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New York City

Solar Tariff Blues and Confusion – What It Really Means for American Solar

This article was written by Noah Ginsburg, Director of Solar One’s community solar initiative, Here Comes Solar:

Earlier this week the Trump Administration announced that it was levying a tariff (tax) on all imported solar panels. This tax was supposedly levied to protect American manufacturing jobs, but in reality there are very few USA solar manufacturing jobs to protect. Less than 2% of American solar jobs are in solar panel or cell manufacturing, and the tariff will marginally increase the cost of solar to consumers and therefore slow the growth of more robust sectors of the USA solar industry, which currently employs more than 260,000 Americans.

Those of you reading the headlines may be wondering “How big will the impact be?” or “Will this impact my ability to save money with solar?” Read on for answers to these questions and to learn more about the tariff and what it really means for our domestic solar industry, and for all of us as potential consumers of clean affordable solar energy.

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How Antarctic Ice Affects Climate in NYC

When we consider how best to address climate change, we tend to focus on the everyday actions we can do at the local level, whether that happens at the scale of personal habits like  recycling, composting or bicycling or the citywide effort to retrofit our aging building stock. But some climate effects begin far, far away- notably 8,000 miles away in Antarctica.

A new study from the National Academy of Sciences uses computer projections based on climate info from prehistory and projects its models to 2300, using thousands of computer simulations. What they found was good news in some ways, and bad news in others.

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L Train Closure Open Houses Are Coming

Got questions about the planned L train closures? Join the Metropolitan Transportation Authority and the NYC Department of Transportation for a series of open houses to learn and ask questions about plans for the 15-month closure of the Canarsie Tunnel, beginning in April 2019. Please join us at one of these events, and feel free to arrive anytime during the timeframes listed.

East Williamsburg: Wednesday, January 24
5-8pm
Progress High School
850 Grand Street bet Bushwick Ave & Waterbury St, Brooklyn

Manhattan East Side: Wednesday, January 31
5-8pm
344 East 14th Street bet First & Second Aves, Manhattan

Williamsburg: Thursday, February 8
5-8pm
Williamsburg Community Center
195 Graham Avenue bet Scoles & Stagg Sts, Brooklyn

Manhattan West Side: Wednesday, February 14
5-8pm
Our Lady of Guadalupe
328 West 14th Street bet Eighth Ave & Hudson St, Manhattan

You can download the flyer here.

Winter Blooms in NYC

While most people look to spring as the season when flowers start blooming in NYC, some plants don’t care that the weather is cold. And as it happens, both Madison Square and Stuyvesant Cove Parks are home to a few…and the ones in Stuy Cove are, of course, native species.

Zizea aurea, or golden Alexander, a native perennial that can be found across the entire East Coast, from Canada to Florida. It generally prefers moist conditions in woodlands or prairies, and grows in Stuy Cove. Last winter, it flowered continuously!

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Teaching Teachers to Teach Climate Science

This letter, by Solar One BFF Joy Garland, appeared in the December 28, 2017 Letters to the Editor in Town & Village newspaper.

Have you ever wondered how schools are preparing our students from kindergarten through high school to understand climate, how it affects us and what we can do about it? One solution that has been suggested is to reach out to the teacher training colleges who prepare the adult students to be teachers before they enter the children’s classrooms. Here in New York City, Teachers College, Columbia University and New York University are both participating with the New York CityDepartment Of Education (DOE) Office of Sustainability, to increase environmental and sustainability education for teachers and students. There is also an initiative from NYC DOE to strengthen the sustainability coordinator position in each public school.

We were delighted that State Senator Brian Kavanaugh was able to speak at the recent meeting of the Environmental Education Advisory Council (EEAC) dealing with the aforementioned issues. The senator spoke about initiatives on the environment that he sponsored when he served in the State Assembly before he won a spot in the State Senate recently. He also offered suggestions for helping to improve environmental and sustainability education in the schools.

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New Report Shows NYC Waterways Are Cleanest They’ve Been in 100 Years

Being that Solar One is physically close to the water, the condition of that water is anything but an abstract notion to us. Water quality testing is one of our Education team’s most popular field trip offerings, we have a Combined Sewer Overflow (CSO) pipe running diagonally under the blacktop, and we host some of the Billion Oyster Project‘s little bivalve charges. Students who come to Stuy Cove can find out exactly what’s in our water on any given day.

And while most days, we generally do find at least a little bit of bacteria, a new report from the Department of Environmental Protection (DEP) shows that remarkable improvements have been made in recent decades.

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