Vermont officials, groups respond to Obama’s climate change address

first_imgPresident Barack Obama this week delivered a speech on climate change in which he proposed, among other things, limiting carbon emissions from coal and gas-fired utilities by no later than June 2014 and linked any approval of the Keystone XL pipeline project to assurances that it would not add to greenhouse gas emissions. Click here to read the president’s speech.President Obama speaks at the University of Vermont in March 2012. Photo by Vermont Business Magazine.Following is a roundup piled by vtdigger.org of Vermont officials’and advocates’responses to the address.Sen. Patrick LeahyI agree with the President that climate change represents one of the greatest challenges of our time, but it is also a challenge uniquely suited to our strengths as a country. Our scientists, researchers, universities and entrepreneurs stand ready to design and build new, less polluting energy sources. Vermont’s and our country’s farmers and forestland owners stand ready to grow renewable fuels. American businesses will innovate and develop new energy technologies that will reduce pollution and grow our economy with jobs that cannot be shipped overseas. Our workforce stands ready to modernize our power plants and retrofit our buildings to meet 21st Century efficiency standards.I stand ready to support the President, and Vermonters want to do our part. The important goals the President has laid out today will create jobs, save lives and protect and preserve our treasured natural resources for future generations.No single step can accomplish the goals that President Obama has presented today, but we must begin now, and take these critical first steps together. We owe it to our children and grandchildren to address these threats and be responsible stewards of the earth. Just as any Vermonter who has hiked the 200 miles of Vermont’s beautiful Long Trail can tell you, the journey begins with a commitment to reach a goal, and a first step in that direction.Climate change is not a far-off or remote challenge. The impacts are overtaking us today around the globe and in Vermont. In the past two years, hurricanes Irene and Sandy devastated the Northeast, while huge swaths from Texas to the Midwest have been gripped in a historic drought, and tornadoes have raked the heartland.We can no longer willfully ignore these impacts or continue to deny the facts: The science is clear and definitive that human-induced climate change is happening and it is happening rapidly. We are obligated to reduce carbon emissions, and efforts to do so have the support of the American people.Not only is the science clear, but the human and economic costs of climate change are hitting home. The severe weather events of just the past two years have caused damages in the United States in excess of $188 billion and left more than 1100 people dead. If we do not act now then the toll is sure to mount, with ever more destructive and deadly weather pounding our coasts, parching our nation’s agricultural center, and rising sea levels threatening our coastal communities. If we do not act now, the devastating impacts of climate change will only get worse.But climate change is not just about weather disasters. For instance, we also have seen asthma rates double in the past 30 years, and our children and grandchildren will only suffer more asthma attacks as air pollution worsens. We already reduced smog and acid rain and have set limits for mercury, lead, and arsenic. It is time to set a limit on carbon pollution that causes climate change and assaults the public health.The President’s proposal will allow the United States to take further important steps toward the environmental quality and good jobs that will come with a cleaner and safer energy future. We can act now so that future generations ‘our children and grandchildren ‘will know that we took the steps that helped make their world safer and cleaner.Sen. Bernie Sanders‘Global warming is the most serious environmental crisis facing the world today. It demands bold action to preserve our planet for our children and grandchildren. I applaud the president for saying he will take steps to limit heat-trapping pollution from coal-fired power plants and boost renewable energy production. These steps will help not only the environment but the economy too by creating many, many jobs. But let’s be clear: much more must be done.‘The president must support a tax on carbon and methane emissions to show the world that the United States is prepared to transform our energy system and be an international leader on climate change. The president must demand that Congress work with him to dramatically improve energy efficiency and to greatly increase our utilization of solar, wind, geothermal and other renewable sources of energy. Further, the president must not give speeches about the dangers of global warming and then turn around and allow construction of the Keystone pipeline from Canada’s tar sands oil fields which would result in a huge increase in carbon emissions.’Gov. Peter Shumlin‘Climate change imperils our environment, our economy, and the way of life Vermonters hold dear. We understand the high price of climate change ‘from the devastation caused by more frequent and violent storms, to the quieter but significant shifts we see every day on our farms, in our forests, and in our rivers. That’s why it is so important that President Obama today put us on course to reduce pollution from power