As a former mayor of New York, I don’t often weigh in on events in New Jersey. But as someone who’s active in the fight against climate change, it’s great to see New Jersey get back in the ring, thanks to Gov. Phil Murphy.A dozen years ago, New Jersey had been a founding member of one of the country’s most important climate change partnerships: the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program that sets carbon emission limits for power plants. Former New York Gov. George Pataki, a Republican, launched the group with support from numerous governors in the region, including several other Republicans.Unfortunately, short-sightedness is all too common in politics, and former Gov. Chris Christie pulled the state out of the agreement in 2011, despite its considerable success. A recent report found that the climate initiative has saved consumers $618 million on their energy bills, spurred $2.9 billion in economic growth, created thousands of jobs, … [Read more...] about BLOOMBERG: Feds not needed to combat climate change
What can we do to help climate change
Wildfire season is getting longer and more intense, and both scientific and forestry experts foresee hotter and drier conditions that would significantly exacerbate the situation.State and local officials have in the last decade updated efforts to keep people and property safe from out-of-control conflagrations. This includes everything from updated building codes, requirements on defensible space around homes and various forest management techniques.However, many fear these tactics won’t be enough to keep pace with the worst consequences of powerful blazes, which have ripped through the state’s forests with growing frequency and size over the last few decades.A continued trend of backcountry development and aggressive fire suppression to keep those properties safe has led to densely packed forests in close proximity to many communities.At the same time, California’s recent five-year drought — by many measures the worst in thousands of years, according to some … [Read more...] about Are wildfires worsening due to development, climate change and controversial forest management?
People need to change their habits to help combat climate change, Mayor de Blasio said — unless they’re the mayor. Hizzoner defended his insistence on being driven 12 miles from Gracie Mansion to Park Slope YMCA Friday morning, just moments after saying people — other people, apparently — needed to change their habits of using plastic bags to help combat climate change. “We need to get out of that bad habit and some of this is culture change and personal change,” de Blasio said about the bags, which he suggested banning outright, during his weekly radio appearance on WNYC. “Not only do we need to address climate change with things like the Paris Accord and adhering to it, everyone in their own life needs to change their own habits to start protecting the earth.” But apparently, those rules don’t apply to the mayor — who insisted his car commute for calisthenics didn’t matter to the climate. … [Read more...] about De Blasio lectures on climate change, says regular 12-mile SUV trek to gym ‘doesn’t really’ matter to climate
Rapides Parish has five failing schools — rated an F by the state Department of Education using recent school performance scores — and they are chronically low-performing. All five received a D or F from the state since 2011, except one C for one school in 2014. But there's more to their story.They fall into other categories as well — like high-poverty, at-risk and Title I, meaning they receiving federal grant funds because of the previously mentioned categories. They also are turnaround or TAP (Teacher Advancement Program) schools, names referring to the methods being used to address their failing status.Two elementary schools — Julius Patrick and Alma Redwine — are using the TAP model, and both also are among 14 Rapides schools receive support from turnaround teams, something Superintendent Nason “Tony” Authement instituted for schools rated D or F when he came to the district in 2013. Some of the schools in … [Read more...] about What is Rapides doing to improve failing schools?
