Archives for Climate Change

Maine Currents 9/6/18

Producer/Host: Amy Browne

The Public Speaks at “Maine Speaks on Climate and Cars: The Citizens’ Hearing”, an NRCM event held in Bangor on August 28th, 2018

In August, the EPA announced plans to weaken fuel efficiency standards by freezing them at current levels– rather than following rules passed during the Obama administration that would make them tougher over time. The plan would also prevent states from setting their own stronger standards (as many already have, including Maine). The stated rationale is that small cars are not as safe as bigger vehicles, and that stronger standards make vehicles more expensive. Critics of the proposal argue that pollution and climate change demand stronger, not weaker, laws. A 60 day period for public comment on the proposal is currently underway. Last week the Natural Resources Council of Maine held an event in Bangor called “Maine Speaks on Climate and Cars: The Citizens’ Hearing”, and recorded public comments to be shared with the EPA. Today on Maine Currents we bring you there. This meeting was held on an evening when poor air quality warnings had been issued for the following day here in Maine, a fact you’ll hear mentioned by some of the speakers.

FMI:

More info from the NRCM: Critics in Maine Decry Trump Administration Plan to Ease Rules for Auto Emissions and Efficiency- NRCM

More info from the EPA, including instructions for submitting comments: The Safer Affordable Fuel Efficient (SAFE) Vehicles Proposed Rule for Model Years 2021-2026 -EPA

RadioActive 8/9/18

Producer/Host: Meredith DeFrancesco

Union of Concerned Scientists on Heat Waves and Climate Change

Key Discussion Points:
a) Today we speak with the Union off Concerned Scientists’ senior climate scientist about climate change and extreme heat events, and what to expect if we do not curtail carbon emissions.
b) The Union of Concerned Scientists has just released two informational compilations/fact sheets on Heat Waves and Climate Change, where they distill the acceleration of extreme heat trends, their connection to human induce climate change and impacts on human health and infrastructure.
c) Based on a preponderance off evidence, these publications conclude if our carbon emissions continue at the current rate, most of the US could see an increase of 20 to 30 more days with temperatures above 90 degrees a year in the coming decades, with the Southeast experiencing a 40-50 day increase. The USC reports, do conclude, however, if global carbon emissions can be kept below 550 parts per million by the year 2100, the projected frequency of heat waves could be greatly reduced.

Guest: Dr. Rachel Licker, Union of Concerned Scientists, senior climate scientist

RadioActive 5/17/18

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Environmental and Social Justice: Maine Climate Protectors Demand Maine DEP Adhere to Law Cutting Greenhouse Gases

Today we look at an effort requesting the Maine Department of Environmental Protection adhere to a 15 year old law in which Maine committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions “sufficient to eliminate any dangerous threat to the climate”.

A campaign called Maine Climate Protectors, made up students, organizations and others through out the state, testified on Tuesday before the Department of Environmental Protection, demanding lawmakers take action on climate change, as they are committed to by law.
c) Written comments for the Greenhouse Gas Petition Rule making are being accepted by the Maine Department of Environmental Protection until June 29th. Email: jeff.s.crawford@maine.gov. Mail: GHG Petition Rule making, Attn Jeff Crawford, Maine Department of Environmental Protection,17 State House, Augusta , ME. 04333August ME 04333

Guests:
Charles Spanger, Maine Climate Protectors, Scarborough Climate Action, 350 Maine, Scarborough Conservation Committee
Beth Fuller Valentine, attorney, Maine Climate Protectors
maine-climate-protectors.org/
maine-climate-protectors.org/uploads/Petition%201-23-18%20FINAL.pdf

Coastal Conversations 11/24/17

Producer/Host: Natalie Springuel


Maine coastal and ocean issues: Whale mortalities in the Northwest Atlantic

Key Discussion Points:
1. Why did 16 right whales die in the Gulf of Maine and Gulf of Saint Lawrence in 2017?
2. What is the role of climate change in these mortalities?
3. How does the movement of prey affect whale movements?
4. How does Canada differ from the US in how it manages ocean uses and how that management correlates to whales ecology and movement? ?
5. How do necropsies (animal autopsies) help determine cause of death?

Guests:
Sean Todd, the director of the marine mammal research group Allied Whale, and professor of oceanography at College of the Atlantic
Zack Klyver, lead naturalist at Bar Harbor Whale Watch company and founder of Flukes international whale tours.

