• Airbus releases three designs for zero-emission, hydrogen-powered commercial planes it hopes will be flying by 2035.• Global consultants made it appear that fossil fuel groups it designed, staffed, and ran were powered by the grassroots: There was the pro-fracking Texans for Natural Gas urging voters to “thank a roughneck.” There was the Arctic Energy Center pushing for drilling in offshore Alaska and the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge. There was the Main Street Investors Coalition that attacked climate activism, which it claimed doesn’t help small investors in the stock market. Hiroko Tabuchi reports that the three seemed to be separate groups promoting the views of rank-and-file people. Turns out they were part of a network of “influence campaigns” put together by FTI Consulting by some of the world’s giant oil and gas companies. Her investigation of FTI uncovered a concerted effort to influence public views while concealing industry’s role. Of course, that’s hardly new. Climate science denialism has for more than three decades been spurred by money from fossil fuel operations, including the notorious Koch Industries. In addition to its other efforts, FTI monitored environmental activists online, even creating a fake Facebook persona—“an imaginary, middle-aged Texas woman with a dog — to help keep tabs on protesters.” FTI staffed two websites—Energy In Depth and Western Wire—with people who wrote pro-industry articles on controversial matters like fracking. Former employees of Energy In Depth told Tabuchi that FTI client Exxon Mobil had directed some of that content.• San Francisco follows San Jose’s lead and bans new natural gas hookups: The ban, which takes effect in June 2021, prohibits use of natural gas in new buildings, requiring them to use electricity instead. In a unanimous vote, the city’s board of supervisors approved the ordinance Tuesday. It will apply to the more than 54,000 homes and 32 million square feet of business space that are slated to be constructed in the next few years. It’s estimated that about 40% of the city’s greenhouse gas emissions come from natural gas, and buildings generate 80% of those emissions. The largest city so far to ban new natural gas hookups is San Jose, 60 miles south of San Francisco.- Advertisement – at E&E Daily reports that Democratic Rep. Mike Levin of California and Republican Rep. David Schweikert of Arizona yesterday introduced the “Solar Jobs Preservation Act.” Noting delays caused by the coronavirus pandemic, the two representatives propose to extend the phaseout schedule for the solar investment tax credit through 2022. Since the ITC was first introduced in 2006, the solar industry has grown more than 10,000% and created tens of thousands of jobs. But currently, about half a million clean energy workers are still out of work because of the pandemic. In 2015, a bipartisan deal set the ITC at 30% in 2019 with a phaseout that by 2022 becomes a permanent 10% credit for commercial and utility-scale solar and zero percent for residential installations. In a statement, Levin said, “As we continue to confront the COVID-19 pandemic and the devastating effects on our economy, we cannot forget about the climate crisis and the need to preserve clean energy jobs that help us protect our planet. The solar industry plays a critical role in reducing our greenhouse gas emissions and driving economic growth, which is why we must support them during this pandemic and extend the investment tax credit. I appreciate Congressman Schwekiert’s partnership on this important legislation, and look forward to working with the rest of my colleagues in the House to pass this bill.” – Advertisement – • New FERC chairman cancels electric vehicle meeting: Former Federal Energy Regulatory Commission Chairman Neil Chatterjee is no enemy of fossil fuels, but he did take actions favorable to carbon pricing and and distributed energy resources. That tinge of green was apparently a key reason Donald Trump booted him out Nov. 5 and turned the chairmanship over to James Danly, the former FERC general counsel who was appointed to the commission in March. Chatterjee had set up a Dec. 3 roundtable on electric vehicles and their potential impacts on the electric grid and wholesale power markets. On Thursday, a brief notice stated the roundtable has been canceled. • Tyson Foods says it plans to reduce risk of deforestation, but critic say it’s not enough: The giant meatpacker is focusing on four commodities—cattle and beef, palm oil, paper, and packaging. Analysts found about 6% of the company’s products are associated with deforestation, which is a major factor in environmental degradation and the climate crisis. Said Tyson Chief Executive Dean Banks, “We are asserting our ambition to make protein more sustainable and look forward to working with our supply chain partners, customers and other stakeholders to do our part on this important issue.” Last year, Green Century Capital Management Inc., a Boston investment firm that focuses on environmental issues, promoted a shareholder proposal to push Tyson to get deforestation out of its supply chain, but withdrew it when Tyson said it was working on a plan to deal with this. But Green Century said Thursday that Tyson’s deforestation plans are too drawn out, some of them for more than a decade. – Advertisement – The ANWR coastal plain• Trump in big hurry to get drilling leases for Arctic approved before Biden ousts him: Unlike executive