I was living in St. Louis in 1993 when a very rainy spring turned out to be the beginning of a historically destructive flood. The rain also fell north of Missouri and all that water flowed south, through the Missouri and Mississippi Rivers, to converge on St. Louis. I learned several things from this event. “Natural catastrophes” of this kind create devastation where they occur, but outside of their immediate impact area, life goes on as normal. These catastrophic events are increasing because of climate… Read More »Why flooding is everybody’s problem
Op-Eds and Letters
At the first Earth Day on April 22, 1970, crowds gathered throughout the country to celebrate the earth and learn about ecology. The events varied, but, in the spirit of the times, the celebrations raised consciousness about environmental problems and spurred many to change their habits to use more “natural” products in everything from fabrics to gardening. The enthusiasm of ordinary people made the first Earth Day a success, but it was obvious that individual action would not be enough. The Environmental Protection Agency was… Read More »Climate Watch: On Earth Day 2021 Remember That Individual Action Is Not Enough
Climate change is undoubtedly a significant environmental issue of our future generations. For too long, Pennsylvania has been a major part of the problem. It’s time to be a part of the solution. State officials are proposing that Pennsylvania joins the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI), a program that has dramatically reduced climate pollution in many of our neighboring Northeast states. The public comment period showed that Pennsylvanians overwhelmingly support joining this successful program and Penn State has certainly shown their support too. Pennsylvania joining… Read More »Time for PA to be Part of the Climate Change Solution
BIDEN’S PLAN IS WHAT WE NEED The Biden Administration has taken extraordinary steps to stop the spread of COVID-19. It’s working. Next up, is our economic health. Taking a page from FDR’s New Deal, President Biden proposed a social contract/recovery bill that’s centered on climate-friendly infrastructure to repair decades of under-investment in energy, education, health care and “green” innovations. Republicans say he’s gone too far; others say not far enough. State College police looking for help finding these ‘persons of interest’ in MLK mural vandalism… Read More »Biden’s Plan is What We Need
The recent severe winter storm in Texas brought bitterly cold weather and caused blackouts, broken water pipes, suffering, and uncertainty. Could something similar happen here? The good news is that electricity generators and their fuel suppliers in our region are prepared for expected cold weather. In Texas, they apparently calculated that it would be a wise use of resources to concentrate on extreme heat and hurricanes, both of which are frequent and getting worse because of climate change. Texas focused on preparing for heat and… Read More »Climate Watch: Are We Prepared for Extreme Weather?
American businesses are taking serious steps to curb climate change. General Motors recently announced that it plans to be carbon neutral by 2040 by making 40 percent of its US models battery-run by 2025, and powering 100% of its US facilities from renewable energy by 2035 (https://plants.gm.com/media/us/en/gm/news.detail.print.html/content/Pages/news/us/en/2021/jan/0128-carbon.html). BlackRock, the world’s largest investment management firm, reported that investments in renewable energy funds increased more than 91% from 2019 to 2020. BlackRock stated that climate risk is investment risk, and urged companies to incorporate assessments of climate… Read More »Time for Congress To Do Its Part To Curb Climate Change
It is hard to overstate the timely value of Michael Mann’s latest book, The New Climate War: The Fight to Take Back Our Planet. The book explains clearly how the battlefield over climate issues has shifted. Climate “inactivists” as Dr. Mann calls them, generally no longer contend that the planet is not warming or that human actions are not the cause. The facts overcame those objections some time ago. The percentage of Americans who believe them now is in single digits. So those who would… Read More »Climate Watch: Michael Mann’s Latest is a Must-Read for Anyone Who Cares About Climate Action
by Sylvia Neely and Norma Morrison Last year Ezra Klein published a book entitled “Why We’re Polarized.” He traced the history of partisanship, explaining the ways parties have evolved, the changing role of the media, and the crucial influence of identity politics. The horrifying events on Capitol Hill on January 6 were the culmination of this corrosive process that has made many Americans come to fear each other, hate the other side, and refuse to listen to people with whom they disagree. In such a… Read More »Have We Reached the Limits of Partisanship?
Of the Three Musketeers and Climate Change by Joseph Haloua** What do carbon dioxide emissions and the Three Musketeers have in common? Human activity of course. In the seventeenth century, Paris was the largest European city and had to contend with an enormous influx of rural population. While economic output was rising, the lack of a sanitation infrastructure threatened to stall progress. The famous hats with large and solid brims worn by the Musketeers were more than mere fashion: they protected from all sorts of… Read More »Climate Watch: Of the Three Musketeers and Climate Change
This commonwealth has a long history as an energy leader. Our natural resources have helped spur the growth and development of both the state and the nation. Currently we are the third-largest energy producer in the nation and the number one exporter of electricity. Unfortunately, our commonwealth is also one of our nation’s largest polluters. According to the US Energy Information Administration, Pennsylvania has the fifth-dirtiest power generation sector in the country. We now have an opportunity to change that statistic. The Regional Greenhouse Gas… Read More »Climate Watch: Pennsylvania Should Join the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative