We Have a Climate Emergency!

by Wendy Hamilton, New Haven Mayoral Candidate

This is part of a letter I sent in reply to a form letter from the New Haven Climate Movement.

We have already gone over that cliff called climate change.  It has changed, and many will die from it.

Oil, gas, coal, timber, and cattle corporations currently run the world their own way and humans continue to breed in overwhelming numbers despite climate change, bad politics, dire poverty, and growing pollution.  Try telling your fellow humans to stop reproducing or to just cut back.  I wouldn’t try either.

Essentially, we are doomed as a species to suffer massive losses and very soon. Disease, coastal flooding, mass extinction, loss of diversity, dangerous weather threaten us. I have read many books about these global problems. Also, this country, the most violent and the most weaponized, continues to arm psychopaths and sociopaths of which there is a multitude. As poverty grows, so will crime.

But you ask what I will do as mayor in the here and now —

  • I will fight the utility companies and promote solar power.
  • I will support Planned Parenthood and parenting education.
  • I will encourage mass transit and bicycles.
  • I will work with the state to improve bus routes and schedules.
  • I will demand more jobs and service from YNHH.
  • I will publicize our disastrous air pollution.
  • I will create more parks and gardens.
  • I will take over blighted lots and buildings for the city.
  • I will increase home inspections by LCI.
  • I will increase hazardous waste removal and recycling service and improve the city dump.
  • I will demand more $$ from Yale Corp. as well as more academic participation in trying to save NH
  • I will improve city schools as education is key.

Energy Fund Raids Have Stopped, But Industry Says The Damage Has Been Done

by Christine Stuart, CT News Junkie, July 30, 2019

The General Assembly adjourned this year without restoring $67.5 million to clean energy funds that had been swept as part of the budget in 2017.

The $67.5 million was part of a larger $145 million in energy fund sweeps the General Assembly approved under former Gov. Dannel P. Malloy to close a budget deficit.

Environmentalists and energy-efficiency businesses pointed out that the legislature and Gov. Ned Lamont could have used the budget surplus to restore some of the funds, but they decided against it and failed to restore them before the session adjourned June 5.

Hartford Mayor Luke Bronin said Monday that he doesn’t know how to measure how much more progress his city could have made in improving its rankings on a clean energy scorecard if those funds had been available.

For more on this story, visit: Energy Fund Raids Have Stopped, But Industry Says The Damage Has Been Done | CT News Junkie

 

Environmental Wins at the CT State Legislature

This past legislative session saw two significant clean energy victories. The synopsis below is from information from the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs. For more information about the legislation, and for regular notices from the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs, please visit https://ctclimateandjobs.org.

Offshore Wind Energy Development – After months of effective advocacy, the Connecticut State Senate passed HB 7156, mandating solicitations of 2000 MW of offshore wind by 2030. The unanimous vote of 36 to 0 echoed the earlier overwhelmingly bipartisan 134 to 10 approval in the House.

Connecticut becomes the first state to mandate project labor agreements and prevailing wages for all offshore wind projects. The bill also includes some of the strongest environmental protections for marine life, ecosystems and commercial fishing.

Solar Energy – a good fix to the faulty net metering language enacted in 2018 was included in HB 5002 and will help put CT’s residential and commercial solar energy on track for continued growth. (HB 5002, which was originally the Green New Deal bill, was otherwise unremarkable.)

Building a coalition around a climate action 1-3 p.m. Sunday June 30

At a recent day of discussion for 350 CT, we decided to make an effort to build a wide-ranging coalition around a climate action on Sept. 20 in support of the global climate strike led by the millions of school strikers around the world.

There will be a meeting on June 30 from 1-3 pm at the Unitarian Society of Hartford (50 Bloomfield Avenue) to make a plan. I hope that some PAR subscribers can attend. Thank you!

Note To the Environmental Community | Ralph Nader, Consumer Advocate

[Reprinted from CounterPunch, May 6, 2019: www.counterpunch.org/2019/05/06/note-to-the-environmental-community]

In 2003, political strategist Frank Luntz wrote a confidential Republican Party memo on what he called “the environmental communications battle.” In that memo, Luntz advised Republicans to change the words they used to meet their ends. “The scientific debate is closing but not yet closed,” he wrote. “There is still a window of opportunity to challenge the science,” Luntz proposed using the phrase “climate change” instead of “global warming.” His reasoning: “[W]hile global warming has catastrophic communications attached to it, climate change sounds a more controllable and less emotional challenge.”

Like it or not, Frank Luntz had a point. When I was growing up in New England, “climate change” meant the changing of the seasons: spring, summer, autumn, and winter. Today, in the midst of increasingly alarming scientific studies and giant storms, the necessary response has been diminished by this widely-accepted softening of the words we use to describe the dangerous reality that stands before us. Language matters!

I recently reached out to two leading and widely respected ecologists, Paul Hawken and Bill McKibben, to get their input on the mainstream usage of the benign phrase “climate change.” McKibben now uses the far more potent phrase “climate chaos.” Hawken believes the proper term is “climate volatility.”

One thing is abundantly clear―it’s time to change the words to meet the peril! As Confucius said: “If language is not correct, then what is said is not what is meant; if what is said is not what is meant, then what must be done remains undone; if this remains undone, morals and art will deteriorate; if justice goes astray, the people will stand about in helpless confusion. Hence there must be no arbitrariness in what is said. This matters above everything.”

Would you join us in replacing the use of the all-together benign phrase “climate change” with variations of more grave language? Consider the following alternatives: climate crisis, climate catastrophe, climate disruption, climate upheaval, or even global warming. Whatever choice of words, we should stop using “climate change.”

Sincerely, Ralph Nader

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