Who is running on Long Island?

I found this summary useful.

Source; https://www.cityandstateny.com/politics/2022/08/whos-running-congress-new-york/375135/

1st Congressional District

Eastern parts of Suffolk County

Current member: Lee Zeldin (R), who is not running for reelection

2020 presidential results: Biden +0.2%

Demographics: 72% white, 16% Hispanic, 5% Asian, 4% Black, 

2020 Democratic primary results: Nancy Goroff: 36%, Perry Gershon: 35%, Bridget Fleming: 28%, Greg Fischer: 2%

2020 general election results: Zeldin (R, C, I): 55%, Goroff (D, WFP): 45%

2022 candidates: Bridget Fleming (D), Michelle Bond (R), Nick LaLota (R), Anthony Figliola (R)

What’s happening: Current Rep. Lee Zeldin is giving up the seat he’s held since 2015 to run for governor, and the general election race to succeed him will be close. 

The initial Democrat-dominated redistricting process drew much of eastern Long Island into a new, Democratic-leaning district that seemed likely to flip from red to blue. But the New York Supreme Court overturned Democrats’ maps, and the new lines have returned the 1st District to its prior swing status.

Democrats have coalesced around Suffolk County legislator Bridget Fleming, a former Manhattan prosecutor who ran in 2020 and has picked up some key union endorsements. The Republican primary features Nick LaLota, a former Village of Amityville Trustee and Suffolk County Commissioner of Elections, who has been endorsed by Suffolk County Republicans, facing off against Anthony Figliola, a former deputy supervisor for the town of Brookhaven and Michelle Bond, a cryptocurrency industry CEO, who has nearly $1 million to spend on her run, including $600,000 of her own money.

2nd Congressional District

Southern parts of Suffolk and Nassau County

Current member: Andrew Garbarino (R)

2020 presidential results: Trump +1.6%

Demographics: 56% white, 28% Hispanic, 10% Black, 3% Asian

2020 Republican primary results: Andrew Garbarino: 63%, Michael LiPetri: 36% 

2020 Democratic primary results: Jackie Gordon: 72%, Patricia Maher: 27%

2020 general election results: Garbarino (R, C, L, SAM): 53%, Jackie Gordon (D, WFP, I): 46%, Harry Burger (G): 1%

2022 candidates: Garbarino (R), Robert Cornicelli (R), Mike Rakebrandt (R), Jackie Gordon (D, WFP)

What’s happening: The 2nd District is another race that fell victim to Democrats’ redistricting snafu. The maps first approved by state legislators had packed conservatives into this Long Island based seat, ensuring a liberal leaning map in the neighboring 1st District. But when those maps were overturned there was a chaotic candidate reshuffle. Jackie Gordon, an Army veteran, high school guidance counselor and Babylon Town Council member, lost to Rep. Andrew Garbarino in the 2nd District in 2020, and after initially running in the 1st District this cycle, she is once again taking on Garbarino – in a swing district that slightly favors a Republican. The incumbent faces a GOP primary challenge from Robert Cornicelli and Mike Rakebrandt. Cornicelli is a veteran of both the Army and the Navy and works as a supervisor in the Oyster Bay Department of Public Works. Rakebrandtis an NYPD officer and Navy veteran. Both Cornicelli and Rakebrandt are challenging Garbarino from the right, saying he hasn’t been loyal enough to Trump.

3rd Congressional District

Northern parts of Nassau County and Queens

Current member: Tom Suozzi (D), who unsuccessfully challenged Gov. Kathy Hochul earlier this summer and is not running for reelection

2020 presidential results: Biden +8.1%

Demographics: 56% white, 23% Asian, 14% Hispanic, 3% Black 

2020 Democratic primary results: Tom Suozzi: 66%, Melanie D’Arrigo: 26%, Michael Weinstock: 8%

2020 general election results: Suozzi (D, WFP, I): 56%, George Santos (R, C): 43%, Howard Rabin (L): 1%

2022 candidates: Jon Kaiman (D), Josh Lafazan (D), Robert Zimmerman (D), Melanie D’Arrigo (D), Reema Rasool (D), George Santos (R)

What’s happening: Rep. Tom Suozzi abandoned this Long Island based congressional seat to run a losing campaign for governor. The newly reconfigured district now takes in much of Nassau County’s North Shore and a slice of suburban Queens. Several Democrats have thrown their hat into the ring to serve succeeding Suozzi, including former North Hempstead Town Supervisor Jon Kaiman, current Nassau County Legislator Josh Lafazan, public relations maven Robert Zimmerman, wellness professional Melanie D’Arrigo and businesswoman Reema Rasool. Lafazan has Suozzi’s support and leads in fundraising, while Zimmerman, who is involved with the Democratic National Committee, has support from other party insiders including Rep. Grace Meng. D’Arrigo is the progressive choice with the Working Families Party’s backing. Republican George Santos, an investment banker who had a stint at a firm accused of operating a Ponzi scheme, is unopposed in the Republican primary and thinks he can flip the seat in a red wave year after failing to do so in 2020.

Posted in 2022 elections | Tagged | 6 Comments

Zeldin’s “Signature Gate”

So now NYS Board of Elections has ruled:

Posted in 2022 elections, Uncategorized, Zeldin | Leave a comment

BOE boots Zeldin off Independence Party line for invalid signatures

New York Libertarian Party contests signatures were duplicates and photocopies

Joshua SolomonJuly 14, 2022 in the TIMES UNION. Submitted by Gerri Maslanka (Sag Harbor)

GOP nominee for governor, U.S Rep. Lee Zeldin had his attempts to run on the state Independence Party line invalidated by the state Board of Elections. He won the Republican nominee last month, defeating three primary challengers.
1of5GOP nominee for governor, U.S Rep. Lee Zeldin had his attempts to run on the state Independence Party line invalidated by the state Board of Elections. He won the Republican nominee last month, defeating three primary challengers.Michael M. Santiago/Getty Images

ALBANY — U.S. Rep. Lee Zeldin, the Republican nominee for governor, is unlikely to run on the Independence Party line after the state Board of Elections invalidated nearly 13,000 signatures that were included in his petitions. 

Zeldin’s campaign operation had submitted about 52,000 signatures, well above the 45,000 needed to get his name on the third party line, but the disqualified signatures left him well short following the board’s ruling. The filing period ended May 31. 

Zeldin’s petitions were challenged by officials with the New York Libertarian Party, who not only contested the signatures were invalid but also noted that about 11,000 of them were photocopied duplicates.

“Republicans talk a lot about election integrity, but the Zeldin campaign attempted to fly under the radar and submit over 11,000 fraudulent signatures in an attempt to get a third line on the ballot,” Andrew Kolstee, secretary of the Libertarian Party, said in a news release Thursday. 

Kolstee, who was the objector to the signatures, claimed that the Libertarian Party officials and the campaign of Diane Sare for U.S. Senate found 900 sheets with 11,000 signatures that were photocopies of the original sheets filed by the campaign.

The Board of Elections does not make determinations on fraud related to petition signatures. The issue is pending in court. A spokeswoman for the board said it does not comment on pending litigation. 

A judge could potentially overrule the board’s decision, which would leave Zeldin with an outside shot of still appearing on the Independence Party line. 

The board ruled Tuesday that 12,868 signatures were invalid, leaving Zeldin with 39,228. 

Prior to changes pushed by then-Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo in 2019 that made it more difficult to get onto a statewide ballot for a third party, it was 5,000 signatures needed every four years. 

Zeldin’s campaign did not immediately respond to a request for comment. 

On Zeldin’s campaign website, it requests people join “Team Zeldin’s Election Integrity Task Force.” 

“Our team will be working around the clock now and into November to ensure we have fair elections, but we can’t do it alone,” the campaign’s website states. 

In December 2020, Zeldin tweeted that “ballot integrity always matters regardless of the circumstances and regardless of whether the issue impacts one vote or thousands.” He recommended a series of changes, including “signature verification with campaigns able to participate.” His comments came as then-President Donald J. Trump was contesting the results of the election. Zeldin subsequently voted against certifying the results of the presidential election. 

Following a recent decision out of a lower court in New York on whether to allow non-citizens the ability to vote in New York City elections, Zeldin issued a statement through his campaign stating that “one person, one vote belongs to U.S. citizens, and no one else!” 

“I’m honored to stand shoulder-to-shoulder with the leaders across our state who stood up for election integrity and the rule of law to put an end to it,” Zeldin said last month. 

Zeldin is set to face Gov. Kathy Hochul, the Democratic nominee, in the general election on Nov. 8. Zeldin is to appear on the lines of the Republican and Conservative parties while Hochul is set to appear on the Democratic and Working Families Party lines. 

“Zeldin submitting 11,000 fake signatures just emphasizes his hypocrisy and proves he is willing to sell New Yorkers another ‘big lie’ to benefit his failing campaign,” state Democratic Party Chairman Jay Jacobs said in a statement. He noted to Zeldin’s backing of Trump’s election fraud concerns in the 2020 presidential election. 