orders, leases are contracts that aren’t that easy to yank once they are issued. Biden has vowed to protect the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, where drilling has not been allowed since the land was set aside 60 years ago by President Dwight Eisenhower. In 1980, President Jimmy Carter okayed drilling on 1.56 million acres of the ANWR coastal plain, but only if Congress authorized it. Since then, Republicans and a few Democrats in Congress tried more than 50 times to allow drilling in the refuge, but could not overcome opposition that included presidential vetoes. In December 2017, Congress finally passed authorization to drill in parts of coastal plain. Without a Democratic majority in the Senate, Biden might have difficulty fulfilling his pledge to bar the drilling. But the immediate problem could come as early as Monday when the Department of the Interior will issue a “call for nominations” for auctioning of drilling leases on the coastal plain. Leases auctioned before Jan. 20 would be hard to break. However, even if they have leases, low oil prices, reduced demand, and the harshness of the ANWR environment likely will deter companies from drilling any time soon. • Environment America launches Greener Together project: Right now, people across the country are turning to the outdoors and nature as a refuge. Nature can calm us and reconnect us with ourselves, with other people and with the world around us. As people are practicing social distancing, with and without kids at home, we want to provide opportunities to connect with the natural world and other like-minded people through engaging events, fun activities and helpful guides to help foster this connection.- Advertisement –
More from The Daily Gazette:Troopers: Schenectady pair possessed heroin, crack cocaine in Orange County Thruway stopNational Weather Service forecasts a 42 percent chance of a ‘warmer-than-normal’ winterEDITORIAL: Urgent: Today is the last day to complete the censusEDITORIAL: Thruway tax unfair to working motoristsSchenectady High School senior class leaders look to salvage sense of normalcy Categories: News, OpinionUntil I visited the Schenectady Trading Company, I had no idea how much stuff gets made in Schenectady County — how much food, clothing, art, crafts and other household items is produced right here.“If you think of Schenectady County as a factory, a factory has a factory store,” Caroline Bardwell, owner of the Schenectady Trading Post, explained. “I want to be the factory store for Schenectady County.” It’s an interesting concept, and it’s beautifully executed. The store, which opened at 609 Union Street at the end of September, is stocked with goods produced in Schenectady County. To step inside and look around is to be amazed by the county’s wealth of talent, which now has a terrific showcase. Here’s a small sample of the items you can find in Schenectady County’s new factory store: Apple cider from The Hungry Chicken Country Store in Rotterdam Pierogies from Codin’s Italian Food Specialty in Schenectady “Electric City” pint glasses and sweatshirts designed by Bardwell Coffee products from Electric City Roasters and Mohawk Coffee Company Handcrafted wall carvings and kitchen tools from Niskayuna woodworker Michael Consolo Mittens, hats and gloves from Newberry Knitting on Curry Road Colorful handmade quilts from Schenectady-based Beyond the PinesBardwell hopes that people come to the Schenectady Trading Company to shop. But her vision for the store goes beyond retail. She wants the Trading Company to build community — to be a place where people can gather and interact. The shop has a welcoming small front room, which Bardwell refers to as the parlor, that can be used by small groups, such as a book club. There’s a playroom with toys, books and games for children. Hot coffee is available, and there are tables to sit and enjoy a cup. On Tuesdays, the shop hosts a “creatives’ coffee hour” from 11 a.m. to noon and again from 5 p.m. to 6 p.m. The hope is that creative people will get together, talk and forge connections. Bardwell also hopes to host events — readings and signings with local authors, performances by local musicians. A signing with Schenectady writer Johnny Rockenstire, author of “Crucible Along the Mohawk,” a work of historical fiction that brings to life the events surrounding the Schenectady Massacre of 1690, is scheduled for Nov. 30. The store will also host a “coffee with a cop” event, where members of the public can chat with a Schenectady police officer, from 10 to 11:30 a.m. on Nov. 15. “Schenectady gets a bad reputation that clouds the positive stuff that a lot of hardworking people are doing,” Bardwell, 40, told me, when we chatted in the parlor on a recent weekday morning. Bardwell believes her shop can instill hometown pride while also giving visitors a deeper understanding of the diversity of talent and skill in Schenectady County. Based on my own reaction to the store, I’d say she’s right. “The shop represents the community,” Bardwell said. “A lot of people want to buy local, but it’s a lot of work to buy local. It has a greater impact when the stuff is all together.” Bardwell is working to establish an online store, which should be up and running later this month, and her ribbon cutting ceremony is this Thursday at 4 p.m. You can see Bardwell’s own work at the shop. Her photograph hangs from the walls, and her book of poetry and photography is available. A 1997 graduate of Schenectady