Environment

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)

Students attend environmental trade fair at Clinton Community College
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Clinton Community College in Plattsburgh hosted an Environmental Trade Fair Wednesday to show students how businesses impact the environment — and how they could offer potential clean and green jobs.

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. 

In The Quarry Fox and Other Critters of the Wild Catskills, naturalist Leslie Sharpe trains her eye and narrative gifts on these and other New York wildlife through her tales of close observations as a naturalist living in the Great Western Catskills.

The Quarry Fox is the first in-depth study of Catskill wildlife since John Burroughs invented the genre of nature-writing, in which Sharpe weaves her experiences with the seasons, plants, and creatures with the natural history of each organism, revealing their sensitivity to and resilience against the splendor and cruelty of Nature.

The Quarry Fox is a celebration of the natural world and our place in it. Leslie Sharpe will be giving a presentation, Q&A and book-signing at Oblong Books and Music in Rhinebeck, New York tonight at 6PM. 

Vermont AG T.J. Donovan (left) announces VW settlement with House Speaker Mitzi Johnson, ANR Commissioner Julie Moore and Assistant AG Robert McDougall
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Vermont Attorney General T.J. Donovan announced Friday that the state has received one of its largest ever environmental settlements as he discussed Vermont’s share of a $157 million settlement with Volkswagen.

From the author of House Arrest and On Hurricane Island comes a thrilling new activist novel that begs the question, “How far is too far?”

Jeremy was nine when the vines first wrapped themselves around him and burrowed into his skin. Now a college botany major, Jeremy is desperately looking for a way to listen to the plants and stave off their extinction.

But when the grip of the vines becomes too intense and Health Services starts asking questions, he flees to Brooklyn, where fate puts him face to face with a group of climate-justice activists who assure him they have a plan to save the planet, and his plants. As the group readies itself to make a big Earth Day splash, Jeremy soon realizes these eco-terrorists’ devotion to activism might have him ― and those closest to him ― tangled up in more trouble than he was prepared to face.

Ellen Meeropol's latest is Kinship of Clover – published by Red Hen Press. 

Dr. Robert Bullard
Dr. Robert Bullard

"Tell me your zip code and I will tell you how healthy you are." That's how Dr. Robert Bullard sizes up the nation's environmental policies, as the lower-income, more urban areas are often overlooked and the focus is too often on the wildlife, the forest and the rivers. Dr. Bullard, who has authored 18 books including perhaps his most influential work, Dumping In Dixie: Race, Class And Environmental Quality, will speak tonight at Siena College in Loudonville.

In 2005, beekeepers in the United States began observing a mysterious and disturbing phenomenon: once-healthy colonies of bees were suddenly collapsing, leaving behind empty hives full of honey and pollen. 

Vanishing Bees takes us inside the debates over widespread honeybee deaths, introducing the various groups with a stake in solving the mystery of Colony Collapse Disorder (CCD), including beekeepers, entomologists, growers, agrichemical companies, and government regulators. Drawing from extensive interviews and first-hand observations, Sainath Suryanarayanan and Daniel Lee Kleinman examine how members of each group have acquired, disseminated, and evaluated knowledge about CCD.

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.

There has been major environmental news in the Hudson Valley of late.

In today’s Congressional Corner, New York representative Sean Patrick Maloney, a Democrat from the 18th district, continues his discussion with WAMC’s Alan Chartock.

UVM students rally for the environment and social justice
Pat Bradley/WAMC

Two hours before Donald Trump was inaugurated as president, students at the University of Vermont held a rally to call for continued environmental protection and progressive social justice policies.

Environmental Watch List logo
Vermont Law School

The Vermont Law School’s Environmental Law Center has issued its seventh annual Top 10 Environmental Watch List.  The list offers short summaries of key legal points surrounding the most important environmental issues of 2016.

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.

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