Other candidates who were also invalidated that sought to run on the Independence Party line by the board were Zeldin’s running mate, Republican nominee for lieutenant governor Alison Esposito, as well as the Republican candidates for comptroller, Paul Rodriguez, attorney general, Michael Henry, and U.S. Senate, Joe Pinon.

Comments on Twitter (please retweet and “like”):

https://twitter.com/ZeldinRecord/status/1547933332670779393

https://twitter.com/Hornik10/status/1547779707155857408
Posted in Uncategorized | 4 Comments

Neo Nazi’s in our Military

And then there is this regarding the victims within the Capitol Police force:

https://thehill.com/homenews/3559109-capitol-police-officer-injured-on-jan-6-says-republicans-pretend-not-to-see-me-in-the-hallways/

For Zeldin to claim he is a military man is worse than shameless. It is shmegegge. (Yiddish) baloney; hot air; nonsense.

Here is an action for you: “like” and “retweet” here

Posted in Uncategorized | 2 Comments

Force Multiplier

We would all like to help fund political candidates that have a chance of winning. Right?

Force Multiplier (FM) selects candidates that have a chance of winning. In addition to presenting the slate of candidates they follow, Force Multiplier brings the candidates to us via Zoom meetings.

All $$$ donations go directly to the campaigns. Force Multiplier is a volunteer group of smart and politically savvy professionals.

For Example

From: Amy Siegel <masiegel@comcast.net>

Subject: FM: Meet John Fetterman and make a 50/50 Senate a Stronger Shade of Blue

Date: July 14, 2022 at 8:43:52 AM EDT

Reply-To: Amy Siegel <masiegel@comcast.net>

Dear Friends,
We simply cannot stand by and let Trump-supported Mehmet Oz become the next Senator from the battleground state of Pennsylvania.  Democrat John Fetterman may not look or act like your typical politician, but he’s smart and importantly has years of political experience as the Lt. Governor of PA.  He can and will win this race if we dig deep and give him all the support we can muster.  
I hope you will join FM for a discussion with John Fetterman on Wednesday July 27th from 7:00 pm – 8:00 pm EST and support his candidacy as we fight to make sure Democrats hold onto the Senate and increase their majority to help pass much needed legislation on crucial issues like voting rights, reproductive rights and the environment.
Fondly,Amy

These Unconventional Times Require a Most Unconventional Candidate.John Fetterman of Pennsylvania, is that Candidate.WEDNESDAY, JULY 27, 7:00-8:00pm ET REGISTER + DONATEThe suggested donation is $100 but please be as generous as possible! John Fetterman = tattoos + straight talk + passion + experience + smart john Fetterman is a pull-no-punches Democrat for Pennsylvania’s open Senate seat.
He has a lot to say about how the Dems can kick things up a notch. It’s clear that John’s unconventional style is also backed up by a lifetime of service + leadership experience. Fetterman served as mayor of Braddock, PA from 2006 to 2019 + as Pennsylvania’s Lieutenant Governor since 2019. Fetterman’s current opponent is yet another Republican, multi-millionaire TV personality hoping to exploit celebrity into political power. A 50-50 Senate is NOT ENOUGH! We MUST EXPAND THE MAJORITY so that Democrats have enough votes to get things done. This Pennsylvania race is one of our best opportunities to pick up a seat.   An expanded Democratic Majority in the Senate 
will give us the power to move America forward.You won’t want to miss this event.Please pass this invite on to others in your world who might be interested.
For further information go to www.forcemultiplierus.orgFollow us + help spread the word! Retweet us + Repost us!
Posted in 2022 elections, Uncategorized | 1 Comment

Time Is Running Out


Submitted by Stephen based on LTE of Lance Corey in the Southampton Press:

Exactly 100 years ago, Adolf Hitler and his “Proud Boys” were preparing their putsches to overthrow the Bavarian State Government in Munich, to be followed with a march on Berlin, similar to Benito Mussolini’s march on Rome, to establish his Fascist government.

Hitler and his “Oath Keepers” were going to save Germany from the Communists, the Socialists, the Leftists, the Democrats and all the various “foreign elements” infecting the body politic.

Sounds familiar, very familiar, doesn’t it?

While their initial putsches failed, and Hitler himself was sentenced to prison (thus affording him the opportunity to dictate his book “Mein Kampf,” “My Struggle” — something we need not fear Trump doing, we know of Hitler’s eventual ascension to power, and the rest is history.

Why are we discussing another run at the presidency when Donald Trump should be barred from ever running again or holding office? To allow him and the other seditionists to run is a violation of Section 3 of the 14th Amendment. Nowhere does it call for a conviction in a court of law. The Act of Insurrection it addressed, the Civil War, was obvious to all; such is the case right now.

Those members of the GOP who refuse to acknowledge the legitimacy of the 2020 election are still committing sedition, and that is an insurrection, and it must have consequences. The GOP must be put on notice: The right to run in November will require a reaffirmation of their Oath to the Constitution, and affirming the legitimacy of the Biden presidency. Failure to do so will disqualify any candidate and, thus, they better prepare for that eventuality should they wish to field any candidates in the upcoming election. Time is running out.

Don’t be weaker than the Weimar Republic, or we’re doomed. The fate of our Democratic Republic is in your hands.

Lance Corey

Westhampton

Posted in 2022 elections | Leave a comment

500,000 Climate Actions towards our Million Messages Campaign

Simple. Free. Powerful. Effective. (And Earn Trees!)

Since January, when I joined the Climate Action Now App, I’ve had fun tapping away for 5 minutes a day, scrolling through actions, choosing my favorites, contacting elected officials (so easy, just a touch), demanding action, increasing my knowledge, and I love earning trees.  I search for actions on oceans, food waste, plastics and NY. And I like thanking people. Today I thanked the Bethlehem NY Central School District for buying electric school buses. 

“The Climate Action Now App makes it extremely easy for users to contact their elected officials and be rewarded by earning real trees.” Ken Berlin, CEO Climate Reality Project

Woodside, California-based Climate Action Now was founded by Silicon Valley entrepreneur Brett Walter in partnership with the Climate Reality Project. The company’s mission is to put effective climate action, via the app, at the fingertips of millions of consumers around the world.  Each action earns points, and when users earn enough points, the company will plant trees on their behalf. Climate Action Now partners with Eden Restoration Projects, Conserve.org, CarbonFund.org Foundation and VoterVoice.

“The Climate Action Now App is truly a game-changer.”  – Climate Reality Hudson Valley Chapter

“A power tool for activism.” – Todd Weber, Chair, Elders Climate Action NorCal Chapter

Hear from Mara Davi of California: “I’ve always wanted to be a more active climate citizen, but it was difficult.  With the push of three buttons I’ve completed a call. I can do five actions in as many minutes. In the first six days of using the app, I’ve contacted my State Senator 52 times and planted four trees. Most importantly, he signed on as a co-sponsor of a bill I recommended!”

For me, since January I’ve taken 1,149 actions, earned 117,233 points and planted 43 trees, all neatly calculated on my profile page.  And, I advocated for an executive order on heat pumps, which President Biden signed! (See below WE/HE DID IT!)

500,000 Actions. Two Game-Changing Executive Orders. New Million Messages Campaign

Every week I receive a news update on CAN’s climate impact, success stories, action parties and a campaign of the week. Newsletter: Sign up here. Get the app here. I’m excited about the new Million Messages Campaign.  It’s all outlined in the latest newsletter here or read on…..

WELCOME

This week we blow past 500,000 actions, we celebrate two game-changing executive orders by President Biden for which we advocated, update our impact, celebrate successes, and more. Next week we’ll update you on Climate Action Now’s debut at Al Gore’s Las Vegas training.  (Spoiler alert: it was GREAT!)

ACTION PARTY

The Problem with Plastic

Join our Plastic Action Party in July and we’ll have Q&A with a featured guest expert, plus scores of great actions in the app that will increase your knowledge of the plastic problem and what to do about it.  Learn more on our registration page.

Date:  July 12, 2022

Time:  4:00 pm PT / 7:00 pm ET

Location:  Zoom, pre-registration required

REGISTER NOW HERE

OUR CLIMATE IMPACT

ACTIONS: 511,907

Planet-saving actions taken by our community with the Climate Action Now app — up 22,066 from last week – a new weekly record!

TREES: 16,443

Trees earned by the Climate Action Now community by taking action with the app – up 689 from last week — a new weekly record!

35,085 TREES. 548.0 METRIC TONS CO2 REDUCED. 1871,191 SQ. FT. ECOSYSTEMS.

…purchased by our Planet-Saving Subscribers and Gift Givers.

MILLION MESSAGES CAMPAIGN

As of today, CAN app users have sent 511,907 messages to political, business, and other influencers —half way towards our goal of 1,000,000 messages sent by the end of this year.

WE CAN DO IT!  Please tell your friends about the Climate Action Now App and our Million Messages Campaign!

WE/HE DID IT!

We Advocated. Biden Delivered.

We all know firsthand how much of an uphill battle advocacy can be. We get behind a worthy cause, shout our message from the rooftops…and hope that our words helped move people with real power one step closer to action.

