Monday, February 17, 2020

Interfaith Climate Forum: 2020 Vision - Climate Leap Forward


2020 VISION: CLIMATE LEAP FORWARD    

A Forum to Meet the Climate Crisis


WHEN: Saturday, February 29, 9 AM - 3 PM

WHERE: Westminster Presbyterian Church, Buffalo [Map]

COST: $10, Students $5;  Lunch provided

REGISTER: Click here
NOTE: Register Before Wednesday, February 26 at 5:00 PM

Click image to enlarge
Keynote Speaker: Rev. Dr. Jim Antal

The Rev. Dr. Jim Antal, author of the acclaimed book, Climate Church, Climate World, is immediate past President of the Massachusetts Conference of the United Church Christ and a long-time climate activist, speaker and author.

Foreword by Bill McKibben


Breakout Group Topics and Facilitators

  • Youth Climate Strike - Rev. Micah Nutter Dowling
  • Creation Justice for Congregations - Roger Cook and Rev. Katelyn Nutter Dowling
  • Eco-Justice on West and East Sides of Buffalo - Joshua Wallace
  • Our Sacred Waters - Lynda Schneekloth
  • Renewable Energy (Wind/Solar) - Bob Ciesielski
  • WNY as a Region for Climate Refugees - Brendan Mehaffy
  • Climate Disaster Relief Responsibility - Rev. Amos Acree
  • Is Climate Change Real: What Scientists Tell Us - David Kowalski

Space is limited. For more Information and to Register, click here
NOTE: Ticket Sales Close Wednesday, February 26 at 5:00 PM

This conference is made possible in part by a grant from the Lilly Endowment.


Sunday, January 26, 2020

An Electrifying Plan to Address the Global Climate Crisis

Stanford Researchers Have an Exciting Plan to Tackle The Climate Emergency Worldwide

TESSA KOUMOUNDOUROS  | 27 DEC 2019  |  SCIENCE ALERT

Things are pretty dire right now. Giant swaths of my country are burning as I write this, at a scale unlike anything we've ever seen. Countless animals, including koalas, are perishing along with our life-supporting greenery. People are losing homes and loved ones.

These catastrophes are being replicated around the globe ever more frequently, and we know exactly what is exacerbating them. We know we need to rapidly make some drastic changes - and Stanford researchers have come up with a plan.

Using the latest data available, they have outlined how 143 countries around the world can switch to 100 percent clean energy by the year 2050.

This plan could not only contribute towards stabilizing our dangerously increasing global temperatures, but also reduce the 7 million deaths caused by pollution every year and create millions more jobs than keeping our current systems.

The plan would require a hefty investment of around US$73 trillion. But the researchers' calculations show the jobs and savings it would earn would pay this back in as little as seven years.

"Based on previous calculations we have performed, we believe this will avoid 1.5 degree global warming," environmental engineer and lead author Mark Jacobson told ScienceAlert.

"The timeline is more aggressive than any IPCC scenario - we concluded in 2009 that a 100 percent transition by 2030 was technically and economically possible - but for social and political reasons, a 2050 date is more practical."

Here's how it would work. The plan involves transitioning all our energy sectors, including electricity, transport, industry, agriculture, fishing, forestry and the military to work entirely with renewable energy.

Jacobson believes we have 95 percent of the technology we need already, with only solutions for long distance and ocean travel still to be commercialized.

"By electrifying everything with clean, renewable energy, we reduce power demand by about 57 percent," Jacobson explained.

He and colleagues show it is possible to meet demand and maintain stable electricity grids using only wind, water, solar and storage, across all 143 countries.

These technologies are already available, reliable and respond much faster than natural gas, so they are already cheaper. There's also no need for nuclear which takes 10-19 years between planning and operation, biofuels that cause more air pollution, or the invention of new technologies.

"'Clean coal' just doesn't exist and never will," Jacobson says, "because the technology does not work and only increases mining and emissions of air pollutants while reducing little carbon, and there is no guarantee at all the carbon that is captured will stay captured."

The team found that electrifying all energy sectors makes the demand for energy more flexible and the combination of renewable energy and storage is better suited to meet this flexibility than our current system.

Quick Reads on ENERGY and CLIMATE

Going 100% Green Will Pay For Itself in Seven Years, Study Finds

A Stanford University professor whose research helped underpin the U.S. Democrats’ Green New Deal says phasing out fossil fuels and running the entire world on clean energy would pay for itself in under seven years.

It would cost $73 trillion to revamp power grids, transportation, manufacturing and other systems to run on wind, solar and hydro power, including enough storage capacity to keep the lights on overnight, Mark Jacobson said in a study published Friday in the journal One Earth. But that would be offset by annual savings of almost $11 trillion, the report found.

“There’s really no downside to making this transition,” said Jacobson, who wrote the study with several other researchers. “Most people are afraid it will be too expensive. Hopefully this will allay some of those fears.”

