climate change

Essay: Listening

Apr 2, 2021
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Is anyone listening? Delmarva Public Media Essayist George Merrill ponders that question in a story about a flock of crows.


The Biden administration has announecd that it will be pushing for more electric powered vehicles to combat climate change. The Washington-based Environmental Defense Fund says that while heavy-duty trucks account for only 4% of vehicles on the road, they are responsible for a major portion of pollution into the atmosphere. Jason Mathers, director of Vehicle & Energy at the organization, says it's time to move toward electric powered trucks and buses.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) — Virginia lawmakers have given final approval to a measure that would make the state a full participant in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a multistate carbon cap-and-trade program.

The House and Senate both held final votes late Wednesday night on two companion measures, sending them to Gov. Ralph Northam, whose administration supports joining the program as a way to reduce carbon emissions from the electric power sector.

The bills largely advanced along party lines. Supporters said joining the program will help address climate change.

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ANNAPOLIS, MD. (AP)- Maryland would phase out the state's six remaining coal-fired plants to reduce greenhouse gas emissions under legislation that has bipartisan support.

Opponents who work at the plants said that this would cause the loss of hundreds of jobs and urged lawmakers to study the idea further before taking action.

Before the Senate Finance Committee hearing state Senator Chris West noted that Maryland's six coal-fired plants only operated for a total of 17 days last year.

The Republican said that electricity from coal fired plants is unsustainable.

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The Trump administration has been criticized for ignore science in favor of policies that favor industry. The Union of Concerned Scientist has been one of those who are worried about the impact on crises like climate change. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with Jenna Reed, a researcher with the Union.

The last decade was the warmest on record for the state of Delaware.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that 2016 was the sixth warmest year since 1895 when official’s first began keeping records.

The state’s warmest year was in 2012 which was a degree higher than last year and the third warmest so far.

The News Journal reports that according to state records last year Delaware’s temperature was 3.3 degrees Fahrenheit higher than that state’s average from the last century.


VIRGINIA BEACH, Va. (AP) — An engineering consulting firm says Virginia Beach will have to consider multi-billion-dollar infrastructure projects and other efforts to face the threat of sea-level rise.

The Virginian-Pilot of Norfolk reports the $3.8 million study also points to restricting new development in some parts of the city and purchasing properties in danger of flooding.

City Council and the planning commission still need to OK the report, which will serve as a framework for the city’s overall plan.

Don Rush

Delmarva Public Radio Essayist George Merrill recently went to check the shore line of his property as weather reports indicated it could be stormy day. It wasn't just the wind and rain but the rising water line produced by climate change that made him ponder the propsects for our the home we call earth.

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HAMPTON, Va. (AP) - Swedish teen climate activist Greta Thunberg will soon leave North America and sail across the Atlantic in a 48-foot (15-meter) catamaran sailboat.

Greta Thunberg said she plans to leave from Hampton, Virginia, on Wednesday. The trip could take weeks. But she hopes to make it to Madrid for a United Nations climate conference in early December.

Thanks to solar panels and hydro-generators, the boat leaves little to no carbon footprint.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has issued an executive order setting a goal for Virginia to produce 100% of its electricity from carbon-free sources by 2050.

The order announced Tuesday says the goal will help address climate change, a challenge that "poses potentially devastating risk to Virginia."

The order sets an intermediate goal of reaching 30% renewable energy by 2030. It also says the Commonwealth's agencies and executive branch institutions will aim to procure at least 30 percent of their electricity from renewable resources by 2022.

The three states on the Delmarva Peninsula have joined 19 others in a suit against the easing of restrictions on coal-fired power plants.

The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has put in a new rules that allows states more latitude in upgrading such facilities.

The suit argues that does not meaningfully replace the greenhouse gas emissions from the power plants as required under the Clean Air Act.

WBOC reports that Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh chastised the administration saying that EPA is prioritizing the coal industry over clean, renewable energy.

Don Rush

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - The attorneys general of Maryland, Delaware and the District of Columbia are urging the nation's biggest electric grid operator to choose a CEO who will help with "efforts to address climate change" and embrace changes needed to make clean energy programs successful.

The letter signed by Maryland Attorney General Brian Frosh, Delaware Attorney General Kathleen Jennings and District of Columbia Attorney General Karl Racine was sent last week to a panel searching for a new CEO for PJM Interconnection.

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A new study finds that climate change could cost Delaware an estimated $9 Billion in the next 20 years to build the seawalls need to keep flood waters and tides from overwhelming its coastal areas.

Richard Wiles, executive director at the Center for Climate Integrity, said that many of those communities will not be able to provide such finding and could find themselves retreating as the waters move in.

U.S. Navy

NORFOLK, Va. (AP) - The U.S. Navy says its newly revived 2nd Fleet now has enough staff to command ships in the increasingly competitive waters of the Arctic region.  

The Navy's announcement on Wednesday follows statements by President Donald Trump's administration this month that the U.S. won't stand for aggressive moves in the region by Russia and China. The Arctic is rapidly opening up to commerce as warming temperatures melt sea ice.

Don Rush

The Salisbury Zoo celebrated Earth Day this weekend amid the continuing impact of climate change. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush was there and prepared this report.

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WILMINGTON, Del. (AP) - Scientists say that climate change is prolonging allergy season and the suffering that goes along with it.