plants, some of the largest emitters of greenhouse gases in this country. The President’s plan to boost energy efficiency programs and to continue support for clean, renewable energy also will help our country meet its obligation to fight climate change while providing jobs and saving money on our energy bills. Vermont has shown that these efforts can help our economy prosper, even as they protect our environment. I thank the President for his leadership.’Vermont Public Interest Research GroupToday, President Obama announced a climate plan that will set limits on carbon pollution from power plants, advance energy efficiency and increase the nation’s commitment to renewable energy like wind and solar power. In the aftermath of Hurricanes Sandy and Irene, record drought in many states, and devastating wildfires in the West, the president’s plan to address global warming was loudly applauded by Gov. Peter Shumlin, the Vermont Public Interest Research Group (VPIRG) and many others.‘Today, President Obama did more than talk-the-talk when it comes to taking action on climate change; he walked-the-walk,’said Paul Burns, executive director of VPIRG. ‘All of us who have felt the effects of global warming, or simply worried about what’s in store for our kids, can take comfort in knowing that President Obama has put the nation on a path toward a cleaner, healthier and safer future.’Left unchecked, global warming is projected to bring to Vermont more intense storms and more unhealthy air days. For instance, an Environment America report released last year found that Vermont is hit with more frequent, more destructive extreme precipitation ‘heavy downpours or snowstorms that used to happen once annually now happen every 6.5 months on average, and Vermont’s largest annual storms now produce 35 percent more precipitation than in 1965. Scientists have warned that the window is rapidly closing for making the necessary cuts in carbon pollution to protect future generations from the worst consequences of global warming.To respond to this threat, the president’s plan contains several key components. It will:â ¢ Limit carbon pollution from new and existing power plants. The president directed the Environmental Protection Agency to set limits on carbon pollution from new and existing power plants, which currently lack any such federal limits despite being the largest single source of the carbon pollution fueling global warming.â ¢ Invest in energy efficiency. New efficiency measures for buildings and new appliances will cut carbon pollution by reducing our overall energy demand.â ¢ Build more renewable energy. The plan focuses on expanding production of clean, renewable energy sources like wind and solar, especially on public lands.â ¢ Support affected communities. The president’s plan will help ensure that communities are better equipped to prepare for and recover from the impacts of global warming.â ¢ Rebuild U.S. leadership Internationally. The president’s plan calls for the U.S. to actively engage in international efforts to address global warming.VPIRG offered special praise for the president’s pledge to cut carbon pollution from existing power plants. More than 3.2 million Americans submitted public comments last year in support of the president setting limits on carbon pollution from power plants.‘Carbon pollution from power plants is a huge part of the global warming problem. That’s why we need not only to clean up the old plants burning dirty fossil fuels, but we need to build more clean energy plants that utilize renewable resources,’said Burns. ‘The president’s plan is just one important step in a multi-year effort, and that the proof of the plan’s success will be in the pudding. But VPIRG is prepared to work with the vast majority of Vermonters who stand ready to assist the president in following through on this critical commitment.’Vermont Energy PartnershipThe Vermont Energy Partnership commends President Obama for addressing climate change and the role that nuclear power can play in that regard. We have always promoted clean, affordable energy and have noted that nuclear power is a part of that category. Vermont Yankee is a virtually-carbon free generator of about three-quarters of the electricity produced in Vermont and should continue to operate as the state develops and deploys more renewable, clean power sources.Renewable Energy Vermont‘Renewable Energy Vermont (REV) heralds many of the initiatives announced in President Obama’s Climate Action Plan announced earlier today. The goals of doubling renewables on public lands to 20 gigawatts by 2020, streamlining permitting for the retrofitting of existing hydro dams, and the commitment by the Department of Defense to deploy 3 gigawatts of solar, wind, geothermal and bioenergy technologies at military installations by 2025 will not only grow jobs in renewables and set the stage for faster deployment of clean, renewable energy ‘it will further promote local energy security and reduce energy costs while placing us on a continued path towards climate change mitigation. President Obama’s focus on the important and critical role of businesses and communities in collaboratively leading America forward in our energy transformation reflects the ongoing work seen here in Vermont. Increasing energy resiliency ‘and improving our energy infrastructure ‘are critical steps in aligning towards our own state goal of 90% renewables across all energy sectors (electricity, heating, and transportation) by 2050.’last_img read more