What we don’t usually see is the President of the United States take bold, immediate action on not one but two major issues we campaigned for—in the same week.

Last week, President Biden signed a pair of game-changing executive orders on climate. The first invokes the Defense Production Act to accelerate the deployment of heat pumps, solar panels, and other clean energy technologies. The other pauses tariffs on imported solar panel components for two years, bailing out the solar industry after a rogue Department of Commerce investigation sent it into a tailspin.

As Robinson Meyer of The Atlantic writes, these actions aren’t merely “federal-paper shuffling.” Indeed, he says, they are “one of the most aggressive executive actions that the administration has yet taken on climate change.” Together, they will help ensure the continued rapid growth of renewables and, hopefully, significantly reduce our dependence on gas to heat buildings.

They are no accident, either. Both of these specific interventions was pushed relentlessly over the past few months by climate and energy activists across the country, including Bill McKibben—and Climate Action Now users.

You’ve probably guessed the bottom line by now, but we’ll say it anyway: Advocacy matters. It gets results. Each and every time you raise your voice, on the Climate Action Now App or anywhere else, you are making a difference!

CAMPAIGN OF THE WEEK

Climate Leadership NOW!

This week, we’ll charge toward our goal of 1 MILLION MESSAGES in two main ways: thanking the White House for this pair of game-changing executive actions, and advocating for MORE of this kind of bold climate leadership at all levels!

In addition to thanking Biden and Harris—and pushing them to take the next step by declaring a federal Climate Emergency—we’ll also reach out to Congress, corporate leaders, and our state leaders to urge them to follow Biden’s example and lead the charge for bold climate action NOW!

Check the Action of the Day each day this week for a new opportunity to help keep the momentum from Biden’s executive actions going!

SUCCESS STORIES

Another CAN VICTORY! Our users, supporting activists on the ground, helped get Vermont to pass its first-ever Environmental Justice law! Celebrate this win with actor Geraldine Hughes of Rocky Balboa and Gran Torino!

  • Fracking FAIL! California environmental groups scored a big victory last week when a federal court blocked permits for fracking off the state’s coastline. The Court said federal agencies who issued the permits relied on an “inadequate” environmental assessment that failed to take into account the full impacts of fracking.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK

“The fossil fuel industry is the past. And if you can find a way out, then please walk away while there’s still time. Do it now.”  

– Shell consultant Caroline Dennett in a farewell resignation addressed to Shell employees

Help the world walk away from fossil fuels NOW with the Climate Action Now app!

Thanks so much for your help and support!

Matthew, Brett, Tim, and the gang

If you know someone who would enjoy this newsletter, please forward it to them.Was this newsletter forwarded to you? Sign up here.  Get the app here.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Who is funding the Sedition Caucus?

The Sedition Caucus includes Lee Zeldin.

Six Congressmen That Have Failed to Cooperate with the January 6th Committee Have Received Over $826K In Corporate Donations 

Washington, D.C. — Ahead of the January 6th Committee’s first public hearing, watchdog Accountable US released a new analysis finding Fortune 500 companies and corporate trade associations given over $1.4 million in April alone to the members of Congress that voted against certifying the 2020 election in the aftermath of the January 6th insurrection. Contributing companies include UPS, FedEx, Visa, Home Depot, GM, and Exxonmobil. Since the violent coup attempt, total donations from corporate interests now stand at over $16 million to the group that has been called the ‘Sedition Caucus’. 

Full list of companies here:

Posted in Uncategorized | Leave a comment

Hudson Canyon: a National Marine Sanctuary

On Thu, Jun 16, 2022, 9:02 PM Judith Weis <jweis@newark.rutgers.edu> wrote:

Hi Friends-

I just wrote to Dr. Richard Spinrad, Administrator for the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) to urge him to continue supporting the designation of Hudson Canyon as a National Marine Sanctuary. The protections afforded by Sanctuary status will maintain this essential ecosystem for generations to come. The nomination was made by the Wildlife Conservation Society, the organization that runs the NY Aquarium in Coney Island, as well as the zoos in the city.

Hudson Canyon, just off the coast of New York and New Jersey, is a key ecological hotspot for marine wildlife, including deep sea corals, sharks, whales and dolphins, turtles, seabirds and numerous fish species. It’s also a driver for the local economy, fueling commercial and recreational fishing, shipping, and tourism. However, this undersea treasure remains vulnerable to oil, gas, and mineral exploration and extraction, which would threaten its valuable living resources. Please write to Dr. Richard Spinrad today, thanking him for beginning the designation process and urging him to continue to support the future of Hudson Canyon:

Posted in Environment, long island, Offshore Drilling | Tagged , | Leave a comment

Early voting starts tomorrow!

Early Voting Sites for Primary Election of 6-28-2022

https://www.suffolkcountyny.gov/Departments/BOE/Early-Voting-Sites-6-28-2022

Locations

Wyandanch-Wheatley Heights Ambulance
295 Merritt Ave
Wyandanch, NY 11798

ACE Center
48 Cedar Rd
Amityville, NY 11701

Babylon Town Hall Annex
281 Phelps Ln
North Babylon, NY 11703

Rose Caracappa Senior Center
739 NY-25A
Mount Sinai, NY 11766

South Country Ambulance
420 Station Rd
Bellport, NY 11713

Henrietta Acampora Center
39 Montauk Highway
Blue Point, NY 11715

Robert Reid Senior Center
Defense Hill Rd,
Shoreham, NY 11786

Brookhaven Town Hall
1 Independence Hill
Farmingville NY 11738

Mastic Recreation Community Center
15 Herkimer Street
Mastic NY 11950

Manorville Fire Department
16 Silas Carter Rd
Manorville, NY 11949

Windmill Village
219 Accabonac Rd
East Hampton, NY 11937

Bohemia Recreation Center
1 Ruzicka Way
Bohemia NY 11716

West Islip Senior Center
90 Higbie Ln
West Islip, NY 11795

Greenbelt Recreation Center
281 Patchogue-Holbrook Rd
Holtsville, NY 11742

Knights of Columbus
(Town of Islip)
96 2nd Avenue
Brentwood NY 11717

Islip Town Hall Annex
401 Main Street
Islip NY 11751

Greenlawn Fire Department
23 Boulevard Ave.
Greenlawn, NY 11740

Huntington Public Library
(Station Branch)
1335 New York Avenue
Huntington Station NY 11746

Dix Hills Fire Department
115 East Deer Park Rd
Dix Hills, NY 11746

Riverhead Senior Center
60 Shade Tree Lane
Aquebogue NY 11931

Shelter Island Youth Recreation Center
1 Bateman Rd
Shelter Island, NY 11964

Nesconset Elementary School
54 Browns Rd
Nesconset, NY 11767

Kings Park High School
200 East Main St
Kings Park, NY 11754

Stony Brook University Southampton Campus
39 Tuckahoe Rd.
Southampton, NY 11968

County Center
300 Center Dr
Riverhead, NY 11901

Southold Senior Center
750 Pacific St
Mattituck, NY 11952

Polls open (TIME):

Saturday, June 1810:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, June 1910:00am – 6:00pm
Monday, June 2010:00am – 6:00pm
Tuesday, June 217:00am – 3:00pm
Wednesday, June 227:00am – 3:00pm
Thursday, June 2312:00pm – 8:00pm
Friday, June 2412:00pm – 8:00pm
Saturday, June 2510:00am – 6:00pm
Sunday, June 2610:00am – 6:00pm
Posted in 2022 elections | Leave a comment

“Dangerously fragile”… the right to vote.

Submitted by Stephen Ring from Southampton NY:

Early voting begins on June 18 – 26 (2022):

Starting last Thursday night (6/9/22), The United States House Select Committee on the January 6 Attack, began a series of eight public hearings, on the events leading up to and culminating with the attack on the United States Capitol on January 6, with the attempt to overturn the election of 2021. The very first thing that became apparent was how fragile our democracy is. The cornerstone of our democracy is the right to vote. Every citizen is entitled to vote and have their vote counted.

In New York State, early voting begins on June 18 – 26, and on June 28, the Primary Election for New York State Governor and Lt. Governor. The Democratic candidates for Governor are:

1.     Congressman Tom Suozzi   Tom was the four-term Mayor of Glen Cove, the youngest elected Nassau County Executive, and the first Democrat in thirty years to be elected to that position. Tom was elected three times to The United States Congress from CD 3. Tom’s running mate is Diana Reyna for Lt. Governor. Diana served as Deputy Borough President of Brooklyn and was a twelve-year member of the New York City Council.

https://www.gothamgazette.com/state/11332-tom-suozzi-run-governor-democratic-primary-pitch

2.     Governor Kathy Hochul   Kathy became Governor when Governor Cuomo resigned. Kathy was a one-term Congresswoman from upstate New York and proud to be one of only two Democrats to be approved by the NRA. Kathy’s running mate is Antonio Delgado for Lt. Governor. Antonio was appointed to the post of Lt. Governor after Brian Benjamin was indicted and resigned

.

https://www.politico.com/news/2022/04/12/hochul-tough-choices-lieutenant-governor-arrest-new-york-00024700

3.     Jumaane Williams  Jumaane served as New York City Public Advocate and as a member of the New York City Council.  Jumaane’s running mate for Lt. Governor is Ana Maria Archila. Ana Maria is a Civil Rights advocate.

https://www.pubadvocate.nyc.gov/about#about-the-PA/

President Jimmy Carter – “I now fear that what we have fought so hard to achieve Globally – the right to free, fair elections, unhindered by Strongman Politicians who seek nothing more than to grow their own power – has become dangerously fragile at home.”

