Thursday, September 14, 2017

Bill McKibben - Renowned Environmental Author, Educator and Activist - to Speak in Buffalo


Bill McKibben 

will speak on 

“The Desperate Climate Fight: Ordinary People in an Extraordinary Moment,”

 Friday, Sept. 29, 8pm at the Albright-Knox Art Gallery.

Bill McKibben is the author of a dozen books about the environment, beginning with The End of Nature in 1989, which is regarded as the first book for a general audience on climate change, and has appeared in 24 languages. He is a founder of the first planet-wide, grassroots climate movement, 350.org, which has coordinated tens-of-thousands of rallies in 189 countries since 2009. 

Time Magazine called him 'the planet's best green journalist' and The Boston Globe said that he was 'probably the country's most important environmentalist.' 

Schumann Distinguished Scholar in Environmental Studies at Middlebury College, he holds honorary degrees from a dozen colleges and universities, including the State University of New York. In 2011 he was elected a fellow of the American Academy of Arts and Sciences. In 2014 was awarded the Right Livelihood Prize, sometimes called the ‘alternative Nobel.’

Bill McKibben will deliver the featured lecture of the Buffalo Humanities Festival, a three-day event featuring  environmentally-themed talks, music, performances, community debates and other activities that focus on issues of local, regional and national environmental justice and economic sustainability.

General admission tickets for Bill McKibben’s lecture are $20 for the public and $15 for students. Click here to buy tickets online.

There is a separate VIP reception with McKibben in the AK Café. The VIP reception is included with the purchase of a VIP Full Festival Pass, which is $60 for the public and $40 for students.

A complete festival schedule, including additional ticket information is available online -- Click here.

Wednesday, September 13, 2017

Distinguished Lecture: Global Climate Change and Human Health

 University at Buffalo
 
RENEW Distinguished Lecture Series Presents
Dr. Linda S. Birnbaum, Ph.D., D.A.B.T., A.T.S.


Global Climate Change and Human Health: Global is Local
 

Dr. Linda Birnbaum, Director of the NIEHS and NTP, has spent more than 35 years researching, evaluating and educating the public on risks associated with hazardous environmental exposures. UB’s Institute on Research and Education in Energy, Environment and Water (RENEW) welcomes Dr. Birnbaum from 11:45 a.m. to 1:30 p.m. on September 15th, when she will discuss the impacts of global environmental health and what it means for local families and communities. She will discuss 21st century environmental health challenges associated with extreme weather events, community health resiliency, economic impacts of climate change on health, and co-benefits for health of mitigation/adaptation efforts.
 
September 15th, 2017

11:45am - 1:30pm

403 Hayes Hall, UB South Campus

Wednesday, September 6, 2017

Community Mayoral Debate: Social Justice Advocates will pose Questions to Buffalo Mayoral Candidates



The event is non-partisan and will not endorse any candidate. The organizers encourage everyone's involvement and education in the process.
 
Indigenous peoples are one of the populations in the city that can be invisible and marginalized in the overall debate surrounding the city. This event will be to shift the conversation. 

There will also be groups addressing issues of racial justice, environmental justice, fair economics and other issues. 

Monday, August 21, 2017

Report: Wind and Solar Power Reduce Pollution, Benefit Our Health and Climate, and Save Money

Wind and solar power are saving Americans an astounding amount of money

Not getting sick and dying from pollution is worth quite a bit, it turns out.

By David Roberts  | Vox.com | Aug 18, 2017

Wind and solar power are subsidized by just about every major country in the world, either directly or indirectly through tax breaks, mandates, and regulations.

The main rationale for these subsidies is that wind and solar produce benefits to society that are not captured in their market price (a.k.a. “positive externalities”). Specifically, wind and solar power reduce pollution, which reduces sickness, missed work days, and early deaths. Every wind farm or solar field displaces some other form of power generation (usually coal or natural gas) that would have polluted more.

Subsidies for renewable energy sources are meant to remedy this market failure, to make the market value of renewables more accurately reflect their total social value.

This raises an obvious question: Are renewable energy subsidies doing the job? That is to say, are they accurately reflecting the size and nature of their benefits to society?

Researchers at the Lawrence Berkeley Lab published a comprehensive report on the health and environmental benefits of wind and solar in the US between 2007 (when the market was virtually nothing) and 2015 (after years of explosive market growth).

Below are the main conclusions:
  • From 2007 to 2015, wind and solar in the US reduced SO2, NOx, and PM2.5 by 1.0, 0.6, and 0.05 million tons respectively;
  • Reduction of those local air pollutants helped avoid 7,000 premature deaths (the central estimate in a range from 3,000 to 12,700);
  • Those avoided deaths, along with other public health impacts, are worth a cumulative $56 billion (the central estimate in a range from $30 to $113 billion);
  • Wind and solar also reduced CO2 emissions, to the tune of $32 billion in avoided climate costs (the central estimate in a range from $5 to $107 billion).
If you add up those central estimates, wind and solar saved Americans around $88 billion in health and environmental costs over eight years. Not bad.

