Mark Ruffalo: New York State Leading the Way on the Clean Energy Revolution
By New Yorkers for Clean Power
Top environmental and business organizations, actor Mark Ruffalo and clean energy leaders held a press conference Monday in New York City to launch New Yorkers for Clean Power, a statewide campaign to increase the deployment of clean energy across New York state.
The campaign focuses on education, organizing and advocacy to engage the public, local governments and businesses to advance a range of renewable energy, efficiency and clean transportation options, and to advance and expand New York's clean energy policies.
“It's time that we aggressively transition to clean renewable energy and create permanent good-paying jobs for New Yorkers across this great state," Mark Ruffalo, New Yorkers for Clean Power advisory board member, said.
"New York State is already leading the way on the clean energy revolution with over 85,000 jobs. Now with increased solar, wind, energy efficiency, clean transportation options through New York State's existing innovative programs, we can bring more jobs and prosperity to every community in the state while protecting the local environment and our global climate. I'm proud to be a part of the the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign to quickly grow the clean energy economy across the state."
The campaign also released a Clean Jobs New York report showing that more than 85,000 New Yorkers already work in the clean energy sector and underscoring the potential for substantial clean energy job growth.
UPDATE: There are 85,000+ #cleanenergy jobs in New York state, per new #CleanJobsNY report: https://t.co/mCUOSoQoUu https://t.co/2fAJ5MyOA2— NRDC 🌎 (@NRDC 🌎)1462206531.0
There are 7,500 business establishments across all 62 counties. The comprehensive new analysis is from the national nonpartisan business group EnvironmentalEntrepreneurs (E2), the Alliance for Clean Energy New York, New York State Sustainable Business Council and New Yorkers for Clean Power. The report is based on U.S. Bureau of Labor Statistics information and new data from the U.S. Department of Energy, as well as a comprehensive survey of hundreds of businesses across the state.
This report is the first of its kind and it breaks down clean energy jobs by county, congressional district and state legislative district. The authors of the report found that New York's growth expectations—at almost 7 percent—are higher than other states that have been studied, based on the survey of employers.
New Yorkers for Clean Power is convened by the Natural Resources Defense Council, Sierra Club, Frack Action, Catskill Mountainkeeper, The Solutions Project, Environmental Entrepreneurs (E2) and is partnering with many organizations, businesses and other groups across the state.
“This new campaign is bringing together organizations, businesses, municipalities and communities to implement clean energy, clean vehicles and create good jobs for New Yorkers," Renee Vogelsang, campaign coordinator of New Yorkers for Clean Power, said. "Tens of thousands of residents already work in solar, wind, energy efficiency and other clean energy sectors, and we know that's just the tip of the iceberg as we build the clean energy economy that leads the nation and also protects clean air and water."
Following the launch in New York City, the New Yorkers for Clean Power campaign is traveling across the state in a donated Ford Focus Plug-in Hybrid Electric Vehicle as part of the "Road to Renewables" tour, holding educational events and engaging communities and local businesses together to work on expanding and implementing clean energy opportunities. The campaign is also spreading awareness about the many existing New York State programs and initiatives that can help communities and individuals adopt clean energy, such as NY-Sun, ChargeNY and NYSERDA's Renewable Heating and Cooling program.
“New York State is becoming a national leader on renewable energy, thanks to the forward-thinking energy policies of the Cuomo administration," Julia Walsh, campaign director of Frack Action, said. “We have an incredible opportunity right now to be a model for the rest of this country on how to rapidly transition to renewable energy and efficiency."
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By Jeff Masters, Ph.D.
Tropical Storm Josephine Also No Threat to Land<p>Meanwhile, the season's record-earliest tenth named storm, Tropical Storm Josephine, was also struggling with high wind shear as it traced out a path over the open ocean.</p><p>At 5 a.m. EDT Saturday, Josephine was located about 310 miles east of the northern Leeward Islands, moving west-northwest at 15 mph with top sustained winds at 45 mph. Josephine is expected to bring one to three inches of rain over portions of the northern Leeward Islands, the Virgin Islands, and Puerto Rico over the weekend. Josephine will encounter steadily rising wind shear through Monday, peaking at a very high 30 – 35 knots. This high shear is likely to destroy Josephine's circulation by Monday, before the storm can affect any other land areas.</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://yaleclimateconnections.org/2020/08/tropical-storm-kyle-forms-unlikely-to-affect-land/" target="_blank">Yale Climate Connections</a>. </em><em></em></p>
By Ute Eberle
In May 2017, shells started washing up along the Ligurian coast in Italy. They were small and purple and belonged to a snail called Janthina pallida that is rarely seen on land. But the snails kept coming — so many that entire stretches of the beach turned pastel.
The Ligurian coast has been swept by snails turning its color pastel.
