In this week's Newsletter: NYS passes ambitious new climate bill, more about ladybugs, sea level rise may affect Brooklyn most of all and much more!
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NYS Assembly Passes Climate Bill

Environmentalists and climate activists had reason to celebrate last week, when the New York State Assembly passed the most ambitious climate legislation in the nation: The New York State Climate and Consumer Protection Act.

The legislation requires the state to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from major sources to zero by 2050. That would demand a near total decarbonization of its economy, and it would put New York among the world's leaders on forceful climate action. To achieve it, the bill gives the state until 2030 to get at least 50 percent of its electricity from clean energy.

By next year New York would have to generate 27 percent from renewable sources. In February, New York got about 28 percent of its electricity from renewables, mainly from hydroelectric power, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration. The bill does not specify how the carbon targets are to be met, deferring decisions on such possibilities as a new cap-and-trade or carbon tax mechanism.

Now the bill needs to make it through the State Senate, and with only eight days left in the legislative calendar, it's immediate future is a bit uncertain. Want to encourage them to vote on it? Sign the petition here!

You can read more at here.

Ladybug Update: The Next Stage

Last month, we released about 140,000 (yup, you read that right) adult ladybugs (or ladybird beetles, as they're more properly called) into Stuyvesant Cove Park to help manage an aphid infestation that was becoming rather alarming, especially since it's so early in the growing season. As you may already know, Stuyvesant Cove is a sustainably managed Park, so we don't ever spray with chemical pesticide. Instead, we use a system known as Integrated Pest Management- using beneficial insects to naturally fight harmful ones.

Mature ladybugs eat about 40 aphids a day. But the larvae (pictured above) can eat ten times that amount! These spiky dudes will eat and eat until they're ready for the next stage- transforming into adult ladybugs who will lay more eggs! If you visit the Park, keep an eye out for these "little dragons"!

Brooklyn Could Be Hardest Hit by Sea Level Rise

With ice levels steadily decreasing in the Arctic and in Antarctica, there's a lot more water in the ocean, and if things don;t get turned around fast, there's going to be more. A lot more. And while low lying coastal cities like Miami are already experiencing regular flooding, NYC has some low lying areas of its own, and they are also being threatened. And as it happens, much of low lying NYC is located in the borough of Brooklyn.

According to a new study by Landscape Metrics, a rise of just two feet could cause serious problems, and a rise of five feet could spell disaster. As of 2014, NYC's low lying population, defined as those NYers who live 10 feet or less above sea level, reached 700,000, the most of any city in the country...including low-lying New Orleans. 

Among the most chilling statistics is that almost 1.5 million New Yorkers could be affected by a five-foot rise in total, with the number growing faster once the first two feet are submerged. While fewer than 50 schools would affected by a two-foot rise, more than 350 would be damaged at five feet.

Landscape Metrics created this interactive map to help give a better idea of what their study found, and you can read the whole story at here.

Upcoming Events at Solar 1

Loving Day
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 3-7pm, $10 suggested donation includes a free beer

Park Volunteer Day
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 10am-1pm, free
Pizza lunch provided by the Stuyvesant Cove Park Association.

CookoutNYC: Little Big BBQ
Solar 1/Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 1-9pm, $45+

Other Events

Various locations throughout the five boroughs, all day, various prices

Natural Fermentation: A Gardener's Perspective
Queens Botanical Garden, 45-50 Main Street, Flushing, Queens, 2-4pm, $20 + admission ($4 adults, $3 seniors, $2 students & kids over 3

New York Energy Week
Various locations throughout the five boroughs, various times, various prices

Managing the Renewable Grid: A Transatlantic Dialogue
NYU School of Law Lipton Hall, D’Agostino Hall, 110 West 3rd Street bet Sullivan & MacDougal Sts, Manhattan, 9-11am, free

Launch of the Urban Future Competition for Smart Cities and Smart Grid Startups
Urban Future Lab, 15 Metrotech Center, 19th Floor, Brooklyn, 2-4pm, free

GreenHomeNYC Forum - Reforming the Energy Vision & Community Solar
NYSERDA, 1359 Broadway bet W.36th & W.37th Sts, Manhattan, 6:30-8pm, $10 general admission/$4 with student ID
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