Kate Sinding, Senior Attorney, New York City As most of the world now knows, yesterday Governor Cuomo made the incredibly bold and principled decision to ban fracking in New York State. For those of us who have been working so hard over the past almost seven years to ensure that science, not industry influence, guided the state’s decision on this most critical of issues, it was an outcome that frankly exceeded many of our wildest expectations. I’ll admit it: I am still pinching myself 24 hours later. Thank you, Governor Cuomo, for having the courage and wisdom to listen to what the scientists in your administration and across the country are telling us: The risks of fracking remain too… Read More
By Kimberly Paxton Daily Sheeple Watch out, kiddies! Due to your horrible personal emissions of greenhouse gases, CHRISTMAS ITSELF may have to be cancelled. Santa Claus himself has presented the terrible news. A rather alarming-looking, dirty Santa Claus is filmed in a dark room, uttered the words in such a grim, funereal tone that you almost expect to see the muzzle of a terrorist’s gun pointed at his head from the edge of your screen, forcing him to make the shocking claims. Dear children, regrettably, I bring bad tidings. For some time now, melting ice here at the North Pole has made our operations and our day-to-day life intolerable and impossible. And there may be no alternative but to cancel… Read More
Peter Lehner, Executive Director, New York City Around this time last year, the Firebaugh-Las Deltas Unified School District in Fresno County, California, was able to reinstate the music program it had lost three years earlier. The district’s 2,300 kids got their music back, not because of a wildly successful candy sale, but because of a savvy investment in solar power that will save the district about $900,000 in its first five years, and a total of $9 million over 25 years. Enough to hire a music teacher, and more. Thanks to plummeting solar prices, high electric costs, and public policies that promote clean energy, solar is creating powerful new opportunities for cash-strapped schools, freeing funds for music, art, and… Read More
How Much Damage Would Drinking A Glass Of Brooklyn’s Terribly Polluted Gowanus Canal Actually Do To You?
“So, right off the bat, you’d have a massive problem with dysentery,” Ludgen Balan, founder of the Urban Divers Estuary Conservancy, told me. Dysentery, caused by an infection from hostile bacteria or amoebas, results in severe diarrhea, likely with some blood and mucus added as a bonus. That was the very first thing Balan told me, and the more I looked into the Gowanus Canal, an absurdly, laughably polluted waterway right smack in the middle of gentrified Brooklyn, the more I realized that dysentery is one of the least repulsive things about the Gowanus. The Gowanus Canal is a 1.8-mile-long waterway connecting Upper New York Bay (the bay in between Brooklyn, Manhattan, New Jersey, and Staten Island) with the… Read More
Lisa Suatoni, Senior Scientist, New York In the recently released Fifth Assessment Report the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change documented more evidence that humans are causing climate change and expanded our understanding of the significance and speed of this change. The report also addressed a second, independent impact of rising atmospheric CO2 emissions: ocean acidification. While national and international media outlets largely skipped any mention of the report’s findings on ocean acidification, as an ocean scientist my eyes went straight to the section on what we like to call climate change’s “evil twin.” This report marks a noteworthy milestone as the first time the IPCC has addressed in a thorough and meaningful way the science of how carbon dioxide… Read More
Frances Beinecke, President of NRDC, New York City The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has released its latest assessment of what science is telling us about the state of our planet. Researchers are more certain than ever before that humans are causing climate change and that some of its most dangerous impacts are accelerating faster than expected. Many Americans already know this to be true. We have seen our own communities pummeled by more intense and more frequent heat waves, droughts, and storms. But even as we witness one record-breaking event after another, we count on scientists to interpret the larger trends. The IPCC is the most authoritative group in the business. More than 600 researchers from 32 countries… Read More
Margaret Brown, Legal Fellow, New York Program, New York Last year, Michael Pollan raised the question of “whether or not there is a ‘food movement’ in America worthy of the name — that is, an organized force in our politics capable of demanding change in the food system.” He wrote this in regard to Prop 37 in California—a battle the food movement did not win—though NRDC supported the initiative. But here in New York City, food activists are beginning to show some real political muscle—including getting involved in NYC mayor’s race. This past summer, six of the then-candidates came together for the first-ever Mayoral Forum on Food. The moderator, NYU professor and longtime food movement leader, Marion Nestle, asked… Read More