New Yorkers Rally for Statewide Fracking Ban at Gov. Cuomo Fundraiser
On the same day that New York's highest court ruled municipalities had the right to ban fracking, hundreds of concerned citizens gathered outside Gov. Cuomo's Manhattan fundraiser yesterday, demanding a statewide ban.
Citing public health concerns, protesters called for Gov. Cuomo to consider the New York General Assembly's recent decision to pass a three-year moratorium on oil and natural gas drilling permits, and follow suit.
“It’s time for Governor Cuomo to listen to the scientists and health experts and ban fracking in New York,” said Alex Beauchamp of Food & Water Watch and New Yorkers Against Fracking. “There is clear evidence showing that fracking would poison our air and water, and create serious health problems for New Yorkers. Today’s decision reaffirming the rights of localities to ban fracking is a positive development, but fracking’s contamination of our air and water will not obey geographical boundaries. The way to truly protect New York and the health of our families is for Governor to keep fracking out of our entire state.”
In May, more than 250 health experts and medical organizations, including Physicians for Social Responsibility and Concerned Health Professionals of NY, wrote a letter to Gov. Cuomo and Health Commissioner Howard Zucker calling for a three to five year moratorium on fracking, given the growing evidence exposing fracking's threat to public health.
"The totality of the science—which now encompasses hundreds of peer-reviewed studies and hundreds of additional reports and case examples—shows that permitting fracking in New York would pose significant threats to the air, water, health and safety of New Yorkers,” the letter stated.
Food & Water Watch points to these key trends that the letter discusses:
- Evidence linking water contamination to fracking–related activities.
- The structural integrity of wells can fail. These failures are common, unavoidable and increase over time as wells age and cement and casings deteriorate.
- The disposal of fracking wastewater is linked to earthquakes and radioactive contamination of surface water. It remains a problem with no solution.
- Air quality impacts from fracking–related activities.
- Community and social impacts of fracking can be widespread, expensive and deadly.
- Industry secrecy contributes to unsettled science.
“Climate change is the most critical issue of our generation,” said Ling Tsou, co-founder of United for Action. “Fracking, building of liquefied natural gas facilities (LNG) and expansion of natural gas infrastructure are worse for the climate than carbon pollution because methane is a more potent greenhouse gas than carbon. Governor Cuomo needs to ban fracking in New York State, stop any further expansion of natural gas and LNG infrastructure and invest in renewables to power New York State.”
Sweden's reindeer have a problem. In winter, they feed on lichens buried beneath the snow. But the climate crisis is making this difficult. Warmer temperatures mean moisture sometimes falls as rain instead of snow. When the air refreezes, a layer of ice forms between the reindeer and their meal, forcing them to wander further in search of ideal conditions. And sometimes, this means crossing busy roads.
- San Antonio, Texas Unveils Largest Highway Crossing for Wildlife in ... ›
- Wildlife Crossings a Huge Success - EcoWatch ›
EcoWatch Daily Newsletter
- Climate Change Will Be Sudden and Cataclysmic Unless We Act Now ›
- There's a Heatwave at the Arctic 'Doomsday Vault' - EcoWatch ›
- Marine Heatwaves Destroy Ocean Ecosystems Like Wildfires ... ›
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>
- Biden Reaffirms Commitment to Rejoining Paris Agreement ... ›
- Biden Likely Plans to Cancel Keystone XL Pipeline on Day One ... ›
- Joe Biden Appoints Climate Crisis Team - EcoWatch ›