Rivers Alliance Comments on the draft RFP from Private Developers for Zero Carbon Energy
In May, CT DEEP solicited public comments on what should be in the next request for proposals for the zero carbon energy procurement. Our comments focused on ensuring that projects on brownfields and previously disturbed lands be given weight in order to be competitive. While there are definitely some improvements and we appreciated the enhanced public outreach component in the draft, we expressed concern comments submitted on the draft RFP that the process has not changed in order to favor siting that would not be detrimental for forests, farmland soils and water quality.
Read our full comments on the Draft RFP for Zero Carbon Procurement – Comments of Rivers Alliance
River Alliance submits comments on DEEP’s RFP for grid-scale clean energy procurement
Promoting and procuring carbon-free, renewable energy is essential to slowing down the impacts of climate change. However, if not sited and implemented thoughtfully, renewable energy can be harmful to resources necessary to adapt and be more resilient to the impacts of climate change that our region is already experiencing. We need to go beyond only looking at carbon offsets as the measure of balance between losing forest and reducing carbon. Loss of ecosystem services must be considered as well. When it comes to our inland water resources, large-scale solar and hydropower can be particularly damaging if not priced and sited properly.
Governor’s Council on Climate Change (CG3) Working Groups Reports, Public Forums and Comment Periods
THE GOVERNOR’S COUNCIL ON CLIMATE CHANGE WORKING GROUP (GC3) REPORTS were released for public view and comment on Tuesday, September 22nd. The comment period will last until October 21st and comments and feedback can be submitted via email to firstname.lastname@example.org . These reports will be uploaded here: https://portal.ct.gov/DEEP/Climate-Change/GC3/GC3-Working-group-reports
The Working and Natural Lands Public Forum on September 29th at 4pm-6pm will include the reports from the Rivers, Forests, Wetlands, and Agriculture Sub-working Groups. To register for this virtual forum please click on the link above.
GC3 also has a series of other upcoming Public Forums, all of which require registration. If you would like to virtually attend any of them please click on the links to register.
- 9/21 4:30pm-6pm: Climate Change in Connecticut: Kickoff Meeting
- 9/23 4pm-6:30pm: Progress on Mitigation Strategies Public Forum
- 9/29 4pm-6pm: Working and Natural Lands Public Forum
- 10/5 4:30pm-6pm: Science & Technology and Infrastructure & Land Use Adaptation Public Forum
- 10/7 4pm-6pm: Public Health & Safety Adaptation, and Financing & Funding Resilience and Adaptation Public Forum
- 10/13 4:30pm-6:30pm: Equity and Environmental Justice Public Forum
- 10/19 4:30pm-6pm: Public Review Period Wrap-up Meeting
World Water Day March 23 at the Legislative Office Building Hartford
Please join us in bipartisan support for our precious water resources!
World Water Day March 23 9:00 – 10:30 AM at the Legislative Office Building Hartford
See the Promotion Flyer for details.
Fossil Fuel Industry Lawsuits
“A number of citizen groups and government agencies have filed lawsuits recently, asserting that fossil fuel producers knowingly subjected the public to the destructive impacts of their industry’s actions.”
“The latest organization to hold the oil industry accountable is The Pacific Coast Federation of Fishermen’s Associations.”
“…studies have emerged recently which suggest that fossil fuel companies were aware that their industries were contributing to climate change while actively promoting public relations campaigns to misinform the public and discourage the development of alternative energy sources.
The city of Baltimore filed suit against 26 companies in July for concealing the dangers of fossil fuel combustion and preventing the development of alternative energy sources. Similar suits have been filed from the states of Rhode Island and California.”
What the National Climate Assessment Volume II says about our water and rivers
The 4th National Climate Assessment (NCA)
Volume II: Impacts, Risks, and Adaptation in the United States
What it says about our water and rivers
“The quality and quantity of water available for use by people and ecosystems across the country are being affected by climate change, increasing risks and costs to agriculture, energy production, industry, recreation, and the environment.”
