Rally to Ban Fracking This Saturday in NYC, Sign Petitions to NY Senate and Gov. Cuomo
On Saturday, Feb. 25, there will be a rally to ban fracking from 1 - 3 p.m. at Cathedral of St. John the Divine, 112th Street & Amsterdam Avenue, NY, NY.
The largest cathedral in the world, St. John the Divine is a powerful location for the anti-fracking movement to gather, be inspired and galvanize our forces.
In addition to hearing from a variety of speakers, there will be short workshops and trainings on how to get more involved in the movement. You'll learn how to collect petition signatures, and about your legislators and where they stand on fracking. And don't miss out on the Food & Water Watch table full of materials that you can take to share with friends and family, as well as What the Frack? t-shirts and Ban Fracking Now campaign signs.
Speakers at the event include:
- 350.org Founder, Bill McKibben
- Executive Director of Food & Water Watch, Wenonah Hauter
- State Senator Tony Avella (D-Bayside)
- Assemblymember Linda Rosenthal
- Executive Director of Working Families Party, Dan Cantor
- Chair of Democracy For America, Jim Dean
- Executive Director of Frack Action, Claire Sandberg,
- Co-Founder of United for Action, David Braun,
- And the Oscar-nominated Director of Gasland, Josh Fox, will call in.
To register for the event, click here.
In addition to attending the event this Saturday, New Yorkers can get involved in the anti-fracking movement by signing two petitions.
The Assembly has voted to close the toxic waste loophole enjoyed by frackers—tell the Senate to act by clicking here. See below for more information.
Tell Gov. Cuomo not to short circuit the legal process by greenlighting fracking this spring by clicking here. See below for more information.
Because these Action Alerts are being sent to New York State officials, they can only be acted on if you use a New York State address.
The New York State Assembly votes to close the Hazardous Waste Loophole
Last week the New York State Assembly overwhelmingly passed A7013, a bill that will close the loophole in the law that permits the oil and gas industry to dispose of toxic drilling wastes as ordinary industrial waste. This law will protect the public and our drinking water supplies by requiring the industry to properly dispose of hazardous waste—and by requiring the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to report toxic spills like those that occurred in Le Roy, New York.
One hundred and five Assembly Members voted for the bill; thirty-eight voted to preserve the loophole. Coincidentally, one of these legislators recently wrote to Catskill Citizens to explain to us why the DEC didn't need to report the toxic spills schoolyard grounds in Le Roy, New York—where more than a dozen students have recently come down with a still unexplained illness. In response, we wrote an open letter to the Assembly Member tracing the connection between the hazardous waste loophole and what went wrong in Le Roy.
Threatening Noises from the Governor's Office
Unfortunately, significant gains in the courts and in the Assembly have been overshadowed by indications that Cuomo administration is considering going around the law and permitting fracking in New York State even before the DEC has had a chance to properly evaluate and respond to the 61,000 comments it received on the Revised Draft SGEIS—and before it has conducted a health impact assessment. The governor recently told the editorial board of the Syracuse Post Standard that the decision to permit fracking is just "a couple of months away."
Home Rule Upheld in Court
In a historic decision, State Supreme Court Justice Phillip Rumsey upheld zoning ordinances in the Town of Dryden (Tompkins County) that explicitly prohibit any and all activities having to do with shale gas extraction. The Dryden ordinances not only prohibit fracking, but also the storing, treating and disposal of any products or wastes produced from fracking.
The town had been sued by Colorado-based Anschutz Exploration Corporation which spent more than five million dollars leasing 22,000 acres in the town, gambling that it would be able to undertake high-volume hydraulic fracturing—an extraction technique not previously permitted in New York State.
Justice Rumseys' decision was the first court test of New York's notorious Environmental Conservation Law 23 which gives the state power to regulate the oil and gas industry, but not the ability to override local zoning ordinances. In rendering his decision, the justice wrote "Nowhere in the legislative history… is there any suggestion that the legislature intended… to preempt local zoning authority."
People Get Ready
Non-violent civil disobedience training, Sunday, March 11 from 12:30 - 5 p.m. at the Delaware Youth Center, Callicoon, New York. To register or for more information email Beverly Sterner.
For more information, click here.
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A Game of Jenga<p>Think of it as a game of Jenga and the planet's climate system as the tower. For generations, we have been slowly removing blocks. But at some point, we will remove a pivotal block, such as the collapse of one of the major global ocean circulation systems, for example the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation (AMOC), that will cause all or part of the global climate system to fall into a planetary emergency.</p><p>But worse still, it could cause runaway damage: Where the tipping points form a domino-like cascade, where breaching one triggers breaches of others, creating an unstoppable shift to a radically and swiftly changing climate.</p><p>One of the most concerning tipping points is mass methane release. Methane can be found in deep freeze storage within permafrost and at the bottom of the deepest oceans in the form of methane hydrates. But rising sea and air temperatures are beginning to thaw these stores of methane.</p><p>This would release a powerful greenhouse gas into the atmosphere, 30-times more potent than carbon dioxide as a global warming agent. This would drastically increase temperatures and rush us towards the breach of other tipping points.</p><p>This could include the acceleration of ice thaw on all three of the globe's large, land-based ice sheets – Greenland, West Antarctica and the Wilkes Basin in East Antarctica. The potential collapse of the West Antarctic ice sheet is seen as a key tipping point, as its loss could eventually <a href="https://science.sciencemag.org/content/324/5929/901" target="_blank">raise global sea levels by 3.3 meters</a> with important regional variations.</p><p>More than that, we would be on the irreversible path to full land-ice melt, causing sea levels to rise by up to 30 meters, roughly at the rate of two meters per century, or maybe faster. Just look at the raised beaches around the world, at the last high stand of global sea level, at the end of the Pleistocene period around 120,0000 years ago, to see the evidence of such a warm world, which was just 2°C warmer than the present day.</p>
Cutting Off Circulation<p>As well as devastating low-lying and coastal areas around the world, melting polar ice could set off another tipping point: a disablement to the AMOC.</p><p>This circulation system drives a northward flow of warm, salty water on the upper layers of the ocean from the tropics to the northeast Atlantic region, and a southward flow of cold water deep in the ocean.</p><p>The ocean conveyor belt has a major effect on the climate, seasonal cycles and temperature in western and northern Europe. It means the region is warmer than other areas of similar latitude.</p><p>But melting ice from the Greenland ice sheet could threaten the AMOC system. It would dilute the salty sea water in the north Atlantic, making the water lighter and less able or unable to sink. This would slow the engine that drives this ocean circulation.</p><p><a href="https://www.carbonbrief.org/atlantic-conveyor-belt-has-slowed-15-per-cent-since-mid-twentieth-century" target="_blank">Recent research</a> suggests the AMOC has already weakened by around 15% since the middle of the 20th century. If this continues, it could have a major impact on the climate of the northern hemisphere, but particularly Europe. It may even lead to the <a href="https://ore.exeter.ac.uk/repository/handle/10871/39731?show=full" target="_blank" rel="noopener noreferrer">cessation of arable farming</a> in the UK, for instance.</p><p>It may also reduce rainfall over the Amazon basin, impact the monsoon systems in Asia and, by bringing warm waters into the Southern Ocean, further destabilize ice in Antarctica and accelerate global sea level rise.</p>
The Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation has a major effect on the climate. Praetorius (2018)
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