TO ALL REGISTERED DEMOCRATS, YOU HAVE A CHOICE OF CANDIDATES IN THIS PRIMARY – VOTE WISELY

Posted in 2022 elections, voting rights | Leave a comment

COVID Notes: More Covid Patients; Studies on Long Term Covid; A Million Deaths

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I had several COVID positive patients this week, all vaccinated. All relatively speaking mild (i.e. no respiratory distress), including members of my family. COVID is constantly mutating. It would appear that one of the mutations is responsible for the new wave; but for sure it is all propelled by the large disappearance of masks from indoor use and low vaccination rates. A significant percentage of these patients will develop Long Covid; we are beginning to understand the long-term ramifications, with a large percentage, for example, of those on respiratory support developing  chronic lung problems.  

We hit a tragic milestone since the last COVID notes: a million (understated) COVID deaths. It is an unfathomable tragedy. I met with one of my diabetic patients whose son died of COVID. The son was in his 30s and had a family of his own. My own patient has suffered terribly with ongoing chest pain necessitating an ER visit. I am currently evaluating the cause, but emotional “heartbreak” is real.

Cruises are back in style. That doesn’t mean that COVID has left cruise ships alone. The CDC’s cruise ship status report shows that 76 of 92 ships have reported cases of the coronavirus on board.

I’ve previously referred to the path, highlighted in a recent NYT article, that Australia took in dealing with the COVID pandemic which resulted in a death rate 1/10th of that in the U.S.  Despite our scientific innovations, our vaccination rate continues to be much lower than any other industrialized country. There are differences between regions with the Southeast having the highest death rate in the country – together with high poverty rates, very low vaccination rates, and high percentage of people with multiple chronic illnesses.

The issue is trust – between people, trust in government, trust in science. Trust in government is not an empty phrase. How should we move forward on this objective? Biden, Jha (the new Biden Covid leader), and other government leaders should personally ask Democrats and Republicans (D and R) to reach across the aisle – politicians and health professionals. Government leaders need to work with our remarkable scientific industry and convince them to license the vaccine technology to ramp up worldwide vaccine production. This should have happened at the Global COVID summit that Biden held last week. No matter, Biden should call a 50 state COVID summit (I get it not all states would come) and, in advance, identify D&R politicians, D&R scientific/ medical leaders willing to work together. Let’s not forget COVID and other pandemics are here to stay and will continue to have a dramatic impact on history – with so many of these tragedies being avoidable.   

I also understand that there are limits – there will be no national COVID policy. Instead states and localities can take the lead; AND is trying to contribute to state health policies. But while there will be no national COVID policy, there can be  national- state collaboration. Wastewater analysis is an excellent example. From this excellent Government Accounting Office report (short and great graphics): 

“Wastewater surveillance, also known as wastewater-based epidemiology, is the monitoring of pathogens (e.g., viruses), as well as pharmaceuticals and toxic or other chemicals by testing sewage. Public health officials can use this approach to monitor for outbreaks, identify threats (e.g., antibiotic-resistant bacteria), and, in response, support the mobilization of resources… Australia, for example, is using a wastewater surveillance program to track the amounts of illicit drug use in the population to estimate the effectiveness of law enforcement efforts to seize drugs” 

Building on an article that nurses and AND leaders recently published, AND approached a state medical society last week suggesting that D and R physicians appear together throughout the state. Last week, AND submitted an op-ed to a small town newspaper in PA advocating new COVID state policies. We will learn from this experience and try to replicate anything positive that occurs in other states. I will personally continue to reach out to each and every one of my patients who are still unvaccinated – one a Republican; several who place their faith in God; many vaccinated patients of mine don’t know about the booster. I keep asking them whether they trust me and tell them openly that everyone in my family has been vaccinated. When it doesn’t work – I contact them again and again. 

Norbert Goldfield, M.D.

Posted in Uncategorized | Tagged , | 1 Comment

Pro-choice Rally in NY City

Union Square 3 PM May 14, 2022. The pictures tell it all

Posted in Abortion | Leave a comment

Vaccine Angst

The Covid pandemic has brought vaccines back into the limelight and a review of the history of vaccination seems timely.

Current day vaccines have saved millions of lives but a vigorous anti-vaccine movement has led to a culture war of sorts.  The anti-VAXXers in the US have joined forces with right wing Republican politicians such as Eric Trump, son of the ex-president, Roger Stone, and others including Democrat Robert F. Kennedy Jr., the son of the late Democratic Sen. Robert F. Kennedy.   The main gripe of anti-VAXXers seems to be the perceived infringement on individual rights, or the right to refuse medical treatment.  For example, Pastor Mark Burns, who is running for Congress in South Carolina, likened the choice about vaccination to smoking: “Cigarettes kill people every day, but yet you can go to the supermarket right now and buy it with no issue, that’s their choice. If they want to go put cancer into their lungs, they have a right to do so.” He felt his position would help him win the primary in the conservative district where he hopes to be elected.

There is a difference, however. Smoking is prohibited in many public spaces because passive exposure to smoke also leads to cancer.  Your smoking is dangerous to me and my smoking is dangerous to you. Likewise, Covid outbreaks endanger all of us, including those that have kept up with vaccinations and booster shots.  That is because outbreaks anywhere on the planet can lead to the emergence of new subvariants (Omicron f.ex.) and some of these could be resistant to treatment and to vaccines

Mandates for vaccination are not new in America. For example, children enrolled in public schools must show proof of vaccination, although the rules are different from one state to the other. Persons working in healthcare can endanger their patients if they have an infectious disease. Having had a career in medicine, I am well acquainted with yearly Tb testing mandated for all hospital staff myself included!

It’s interesting that a new analysis by NPR suggests that Republicans are probably dying at a higher rate as a result of their much lower vaccination rate. A nationwide comparison of 2020 presidential election results and COVID-19 death rates since vaccines became available for all adults, found that counties that voted heavily for Trump had nearly three times the COVID-19 mortality rate of those that went for Joe Biden. Those counties also had far lower vaccination rates.

To understand the reluctance of Republicans to get vaccinated you really need to look at the excellent analysis by Joss Fong:  How American conservatives turned against the vaccine: The partisan pandemic, explained in 15 charts. Joss Fongjoss@vox.com Feb 23, 2022, 3:04pm

It boils down to a sentiment that took hold even before vaccines were available, namely that Covid wasn’t that serious, i.e. similar to the flu, and that it was hyped up as a threat for political purposes by Democrats. If Covid isn’t serious, why even bother with an “unproven” vaccine?  This argument was repeated by then Pres. Trump, and disseminated on Fox News and social media.  After Trump was hospitalized for Covid he triumphantly returned to the White House and refused to wear a mask (when he was still likely infectious) trying to make the point that we can lick this “China virus” and that Covid is not that serious at all, i.e. nothing to be afraid of.

Currently, we have a sorry state of affairs with Republicans losing faith in other vaccines, including stalwart vaccines against measles, mumps and rubella as per data discussed in the analysis by Joss Fong

https://www.vox.com/22947498/partisan-pandemic-polarization-coronavirus-vaccine

In order to make some sense of all this, I took a look at the world history of vaccination, based largely on a publication by Stefan Riedel MD PhD, at Baylor Univ. https://www.ncbi.nlm.nih.gov/pmc/articles/PMC1200696/

An English doctor named Edward Jenner gets credit for the procedure of vaccination based on his publication in 1798. He took material from the hand lesions of Sarah Nelms, a milkmaid afflicted with Cowpox, and injected this crude preparation of cowpox into an 8-year-old boy, James Phipps, the son of his gardener. The boy developed mild fever and discomfort in the axilla, but 10 days later felt good again.  Two months later Jenner inoculated the boy again, but this time with matter from a smallpox lesion.  No disease developed and Jenner concluded the boy was protected, or “vaccinated”, vacca meaning cow in Latin. Similar protection was observed in other patients vaccinated with cowpox.  It took quite a few years before the medical community accepted the new treatment.

It helped that Lady Mary Wortley Montague (1689-1762) was a big advocate for variolation in England.  Variolation was the procedure used prior to vaccination: healthy persons were inoculated with smallpox itself (rather than cowpox). Variolation was thought to be protective, but 2-3% of variolated persons died of smallpox! And many others had disfiguring smallpox or became the source of another epidemic. Nevertheless, European royals were so terrified of smallpox that many chose to get variolated including the Empress Marie-Therese of Austria, her children, and grandchildren, Frederick II of Prussia, Louis XVI of France.  Frederick II inoculated all of his Prussian soldiers!  (A mandate for sure.)  There was a reason to protect your army. American soldiers under George Washington were unable to take Quebec from the British troops, because of a smallpox epidemic among the American soldiers. All the while, the British troops were all variolated giving them some degree of protection!