High School, she is a geologist by training, and spent much of her career in environmental remediation. The store is the result of a “period of personal change,” that saw her shift her focus from science to writing poetry and to “paying more attention about what’s going on in Schenectady County.” “I felt very compelled to change what I was doing and do something very community focused,” Bardwell recalled. She’s certainly succeeded. The Schenectady Trading Company is a nice place to visit and shop, and it does an excellent job of promoting the unique and interesting goods produced and made in Schenectady County. (To learn more, check out the store’s very informative Facebook page.) Hopefully the Schenectady Trading Post will receive the support it needs to thrive, and be a presence in downtown Schenectady for years to come.
The forward march of societal progress is bound to meet with some dissent, particularly where technology is concerned.The sudden surge in the prevalence of e-books is no exception. Young and old alike have found fault with the burgeoning literary medium, lamenting the loss of intimacy granted by the tangible form, the growing presence of electronic devices in the classroom and the disappearance of big-box booksellers like Borders and neighborhood bookshops alike that have recognized their time is up and bowed out of the business.In our panic, it seems we have forgotten that e-books, while fundamentally different, are not fundamentally bad. On the contrary, they represent a positive cultural evolution, a necessary adaptation to the rapidly changing needs of 21st-century life.It’s as if we’ve been given wings, and one particularly vocal segment of the population is too afraid to fly. Thus, they remain on the ground with resources growing scarce, while the rest of us delve eagerly into the new land of plenty — plentiful reading, that is.Already, we live in a society where the world is at our fingertips. Music, photos and reference materials are all readily accessible, while instantaneously contacting anyone with whom we’ve ever networked can be achieved in a single well-spent minute on the Internet.As USC students, we’re almost expected to have some sort of electronic database on our person at all times. For instance, it’s not out of the ordinary for a professor to request that a student look up the dictionary definition of a word on his or her smartphone while in class.To have e-books become equally commonplace is to complete the long overdue task of bringing literature up to speed with the rest of the world. Their efficiency and convenience is undeniable. Suddenly an entire library can be contained with a pocket-size device that weighs less than one paperback book and can be whipped out on the subway, during a coffee break or in line at the bank.In an age where technology threatens to permanently distract people from literature altogether, the value of a piece of technology that could actually integrate reading into tech-dependent lifestyles cannot be ignored. This applies to cost as well, as e-books have made reading more affordable in some cases — though the price of the e-readers themselves often provide a significant barrier for many would-be users. Digital content is infinitely cheaper to produce than traditional books, as well as cheaper to store, market and distribute. This has proven particularly beneficial for college students, for whom the daunting cost of textbooks is just one of many financial burdens.E-books also offer multiple features that enhance the reading experience itself, such as search functions and direct links to dictionaries and other reference material. Readers of e-books have the benefit of immediately available resources should they come across an unfamiliar Spanish phrase in work, or the need to hunt down a particular quote in a mammoth-size novel like War and Peace.Meanwhile, many of the legitimate complaints raised by e-books are only temporary issues that can be easily resolved in the near future. Annotation difficulties are an example of one such lingering problem, but manufacturers of wireless reading devices have already designed applications for note-taking. Refinement of these kinds of applications will happen naturally as e-books become more widely used.The lack of an effective lending system is another commonly cited issue. But again, libraries worldwide are already taking steps to digitize their collections. Once the transition is completed on a larger scale, the burden on libraries will be eased enormously. No longer will they have to worry about the upkeep of massive collections of bulky, decaying material.E-books will also prevent the further production of more of this material, saving countless numbers of trees and doing our environment a huge favor at a time when it can use all the help it can get.True, e-books can be hard to stomach for millions of die-hard bibliophiles, but they, nonetheless, remain the logical, efficient and cost-effective successor to their physical counterparts.People complained when computers phased out typewriters, too. You would have to search far and wide, however, to find a person who takes issue with today’s word processing software. The transition will take getting used to, as does any significant cultural shift.In the meantime, it’s not as if books are being burned. In fact, the opposite is occurring: Books are being reinvigorated, given a new chance to take hold in a society that once threatened to no longer have room for them.