Costs and benefits

In this case, as in all such cases, it is somewhat misleading to simply compare total subsidies with total health and environmental benefits. The total amounts are not all that matters. It also matters how costs and benefits are distributed — i.e., equity matters as well.

To put it bluntly: A dollar in federal taxes is not equivalent to a dollar of avoided health and environmental costs. The latter dollar is worth more than the former dollar.

Why is that? Simple: Federal taxes come disproportionately from the wealthy, via our progressive federal income tax, but health and environmental benefits disproportionately help the poor. And as any good economist will tell you, the same dollar is worth more to a poor person than it is to a rich person.

This is something that often gets lost in discussions of environmental regulations. It’s not just that their total benefits almost always exceed their direct costs. It’s that those benefits are uniquely egalitarian and progressive.

In the case of climate change, any reduction in CO2 emissions benefits everyone on Earth (egalitarian), while disproportionately helping the poor, who suffer earliest and most from climate impacts (progressive).

In the case of local air-quality benefits, cleaner air benefits everyone in the region who breathes (egalitarian), while disproportionately helping the poor, who are more likely to live in close proximity to fossil fuel power plants (progressive).

In terms of equity, converting a dollar of wealthy people’s money into a dollar of health for low-income communities seems like a good deal to me. And if you can get multiple dollars of low-income health benefit for every dollar of high-income taxes, well, that’s a no brainer.

Everybody breathes. Any dollar of federal income taxes used to produce a dollar of air and climate benefits is a net gain for justice.

Excerpts of the article are shown above. To read the full article, visit Vox.com

Sunday, August 20, 2017

COMMUNITY FORUM: Educational Presentations on Mitigating Climate Change

ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter

Conservation Committee

presents a

CONSERVATION CONVERSATION

on

 Mitigating Climate Change

September 16, 2017

 Free and Open to the Public.

 

The program will discuss methods that are currently being utilized or are being researched to decrease the effect of climate change on people, communities and aquatic ecosystems. This program is offered at no charge as part of an educational outreach to educate individuals, policy makers and community activists about climate change and how each one of us can participate in decreasing the effect it has on the planet.

 

Our expert speakers will share a wealth of knowledge on a topic they are passionate about:

  • Christopher Page, MS – Senior Biologist, Mote Marine Laboratory in the Florida Keys will speak about Coral Re-skinning to mitigate the effect of climate change on coral reefs. He will discuss the importance of coral reefs and the impact climate change is having on them.
  • Zoé A. Hamstead, PhD – Assistant Professor, University at Buffalo School of Architecture & Planning and Director of the Community Resilience Lab, Dr. Hamstead will share her research on the impact of extreme heats on communities and the development of socially equitable, livable & healthy urban communities.
  • Leah B. Bernhardi, BS, MS, J.D. will share her experience in December 2015 when she spent a week in Paris, France attending the 21st Conference of the Parties for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. She will discuss the Paris Agreement, what other countries are doing and what we can do about climate change

 

LOCATION:

Daemen College
Schenck Hall / Auditorium Room 107
4380 Main Street
Amherst, NY 14226  [Map - Click here]
 

 

Doors open at 8:30 am, refreshments will be available.
Presentations start at 9:00 AM. The program ends at noon.

For more information, contact Jay Wopperer at jgw423@hotmail.com

Co-sponsored by:  Daemen College Global & Local Sustainability Department

 

 

Thursday, July 27, 2017

PUBLIC HEARING: National Grid Proposal to Increase Electricity Delivery Charges by 17.5% -- Attend the Hearing and/or Submit Your Comments Online!

The NY State Public Service Commission will conduct a Public Hearing on a proposed rate hike by National Grid on August 1st in the Gallery Conference Room at the Central Library in Buffalo [Map].

Two Sessions of Public Hearings: 
  • Afternoon Session: 2:00 pm Information and 3:00 pm Public Comments 
  • Evening Session: 6:00 pm Information and 7:00 pm Public Comments
National Grid proposes to increase electricity delivery charges by 17.5%, which would add $8.93 to an average customer’s total bill.

PUBLIC COMMENTS:


Public Webinar: Is Enough Being Done to Clean Up Lake Erie?

Click to RSVP for the August 2nd Webinar

It is unacceptable for Lake Erie—or any Great Lake—to be 

 

so polluted that it becomes a threat to our health.


