Tag Archives: fossil fuels

The Pennsylvania Paradox

By Barb Jarmoska, Responsible Drilling Alliance (Williamsport PA), 12/21/15

Earlier this month, 195 nations and the European Union, representing billions of earth citizens, reached an unprecedented consensus at the Conference of Parties to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21). A plan to slow global warming was agreed upon with the hope of averting disastrous climate effects. Global dependence on fossil fuels is beginning to wind down and a commitment to an increasing reliance on clean, renewable energy has begun. Janos Pasztor, the U.N. assistant secretary-general on climate change, proclaimed that the message of the Paris Agreement is to “send a strong signal… that this is the direction we are going, to a low-carbon, low-emissions world, so investing in new technology is the way to go.”

“The agreement requires the world to wean itself off of fossil fuels by the middle of the century,” said Alden Meyer, the director of strategy and policy of the Union of Concerned Scientists. “We have to get to net zero of greenhouse gases by 2060 or so. That can be through a combination of reducing emissions and increasing uptake of carbon dioxide by forests and agriculture by natural syncs. There is no way to meet this goal without phasing out fossil fuels over that time.”

Although the commitments made in Paris are insufficient to protect the most vulnerable people or to reverse the trend of rapidly declining biodiversity, the COP21 deal is a compromise, a crucial and forward-looking step in the right direction.

Huffington Post proclaimed, “…the Paris Agreement does send a strong signal to the business community and financial markets that we are moving to a low-carbon, renewable energy future.”

Here in PA, that “strong signal” has been blocked by false promises and padded campaign coffers. The message of COP21 is not reaching the ears of Pennsylvania’s elected and appointed officials who, as a whole, remain heedless of the warnings, ignorant of the predictions, and deaf to the global consensus on climate change. The gas industry’s stranglehold continues to dominate… welcome to the Pennsylvania paradox.

November saw the release of the Pennsylvania Pipeline Infrastructure Task Force Draft Report. The governor’s 48-member Task Force, said to be comprised of “stakeholders” is hardly a balanced group, as the stakes most members hold have nothing to do with methane’s impact on climate change. The report’s 184 recommendations make no mention of the methane that leaks from pipelines nor does it hold in regard the forest fragmentation, invasive species, damage to wetlands, and other environmental impacts of PA’s proposed 30,000-mile web of new pipelines….

continue reading at Responsible Drilling Alliance

Leave a comment

Filed under Environment, Energy, Science

Climate activist says the heat is on

[n.b.: In this respect, see “China’s air pollution leading to more erratic climate for US, say scientists: Computer modelling showed intensification of US-bound Pacific storms, driven by fine aerosols from coal power plants and traffic,” by Jonathan Kalman, The Guardian, 4/15/14]

By Kendal Gapinski, Daily Local News, 04/11/14

WEST CHESTER — Climate change activist James E. Hansen spoke at West Chester University Thursday night as part of the school’s Research Day.

Hansen, who currently is an adjunct professor at Columbia University, spoke for around an hour Thursday followed by a question and answer session with audience members.

He spoke to a full crowd at the Emilie K. Asplundh Concert Hall at West Chester University as part of its 13th annual Research Day, a day for faculty and staff to show off projects they’re currently working on. The theme of Research Day this year was sustainability. Hansen gave the keynote speech on Thursday, called “Tenant Farming to White House Arrests: A Scientific Perspective on the Unfolding Climate Crisis.”

Hansen is best known for his work in climatology and advocacy for a solution for climate change. In 1988, he testified before Congress regarding the earth’s changing atmosphere, which many say is the first time the problem became known widespread.

He originally got started in climatology after first studying Venus under James Van Allen at the University of Iowa, he said, but eventually switched into studying the earth’s changing atmosphere.

“I decided this was a more interesting planet,” he said.

In recent years, Hansen has become more of an activist against climate change. In April 2013, Hansen retired from NASA in part to speak out more about the need for policy and legal changes to stop the damage from climate change.

Although he may be known as an activist, he said he does not consider himself one. Instead, he believes that as a scientist it is important to not only research climate change, but come up with conclusions based on what the facts show.

“I think scientists should be allowed to connect the dots,” he said.

During his speech, Hansen spoke to the crowd about the need for young people to push for action against climate change. He said that although the older generations were the ones who caused much of the damage to the climate, it is up to young adults, like the students in the crowd, to inspire change….

continue reading at Daily Local News

Leave a comment

Filed under Environment, Energy, Science