Dramatic Climate Events Compel Rapid Community Action

Linda Kaidan

 

Community climate change action needed now

Recent alarming dramatic climate events alert us about the urgent need for climate change action at the community level. 18% of the Antarctic’s Larsen C Ice Shelf has separated, triggering the migration and melting of a trillion-ton iceberg the size of Delaware. More of the ice shelf will follow.  Then a few days ago, a significant part of Lakeland, Florida disappeared into a watery sinkhole as Lakeland’s lakes continue to expand. It’s time to get serious about how much time we have left to prepare for the natural and human effects of rapid climate change.

On a very basic level, in the long term we need four things to survive: air, water, food and energy. Because of Herkimer’s ideal climate change location, we have  these climate change survival resources in abundance. But now with accelerating glacial melting, faster-rising oceans and the rapid decrease in nature’s ability to cool our planet, it’s time to take action. Change is coming and it’s coming fast. We must begin now to restructure how we live, both individually and collectively if we’re to beat this storm.

We can overcome many CLIMATE CHANGE issues at the community level

Growing food near home year-round is something most of us can participate in. Hoop houses can be inexpensively constructed and extend the growing season. We have many empty buildings near Herkimer’s village center that can be used for hydroponic indoor gardening. Community garden space should be allocated to all residents who wish to participate.

CLIMATE change – Living smarter, living smaller

We can solve the dual problems of energy consumption and housing for those inevitably relocating to Central New York due to coastal flooding. Herkimer’s many large older houses can come into play as inland migration grows.  We can adapt our living needs to smaller spaces, and prepare to share our homes and the cost of operating them with others. Living smaller is a national trend and a sustainable model, as illustrated by the increasing popularity of affordable micro homes in NYC and California.

Even here, high temperatures may become an issue far sooner than expected. We should consider how we can lower temperatures by creating more shade from the sun. Hopefully in the near future we can use nano-satellites to decrease accelerating temperatures. But lower cost low tech options are available as well. We can plant more trees in open spaces and create underground areas for improved insulation from heat. An inexpensive way to do this is with shipping containers. This couple in California created a solar powered, underground shipping container home for only $30,000.  In 104 F temperatures, the indoor temperature is only 80 F with no air conditioning (24 degrees cooler!).

Everyone can make a difference

“Not much we can do about it” is defeatist. There is so much we can do about it! So – let’s get started! If you’d like to form an action committee for repurposing unused buildings for indoor gardening, planting trees, community gardening, or you have a good idea about something else please contact me at linda.ljanek@gmail.com.

I hope to hear from you!

 

 

 

 

 

Why Escape to New York State?

by Linda Kaidan
Herkimer Property Values Rising
Herkimer County Rising Property Values

New York is the only state with free undergraduate tuition

With ocean levels rising faster than ever and insurers reluctant to cover coastal properties without high cost premiums, non-coastal New York State looks better than ever as a place to find employment, start a company or to retire. For parents of college aged students and students themselves the State of New York offers a very special resource: Free college tuition in its SUNY and CUNY university systems.

New York State offers greater climate change security  – escape to New York State

Much of New York City and the area around it are close to sea level; subject to increasing coastal storms and flooding, like hurricane Sandy, which cost New York State $41.9 billion. Fortunately, New York’s average elevation is 1,000 feet. We also border Lake Erie and Lake Ontario, two of the five Great Lakes, which contain 20 percent of the world’s surface fresh water resources.

New York 2015 GDP on par with Canada

New York is a progressive state with abundant social benefits. This is especially important in a time when our federal government is busy defunding seemingly every social service we have. New York is economically stable and extremely prosperous – more so than most countries in the world. New York’s 2016 GDP was $1,488.0 billion, ranking 3rd in the United States. Its world rank in 2015 was on par with the national rank of Canada. In 2015, New York State’s per capita GDP was the highest in the nation, with the exception of oil rich Alaska.

New York’s vast forests largest in US

New York’s state capital, Albany, is currently building a robust infrastructure to support a booming economy and growing population. Available health services are widely accessible and the quality of health care is very high. North of both Albany and our central Mohawk Valley are the Adirondack Mountains, home to the largest contiguous forest in the United States. They’re owned, protected and carefully managed by the state of New York, a resource in perpetuity  for the people of New York. New York’s forests won’t be sold off and ravaged, as our president advocates for vast public acreages entrusted to his stewardship.

New York State’s the best place to move for opportunity and security

If you love natural beauty, want free college education, a robust social service safety network, a prosperous economy and climate change security, you’ll find it here in New York State. Our abundant fresh water, rich farmlands and superb transportation networks make New York one of the best places on earth to move to for opportunity, safety and a better life.

