In this week's Newsletter: NYS AG opens investigation into Exxon Mobil, new study predicts possible NYC sea level rise of 6 feet, what is solarpunk and much more!
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New York State Opens Investigation into Exxon Mobil's Climate Research

Back in July, the Guardian newspaper reported that Exxon Mobil, the world's largest oil company, covered up research as far back as 1981 about the effects of fossil fuel consumption on the climate. Knowing the risks, they then proceeded to spend multiple millions of dollars to cover up that research and promote climate denial. In September, journalists at Inside Climate News began publishing a multi-part expose on what Exxon knew and when they knew it- apparently as far back as 1977, long before climate change had made it into the public eye.

Climate activist Bill McKibben has called this the worst crime against humanity ever committed (you can read all the details in his New Yorker article here). And now New York State Attorney General Eric Schneiderman has launched an investigation into whether Exxon Mobil lied to the world when they continually claimed that their products were not contributing to the warming climate.

The investigation focuses on whether statements the company made to investors about climate risks as recently as this year were consistent with the company’s own long-running scientific research. Exxon Mobil has been disclosing such risks in recent years, but whether those disclosures were sufficient has been a matter of public debate.

You can read the whole story from the New York Times here.

Sea Levels Could Rise As Much As Six Feet in 75 Years, and New York Wants to Be Ready

New York State environment officials announced Friday that they’re creating new sea level rise regulations that will help coastal communities build more resilient homes and other buildings that will be better able to withstand storm surges and other flooding made worse by rising seas driven by climate change.

The new regulations will require developers in New York City, along Long Island and on the shores of the Hudson River to prepare for sea levels that could rise between 15 and 75 inches by 2100.  At the far end of that scale, many of the areas hit hard by Hurricane Sandy — the Rockaway Peninsula and the shores of Staten Island, for example — could be underwater.

The sea level rise range the state uses comes from a study conducted by Cornell and Columbia universities and Hunter College showing that rapid melting of the Greenland and Antarctic ice sheets could raise sea levels much faster and much higher than previously expected.

You can read more from Climate Central here.

Will "Solarpunk" Become a Thing? A Millennial Vision of a Bright Green Future

You've probably heard of cyberpunk, the dystopian vision of a future dominated by technology, and steampunk, which imagines a future with a strong tie to the past, specifically, the pre-industrial Victorian era. And now, thanks to a young sci-fi enthusiast named Adam Flynn, we have solarpunk. But what does it mean?

Solarpunk is an idea of the future that marries cutting edge green technology- the solar part- to the DIY aesthetic and aggressively local and human-scale ethos of punk consumption and post-pink hipsterism. Here's what Flynn has to say about solarpunk, from his manifesto for Arizona State University's Hieroglyph Project:

"Solarpunk is about finding ways to make life more wonderful for us right now, and more importantly for the generations that follow us – i.e., extending human life at the species level, rather than individually. Our future must involve repurposing and creating new things from what we already have (instead of 20th century “destroy it all and build something completely different” modernism). Our futurism is not nihilistic like cyberpunk and it avoids steampunk’s potentially quasi-reactionary tendencies: it is about ingenuity, generativity, independence, and community."

So here's hoping that solarpunk does indeed become a thing- a thing that could help foster a brighter, greener future for all of us.

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Upcoming Events at Solar 1

There are no upcoming events at Solar 1. See you in the spring!

Other Events


11/13 & 14
Climate Reality Project - 24 Hours of Reality
Online, all day, free

11/14
Made in the Bronx: Green Buildings, Green Jobs
Smith Auditorium, Manhattan College, 4513 Manhattan College Parkway, Bronx, 1:45-5pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center (Staten Island)
Catholic Charities of Staten Island, Mt. Loretto - Friendship Club Parking Lot, 6581 Hylan Blvd, Staten Island, 10am-4pm, free

11/15
Eat Up: Elevating Kids' Nutrition
Temple Israel of the City of New York, 112 East 75th Street bet Lexington & Park Aves, Manhattan, 2-5:30pm, $75+

11/16
The Road to Paris: Examining the UN Climate Summit
The New School, 65 West 11th Street Room B500 bet University Pl & Broadway, Manhattan, 4-6:30pm, free

11/17
Food Policy for Breakfast: Zoning and the City's Food System: Opportunities to Shape Healthier Food Environments in NYC
CUNY Graduate Center Skylight Room, 365 Fifth Avenue at 34th St, 9th Floor , Manhattan, 9-10:30am, free

11/18
Clean Energy Connection Panel Discussion: The Ultimate Resiliency Plan: Microgrids and the Continued Segmentation of Electric Grid Assets
The Jerome L. Greene Performance Space at WNYC, 44 Charlton Street at the corner of Varick St, Manhattan, 6:30-9pm, $25 general admission/$10 students
Tickets are available here.

Symposium: Growing the Urban Farm
The New York Botanical Garden, 2900 South Southern Boulevard, Bronx, 6-8pm, $10 members/$20 non-members
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