Tag Archives: climate change

I’m a scientist and a Mainer. I’m blowing the whistle on the Trump administration | The Washington Post via Bangor Daily News

By Joel Clement

I am not a member of the deep state. I am not big government.

I am a scientist, a policy expert, a civil servant and a worried citizen. Reluctantly, I am also a whistleblower on an administration that chooses silence over science.

Nearly seven years ago, I came to work for the Interior Department, where, among other things, I’ve helped endangered communities in Alaska prepare for and adapt to a changing climate. But on June 15, I was one of about 50 senior department employees who received letters informing us of involuntary reassignments. Citing a need to “improve talent development, mission delivery and collaboration,” the letter informed me that I was reassigned to an unrelated job in the accounting office that collects royalty checks from fossil fuel companies.

I am not an accountant — but you don’t have to be one to see that the administration’s excuse for a reassignment such as mine doesn’t add up. A few days after my reassignment, Interior Secretary Ryan Zinke testified before Congress that the department would use reassignments as part of its effort to eliminate employees; the only reasonable inference from that testimony is that he expects people to quit in response to undesirable transfers. Some of my colleagues are being relocated across the country, at taxpayer expense, to serve in equally ill-fitting jobs.

Read more of this powerful commentary by Joel Clement.

Peak coffee incoming: Climate change is killing our buzz | treehugger.com

Peak coffee incoming: Climate change is killing our buzz | treehugger.com

Cleanup of Gulf of Maine will require 5 years, $3 billion. | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Cleanup of Gulf of Maine will require 5 years, $3 billion. | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases climate change plan | SustainableBusiness.com

U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service releases climate change plan | SustainableBusiness.com

Website: www.fws.gov/home/climatechange/

Baldacci a B+ on environment, group says | Bangor Daily News

Baldacci a B+ on environment, group says | Bangor Daily News.

Portland has 10th straight above-normal month | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Portland has 10th straight above-normal month | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

Mainers protest Senate inaction on climate bill | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram

Mainers protest Senate inaction on climate bill | The Portland Press Herald / Maine Sunday Telegram.

NOAA: ‘Unmistakable’ evidence shows world getting warmer

Global temperature was warmest on record in April | SustainableBusiness.com News

 The combined global land and ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for both April and for the period from January-April, according to the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA).

Additionally, last month’s average ocean surface temperature was the warmest on record for any April, and the global land surface temperature was the third warmest on record.

Click on the link for the rest of this press release on SustainableBusiness.com.

Unveiling of climate bill will include offshore drilling clauses | SustainableBusiness.com News

The long-awaited climate change bill is due to be unveiled in the U.S. Senate today. But a summary of the bill circulated in the media yesterday.

The Associated Press reported that under the new bill, coastal states could veto offshore drilling plans of nearby states, if they can prove negative impacts from an accident. 

This clause is undoubtedly part of last-minute changes made in response to the ongoing oil spill in the Gulf. 

Click on the lick for the rest of this story on SustainableBusiness.com.

Poll: Gulf spill influences public’s desire for clean energy legislation | SustainableBusiness.com News

Seven in ten Americans say clean energy legislation must be fast-tracked in the wake of the catastrophic Gulf oil spill, according to a new Natural Resources Defense Council poll.

In addition, two-thirds want all new offshore drilling delayed pending the outcome of a full and independent investigation into the disaster and the implementation of new safeguards to protect against such debacles in the future.

The survey queried 803 registered voters nationwide May 4-6, and suggests that the public – if not Congress–is ready to support reasonable climate change and energy legislation.

“It’s no surprise to me that Americans watching this ghastly disaster unfold are seeing it as a wake-up call for action we urgently need to take,” NRDC Director of Programs Wesley Warren said. “Now is the time for Washington to give America the change in direction it deserves.”

Click on the lick for the rest of this story on SustainableBusiness.com.

Lyme disease advancing in Maine | Bangor Daily News

Lyme disease advancing in Maine – Bangor Daily News.

EPA report tracks 24 climate change Indicators | SustainableBusiness.com News

Heat waves, storms, sea levels, glaciers, and wildlife migrations are just a few of the environmental indicators that show measurable signs of climate change, according to a new Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) report.

“Climate Change Indicators in the United States,” looks at 24 key indicators that show how climate change impacts the health and environment of the nation’s citizens.