As far back as 430 BC survivors of smallpox, presumably with a degree of immunity, were used to nurse the afflicted.  Therefore I assume that the idea of immunity is age-old.

In England, cowpox vaccination gradually replaced variolation (which was prohibited in 1840). In America, Thomas Jefferson supported the vaccine effort and founded the National Vaccine Institute.  Although Jenner was honored by the British Parliament and received prizes and cash, he was subjected to attacks and ridicule from the anti-VAXXers of the time. In many countries vaccination against smallpox became mandatory.  Now, as a result, smallpox has been eradicated throughout the world. In 1980 the WHO announced that smallpox was eradicated worldwide.

Vaccination is arguably the biggest success story in modern medicine.  It is also the basis of a whole new field of medicine: Immunology. 

Vaccines currently cover many diseases: Tb (88% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Polio (eradicated), Diphtheria, Tetanus and Pertussis (85% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Hepatitis B (85% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Influenza type B (72%of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Measles (71-85%of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Rubella (71% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Pneumococcus (48% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Yellow fever (46% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide), Rotavirus (39% of one-year-olds vaccinated worldwide).

This graph on measles cases is perhaps most instructive. The measles vaccine was first introduced in 1963:  

  

WHO estimates (conservatively) that 2-3 million deaths are prevented every year just from vaccines to Diphtheria, Tetanus, whooping cough, and measles.  But WHO also estimates that vaccine-preventable deaths are still responsible for 1.5 million deaths per year. Higher vaccination rates would help prevent these deaths.

Subsaharan Africa is a geographical location notorious for poor vaccination rates, thought to be due to economic factors.   Essentially, poor countries have poor vaccination rates and as a consequence, children die.

There is a lot of data on this site:  https://ourworldindata.org/vaccination#not-every-child-who-should-be-vaccinated-is-vaccinated

It includes data on how people support vaccination across the world.  While the large majority of the world supports vaccines, there are curious pockets of distrust.  People were asked “are vaccines safe?  are they effective?”  Usually, 90% or more approve of vaccines in these surveys. An interesting outlier is France.  Over 30% of the population disagree that vaccines are safe! And 20% don’t think they are effective.  However, this does not translate into low vaccination rates or into distrust in nurses and doctors among the French!

It is not a perfect world out there. The planet itself could be considered “endangered”.  The following is a recent Nature article from 28 February 2022:

Climate change is hitting the planet faster than scientists originally thought

But, somehow humanity’s lot has improved over the last 5000 years.  It is perhaps of interest that the world’s population hardly increased between 10,000 and 5,000 BC and this was primarily because of a succession of pandemics with high mortality (see James C. Scott, “Against the Grain”).  If anything, the Covid pandemic reminds me that we are a fragile species living on a fragile planet.  Vaccination could help save the species.

Posted in vaccines | 3 Comments

Fish Doing Well

In the East Hampton Star 4/21/22

East Hampton
April 18, 2022

Dear David,

Much of the resistance to the South Fork Wind farm, currently being constructed 35 miles east of Montauk’s Lighthouse, has centered on the question of whether it might impact our local fishing industry. There have been numerous studies of marine species in Europe’s North Sea, probing whether their wind farms, in operation for more than 20 years, may have caused harm. They have not. Some species (like mussels) thrived, especially around the base of the wind turbines!

North America’s first offshore wind farm began operation in October 2016: The Block Island Wind Farm.  Just last month (March 2022) a study was published in the ICES Journal of Marine Science examining whether the abundance of fish was affected by either construction (2014-2015) of the Block Island turbines, or operation (2016-2019) of the Block Island turbines.  The study is available online as a pdf.  It is a highly technical study that begs for a lay language summary.

The abundance of bottom species was assessed in the area of the Block Island Wind Farm and compared to two reference areas: to the south and to the east of Block Island.  This was done both prior to, during, and after construction of the Block Island turbines, by monthly trawling. 663,970 fish, representing 61 species, were collected over 7 years.  What stands out is the following.

No species were adversely affected by the construction or operation of the Block Island turbines. Black sea bass increased nearly 10-fold in the Block Island turbines area, but not in the reference areas, during operation 2016-2019.

During construction, there were surges in the frequency of spiny dogfish. One catch was too large to be brought on board!  These are predators and their frequency is linked to that of their prey (Atlantic cod, herring, squid, butterfish, and mackerel). Maybe they were attracted to the wind farm because their prey was more abundant?

It is important to remember that an increase in a species may mean many different things. There could be increased food for the species. Or there may be a decrease in predators, etc.

The paper contains a ton of data not covered in this brief synopsis. The general gist, however, is that fish are doing well around the Block Island turbines.

I note that this study was authored by marine scientists of INSPIRE Environmental in Newport R.I. This is a company that performs studies commissioned and paid for by private enterprises, like Orsted, with a vested interest in wind farms. One author is an employee of Orsted. The study also relied on commercial fishing partners although these are not listed as authors.

This is a very valuable type of study. I hope it will be repeated as further wind farms are constructed all along Atlantic shores. I also hope that other entities (not only the companies building the wind farms) become involved in funding such studies.

DAVID POSNETT, M.D.

Posted in East Hampton, Offshore Drilling, water quality, wind energy | 4 Comments

Climate Change Resources

April 25, 2022

If you don’t already receive this excellent weekly climate round-up newsletter, read on. And sign up.

Climate Change Resources was created in 2016 by publishers Lena Tabori and Mike Shatzkin to educate and empower us all to be climate activists, and to take the critical steps necessary to rescue humanity’s future. There is simply no time to waste.

Take a look at their invaluable and beautifully designed website https://climatechangeresources.org/. Lena’s weekly newsletter was just selected as one the top climate newsletters in the country. I’m honored that she highlighted one of my recent articles. MCF Morgan

This is your weekly newsletter from Climate Change Resources, keeping you informed and involved in the fight against climate change as we all search for solutions. Each week, you’ll find breaking news, valuable resources, actions to take, answers to common questions, and more — even sustainable shopping suggestions.
• The hideous war continues. CCR’s People Are Talking About (PATA) are keeping track of the way war and climate change interact here.
• For Earth Day, climate reporters from The Washington Post wrote about some of their favorite stories–from Juliet Eilperin’s magnificent piece about a tree in Alaska’s Tongass National Forest to Michael Robinson Chavez’s terrifying photographs of Hurricane Ida slamming the Gulf Coast. Our lead story on CCR’s Earth Day PATA is both angry and somber as Bill McKibben is struck by what we haven’t done.
• Disinformation reporting ramped up with the first of a 3-part series from PBS on big oil, a new report on social media companies, and, not surprisingly, rampant corporate climate denial on Earth Day. Much more on CCR’s Greenwashing page and CCR’s PATA…misinformation page.
• Americans are beginning to migrate in the hope of finding more climate friendly homes. The Northeast is where they should be heading, reports CNBC. More on CCR’s Migration page.
• 
They took a poll in Massachusetts and discovered that residents are less concerned about climate change now than they were in 2019; Democrats were more alarmed than Republicans; Latina women considered climate change a more serious issue than any other group; nearly half of the respondents are considering acquiring an electric car, and climate change trailed several other priorities.
• Just in time for Spring, one of our wonderful contributors, Mary Foster Morgan, reminds us of the power of eating locally, wasting little and composting much in her latest blog, Farm Stands Open, Don’t Look Up, Kiss The Ground.

FYI• Our website, Climate Change Resources, has now been live for nine months! Press materials are here. Please forward this newsletter to anyone you feel should know more about climate change with the intention of doing more.
–Lena Tabori, Co-Founder & Publisher The description of each item below is drawn from copy provided in the article or website cited.