A World Between Worlds<p>The neuston comprises a multitude of weird and wonderful creatures. </p><p>Many, like the Portuguese man-of-war, which paralyzes its prey with venomous tentacles up to 30 meters long, are colored an electric shade of blue, possibly to protect themselves against the sun's UV rays, or as camouflages against predators.</p><p>There are also by-the-wind sailors, flattish creatures that raise chitin shields from the water like sails; slugs known as sea dragons that cling to the water's surface from below with webbed appendages; barnacles that build bubble rafts as big as dinner plates; and the world's only marine insects, a relation of the pond skater.</p><p>They live "between the worlds" of the sea and sky, as Federico Betti, a marine biologist at the University of Genoa, puts it. From below, predators lurk. From above, the sun burns. Winds and waves toss them about. Depending on the weather, their environment may be warm or cool, salty or less so.</p>
Sea snails can make up the neuston.
Velella velella jellyfish living on the surface of the ocean.<p>But now, they face another — manmade — threat from nets designed to catch trash. A project called <a href="https://theoceancleanup.com/" target="_blank">The Ocean Cleanup</a>, run by Dutch inventor Boyan Slat, has raised millions of dollars in donations and sponsorship to deploy long barriers with nets that will drift across the ocean in open loops to sweep up floating garbage. </p>
Collecting With the Current<p>"Plastic could outweigh fish in the oceans by 2050. To us, that future is unacceptable," <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/green-entrepreneur-sets-sights-on-great-pacific-garbage-patch/a-38855785" target="_blank">The Ocean Cleanup</a> declares on its website.</p><p>But Rebecca Helm, a marine biologist at the University of North Carolina, and one of the few scientists to study this ecosystem, fears that The Ocean Cleanup's proposal to remove 90% of the plastic trash from the water could also virtually wipe out the neuston.</p><p>One focus of Helm's studies is where these organisms congregate. "There are places that are very, very concentrated and areas of little concentration, and we're trying to figure out why," says Helm.</p><p>One factor is that the neuston floats with ocean currents, and Helm worries that it might collect in the exact same spots as marine plastic pollution. "Our initial data show that regions with high concentrations of plastic are also regions with high concentrations of life."</p>
Waste collection in the Pacific Ocean heralded by The Ocean Cleanup.<p>The Ocean Cleanup says Helm's concerns are based on "misguided assumptions."</p><p>"It's true that neustonic organisms will be trapped in the barriers," says Gerhard Herndl, professor of Aquatic Biology at the University of Vienna and one of project's scientific advisors. "But these organisms have dangerous lives. They're adapted to high losses because they get washed ashore in storms and they have high reproductive rates. If they didn't, they'd already be extinct."</p><p>Helm says they just don't know how quickly these creatures reproduce, and in any case recovering from passing storm is very different from surviving The Ocean Clean Up's systems which could be in place for years.</p>
Communication Breakdown<p>The Ocean Cleanup invited Helm to a symposium on the topic in December, where both sides presented their points of views and didn't seem to find much common ground. Since then, direct communication between them has stopped, says Helm. "They're not interested in talking to me anymore."</p><p>Both sides agree that much is still unknown about the neuston. But one thing that has been established is that most of the oceans' fish spend part of their lifecycle in the neuston. "More than 90% of marine fish species produce floating eggs that persist on the surface until hatching," Betti says.</p><p>The Ocean Cleanup has undertaken one of the few studies into this ecosystem, collecting data on the neuston on the relative abundance of neuston and floating plastic debris in the eastern North Pacific Ocean during a 2019 expedition to the Pacific Garbage Patch, an area where plastic pollution has accumulated on a vast scale. But it is not yet sharing what it has found. The information was being prepared for publication in an as of yet unspecified journal, probably some time next year, an Ocean Cleanup spokesperson said. </p>
Inshore Solution?<p>Helm believes the best way to tackle the marine plastic problem would be to position the barriers closer to land — across river mouths and bays — to catch garbage before it reaches the sea.</p><p>"Stopping the flow of plastic into the ocean is the most cost-effective — and literally effective — way to ensure that it's not entering our environment," she says. </p><p>As for the plastic already floating in open waters, she does not believe it is worth sacrificing parts of neuston and wants to see more research first. </p><p>The Ocean Cleanup has made barriers across rivers a part of its mission. But it is also going ahead with its original vision of pulling trash from the open water. In late 2018, the project deployed a 600-meter, u-shaped prototype net into the <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/environment-conservation-plastic-oceans/a-54436603" target="_blank">Great Pacific Garbage Patch</a>. </p><p>The system ran into difficulties, failing to retain plastic as hoped, and needing to be brought shore for repairs and a design upgrade, after which Ocean Cleanup says it gathered haul of plastic that it will recycle and resell to help fund future operations.</p><p>Over the next two years, the project hopes to deploy up to 60 such barriers to collect drifting flotsam. Helm isn't the only one concerned about these plans.</p><p><span></span>"We should think twice about every action we take in the sea," Betti says. "In nature, nothing is as easy as we think, and often, we've done a lot of damage while trying to do a good thing."</p><p><em>Reposted with permission from <a href="https://www.dw.com/en/environment-conservation-plastic-oceans/a-54436603" target="_blank">Deutsche Welle</a>.<a href="https://www.ecowatch.com/r/entryeditor/2646992655#/" target="_self"></a></em><em></em></p>
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