The New York Times reported today that Governor Andrew Cuomo is pursuing a policy that would allow fracking in a few of the most impoverished New York counties in the southwestern part of the state. Fracking would be allowed in Broome, Chemung, Chenango, Steuben and Tioga Counties, but only in individual towns that agree to it. It also would only take effect if state regulators at the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) officially approve the fracking process in New York state.
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a coalition of diverse organizations that oppose fracking, issued the following statement in response to the New York Times report:
"Sending a polluting industry into our most economically impoverished communities is a violation of environmental justice," said New Yorkers Against Fracking founder Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., a biologist and Distinguished Scholar in Residence at Ithaca College. Steingraber notes that at least one Southern Tier community is already struggling with excess cancer rates and birth defects as a result of past boom-and-bust industrial practices that have left plumes of contaminated groundwater in their wake.
"The pregnant mother who drinks unfiltered water from a rural well in the Susquehanna River valley has the same right to environmental protection as the mother in Manhattan who drinks unfiltered water brought to her from the off-limits New York City watershed, " said Steingraber.
"Partitioning our state into frack and no-frack zones based on economic desperation is a shameful idea, and we will actively oppose its implementation. Demonstration projects are another name for sacrifice zones. And there are no children and counties in our beloved state that we are willing to sacrifice."
CALL TO ACTION
Call Gov. Cuomo at 866-584-6799 and tell him, "It is not ok to sacrifice any part of New York, fracking would create the greatest health and environmental disaster in New York's history, if you break it you own it."
JOIN THE FACEBOOK & TWITTER ACTIONS
"Like" Governor Cuomo's Facebook page and post:
"It is not ok to sacrifice any part of New York, fracking would create the greatest health and environmental disaster in New York's history, if you break it you own it."
Tweet this: #Fracking would create the greatest health and environmental disaster in NY's history, and @NYGovCuomo if you break it, you own it.
What: Demonstration outside DEC Region 7 Headquarters
When: Thursday, June 14 3:30 - 5 p.m.
Where: 615 Erie Boulevard West, Syracuse, NY
Join us in rallying for a statewide ban on fracking outside of the DEC regional headquarters in Syracuse, NY. It is not okay to turn any part of New York or any New Yorkers into sacrificial fracking guinea pigs. The science is clear that nothing short of a statewide ban on fracking will protect New Yorkers. Governor Cuomo and the DEC need do their job and protect every New Yorker.
Bring your signs and bring your voice. Sign suggestions: No Sacrifice Zone, Protect Every New Yorker, We Are Not Fracking Guinea Pigs! and DEC: Do Your Job! Stop the Fracking Insanity!
New Yorkers Against Fracking, a new coalition of diverse organizations that support a fracking ban, are joining together to tell Governor Cuomo and our leaders in Albany to stand up for New Yorkers to keep our water and our state safe by banning hydrofracking.
Founding members of New Yorkers Against Fracking include statewide and national organizations like Citizen Action of New York, New York State Breast Cancer Network, Food & Water Watch, Catskill Mountainkeeper, Frack Action, Water Defense, the Working Families Party joining with local grassroots anti-fracking groups and business in each part of the state such as Brewery Ommegang, Frack-Free Catskills and Fingerlakes Clean Waters Initiative and many more. Click here for a full list of the more than 100 organizations involved.
Sandra Steingraber, Ph.D., author, biologist, advocate and recent winner of the prestigious Heinz Award for her life's work, donated a significant portion of her award to help prevent fracking in New York—providing the seed money for this effort. Diagnosed with cancer in her youth, Steingraber is a central voice in the fight against fracking and has devoted her career to understanding the ways in which chemical contaminants in air, water and food endanger human health.
Sandra will serve as an honorary member of the New Yorkers Against Fracking advisory committee. Joining Sandra as honorary advisory committee members will be Niagara native, former Love Canal resident and founder of Center for Health, Environment and Justice Lois Gibbs and outspoken anti-fracking advocate and upstate resident and actor Mark Ruffalo, co-founder of Water Defense.
The growing Texas solar industry is offering a safe harbor to unemployed oil and gas professionals amidst the latest oil and gas industry bust, this one brought on by the novel coronavirus pandemic, the Houston Chronicle reports.
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By Aaron W Hunter
A chance discovery of a beautifully preserved fossil in the desert landscape of Morocco has solved one of the great mysteries of biology and paleontology: how starfish evolved their arms.
The Pompeii of palaeontology. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<h2></h2><p>Although starfish might appear very robust animals, they are typically made up of lots of hard parts attached by ligaments and soft tissue which, upon death, quickly degrade. This means we rely on places like the Fezouata formations to provide snapshots of their evolution.</p><p>The starfish fossil record is patchy, especially at the critical time when many of these animal groups first appeared. Sorting out how each of the various types of ancient starfish relate to each other is like putting a puzzle together when many of the parts are missing.</p><h2>The Oldest Starfish</h2><p><em><a href="https://www.biorxiv.org/content/10.1101/216101v1.full.pdf" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Cantabrigiaster</a></em> is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. It was discovered in 2003, but it has taken over 17 years to work out its true significance.</p><p>What makes <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> unique is that it lacks almost all the characteristics we find in brittle stars and starfish.</p><p>Starfish and brittle stars belong to the family Asterozoa. Their ancestors, the Somasteroids were especially fragile - before <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> we only had a handful of specimens. The celebrated Moroccan paleontologist Mohamed <a href="https://doi.org/10.1016/j.palaeo.2016.06.041" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">Ben Moula</a> and his local team was instrumental in discovering <a href="https://www.sciencedirect.com/science/article/abs/pii/S0031018216302334?via%3Dihub" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">these amazing fossils</a> near the town of Zagora, in Morocco.</p><h2>The Breakthrough</h2><p>Our breakthrough moment came when I compared the arms of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> with those of modern sea lilles, filter feeders with long feathery arms that tend to be attached to the sea floor by a stem or stalk.</p><p>The striking similarity between these modern filter feeders and the ancient starfish led our team from the University of Cambridge and Harvard University to create a new analysis. We applied a biological model to the features of all the current early Asterozoa fossils in existence, along with a sample of their closest relatives.</p>
Cantabrigiaster is the most primitive starfish-like animal to be discovered in the fossil record. Aaron Hunter, Author provided<p>Our results demonstrate <em>Cantabrigiaster</em> is the most primitive of all the Asterozoa, and most likely evolved from ancient animals called crinoids that lived 250 million years before dinosaurs. The five arms of starfish are a relic left over from these ancestors. In the case of <em>Cantabrigiaster</em>, and its starfish descendants, it evolved by flipping upside-down so its arms are face down on the sediment to feed.</p><p>Although we sampled a relatively small numbers of those ancestors, one of the unexpected outcomes was it provided an idea of how they could be related to each other. Paleontologists studying echinoderms are often lost in detail as all the different groups are so radically different from each other, so it is hard to tell which evolved first.</p>