Katharine Hayhoe: Evangelical Scientist on Climate Change

by Duane Nichols on December 21, 2014

Prof. Hayhoe, Texas Tech

Meet the Evangelical Scientist Who Believes in Climate Change

By Terrence Henry, NPR State Impact TEXAS, April 26, 2014

Texas Tech University — Texas Tech climatologist Katharine Hayhoe was recently selected as one of Time Magazine’s ’100 Most Influential People.’

Yes, you can believe in both God and climate change. Just ask Katharine Hayhoe, Director of the Climate Science Center at Texas Tech, who is well known for her work on the impacts of climate change. She’s also an evangelical Christian, and has become a vocal proponent for doing more to bridge the divide between faith and science.

Hayhoe was recently selected as one of Time Magazine’s ‘100 Most Influential People.’

After receiving the honor, she spoke with KUT’s David Brown, host of the forthcoming daily news show, Texas Standard. Hayhoe learned of her selection via email. “I actually thought the email was spam at first,” Hayhoe tells Brown.

Take a listen to Hayhoe explain how she thinks accepting and acting on the science of climate change is a responsibility for Christians:  SoundCloud Recording

https://soundcloud.com/kutnews/texas-tech-climatologist-among-times-100-most-influential-people

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>>> Professor Hayhoe was a lead author on the recent “Third National Climate Assessment: We’re feeling effects of climate change.”  The report is available online in its entirety at: http://nca2014.globalchange.gov/

>>> See also this Evangelical “Call to Action”:

http://www.npr.org/documents/2006/feb/evangelical/calltoaction.pdf

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The Research Behind the NY State-wide Fracking Ban

by Dee Fulton on December 20, 2014

Soil Contamination & Water Pollution

Research is Reported Behind NY State-wide Fracking Ban

The  ”final supplemental environmental impact statement” (SEIS) incorporating public comments will be published in 2015

From the Article by Nicholas St. Fleur, The Atlantic Monthly, December 18, 2014

The battle over untapped natural gas in New York State appears to have reached its end. Following an extensive public health review of hydraulic fracturing, Governor Andrew Cuomo announced a complete ban on the oil and natural gas harvesting practice in the state on Wednesday.

The 184-page report, conducted by the New York State Department of Health, cites potential environmental impacts and health hazards as reasons for the ban. The research incorporates findings from multiple studies conducted across the country and highlights the following seven concerns:

  • Respiratory health: The report cites the dangers of methane emissions from natural gas drilling in Texas and Pennsylvania, which have been linked to asthma and other breathing issues. Another study found that 39 percent of residents in southern Pennsylvania who lived within one kilometer of a fracking site developed upper-respiratory problems compared with 18 percent of those who lived more than two kilometers away.
  • Drinking water: Shallow methane-migration underground could seep into drinking water, one study found, contaminating wells. Another found brine from deep shale formations in groundwater aquifers. The report also refers to a study of fracking communities in the Appalachian Plateau where they found methane in 82 percent of drinking water samples, and that concentrations of the chemical were six times higher in homes close to natural gas wells. Ethane was 23 times higher in homes close to fracking sites as well.
  • Seismic activity: The report cites studies from Ohio and Oklahoma that explain how fracking can trigger earthquakes. Another found that fracking near Preese Hall in the United Kingdom resulted in a 2.3 magnitude earthquake as well as 1.5 magnitude earthquake.
  • Climate change: Excess methane can be released into the atmosphere, which contributes to global warming. One study predicts that fracking in New York State would contribute between 7 percent and 28 percent of the volatile organic compound emissions, and between 6 percent and 18 percent of nitrogen oxide emissions in the region by 2020.
  • Soil contamination: One analysis of a natural gas site found elevated levels of radioactive waste in the soil, potentially the result of surface spills.
  • The community: The report refers to problems such as noise and odor pollution, citing a case in Pennsylvania where gas harvesting was linked to huge increases in automobile accidents and heavy truck crashes.
  • Health complaints: Residents near active fracking sites reported having symptoms such as nausea, abdominal pain, nosebleeds, and headaches according to studies. A study in rural Colorado which examined 124,842 births between 1996 and 2009 found that those who lived closest to natural gas development sites had a 30 percent increase in congenital heart conditions. The group of births closest to development sites also had a 100-percent increased chance of developing neural tube defects.

In 2008, New York State suspended its fracking activities pending further research into the health, environmental, and economic effects. Since the moratorium six years ago, many different scientific groups have conducted hydraulic fracturing research, as the state’s report reflects.

“I asked myself, ‘would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no.”

Howard Zucker, the acting state health commissioner who helped spearhead the report, addressed the ban with Gov. Cuomo in Albany. “I cannot support high-volume hydraulic fracturing in the great state of New York,” said Zucker, according to The Wall Street Journal. He added, “I asked myself, ‘would I let my family live in a community with fracking? The answer is no,” The Los Angeles Times reported.