Read more at Bloomberg



If the World ran on Sun, It wouldn’t Fight over Oil  
by Bill McKibben

No one will ever fight a war over access to sunshine – what would a country do, set up enormous walls to shade everyone else’s panels? (Giant walls are hard to build – just ask Trump.) Fossil fuels are concentrated in a few places, giving those who live atop them enormous power; renewable energy can be found everywhere, the birthright of all humans. A world that runs on sun and wind is a world that can relax.

Read more at The Guardian



Warren Buffett is spending billions to make Iowa 'the Saudi Arabia of wind'

Warren Buffett is spending billions to turn Iowa into "the wind capital of the world, the Saudi Arabia of wind," he told the Financial Times.

Berkshire Hathaway's billionaire boss isn't emulating Greta Thunberg, however. Rather than leading the charge on climate change, hoping to cut carbon emissions at any cost, he told the newspaper he was simply taking advantage of government incentives for renewable-energy investments.

"We wouldn't do [it] without the production tax credit we get," he said.

Read more at Business Insider



ExxonMobil Eyes $3.4-$3.6B Gain From Norway Asset Divestment

Exxon Mobil Corporation XOM expects a gain of $3.4-$3.6 billion from the divestment of Norwegian assets. This will likely give a boost to its fourth-quarter 2019 results. The company’s recent regulatory filing showed that the gains from this divestment can offset lower margins from chemicals and refining businesses.

Read more here



New York Confirms Plan for 1GW-Plus Offshore Wind Solicitation in 2020

The Empire State’s second offshore wind procurement targets 1 gigawatt of capacity — “and perhaps substantially more.”

New York confirmed plans to issue its second solicitation for offshore wind farms this year, expected to add at least 1 gigawatt to the state’s pipeline.

The upcoming solicitation, to be overseen once again by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), will run alongside a separate competitive process to award $200 million in public funding for offshore wind-related port infrastructure improvements, according to Governor Andrew Cuomo, who gave his 10th State of the State address on January 9, 2020.

The offshore wind solicitation "is expected to yield at least an additional 1,000 megawatts of clean power, and perhaps substantially more," according to a detailed document (PDF) laying out the various plans in Cuomo's 2020 State of the State.

The new capacity will come on top of the 1.7 gigawatts of capacity the state awarded in its first offshore wind solicitation last summer to developers Ørsted and Equinor.

Read more at Greentech Media


Greta Thunberg tells World Leaders to End Investment in Fossil Fuels

Greta Thunberg tells World Leaders to End Fossil Fuel ‘madness’

Failure to end investment ‘would be a betrayal against life itself’, say climate activists

Damian Carrington, Environment editor | Fri 10 Jan 2020  | The Guardian

Greta Thunberg and fellow youth climate campaigners are demanding that global leaders immediately end the “madness” of huge ongoing investments in fossil fuel exploration and enormous subsidies for coal, oil and gas use.

The 21 young activists are also calling on the political and business leaders who will be attending the World Economic Forum in Davos to ensure investment funds dump their holdings in fossil fuel companies.

“Anything less would be a betrayal against life itself,” said Thunberg and colleagues in an article in the Guardian. “Today’s business as usual is turning into a crime against humanity. We demand that you play your part in putting an end to this madness.”

The burning of fossil fuels is the biggest driver of the climate emergency. Scientists predict catastrophic impacts unless deep cuts in emissions are made rapidly, but global emissions are still rising.

“Young people are being let down by older generations and those in power,” the climate strikers said. “To some it may seem like we are asking for a lot. But this is just the very minimum effort needed to start the rapid sustainable transition.”

Much of the world’s existing coal, oil and gas reserves must be kept in the ground to avoid the worst impacts of global heating. But investment in fossil fuel exploration and extraction remains high.

Read more at The Guardian


New York Must Fund Climate Justice This Year -- Get on the Bus!

As of January 1st, the Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act is the law in New York. Together, we passed the nation's strongest climate law ⁠— but our work is only just starting.

We're demanding that the legislature and governor fund climate action in this year's budget.
On January 27, we'll be in the state capitol to rally, lobby, and flex our power to demand funding for climate justice. Join us!

What: No Empty Promises: Fund Climate Justice NOW!

When: January 27th, 2020 10:30am

Where: Albany State Capitol

Buses provided from NYC, Buffalo, and Long Island

RSVP Here

This day of action comes after the Governor's State and the State and will be critical for centering Climate Justice in this year's budget. We need all of us to show up and demand Climate Justice! If you haven't lobbied before, don't worry. NY Renews will provide training, transportation, and lunch.

RSVP now to join us on January 27th! This is our first Albany day of action since the CCPA fight. 

Let's show that we still won't stand for empty promises. We need Climate Justice NOW!

350.org is a global movement that fights for a just and equitable world by stopping the fossil fuel industry from continuing to destroy our climate.

