Programs and Projects: Natural Resources
December 16, 2020 Largest Wildlife Crossing in US
At the link below you will find a wonderful picture of and information on a land bridge, which connects San Antonio's Phil Hardberger Park across a six-lane highway. It opened Friday afternoon for people and animals. The project took ten years and the bridge is now the largest completed wildlife crossing of its kind in the U.S.
December 9, 2020 New York State’s $226 Billion Pension Fund Moves to Divest from Riskiest Oil and Gas Companies
Big news today! New York State just became the largest pension fund in the world to take comprehensive climate action, including fossil fuel divestment. The $226 billion state pension fund will review and divest from the riskiest oil and gas companies within 4 years and decarbonize the entire fund by 2040. This came after years of campaigning by the DivestNY coalition.In the 8 year history of the divestment movement, this is the biggest announcement by a pension fund and amongst the largest by any financial institution. It goes beyond the Fossil Fuel Divestment Act, legislation that DivestNY advocates had been pushing for years. Read more about the announcement in the DivestNY Coalition background document.
December 4, 2020 Reducing Road Salt
Gov. Cuomo has just signed a bill aimed at reducing road salt in NYS. Throughout the state there are serious problems concerning salt in our lakes and water supplies. This bill involves a study of alternatives, but one key alternative seems to be the use of brine instead of rock salt on the roads. The following article gives more details. https://www.adirondackexplorer.org/stories/cuomo-backs-salt-study
November 19, 2020 Environmental Groups Earn Unprecedented Climate Concessions in NYSEG/RG&E Gas Rate Case
The following is a press release concerning the NYSEG/RG&E gas and electric rate cases that were presented to the Public Service Commission. The agreements produced, particularly in the gas rate case, will have important impacts on our ability to move towards a fossil free future. Gas Rate Case Press Release
November 18, 2020 New Exhibit on Climate Change at PRI
The Paleontological Research Institute has a new exhibit on climate change called "Changing Climate:Our Future, Our Choice." There is an exhibit at the museum and an online version based on it can be found at https://www.museumoftheearth.org/changing-climate . Also check out their book “The Teacher-Friendly Guide to Climate Change.”
October 22, 2020 Environmental Protection Agency and Administration Change
A recent Adirondack Explorer has an interesting article on the EPA – a bit of history plus why its regulations can change as administrations change. The legislation it depends on is old and really needs to be updated.
October 19, 2020 Retrofitting Old Buildings for Energy Efficiency
Here is an uplifting article that shows we can actually take older buildings and heat them by heat pumps while making it economically possible. The residential buildings and the small business involved are in Brooklyn. The contractor is focusing on neighborhoods in which the residents do not have a lot of money to invest.
October 16, 2020 Carbon Sequestation through Healthy Soil
To all who are looking for more practical solutions to climate destruction and global food shortages, this film on carbon sequestration through healthy soil has a lot to offer. The acclaimed, full-length documentary by Josh and Rebecca Tickell is based on the book, Kiss the Ground and is streaming on Netflix. The book is definitely worth reading. See the movie trailer here https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=3iknWWKZOUs
October 3, 2020 Seismic Blasting in Atlantic Being Halted
Huge victory ---- Seismic blasting in the Atlantic is being halted, hopefully for a long time or even permanently:
September 27, 2020 Hero Rat Wins A Top Animal Award For Sniffing Out Landmines
A wonderful article for these difficult times. Be sure to watch the video. In the last four years, the rat named Magawa has helped to clear over 1.5 million square feet of land. The animal has detected dozens of landmines in Cambodia and is believed to have saved lives.
Read in NPR: https://apple.news/AvJLzZAndRTuBHkKUVPQz-g
September 22, 2020 Adirondack Mountain Named for Voting Rights Martyr
While we are busy thinking about engaging voters and also trying to get into the outdoors on these beautiful fall days, it is important to remember those who died or were severely injured while registering voters in the south during the 60’s. Here is a story from the Adirondack Explorer about a mountain near Tupper Lake in the Adirondacks that has been named Goodman Mountain in honor of Andrew Goodman. Be sure to read the reflection at the end of the article.
September 1, 2020 Genetically Engineered Salmon
Many large retailers will not sell GE slmon. This is good news for wild salmon since the presence of GE salmon in the environment is putting them at risk and as well as possibly causing other environmental problems. https://foe.org/news/largest-u-s-retailers-reject-genetically-engineered-salmon-ahead-of-potential-first-u-s-sales/
August 28, 2020 Renewable Energy and Puerto Rico
Puerto Rico has exciting plans for renewable energy and an overhaul of their grid.
Read all about it: https://www.greentechmedia.com/articles/read/regulators-in-puerto-rico-approve-solar-and-storage-above-utilitys-resource-plan
August 21, 2020 Ocean Plastics
A new study has found that the ocean contains 10x more plastic pollution than was previously thought. For more information see:
August 21, 2020 Climate Change Reports
Today’s Ecowatch has a list of 13 climate change reports that look quite interesting. The list can be found here:
August 11, 2020 Collapse of Ice Shelf
Climate change has caused the collapse of an ice shelf in Canada. “A 4,000-year-old ice shelf in the Canadian Arctic has collapsed into the sea, leaving Canada without any fully intact ice shelves, Reuters reported. The Milne Ice Shelf lost more than 40 percent of its area in just two days at the end of July, said researchers who monitored its collapse.” For details and an analysis go to https://www.ecowatch.com/canada-ice-shelf-collapse-2646937803.html?rebelltitem=1#rebelltitem1
August 9, 2020 Whales Being Seen Near NYC
A great article in national geographic about the large number of whales now being seen near NYC thanks in part to clean-up of the water.