The News Journal in Wilmington, Delaware, reported Thursday that local doctors are seeing more people who are suffering from allergies and that they are suffering for longer periods of time.

Scientists say that deforestation and the burning of fossil fuels are sending more greenhouse gases like carbon dioxide into the atmosphere. Those gases in turn warm the planet and extend allergy season.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Ralph Northam has vetoed legislation aimed at limiting his authority to institute a carbon cap-and-trade plan.

Northam, a Democrat, said Thursday he had killed a bill that requires legislative approval before Virginia can participate in the Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative, a cap-and-trade program among Northeastern and mid-Atlantic states that mandates emission reductions in the power sector.

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COLLEGE PARK, Md. (AP) - Billionaire presidential prospect Michael Bloomberg will deliver the University of Maryland's spring commencement address.

The Baltimore Sun reports the school announced Thursday that the former mayor of New York City will address thousands of graduates during a May 24 ceremony in College Park.

Virginia Festival of the Book

CHARLOTTESVILLE, Va. (AP) - The annual "Virginia Festival of the Book" will feature writers on racism, climate change, crime and the opioid crisis.

The schedule for the March 20-24 festival includes more than 100 programs that are free and open to the public. The program of Virginia Humanities is celebrating its 25th year of bringing writers and readers together to promote books, reading, literacy and literary culture.

Renowned meditation teacher Ruth King will discuss racism, white supremacy and identity.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Gov. Ralph Northam has proposed a package of environmental legislation aimed at safely disposing of coal ash, helping coastal communities deal with flooding caused by climate change and continuing the cleanup of the Chesapeake Bay.

The legislative agenda unveiled Thursday includes the Coastal Protection Act. The law would allow the state to use an estimated $50 million in revenue from the sale of carbon pollution credits for coastal resilience projects.  It also would dedicate funds for economic transition for coal communities.

A new report finds that the Eastern Shore will be far more susceptible than other parts of the state to sea level rise if the emission of greenhouse gases continue to increase over the next 100 years.

That’s according to new projections by the University of Maryland Center for Environmental Science.

delaware electric cooperative

Maryland lawmakers are pushing a number of renewable energy efforts and could aim at getting 100% of the state's energy from renewables by 2040. Jessica Ennis is the legislative director of Climate and Energy. Delmarva Public Radio's Don Rush spoke with her about Maryland's efforts including community solar projects.

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Last year ranked as the second warmest year on record for Delaware with temperatures that were 3.6 degrees above the mean average since 1895.

The Wilmington News Journal reports that Delaware State Climatologist Dan Leathers said that between 1981 and 2010 there was 2 degrees warmer than normal.

This has been meant a longer growing season and a delay of frosts last year.

The paper reports that from the end of December through the first week of January the state saw its longest cold snap turn into unseasonably warm weather by mid-January.

Don Rush (file photo)

ANNAPOLIS, Md. (AP) - Maryland Gov. Larry Hogan says he is joining a bipartisan coalition of states committed to meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Agreement.

In a letter Wednesday, the Republican governor wrote that when President Donald Trump announced his intention to withdraw from the Paris climate accord last year, he opposed the move. He says he still opposes Trump's decision.

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WASHINGTON (AP) - Maryland's secretary of the environment says states need federal support to handle climate challenges.

The Washington Post reports state Environment Secretary Ben Grumbles sent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt a letter Monday. It comes three months after Pruitt moved to repeal the Clean Power Plan, a regulation from former President Barack Obama's administration aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions from power plants.

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BALTIMORE (AP) - An international research team including Chesapeake Bay-focused scientists says the "dead zones" that have long plagued the bay have developed and worsened across the globe.


Accomack County has been urged to back a sea wall and other efforts to fend off erosion on Tangier Island.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that County Supervisor Paul Muhly told his colleagues they should not leave the island’s residents to fend for themselves.

Board Chair Robert Crockett who represents Tangier Island in Accomack County said that a letter has been sent and signed by him to Virginia Governor Terry McAuliffe congressional representatives and others about the issue.


Tangier Island will be in the spotlight tonight.

Mayor James Eskridge will appear on CNN’s Global Town Hall event with former Vice President Al Gore.

The issue: Climate Change.

Gore will be discussing his latest film “An Inconvenient Sequel: Truth to Power.”

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that Tangier Council member Anna Pruitt-Parks called the event on her Facebook page “a pretty big deal” adding that the mayor will be debating Gore.

Tangier Island is experiencing the effects of rising sea levels produced by climate change.

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RICHMOND, Va. (AP) - Virginia Gov. Terry McAuliffe is announcing a state plan to limit carbon emissions from power plants, a plan similar to a federal policy President Donald Trump has vowed to roll back.

McAuliffe, a Democrat, signed an executive order Tuesday that begins developing regulations on carbon emissions. He says the federal government has abdicated its job fighting climate change.

Trump has promised to scrap the Clean Power Plan, a centerpiece of former President Barack Obama's efforts to reduce harmful emissions.

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In southern Dorchester County climate change is threatening one of the most important historic sites on the Lower Eastern Shore.

It’s the property that saw the enslavement of Harriet Tubman who escaped bondage only to return to the region to free other slaves.

The Salisbury Daily Times reports that the land designated as part of the Harriet Tubman Underground Railroad could eventually wind up being underwater.

The forecast comes as official celebrate the grand opening of the site’s $22 million visitor center tomorrow.