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Communities receive bank bounty

first_imgBy Taylah Eastwell Community groups in Kooweerup and Lang Lang have received the benefits of banking locally, with the Bendigo Community Bank donating…[To read the rest of this story Subscribe or Login to the Gazette Access Pass] Thanks for reading the Pakenham Berwick Gazette. Subscribe or Login to read the rest of this content with the Gazette Digital Access Pass subscription.last_img

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Galway and Wexford teams for Walsh Cup final

first_imgGalway team v Wexford: Galway hurling manager Micheal Donoghue has announced the team to play Wexford in today’s Walsh Cup final in Enniscorthy, with 7 changes from the side that beat Dublin in the semi final last weekend. Joe Canning starts at centre forward, while there are first senior starts for Joe Mooney from Loughrea at wing back and Jarlath Mannion from Cappataggle at corner forward. Galway will be without their NUIG Fitzgibbon contingent, including Jack Fitzpatrick, Brian Concannon, Sean Loftus and Conor Whelan. Wexford manager Davy Fitzgerald has named a strong starting team as his side look to defend the Walsh Cup title they won in 2018. Fergal Flannery (Padraig Pearses),Jack Grealish (Gort),Ronan Burke (Turloughmore),Aidan Harte (Gort);Kevin Hussey (Turloughmore),Padraig Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh),Joseph Mooney (Loughrea),Cathal Mannion (Ahascragh Fohenagh),Sean Kilduff (Clarinbridge),Ronan O’Meara (Portumna),Joe Canning (Portumna),Jack Coyne (Castlegar),Jarlath Mannion (Cappataggle),Sean Bleahene (Ahascragh Fohenagh),David Glennon (Mullagh)center_img print WhatsApp Facebook Twitter Emaillast_img read more

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Arsene Wenger: It will take YEARS for West Ham to feel at home at London Stadium

first_imgArsenal manager Arsene Wenger has warned West Ham United it could take them years to feel at home at the London Stadium.The Gunners boss takes his side to the London Stadium for what will be the first Premier League London derby at the venue since the Hammers moved in officially in July.The move has been overshadowed somewhat by crowd disturbances and poor performances by Slaven Bilic’s men and Wenger speaks from experience about teething problems at a new stadium.He said: “It takes a few years, because you have to make memories and build a little history.“For a while, when you move from the marble hall at Highbury, it was full of history, and suddenly you move to a stadium where nothing happened before you came in there.“You feel a bit lonely there, so you have to rebuild the environment from the results that you had before.”So far, West Ham have won five of their first ten games at home, although two of those were against Slovenian minnows Domzale in a Europa League qualifier and an injury-time victory in the EFL Cup against Accrington Stanley.And Wenger, who oversaw the Gunners move into the Emirates in 2006, admitted the lack of familiarity can also impact negatively on the players as well.“You can try, but you cannot create something artificially something that doesn’t exist,” he said. “I feel as well the players know the ground, before when you played at Highbury, you kind of had a picture.“You feel a bit like you’re playing on neutral ground for a while. After that, the best way to prepare is just to focus on what we do and focus in a very strong way.” Slaven Bilic’s bubble could be about to burst at West Ham 1last_img read more

