Thursday, March 26, 2015

Get Climate Science Deniers out of Science Museums

The world’s top scientists, including several Nobel Prize winners, just released an unprecedented letter calling on science and natural history museums to cut all ties to the fossil fuel industry. They wrote:
When some of the biggest contributors to climate change and funders of misinformation on climate science sponsor exhibitions in museums of science and natural history, they undermine public confidence in the validity of the institutions responsible for transmitting scientific knowledge. 
The letter comes on the heels of recent news that Smithsonian-affiliated scientist Willie Soon took $1.25 million from the Koch brothers, Exxon Mobil, American Petroleum Institute and other covert funders to publish junk science denying man-made climate change, and failed to disclose any funding-related conflicts of interest.

In particular, the letter points a finger at the Smithsonian National Museum of Natural History (D.C.) and the American Museum of Natural History (NY), where David Koch is a member of the board, a major donor and exhibit sponsor.

Oil mogul David Koch sits on the board of our nation’s largest and most respected natural history museums, while he bankrolls groups that deny climate science.

Click here to sign this petition to the Smithsonian and the American Museum of Natural History: It’s time to get science deniers out of science museums. Kick Koch off the board!

We’ll deliver this message and the list of signatures to the American Museum of Natural History before their annual board meeting the first week of April. Then we’ll do the same at the Smithsonian before their board meeting in June.

The Natural History Museum
Forecast The Facts
Daily Kos
Environmental Action
Rainforest Action Network
Bridge Project
Oil Change International
Other 98%
Courage Campaign
Friends of the Earth

The scientist letter was initiated by The Natural History Museum, a new museum that is free from ties to the fossil fuel industry, calls out climate science deniers and culprits obstructing action on climate change, and actively champions the just transition to a sustainable and equitable future.

Wednesday, March 11, 2015

"Climate Change" Banned in Florida -- Take Action

Scientists say that the state of Florida is the U.S. region most susceptible to the effects of sea-level rise caused by global warming.

Despite the scientific evidence, the Florida Dept. of Environmental Protection officials have been ordered not to use the term “climate change” or “global warming” in any official communications, emails, or reports.

Whose idea was that?
Hint: see the Buffalo News editorial cartoon by Adam Zyglis, below.

Banning the words "climate change" won't make the impacts go away!

TAKE ACTION: Please Sign the Petition to stop climate censorship:

Monday, March 9, 2015

PUBLIC MEETING: Renewal of National Fuel Gas Storage Lease in Allegany State Park

 The New York State Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) will hold a public information meeting on a lease renewal to continue natural gas storage operations in Allegany State Park with National Fuel Gas Supply Corporation on Monday, March 16 from 7:00pm-9:00pm at Salamanca Senior High School located at 50 Iroquois Drive in Salamanca [Map]. 

State Parks will provide participants with the opportunity to meet with Parks staff as well as National Fuel Gas representatives, review maps and plans for the site. At 7:30pm there will be a presentation on the proposed lease and opportunities for the public to ask questions and provide comments.

Under the terms of the proposed renewal, National Fuel will continue operating its existing subsurface natural gas storage facility within Allegany State Park, known as the Limestone Storage Field, for 15 years.  The proposal would authorize National Fuel to maintain and operate existing storage wells, roads and pipelines associated with the storage field but would limit National Fuel’s activities on the surface of Allegany State Park to the footprint of existing wells and facilities.

The previous 50-year lease expired in June 2014. Parks and NFG entered into a one-year extension that runs through June 2015, to enable the parties to negotiate a long-term lease renewal.

The Limestone Storage Field has been operated in the park since 1964 under a lease, originally issued by New York State to the Felmont Oil Company and acquired by National Fuel in 1990.  The storage field currently contains 14 storage wells which provide gas service to several Western New York counties.

Job Opportunity: Massachusetts Avenue Project is Hiring an Urban Farm Manager

Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) is THE place to get involved in addressing food insecurity issues in Buffalo!  And NOW is the time to get involved!  We are announcing an opportunity for interested parties to apply for a position as the new Farm Manager for our organization.

Applications are due by Saturday, March 21, 2015.  CLICK HERE for the full job description and information on how to apply. 

MAP is seeking a full-time Farm Manager to manage production and operations at its urban farm sites on the West Side of Buffalo, NY.  MAP farms using permaculture and other sustainable practices on 1.5 acres producing fruits vegetables herbs, chicken, eggs and tilapia.  The farm includes aquaponics and produce hoophouses, a chicken coop, rainwater catchment, compost, an outdoor harvesting and washing station and a farm stand.

Food grown is marketed through a Mobile Market targeting low-income consumers, as well as through a CSA, restaurant and other sale venues.  MAP annually employs and trains 40-50 youth, ages 14-20, in urban agriculture, food systems, microenterprise development and leadership.

MAP is a non-profit organization, where full-time staff and youth employees work together in a cooperative atmosphere.  Here, we work as a team to accomplish our mission which is to nurture the growth of a diverse and equitable community food system.

MAP is also hiring farm and market interns. Read more about those positions here.

