December 19, 2013
Tackling blight It is incredibly heartwarming to know that advocates for disinvested communities, the poor, and the forgotten city have succeeded in making blighted and abandoned property something that's worth fighting over ("Her long trek to a land bank for Phila.," Dec. 16). And it is exciting, because places like Philadelphia - and Reading, Pottstown, and numerous other Pennsylvania cities - have a lot of abandoned property. And it has long been one of the things that has dragged us down, lowered property values, nurtured crime, and signaled urban failure and unworthiness.
December 16, 2013
Maybe science belongs on Pennsylvania's endangered species list. Some political leaders are already acting as if science is irrelevant. Gov. Corbett has named a former prosecutor who admits to a lack of scientific curiosity to be his environmental secretary. Pennsylvania was late to join efforts to reduce the pollution blowing into Northeastern states from the west. And the legislature is ignoring science in trying to remove animals from the endangered list. Corbett's new environmental secretary, E. Christopher Abruzzo, turned heads during recent confirmation hearings when he downplayed climate change and the role government should play in mitigating its effects.
December 12, 2013 |
HARRISBURG The state Senate on Tuesday overwhelmingly approved Gov. Corbett's nominee as the state's new environmental chief despite concerns raised over his statements about climate change. By a vote of 42-8 the Senate voted to confirm Christopher Abruzzo as secretary of the Department of Environmental Protection. Abruzzo, Corbett's former deputy chief of staff and a former prosecutor in the Attorney General's Office, had served as acting DEP secretary since the departure of Michael Krancer in March.
November 30, 2013 |
One in a series of occasional articles about the regional effects of climate change and how we're coping. Deep inside the massive steel tank, the light glowed eerily from the freshly painted surface. The voices of visitors who had slithered through a narrow portal echoed. The soon-to-be refilled vessel, rising from a Limerick Township field, is more than 30 feet high and 75 feet across. It holds a million gallons of drinking water, enough to cover a football field to a depth of four feet.
November 15, 2013
EARLIER THIS week in Poland, the United Nations opened its 19th Framework Convention on Climate Change. Given the unimaginable devastation wrought on his country three days earlier by Typhoon Haiyan, the remarks of the delegate from the Philippines had a special resonance. "To anyone who continues to deny the reality that is climate change, I dare you to get off your ivory tower and away from the comfort of your armchair," said Naderev "Yeb" Sano. "I dare you to go to the islands of the Pacific, the islands of the Caribbean and the islands of the Indian Ocean and see the impacts of rising sea levels; to the mountainous regions of the Himalayas and the Andes to see communities confronting glacial floods, to the Arctic, where communities grapple with the fast dwindling polar ice caps . . . " That this was the 19th such annual event, and it's still about the "framework" of an agreement, suggests that Sano should not hold his breath.
October 26, 2013 |
Give the lawn at least one more mow. Unless the weather warms up again, figure your lawn will soon stop growing for the season. Mowing over the first layer of fallen leaves, saves a bit of raking and provides your lawn with a good source of nutrients. Plant a tree. It's a great time of year to plant trees, whether on your own property or in a community-wide project. You can be part of Plant One Million with PHS and its partners, which encourages folks to plant trees as a way to moderate the effects of climate change and prevent storm water flooding.
October 9, 2013 |
A newly formed nonprofit, nonpartisan group seeking to jump-start efforts to address the effects of climate change is calling for a dedicated federal fund to prepare for extreme weather patterns. The group, US Strong, in a report Monday, put the price tag of Hurricane Sandy at more than $70 billion, with half of the damage sustained in New Jersey. New York suffered most of the rest of the damage. In its 31-page report, "Extreme Weather, Extreme Costs: The True Financial Impact of Superstorm Sandy," the group concludes that uncompensated losses for residents and businesses in New Jersey likely would far exceed current estimates of $8 billion to $13 billion.
September 23, 2013 |
On a dark night in the middle of a wide marsh near Tuckerton, N.J., a team of Rutgers University researchers lowered a net over the railing of an old wooden bridge. Then they turned off their flashlights and waited. Below, in Little Sheepshead Creek, the incoming tide was washing hundreds of tiny fish larvae into the net. By now - 24 years after these weekly surveys began - Rutgers ichthyologist Ken Able is seeing the unmistakable effects of warming oceans and climate change.
September 21, 2013 |
Hurricanes can flood homes, tear down boardwalks, make beaches disappear. They might also shape people's beliefs about climate change and their attitudes toward "green" policies, suggests new research from a Rutgers psychology professor. In a pair of studies by Laurie A. Rudman, a psychology professor at the New Brunswick campus, students were asked their opinions of climate change and asked whether they would vote for a fictional "green" politician over one who opposed policies such as raising fuel costs.
August 23, 2013
A new White House report on rebuilding after Superstorm Sandy delivers the right message: that a true recovery must anticipate rising sea levels and other consequences of climate change. New Jersey can't preserve the unique character of its Shore communities and its $38 billion tourism industry without protecting the towns from the next extreme weather event. That means reinforcing buildings and strengthening infrastructure with the next storm in mind, not the last one. And not all structures can or should be rebuilt.