It is no secret that mainstream media coverage of environmental issues is slow-moving, and many stories go un-reported in the press. Climate change deniers spout their ideology with reckless abandon. Enter my guest this week, Andrew Nikiforuk, an award winning environmental writer based in Calgary, Canada, who has written a new book about the hydraulic fracturing industry entitled Slick Water: Fracking and One Insider’s Stand Against the World’s Most Powerful Industry. The book traces the saga of Jessica Ernst, and the path she takes to hold Encana Oil and Canada’s environmental government agencies, responsible for secretly fracking hundreds of gas wells around her home, in a rural area northeast of Calgary. A cover-up ensues, which leads Ms. Ernst to take legal action against the various parties for their role in contaminating land, water and air in her community. For more information andrewnikiforuk.com and to amazon.com to check out his new and older works.
By Susan Lutz
With the agreement of a landmark accord reached between 196 nations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and commit to truly working towards change, the planet has a chance to survive. We have a shot at making it.
Something happened when I heard the news of the accord. I didn’t rush to look up all the details of the agreement. Instead of wondering about the facts, I felt a sense of peace. It was as if what we do on the local level and in our homes really does matter. When nations all over the globe decided to finally get to work on these issues, get our priorities straightened out, and look the problem in the eye, it made the daily tasks I do in my home actually feel like they make a difference.
If the nations had fought to no avail, looked the other way, or ignored the problem, and gone home without an agreement, I think all of us would have felt a little differently. Perhaps in a subtle way, we might have stopped working so hard. We might have lost hope. It is hard to fight such a large battle without the unity of nations and without leadership at the highest levels.
Now, I can look again at my habits that help curb waste, lower greenhouse gases, and bring stability and life into our existence. Sorting out trash and recycling, and using that glass bottle over and over again, doesn’t seem like wasted effort. Taking the bus or carpooling feels like a good choice. Buying less stuff finally feels like it adds up to a real solution.
With acknowledgement at the highest levels, we can now look optimistically towards our future. It’s time to look into new ways to lower my impact on the planet. None of this change is easy, but we’ve spent too much time taking the easy way out. There’s something we can do every day to change things for the better.
Now that the big players are part of the game, we have a chance at winning.
“Here comes the sun, here comes the sun and I say, it’s alright.” – George Harrison
New York State is committed to achieve 50% renewable energy by the year 2030. The Shared Renewable Program is part of that push, and Governor Cuomo recently stated that “this program is about protecting the environment and ensuring that all New Yorkers, regardless of their zip code or income, have the opportunity to access clean and affordable power.” This week’s show takes us to the #Solar4All Community Celebration sponsored by Solar One and Vote Solar. We heard from the NYS Energy Czar Richard Kaufman, as well as many other New York elected officials, who have worked to get this program off the ground. We spoke to Peter Olmsted and Adam Browning of Vote Solar, who are instrumental is developing policy for solar projects in New York, and beyond. We also spoke to Elana Laichena, Program Manager for Here Comes Solar, a project of Solar One, which promotes many solar initiatives. The Shared Renewable Program will help improve neighborhood health, resiliency and create opportunity, as renters, businesses, and homeowners will be able to participate in renewable energy projects, and receive tax credits on their utility bills. For more information go to votesolar.org, herecomessolar.nyc and sharedrenewables.org
Neither rain, nor fog, nor soggy dew could dampen the spirit of the Clearwater 2015 Festival. We spoke to many environmental activists and green entrepreneurs who are creating ideas, and spreading the message about the need to be proactive stewards of Mother Earth. Music echoed throughout the festival, with many performers motivating the populace to take a stand and raise their voices on environmental and social justice issues. Music icon David Crosby, sang new songs with lyrics that commented on the nation’s current state of affairs, and implored people to email, call or show up at the offices of their elected officials and make some noise. Pete Seeger would have been proud to see his vision perpetuated. For more info go to clearwater.org.
What is the connection between the White Cliffs of Dover and the Fiscal Cliff. Marc Sussman, founder of The Sussman Group is my guest, and we chat about Climate Change, Socially Responsible Investment and more…