Image Courtesy: AFP/HTAdvertisement 2vt84vkNBA Finals | Brooklyn Vst4Wingsuit rodeo📽Sindre Ec( IG: @_aubreyfisher @imraino ) 31Would you ever consider trying this?😱3wvdhfCan your students do this? 🌚s3Roller skating! Powered by Firework Back in 1999, a new record was set in Indian cricket. The iconic bowler Anil Kumble, revered to be one of the best bowlers ever to grace the game, entered the history books against Pakistan in a Test series in February. A fter England’s Jim Laker, the legend became the second cricketer ever to secure all 10 wickets in a match. 21 years later, the Indian cricketing fandom has seen it again, this time in a domestic under 19 match. Say hello to Kashvee Gautam, the teenage Chandigarh bowler who has wiped out the opposition all by herself!Advertisement Image Courtesy: AFP/HTIn the Paytm Women’s Under-19 One Day Trophy match versus Arunachal Pradesh, Kashvee Gautam showed her prowess by picking up the whole opposition batting lineup, that too in just 4.5 overs, including a hat trick. The 16 year old put out an unbelievable figure of 4.5-1-12-10, all while captaining Chandigarh at the KSRM College Ground, Kadapa.The official Twitter handle of BCCI Women uploaded a video of Kashvee’s amazing spell, a compilation of all ten of her wickets. The clip was captioned along with her statistics from the match. Enjoy it here-Advertisement Six of Kashvee’s wickets were in form of LBW, and the remaining four were clean bowled. Other than the stellar bowling figures, the youngster returned an appreciable performance with the bat, scoring 49 runs, including four boundaries. Defending a total of 186, Chandigarh won the match by 161 runs, as Arunachal were bundled out by just 27 runs.Following the match, the starlet expressed her feelings for such an amazing performance. “It is like a dream come true for me. Moreover I didn’t have to take any help for the fielders for any of my dismissals,” Kashvee said in the post match interview.A die hard fan of the Team India superstar Bhuvneshwar Kumar, Kashvee’s dream is to earn a call up for the Indian Women international squad. “It feels amazing. I aspire to play for Indian women’s team one day,” she concluded.Kashvee has been in tremendous form in the tournament. Previously securing 7 wickets against Jammu and Kashmir, she is already leading as the highest wicket taker in the tournament, with a stunning 18 wickets from three matches. With a continuous performance like this, its not doubt that Kashvee will grab the attention of the Women in Blue’s selectors in no time.Also read-See which Indian cricketing legends Harsha Bhogle just compared Smriti Mandhana and Shafali Verma with! Advertisement
While the Beaver Valley Nitehawks have cruised along this Kootenay International Junior Hockey League season over nice smooth newly laid pavement, the Nelson Leafs have hit almost every pothole along the way to a third-place finish in the Murdoch Division.However, despite the Hawks finishing with 17 more wins and 33 points better in the Murdoch standing than the Leafs, both teams enter Tuesday opening game of the best-of-seven series on even terms.That’s right, when the starting pistol goes off at 7 p.m. in the Fruitvale Arena it’s open season on which team will advance to the Kootenay Conference Championship.“We’ve had tight games with them all year but I believe we need to adopt the same game plan as we did against Castlegar . . . continue our physicality, our defense-first hockey and then capitalize on our chances,” said Leaf veteran forward Dale Howell after Nelson posted the 4-2 series upset of the Castlegar Rebels — a team that also finished well ahead of the Green and White during the regular season.Most experts have the Nitehawks waltzing through this series just like the KIJHL regular season champs disposed of the Grand Forks Border Bruins in the first round of the playoffs — in straight games.However, those same experts probably also penciled in a Beaver Valley-Castlegar Murdoch Final in their KIJHL pool.“I think we have play with composure,” said Leaf head coach Mario DiBella when asked about the Nitehawks.