The Pleasantville Examiner: Fracking Debate Highlighted at Pace University Forums | The Examiner News

The Pleasantville Examiner ran a feature story covering two related Earth Month events at Pace. Both events explored a controversial environmental issue – hydro-fracking. The first event, entitled WTF? (What the Frac?), was a neutral debate with energy experts. The second event was a session with community groups decidedly against fracking.

The Pleasantville Examiner ran a feature story covering two related Earth Month events at Pace. Both events explored a controversial environmental issue – hydro-fracking. The first event, entitled WTF? (What the Frac?) organized by the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies, was a neutral debate with energy experts. The second event, organized by Dyson professor Fran Delahanty, was a session with community groups decidedly against fracking.

From The Pleasantville Examiner:

The hot-button issue of vertical hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas in the upstate Marcellus Shale may be stalled in moratorium, but that didn’t stop Pace University from hosting two separate forums on the issue last week.

On April 9, energy and environmental leaders gathered at the Pleasantville and New York City campuses and were linked by video conference to address issues such as the science, economics, regulations, ethics and environmental consequences of the practice.

The following afternoon, fracking opponents listened to a panel of three experts at Pace’s Kessel Student Center in Pleasantville who explored strategies to accelerate the development of alternative energy and to ban fracking. That event was organized by the Pleasantville-based WESPAC Foundation.

The panelists addressed the health and economic impacts of fracking and expressed concern that if the energy industry is allowed to drill upstate it could delay efforts to encourage development of alternative sources.

“Energy independence does not mean substituting Middle East oil for hydro-fracking for natural gas,” said NYU Clinical Associate Professor of Social Sciences Dr. Lisa DiCaprio, one of Tuesday’s three panelists. “It means looking at alternatives to all fossil fuels.”

Panelist Ellen Weininger, education outreach coordinator for Grassroots Environmental Education,  a non-profit organization that reaches out to citizens about the impacts of environmental exposures, said “public health is the single most important issue” and is the reason why fracking should be banned in New York State.

In Pennsylvania, there have been reports that the drilling contaminated wells and deteriorated air quality caused by the sharp increase in truck traffic. Similar problems could happen in upstate communities, Weininger said.

Ecomonist Dr. Jannette Barth said the energy industry has also misled the public about the economic benefits. She said only about 3.7 jobs are created for every $1 million invested by natural gas companies who engage in fracking as opposed to 9.5 and 9.8 jobs, respectively, for wind and solar.

However, Andrew Revkin, the panel moderator on Monday night in Manhattan and who writes The New York Times DotEarth blog, said the biggest challenge in the fracking debate is getting accurate information to the public. He said so far the issue has been debated by interests “on the fringes,” which ignores valid points on both sides.

Revkin said fracking opponents have wrongly stated that the industry is inherently dangerous and can’t be regulated while some natural gas companies have hurt themselves by taking shortcuts and failing to address all safety issues. He maintained, however, that fracking does not have to imperil the environment.

“There’s a clear path ahead on this,” Revkin said. “There’s a way to regulate this.”

Mark Boling, president of V+ Development Solutions at Southwest Energy, said at the Monday forum that it has been difficult in devising effective regulations in the current environment. With air  emissions, for example, the levels are known but there has been no agreement regarding acceptable levels, he said.

Assemblyman Robert Castelli (R-Goldens Bridge), who attended the WESPAC forum, said there are still too many unknowns regarding the impacts on health and the environment for him to support lifting the ongoing moratorium. He said more research is needed before he would feel safe voting for fracking.

“As far as the moratorium is concerned, I’m quite happy that that moratorium remains in place,” Castelli said. “It can remain in place forever as far as I’m concerned. I’m not naive but certainly it will be dealt with. We still need to study a bit more.”

Dr. Frances Delahanty, who is currently teaching an “Introduction to Peace and Justice” at Pace and helped organize last Tuesday’s event, said there is nothing to convince her yet that fracking can be properly regulated.

“The state is cutting back on regulators and personnel and there are very few regulators and, of course, once (fracking) happens you can’t undo it,” she said.

Fracking Debate Highlighted at Pace University Forums | The Examiner News.

View the pdf of the paper here with the article on page 3.

NPR: New NOAA data shows more than 15,000 weather records set in March

Andrew Revkin, senior fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies at Pace, said on NPR’s The Takeaway that this year’s record temperatures are an indication of what to expect in the future. (Left: A giant umbrella keeps a few fans in the shade as temperatures hit 90 degrees during an MLB spring training baseball game between in Peoria, Ariz., on March 31, 2012. Photo by Darryl Webb/Reuters.)

