Climate Change

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.
NWS

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. 

WAMC Photo by Dave Lucas

A Congressman from our region made national headlines this week by releasing a resolution backed by 10 House colleagues in support of action on climate change. The reason it made headlines: they’re all Republicans. While many in the GOP dispute whether climate change is even happening, Chris Gibson of New York’s 19th district says too-frequent damaging storms in his district are enough evidence that we’ve entered a “new normal.” Gibson, who is retiring from the House after this term and considering a statewide run in 2018, discussed the move with WAMC’s Ian Pickus.

The latest auction in the Northeast's cap-and-trade program to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from power plants brought in $152 million to be distributed to the nine participating states including New York.

Karen DeWitt

As the fourth anniversary of the devastating storms, Irene and Lee, approaches, the Cuomo administration says it’s more ready than ever for hurricanes, floods and other adverse weather events.

Blair Horner: Some Good News

Aug 17, 2015

The scandals and controversies that have engulfed Albany surely feed public cynicism.  However, the vast majority of the time, government is providing services that help people, and it does so in a reasonably efficient and ethical way.

WAMC photocomposite by Dave Lucas

A broad coalition of lawmakers and environmental, faith and community organizations have joined forces to urge the New York State Comptroller to take action to fight climate change.

Michael Meeropol: Required Reading

Jul 3, 2015

I would like to strongly recommend that everyone listening to this broadcast immediately go out and buy a short book (you can read it in one sitting) called THE COLLAPSE OF WESTERN CIVILIZATION by Naomi Oreskes and Erik Conway.  (NY:  Columbia University Press, 2014)  They had previous collaborated on a highly regarded book MERCHANTS OF DOUBT (NY and London:  Bloomsbury Publishing, 2011) in which they investigated the ability of large corporations (initially tobacco companies) to sow doubt about strong scientific findings that would, if followed, cut into their bottom lines.  In the case of tobacco, the companies were able to stave off the day of reckoning for decades.  Their success literally killed people. 


Last week was a depressing one in Albany: the all-too-familiar gridlock resulting from partisan differences, pettiness and legislative dysfunction.  And while some of the issues that are stuck in the legislative morass are important – such as tenants’ housing costs – some would, if enacted, have a limited impact on many people.

official photo

On Tuesday, a New York State Senate panel discussed the state's response to climate change with scientists, farmers, environmental advocates and residents.  It was convened by Manhattan Democrat Brad Hoylman after two top Republican senators questioned whether climate change is occurring in the wake of the winter's cold temperatures and heavy snow.  WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke with Senator Hoylman the day after the forum.

On Tuesday, a New York State Senate panel discussed the state's response to climate change with scientists, environmental advocates and residents affected by Hurricane Sandy flooding. The forum comes amid comments by top state Republicans questioning humanity’s role in climate change.

Bill Owens: Drought Versus Abundance

Apr 30, 2015

News stories over the past several weeks have raised awareness of extremely serious drought over the southwestern United States; with particularly dire forecasts for California.  NASA scientists and other experts predict that the condition will persist over decades, and that larger sections of the country will be affected. The northeast, however, will also likely experience more moisture.  Hopefully, it won’t all fall as snow along the northeast coast!

4/28/15 Panel

Apr 28, 2015

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

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock, University at Albany Journalism Professor and Investigative Reporter, Rosemary Armao, and Associate Editor of the Times Union, Mike Spain.

Scheduled topics include: Baltimore Violence; Nepal; SCOTUS on Same-Sex Marriage; Pope on Climate Change; Japan & US Cooperation.

April 22 was the 45th anniversary of Earth Day.  Earth Day has been a way to focus public consciousness about air and water pollution.  This year’s Earth Day focused on the need for actions to curb the growing public threats resulting from climate change.

Composite Image by Dave Lucas (WAMC)

We can't stop climate change at this point, but we can reduce how devastating it will be. That’s according to a coalition of more than 70 environmental, faith and labor groups have launched a campaign on this Earth Day to require New York to transition to 100 percent clean energy by 2030.

NASA/Public Domain

From unseasonably cold winters to dangerous summer floods, New York has faced severe weather year-round recently. On Thursday, a statewide public forum is planned to assess and address severe weather issues. WAMC’s North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley spoke with some of the organizers.

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