NATIONAL NEWS

TikTok, Twitter, and Facebook Are Letting Climate Denial Run Rampant
By Lauren Leffer
Gizmodo, 4/22/2022
Twitter is the worst of the bunch, followed by TikTok. YouTube and Pinterest are a bit better. Fossil fuel companies have known about climate change since 1966, and for almost as long, they’ve been buying TV, radio and newspaper ads trying to make sure you don’t. Decades later, lies about climate change haven’t disappeared; they’ve just gone digital. Almost half of people in the U.S. regularly get their news from social media, according to a 2021 Pew Research Center survey. Those social networks are often chock-full of lies. Social media companies like Facebook have claimed to be combating false information on climate change, but their efforts are inadequate to the challenge, according to a new report by the environmental non-profit groups Friends of the Earth, Avaaz, and Greenpeace USA. In order from best to worst, the report ranked the platforms as follows: Pinterest, YouTube, Facebook, TikTok, and, lastly, Twitter. More here

Greenwashing 101: How to decipher corporate claims about climate
By Douglas MacMillan
The Washington Post, 4/21/2022
Companies are eager to tout their environmental progress on Earth Day. As big businesses face more pressure to act on climate change, corporations have unleashed a tsunami of environmental pledges, net-zero commitments and sustainability certifications, all designed to show they are part of the solution. Here are five tips for investigating whether their claims tell the full story. More here

Biden restores climate safeguards in key environmental law, reversing Trump
By Dino Grandoni and Anna Phillips
The Washington Post, 4/19/2022
The White House on Tuesday announced it has restored key protections to a landmark environmental law governing the construction of pipelines, highways and other projects that President Donald Trump had swept away as part of an effort to cut red tape. The new rule will require federal agencies to scrutinize the climate impacts of major infrastructure projects under the National Environmental Policy Act (NEPA), a 1970 law that required the government to assess the environmental consequences of federal actions, such as approving the construction of oil and gas pipelines. More here

Low-producing oil wells cause 50% of methane emissions
By Carlos Anchondo 
E&E Energy Wire, 4/21/2022
Low-producing oil and gas wells are to blame for roughly half of the methane emitted from all U.S. well sites, despite making up 6% of the country’s total production, according to new research published this week. The study, published in Nature Communications, is the first comprehensive look at low-production well site emissions nationwide, researchers said. The paper found that low-producing or “marginal” wells emit methane at a rate 6 to 12 times higher than the national average — releasing some 4 million metric tons of the potent greenhouse gas a year. “Our research shows that the total methane emitted from the country’s half million low-producing wells has the same impact on the climate every year as 88 coal-fired power plants,” said Mark Omara, a scientist with the Environmental Defense Fund and lead author, in a statement. More here

Natural gas-fired generation peaked in 2020 amid growing renewable energy production
By Ethan Howland
Utility Drive, 4/13/2022
The Institute for Energy Economics and Finance expects wind, solar and hydroelectric generation will make up a third of U.S. power production by 2027, up from about 19% in December, according to its report. “The transition has just started,” Wamsted said. “We do believe that the takeoff is right now.” More here.

STATES

Green infrastructure helps cities with climate change. So why isn’t there more of it?
By Lauren Sommer
NPR, 4/15/2022
Federal agencies are beginning to hand out billions of dollars in infrastructure spending, the largest investment ever made in the country’s water system. Much of it will go to improving pipes, drains and stormwater systems. But some scientists and urban planners are pushing to fund projects that are better adapted to the changing climate. Instead of just gray infrastructure, supporters say the answer is green. Green infrastructure, whether it’s large rain gardens or plants along a street median, has the same purpose as big storm sewers: to manage large amounts of water that can build up during heavy rains. Plants and soil absorb and slow runoff from rainstorms, while a stormwater drain captures water that runs down a street gutter and diverts it underground into pipes. More here

Big fight brewing over California ballot measure to reduce single-use plastics
By Suzanne Rust
Los Angeles Times, 4/17/2022
Oakridge Mall food court overflow with plastic spoons, forks, soft drink cups and takeout food containers. Paper frozen yogurt containers are mashed in with plastic boba tea cups and soda bottles. The same can be seen across California — piles of single-use plastics that can’t easily be recycled, pollute roadsides and waterways and add to the garbage that clogs landfills. In November, Californians may get a chance to shrink that waste. An initiative designed to reduce single-use plastics and polystyrene food containers will be on the ballot, a move by environmentalists to bypass the Legislature, where such measures have repeatedly failed in the face of industry lobbying. The initiative — known as the California Recycling and Plastic Pollution Reduction Act — would require all single-use plastic packaging and food ware used in California to be recyclable, reusable, refillable or compostable by 2030, and single-use plastic production to be reduced by 25% by 2030. More here.

Gas Hikes Prompt New York to Investigate Potential Price Gouging by Oil Companies
By Lauren Leffer
Gizmodo, 4/15/2022
Exxon, Chevron, Shell, and BP, four of the largest petroleum companies, are raking in record profits. Meanwhile, prices at the pump have surpassed the (non-inflation adjusted) highs of 2008. If that dynamic seems fishy to you, you’re in good company. First, U.S. House Democrats and President Joe Biden raised concerns. Now, Letitia James, New York State’s attorney general, is officially suspicious, as well. On Thursday, the attorney general’s office launched a statewide investigation into whether or not the gas industry is engaging in price gouging. The probe was first announced in a CNN reportMore here
 
In Pennsylvania, Ukraine invasion and urgent climate report drive new interest in renewables, efficiency
By Jon Hurdle
WHYY, 4/17/2022
Pennsylvania’s renewables industry may have an opportunity to sell more solar panels or wind turbines as prices of fossil fuel-powered energy spike in response to Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, and warnings of climate chaos intensify, analysts said. With U.S. natural gas prices at their highest in more than a decade, and electricity costs rising in tandem, individuals and businesses are more inclined to seek alternative energy sources that will be less costly and more sustainable, energy industry observers said. More here
 
As Earth’s temperature rises, Massachusetts residents’ sense of urgency on climate change declines
By Sabrina Shankman and Darma Noor
Boston Globe, 4/19/2022
Despite increasingly urgent international warnings and an onslaught of catastrophic wildfires and weather linked to global warming, fewer Massachusetts residents see the climate crisis as a very serious concern than they did three years ago, according to a new poll. It’s not that respondents weren’t aware of the climate threat; a large majority acknowledged that symptoms of the crisis such as increased flooding, extreme heat waves, and more powerful storms are either already happening or very likely within five years, according to the poll, a collaboration of The Boston Globe and The MassINC Polling Group. And more than three quarters called climate change a “very serious” or “serious” concern.” But with a pandemic and war in Ukraine as a backdrop, fewer than half, 48 percent, ranked climate in the highest category of concern, down from 53 percent in 2019, the last time the poll was taken. Less than half said they would vote along climate lines or take steps such as switching their home heat off fossil fuel. More here

Unregulated Texas gas pipeline triggers a huge methane leak
By Aaron Clark and Naureen Malik
Pittsburgh Post Gazette, 4/19/2022
A natural gas pipeline in Texas leaked so much of the super-potent greenhouse gas methane in little more than an hour that by one estimate its climate impact was equivalent to the annual emissions from about 16,000 U.S. cars. The leak came from a 16-inch pipe that’s a tiny part of a vast web of unregulated lines across the U.S., linking production fields and other sites to bigger transmission lines. Although new federal reporting requirements start next month for so-called gathering lines, the incident highlights the massive climate damage even minor parts of the network can inflict. More here
 
New York green lights massive renewable energy projects to cut fossil fuel reliance
By Shirin Ali
The Hill, 4/15/2022
New York state has made a big step in cutting off its reliance on fossil fuels, announcing contracts for projects that will channel clean, renewable solar, wind and hydroelectric power from upstate New York to New York City. Gov. Kathy Hochul (D) announced on Thursday that the State Public Service Commission approved contracts for the Clean Path NY project and the Champlain Hudson Power Express project. Both are expected to reduce the city’s reliance on fossil fuels by more than 50% in 2030, pushing towards the goal of having 70% of the state’s electricity fueled by renewable sources by 2030. New York hopes to have a zero-emission electricity grid by 2040.  Hochul’s office said both projects are expected to deliver $5.8 billion in overall societal benefits statewide and $8.2 billion in economic developments across the state. More here

LEARN MORE

The Next American Migration: What Cities Should Know About Climate Change and Populations on the Move
National League of Cities, 4/22/2022
Climate change is no longer just a problem for future generations – it is here now, with storms, wildfires, droughts and extreme temperatures becoming more prevalent in our cities, towns and villages. As these impacts intensify, more Americans are being forced out of their homes or are voluntarily relocating in advance of catastrophes. With new sources of federal funding now flowing directly to cities, local leaders have a critical opportunity to transform their communities into equitable and resilient places to live. Download the report to learn more. More here
 
The hottest electric vehicles at New York’s auto show have two wheels
By Maria Gallucci
Canary Media, 4/15/2022
A staggering number of electric vehicles are projected to hit roads worldwide this year as automakers launch new plug-in models and drivers ditch their oil-guzzling engines. But another mode of electrified transportation is booming and, in the United States, even outpacing sales of battery-powered cars: bicycles. More here
 
In a comparison of life-cycle emissions, EVs crushed combustion cars
By Prachi Patel
Anthropocene Magazine, 1/13/2022
Electric vehicles have lower tailpipe emissions compared to fossil fuel-burning cars, but they don’t go scot-free when it comes to the environment. Mining the raw materials for batteries is dirty business, and manufacturing and charging them can produce emissions. Those overlooked indirect emissions have led skeptics to argue whether EVs are really as green as touted. New research from Yale University should put those arguments to rest. The study finds that the total indirect emissions from EVs pale in comparison to the indirect emissions from fossil fuel-powered vehicles. And if a carbon price is placed on all the emissions, both direct and indirect, from a vehicle’s full life cycle, EVs become far more attractive to buyers. “The elephant in the room is the supply chain of fossil fuel-powered vehicles, not that of electric vehicles,” says lead researcher. More here

