A letter from Ashley: I am mobilizing (19 yo Riverhead student)

My name is Ashley Ambrocio. I am a member of Drawdown East End and Riverhead EAC (Environmental Advisory Committee).

When I learned of the magnitude of the climate crisis, I decided that I will not sit and watch.

When people hear about the negatives on this topic, they often cocoon or ignore it, because it seems like a problem to big too solve. It’s not “their problem”. I could not be one of these people because I do not have the luxury of not being affected by this crisis.

I have dreams and aspirations, things that, when I am older, I would like to say that I did during my life. Greta Thunberg once said “That she was fortunate to be born in a time and place where everyone told us to dream big; she could become whatever she wanted to. She could live wherever she wanted to. People like herself, had everything they needed and more. Things their grandparents could not even dream of. They had everything they could ever wish for and yet, now, we may have nothing” This is a reality all too real for those that are millennials or younger.

Many young people are becoming aware of this crisis and are taking action in the form of the Extinction Rebellion, Sunrise Movement, and many more. I am mobilizing with these kids because we want to ensure that we have a safe and happy future to complete these goals that we all have.  Although we are not the ones who caused the problem, we are very determined to fix it. But we need allies. We need those who have been alive to see this crisis unfold, to help us to ensure that my children and my grandchildren have the opportunity of a future. There are solutions that involve individual action, collective action and moving governmental policy.  

What I ask is to find that passion and curiosity, to lend some of your time and energy, and to join a group like Drawdown East End or Win With Wind and help solve the crisis.

We aren’t winning against this challenge. We need to see that this is the time to act. We need to seize the opportunity and turn climate change around. We need to help the younger generations that are inheriting this crisis and the generations that will come after us. We need to give them a stable, safe, and thriving world.   

South Fork Wind Farm

Offshore wind farm
From https://www.flickr.com/photos/thomsonecology/15079751399/

Submitted by Alice Tepper Marlin. (letter to the editor of the EH Star, July 2019)

The wind farm proposed to be sited out of sight, 35 miles off our shores, can make a significant contribution to slowing the climate change that so threatens our beautiful seaside community and all life on our precious, unique planet. It is crucial to our town commitment to be powered 100% by renewables by 2030.

To my consternation, opposition is being skillfully fomented by a few individuals who, for various self-interested reasons, loudly promote misinformation and even disinformation about the project and the company behind it, sowing unwarranted fear and distrust.

The brouhaha is over the onshore route of the transmission line carrying the wind-generated electricity from the turbines to the East Hampton substation. The entire line will be under ground. I have seen the equivalent on Block Island, and it is hardly noticeable. All you can see are occasional manhole covers.

Yes, there would be a few months of wintertime construction for installation, but the route from Wainscott is only four miles long and half of it is in the railroad corridor. So this disruption is in no way a big deal. Just a few months ago, ten miles of water main were installed in Wainscott, and not a peep was heard to challenge it.

What about Orsted? Orsted is a Danish renewable energy company and a global leader in offshore wind. Its new partner, Eversource, is a premier transmission builder with 100 years of experience providing energy in the Northeast. Orsted supplies over 25% of the world’s wind energy capacity. It has experience successfully building thousands of offshore turbines in Europe. Fishermen in England, The Netherlands, and France report positively, they say that the fish love these artificial reefs. If these were oil rigs, there would be not only climate damage but also occasional spills killing thousands of marine animals. What harm can we even imagine from a wind spill? In 2018, Orsted won aN award for the most socially responsible companies in the world.

Independent of East Hampton’s decisions, there will be two dozen government reviews before construction can begin. These will provide detailed environmental and other reviews at a technical level above and beyond what one might reasonably expect at the local level. Numerous top environmental groups are participating in the process. In addition, East Hampton has the right to submit all our questions and concerns in these processes. The town Board has already filed a submission.

The South Fork Wind Farm will be able to generate enough power for 70,000 South fork homes.

