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.
The future of Connecticut’s environment is in jeopardy. For years, Connecticut residents breathed easy knowing our state was leading the way toward a greener, more climate-resilient world. Carbon dioxide emissions were dropping across the state year after year, and Gov. Dannel Malloy had committed to continuing this trend through the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative. Unfortunately, all the progress we made over the last decade has been compromised.
The Malloy administration’s ratepayer financed methane (natural gas) infrastructure build-out has become a self-justified Ponzi scheme that both exploits the utility ratepayers of Connecticut and creates serious environmental and energy liabilities for the state going forward.
In 2013, Connecticut joined seven other states’ aggressive commitments to put at least 3.3 million zero emissions vehicles by 2025 on the road, and now must take steps to ensure the state has a charging network capable of supporting the future. The House of Representatives just passed HB 5510 on electric vehicles, which does not go far enough to support the state’s EV market. A handful of key changes would provide private businesses with the tools they need to spur sustainable and scalable growth in Connecticut’s EV and EV charging markets.
Fixed pricing for electricity should go the way of the rotary dial telephone. We could solve many of our regional energy problems by more accurately pricing electricity closer to the actual cost of generating the power. Those costs vary dramatically based upon seasonal and hour-to-hour fluctuation in electricity demand.
Budget crises require tough, but necessary choices. They do not require self-inflicted wounds. Raiding $22 million from clean energy and efficiency programs funded by proceeds from the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, as the proposed budget from the Finance, Revenue and Bonding Committee does, is a self-inflicted wound.
As they tackle the budget deficit, Connecticut legislators have been understandably focusing on cuts in spending. But we are missing an opportunity for major cost reductions under our noses: buying power needed for state facilities, and others they serve, using solar power, which would come at lower cost than conventional electricity.
In the 1970’s flame-retardants were found to be carcinogenic and highly absorptive so they were voluntarily removed from children’s pajamas. Since then these chemicals have found their way back into our children’s products although the toxicity and danger to the health of children has remained the same. Flame retardant exposure is linked with cancers and immune suppression, learning disorders, lower IQ and hyperactivity, hormone disruption, reduced fertility and birth defects.