Environment

Sign held during Standing Rock rally in Essex Junction, VT
Pat Bradley/WAMC

About 140 protesters gathered in front of the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers office in Essex Junction this morning. It was part of a national day of action, with advocates joining the Standing Rock Sioux to fight against a planned pipeline in North Dakota.

  Our tech guru Jesse Feiler joins us this morning to discuss Games and role-playing for communication.

Jesse Feiler helps people and organizations get to know and use new technologies. Projects have included building the page caching module for the Prodigy Web Browser for Mac in the very early days of the Web, location-based apps for iPhone and iOS, as well as books and classes on new technologies. Forthcoming books include “iPad For Seniors for Dummies" (9th edition) and “Learn Apple HomeKit on the Mac and iOS.”

Current projects involve using apps and FileMaker databases for identifying and managing risk in nonprofit organizations as well as helping small communities build location-based apps to promote tourism, downtown economic development, and the wise use of natural resources. Jesse, always wonderful to have you join us.

We are also joined by Curt Gervich as an Associate Professor in SUNY Plattsburgh’s enter of Earth and Environmental Science. He teaches courses in Environmental Policy, Sustainability and Environmental Leadership. He also works with EPA and other federal and state agencies across the country on a variety of environmental planning and management challenges

One of his projects is Toxic Release!, an environmental education simulation. Friends of Saranac River Trail is bringing it to Plattsburgh City Hall Community Room on Tuesday, October 25, 2016 5-8 pm. Open to the public with reservations strongly suggested  -  saranacrivertrail.org or northcountryconsulting.com

  The new book Clean and White offers a history of environmental racism in the U.S., focusing on constructions of race and hygiene. In the wake of the civil war as the nation encountered emancipation, mass immigration and the growth of an urbanized society, Americans began to conflate the ideas of race and waste.

Carl Zimring draws on historical evidence from statesmen, scholars, sanitarians, novelists, activists, advertisements and the U.S. census of population to reveal changing constructions of environmental racism.  Carl Zimring is associate professor of sustainability studies in the department of social science and cultural studies at the Pratt Institute. 

The Paris Climate Agreement is under attack in the Courts and Congress, and almost all of the GOP presidential candidates have remained faithful to their parties’ anti-environmental orthodoxy. It seems an unlikely time for the criterion view advanced by lawyer and environmental leader Frederic Rich in his new book Getting to Green: Saving Nature a Bipartisan Solution. Rich argues that the deadlock on environmental progress can be broken by a concerted effort to reconnect the right with its traditional support for conservation, and some basic reforms to the way the green movement does business.

  Terry Tempest Williams, author and environmentalist, will speak at Williams College on Wednesday, April 20, at 7:30 p.m.

A naturalist and advocate for freedom of speech, Williams explores how environmental issues are social issues and ultimately matters of justice. Her next book, The Hour of Land: A Personal Topography of America’s National Parks, will be published in spring 2016 to honor the centennial of the National Park Service. Tempest is the author of 15 other books including Refuge: An Unnatural History of Family and Place; An Unspoken Hunger: Stories from the Field; Finding Beauty in a Broken World; and When Women Were Birds. She is a columnist for The Progressive and has written for The New Yorker, The New York Times, and Orion Magazine, among others.

  In the late 1970s, the bald eagle and the peregrine falcon were heading toward extinction, victims of the combined threats of DDT, habitat loss, and lax regulation. Flight Paths tells the story of how a small group of New York biologists raced against nature’s clock to bring these two beloved birds back from the brink in record-setting numbers.

McGrath documents both rescue projects in never-before-published detail. At Cornell University, a team of scientists worked to crack the problem of how to breed peregrine falcons in captivity and then restore them to the wild. Meanwhile, two young, untested biologists tackled the overwhelming assignment of rebuilding the bald eagle population from the state’s last nesting pair, one of whom (the female) was sterile.

Darryl McGrath is a journalist who has written about upstate New York’s environment and rural regions for over twenty years.

Governor Andrew Cuomo has proposed boosting New York's environmental protection fund by $123 million, increasing available money to buy land and conservation easements, protect farmland, fight invasive species and revive waterfronts.

  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.

'Trace' By Lauret Savoy

Dec 14, 2015

  While many geologists focus their inquiry on the Earth, probing contours of the land to reveal how past developments have come to shape the present, Lauret Savoy’s new book, Trace, takes a more personal journey.