Our region has the fastest growth rate for electricity use on Long Island. Forecasts indicate that that all the electricity generated by the South Fork wind farm will be required in our local region But even if that proves not to be the case, what portion serves homes and businesses here and what portion serves homes elsewhere matters not a bit to its lessening of global warming and of the acidification of our waters. Acidification from burning fossil fuels has already been a factor in driving the lobsters north and harms all life in the ocean.

We as citizens have a duty not only to our local community but also to the nation.

Let’s think globally and act locally: let our Trustees and Board members know that you want to be counted and will welcome the wind farm.

Alice Tepper Marlin

Climate Change: Youth Activists

Youth climate activist movement in the USA: Greta Thunberg’s reach is vast. Check out Greta’s story here.

The youth shall inherit the earth…and they plan to take care of it. The growing youth activist movement has continued to expand across the world, and politicians are taking notice.

Coming up in EAST HAMPTON, NY, is this event:

https://www.guildhall.org/events/hamptons-institute/

  • Talk
  • Monday, August 5 7PM $25-$55 ($23-$50 Members) per evening for panel only | Special Tickets $500 per evening includes premium seating and post-performance reception with panelists

Eligible for Student Rush Tickets

Purchase tickets at the Box Office; 631-324-4050; or Theatermania.com at 1-866-811-4111 158 Main Street
East Hampton, NY 11937 United States Buy Tickets

Produced by Tracy Marshall and Sheraton Kalouria

Panelists:
Dr. Michael Mann, Director of the Earth System Science Center, Penn State University
Alexandria Villasenor, a Co-founder of US Youth Climate Strike and founder of Earth Uprising
Gordian Raacke, Executive Director of Renewable Energy Long Island

Our panel will address the latest science and focus on the young people around the globe that are taking action and impacting change.

Warmer Air, Heavier Rain, More Flooding

David Leonhardt writes in the NY Times about flooding in Grafton, Ill., a small town along the Mississippi River. Because of a bridge closure, the only other way for the vil­lage’s 1,000-plus res­i­dents is to the north via tens of miles of wind­ing, poorly paved coun­try roads that are barely wide enough to al­low a ve­hi­cle go­ing in each di­rec­tion,” The Wall Street Journal’s Erin Ailworth wrote recently. “A 20-minute drive to a gro­cery store now takes a few hours…”

It rained “heavily” all day long in East Hampton NY, on Thursday June 13th. One inch of rainfall according to https://www.localconditions.com/weather-east-hampton-new-york/11937/past.php The winds were out of the NE at about 10-20 mph. Nothing unusual, right?

I decided to take a drive down Gerard Drive. It is arguably one of the most sensitive areas to flooding and East Hampton Town has just completed an expensive fortification of the road to prevent ‘noreaster’ storms from crashing over the road in to Accabonac bay.

The road was passable with large puddles. About 50% of the private drive-ways were flooded.

Then I visited the cross section of Springs Fireplace Rd. and Gardiners Avenue, just by Springs Auto (Edgar’s place). This place usually gets flooded with every storm, at least in recent memory. No surprise:

This kind of flooding was rare 30-40 years ago when I first moved to East Hampton. Perhaps only with a hurricane? Now it seems more common.

To test this I tabulated historic data going back to 2000: a) total precipitation in inches for 6 months (January to June), b) average temperatures measured daily for the same 6 months (January to June). The linear trendlines computed by Excel over the 20 year period, show a slight increase of about 1 degree in average temperature and an increase of about 1 inch of rain per 6 months. Online source of data.

Inches of rain for 6 month period (blue) and average temperature for same 6 month period (red). Measurements are from Westerly State Airport, Rhode Island, about 15 miles north of Montauk.

Warmer air carries more humidity and this leads to heavier rainfall and flooding. It is happening locally and it is a clear and present danger.

Clean energy is one major way we can fight this trend.

From Kate Mueth on June 25th after a few hours of rain fall:

Why all the fuss?

This is a cross section (a real piece) of the existing Block Island cable for their wind farm, consisting of 5 wind turbines that produce all the energy for the island with surplus energy for the state of Rhode Island. It is on my kitchen table. It measures 7 inches in diameter. It is similar to the cable that will bring energy from the South Fork Wind farm ashore.

“Carbon-free New York by 2040” is the overriding goal. Period.