WATCH

‘Truth Has Nothing to Do With Who Wins the Argument’: New Details on Big Oil’s Campaign to Defeat Climate Action
Frontline’s latest documentary, 4/22/2022
Through new documents and exclusive, on-camera interviews, “Denial”, the first episode of The Power of Big Oil, reveals the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to forestall action on climate change and to sow seeds of doubt. Among those efforts was the media campaign spearheaded by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group comprising major fossil fuel companies, trade associations and corporate consumers of fossil fuels. More here

TAKE ACTION – INDIVIDUALS

‘Truth Has Nothing to Do With Who Wins the Argument’: New Details on Big Oil’s Campaign to Defeat Climate Action
Frontline’s latest documentary, 4/22/2022
Through new documents and exclusive, on-camera interviews, “Denial”, the first episode of The Power of Big Oil, reveals the fossil fuel industry’s efforts to forestall action on climate change and to sow seeds of doubt. Among those efforts was the media campaign spearheaded by the Global Climate Coalition (GCC), an industry group comprising major fossil fuel companies, trade associations and corporate consumers of fossil fuels. More here

TAKE ACTION – BUSINESSES

Salesforce Ramps Up Investments in Global Fight Against Climate Change
By Gary E. Frank
Triple Pundit, 4/19/2022
Salesforce is giving a total of $11 million to 12 global nonprofits in the first round of donations from its $100 million Ecosystem Restoration and Global Justice Fund. The donations, which were announced April 12 at the company’s Net Zero Summit, support key programs that have embarked on various strategies to tackle climate change, including ones that enhance natural carbon sinks, protect biodiversity and create green jobs. “We believe that philanthropy can be a powerful tool in fighting climate change,” said Naomi Morenzoni, senior vice president of philanthropy at Salesforce, in a public statement. “Climate change impacts everyone, and it disproportionately affects the world’s most vulnerable communities. Through our philanthropic donations, we aim to support organizations that work with local communities to find meaningful, nature-based climate solutions.” The organizations receiving the funds include American Forests, the Arbor Day Foundation, Conservation International, Fundación Natura, the National Fish and Wildlife Foundation, One Tree Planted, Restor, Save The Bay, the Nature Conservancy, the Ocean Foundation, Wetlands International, and the World Resources Institute. More here

FAQs

Q: Why are we talking about anything but climate change?
 
A: This is a question I ask myself every time scientists release one of their consistently alarming reports on the projected countdown to doomsday. Doomsday being the moment when the ability to lower the atmospheric temperature has slipped from our control. The moment when we puny humans are finally and irrevocably at the mercy of hurricanes, fires, tornadoes, drought, food shortages, rising sea levels and all the socio-political carnage that will accompany same. The moment that, by the latest estimates, is less than 10 years away. So the first thing we need to do is stop using the term “climate change,” which makes the situation seem relatively benign and natural, as if the Earth were entering menopause and all those scientists just want us to know that hot flashes can be expected. The man-made shift they are predicting will cause a large number of humans to regularly die by heat, fire, water, drought and famine. More here.
Find elected officials: https://www.usa.gov/elected-officialsFax legislators for free: Reps:  https://faxzero.com/fax_congress.phpSenate:  https://faxzero.com/fax_senate.php  White House contact:  https://www.usa.gov/federal-agencies/white-house
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Posted in climate change, Environment, Paris Climate Accord, Uncategorized | Tagged | Leave a comment

Heard on Twitter: a plea for Ukraine help!

Olga Chyzh is Assist. Prof. of  Political Sciences in Toronto.

Professor Olga Chyzh @olga_chyzh

Apr 9

Tanya is not a monster (at least not fulltime)—she is a highly educated woman that plays the piano and casually quotes Russian literature in everyday conversations. But if you ask her about the Bucha massacre, she’ll tell you it didn’t happen.

There are millions like her in Moldova, Ukraine, Russia itself, and even in Western countries like Germany, Canada and the US. We call them the “deceived generation,” the last victims of Soviet propaganda.

The break-up of the USSR marked the start of nation-building (actually re-building), pitting Russian minorities against the ethnic majorities. After more than 50 years of repression (think Bucha), the ethnic majorities finally got a say in the politics of their own states.

This nation-building consisted of downplaying or outright rejecting everything Soviet (read Russian) in favor of national (Moldovan, Ukrainian), and the corresponding change in the distribution of power and wealth.

All of a sudden, ethnic Russians who refused to learn the national language, started getting passed over for promotions in favor of those (including ethnic Russians) who spoke the national language.

In Moldova where I lived, everything around me—TV programming, store signs, street signs, and ever street names—changed from Russian to Romanian.

Other changes included an increase in the hours of Romanian (in schools for Russian-speakers, like the one I attended), as well as the content of literature and history classes.

I was a child, so none of this was a big deal. I quickly picked up Romanian, as children do. For the Russian-speaking adults, however, it was not so easy. It is difficult to learn a completely new language as an adult. But the real obstacle was the hubris.

Decades of Soviet propaganda (backed with repression) taught the ethnic Russians about their undeniable superiority over everyone else. Why should they learn some backward language like Romanian or Ukrainian if Russian is the “purest and the most beautiful language”?

How and why should they accept a government made up of non-Russians? And anyway, there was no point in trying, because Russia was going to come back and re-absorb all the former satellites soon enough, setting everything back how it was.

I kid you not, these were the conversations I listened to as a kid in our Russian-speaking circle of friends. More surprisingly, these are the conversations I still hear (even from my own relatives) today, 30 years later.

These people still hope that Russia will come to save them from the “inferior” national majorities AND give them their coveted Russian pension. These people are still waiting for Russia to give back the money they lost (na knijke) when the Soviet Union broke up.

These people did not cause the Russian invasion—contrary to what they think, protecting them is the last thing on Putin’s mind (he doesn’t actually want to pay them pensions). But these people are complicit in the crimes being committed against Ukrainians.

Deep down, they know that the Bucha massacre did happen—they just don’t care, because the victims are “inferior.” Just ask them about Russian crimes in Chechnya. #StandWithUkraine #StopPutin #BuchaMasacre #MariupolMassacre

Please consider using this form letter to ask you Rep/MP for more help for Ukraine:

https://pbs.twimg.com/card_img/1512561388585115658/qNVmfLG8?format=png&name=small

docs.google.com

Form letter—help Ukraine

Dear [Name and title of representative], I have been following the situation in Ukraine closely. Over the past week we have witnessed atrocities against men, women and children on a scale we have not…

Dear [Name and title of representative],

I have been following the situation in Ukraine closely. Over the past week we have witnessed atrocities against men, women and children on a scale we have not seen since World War II. The list of crimes and barbarity multiplies each day as adults and children are tortured, raped, murdered, and their corpses defiled. The words coming from Moscow make it clear they are fully committed to genocide against the Ukrainian people. I am very upset about these horrific crimes, as I am sure you are. It should be obvious that we cannot ask the Ukrainian people to submit to such evil as it would mean their complete destruction.

The key question in all this is what can we do to defeat Russia, push it out of Ukraine, and bring an end to the suffering of innocent people. The most obvious thing we can do is to provide more arms, and equipment, while strengthening economic sanctions. Here is list of weapons that Ukraine needs the most:

1. Long Range Integrated Air Defense Systems (IADS) – The Ukrainians have a few Soviet-era systems that are progressively being destroyed and they need more to form a ground based “no fly zone” without our direct military intervention. We need to facilitate transfer of S300, and Buk air defense systems.

2. Long Range Artillery and Counter Artillery Assets – These are necessary to counterattack against the Russian seized positions inside occupied Ukraine. The Ukrainian military desperately needs 155mm artillery systems with ammunition, 152mm artillery shells, Multiple Launch Rocket Systems (MLRS) Grad, Tornado, Smerch, and M142 HIMARS.

3. Aircraft – While ground based IADs can neutralize the Russian bombers, aircraft will be necessary for close air support of counterattack operations as this is a vital capacity in modern military operations;

4. Anti-Ship Missile (ASM) – The Russian offensive on Odesa and Mariupol rely almost entirely on naval resupply, and disrupting those supply lines will be necessary for the Ukrainian Army to defend its coastal cities; and

5. Modern Western and Soviet Tanks – To help expel Russian forces from the occupied territories, we should provide Ukraine with T-72 tanks in the short term, as Ukrainian soldiers are familiar with these. The medium-term goal should be to move towards German Leopard or US M1 tanks. The sooner we will start training Ukrainian crews to use these, the faster they will be able to free the occupied territories.

6. Armored Personnel Carriers (APCs) – APCs are necessary for Ukraine to maneuver their infantry forces into position and provide heavier fire suppression while these forces employ anti-armor munitions. Armored forces require a mix of Tanks, APCs and light infantry to successfully conduct counter offensives inside Ukraine;

7. Full trade embargo of Russian goods to deprive Russia of the ability to finance its invasion.

These actions are time sensitive with the situation on the ground rapidly evolving. Weapons and sanctions a month from now may be too late. I strongly urge you and your fellow elected officials to act immediately.