Herkimer New York has low per square foot price

Considering escaping to New York State? You can take advantage of good buys throughout Central New York and the Mohawk Valley. Consider Herkimer New York, home to an outstanding two-year SUNY, located on the banks of the Erie Canal and the Mohawk River, just 1¼ hours to Albany and 22 minutes to Nano Utica.

This scenic spot is a 10 minute walk from our home in Herkimer Village. Most of the walk is down country lanes.

New York Times Encourages Coastal Resident Relocation

Coastal Resident Relocation
Hard Rock Cafe after Katrina 2005

The New York Times made one of the most significant contributions to protecting mankind this week, when it painted a clear picture of the jeopardy we are now in from climate change. NYT’s earthshaking article, Perils of climate change could swamp coastal real estate, makes it clear how buying and owning property in coastal areas is a risk to both your person and your wallet. For all coastal dwellers like those in Florida, Louisiana, New York, Sidney Australia and the Pacific Islands, now is the time to relocate rather than play a game of Russian Roulette which the ocean will inevitably win.

Florida is a narrow peninsula with a single major highway, I-75 that connects the south to the north. It is easy to imagine a cataclysmic event where vehicles are at a bumper to bumper standstill as a hurricane-driven super wave rolls across the flat landscape destroying everything for miles.

The New York Times has stated clearly that those in low lying coastal areas must relocate. It has issued the first direct call to migrate from unsafe areas most endangered by climate change. If you live in such an area, think about moving inland.   If you are in a safe and sustainable area like Herkimer County, Albany, Rochester or anywhere in Central New York – prepare to receive incoming populations.

By Linda Kaidan

Related readings:

Climate Change Survival

Halt Runaway Global Warming

Tiny new satellites can guarantee that we don’t die from global warming

Surviving Climate Change: Decide to Live by Linda Kaidan

 

Problems Nano Technology Can Solve

Graphene

Miracle substances made from nano-sized material can help us live longer despite serious disease, and can help save our planet from the devastating effects of climate change. Products made from these materials will be researched, designed and produced in the Mohawk Valley of New York.

Graphene is a two-dimensional material made from carbon. In 2010, groundbreaking experimentation with this substance won Konstantin Novoselov and Andre Geim the Nobel Prize in Physics. A stellar performer in material science, graphene’s electrical, chemical, mechanical and optical properties make it a miracle for innovators in many different fields.

Carbon in graphene is one atom thick, a hexagonal lattice with a single carbon atom at each of its 6 vertices. It’s ironic that a way to overcome the long-term threat to life on Earth posed by climate change is by using the very material that all life on Earth is made from, carbon.

A recent MIT tech review article discusses how super thin graphene can mitigate climate change. Graphene may be the catalyst to protecting us from slow death by  global warming. Graphene traps the carbon that contributes to CO2 pollution and the greenhouse effect—a process that’s causing average temperatures to rise all over the Earth.Through the process of graphene sequestering, this seemingly miraculous material will convert the harmful CO2 it captures into a valuable building material.

Researchers are optimistic about graphene’s huge potential for reducing atmospheric temperature. They calculate that given an area less than 10 percent of the size of the Sahara Desert, the method could remove enough carbon dioxide to make global atmospheric levels return to preindustrial levels within 10 years, even if we keep emitting the greenhouse gas at a high rate during that period.

Another nano-filter solution of global impact is desalination. Many parts of our planet are experiencing severe drought. California has long been a region where much of US produce is grown. But California’s devastating water shortage may severely impact its agricultural production.  With graphene, though, large scale and inexpensive desalination can come to the rescue.Reuters reports that defense contractor Lockheed Martin is developing graphene filters to cleanse wastewater contaminated by oil, using sheets with precisely designed openings of 1 nanometer, a one-atom thick membrane.

Graphene sheets can be produced with precisely-sized holes as small as 1 nanometer, or a billionth of a meter (0.000000001, or 10-9 meters). Lockheed eventually plans on also applying this technology to desalination. The methodology has proven successful, but further refinement  is needed to make the solution cost effective.

Filtering carbon from the atmosphere and removing salt and contaminants from ocean water are critical uses of graphene, an incredibly versatile nano material vital to solving some of the earth’s most pressing problems.