If the urgency of achieving this goal is not apparent to any readers, just look at the most recent local news: “Higher tides force Shelter Island Ferry to rebuild ramps” This is a very real cost of sea level rise here on the South Fork! Check it out via Newsday.com.

And this is just the beginning.

On the other side of the issue we have loud opponents of the South Fork wind farm:

1) wealthy homeowners, with mansions on the Wainscott beach, who oppose any cable coming ashore in their vicinity, clearly a case of NIMBY

2) fishermen that have been whipped up with scare tactics.  I note that there are only 2 commercial fishing boats out of Montauk that fish in the Southfork wind farm area (OCS-A 0486, near Cox Ledge) which is closer to Rhode Island and Martha’s Vineyard than to Montauk.  From Montauk it takes 5 hours to get there by boat and 5 hours back.

For all those worried about a disruptive cable running under the sea bed and coming ashore somewhere, I would point out that a larger electric cable already feeds power in to Long Island coming all the way from New Jersey.  This dates back to 2007!  Like a giant extension cord, this transmission cable, named Neptune, stretches 50 miles underwater from Sayreville, N.J., comes ashore at Jones beach and has been plugged into Long Island for all these years without any nefarious effects on, or off shore. It is a 10″ cable and provides 660 megawatts.  

Likewise LIPA imports power from New England on the 330-megawatt Cross Sound Cable, which runs underwater from Connecticut. Two older cables, the 600-megawatt Y49 cable and the 599-megawatt Y50 cable, also run under the Sound to the Island.

Initial concerns about the effects on the shell fish industry were apparently not a problem over all these years.

Read more here:

Climate Change & Food Supply

The New York Times has documented the loss of important crops (coffee!) in Central America due primarily to Climate Change. This is an economic disaster for farmers and their families many of whom are joining a mass migration north. Climate Change, which destroys crops on farms that were already marginal, is a major contributor to refugee desperation around the globe. The world could see over 1 billion climate migrants by the end of this century.” (The Lancet Countdown Report. October 2017). A Warming World Creates Desperate People.

Farms in the USA are also in trouble. “Farming is no different than gambling,” said Sarah Frey, whose collection of farms throughout the South and the Midwest grows much of the nation’s crop of watermelons and pumpkins. “You’re putting thousands if not millions of dollars into the earth and hoping nothing catastrophic happens, but it’s so much more of a gamble now. You have all of these consequences that farmers weren’t expecting.“From Apples to Popcorn, Climate Change Is Altering the Foods America Grows”

10 everyday foods in trouble:

  1. Tart cherries (Michigan) – under attack from spotted wing Drosophila, an invasive fruit fly
  2. Organic raspberries (New York) – spotted wing Drosophila
  3. Watermelons (Florida) – restrictive immigration policies could mean not enough workers from Mexico to work the fields
  4. Chickpeas (Montana) – tariffs
  5. Wild Blueberries (Maine) – erratic frosts and drought
  6. Organic Heirloom Popcorn (Iowa) – flooding
  7. Peaches (Georgia and South Carolina) – warm winters causing decreased crop
  8. Organic Apples (Washington) – fire blight, sunburn
  9. Golden Kiwi Fruit (Texas) – erratic freezes
  10. Artichokes (California) – warmer weather, improved conditions for pests like the artichoke plume moth

Judith Hope and David Posnett

Please Connect With Us

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Our electricity currently comes from a mix of sources: Aging fossil fuel plants on Long Island, imported energy from “dirty” plants in neighboring regions and states,
and small local peaker plants in East Hampton and Southampton. These sources all contribute to air pollution and the Climate Crisis, and are subject to volatile “rate shock”. Doesn’t it make sense to begin the move to clean, renewable Offshore Wind Energy?

PLEASE CONNECT WITH US.
WE WOULD LOVE TO HEAR FROM YOU.

You can reach WIN WITH WIND
by email: weneedwindenergy@gmail.com
On Facebook: winwithwind
Web: www.winwithwind.org

on this blog: winwithwind.blog

Coming together is a beginning; keeping together is progress; working together is
success.”
Edward Everett Hale