Environmental Policy

Ecologists optimistic about power to change

I often hear that ecologists should stop being so gloomy. After all, the world isn’t coming to an end — the sky is still blue, the grass is still green and the birds are still singing.

Acid rain aftermath: damaged ecology, damaged politics

Since the bad old days of the 1970s and '80s, there has been a whole lot less acid falling on the Northeast. That’s mostly thanks to the 1990 Clean Air Act, which has made a big difference to lakes and streams.

On biomass, EPA should follow the science

In America's Southeastern states, there's a booming energy trend that's as big a step backward as imaginable.

Scientists nationwide call on EPA to create scientifically strong pollution standards for biomass energy

Ninety one researchers from institutions across the country have signed a letter urging the EPA to follow the latest science on climate impacts from Biomass Energy.

NY carbon goals among the most ambitious

For New York to achieve its goals in the Obama administration's plan to reduce carbon emission from power plants, the state will have to do more than cut back on dirty fuel

Capitol Hill briefing: Climate change and infectious disease

Audio
Speakers: Richard Ostfeld and George Luber

Topics covered include the controversy over whether climate change will increase the burden of infectious disease with a focus on malaria and other mosquito-transmitted diseases.

Policymakers briefed on water resources

Cary scientists David Strayer and Emma Rosi-Marshall delivered expert testimony at a May 5, 2013 congressional briefing that highlighted problems with aquatic invasive species and “natural infrastructure” solutions. The briefing took place on Capitol Hill as the U.S. Senate debated the Water Resources Development Act.

Why should we care about one endangered fish?

Podcast

The humpback chub is a rather homely fish that lives only in the Colorado River. It is federally listed as protected under the Endangered Species Act.

You can aid fight against invasives

Nearly every day, we read about problems caused by invaders like the emerald ash borer killing trees across New York, West Nile virus killing people across the United State (1,499 so far), zebra mussels clogging water intakes and changing the Great Lakes and Hudson River ecosystems and Burmese pythons eating everything in the Everglades.

Climate change already playing out in West, report says

A new report says the effects of climate change are already being felt in bug-infested forests of the Intermountain West, in reduced flows of the Colorado River basin and in the amount of snow that falls in the Rocky Mountains.

steward pickett

Pickett touts importance of stewardship and a diverse, collaborative ecological community

When sharing science with diverse publics representing a broad swath of cultural, ethnic, ideological and socioeconomic interests, it certainly helps when those doing the sharing are themselves representative of a diverse cross-section of society.

fracking

Fracking must wait till more is known

I have seldom witnessed an issue as divisive as the extraction of natural gas by hydraulic fracture, better known as fracking.

The Clean Water Act's 40th birthday

Podcast

Just four decades ago Cleveland’s Cuyahoga River was known for its flammability. It, and countless other rivers, streams, and lakes were used as dumping grounds for sewage and commercial waste. 

Council aims to educate on key environmental issues

Over the last 10 weeks, the Dutchess County Environmental Management Council has summarized its State of the Environment Report for Dutchess County.

wappinger creek

Flood mitigation requires care

The Hudson Valley was hit hard by repeated flooding over the past few weeks. Homes, businesses, farms, roads and bridges all were badly damaged by near-record floodwaters.

Pavan Sukhdev

The Green Economy

Lecture Video

Lead author of the report "Towards a Green Economy," Pavan Sukhdev explores how the greening of economies is an engine for growth, a source of employment, and a means of alleviating poverty. 

Birds, people can thank Rachel Carson for 'silent spring'

Rachel Carson wrote "Silent Spring," a warning about the environmental risks being posed by pesticides, 50 years ago. 

air pollution

New rule tackles air pollution

We ecologists take a lot of flack for always having depressing news to report. It's not often we get to say there is good news on the environmental front, but those of us concerned with air pollution have certainly had reasons to smile this summer.

Statement to the NYS Assembly on invasive species

Testimony from freshwater ecologist David Strayer on the negative effects of invasive plants and animals and the critical need for legislation to control the spread of destructive species.

wind energy

Going green boosts economy

Our economic system exists in an unhealthy marriage with fossil fuels — coal, oil, and natural gas.

capitol building

Clean air, water didn't sink economy

Several members of Congress and presidential hopefuls have proposed rolling back the Environmental Protection Agency's authority to regulate with the Clean Air and Clean Water acts as a solution to our woes.