Andrew Revkin, senior fellow at the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies at Pace University, said on NPR’s The Takeaway that this year’s record temperatures are an indication of what to expect in the future.

“Expect more of the same as the climate warms. But, on a year-to-year basis, don’t confuse climate with weather,” he said. “When you look globally, keep in mind that the other side of the Northern Hemisphere has some really harsh cold conditions this winter.”

The positioning of the jet stream has led to much of the fluctuation between usually similar climates this year.

“When you look at the global conditions, you do see this trend, that we’re warming. The climate is warming,” Revkin said.

via New NOAA data shows more than 15,000 weather records set in March | PRI.ORG.

“The Takeaway” is a national morning news program, a co-production of WNYC and PRI, in editorial collaboration with the BBC, The New York Times Radio, and WGBH Radio Boston.

Revkin writes the New York Times’ DotEarth blog. Here is his post on this:

http://dotearth.blogs.nytimes.com/2012/04/08/a-fresh-look-at-how-humans-are-loading-climate-dice/

Revkin also wrote about an objective forum on hydro-fracking put together by the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies in this DotEarth post.

MEDIA ADVISORY: Opening of First Solar Classroom at Pace University April 19

Pace University’s first solar classroom will officially open April 19 thanks to a $15,000 grant from Con Edison. A ceremony will take place at the site of the newly retrofitted classroom, Pace’s popular Environmental Center, on Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Pace Pleasantville campus, 861 Bedford Road, entrance 3.

OPENING OF FIRST SOLAR CLASSROOM AT PACE UNIVERSITY APRIL 19

Made possible through Con Edison grant

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, April 5, 2012 – Pace University’s first solar classroom will officially open April 19 thanks to a $15,000 grant from Con Edison.

A ceremony will take place at the site of the newly retrofitted classroom, Pace’s popular Environmental Center, on Thursday, April 19, 2012, 2:00 p.m. – 4:00 p.m., Pace Pleasantville campus, 861 Bedford Road, entrance 3.

The funding from Con Edison allowed Pace to convert a building on its Pleasantville campus into a solar powered classroom. Solar panels were added to the roof of the cottage that charge batteries and provide electrical power to the classroom. A Pace student, an Environmental Studies major, designed the conversion.

Around 300-400 Pace students, high school students, and visitors currently use the classroom annually, with more expected in coming years. The classroom will serve as a real-life model that shows solar power as a viable alternative to fossil fuels, complementing environmental science curriculum at Pace.

The building, an historic, renovated cottage, is part of the University’s Environmental Center, a focal point for environmental education on campus, which also draws visitors from across Westchester.

The Environmental Center at Pace was founded in 1971, constructed around the remnants of an old farm. The farmhouse, nearly 250 years old, now houses office and classroom space, a small research library, and the Marty McGuire Museum with animal exhibit spaces used in educational programs.

The Center promotes environmental education and supports academic programs, including the biology and health sciences, environmental studies, the environmental science graduate program, Pace’s School of Education, and the Pace Academy for Applied Environmental Studies. The Center is a hub for student projects and community outreach, including annual Earth Month events at Pace.

About Pace University

 For 105 years Pace has produced thinking professionals by providing high quality education for the professions on a firm base of liberal learning amid the advantages of the New York metropolitan area. A private university, Pace has campuses in New York City and Westchester County, New York, enrolling nearly 13,000 students in bachelor’s, master’s, and doctoral programs in its Lubin School of Business, Dyson College of Arts and Sciences, College of Health Professions, School of Education, School of Law, and Seidenberg School of Computer Science and Information Systems. www.pace.edu

Contact: Cara Cea, ccea@pace.edu, 914-906-9680

 

NEWS RELEASE: 10th Annual Earth Month at Pace

April is Earth Month at Pace, and a variety of environmental –related events are
scheduled to promote awareness and action, covering important topics from recycling to conservation to nature lore.

PACE UNIVERSITY’S 10TH ANNUAL EARTH MONTH EVENTS INCLUDE WILDLIFE AND LECTURES ON “HOT” ENVIRONMENTAL TOPICS

Sponsored by Pace’s Environmental Center
and N.A.T.U.R.E. (the Pace student environmental club)

PLEASANTVILLE, NY, April 2, 2012 – April is Earth Month at Pace, and a variety of environmental –related events are
scheduled to promote awareness and action, covering important topics from recycling to conservation to nature lore.