In the aftermath of two huge hurricanes and over 100 immense wildfires in the Western U.S., as a small business advocate I can no longer be silent on an issue threatening small business owners — climate change. Climate change is real. It’s disastrous. It’s getting worse. And it’s a danger to small businesses, including yours. Although I was safely located thousands of miles away, I watched Hurricane Irma and Hurricane Harvey with a personal sense of dread.More: Rhonda Abrams' column pageI’ve been fortunate to be invited to work with small business owners in dozens of locations in Irma’s and Harvey’s paths. I’ve spent time with the small business communities in St. Thomas, St. Croix, the British Virgin Islands — all areas hit hard by Hurricane Irma. Many will lose their businesses. Many more will struggle to hang on. In Florida, I’ve frequently spoken in Miami as well as to small … [Read more...] about How climate change can hit your small business
In just 22 months as governor, I’ve witnessed firsthand the destructive force of three powerful storms that have crippled the state: Irene, Lee and now Sandy. Each has taken an immeasurable toll on communities. Precious lives have been lost, and homes and businesses destroyed. This storm alone was responsible for 60 deaths to date and more than $30 billion in damage in New York State. Extreme weather is the new normal. In the past two years, we have had two storms, each with the odds of a 100-year occurrence. Debating why does not lead to solutions — it leads to gridlock. The denial and deliberation from extremists on both sides about the causes of climate change are distracting us from addressing its inarguable effects. Recent events demand that we get serious once and for all. We need to act, not simply react. First, we must begin by thinking about where and how we rebuild. The next generation’s infrastructure must be able to withstand another storm. We … [Read more...] about We will lead on climate change
This was a new one.Of all the myths and denials of climate change, the one floated by state Sen. Scott Wagner, R-Spring Garden Township, seemed, well, unique. More: God is a polluter? Comment misconstrued, Rep. Perry's staff says Speaking to county officials from the state's northern tier – you know, the counties where the deer outnumber the people, deep in the heart of fracking territory – Wagner, who is running for governor (in case you forgot) addressed the issue of climate change. More: Scott Perry and God (column) At least he believes it is happening, which is refreshing since there are some on his side of the aisle who believe that it isn't and that it is a myth started by a conspiracy between the Chinese and Al Gore. But he said we shouldn't worry about it, or try to do anything about it. (Or he didn't try to blame trees for pollution.)“I haven’t been in a science class in a long time, but the earth moves closer … [Read more...] about Wagner enters Twilight Zone on climate change (column)
There is still time to blunt the most dangerous effects of climate change, experts say.But that time is running out.To get a better understanding of the challenge the world faces, the Courier-Journal spoke with several climate experts. One of them was Scott Denning, a professor of atmospheric science at Colorado State University, who has dozens of peer-reviewed climate-related publications under his belt. It comes down to making a calculation after answering a basic question: How much climate change can we tolerate?The simple answer is a temperature rise of about 3.6 degrees Fahrenheit, or 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels. To do that, carbon dioxide concentrations will likely need to stay below 450 parts per million — and we may be within about 20 years of hitting that mark, according to Denning.Policymakers representing more than 190 nations in a 2015 agreement in Paris settled on that amount of change. We’ve already seen a 1.4 degree Fahrenheit, or a 0.8 … [Read more...] about There’s still hope to offset climate change impact, but it will be costly and formidable
Individual actions may not put much of a dent in reducing the pollution blamed for global warming. But added up, they can start to make a difference, and they can make people feel better about sparing emissions and saving money."What we found is what we do in our daily lives matters the most," said Brenda Ekwurzel, a senior climate scientist with the Union of Concerned Scientists and co-author of that group's guide, "Cooler Smarter: Practical Steps for Low-Carbon Living."Start by focusing on conserving power at home and at work, and with transportation, she advised.The guide starts off with a sobering outlook: "Global warming presents one of the most enormous challenges humanity has ever faced. It threatens to affect nearly every aspect of our lives — our health, the availability of freshwater, the future of many coastal communities, our food supply, and even government stability as nations around the world begin to confront the … [Read more...] about Every little bit helps to offset climate change
WRITING LETTERS OR OP-EDS: Letters of up to 200 words may be submitted by filling out the form at static.cincinnati.com/letter/ or emailing [email protected] Include name, address, community and daytime phone number. Op-eds are submitted the same way except they should be 500-600 words and also include a one-sentence bio and headshot.In contributor Allan Winkler’s article “Threats to Earth grow Intense” (Oct. 23), he concludes with a call for us to respond to the Trump’s dismantling of environmental protections before it’s too late. This raises the obvious question of, “Well, what can we do?”Trump and EPA head Scott Pruitt seem to be making these choices — which will have long-term consequences — without oversight or input from the American people. Lauren Godfrey, Maineville Trump's lack of honor and integrity is troublingWith all due respect to Keith Maupin, a patriotic man, I would like to point out that it was not the … [Read more...] about On climate change, EPA head Pruitt operating alone