Lauret Edith Savoy is a woman of mixed heritage, and a professor of environmental studies and geology at Mount Holyoke College, where she explores the intertwinings of natural and cultural histories. She is a self-described “Earth historian” and in the new book traces her Native, African-, Euro-American ancestry across the United States in the hope of learning what her extended family experienced.

American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy

An annual scorecard ranks the Northeast states among the best in energy efficiency policies.  The American Council for an Energy-Efficient Economy ranks five states in our region among the top 10 nationally.

  Some environmentalists fear low gas prices could spur new interest in gas-guzzling vehicles.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that it’s time to push for renewable energy.

  For a long time, veteran environmental journalist Fred Pearce thought in stark terms about invasive species: they were the evil interlopers spoiling pristine “natural” ecosystems. Most conservationists and environmentalists share this view. But what if the traditional view of ecology is wrong—what if true environmentalists should be applauding the invaders?

In The New Wild, Pearce goes on a journey across six continents to rediscover what conservation in the twenty-first century should be about. The case for keeping out alien species, he finds, looks increasingly flawed. As Pearce argues, mainstream environmentalists are right that we need a rewilding of the earth, but they are wrong if they imagine that we can achieve that by reengineering ecosystems.

  President Obama’s plan for national standards to curb power plant emissions is based in part on a cap and trade-type program already existence in New York. 

Conor Bambrick, with the group Environmental Advocates, says he thinks the Presidents’ plan, billed by the White House as the “first-ever national standards” to curb carbon pollution from power plants has some of its roots in New York.

Stephen Gottlieb: Environmental Time Wasted

Jul 28, 2015

A news director at this station, about a decade ago, wanted me to engage in what some call pack journalism, to talk about whatever was occupying the press’s attention. I understood his point; people’s interest was already peaked. Plus the more people talk about the same things, the more it tends to sink in. But I’ve never liked piling on. If you heard it elsewhere, I feel no need to restate it. I like to bring up something else, or a different perspective. I feel more useful that way.

  This Friday and Saturday, the The Thorn Preserve in Woodstock, NY will have a bioblitz.

A bioblitz is a community event designed to quickly compile information on biodiversity in a relatively small area. Community members participate in the events alongside trained naturalists and scientists to find and identify as many species of plants and animals as possible in, generally, a period of 24 – 36 hours.

The Thorn Preserve is owned by The Catskill Center and is comprised of 60 beautiful acres in the heart of Woodstock. Thorn Preserve is operated in partnership with Woodstock Land Conservancy.

  Josh Fox is internationally recognized as a spokesperson and leader on the dangers of fracking and extreme energy development. He is best known as the writer/director of Gasland Part I and II.

Josh's new effort: The Solutions Grassroots Tour: A Solar Home Companion is making several stops in our region this weekend and early next week.

EPA

  EPA Regional Administrator and College of St. Rose alum Judith Enck will be speaking at the College on Thursday night at 7PM. The subject? Climate Change.

2014 was the hottest year on record. Enck says the only way that we can rise to the challenge of climate change is if every one of us gets involved. She says it is important to learn the scope of the problem and the steps that the EPA is taking to fight climate change and tips on how you can help. The title of her talk is: A Call to Action.

In 2009, Judith was appointed US Environmental Protection Agency Regional Administrator of Region 2 by President Barack Obama. Previously, Enck was deputy secretary for the Environment in the NYS Governor's office, responsible for policies and operations of the state’s environmental protection agencies.

    In This Changes EverythingNaomi Klein argues that climate change isn’t just another issue to be neatly filed between taxes and health care. It’s an alarm that calls us to fix an economic system that is already failing us in many ways. Klein meticulously builds the case for how massively reducing our greenhouse emissions is our best chance to simultaneously reduce gaping inequalities, re-imagine our broken democracies, and rebuild our gutted local economies.

Groundswell At Olana

Sep 9, 2014

  Hudson River School painter Frederic Church designed Olana in Hudson, NY - his family home, studio, and estate as an integrated environment embracing architecture, art, landscape, and conservation ideals. Considered one of the most important artistic residences in the United States, Olana is a 250-acre artist- designed landscape with a Persian-inspired house at its summit, embracing unrivaled panoramic views of the vast Hudson Valley.