Learn about Joining a NYS Solar Farm and Reducing your Electric Bill

Get more information at NiagaraSierra@gmail.com

Saturday, December 14, 2019

Climate Activist Greta Thundberg: TIME Magazine's 'Person of the Year'

TIME’s Editor-in-chief on why Greta Thunberg is the Person of the Year

BY EDWARD FELSENTHAL

It began with a story line familiar to every parent of every generation in every corner of the globe: an indignant teenager and a sudden burst of rebellion. It became one of the most unlikely and surely one of the swiftest ascents to global influence in history. Over the course of little more than a year, a 16-year-old from Stockholm went from a solitary protest on the cobblestones outside her country’s Parliament to leading a worldwide youth movement; from a schoolkid conjugating verbs in French class to meeting with the Secretary-General of the United Nations and receiving audiences with Presidents and the Pope; from a solo demonstrator with a hand-painted slogan (Skolstrejk för Klimatet) to inspiring millions of people across more than 150 countries to take to the streets on behalf of the planet we share.

Meaningful change rarely happens without the galvanizing force of influential individuals, and in 2019, the earth’s existential crisis found one in Greta Thunberg. Marshaling “Fridays for Future” protests throughout Europe; thundering, “How dare you!” at the world’s most powerful leaders in her viral U.N. speech; leading some 7 million climate strikers across the world in September and tens of thousands more in Madrid in early December, Thunberg has become the biggest voice on the biggest issue facing the planet—and the avatar of a broader generational shift in our culture that is playing out everywhere from the campuses of Hong Kong to the halls of Congress in Washington.

As Isabella Prata, the mother of two climate strikers in São Paulo, puts it, “Greta is an image of all of this generation.”
Thunberg demands action, and though far too many key measures are still moving in the wrong direction, there are nascent signs that action is coming. Corporate commitments to sustainable growth and net-zero emissions are on the rise. More than 60 countries have pledged to have a net carbon footprint of zero by 2050. American primary voters, especially in states beset by wildfires and flooding, are suddenly giving presidential candidates an earful on climate change. In Austria’s September elections, the Green Party more than tripled its support at the expense of the Social Democrats, a development a leader of the Social Democrats attributed to Thunberg—just before he resigned. Even as China burns half the world’s coal, it too is changing. It’s now home to roughly 45% of the electric cars and 99% of the electric buses in the world.
Thunberg stands on the shoulders—and at the side—of hundreds of thousands of others who’ve been blockading the streets and settling the science, many of them since before she was born. She is also the first to note that her privileged background makes her “one of the lucky ones,” as she puts it, in a crisis that disproportionately affects poor and indigenous communities. But this was the year the climate crisis went from behind the curtain to center stage, from ambient political noise to squarely on the world’s agenda, and no one did more to make that happen than Thunberg.

Thursday, November 21, 2019

Wind Energy & Public Health Forum - Join Us Tonight!

Wind Energy & Public Health Forum 

WHEN: Thursday, November 21, 2019, 6:00-8:00 PM
WHERE: Center for Tomorrow, North Campus, University at Buffalo (UB)


As wind energy development accelerates in western New York, the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, New Yorkers for Clean Power, the New York League of Conservation Voters, and the Union of Concerned Scientists have come together to co-host a public forum on the relationship between wind energy and public health. Join us tonight for a fact-based discussion on the topic led by prominent experts.

​​​​​​The panel of experts speaking as part of the event will include:
  • Dr. Jonathan Buonocore, program leader for the Harvard School of Public Health’s climate, energy, and health team whose research focuses on the health co-benefits of renewable energy development.
  • Michael Hankard, President and Principal or Hankard Environmental Acoustical Consultants who specializes in measuring, analyzing, and reporting on environmental noise levels relating to wind turbines and other sources. 
  • Dr. Robert J. McCunney, a practicing physician in the Pulmonary Division at Brigham and Women’s Hospital in Boston whose clinical research focuses on illnesses associated with occupational and environmental hazards.
  • Jason Kehl is a fourth-generation dairy farmer who, along with his wife Missy and three daughters, milk 120 Holstein cows at Kehl Farms in Strykersville, New York. Kehl Farms grows all their own forages on 450 acres of property that hosts not only the Kehl’s home, but also four wind turbines from the High Sheldon Wind Farm. Jason will offer a first-hand local perspective on what it is like to live and work near wind turbines.
  • Professor Simon Chapman of the University of Sydney School of Public Health, one of the world’s leading experts on the issue of human health and wind farms and the author of Wind Turbine Syndrome: A Communicated Disease.

The forum will be moderated by Rita Graham, an independent meeting facilitator with 35 years of experience in environmental and agriculture-related issues.

The event is
open to the general public and audience members will be encouraged to submit questions to the panelists. To learn more or reserve a free ticket online, visit wnywind-health.eventbrite.com.

Thursday, October 3, 2019

FORUM: NY State's Climate Leadership and Community Protection Act


This Forum is a solutions focused discussion where the audience will hear from policymakers, businesses, social justice advocates, environmentalists, academics, thought leaders and others as they take a deeper dive into the new legislation and what it means to achieving climate neutrality.

  The event is on October 17th from 6-7:30pm at the Jacobs School of Medicine and Biomedical Sciences in downtown Buffalo. Refreshments and a cash bar will be available at 5:30pm. 
 
Registration is mandatory. Please RSVP here:  

More information can be found at: