Climate Change

Phil Roeder/Flickr

Members of the U.S. Senate stayed up all last night to talk about climate change and the need for action.

John Atkinson/Ski Vermont

A climate scientist says ski resorts in the New England states of Connecticut, Massachusetts and Rhode Island are not well poised to survive at the end of the century as the region sees warmer winters.

    

  The past fifteen thousand years--the entire span of human civilization--have witnessed dramatic sea level changes, which began with rapid global warming at the end of the Ice Age, when sea levels were more than 700 feet below modern levels. Over the next eleven millennia, the oceans climbed in fits and starts. These rapid changes had little effect on those humans who experienced them, partly because there were so few people on earth, and also because they were able to adjust readily to new coastlines.

The Attacking Ocean: The Past, Present, and Future of Rising Sea Levels, from celebrated author Brian Fagan, tells a tale of the rising complexity of the relationship between humans and the sea at their doorsteps, a complexity created not by the oceans, which have changed but little. What has changed is us, and the number of us on earth.

Vermont U.S. Senator Bernie Sanders has joined 15 of his Senate colleagues in forming a new task force to highlight climate change.

    World climate change deadlines are rapidly approaching.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that the situation is dire nationally and internationally.

Steven Leibo: Lessons Learned From Sandy

Oct 31, 2013

Dr. Steven Leibo recalls Superstorm Sandy and the effect of climate change...

One year ago, Hurricane Sandy devastated the Eastern Seaboard with high winds, heavy rain and a storm surge of more than 13 feet, claiming 44 lives and displacing thousands. The Superstorm turned the greatest city in the world into a city of darkness and called new attention to climate change.

FEMA

Two years after Hurricane Irene and Tropical Storm Lee and almost one year after Superstorm Sandy altered New York’s land and seascapes, relief aid --- from both private donors and government agencies --- has been painfully slow in coming, as communities struggle to return to normal.

Ken Teegardin/SeniorLiving.Org/Flickr

A group of Vermont business, industry and political leaders used the Ben and Jerry’s factory as a backdrop Wednesday to call on the federal government to do more to combat climate change.

    In Cows Save the Planet, journalist Judith Schwartz looks at soil as a crucible for our many overlapping environmental, economic, and social crises. Schwartz reveals that for many of these problems—climate change, biodiversity loss, droughts, floods, wildfires, rural poverty, malnutrition, and obesity—there are positive, alternative scenarios to the degradation and devastation we face.

In each case, our ability to turn these crises into opportunities depends on how we treat the soil. Drawing on the work of thinkers and doers, renegade scientists and institutional whistleblowers from around the world, Schwartz challenges much of the conventional thinking about global warming and other problems.

Schwartz says Cows Save the Planet is a primer on soil's pivotal role in our ecology and economy, a call to action, and an antidote to the despair that environmental news so often leaves us with.

Launched in Albany Thursday, the New York Rising Community Construction program’s goal is to empower localities to develop and implement recovery plans after the damage done by storms Sandy, Lee and Irene, and more recently, by the severe flooding in the Mohawk Valley caused by heavy rains in late June. 

Amanda Slater/Flickr

The incessant rain is causing scores of problems in northern New York and Vermont - from flash flooding and road wash outs to train delays.  With two drownings in the past 72 hours, officials are reiterating their call for caution.

7/2/13 - Panel

Jul 2, 2013

Today's panelists are WAMC's Alan Chartock and newsman, Ray Graf. Joe Donahue moderates.

Topics include:
Egypt
Rain Rain Go Away
Forest/Wild Fires
Obama’s Climate Change Speech

Flickr / Doug Kerr

Roger Hill with Weathering Heights Consulting in Vermont's Northeast Kingdom has been forecasting for more than 35 years. With the region struggling with rain and floods, Hill discussed the change in climate and the "new normal" with Capital Region Bureau Chief Dave Lucas.


Steve Hardy/Flickr

It has been raining just about everywhere across the Capital Region, Catskills and Hudson and Mohawk Valleys, creating dangerous and even deadly conditions in some places.

The rain and the floods that came with it resulted in states of emergency being declared in several counties including Montgomery and Schoharie. 

In a speech being lauded by environmental activists, yesterday President Barack Obama announced several proposals to limit pollution that is contributing to climate change. The policies include the establishment of carbon pollution standards for power plants and increased funding for clean energy technology over the coming decades.

