Environment

Trump calling national monuments into question

Trump calling national monuments into question

Part of effort to open lands to mining, oil, gas interests

BEARS EARS, Canyons of the Ancients, Craters of the Moon, Giant Sequoia – the names alone conjure mystery, majesty, wonder, and timelessness. These are just four of the 27 national monuments that are at grave risk under a review being carried out by the Trump administration. We need our Massachusetts congressional delegation, other elected leaders,(...)

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Thinking outside the infrastructure box

Thinking outside the infrastructure box

Is there room for modular sewage treatment plants?

IN THE INFRASTRUCTURE WORLD, the past casts a long shadow.  Decisions about where to place key public facilities—roads, tracks, and pipes—tend to have a type of permanence.  What’s more, they bake in policy decisions of previous eras, inadvertently affecting our own decisions today about how to provide important public services.  Disrupting the status quo isn’t(...)

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Baker backs Paris climate accord

Baker backs Paris climate accord

Joins Vermont governor on letter to Trump administration

STATE HOUSE NEWS SERVICE Students had prepared Wednesday to attempt to persuade Gov. Charlie Baker to speak out in support of the Paris climate change agreement. Instead, they ended up visiting his office to thank him for his support. Representatives from youth climate groups had announced plans on Tuesday to visit the State House to(...)

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Boston seizes clean energy opportunity

Boston seizes clean energy opportunity

Cities take initiative on climate change as federal government retreats

IT’S BEEN A sobering few months for clean energy advocates. Despite the Trump administration’s disdain for programs and policies intended to lower the carbon emissions that threaten the safety and well-being of the nation, Boston and like-minded cities are surging ahead to take advantage of the economic, health and other benefits inherent in a carbon-free(...)

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Judy Grinnell’s river rehab

Judy Grinnell’s river rehab

After a decade overseeing Hoosic River Revival, she is stepping away

Photograph by Frank Curran What’s the Hoosic River Revival all about? The Hoosic River trickles through downtown North Adams within old, concrete, inaccessible flood control chutes that protect the city but don’t provide any other advantages. Our goal is to create a 21st century system that restores the river to a more natural state and(...)

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Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Wynn shipping contaminated soil around nation

Cleanup of 500,000 tons of toxic dirt from casino site sent to landfills in seven states and Canada

THE CLEANUP OF the Wynn Resorts casino site in Everett is a case of addition through subtraction. Before the Wynn tower could start going up, all of the contaminated soil on the property had to be removed. An estimated 500,000 tons of dirt containing PCBs, arsenic, lead, ash, petroleum products, and asbestos were carted off(...)

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MA should finance climate change projects abroad

MA should finance climate change projects abroad

Barrett bill would allow tax refunds to go to UN fund

BY PROPOSING TO SLASH FEDERAL SPENDING to combat climate change, President Trump has declared war on our ability to deal with a very real, existential global problem that cannot be solved by building walls.  As Washington abrogates its leadership both at home and abroad, states and cities must step up on both.  Globally, the poorest(...)

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Preparing for a shrinking Boston

Preparing for a shrinking Boston

Resilience should be goal; resistance is futile

SETTLED BY EUROPEAN COLONISTS in 1630, Boston was founded on the narrow Shawmut Peninsula behind the protective landforms of what are today Stellwagen Bank, Winthrop, Hull, and the 34 Boston Harbor Islands. Our ancestors sited Boston well. In addition to protecting the city from sea-based attacks, Boston Harbor’s natural topography limits extreme storm surges to(...)

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Trump’s attack on environment is attack on communities of color

Trump’s attack on environment is attack on communities of color

Minorities will pay heaviest price from gutting of EPA and rollback of environmental protections

TWO WEEKS BEFORE the commencement of President Trump’s reign of error, the New York Times reported that in an effort to undermine strong public support for policies to prevent climate chaos, an organization financed by Charles and David Koch had launched an effort to convince nonwhite voters in particular that they are not at risk(...)

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Renewables not cheap

Renewables not cheap

Wind, solar far higher cost than ‘polluting energy’ sources

IN DECEMBER, A company called CleanChoice Energy mailed out a sales pitch to electricity customers in eastern Massachusetts. The letter acknowledged that 100 percent renewable energy from solar and wind would cost “a little more” than “polluting energy,” but said the added expense was worth it. “That’s because the energy you are choosing is better(...)

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