NCA Volume II is huge, filled with connections between climate change and our water systems. For example, a simple search for the word “river” yielded multiple results in 25 (out of 29) chapters. Here are links to the sections of two chapters with much information for water advocates in Connecticut (links open in a new tab).
1. Executive Summary, 2. State of the Sector, 3. Regional Summary, 4. Key Message (KM) 1: Water Quantity & Quality, 5. KM 2: Water Infrastructure, 6. KM 3: Water Management, 7. Traceable Accounts (description of confidence levels), 8. References.
Here’s a quote from the Regional Summary: “Much of the water infrastructure in the Northeast is nearing the end of its planned life expectancy. Disruptions to infrastructure are already occurring and will likely become more common with a changing climate.”
The NORTHEAST Region (Chapter 18) sections:
1.Executive Summary, 2. Background, 3. KM 1: Seasons Impact Rural Areas, 4. KM 2: Oceans & Coasts, 5. KM 3: Urban Interconnectedness, 6. KM 4: Threats to Human Health, 7. KM 5: Adaptation Efforts, 8. Traceable Accounts, 9. References
From the Executive Summary: “The recent dominant trend in precipitation throughout the Northeast has been towards increases in rainfall intensity, with increases in intensity exceeding those in other regions of the contiguous United States. Further increases in rainfall intensity are expected, with increases in total precipitation expected during the winter and spring but with little change in the summer.”
106 lawmakers send letter to Trump about climate change and national security
Includes 2 Connecticut Representatives
The Trump administration denies not just climate change but weather. Despite the most costly year or record in the U.S. for extreme-weather disasters ($306 billion), the Trump administration does not regard climate change as a national security threat. The administration not only denies climate; it denies weather. It ignores the threat assessments of the military and just about every other leading security analyst. Read all about it here. Connecticut lawmakers Joe Courtney (2nd District) and Elizabeth Esty (5th District) signed the letter. Read the letter here.
Banned science words
Science is disappearing from government documents. The words “climate change” have faded like the Cheshire cat from US government websites and documents. The Center for Disease Control is now under order not to use words like “science-based” and “evidence-based.” “Fetus” is gone as is “transgender,” which automatically solved the famous bathroom problem. The government is now explaining that CDC simply has been advised not to use these words in grant requests that go to Congress. Apparently, Congress just isn’t science-ready yet. If no one is listening, CDC scientists can still say those words.
NY Times: Earth Sets Temperature Record for Third Straight Year
Surface temperatures are heading toward levels that many scientists believe will pose a threat to both the natural world and to human civilization. Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016 – trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row.
Read more: https://www.nytimes.com/2017/01/18/science/earth-highest-temperature-record.html
NY Times: How 2016 Became Earth’s Hottest Year on Record
2016 was the hottest year on the historical record and the third consecutive record-breaking year, scientists say. Of the 17 hottest years ever recorded, 16 have now occurred since 2000. If human-induced climate change was not part of the equation, the amount of warming in 2016 would have less than one-in-a-million odds of occurring.
State of the Climate 2015 Report Released
The State of the Climate is the authoritative annual summary of the global climate published as a supplement to the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society. The report, compiled by NOAA’s Center for Weather and Climate at the National Centers for Environmental Information is based on contributions from scientists from around the world. It provides a detailed update on global climate indicators, notable weather events, and other data collected by environmental monitoring stations and instruments located on land, water, ice, and in space. State of the Climate in 2015 This is the 26th edition of the annual assessment now known as State of the Climate. The year 2015 saw the toppling of several symbolic mileposts: notably, it was 1 degree C warmer than preindustrial times, and the Mauna Loa observatory recorded its first annual mean carbon dioxide concentration greater than 400 ppm. Beyond these more recognizable markers, trends seen in recent decades continued.
Precipitation over the global land surface in 2015 was far below the long-term average. In fact, 2015 was the driest year on record in two prominent global products…(and) … was also among the five driest years on record in a new (experimental) version of another prominent product… (http://ametsoc.net/sotc/Chapter_02.pdf#21 page 21 of 56)