The Building Movement to Tackle Climate Change

Lecture Video

Author, educator, environmentalist, and 350.org founder Bill McKibben has been instrumental in raising awareness about global climate change.

Frances Beinecke

One Year After the Greatest U.S. Oil Spill

Lecture Video

Frances Beinecke explores whether America has taken the steps necessary to prevent another oil spill tragedy.

How to manage stormwater and reduce runoff

The next time you find yourself reaching for your umbrella, take a moment to consider the fate of rainfall after it hits the ground. While some rain is absorbed by natural ground cover, such as fields or forested areas, a high percentage becomes stormwater delivered to our rivers, creeks, ponds and lakes

emissions

Data show ozone turnaround

There was some good news on the environment last week. In the 20-state area that participates in a cap-and-trade program to reduce emissions of nitric oxide (NOx) from power plants, the emissions declined 32 percent from 1997 to 2005.

fracking

State weighs gas drilling rules

On Dec. 11, in the final weeks of his governorship, David Paterson vetoed a six-month moratorium on hydraulic fracturing in New York state.

New inventory provides snapshot of county's natural resources

This month Dutchess County released its 2010 Natural Resource Inventory.

emerald ash borer

Ash tree faces die-off as Asian pest spreads

As you drive around Dutchess County this fall, try to get a look at the dusky yellows and purples of the ash trees, because they won't be around much longer.

hudson river

Land-use plans will benefit region

Thanks to the efforts of committed environmental groups, government organizations and individuals, the Hudson Valley is poised to position itself as a model for melding environmental and economic interests.

Hydraulic fracturing poses risks to us, ecosystems

The issue of hydraulic fracturing to extract natural gas from deep shale deposits has become increasingly difficult to ignore.

A Wild Solution for Climate Change

Lecture Video

Internationally known conservation biologist Dr.Thomas E. Lovejoy explores the impact of climate change on the natural world.

Storms of My Grandchildren

Lecture Video

Dr. James E. Hansen talks about how politicians have failed to connect policy with climate change science and the importance of limiting atmospheric carbon dioxide to 350 parts per million.

Fish out of their own water

Last month's news that the invasive silver carp had crossed the electric barrier in a canal in Chicago ― and were only a short day's swim from invading Lake Michigan ― caused outcries from the outdoor community and tourist industry across the Great Lakes region.

Curbing mercury emissions is crucial

The Mad Hatter in "Alice in Wonderland" plays an important role in the history of occupational health and safety.

Managing watersheds is complex, but critical

In July, Dutchess County celebrated Watershed Awareness Month. Throughout the region, educational activities highlighted the role that watersheds play in protecting the health of freshwater resources

Report traces river's past

As we commemorate the 400th anniversary of Henry Hudson's historic voyage up the Hudson River, it is prudent to learn what we can from the past in order to maintain and improve this irreplaceable natural resource for future generations.

Carbon tax more efficient than cap-and-trade

Capitol Hill is abuzz with excitement over the Waxman-Markey bill, a 932-page document that includes cap-and-trade proposals to reduce carbon dioxide emissions and combat global warming.

Cary Institute president advises Al Gore on climate change

Cary Institute President Bill Schlesinger participated in a roundtable discussion with Former Vice President Al Gore in New York City in mid-January.

Research energy, protect forests, and tax carbon to fight warming

Thankfully, the argument about the reality of global climate change seems finished. The majority of the public now joins the consensus of climate scientists, who have furnished compelling proof that the planet is warming and that humans are at least partly to blame.

Tough times for polar bears

Polar bears are the largest terrestrial predators on Earth, outweighing lions, tigers, and all other bears. They have to be big to catch their major prey - seals and small whales

Proposed shipping rules target invasive species

New York state is taking an essential step to deal with invasive species, one of the most damaging and difficult environmental problems of our time, by proposing to limit the importation of ballast water into the state.

Local scientists aided Nobel-winning panel

Last year, we received certificates that featured attractive artwork, Alfred Nobel's name, and the King of Norway's signature. No, we didn't win the Nobel Peace Prize. But in 2007, our scientific contributions did help Al Gore and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change win theirs.

Policymakers urged to adopt biofuel standards

Cellulose-based biofuels hold promise, but we need to proceed cautiously. 

Acid rain problem lingers

Cary Institute scientists have provided leadership in acid rain research, but acid rain is not limited to our area—it occurs widely across the eastern United States, Europe, China, and other industrialized areas around the world.

Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies | Millbrook, New York 12545 | Tel (845) 677-5343

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