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Suggested 2015 Cuomo Resolution: "Get Back to Science" on Climate Change

PHOTO: Environmental advocates are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to make a resolution for 2015 and to get back to "established science" on climate change. Courtesy: governor.gov
PHOTO: Environmental advocates are calling on Governor Andrew Cuomo to make a resolution for 2015 and to get back to "established science" on climate change. Courtesy: governor.gov
December 8, 2014

NEW YORK - It's time to start thinking about New Year's resolutions, and local environmental advocates would like to see Governor Cuomo resolve to get back to science when it comes to climate change. Peter Iwanowitz, executive director with Environmental Advocates of New York, credits Cuomo with taking strong stands acknowledging the impacts of climate disruption in the wake of Superstorm Sandy, but he says that's changed in recent months. Iwanowitz says New York can't afford to have a governor who is backtracking on established science.

"We're very concerned to see the governor's more recent statements about there still being a debate about climate change and global warming; and specifically about whether or not humans are causing it," says Iwanowitz.

Following the massive lake-effect snowstorms in Buffalo, Governor Cuomo stated we are seeing a pattern of extreme weather we have not seen before, but he added he did not want to get into a political debate about the causes.

Cuomo is on record saying he believes extreme weather patterns will accelerate in coming years, but Iwanowitz says for New York to have a viable plan to restore coastal resiliency it has to take into account the impacts humans are having on climate.

"We have very lofty goals; an 80 percent cut in climate-disrupting pollutants by mid-century," says Iwanowitz. But what we don't see right now is a plan of action on how we are going to get there."

Iwanowitz says New York faces some critical decisions at the start of 2015.

"Whether it be extraction of natural gas through the fracking process or allowing Big Oil to run Canadian tar sands through New York State and on to market; These are not trivial discussions we are engaged in right now and decisions that have to be made fairly soon," he says.

Mike Clifford, Public News Service - NY