't attribute worth to the crucial human interactions that give our lives meaning.

Clair Brown, an economics professor at U.C. Berkeley and a practicing Buddhist, has developed a holistic model, one based on the notion that quality of life should be measured by more than national income. 

Her book is Buddhist Economics: An Enlightened Approach to the Dismal Science.

Stephen Gottlieb: Investing In The Environment

Feb 21, 2017

The White House isn’t explaining government’s environmental options.

Climate activists disrupt a budget hearing on the environment at the New York state Capitol Monday .
Matt Ryan, New York Now

Environmental groups are pushing New York Governor Andrew Cuomo to codify into law some of the steps he’s taken to protect the environment and cut down on pollution related to climate change. At a budget hearing Monday, lawmakers were focused on a more immediate concern - clean drinking water.

Since President Trump was inaugurated and Republicans obtained control of Congress, there has been heightened concern over future environmental policies.  In response, advocacy groups are intensifying their grassroots organizing. Wednesday night, a coalition of Vermont groups held a webinar with Senator Bernie Sanders to discuss how to move forward on environmental issues without the support of the federal government.

Stephen Gottlieb: The Challenges

Jan 10, 2017

Looking at the New Year, there are two existential challenges that must be dealt with: global climate change and the threat to American democracy.

Aaron Thier is the author of the novel The Ghost Apple, a semifinalist for the 2015 Thurber Prize for American Humor. He writes a column, Food & Consequences, for Lucky Peach and he is a regular book critic for the Nation.

In his novel, Mr. Eternity it's Key West in 2016. Sea levels are rising, coral reefs are dying. In short, everything is going to hell. It’s here that two young filmmakers find something to believe in: an old sailor who calls himself Daniel Defoe and claims to be five hundred and sixty years old. In fact, old Dan is in the prime of his life—an incredible, perhaps eternal American life. The story unfolds over the course of a millennium,

The University of Vermont brought high school students from across Vermont and northern New York to its campus today for its third annual youth climate summit.

On October 30, the National Geographic Channel will broadcast the first episode of the second season of a series entitled Years of Living Dangerously.  The series explores the dangers of global warming and associated climate change.   The first episode, A Race Against Time, focuses two compelling stories:  the promise of solar energy in India and the political obstacles to wider use of solar energy in the U. S.

US News and World Report has declared that “the 2016 presidential election may be America’s last chance to elect a leader who will halt climate change.” National Geographic Channel will premiere the second season of the Emmy award-winning documentary series Years of Living Dangerously this Sunday, October 30th at 8PM — just over a week before the presidential election.

Years of Living Dangerously once again features some of Hollywood’s biggest influencers who are passionate about environmental issues, and it reveals emotional and hard-hitting accounts of the effects of climate change from across the planet.

On the premiere, In his first television project since retiring as host of CBS’s The Late Show, David Letterman travels to India for the first time to find out what the world’s soon-to-be most populous country is going to do to expand its inadequate energy grid, power its booming economy and bring basic electricity to 300 million citizens who have never plugged in. 

David Gelber is an Executive Producer of Years of Living Dangerously. He served as Ed Bradley’s producer at 60 Minutes for twenty-five years, during which he won every major journalism award, including a Peabody, two DuPont Awards and eight Emmy Awards.

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. 

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