Tompkins/Cortland Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton On 2019 Legislative Session

ITHACA, NY (WSKG) – The 2019 New York legislative session saw the passage of a raft of legislation that has been blocked in previous years. Assemblywoman Barbara Lifton spoke with WSKG’s Celia Clarke in the Ithaca studio. She represents Tompkins County and part of Cortland County in the state Assembly. Lifton spoke about the new farm labor rights, legalization of electrically-assisted bicycles and scooters, and why she thinks marijuana legalization is inevitable. The conversation begins with Lifton talking what she considers the most important accomplishment of the session.

New York Breweries Make Beer To Support CA Wildfire Victims

Today is Giving Tuesday, and breweries across the region are joining a nationwide effort to raise money for victims of the Camp Fire in northern California. Hundreds of breweries are making the exact same beer recipe and donating the proceeds.

Climate Change: Not A Big Deal In PA’s Race For Governor

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA —  A report out this month from the United Nation’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change paints a pretty dire picture. By 2040, the world faces myriad crises — including food shortages, extreme weather, wildfires and a mass die-off of coral reefs — unless emissions are cut sharply.

Study: Climate Change Hinders Summer Fun On Lake Erie

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Increased water quality problems tied to global climate change are affecting the way people fish, boat, and swim on Lake Erie, according to a paper published last month in the Journal of Park and Recreation Administration.

30 Years Of Data Show How Much The US Has Warmed. Now The Race Is On To Adapt

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – Summer is officially here. And if you’ve noticed the long hot days are hotter than in the past, you’re right. Federal data backs it up. Average daily temperatures across all parts of all 50 states have risen since the late 1980s. Saturday marks the 30-year anniversary of climate scientist Jim Hansen warning the U.S. Congress of a warming planet.

Poll: Most PA Voters Say Climate Change Causing Problems Now

STATE IMPACT PENNSYLVANIA – A majority of Pennsylvania voters agree with the scientific consensus that climate change is causing problems right now, and more than two-thirds say the state should be doing more to address it, according to a Franklin & Marshall College/StateImpact Pennsylvania poll released Thursday.

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Former EPA Administrator Said Climate Report Leakers Should Be Thanked

The former EPA regional administrator under President Barack Obama said scientists who leaked the report about further evidence of climate change to The New York Times should be commended as“whistleblowers.”   Judith Enck, who was with the EPA from 2009 until President Donald Trump took office, said it’simportant that the public see the report. Compiled by scientists at 13 federal agencies, it contains theresults of thousands of studies showing that climate change caused by greenhouse gases is affectingweather in every part of the United States, causing average temperatures to rise dramatically since the1980s. Enck said those who leaked the report should be thanked for providing a public service. “I would refer to whoever did it as a whistleblower, not a leaker,” Enck said. “Tax dollars were spentputting this report together.” Enck said it’s also important that the draft report be seen to protect against any potential wateringdown of its conclusions by the Trump administration.

What is the Critical Zone?

The Critical Zone supports terrestrial life on Earth. It is the region above and below the Earth surface, extending from the tops of the trees down through the subsurface to the bottom of the groundwater. It is a living, breathing, constantly evolving boundary layer where rock, soil, water, air, and living organisms interact. These complex interactions regulate the natural habitat and determine the availability of life-sustaining resources, including our food production and water quality. Critical Zone scientists work to discover how this living skin is structured, evolves, and provides essential functions that sustain life. The national Critical Zone Observatory Network is made up of nine environmental observatories each located in a different climatic and geologic setting.

Greenland's Thinning Ice

According to NASA, the ice sheets in Greenland are reducing at an alarming rate. With temperatures around the world climbing, melt waters from the continental ice sheets of Greenland and Antarctica are raising sea levels. Those ice sheets are melting from both above and below. Much of the ice lost from ice sheets comes from a process called calving where ice erodes, breaks off, and flows rapidly into the ocean. A large volume of ice is also lost from ice sheets melting on their surfaces. https://youtu.be/Rl7mPdZCRKg

To determine to what extent Greenland’s glaciers are being melted from underneath, NASA recently began a 5-year airborne and ship-based mission called Oceans Melting Greenland (OMG).

Trump's Announcement on Paris Accord, Annotated

The United States will withdraw from the international climate agreement known as the Paris accord, President Trump announced on Thursday. He said the U.S. will negotiate either re-entering the Paris agreement or a work on a new deal that would put American workers first. During his campaign, Trump vowed to “cancel” U.S. participation in the deal. World leaders and business figures had recently urged him to reconsider. Ultimately, the president decided to withdraw, with the stated intention of renegotiating.