RadioActive 10/19/17

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Referendum to Expand Medicaid Coverage under the ACA: Question 2

1) In the past five years, the Maine Legislature has voted 5 times to expand Medicaid coverage under the Affordable Care Act, and five times Governor LePage has vetoed. The ACA allows states to opt in or out of the expanded coverage. 31 states have opted in.
2) On election day, November 7th, Mainers will have the opportunity to vote on referendum Question 2, to institute expanded Medicaid coverage in the state, also known as Maine Care. This would open eligibility to 70,000 Mainers. ( Those making less then $16,000 for a single person and $28,000 for a family of three).
3)Today, we look at a number of the myths and realities about Medicaid expansion. And we look at the statistics, county by county, showing the numbers of uninsured, how many would be eligible for expanded coverage, how much federal funding would be received and how many new jobs are projected under an expansion of Medicaid.

Guest: Robyn Merrill, Maine Equal Justice Partners, executive director www.mejp.org

Maine Center for Economic Policy, “Medicaid Expansion Fact Sheet”
Special to Portland Press Herald by Lisa Letourneau, MD, MPH, ” The issues are complicated, but a yes vote on Question 2 will help Maine: The reality is , Maine cannot afford not to take the opportunity to improve its health care system”
Report by Elizabeth Kilbreth,Phd, “The Real Impact of Medicaid Expansion”

RadioActive 10/12/17

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

EPA Attempts Appeal of Clean Power Plan and Penobscot Nation’s First Ambassador on Indigenous Peoples Day

Key Discussion Points:
a) This week, Trump’s EPA administrator, Scott Pruitt, announced his intention to repeal an Obama climate action, called the Clean Power Plan, whose goal is to significantly cut back on climate change pollutants in the power industry, most notably carbon dioxide.
b) We look at the power of polluting industries and how their influence has increased exponentially under the Trump Administration.
c) We also speak with the Penobscot Nation’s first tribal Ambassador, Maulian Dana, about her new position and about the recent growth of Maine towns observing Indigenous Peoples Day, instead of, or in conjunction with, “Columbus Day”.

Guest:
David Doniger, Director of the Climate and Clean Air Program, Natural Resources Defense Council
www.nrdc.org/experts/david-doniger/trumps-dirty-power-plan-another-repeal-replace-scam
Maulian Dana, Penobscot Nation Ambassador

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 9/28/17

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Chief Francis on River Case Appeal and First Penobscot Ambassador and ILAP on Immigration Policy in Maine

Key Discussion Points:
a) Last week, the Penobscot Nation, and the US Departments of Justice and Interior, formally requested the First Circuit Court to review its interpretation of federal Indian Law in regards to their ruling against the Penobscot Tribe in Penobscot Nation vs Attorney General Mills.
b)We speak with Chief Kirk Francis about this new development in the River Case and about the induction of the Penobscot Nation’s first Ambassador.
c) We also speak with the Immigrant Legal Advocacy Project about a number of issue affecting Maine’s immigrant population, including Governor LePage’s push back campaign against sheriff departments who have said they will not hold undocumented detainees beyond their scheduled release dates for federal Immigration and Customs Enforcement (ICE). These requests have resulted in wrongful imprisonment suits in other parts of the country, based on fourth amendment violations.

Guests:
Chief Kirk Francis, Penobscot Nation
Susan Roche, executive director, Immigration Legal Advocacy Project. www.ilapmaine.org/

This program was produced in partnership with the Sunlight Media Collective.

RadioActive 9/21/17

Producer: Meredith DeFrancesco

Overview: Climate Change, Climate Policy and the Fossil Fuel Industry

-As Hurricane Maria devastates Puerto Rico and other Caribbean islands, on the heels of Harvey and Irma and drought and fires consume other regions of the US, we look again at climate change, climate policy and the fossil fuel industry.
-Today, we take a broad look with the US policy director for Oil Change International, Janet Redman.
-Topics include, the Trump Administration’s stance on climate change and fossil fuel extraction, the EPA’s Science Advisory Board, the Union of Concerned Scientists new report on the quantifiable impacts of fossil fuel companies’ emissions on climate change, the varying definitions of “Clean Energy”, the Paris Climate Agreement and the disproportionate impacts of climate change on individuals and communities with the least economic resources.

Guest: Janet Redman, Oil Change International, US policy director; Associate Fellow at Institute for Policy Studies