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Road closed following serious collision

first_imgBarnesmore Gap remains closed this morning following a serious overnight collision.The incident occurred on the N15 between Donegal Town and Ballybofey, approx 8km south of Ballybofey.Emergency services remain at the scene. Traffic is being diverted via The Dergline and HGV’s should divert through Glenties.Gardai are warning of poor conditions on the diversion route due to ice. AA Roadwatch advises motorists to drive with care and expect delays.Road closed following serious collision was last modified: December 4th, 2018 by Rachel McLaughlinShare this:Click to share on Facebook (Opens in new window)Click to share on Twitter (Opens in new window)Click to share on LinkedIn (Opens in new window)Click to share on Reddit (Opens in new window)Click to share on Pocket (Opens in new window)Click to share on Telegram (Opens in new window)Click to share on WhatsApp (Opens in new window)Click to share on Skype (Opens in new window)Click to print (Opens in new window)last_img read more

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Energy efficiency on show in Durban

first_img30 November 2011 If you’re looking for state-of-the-art innovations in energy efficiency, the South African Climate Change Response Expo, running alongside the UN Climate Change Conference in Durban, has got it all. South African technologies and those from around the world supporting the shift to a climate-resilient future are on display at the expo – which is free and open to the public – for the duration of COP 17.Solar-powered street lights In the Quinine tree marquee, South African start-up BENBEN gives product demonstrations on solar-powered street lights that are currently being piloted in several of the country’s municipalities. The BENBEN power generator produces 220V AC power and is suitable for lighting, television and charging mobile phones. It can be powered from a 12V solar panel or by hand cranking, with 15 minutes of cranking providing up to three hours of electricity. The BENBEN Eco Geezer provides hot water on demand without the need for a storage tank or heating element, saving up to 80 percent on electricity costs compared to traditional hot water geysers. The City of Cape Town exhibit, which can be found in an interesting plastic crate structure, runs completely on solar and wind-powered energy. “We’ve got a hand-held LCD screen here so we can read at any time how much power we are drawing, and what we’re putting back into Durban,” said Stephen Lamb, director of Touching the Earth Lightly.Vertical shaft brick kiln technology The Swiss stand promotes an extremely relevant vertical shaft brick kiln (VSBK) technology that is both energy-efficient and cost-effective. Firing bricks is an energy-intensive process that typically results in high greenhouse gas emissions. The VSBK technology is said to reduce CO2 emissions by 50 to 60 percent compared to conventional firing techniques while reducing particulate emissions by up to 90 percent. The open source VSBK technology facilitates access to green funds and the CDM market, and the Swiss have provided technical support for a pilot plant in Jeffrey’s Bay in the Eastern Cape.A ‘Joule’ of an electric car Even though South Africa will have to wait until 2015 before it sees the Joule, a locally developed electric automobile, on the country’s streets, interest in the vehicle has been strong. “Due to no spark plugs and no mechanical moving parts in the engine, the maintenance and longevity of an electric vehicle far outperforms today’s combustion engines, only requiring a service every 45 000kms,” said Jaco van Loggerenberg, communications manager of Optimal Energy, the company behind the vehicle. It comes as no surprise that Japan’s stand is filled with technologies, from state-of-the-art energy-saving heat pumps to innovative steam traps used to reduce CO2 emissions from oil refinery processes. The expo is situated at Centrum Car Park, Bram Fischer Road, within 300 metres of the International Convention Centre, directly between the COP 17 transport hub and the formal COP 17 negotiating space in the Convention Centre. It will be open from 10am to 6pm Sundays through Thursdays, and from 10am to 8pm on the Fridays and Saturdays of COP 17. Source: BuaNewslast_img read more