July 29,2020 Orca Pregnant Again
Do you remember the orca who carried her dead calf for 17 days last year? She is happily pregnant again. There is a lot of concern due to the fact that few of the calves survive for long because of the large number of boats and extensive fishing in the area where they spend their time. But hopefully all will work out well this time.
July 22, 2020 NYS Fracking Waste Bill Passes
It is Time to Celebrate!! Today the NYS senate finally passed the Hazardous Waste Bill (A.2655/S.3392). The NYS Assembly passed their same as bill earlier this week. LWVNY and many environmental groups have been campaigning for its passage for that last 9 years (beginning in the 2911/12 legislative session). The Hazardous Waste Bill concerns the toxic waste from fracking that has been coming into NYS, sometimes being spread on roads and often going to landfills where is can leach into the water supplies. The bill requires that this waste no longer be subject to an exemption and instead must be treated as hazardous waste whenever it in fact is. Many thanks to Rep. Barbara Lifton and the chair of the LWVNY Committee on Agriculture, Energy and the Environment, Beth Radow, for all of their work on this bill.To learn more of the details of the bill see the Memorandum of Support that the LWVNY sent to members of the Assembly and Senate. The bill itself can be read at the Assembly and Senate websites.
July 20, 2020 Bureau of Land Management Waste Prevention Rule
An important judicial decision has been made on the BLM (Bureau of Land Management) Waste Prevention Rule. The current administration has tried to rollback an Obama-era waste prevention rule. The rule concerned the waste of gas produced on public lands via venting and flaring. For a good discussion of the issue and the ruling here is a link to an article by the Sierra Club.
July 13, 2020 Interview with Jane Goodall on Climate Change and Covid-19
The link below will take you to a wonderful and powerful interview with Jane Goodall on “Conservation, Cimate Change and COVID-19”. The article is in Ecowatch but, as they indicate at the end of the story, it “originally appeared in CBS News, and is republished here as part of Covering Climate Now, a global journalism collaboration strengthening coverage of the climate story”.
July 12, 2020 Oil and Gas Companies May Not Be Able to Pay for Cleanup
According to an article in the New York Times on July 12, “Oil and gas companies are hurtling toward bankruptcy, raising fears that wells will be left leaking planet-warming pollutants, with cleanup costs left to taxpayers.” We have known for a long time that these companies had large debts and have been underinsured. If the firms declare bankruptcy there is serious concern about the continued leaks of methane and the old wells that need to be closed correctly.
July 12, 2020 Carbon Dioxide in Atmosphere Rising
Carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing a level not seen in 15 million years according to an article by Ecowatch: “As a United Nations agency released new climate projections showing that the world is on track in the next five years to hit or surpass a key limit of the Paris agreement, authors of a new study warned Thursday that increasing carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is nearing a level not seen in 15 million years.” A link to the full article:
July 11, 2020 Bird Safe Buildings Act
Have you heard of the Bird-Safe Buildings Act? This is part of some new legislation currently being worked on in the House and Senate. The Audubon Society has written an article discussing proposed legislation that is critical for the environment and our future. The legislation has many parts to it. The article points to different pieces of legislation and the bipartisan efforts that are involved in some of them. Hopefully a real bipartisan effort can succeed in creating meaningful legislation. Here is the article:
July 10, 2020 Carbon Sequestering
There is a lot of interest in methods for sequestering carbon dioxide in our farmland. The following article in Ecowatch explains how putting rock dust on farmland can draw down large amounts of carbon dioxide. Here is the link:
July 7, 2020 Dakota Access Pipeline
The Dakota Access Pipeline: A federal judge has ordered the shutdown and draining of the Dakota Access Pipeline until a full environmental review can be completed. Here is a link to an article concerning the issue and the reason why this is important.
July 6, 2020 Atlantic Coast Pipeline
The Atlantic Coast Pipeline has been cancelled!! Pipeline owners Dominion and Duke Energy have decided to no longer pursue this project. There was a great deal of concern when they were given permission to cross a segment of the Appalachian Trail, but several additional permits were needed. Here is an article in Ecowatch that gives the details on the Atlantic Coast Pipeline.
June 22, 2020 Environmental Groups Earn Unprecedented Climate Concessions in NYSEG/RG&E Gas Rate Case. Press Release
June 15, 2020 A Victory for Blackfeet Nation
A victory for the Blackfeet nation: One June 16, 2020 a federal appeals court upheld the cancellation of the last remaining federal oil and gas lease in Montana’s Badger-Two Medicine region adjacent to Glacier National Park. The following is a link to an article by Earth Justice that explains the ruling and the background of the case.