Events will take place on Pace’s Pleasantville campus, 861 Bedford Rd.

The following events are scheduled for Earth Month:

Monday, April 2, Earth Charter: University Prof. Nicholas Robinson will speak about the history and significance of
the Earth Charter. Entrance 2, Lienhard Hall room 20, 10:00am  11:00am.

Wednesday, April 4 “Evergreen Poems”:  Celebrate the Earth with poet Ira Jo Fisher
as he reads nature poetry. Environmental
Center, 12:30pm-1:30pm.

 

Thursday,
April 5
“Climate Change and
Capitalism
”:
Prof. Gus Karam will discuss a paradigm shift for climate change.
Environmental Center, 2:00-3:00pm.

 

Monday,
April 9 “Live Simplified”
:
Prof. Angelo Spillo, director of Pace’s environmental center, will offer
some simple things we can do to reduce our “footprint.” Environmental Center  10:00am-11:00am.

 

Tuesday,
April 10
Hudson River Painters
Presentation:
 Slide presentation of Hudson River paintings with
Prof. Mark Cassata. Entrance 3, Kessel Student Center, Butcher Suite, 10:00am-11:00am.

 

Tuesday,
April 10

“Don’t Frack with Our Water”:  Ideas to ban hydraulic fracturing in NY for safe,
renewable energy. Panel led by Professor Delahanty, Butcher Suite, 12:20-2:30.

 

Wednesday, April
11 Environmental Center Open House:

Center’s museum will be open to show its wildlife exhibits. Refreshments
will be served. Environmental Center, 10:00am-3:30pm

 

Wednesday,
April 11 “
What is Alienation from Nature?”: Discussion led by visiting scholar and philosophy professor
Prof. Steve Vogel. Kessel Student
Center,
Gottesman
room, 12:30-1:30pm

 

Thursday,
April 12 Spring Nature Walk:
Nature walk with environmental
center Assisntat Director James Eyring to discover signs of spring!  Leaving from the Environmental Center, 11:00am-12:00pm.

Thursday,
April 12
“How Many is too Many
People?

Documentary and discussion with Prof. Gus Karam about the size of the human
population and the environmental implications. Kessel Student Center, Gottesman
room.  12:30-2:00pm

 

Saturday,
April 14
  E–Waste Collection: Environmental Club (N.A.T.U.R.E.) fundraiser
collecting old electronics to be recycled.  General public can bring electronics to be
recycled. Vineyard, 901 Bedford Road, next to entrance 1, 10:00am-2:00pm.

 

Monday,
April 16 Tree Planting:
  Environmental
science students will promote conservation of timber resources and invite all
to help plant a tree. Kessel Student Center Patio, 10:00am-11:00am.

 

Tuesday,
April 17 “Get Fit with Nature”:
Enjoy
a refreshing campus hike in the woods on campus. Free refreshments at the end. Leaves
from the Environmental Center, 11:30am-12:30pm.

 

Tuesday,
April 17 Student Photo Show:
Students will display their
best nature photography from April 18-26.
Setter’s Lounge, Kessel Student Center.

 

Thursday,
April 19
“Wild World of Animals”:  Bring the kids! The Pace Environmental Club (N.A.T.U.R.E.)
is sponsoring a guest presentation with exotic wildlife. Kessel Student Center,
5:00pm-6:00pm.

 

Friday,
April 20 “RIO+20”:
A simulation on sustainable development. Professor Greg
Julian, 9:00am-1:00pm.

 

Monday,
April 23 Interpretive Campus Walk:
Guided walk around campus to
learn about nature. Leaving from the Environmental Center, 10:00am-11:00am.

 

Tuesday,
April 24
“Bee Aware!” Presentation
about the reasons and implications of losing millions of honeybees annually. Environmental
Center, 1:30-2:15pm.

 

Wednesday,
April 25
  Birds of Prey Presentation:  A
presentation of live falcons, hawks and owls with Master Falconer and Assistant
Director of the Environmental Center James Eyring. Bring the kids! Environmental
Center, 6:30-7:30pm.

 

 

For details and descriptions of all programs, go to: www.pace.edu/dyson/earthmonth

 

To
register for an event, please contact Betty at 914-773-3789 or bsclocco@pace.edu

 

 

For more information contact Angelo Spillo at aspillo@pace.edu or 914-773-3530.