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Australia mulls mandatory registration for drones as incidents rise

first_imgAustralia’s safety regulator wants to introduce mandatory registrations for all drones weighing more than 250 gms and require recreational users to take an online safety test.The moves come as the number of remotely piloted aircraft systems (RPAS) is increasing rapidly, with industry estimates there are now  “well in excess of 150,000” in Australia, and fears one will hit a manned aircraft are rising.That hasn’t yet happened in Australia but the air safety investigators say there were 11 reported close calls in January this year alone.In 2017, there were 151 RPA near encounters with manned aircraft, 72 of which occurred within 20 nautical miles of Sydney Airport.This compared with 127 incidents reported in the previous four years.Air New Zealand in March called for jail time for people who recklessly endanger lives with remotely piloted aircraft after a drone came so close to one of its Boeing 777s the crew was worried it had been ingested by one of the engines.READ: Near miss prompts AirNZ call to jail reckless drone usersWhile the Civil Aviation Safety Authority favors exempting drones weighing less than 250gms from mandatory registration, it says it is still looking at whether small drones traveling at high speeds can harm humans.The European Aviation Safety Agency (EASA) has proposed alternative limit based on kinetic energy of 80 joules that takes into account both a drone’s mass and its speed.CASA says it understands EASA’s rationale but it wants to follow moves in the US and other jurisdictions to exclude the sub-250gm drones.“However, before doing so CASA intends to complete further research to determine if RPA weighing 250 grams or less and capable of transferring sufficient kinetic energy to cause serious injury when impacting with a human,’’ it said in a report released Friday.The report argues drone registration should be simple and costs should be based on an aircraft ’s weight and how it is used. This would see commercial operators pay more than recreational users.The authority favors requiring users to re-register after three years for recreational users and shorter period for commercial operators.Users will also need to verify their identity using documents such as driver’s license or passport, meaning younger people will need to have their registration completed in the name of a parent or guardian.The report says benefits to introducing an RPA registration system would assist data gathering on drones, allow it to better target education and provide a disincentive to operate the aircraft unlawfully.Registration would be an important element in the safe integration of remotely piloted aircraft into Australia’s airspace.It points to technologies such as electronic identification where an RPA emits a unique identifier code linked to the user in the registration process.“An application of this technology would potentially permit a law enforcement officer to detect the RPA unique identification code of an RPA that may be operating unlawfully, by using a hand-held device,’’ it says “The unique identification code could then be matched to an RPA registration holder, using a secure interface to the RPA registration database to determine who the RPA registration holder is.”Recreational drone users may also face a simple online course on safe recreational operations followed by a quiz with a minimum pass mark.CASA said it recognized many recreational and excluded operators flew lawfully and had a sound understanding of the rules.It was also aware that many of the more than 900 people who contributed to its review did not support training and demonstrated proficiency for small/recreational drones.“However, through CASA’s investigation of RPA related incidents and complaints, it is evident that there is an increasing number of RPA operators who are unaware of the legislation about the category of operation (i.e. commercial or recreational) they are undertaking, or who have a poor understanding of the RPA legislation, or have interpreted it incorrectly,” it said.The agency acknowledged the advantages of geo-fencing, where technology such as the Global Positioning System combines with onboard software to create a “no-go” boundary around sensitive areas such as airports.“We recognize, however, that the technology requires further development and broad adoption by manufacturers before a mandatory standard can be contemplated,’’ it said.A separate review into drone safety is being conducted by the Australian Senate and CASA boss Shane Carmody has said the authority would take this and the government’s response into account before making any final decisions on regulatory change.The authority expects to have an RPAS roadmap completed by the end of 2018 that will cover issues such as airspace integration, unmanned traffic management, detect and avoid technology as well as  airworthiness and maintenance.last_img read more

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Is the West Committing Suicide? A Review of Jonah Goldberg’s New Book

