When Oscar the Grouch so wisely exclaimed, “It’s called garbage can, not garbage cannot!” he wasn’t just referring to his treasured home on Sesame Street, but to the abundant source of life living – and working – in our garbage to help process our food waste, improve sustainability, reduce landfills and ultimately, help feed the hungry.
What’s an American couple to do right after the winter of our discontent—not to mention despair and disbelief?
How about doing organizational work in your congressional district for the midterm elections in 2018? You bet! Perchance talk civilly to friends, neighbors and relatives —even strangers— about issues that you feel are important to your family, to your children and grandchildren (and theirs)? Amen, sisters and brothers.My wife and I are looking on the sunny side.
Utilities want consumers to foot the bill for new pipelines through a surcharge on our bills – a pipeline tax. The scheme was rejected by Massachusetts’ highest court and by New Hampshire public utilities regulators. Here in Connecticut, the pipeline tax is alive and well. That’s why the Citizens Campaign for the Environment, the CT Fund for the Environment and Sierra Club support a bill introduced by state Rep. Christopher Rosario, D-Bridgeport, to ban such a tax.
We are encouraged by Sen. Richard Blumenthal’s efforts to fight climate change head on, but we need all decision makers to also recognize that climate change is an urgent threat to public health. Our politicians, from President Trump on down, should note that climate change is not an issue relegated to environmentalists anymore. It’s now a primary concern for health professionals, parents, educators and all responsible citizens who believe they have the right to breathe clean air.
The most compelling argument against environmental ennui and illiteracy is that spaceship earth is in trouble. If more of us don’t appreciate and understand it better, our planet will continue to decline at an alarming pace. We have long abused it to feather our own nests at the expense of other creatures we share the planet with. But our day is coming —if not our children’s, then our grandchildren’s— when our species, too, will be squarely in the crosshairs of a failing global ecosystem. We Americans have taken a giant step in the wrong direction by electing a president who loves fossil fuels, hates wind power and pollution regulations, and whose idea of a natural habitat is a golf course.
Connecticut, like many other states across the region, faces a real energy challenge in the coming years — one with very few good solutions. While the rest of the continental United States is enjoying the benefits of very low natural gas prices — and low electricity prices that are increasingly coupled to natural gas — New England is an outlier.
Voters are disheartened, with polls showing much dislike for both Trump and Clinton. But to paraphrase Michelle Obama, even as this presidential race has brought us “low,” we can still go “high” by effecting change beyond 2016. We have an opportunity to contribute to a more representative, democratic electoral future by considering other presidential candidates —“third parties”– who represent important populist issues neither Trump nor Clinton do.
Sens. Chris Murphy and Richard Blumenthal need to follow the example set by their peers in New York and Massachusetts and responsibly question the further building and enhancement of the interstate methane (natural gas) pipelines running through Connecticut.
Wood smoke has become the new “second hand” smoke and it is making thousands of people sick across the country. The components of wood smoke are virtually the same as cigarette smoke and yet wood smoke is hardly regulated while cigarette smoke is highly regulated.
My family lived along Gilbert Road when father first came to the Connecticut Agricultural College, a school limited to 500 students by the State Legislature. They moved to a farm just off campus where I grew up. I later worked in industry, in Europe, and began on the Physics faculty in 1971. I served on the University Senate for years, as well serving for years on the Research Foundation and the AAUP Executive Committee, including two years as president of the faculty union. I relate all this in the hope you will have some faith in my recommendation that you institute the Connecticut Environmental Policy Act process to investigate the University of Connecticut’s decision to destroy what remains of Faculty Row.
On a long-ago day hike up to the Appalachian Trail in northwestern Connecticut, we made the lunchtime discovery that my son’s small backpack was heavier than expected. An inquiry revealed fist-sized rocks that he had picked up at the trailhead that morning. We persuaded him to leave the heavy burdens beside the trail before climbing to the top of Bear Mountain. As Connecticut embarks on a challenging journey to achieve our state’s climate goals, we need to be careful not to fill our packs with “pollution-heavy” infrastructure that we will have to discard in the near future – no matter how shiny and colorful those stones may look today.
A response to Legislature fiddles while Connecticut’s carbon dioxide levels rise by Don Strait: Like most other so-called “environmentalists,” Mr. Strait completely ignores the greater source of environmental degradation. Fifty-one percent of all greenhouse gases emitted is due to animal agriculture — NOT the fossil fuels we burn.