“We have to get pucks to the net and we need to have traffic in front of their goaltender.”Nelson managed to take two games from the Hawks this season — one of the games coming in overtime.However, a quirk in the schedule saw the teams play only twice since Christmas with both games decided by a single goal and the Leafs struggling to put a complete roster together. “We went through some key injuries earlier in the season but it seemed like everything kind of lined up as the season ended with everyone getting healthy and back into the lineup,” said Howell, leading a balanced Leafs scoring attack with six points.“That’s been a big difference for us having a full lineup with everyone able to play to our full capabilities.”DiBella said the Leafs are fairly healthy following the Castlegar series.“We’ve got 22 guys eager to get started on the next series,” he said.“We’ve got a few days off now. We’ll practice Monday and get started Tuesday and I think that we’re in good shape to give Beaver Valley a run.”Facing the KIJHL best goalie will be a test for LeafsThere haven’t been many nights when Tallon Kramer has not left the ice a winner for the Nitehawks after starting the game.Similar to how Tyson Brower dominated the crease when the Kimberley Dynamiters won the KIJHL title in 2015, Kramer has owned opposing shooters, posting a league high 28 wins during the regular season and four more in the playoffs.To make matters worse, the Grande Prairie native has lowered his regular season goal average from 1.81 to 1.75 in the playoffs.“(Tallon Kramer) is a premier goalie in the league and we have to show him that we’re prepared to go hard to the net and earn our opportunities,” DiBella said.Nelson has a pretty good goalie of their own heading to the net to open the series Tuesday.Devin Allen, finishing the season with a 3.47 goal average, has put up some pretty good numbers of late, allowing two goals in three games — plus two posting two 1-0 shutouts — as Nelson rallied from a 2-1 deficit against Castlegar.Allen lowered his goal average to 2.04 in the playoffs.
In order to better prepare Guyanese for the budding oil and gas industry, Fulbright US Scholar, Dr Norman Munroe of Florida International University (FIU) is in Guyana to assist the University of Guyana (UG) in developing internationally accredited Engineering programmes.Fulbright US Scholar, Dr Norman Munroe, with Ambassador Sarah-Ann LynchDr Munroe was welcomed by US Ambassador to Guyana, Sarah-Ann Lynch. He was brought here in keeping with the US commitment to help Guyana efficiently manage the anticipated oil revenues for the benefit of the Guyanese people.The Fulbright US Scholar will help UG to pursue the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) accreditation of its engineering programmes, including the recently introduced Petroleum and Geological Engineering at the Faculty of Engineering and Technology.“Dr Munroe will pursue accreditation of engineering programmes at the University of Guyana by the Accreditation Board for Engineering and Technology (ABET) as part of a project to transition the Faculty of Engineering and Technology along a path of global excellence in engineering,” a missive from the US Embassy in Georgetown on Wednesday stated.ABET accreditation is recognised worldwide through international agreements and it provides assurance that programmes meet the global quality standards of the engineering profession.Graduates from an ABET-accredited programme have a solid educational foundation and are capable of leading the way in innovation, emerging technologies, and in anticipating the environmental and safety needs of the public. While in Guyana, Professor Munroe will also seek to initiate research on the prevention of corrosion of pipelines in the oil and gas industry that he is currently conducting in his laboratory at FIU.Professor Munroe is one of over 800 US citizens globally who will teach, conduct research, and/or provide expertise abroad for the 2019-2020 academic year through the Fulbright US Scholar Programme. Recipients of Fulbright awards are selected on the basis of academic and professional achievement, as well as record of service and demonstrated leadership in their respective fields. He is the fifth Fulbright Scholar to work in Guyana since 2015.The Fulbright Programme is the US Government’s flagship international educational exchange programme and is designed to build lasting connections between the people of the United States and the people of other countries.