This weekend, The Olana Partnership and Wave Farm’s WGXC 90.7-FM co-present a new iteration of their award-winning exhibition event Groundswell. It’s a site- specific performance and works and in sound, installation, broadcast, and movement. Over a dozen artists will reflect on and react to Olana and its integral viewshed as an ambitious and early environmental work.

  Scientists say extreme weather and climate change are current crises – not issues down the road.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Paul Tonko tells WAMC’s Alan Chartock that anti-intellectualism among leaders is harming the country.

  One of New Jersey’s seemingly innumerable quiet seaside towns, Toms River became the unlikely setting for a decades-long drama that culminated in 2001 with one of the largest legal settlements in the annals of toxic dumping. A town that would rather have been known for its Little League World Series champions ended up making history for an entirely different reason: a notorious cluster of childhood cancers scientifically linked to local air and water pollution.

For years, large chemical companies had been using Toms River as their private dumping ground, burying tens of thousands of leaky drums in open pits and discharging billions of gallons of acid-laced wastewater into the town’s namesake river.

The story is told in Dan Fagin's book, Toms River: A Story of Science and Salvation - winner of the 2014 Pulitzer Prize for General Nonfiction.

    

  Alan Weisman is the author of the critically acclaimed New York Times best seller The World Without Us. In his new book, Countdown: Our Last, Best Hope for a Future on Earth? the award-winning journalist traveled to more than 20 countries to ask what experts agreed were probably the most important questions on Earth--and also the hardest: How many humans can the planet hold without capsizing? How robust must the Earth's ecosystem be to assure our continued existence? Can we know which other species are essential to our survival? And, how might we actually arrive at a stable, optimum population, and design an economy to allow genuine prosperity without endless growth?

People for Positive Action, an advocacy and environmental action group in Plattsburgh, hosted a “People’s Summit on Energy and the Environment” at SUNY Plattsburgh Tuesday evening.

A people’s Summit on Energy and the Environment is planned in Plattsburgh next week.

  

  Project Native is a non-profit environmental education organization committed to growing native plants, maintaining a native butterfly house and wildlife sanctuary, and promoting stewardship of the local landscape.

For the past three years Project Native has hosted a successful day-long environmental film festival. This year, the festival will kick off Saturday, March 29th at 7pm at The Mahaiwe in Great Barrington with a special screening of Revolution, an award-winning film by Rob Stewart, director of Sharkwater.

On Sunday, March 30th Project Native will once again host a full day of environmental films at the Triplex Cinema in Great Barrington. As in years past, the day will start at 10:00 am with a film for children and families.

    Some scientists predict the sea will rise one and a half meters before 2100, but rapidly melting polar ice caps could make the real amount much higher. In the coming century, intensifying storms will batter our coasts, and droughts and heat events will be annual threats. All this will occur as population grows, and declining water resources desiccate agriculture. What will happen when the United States cannot provide food or fresh water for the overheated, overcrowded cities where 80 percent of Americans currently live?

    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.

    In his new book, The Frackers, journalist Gregory Zuckerman tells us the back-story. Far from the limelight, Aubrey McClendon, Harold Hamm, Mark Papa, and other wildcatters were determined to tap massive deposits of oil and gas that Exxon, Chevron, and other giants had dismissed as a waste of time.

By experimenting with hydraulic fracturing through extremely dense shale—a process now known as fracking—the wildcatters started a revolution. In just a few years, they looked to relieve America’s dependence on imported energy, triggered a global environmental controversy—and made and lost astonishing fortunes.

    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.

    Judy Wicks is an entrepreneur, author, and public speaker working to build a more compassionate, environmentally sustainable and locally based economy. Her memoir Good Morning, Beautiful Business: the Unexpected Journey of an Activist Entrepreneur and Local Economy Pioneer was published in March.

Judy is founder of Philadelphia’s landmark White Dog Café known for its leadership in the local food movement. She founded several non-profits including Fair Food Philly and the Sustainable Business Network of Greater Philadelphia, and cofounded the nationwide Business Alliance for Local Living Economies.

Tonight, at 5:00 pm, Hawthorne Valley Farm in Ghent will host “A Declaration of Interdependence,” a new speaker series celebrating local living economies in the Hudson Valley and Greater Berkshire Region. They will be honoring Judy and she will also be speaking at a Re>Think Local event on Wednesday at Noon at the Barn at Buttermilk Falls Inn in Milton.

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