 

The Journal News: Bike Lanes Part of Tappan Zee Bridge Bidding Plan

Karl Coplan, co-director of the Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic, is one commuter who would use the path.

The Journal News ran a story on a potential bike path for the new Tappan Zee Bridge and a Pace employee who might use it.

From The Journal News:

Whatever happens with the Tappan Zee Bridge replacement, it seems there will be a new way to get to work for some of its crossers.

Bicycle.

The Request for Proposal issued Friday requires the teams bidding to build the bridge to include a 12-foot-wide path for walking and bicycling.

That opportunity isn’t likely to quiet the debate over the bridge, which is raging at its hottest as  Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration presses on toward a construction start this year.

Many of those who would most welcome a bike path — advocates for alternatives to driving — are also those who are unhappy that the bridge won’t come with a new mass transit system.

But it would be an amenity many would enjoy. Certainly, for recreational use — say, a bike trip to Piermont from Westchester — it’s a natural.

And it would present an opportunity to advance commuting by pedal power. At least for some.

The bridge itself would be about 3 miles long, so the best opportunities to use it for a ride to work would be those areas not too far from the bridge.

The typical bike commute is 5 miles or less, said Darren Flusche, policy director with the League of American Bicyclists in Washington, D.C.

But there are hardier cyclers. Some will pedal as far as 20 or 25 miles each way, said David Wilson, executive director of the Bike Walk Alliance of Westchester and Putnam.

Karl Coplan, co-director of the Pace University Environmental Litigation Clinic, is one commuter who would use the path. The Rockland resident’s commute now is often a complicated trek, riding a bike to a boat club in Nyack, paddling a kayak across the Hudson River to another boat club in Tarrytown, where he picks up a second bike for the 8-mile ride to the college’s White Plains campus.

Read the rest of the article at lohud.com.

The Journal News/Lohud.com: Region Can be Ready for Smart Planning

Pace Law Professor John Nolon argues that a new Tappan Zee Bridge offers opportunities for smart, transit-oriented development, via state support and assistance from the Mid-Hudson Regional Economic Development Council.

An Op-ed by law professor John Nolon was published by The Journal News.

From the article:

The Journal News has done the region a great service through its recent reports and editorials on the need for detailed, comprehensive planning at the local level. This is the antidote for ill-considered and isolated land-use decisions, particularly those that harm wetlands and watersheds,  increase flooding and promote wasteful sprawl. But detailed, informed comprehensive plans are expensive, particularly if they  guide development decisions for individual parcels.

Local governments could  do such planning 40 years ago under a federal program that provided  significant funding. They were motivated to plan because they became more competitive for other federal programs. Comprehensive planning came of age and developed an excellent reputation  because of the federal funds provided. Most states do not provide comprehensive planning grants to  towns, cities and villages. Localities are “encouraged, but not required” to have comprehensive plans under state law, which adds that land-use planning and regulation “is one of the most important functions of local government.” New York has provided some help to good effect, notably in local waterfront areas, but there has  been no consistent, well-funded commitment to furthering comprehensive planning. The 2 percent tax-levy cap makes local governments unlikely to appropriate the funds to cover the  costs of needed land-use plans.

Tappan Zee key

It would be  easy for the state to provide localities the help they need, especially in the Lower Hudson Valley. There is nearly unanimous sentiment that the Tappan Zee Bridge should include transit now or in the near future. For transit — bus or commuter rail — to function efficiently, regional transportation planning and local land-use planning must connect. Bus and train station neighborhoods need to be planned carefully, then land-use regulations must be adopted to implement those plans. These are local prerogatives. The size and density of development around transit stations depend on the intensity of the ridership projected, and many of these transit station areas can be hubs for retail, office and residential development: the kind that adds  to the tax revenue of the local governments and that makes transit systems feasible. For  neighborhoods to absorb this additional density, transit station areas must be  well designed, fitted into the regional network, traffic must be  managed, parking provided and lively and livable places created. These  issues  occupy regional transportation agencies and their planners. Such fine-grained planning carries a cost, but it has been done in many neighborhoods nationwide that support transit-oriented development . A modest percentage of the capital costs of a huge project like the Tappan Zee Bridge would cover the costs of cogent, comprehensive and coordinated land-use and transportation planning.

Read the rest of the article at lohud.com.