Click on the link for the rest of this press release by SustainableBusiness.com.

Earth Day: Mainers get good grades but … | Lewiston Sun Journal

AUGUSTA — We asked experts to helps us compare how Maine was doing environmentally compared to the nation.

Not surprisingly, Maine is doing better in air quality, water quality and the amount we recycle.

It started 40 years ago when Maine U.S. Sen. Edmund Muskie sponsored what became the Clean Air and Clean Water acts. (More bragging rights, Muskie was a native of Rumford.) Because of those laws and all the work that followed, “Maine has air and waters statewide that are much cleaner than they were, and much cleaner than other states east of the Mississippi River,” said David Littell, Department of Environmental Protection commissioner.

Maine has many of the most intact ecosystems among eastern states, such as strong cold-water fisheries, which have 75 percent of the eastern habitat in Maine, Littell said. “We need to continue to protect high-quality air, water, and habitats, while permitting development in lower quality areas.”

The next environmental battle, he said, is climate change.

Click on the link for the rest of today’s story and guide by Bonnie Washuk in the Lewiston Sun Journal.

 [Thinking too much about the magnitude of the environment and what we’ve done to this planet can be extremely daunting.

“What can I do? What can one person do?” can be rattling around nearly everyone’s head.

The thing, it isn’t about what one person can do or what one group of people can do. It is about we all can do. What can we do? We start small and build on small victories until we make a dent. And then we push forward some more.

Attached with the story are three lists of what we all can do to help in the long run. Try one or two from each list. Then another and another. – KM]

5 things to do to improve air quality:

  1. Conserve electricity, buy efficient appliances and products such as compact fluorescents or even better, LEDs.
  2. Drive a vehicle that gets good gas mileage; keep it tuned.
  3. Make sure your home is insulated.
  4. Use an EPA certified wood or pellet stove.
  5. Drive less, carpool if you can, and support public policy and legislation that moves us toward clean and healthy energy and transportation.

Source: Department of Environmental Protection, American Lung Association of Maine

5 things to improve recycling rates:

  1. Find out what your local recycling program accepts for materials, adjust your home’s system to match.
  2. Build a backyard compost pile, keeps organics out of the trash. It will reduce odor, and you get a soil-enriching product at no cost.
  3. Use smaller trash cans; they fill up faster and make you think twice before tossing something.
  4. Make recycling more convenient in your home; keep the recycling bin near the trash can.
  5. Think about the waste generated as you buy something. Make a pledge to recycle more and throw away less, and keep that pledge

—From George MacDonald, Maine State Planning Office

5 things to improve water quality

  1. Prevent erosion. Soil erosion is the single greatest threat to water quality. Seed and mulch bare ground.
  2. Use trees and shrubs to filter runoff. Every time it rains, pollutants are washed from driveways, roofs, yards, parking lots and roads into ditches. From there the runoff goes to streams, rivers, lakes or  groundwater. A ribbon of bushes, trees and ground cover (buffers) can act as a sponge and filter out contaminants.
  3. Use less fertilizer and pesticides. Fertilizing your lawn and garden can result in phosphorus and nitrogen that can run off and get into streams, lakes and the ocean. If you leave the grass clippings, you don’t need to fertilize; grass clippings are free fertilizer. Pesticides, which are toxic, can create health problems for people and animals. Compared to 15 years ago, three times as much yard care pesticides are brought into Maine. Pesticides can wash off into into water bodies. If you have pests, spot treat. Learn to like dandelions.
  4. Maintain septic systems. About 50 percent of Mainers use septic systems. Inadequate septic systems account for 5 to 10 percent of all phosphorus that reaches lakes. Toxins, nitrates, nutrients, bacteria and viruses from inadequate septic systems can seep into wells. That pollution also flows into streams, harms lakes, and on the coast, causes clam flats and beaches to be closed.
  5. If you have a septic system, don’t use septic additives, don’t pour grease or food down your sink, pump your system every two to three years. If your septic system was installed before 1974, consider replacing it.

Source: Department of Environmental Protection

Melting arctic could cost $2.4 trillion by 2050

Melting Arctic Could Cost $2.4 Trillion by 2050

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Study: Climate changing in Casco Bay area

Study: Climate changing in Casco Bay area