Dan Miner's sustainability and resilience initiatives
The ongoing fight to save democracy and block fascism
While the 2022 midterms resulted in the MAGA Republicans taking control of the House of Representatives, starting off what will surely be a two year ongoing disaster, the outcome could have been much worse. Conditions have shifted over the last few years, and the masks are off. It's now clear that any so-called moderate Republicans have either been forced out and replaced by MAGA extremists, or have bent the knee to the coalition of fascists, oligarchs and insurrectionists. What next? The struggle continues. The climate crisis continues to worsen. The only way to enact widespread and intense emergency responses - which might still avoid the worst case scenarios - would be for Democrats to win the Presidency, the House and the Senate in 2024.
The campaign for the 2024 election is already underway. The forces of fascism may yet win out. We can't afford to give up. If you are already involved, thank you. If not, please reconsider, because democracy vs. fascism is getting a rematch in 2024. Here in New York State, formerly considered safely blue, the NYS Democratic Party completely failed to run effective campaigns, leading to the loss of 5 Congressional seats, and the frighteningly narrow victory of closet Republican Governor Kathy Hochul over an extremist MAGA insurrectionist. Both moderate and progressive Democrats blame the loathsome Jay Jacobs, the NYS Democratic Party Chair, who is certainly incompetent but is very likely complicit with Republicans.
So what's next? Follow progressive groups of your choice - such as Indivisible or Swing Left, or the Working Families Party - for campaigns as they come up. There is a growing movement to push for the replacement of Jacobs.Try to maintain your own mental and physical health, and look for ways to help out and improve the world, even in the most modest ways. Do what you can, and good luck to us all in 2023. Click here for the full version.
NYC Can Capture Carbon to Cope with the Climate Crisis
- While Cutting Waste Disposal Costs
We're in a global climate crisis, but we can still avoid the worst case scenarios. Check out the Drawdown Project, a collection of the top 100 methods, extensively researched by scientists, to stop the increase in greenhouse gases and put them into reverse.
There are many ways to reduce carbon emissions by cutting fossil fuel use. It's also essential to capture carbon in solid form and keep it from going back into the atmosphere, and there are just a few ways to do it. The one most accessible to NYC is pyrolysis of carbon-containing organic materials, the process of heating them in the absence of oxygen, which produces charcoal-like products.
The organic materials could be agricultural wastes, dead trees, animal manure - or sewage sludge. NYC pays $50 million a year to haul 1,400 tons per day of sewage waste biosolids to faraway landfills. Here's an introduction on how NYC could carbonize that waste stream. It would save money, and open up an entirely new way for NYC to reduce its carbon emissions.
It would also make NYC a model for all the world's cities to do the same. This project has evolved over the last several years. Based on my ongoing discussions with the builder of a pyrolysis facilty in NJ, and the biosolids manager at NYC DEP, it seems that the issue deserves wider attention from the environmental community and more support from NY city and state officials.
Local Projects in Forest Hills, Queens
Forest Hills Green Team is a volunteer initiative that combines environmental advocacy with food waste collection for composting, and local gardening projects. Volunteers run a food scrap drop off site at the Commonpoint center. FHGT has adopted and maintains a public landscaping site on Yellowstone Boulevard around the LIRR overpass, and has worked with the Parks Department to care for nearby street trees. We have conducted candidate interviews and endorsements in several local races.