In this week's Newsletter: Solar power in NYS grew almost 800% between 2011-2016, spring ephemerals are blooming in Stuy Cove Park, Heartland Institute pushes climate change denial on teachers again and much more!
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NYS Solar Power Grows Almost 800% in 5 Years

New York state-supported solar power increased by almost 800 percent from December 2011 to December 2016, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo announced on Tuesday, with almost $1.5 billion leveraged in private investment.

The state saw 83.06 megawatts of solar installed through 2011, with the total installed through 2016 hitting 743.65 megawatts, an increase of 795 percent.

"New York is a national leader in clean energy, and the tremendous growth of the solar industry across this state demonstrates this renewal technology's increased accessibility and affordability for residents and businesses," Cuomo said in a statement.

"Our investments in this clean energy resource create jobs, reduce carbon emissions, support economic growth, and help build a cleaner, greener New York for all," he added.

The growth was supported by PSE&G, the New York Power Authority, and the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), as well as other public and private sector backers.

You can read the rest of this story at here.

Spring Ephemerals Are Blooming in Stuyvesant Cove Park

It seemed like winter was never going to end this year, but we are now officially four weeks into spring and the Park is showing it.

Within the last two weeks the first spring ephemerals made their debut and and will continue to flower through May! Virginia Bluebells (pictured above), and Trout Lilies are blooming, alongside early flowering perennials such as Violets, Zizia and the first of the Wild Columbine. This is also the time in the season where the first flowering weeds appear, which are pretty in their own right, especially after the dormancy of winter, but need to get pulled nonetheless before they take over and crowd out our intentionally planted varieties. 

Come take a stroll in the Park this weekend, signs will help to identify many of the flowers mentioned above and highlight some of the interesting properties of each, such as medicinal use, how they got their name, and what pollinators they attract. On Saturday you'll see lots of volunteers helping to ready the gardens in anticipation of a busy summer season to come! 

Heartland Institute Targets Teachers with Climate Denial Materials

The Heartland Institute is a conservative libertarian public policy think tank that rose to priminence during the 1990s for their work with the tobacco giant Philip Morris to question the health risks of smoking and to fight smoking bans. Since 2000, they have been involved in major climate science denial efforts...efforts that have sometimes directly targeted schoolteachers.

This spring, 25,000 science teachers across the US recieved a packed from the Heartland Institute.It contained the organization’s book “Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming,” as well as a DVD rejecting the human role in climate change and arguing instead that rising temperatures have been caused primarily by natural phenomena. The material will be sent to an additional 25,000 teachers every two weeks until every public-school science teacher in the nation has a copy, Heartland president and CEO Joseph Bast said in an interview last week. If so, the campaign would reach more than 200,000 K-12 science teachers.

Accompanying the materials is a cover letter from Lennie Jarratt, project manager of Heartland’s Center for Transforming Education. He asks teachers to “consider the possibility” that the science is not settled. “If that’s the case, then students would be better served by letting them know a vibrant debate is taking place among scientists,” he writes. The letter also points teachers to an online guide to using the DVD in their classrooms.

The campaign elicited immediate derision from the National Center for Science Education (NCSE), a nonprofit in Oakland, California that monitors climate change education in classrooms.

“It’s not science, but it’s dressed up to look like science,” said NCSE executive director Ann Reid. “It’s clearly intended to confuse teachers.”

You can read more about this at here.

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Upcoming Events at Solar One

Final Fridays Micro Film Series: Dirt! The Story of Soil
Solar 1, 24-20 FDR Drive Service Road East south of 23rd St at the East River, 6:30pm, $10 donation includes popcorn and 1 drink

Riverkeeper Sweep
Stuyvesant Cove Park, 23rd Street & the East River, 10am-1pm, free with RSVP

Other Events

Green-Wood in an Hour
500 25th Street, Brooklyn, 12:30-1:30pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Little Neck
St. Anastasia Church, parking lot entrance on Alameda Ave, Queens, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Maspeth
Maspeth Federal Savings Bank, 56-18 69th Avenue, parking lot entrance on Clinton Ave, Queens, 10am-4pm, free

Astoria Park Earth Day Spring Shorefest Kickoff
Astoria Park, Shore Boulevard, Queens, 1-5pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Park Slope
Fifth Avenue bet 3rd & 4th Sts, Brooklyn, 10am-4pm, free

E-Waste Recycling with the Lower East Side Ecology Center: Bayswater
Bayswater Jewish Center, 2355 Healy Avenue bet Bay 24th St & Dickens St, Queens, 10am-4pm, free

UN HQ Report: The Carbon Case for Retrofits
Arup, East River Meeting aRoom, 77 Water Street, 4th Floor, bet Old Slip & Gouverneur Ln, Manhattan, 6-8pm, free

Earth Week Climate Education Teach In

Sustainability Fair and Sustainability Talks and Workshops
CUNY Brooklyn College, 2900 Bedford Avenue bet Campus Rd & Amersfort Pl, Brooklyn, 12-4pm, free

Green Light: Lighting Codes & Regulations
Building Energy Exchange, 31 Chambers Street, Suite 609, bet Elk & Centre Sts, Manhattan, 9-11am, $30+

Hudson River on the Rise: Waterfront Planning for Communities and Nature
Henry A. Wallace Center, 4079 Albany Post Road bet Bleakley Ave & Lower South St, Buchanan, NY, 9-4pm, free
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