Author: Bob Plaskon

Climate Change in New England

Our April Deep Dialogue featured a presentation and Q&A with guest speaker Dr. Stephen Young, professor of remote sensing and environmental sustainability at Salem State University. Dr Young focused on his recent publication “Overall warming with reduced seasonality: temperature change in New England, USA, 1900 – 2020”, and discussed the current and impending effects of continued warming in New England. His presentation included photographs of climate change impacts on the North Shore. ...
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ECA Mass chapter meeting – 4/12/22 – Green Heating and Cooling for Your Home, Legislative update

Did you know heating and hot water for buildings in Massachusetts are responsible for over 25% of statewide greenhouse gas emissions and for a typical home, heating and hot water represent 75% of total energy use?  This is the major challenge we face in achieving net zero emissions by 2050 as well as a 50% emissions reduction by 2030. At our chapter meeting we heard from Bob Zogg, a founder of the HeatSmart Alliance and Joel Boucher, HVAC design engineer for Boucher Energy Systems to le...
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Why we need lifestyle change to fight climate change

Climate change is often seen as a challenge that can be met by technological solutions like renewable energy. While these are necessary parts of the solution, they may not be sufficient, especially in a world where more and more people seek to consume more materials and energy. Yet changes in lifestyles to reduce our carbon footprints is a difficult topic for policy makers and activists. At our March Deep Dialogue, we heard about the challenge of changing lifestyles from Newton climate activ...
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ECA Mass chapter meeting – 3/8/22 – Representative Roy, House Chair Telecommunications, Utilities and Energy Committee (TUE).  Offshore wind legislation and the outlook for climate legislation.

Representative Roy provided us with an overview of the offshore wind bill (H.4524) passed by the house last week.  Massachusetts has the largest offshore wind potential of any state in the country which will be key to making the state more energy independent.  We also heard about the outlook for other initiatives this session including support for electric vehicles and building retrofits to all-electric heating.  Following the presentation, Rep. Roy answered several questions ...
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ECA Mass chapter meeting – 2/8/22 – Senator Barrett, State Climate Legislation, Elders for Sound Democracy, & Climate Action Now app

More than 80 people joined us on Zoom for our February chapter meeting for two hours of up-to-the-minute climate news and action. If you missed this information-packed meeting or want to see it again, you can watch the video, with all the slides, announcements and Q&A, here. We were excited to welcome Senator Mike Barrett, lead author of the state’s landmark climate “roadmap” law and the Senate chair of the Joint Committee on Telecommunications, Utilities & Energy. He shared details ...
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Deep Dialogue – 1/24/22 – Fresh Water and Climate Change

Did you know that only 2.5% of water on Earth is fresh water? And only a small portion of that fresh water is available, at the surface in lakes and rivers, and in groundwater, to sustain human, plant and animal life. Floods, drought and extreme weather are much in the news, as climate change exacerbates our water problems.   At our January conversation series, Betty Krikorian of the ECA Mass Research Team took us on a deep dive into Fresh Water and Climate Change, with a fascinating pr...
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ECA Mass chapter meeting – 1/11/22 – Senator Eldridge and Legislative Advocacy

Our January chapter meeting kicked off the new year with a focus on state legislative advocacy. First we heard from our special guest, Massachusetts Senator Jamie Eldridge, a longtime climate champion, who offered his perspectives on pending climate bills and what to expect in the weeks ahead from legislative committees and the administration. Now is a key time for advocacy, he said! Watch Sen. Eldridge’s informative presentation and the wide-ranging Q&A in the first 25 minutes of the video...
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Deep Dialogue – 12/20/21 – The Role of MA Public Forests in Addressing the Climate Emergency

Massachusetts has 1 million acres of public forests, which play a critical role in removing and storing carbon, and helping to achieve the net-zero climate goals of the Massachusetts Next Generation Roadmap Law. So why does the Department of Conservation and Recreation (DCR) persist in commercial logging of our public forests, destroying thousands of acres and intentionally targeting the largest mature trees, while violating numerous laws and regulations? How would pending forest legislation (H...
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ECA Mass chapter meeting – 12/14/21 – Legislative Advocacy Training

Have you ever lobbied in person or on Zoom with your state legislator? Whether you’re an experienced activist or new to legislative advocacy, you’ll want to watch the video of our December chapter meeting, where we presented a how-to interactive training session for talking with your legislator. The highlight was a demo by members of our ECA Mass Leadership Team, who role-played constituents meeting with their legislator to advocate for one of our priority climate bills. After the demo, we prac...
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Deep Dialogue – 11/30/21 – Net Zero and Carbon Dioxide Removal

The IPCC (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) determined we must keep global warming below 1.5 degrees Centigrade to avoid some of the worst impacts of climate change.  To do this our CO2 emissions must be “net zero” by 2050. Arnie Epstein of our Research Team discussed what net zero means and why the target is net zero and not simply zero emissions.  Why net zero entails removing CO2 from the atmosphere and why this is needed regardless of how successful we are in reducing ...
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