first_imgI believe that, conceptually, we have reached the end of history. We are at the summit, and at this altitude left and right lose most of their meaning. Because when you are at the top of a mountain, any direction you turn—be it left toward socialism or right toward nationalism or in some other clever direction—the result is the same: You must go down, back whence you came.This isn’t 1989, and the source of this quote isn’t Francis Fukuyama’s (in)famous essay “The End of History?” Found in the conclusion of Jonah Goldberg’s newest book, Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy, these words serve as a warning to readers, one reminiscent of Ronald Reagan’s warning just 57 years ago today, that “Freedom is never more than one generation away from extinction.”Goldberg believes that the advent of Western liberalism was nothing short of a miracle—in fact, he refers to it as “the Miracle” throughout the book. A natural extension of Enlightenment thought, Goldberg argues that the institutions of Western liberalism, i.e. capitalism and democracy, were mere accidents, that the very cooperation required to produce such institutions is antithetical to human nature itself.He argues that prior to and in the absence of these institutions, humans devolve and embrace their primal urge to form or join tribes in the interest of survival. It’s this us-versus-them mentality that now dominates contemporary political discourse, wherein individuals have become more concerned with “winning” than with upholding the values of life, liberty, the pursuit of happiness, and “earned success,” a foundational element of American exceptionalism that was coined by Arthur Brooks. This, above all else, places Western liberalism perilously close to permanent decay, Goldberg posits.To hear him tell it, the title of his new book was purposefully chosen— but not because of some long-standing reverence for the ideas of James Burnham, author of Suicide of the West: An Essay on the Meaning and Destiny of Liberalism. Instead, Goldberg deliberately chose the title of his new book because suicide is a choice—we’re doing this to ourselves, by taking “the Miracle” for granted.Australian scientist David Goodall died Thursday at the age of 104. It’s always sad to learn of someone’s death, but the passing of a 104-year-old rarely warrants international headlines. Goodall’s death, however, was atypical. An outspoken advocate of assisted suicide, Goodall took his own life, with the assistance of doctors in Switzerland. While euthanasia is a topic better suited for another forum, the fact that some humans are now complicit in the promotion of death (and even celebrate it because it seemingly represents an ill-defined notion of “dignity”) strikes at the heart of Goldberg’s powerful monograph.James Madison wrote in “Federalist No. 55” that, “Had every Athenian citizen been a Socrates; every Athenian assembly would still have been a mob.” I couldn’t help but think of these words as I read stories of David Goodall’s life this morning. Despite his myriad accomplishments as an ecologist, the story of his life is now framed by the story of his death, one contextualized by widespread social acceptance. It’s this complicity in our self-imposed decline, our unwillingness to accept culpability in hastening its effects, that readers of Goldberg’s book should take to heart. We chose this, but we can stop it before it’s too late. The first step is to be grateful for everything “the Miracle” has provided. Otherwise, like Goldberg, I fear that Western liberalism’s fate may mirror that of Goodall as we descend from our perch atop the mountain of history, back whence we came.Photo: amazon.com, Cover: Suicide of the West: How the Rebirth of Tribalism, Populism, Nationalism, and Identity Politics is Destroying American Democracy, by Jonah Goldberglast_img read more

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Probable line-ups: Inter-Dortmund

first_imgLautaro Martinez and Romelu Lukaku will lead the line for Inter against a depleted Borussia Dortmund in the Champions League this evening. ‘LuLa’ clicked into gear last weekend as they scored a brace each against Sassuolo, and the pair will be entrusted with firing Inter to a first Champions League win of the season. Elsewhere, Stefano Sensi’s place in midfield is set to be taken by Roberto Gagliardini, with Matias Vecino also struggling. As for Dortmund, they are without key attackers Marco Reus and Paco Alcacer so Mario Gotze is expected to start as a false nine up top. However, the Germans are boosted by the return of England winger Jadon Sancho, who has served his punishment for lateness. Whereas the Nerazzurri are bottom of Group F after two games, their opponents are top with four points. Inter (probable): Handanovic; Godin, De Vrij, Skriniar; Candreva, Gagliardini, Brozovic, Barella, Asamoah; Lautaro, Lukaku Borussia Dortmund (probable): Burki; Hakimi, Weigl, Hummels, Schulz; Witsel, Delaney; Sancho, Brandt, T Hazard; Gotze Referee: Taylor (ENG) Watch Serie A live in the UK on Premier Sports for just £11.99 per month including live LaLiga, Eredivisie, Scottish Cup Football and more. Visit: https://subscribe.premiersports.tv/last_img read more

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