Linda Kaidan

Mohawk Valley Water

mohawk river valley Mohawk River Mohawk Valley water will likely save us from experiencing events like the 134,000 acre wildfire in California, where 13,000 people are now being evacuated. Fueled by dry vegetation from a relentless drought, these fires seems to signal the start of an epoch dry period Northern CA must now address differently than in the past. It’s not just California’s problem, it’s a problem for the majority of the US residents–California’s Central Valley produces 2/3 of all the produce grown in the US. Northern California is home to a vital national resource, the Silicon Valley, where new technology is incubated and produced for worldwide use. Computer and biotech industries cluster about the San Francisco Bay area. Their vibrancy reflects that of the California economy, which in 2014 was the world’s eighth largest. With California’s ever-increasing droughts and with wildfires burning with only limited control, it seems reasonable to ask:

  • Why is California so dry, and is this trend likely to continue?
  • How can this precipitous state of instability be contained so that precious resources are not further endangered?

Too Dry

In 2014 the New York Times reported that 17 California rural communities providing water to 40,000 people were within four months of running out of water. The situation hasn’t improved. Agricultural demands, home consumption and landscaping requirements have increased even as water resources continue to diminish. And people have often proven unresponsive to conservation needs, allowing water guzzlers to grab more than their fair share. California’s 2014 rainfall year ended with one of the lowest rainfalls since the 1920’s.

A more stable California

Because California has limited water resources and a high population density, it makes sense to do things differently. Californians love their state, but they also need enough water for their needs and safety from dangerous and uncontrollable wild fires. On the upside, it seems desalination is coming to the fore to increase available fresh water. High tech materials like graphene may also make the production of abundant fresh water from the ocean possible on a broad scale. More effective waste water recycling is possible–Australia has shown us the way, with the largest recycling plant of its kind anywhere.

Moving to a greener place

Today’s industries have become adept at decentralizing, with workers telecommuting from anywhere on the planet. Mobile technology is widely and available to people and companies at reasonable cost. (Google, provider of the world’s most popular search engine, has decided to penalize website rankings for those who have mobile unfriendly layouts.)

A new beginning that works better

It makes sense for companies to be located where there’s excellent transportation, services and resources, including abundant water and natural beauty. Herkimer and other towns in the Mohawk Valley region can provide the safety of a water-rich geography, a technological backbone and a convenient location. One quarter of the total North American population is located within 300 miles of Herkimer County. Andrew Cuomo, Governor of NY, has initiated a $1.5 billion upstate economic development competition.

New York’s upstate regions are battling each other for one of three $500 million prizes. Proposals may be submitted until October 5, 2015. Rebuild and renew in New York’s Mohawk Valley where you’ll find New York’s resources, green energy, seemingly unlimited water supplies and the majestic Adirondack Forest – largest in the US. Embrace the serenity of nature and the resources you need to live well.

Let’s Prevent Food Shortages in Herkimer

 

food shortage vezuala
Global Warming has wreaked havoc in national and international food markets  but we can prevent food shortages in our community. 

There have been wheat and corn shortages, chocolate and coffee shortages and, amazingly for us here in the Northeast, even egg shortages. Food shortages in Venezuela are an example of how catastrophic such conditions can become.

One clear example of the effects of a changing climate on food production is the prolonged drought in California’s Central Valley. It’s resulted in a loss of 5 percent of irrigated cropland, or $800 million in crop revenue, according to UC Davis. Central Valley has long been renowned for its abundant harvests of apricots, asparagus, almonds, cotton, tomatoes and grapes.

Another widespread loss is in eggs. The US used to export about 30 million eggs per day. Now we’re importing eggs to cover shortages resulting from Bird Flu. Our nationwide production is down by 28 million eggs per day.

Let’s face it – Living in Herkimer, a veritable agricultural Garden of Eden, we should not have food shortages.  Our fertile soil, abundant farmland and wealth of water resources are what first attracted settlers to the flats along the Mohawk, and have sustained our farm families for generations. We should be able to provide bountiful food locally for everyone and at a lower cost because it is grown here. There’s no necessity to import produce that can be locally grown from California or Florida. And soon, probably impossible, given the toll climate is taking on crop yields in formerly abundant agricultural regions. We need to begin cultivating our own food self-sufficiency now, in the thousands of fertile acres that abound in Herkimer and the Mohawk Valley. We’ll have fresher food that requires less energy to grow and distribute.

We can expand our expertise to include fish farming, and we can grow our crops all year long in such inexpensive structures as hoop houses that provide the warm sunlit environment plants need. We can try aquaponics and hydroponics for high density, organic indoor farming.

Community farming can be the opportunity we need to teach vital sustainability skills to our children even as we grow our farms to protect us from disaster by providing food security. Working together for the benefit of all also teaches us the social skills we need to foster a genuine, sustainable community. We might also petition our mayor to let us have chickens and a goat or two, even if we live within Herkimer Village.

Always keep in mind that just because you’re one person, you’re not incapable of making important changes. By growing your own food and joining others in making our community a sustainable one, you can make our planet healthier while bringing food security to your home and neighborhood.