For reaction to the speech WAMC spoke with Representative Paul Tonko of New York’s 20th District. Before discussing climate change we asked Tonko for his reaction to today’s U.S. Supreme Court ruling invalidating the federal Defense of Marriage Act.

NASA

President Barack Obama delivered a highly anticipated speech on climate change at Georgetown University today.  North Country Bureau Chief Pat Bradley has reaction from across our region.

Members of my family live in New York’s 18th  Congressional District.  Previously, I have criticized the former representative from this district, Republican Nan Hayworth.  Today I want to strongly criticize the Democrat who beat her, Sean Patrick Maloney.  Recently, he voted in support of building the last section of the Keystone Pipeline – a terrible vote in my opinion.

WAMC photocomposite by Dave Lucas

Powerful storms rolled through upstate New York Wednesday night, flooding streets, downing trees and closing roads.  

Wednesday evening saw mobilephones abuzz with storm alerts, watches and warnings as Albany-area TV meteorologists hunkered down to anchor extended coverage of dangerous inclement weather that ran up close to 9 p.m. The storms originated in Central New York and wreaked havoc as they traveled eastward.

We open the phones very wide today and ask, "What is the biggest problem in the (or your) world - and what is the one thing you would do to solve it."  WAMC listeners did not disappoint, bringing a vast number of deep thoughts to the table.  Ray Graf  hosts. 

Stephen Gottlieb: Environmental patriotism

Apr 2, 2013

Our two small granddaughters visited us this weekend. For me, their lives have been the most compelling reason to do something about global warming, to accept responsibility and to invest in a better future for them. But there is also the call of patriotism. Many have laid down their lives for this country. Can the rest of us deal with a little burden, a little expense, to save this country from catastrophe? Are we patriotic enough?

WAMC's Brian Shields spoke with Jeff Deyette, senior energy analyst at the Union of Concerned Scientists. He is the author of Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living and toured New York this week to discuss how people can reduce their carbon footprints, including stops at the Ithaca Sustainability Center, Cornell University, and Albany Mayor Jerry Jennings’ Office of Energy and Sustainability.

Office of Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders will hold a conference this weekend in Montpelier focused on the regional impacts of climate change.

Vermont Senator Bernie Sanders and California Senator Barbara Boxer have introduced legislation  to address climate change by imposing fees on carbon emissions and funding sustainable energy.

Al Gore - "The Future"

Feb 14, 2013

    Former Vice President of the United States Al Gore has a new book out entitled, The Future: Six Drivers of Global Change.

We will talk with him about the environment, his thoughts on fracking in New York State, and about his recent payday for selling his television network.

National Wildlife Federation

A new report from the National Wildlife Federation outlines how climate change is having an adverse effect on wildlife and ocean species throughout New England and the Northeast.

The new report “Wildlife in a Warming World: Confronting the Climate Crisis” says climate change is the greatest threat to wildlife this century. Animals living in the changing biosphere are adapting, migrating to new habitat or facing extinction.  National Wildlife Federation Climate Change Scientist Dr. Amanda Staudt is the report’s lead author.

Some lawmakers in Montpelier are focusing on climate change and renewable energy this week.  An advocacy group is releasing a renewable plan while testimony is given on how climate change is impacting business.

The New York Assembly Standing Committee on Environmental Conservation is holding hearings on climate change.  The members are assessing the causes and effects of extreme weather events, and if there are any measures the state can take to mitigate the events.

Last week the Assembly committee held the first of two hearings to gain input on how New York  can mitigate man-made factors that lead to, and reduce the environmental impacts of, extreme weather. A number of conservation and environmental groups testified before the committee.

Last night at the Egg I heard Bill McKibben talk about climate change. I was very proud of Joe and Alan and WAMC for organizing it and proud of the WAMC audience for coming out in droves to hear him. The message he brings is not a happy one but it is a message we have to hear and understand; more, it’s a message we have to act on.

Stephen Gottlieb: Why We Need a Carbon Tax

Dec 11, 2012

I hope you heard Steven Leibo’s commentary last week. If not, you can find it by searching for Leibo's World Watch. He focused on the need for a carbon tax. I’d like to follow up.

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