Three years ago, on August 2nd, the unthinkable happened. Toledo, a major Great Lakes city, had to ban drinking the water supply it draws from the lakes. For two and a half days, Toledo area residents could not drink the water flowing from the taps in their homes. Businesses, from restaurants to hair salons to grocery stores, had to shut down or severely curtail operations. Residents waited in long lines for clean water or drove several hours to stock up on bottled water. A few weeks later residents of Pelee Island, Ontario residents faced a similar ban that lasted nearly two weeks.

Two years ago, the Governors of Ohio and Michigan joined with the Premier of Ontario to commit to reducing the amount of runoff pollution, specifically phosphorus, flowing into western Lake Erie by 40 percent. The commitment marked a promise to the people of Lake Erie—promise of a lake nearly free of harmful algal blooms and a significant reduction in risk to people and the lake.

Unfortunately, progress by Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario 

 

has been painfully slow.


Join the Alliance for the Great Lakes and Freshwater Future for a special lunchtime briefing for an update on the Lake Erie crisis, our assessment of progress by Ohio, Michigan, and Ontario, and the next steps that must be taken for the governments to fulfill their promise of a clean Lake Erie. 

RSVP for the Webinar  Here


We’ll also share how you can help and leave plenty of time to answer your questions. Hope you can join!

For the health of the Great Lakes,
Jill Ryan
Executive Director
Freshwater Future

Wednesday, July 26, 2017

Buffalo Youth Traveled to D.C. to Participate in Empowering Workshops and March for Climate Justice

Recap: MAP Youth Attend D.C. Climate March

Author: Mariama McCoy, MAP Youth  |  Re-posted from GrowWNY.org

June 12, 2017

Climate JUSTICE and YOUTH


Youth from Buffalo's Massachusetts Avenue Project (MAP) had the chance to go to D.C. for the People’s Climate March to represent agriculture and youth for they affect and are also affected by climate change.  Although the trip began with an overnight bus ride with very uncomfortable seating and walking very far with suitcases, the youth were lucky to have found free accommodations at a local church.  There they played Uno and Jenga while waiting to for the Youth Contingent to start.  They attended the People’s Climate March Youth Contingent workshops to talk about topics that connect some youth to climate change issues at Standing Rock, including a chief’s son.















At the Youth Contingent, they participated in a skit that showed the power of action, starting with disempowerment and then putting in place changes that could empower youth. They learned that to fix our country’s economy we have to address underlying issues such as racism.  They learned chants and songs for the day of the march, and obtained some free posters to march with.  They heard speeches from several different organizations and leading people in climate social justice movement.  After the workshops there was a dance party where the youth met teens from other organizations such as the Alliance for Climate Education (ACE) fellowship in New York City, as well as the Young People’s Action Coalition.


The next day, the youth took public transportation and caught a ride on golf carts to meet the Sierra Club Niagara Group bus from Buffalo.  Before the march even started, they saw a girl faint from heatstroke.  During the march, people were selling water for $5 a bottle, but luckily the youth had already gotten water for only $1 a bottle.  The march was a far walk in the heat, but the youth had the chance to yell chants into a bullhorn, things such as “water is life” alongside Xiuhtezcatl Martinez, Youth Director of Earth Guardians.

Finally, they marched past Trump’s hotel and saw some awesome art work, including a life-size piece “Putin’s Puppet”.  Together with thousands of people, they sat down in the street and all patted their hearts to make a heartbeat for 100 seconds for the first 100 days of Trump being in office.  Their trip ended with a trolley ride to get lunch before boarding the Sierra Club buses and return to Buffalo.

Friday, June 30, 2017

'Conservationist of the Year' named by ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter

By David Kowalski ~ ADK-NFC Member.


At the Annual Meeting of the ADK Niagara Frontier Chapter, the Conservation Committee presented  Diana Strablow of the Sierra Club Niagara Group with the the Conservationist of the Year Award.


Diana Strablow (holding ADK award plaque in the photo) organized opposition of landowners and environmental groups against National Fuel’s proposed 97-mile Northern Access Pipeline. She also recruited the public to testify against the proposed pipeline at NYS DEC hearings and to submit written comments. The 24-inch diameter pipeline would have crossed private properties in Western New York as well as numerous wetlands and waterways in order to export fracked gas from Pennsylvania to Canada.

Strablow said "We asked Governor Cuomo and the DEC to do the right thing and deny the water quality certificate and air permits for this destructive project. Not only do we have a moral obligation to stop enabling fracking in Pennsylvania, we must protect our finite supply of fresh water."

After an in-depth review of the proposed Northern Access Pipeline project, and following three public hearings and the consideration of over 5,700 comments, NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation denied the permit due to the project’s failure to avoid adverse impacts to wetlands, streams, and fish and other wildlife habitat.