Respectfully,

[Name]

[Title]

Posted in ukraine | 2 Comments

Getting into Putin’s mind

Two interesting and excellent analyses:

(1) New Yorker Hour on NPR for 3/11 Stephen Kotkin on Ukraine (20 min – Apple Podcast)

https://podcasts.apple.com/us/podcast/the-new-yorker-radio-hour/id1050430296?i=1000553758866

“It’s impossible to understand the destruction and death that Vladimir Putin is unleashing in Ukraine without understanding his most basic conviction: that the breakup of the Soviet empire was a catastrophe from which Russia has yet to recover. Some experts, including John Mearsheimer, have blamed NATO expansion for the invasion of Ukraine, arguing that it has provoked Vladimir Putin to defend his sphere of influence. Stephen Kotkin, a professor of history and international affairs at Princeton University, and a research scholar at the Hoover Institution, respectfully disagrees. Putin’s aggression is “not some kind of deviation from the historical pattern,” he tells David Remnick. Russia in the nineteenth century looked much as it does today, he says. “It had an autocrat. It had repression. It had militarism. It had suspicion of foreigners and the West.” Kotkin describes how and why the Putin regime has evolved toward despotism, and he speculates that the strategic blunders in invading Ukraine likely resulted from the biases of authoritarian rulers like Putin, and the lack of good information available to them. Kotkin is the author of an authoritative biography of Joseph Stalin, two volumes of which have been published; a third is in the making.” (The New Yorker Radio Hour)

And this one too:

(2) Putin’s Road to War: Julia Ioffe (interview) | PBS FRONTLINE

Mar 9, 2022

“Brilliant analysis of Putin’s current mindset and it’s implications. About 40 minutes well spent.” 

1,333,616 views

Posted in 2022 elections, putin, Russian connection, ukraine, war | 1 Comment

PUTIN’S FOSSIL-FUELED WAR

HOW TO STOP A PETRO-CRIMINAL

Shared below are excerpts from the Climate Action Now weekly enewsletter.  I have been spending a few minutes each day taking “planet-saving actions” on the amazing, easy-to-use, free app Climate Action Now.  Impact to date: “274,418 planet-saving actions taken by our community — up 10,527 from last week!”  And you earn tree plantings too!

PUTIN’S FOSSIL-FUELED WAR

How to Stop a Petro-Criminal

​​While the fossil fool industry and its shills have seized on the Ukrainian crisis to call for ramping up oil, gas and coal production, the rest of the world is beginning to draw a very different conclusion.

As usual, Bill McKibben was one of the first to see that our global addiction to fossil fuels is directly financing Putin’s horrifying war on Ukraine. He entreats President Biden to immediately invoke the Defense Production Act, which he could do without the approval of Congress, to produce millions of heat pumps and send them to Europe in time to dramatically weaken Putin’s oil-based chokehold on the continent.

Last week, Ukrainian leaders sent an open letter to governments around the world calling on them to “reject and ban the importation of Russian oil and gas, and rapidly phase out all fossil fuels in the name of peace.” (Climate Action Now also signed the letter.) “Reliance on coal, oil and gas is the intentional embrace of death, misery, and collapse at a global scale. It is our duty to finally get real about that if we want to have a livable future.”

And next week, according to the New York Times, the leaders of the European Union are expected to announce a proposal to “accelerate the clean energy transition and reduce permanently our dependence on imports of natural gas.”

What all of these people see that the fossil fools can’t see by dint of their self-interest is that getting off fossil fuels is now an urgent matter of national security.

Get. Off. Fossil. Fuels. Now.

CLIMATE ACTION NOW SUCCESS STORIES

A new program in Burlington, Vermont is incentivizing apartment owners to build EV charging stations. If successful, it could provide a national roadmap for providing the 36% of Americans who rent their homes with access to reliable EV charging.

One country really got the message about ditching oil for peace and freedom. This week, in response to the crisis in Ukraine, Germany committed to 100% renewable energy by 2035—a full 15 years ahead of its previous target.


It’s official—a global plastics treaty is coming! UN delegates promised on Wednesday that a treaty addressing the full life cycle of plastics will be signed by 2024.

QUOTE OF THE WEEK
A different tomorrow is feasible. A tomorrow free from Putin and other petro-dictators. A tomorrow free from climate-hostile and war-feeding fossil fuels… Our joint, brighter future demands nothing less.” – Excerpt from Ukrainian activists’ letter to global leaders

The Climate Action Now community is made up of like-minded people committed to fighting climate change. Our Climate Action Now app is the hub of the community and the tool that lets us take, collectively, thousands (someday, millions) of planet-saving actions each and every day.

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WE ARE WITH UKRAINE

Submitted by Bob Brody.

Dear MoveOn members;

Our hearts continue to break for the devastations faced by Ukrainians, even while we’re inspired by the confidence and courage they are showing the world each day in refusing to give in to occupation by a dictator with imperial ambitions.

Vladimir Putin’s destructive choice to launch an unprovoked invasion is backfiring as the global community unites around Ukraine. And every action that we take to live into that solidarity is important. Wherever we are, we can help keep the light of peace and hope alive for the people of Ukraine by showing our solidarity with them in our homes and our communities—and by reaching into our pockets to put food into their hands.

Click here to download a “We Are With Ukraine” image to put in your window or post online.

And then dig deep to donate whatever you can directly to World Central Kitchen, which is serving fresh meals to people forced to flee the invasion, inside Ukraine and in neighboring countries.

Putin might have thought that violently forcing himself upon the people of Ukraine would splinter them along ethnic, linguistic, and religious lines, expand his legacy at home, and result in Ukraine allying with Putin. The exact opposite is happening: He has united Ukrainians against him, inspired a wave of protests in Russia, and unified the global embrace of an independent, democratic, and free Ukraine.1 Rather than conceding to Putin’s demands, the European Parliament has voted to advance Ukraine’s application to join the European Union.2

We’re part of that global outcry. Over 150,000 of us have signed the MoveOn statement in support for the people of Ukraine, just as a crowd of 100,000 reportedly marched in Berlin on Sunday against Putin’s war.3

Solidarity takes many shapes. Our governments have a critical role to play, as the Biden administration has joined with countries from Switzerland to Japan in taking strong economic action against Putin’s government—freezing offshore assets of government cronies, blocking financial transfers, and holding Putin and Russia’s foreign minister accountable. Those steps are crucial, but they aren’t the only avenue for action. Cultural acts of solidarity have come from all sorts of places: From sports leagues, who have moved their games out of Russia in protest of the invasion of Ukraine, to New York’s Metropolitan Opera and the Munich Philharmonic, who cut ties with a conductor and close ally of Putin’s who refused to denounce the invasion, there are many important ways to act against war.4

MoveOn members have donated hundreds of thousands of dollars directly to Ukrainian relief efforts, while also using our collective voice to advocate for a diplomacy-first, peaceful end to this conflict. One more simple way is to display your support for Ukraine’s democracy to your friends and family, or by donating to food relief efforts. 

Print and post a solidarity sign now.

Experts estimated that 7 million people in Ukraine could be displaced by Putin’s war.5 Already, hundreds of thousands of people have flooded across borders to neighboring Poland, Hungary, Romania, and beyond in the dead of winter. World Central Kitchen is responding to the acute need, using their experience in bringing food relief to areas hit by disasters and war to help give people food and hope. We might not be able to go join them, but we can help their work by making a generous donation, small or large, right now.

Donate to World Central Kitchen’s fund for emergency food relief in Ukraine.

Though tanks might have crossed into Ukraine last week, we know that this invasion is not an isolated act of violence. The cluster bombs seen in Ukraine’s second-largest city, widely banned because they are designed to kill civilians indiscriminately, were used on the Syrian people by Russian and Russian-backed forces propping up dictator Bashar al-Assad.6,7 Meanwhile, thousands of conscripted Russian soldiers, many of them young and poor, have lost their lives due to Putin’s senseless aggression.8

Unless we stop Putin from seeing war as a positive choice, we’ll continue to see more death and destruction. So let’s come together now and show solidarity with Ukraine.

Thanks for all you do.

–David, Mana, Amy, Isbah, and the rest of the team

Sources: 

1. “Attack on Ukraine brings rare sight in Russia: Protests in cities against Putin and invasion,” The Washington Post, February 24, 2022

2. “European Parliament Backs Ukraine’s EU Application, But Long Road Ahead,” Newsweek, March 1, 2022

3. “As over 100,000 rally for Ukraine, Germany announces vast defense spending increase that may upend European security policy,” The Washington Post, February 27, 2022

4. “Munich Philharmonic drops star conductor Valery Gergiev over Putin ties,” DW Akademie, March 1, 2022

5. “EU says expects millions of displaced Ukrainians,” Reuters, February 27, 2022

6. “Ukraine’s Kharkiv struck by cluster bombs, experts say,” Reuters, March 1, 2022

7. “What are cluster and vacuum weapons, and how has Russia used them in the past?,” The Washington Post, March 2, 2022

8. “Russian Troop Deaths Expose a Potential Weakness of Putin’s Strategy,” The New York Times, March 2, 2022

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