The writer is counsel, Pace University School of Law Land Use Law Center; and director, Kheel Center on the Resolution of Environmental Interest Disputes.

WOR: John Gambling interviews professor Chris Williams of the one-year anniversary of the Fukushima disaster

Fresh off a trip to Japan to survey the Fukishima nuclear power plant, Dyson Professor Chris Williams told WOR’s John Gambling in an eight minute radio interview how the country has a changed a year after the powerful Earthquake.

Fresh off a trip to Japan to survey the Fukishima nuclear power plant, Dyson Professor Chris Williams told WOR’s John Gambling in an eight minute radio interview how the country has a changed a year after the powerful Earthquake.

Williams, an environmental activist and professor of physics and chemistry, gave a lecture on the topic at Pace.

Hear the entire interview here.

http://wor710.com/topic/play_window.php?audioType=Episode&audioId=5726433

The Daily Pleasantville: Ophelia Flees the Coop, Flies Around Pleasantville

The Daily Pleasantville got wind of a resident falcon who briefly flew the coop before returning safely home to Pace.

Wild days in Pleasantville! The Daily Pleasantville got wind of a resident falcon who briefly flew the coop before returning safely home to Pace.

From the article:

“Recently it was a mountain lion, or maybe a bobcat, that roamed around Pleasantville. This time residents may have seen a slightly less threatening animal around the village, as a female falcon by the name of Ophelia briefly escaped from Pace University’s Pleasantville campus earlier this week.

“They’re wild animal and she’s a young falcon and she went out exploring,” said James Eyring, care keeper for Ophelia and assistant director of Pace University’s Environmental Center.”

Read the full story at The Daily Pleasantville.

White Plains Patch: Pace Professor Publishes Newest CD ‘Earthdance Anthology’

Pace professor Evan Pritchard and his native American music were featured in the White Plains Patch.

Pace environmental studies professor Evan Pritchard has published his latest CD, a 12-track collection entitled ‘Earthdance Anthology’. Pritchard and his music were featured in the White Plains Patch.

From the article:

“Evan Pritchard’s second grade teacher asked whether he wanted to be a fireman, policeman or a doctor when he grew up—his answer: a Renaissance man.

Though the teacher told the now 56-year-old Pace University professor that this was no longer possible—he simply told her it was, and he would prove it.

“I continue to be interested in a whole lot of things and how they fit together,” said Pritchard, who has taught at both the Pleasantville and White Plains campuses.

“I knew that’s what I wanted to do—look at the whole picture.”

In addition to being a professor of Native American studies, world religion and philosophy—Pritchard, who has Mi’kmaq Native American and Celtic blood, is a musician, composer, poet, author and artist.”

The Poughkeepsie resident’s latest work—a 12-track album titled “ Earthdance Anthology,” recorded at Robert Jackson AIF Music Productions’ studio in Mamaroneck, combines all of these talents.

For video, additional photos, and to read the full article, click here.

The New York Times: A Chat With RealClimate Blogger Gavin Schmidt

Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding, Andrew Revkin, wrote a New York Times Dot Earth blog post that highlights what his environmental science graduate students are doing at Pace.

Senior Fellow for Environmental Understanding at Pace, Andrew Revkin, wrote a New York Times Dot Earth blog post that highlights what Pace environmental science graduate students are doing.

From the article:

“I’m in the second year of co-teaching a Pace University course helping environmental science graduate students develop the ability to communicate their work and avoid the pitfalls that come in a field that is often at the center of policy disputes. (You might have seen scientists at the center of a few such disputes of late.)

The students write letters to the editor and op-ed-style articles. They learn to use Twitter (the course hashtag is #PaceEnv) and blogs both for outreach and as learning and network-building tools. They become comfortable giving public presentations. And they hear from an array of guests, often via Skype, who recount what they’ve learned as public scientists.

Last year, after the CNN host Nancy Grace debated the meteorologist Bernie Rayno on air, insisting he was wrong in saying there was no chance that Japan’s nuclear crisis posed any radiation danger in the United States (he was right), Rayno “visited” us to describe the experience and the methods he uses to maintain composure and cogency in such situations.

In our latest session, we had a chat with Gavin Schmidt, who for 15 years has been a climate researcher at NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies and, in 2004, spearheaded the launch of Realclimate.org. The blog has become a vital online touchstone for anyone eager to assess what’s known and yet to learn about greenhouse-driven climate change.”

For video and to read the full article, click here.