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New York’s Plan To Combat Climate Change Still On Track

Gov. Andrew Cuomo said he’ll sign an executive order committing the state to meet the Paris climate accord standards, calling President Donald Trump’s decision to withdraw from the agreement “reckless” and “irresponsible.” New York State already has begun a plan to get 50 percent of the state’s energy from renewable sources, like wind and solar, by 2030. But it is not without some controversy. Under Cuomo’s plan, begun in 2016, utilities and other energy suppliers will be required to buy renewable energy credits each year. The credits would be paid to solar and wind companies, which would eventually add new clean energy sources to the state’s electric grid.  A major component of the plan, however, has been controversial — the continued operation of three upstate nuclear power plants that are nearly 50 years old. Cuomo announced a deal last August to give those plants a $7.6 billion state aid package.

Climate Change Skeptic Group Seeks to Influence 200,000 Teachers

The Heartland Institute says it will send the book “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming” to every public school science teacher in the nation. (Brenna Verre, FRONTLINE)

by Katie Worth, FRONTLINE/Columbia Journalism School Fellowships

Twenty-five thousand science teachers opened their mailboxes this month and found a package from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank that rejects the scientific consensus on climate change. It contained the organization’s book “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming,” as well as a DVD rejecting the human role in climate change and arguing instead that rising temperatures have been caused primarily by natural phenomena. The material will be sent to an additional 25,000 teachers every two weeks until every public-school science teacher in the nation has a copy, Heartland president and CEO Joseph Bast said in an interview last week. If so, the campaign would reach more than 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

What’s The Carbon Footprint Of A Typical Thanksgiving?

Mike Berners-Lee may not be an expert on the American Thanksgiving. A native of the UK, he’s never actually had the pleasure of experiencing one. But as one of the world’s leading researchers on the carbon footprint of—well—everything (he even wrote a book subtitled “The Carbon Footprint of Everything”), he’s plenty familiar with the impacts of the foods that star in the traditional Thanksgiving Day spread. Read the full story here. 

 

New Radio Programming on WSQX highlighting our Climate

Climate Connections comes to WSQX, weekdays at 4:59pm, beginning on Monday July 11, 2016. Climate Connections is hosted by Dr. Anthony Leiserowitz of the Yale School of Forestry & Environmental Studies, with original reporting from a national network of environmental reporters and researchers. A ninety second climate story will be highlighted each weekday begging July 11th. The program examines how climate change is already impacting our lives and values as well as “solution stories” about what diverse people and organizations are doing to reduce carbon pollution and increase resilience to climate impacts. The series “connects the dots” between climate change and energy, extreme weather, public health, food and water, jobs and the economy, national security, the creative arts, and religious and moral values, among other themes. Weekdays, 4:59pm | WSQX RADIO

The Great Polar Bear Feast

 A polar bear eats at the Bone Pile, with the town of Kaktovic in the background. photo: Andrew Brown/Renegade Pictures

 

The Great Polar Bear Feast airs on WSKG TV June 22, 2016 at 8pm. The Great Polar Bear Feast is the astonishing story of an annual natural phenomenon that occurs in early September on the north slope of the Arctic. Every year, up to 80 polar bears gather on the frozen shores of Barter Island, near the village of Kaktovik, to feast on the hunter-harvested bowhead whale remains. This extraordinary gathering is highly unusual because polar bears are known as solitary predators, rarely if ever moving in a group.

Thin Ice, The Inside Story of Climate Science

Thin Ice The Inside Story of Climate Science airs on WSKG TV April 20, 2016 at 10pm.  

The Thin Ice project began over a cup of coffee at a climate change and governance conference in Wellington in 2006. Peter Barrett (Victoria University) suggested to Simon Lamb (then at Oxford University) that he make a film about the science of climate change with his friend David Sington (DOX Productions)

The idea was to let people see an insider’s view of the astonishing range of human activity and scientific work needed to understand the world’s changing climate. Viewers would then be able to decide individually and collectively how to deal with the issue. Simon and David talked to researchers on four continents as they explained their work measuring changes in the atmosphere, oceans and ice sheets.

DARPA ‘Improv’ Challenge, a Tiny T-Rex, and Plastic Homes for Sea Life

Lt. Samantha Ratanarat loads soil samples onto the LEM after completing an extra-vehicular mission. Photo by Josh White
Science Friday airs on WSQX March 18, 2016 from 2-4pm.  

The Defense Advanced Research Projects Agency, or DARPA, is turning to the crowd to hack toasters, vacuums, and other off-the-shelf products to figure out how these technologies might be used against the military. Science writer Maggie Koerth-Baker brings us this story and other science picks from the week. Plus, how floating plastic waste can provide a home — and a transportation system — for sea life.