But Cuomo and Zucker’s critics were quick to blast the ban, which they say will cost the state millions in jobs and energy. Dean Skelos, the Republican co-leader of the New York State Senate, said the move was shaped by politics, not science. “The decision implies that at least 30 other states, Senator Schumer and the Obama Administration’s Environmental Protection Agency are wrong about the health impacts and do not care about the well-being of millions of American citizens,” he said in a statement. Others have lashed against Zucker’s comments about not letting his family live in a fracking community despite not having children.

Zucker also voiced concern over how little is known about the long-term effects of injecting water and chemicals into the Marcellus shale, the disputed natural gas reserve that has been the subject of debate in New York and elsewhere. The new report, he said, highlights gaps in the current scientific understanding of fracking’s impact on groundwater resources, air quality, radon exposure, noise exposure, traffic, psychosocial stress, and injuries.

“The bottom line is we lack the comprehensive longitudinal studies, and these are either not yet complete or are yet to be initiated,” Zucker said according to The Syracuse Post-Standard. “We don’t have the evidence to prove or disprove the health effects. But the cumulative concerns of what I’ve read gives me reason to pause.”

See also: www.FrackCheckWV.net

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Province of Quebec Continues to Reject Fracking

December 19, 2014

Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard Rejects Shale Gas Exploitation On Fracking Concerns From an Article in the Canadian Press, Huffington Post, December 16, 2014 MONTREAL – Quebec Premier Philippe Couillard says he is not interested in exploiting the province’s shale gas reserves. He tells the CBC’s French-language service that Quebecers are largely against hydraulic fracturing. Couillard [...]

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New York’s Health Department Completes Review of Fracking (HVHF)

December 18, 2014

New York’s Health Department Completes Public Health Review of Marcellus Drilling & Fracking — It is Not Safe! “And for what? For a little bit of money. There’s more to life than a little money, you know. Don’tcha know that? And here ya are, and it’s a beautiful day. Well. I just don’t understand it.” [...]

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Utica Gas Well Blow-out in Ohio River Valley Out of Control

December 17, 2014

Well Head Repair Failed in Monroe County; Repairs Could Take One More Week From the Report by Rachael Dierkes, WTRF News 7, December 17, 2014, 9:49 AM Monroe County Emergency Management released the following update: “Today (Wednesday), access will return to the same schedule as earlier this week. Residents will be allowed limited access to [...]

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To Stop These Pipelines, Bring Local Government into the Fight

December 16, 2014

Linzey: To stop pipeline, force local governments to pick a fight By Thomas Alan Linzey, Roanoke Times, December 14, 2014 Kudos to The Roanoke Times for telling it like it is (“Friendly advice for pipeline opponents,” — Nov. 23 editorial). In a nutshell: The law protects energy corporations, not pipeline opponents. It’s been manufactured that [...]

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Dealing with Pipelines & Protecting your Land

December 15, 2014

Commentary on “Dealing with Pipelines” By S. Thomas Bond, Retired Chemistry Professor and Resident Farmer, Lewis County, WV An article in the Toledo Blade quotes Dale Arnold, director of energy services for the Ohio Farm Bureau Foundation, saying “About 38,000 miles of pipeline are expected to be built or replaced across the state in the next [...]

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Cash In Hand for a Merry FRACKmas from EQT

December 14, 2014

Merry FRACKmas from EQT From the Article by Dory Hippauf, December 12, 2014 Union Township, Washington County, Pennsylvania. Population 5,600. It was the kind of place that some people might have dreamed of raising their children; the kind of place where a photo of a winter’s eve, with snow covered hills might have graced someone’s [...]

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Open Letter and Petition for WV Governor: “No Drilling Under the Ohio River”

December 13, 2014

WV Governor receives petitions, open letter regarding drilling under Ohio River On November 25, Robin Mahonen with the Wheeling Water Warriors mailed 3,820 signatures on a petition concerning drilling under the Ohio River to WV Governor Tomblin. Petition: https://www.change.org/p/randy-c-huffman-no-drilling-under-the-ohio-river Open Letter to: Governor Earl Ray Tomblin, WV State Capitol, 1900 Kanawha Blvd. E., Charleston WV [...]

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Non-Profit Groups Oppose Fracking Activities in the Ohio River Valley

December 12, 2014

Don’t Frack Our Valley — Citizen Groups Concerned About Water Quality in Ohio River Valley Contact: Robin Blakeman, Ohio Valley Environmental Coalition, December 11, 2014 HUNTINGTON, W.Va. — Late in November, representatives of citizen groups from West Virginia and Ohio gathered in Huntington, W.Va., to discuss the growing threats to the Ohio River Basin, which [...]

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