Monday, May 20, 2024

Who will pay for climate disasters?

NYS map

A suite of environmental bills passed in the state Senate recently to mark last month’s Earth Day. One measure, delivered to the Assembly last week, could result in a multi-million annual grant for the North Country to help with disasters caused by extreme weather.

The money is anticipated under the Climate Superfund Act introduced by Sen. Liz Krueger, D-Manhattan. It would require oil and gas companies to contribute to a fund of $3 billion each year to foot climate disaster bills. The legislation was excluded from this year’s $237 billion state budget.

“New York is facing billions of dollars in climate costs, expenses to be felt by every taxpayer,” Blair Horner, executive director of the New York Public Interest Research Group, said in a release Tuesday.

From 2011 to 2021, New York saw 16 disaster declarations related to extreme weather. Data from the nonprofit Rebuild by Design show the state required $26.3 billion in federal assistance following the disasters.

Flooding is at the top of extreme weather risks in the Adirondacks as precipitation increases with warmer temperatures.

Read more here.

Lake Champlain power cables set to be installed this summer

Installers will begin laying a transmission line this summer across the depths of Lake Champlain in a multi-billion-dollar project to relay Canadian hydropower to New York City, and not everyone is pleased, Zach Matson writes.

Starting in June and working on the lake 24 hours a day until October, the barges and a flotilla of support vessels will inch southward, from the Canadian border to the lake’s southern narrows, dropping nearly 97 miles of cable.

While the project has earned state approval to go forward with lake installation, the owner of the Fort Ticonderoga Ferry is suing to ensure the developer, CHPE, and its contractors do not interfere with his operation, seeking an injunction in Essex County Supreme Court.

Read the story here.

Here are some stories I’m following:

The Nation: News Deserts Are Obscuring the Breadth of Climate Disasters

“As floods, fires, and tornadoes surge, and daily as well as weekly publications collapse, local journalism maintains an all-too-slender lifeline in devastated rural communities like mine.”

Inside Climate News: As Extreme Weather Batters Schools, Students Are Pushing For More Climate Change Education

“In the U.S., students are speaking out to learn more about the source of the climate impacts hitting their schools. But their efforts haven’t always been met with support.”

Grist: Michigan wants fossil fuel companies to pay for climate change damages

“With this litigation, Michigan would join dozens of local, tribal, and state governments that have taken similar steps to try to make the industry pay for climate damage.”

AP: Hot history: Tree rings show that last northern summer was the warmest since year 1

“A study Tuesday in the journal Nature uses a well-established method and record of more than 10,000 tree rings to calculate summertime temperatures for each year since the year 1. No year came even close to last summer’s high heat, said lead author Jan Esper, a climate geographer at the Gutenberg Research College in Germany.”

Watch: Climate poetry at the Wild Center

A group of young Adirondackers wrote and performed a poem centered on climate change at a National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration workshop event. Source: The Wild Center.

YouTube video



This first appeared in Chloe’s weekly “Climate Matters” newsletter. Click here to sign up

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Chloe Bennett is a climate change reporter based in Lake Placid, NY. Originally from North Texas, Chloe has always been drawn to the natural world. In 2022, she graduated from the Craig Newmark Graduate School of Journalism at CUNY where she focused on environmental reporting and audio production. She grew a deep appreciation for the Adirondack Park while interning for the Explorer in the summer of 2022.

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