Catch Up On the Historic Climate Agreement Reached In Paris

Adoption of the Paris Agreement on December 12, 2015. (Photo: UNFCCC, Flickr CC BY 2.0)

After working arduously for two weeks, COP21 delegates have adopted the ambitious Paris Agreement. Secretary of State John Kerry, White House Science Advisor John Holdren and Greenpeace International Executive Director Kumi Naidoo weigh in on the importance of these climate commitments and of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, rather than the earlier target of 2 degrees. Host Steve Curwood speaks with World Resources Institute Global Climate Director Jennifer Morgan about the contents of the final Paris Agreement. Download or stream this episode of “Living on Earth”.

What does the landmark climate change accord mean for the U.S.?

From PBS NEWHOUR:
Senior Fellow for Energy and the Environment at the Council on Foreign Relations in New York Michael Levi joins Hari Sreenivasan to discuss the climate change summit deal reached in Paris. TRANSCRIPT
HARI SREENIVASAN, PBS NEWSHOUR WEEKEND ANCHOR: Earlier this evening from the White House, President Obama said the deal is a turning point that provides the architecture to save planet from the worst consequences of climate change. BARACK OBAMA, PRESIDENT OF THE UNITED STATES: No nation, not even one as powerful as ours, can solve this challenge alone. And no country, no matter how small, can sit on the sidelines. Even if all of initial targets set in Paris are met, we’ll only be part of the way there when it comes to reducing carbon from the atmosphere.

The State of Nuclear Power, Climate Refugees, and Bad News for Bananas

Some of this year’s picks. Photo by Brandon Echter
This episode of Science Friday will air on December 11, 2015 on WSQX from 2-4pm. Freelance journalist and author Maggie Koerth-Baker returns to Science Friday to discuss the state of nuclear power around the world—a topic she tackles at length in a recent New York Times article. Countries like Japan and Germany are looking to phase out nuclear energy, and even the United States, which largely embraces it, hasn’t opened a nuclear reactor since 1996. Koerth-Baker also shares other short subjects in science this week, including a story about how the first climate refugees in the continental United States may hail from an island in the Chesapeake Bay.

Will Paris Talks Lead to a Better, Binding Climate Agreement?

Streams and rivers that form on top of the Greenland ice sheet during spring and summer are the main agent transporting melt runoff from the ice sheet to the ocean. Photo taken July 19, 2015. Credit: NASA/Goddard/Maria-José Viñas
Tune into Science Friday Friday December 4th 2-4pm on WSQX. The 21st United Nations Climate Conference started this week in Paris with nearly 200 countries working to create a global agreement on limiting greenhouse gas emissions. Journalist Lisa Friedman, from E&E’s ClimateWire, and Steven Cohen, the executive director of Columbia University’s Earth Institute, discuss how the challenge of balancing economic growth and climate goals for India and developing nations will affect negotiations, and what role technology plays in reducing emissions.

Vanishing Cod, Climate Change And Our Warming Oceans

A cod that will be auctioned off is held by Codie Small at the Portland Fish Exchange, Thursday, Oct. 29, 2015, in Portland, Maine. Portland’s Gulf of Maine Research Institute is announcing a major breakthrough in climate and fisheries science. A study published in the journal Science indicates cod, which have collapsed off of New England, are declining because of warming oceans. (AP)
Tune in today at 11am on WSQX for On Point.

Arctic Mosquito Swarms, Our Shrinking Moon, and a ‘Dislike’ Button

It’s our favorite day of the week- Science Friday!! Climate change is shrinking habitat ranges and causing population declines in species worldwide, but one group is thriving in the warmer temperatures: Arctic mosquitoes. Washington Post reporter Rachel Feltman discusses why these insects are booming, and shares other science stories making headlines this week. Plus, at a Q&A at Facebook headquarters this week, Mark Zuckerberg announced that the social network is working on something akin to the “dislike” button that some users have long desired. Slate senior technology writer Will Oremus explores the good and bad of Facebook’s move beyond the thumbs-up.

Arctic Climate Change, Pot Pesticides, and Student Data

Tune into  Science Friday for a discussion on climate change, take a peek at how some teachers spent their summer and learn how pesticides are affecting the marijuana industry.  At a global conference to discuss priorities in the Arctic, President Obama said that climate change was “a challenge that will define the contours of this century more dramatically than any other.” How does this sentiment hold up in light of the recent decision to open up the Arctic to drilling? Science journalist Brooke Borel, of Popular Science and the blog Our Modern Plagues, discusses this and other science stories in the news this week. Plus, learning apps are beginning to find their way into the classroom. But with the introduction of any new technology comes the collection of big data.