As Climate Week NYC came to a close two weeks ago, Governor Hochul announced some major developments in plans to advance New York State’s ambitious climate goals for the coming decades.
First, the Governor announced completion of a major $460 million modernization and life extension effort at the New York Power Authority’s Lewiston Pump Generating Plant and the digitization of the first of 13 hydropower turbines at the Robert Moses Niagara Power Plant. The digitization is the first major milestone of Next Generation Niagara, a $1.1 billion, 15-year modernization and digitization program to significantly extend the operating life of the Niagara Power Project. Together, these projects represent nearly $1.6 billion of clean energy infrastructure investments at the Niagara Power Project that will help advance New York State’s aggressive clean energy goal to transition to 100 percent carbon-free electricity by 2040.
At the end of Climate Week, the Governor also announced the latest round of communities to achieve certification as part of New York State’s Climate Smart Communities program, which supports local efforts to meet the economic, social, and environmental challenges posed by climate change. By taking meaningful steps to mitigate and adapt to climate change, 11 local governments met the criteria to be recognized as leaders for the first time.
Read more +
In a bid to tackle climate change, the U.S. and the European Union pledged to reduce methane emissions by a third over the next decade and are urging other countries to follow suit.
Deservedly, carbon dioxide gets a lot of bad publicity because it is the most abundant man-made greenhouse gas but methane, the main component of natural gas, is responsible for about a third of the 1.1 degrees Celsius (2 degrees Fahrenheit) rise in global average temperature the world has suffered since the start of the industrial revolution.
Since then, concentrations of methane, which is 25 times more potent than carbon dioxide when it comes to trapping heat in the atmosphere, have more than doubled.
Read more +
Instead of shelling out for a water filtration plant, mussels’ constant filter feeding is being tested as a potential wide-scale application for microplastic clean-up in our oceans.
Belying their humble evolutionary stature, the mussel can do something that humanity could only achieve by spending millions on equipment, and that is cleaning microplastics smaller than 5mm out of the ocean.
A voracious filter feeder, mussels absorb microplastics and than excrete them, while doing no harm to the organism.
Microplastics are devilish pollutants that can come from tire wear, fracture off long-floating plastic debris, or get pulled off artificial textiles and end up in the ocean via sewage. They’re so small that often the required fineness of a net in order to collect them ensures that any marine life, even tiny ones, will be collected as well.
A trial near the Plymouth Marine Laboratory in England is looking to see how many mussels it would take to make a meaningful impact on microplastic pollution.
Read more +
In a new study published on Friday, a team of researchers at Harvard University found evidence that exposure to elevated levels of fine particle pollution found in wildfire smoke may have led to thousands more cases of covid-19 and more deaths among those who tested positive for the coronavirus.
In some counties in California and Washington state hit particularly hard by wildfires last year, the study, published in the journal Science Advances, concluded that nearly 20 percent of the covid-19 cases were linked to elevated levels of wildfire smoke. The researchers also found that an even higher percentage of deaths could be linked to wildfire smoke in certain counties.
Read more +
Across the country and across the globe, the effects human industrial development has had on our planet have become impossible to ignore. Record-breaking heat waves, wildfires and floods have been wreaking havoc with a humanity that is still grappling with a global viral pandemic. The latest report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) makes clear: We’re running out of time to forestall not all but possibly the worst projected climate outcomes.
It’s difficult to impossible not to feel a sense of frustration, when considering that the IPCC has been trying to prod global action to protect the environment from the most dire effects of man-made climate change since 1988. That’s 33 years of “C’mon, people! Don’t you think we ought to consider, you know, doing something to address this?” directly to global leaders. And yet greenhouse gas emissions are still increasing, with China and the U.S. as the biggest offenders.
This way, for certain, lies madness. And now more than ever, Solar One is committed to strengthening our programming and carrying out our mission, as an integral part of the community that has been working for decades to address the climate catastrophe.
Read more +
The bipartisan infrastructure deal struck this week provides new money for climate resilience unmatched in United States history: Tens of billions of dollars to protect against floods, reduce damage from wildfires, develop new sources of drinking water in areas plagued by drought, and even relocate entire communities away from vulnerable places.
But the bill is remarkable for another reason. For the first time, both parties have acknowledged — by their actions, if not their words — that the United States is unprepared for the worsening effects of climate change and requires an enormous and urgent infusion of money and effort to get ready.
Read more +