It's been Cold Here, but the Planet is still Warming

By David Kowalski

The front-page illustration titled “The big chill” in The News on Feb. 20 was an eye-catching reminder of the extremely cold temperatures we experienced at the beginning of 2015. January’s high temperatures of all but seven of the days were below the long-term average, as were all but two of the 20 days in February thus far.

Some may interpret such extended cold spells as evidence against global warming. However, that view is incorrect.

Global warming is assessed by measuring temperatures at numerous locations on land around the world as well as in the oceans that make up more than 70 percent of Earth’s surface. Measurements are made over time and the global average temperature is determined.

The Buffalo area comprises only a tiny fraction of the surface of the globe, and so local temperatures make only a small contribution to the global average temperature.

Despite the local “big chill,” the planet continued to warm in January. In fact, the global average temperature was the second-highest since records began in 1880, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. This finding follows in the wake of 2014 as the hottest year on record and the 38th consecutive year of above-average global temperatures.

NOAA displayed its global analysis of January temperatures on a world map showing that the New York State region, including Buffalo, was “cooler than average.” In contrast, however, the Western United States and even parts of Alaska showed above-average warming, as did most other regions on land and in oceans around the globe.

NOAA’s map is below.
[Click image to enlarge]
~   ~   ~

This post originally appeared in The Buffalo News on March 1, 2015 as a letter to the editor. It can be viewed at

TALK: Climate Change and Public Health - Alan Lockwood, MD

ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter 
Alan Lockwood, MD
 speaking on
"Climate Change and Public Health"

WHEN: Tuesday, March 10th, 7:30pm – 9:00pm
WHERE: Amherst Community Church, 77 Washington Highway, Snyder  [Map]
NOTE: Please park in rear and enter through back door

Free and Open to the Public

Alan Lockwood is a retired MD and UB Professor Emeritus in the Neurology Dept. In addition to over 200 scientific publications including on environmental toxins, Alan authored a book about the health effects of the coal industry titled “The Silent Epidemic: Coal and Hidden Threat to Health”. Recognized as an  expert in his field, Alan has testified before Congress on the public health impacts of fossil fuel emissions.

According to Alan, “Climate Change is the greatest public health threat of this century.” Reducing greenhouse gas emissions will prevent hundreds of thousands of asthma attacks and reduce our national health care expenditures.

It is imperative for the general public to be informed about the dire impacts of burning fossil fuels, so they can pressure leaders and policy makers to shift to renewable sources of energy, reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and create policies to benefit the well-being of humans and the planet.

Alan lives in Buffalo, and is a graduate of Cornell University and its Medical College. He is also on the Board of Directors of Physicians for Social Responsibility, studying the public health impacts of pollution, climate change and nuclear proliferation. This Nobel Peace Prize-winning group works towards a healthier and safer world.

In addition, Alan is a Clean Air Ambassador with, and is involved with court cases and policy decisions. Earth Justice’s slogan is: “Because the Earth Needs a Good Lawyer”.

For more information on the Niagara Frontier Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club, click here.

Scholarships for NYS Geothermal Heat Pump Conference

The New York Geothermal Energy Organization today announced the availability of 25 scholarships to its 2015 annual conference to be held March 17th and 18th at Skidmore College in Saratoga Springs, NY.  Dubbed “geopalooza” the 2-day event will focus on geothermal heat pumps (GHPs) as a way to cleanly and renewably heat and cool our homes and buildings, and eliminate on-site fossil fuel burning.  Attendees will hear from cutting edge technical and policy experts on how GHPs can be used to eliminate greenhouse gases and reduce energy bills. 

One focus of the conference will be net zero buildings, where GHPs and renewable electricity are combined to eliminate all greenhouse gas emissions for the building! 

Thanks to a generous donation from the Ives and Noble family, NY-GEO is able to offer 25 scholarships to the conference for students and low-income individuals.  Scholarship applicants are asked to send a blank email with “scholarship” in the title to  NY-GEO will respond with a simple 3-minute application form.

Scholarship application deadline is midnight, Wednesday, March 11th. 

Clean and efficient geothermal heating and cooling is the wave of the future, and attendance at this conference will put students in touch with a technology that promises to create jobs for decades to come as climate change and fossil fuel price volatility force a change in our building practices.

To learn more about the conference, go to

The scholarships are available to students and low-income individuals who would otherwise be unable to afford conference fees.  They will cover full conference fees as well as meals and snacks during the conference.  Lodging and transportation will not be covered and, if needed, are the responsibility of the scholarship winners.

On Thursday, March 12th, awardees will be chosen in a lottery, and notified the same day.

Sunday, March 1, 2015

TALK: Energy Democracy! What can We Learn from Germany?

Sierra Club ~ Niagara Group
Climate and Clean Energy Writers

will feature a presentation from:

Aaron Bartley
Executive Director of PUSH Buffalo

Energy Democracy!  
What can we learn from Germany? 

Aaron recently traveled to Germany and witnessed entire communities that produce, maintain, distribute, and sell their own renewable energy. Let's hear what he learned and how PUSH Buffalo sees it applying to WNY!
Monday, March 2, 6:00-7:30 PM
Unitarian Universalist Church
695 Elmwood at Ferry (Garden Entrance), Buffalo

For a printable flier, click here.