OP-ED

RI needs real environmental action in 2020

Posted

In virtually all the predictions of what will be hot in the 2020 General Assembly session, including the Providence Journal’s front-page session preview, there has been little mention of environmental policy. It is imperative that we make progress in 2020 on several fronts including plastics pollution, sea level rise, renewable energy, sustaining a clean water supply and waste management.

The foundation of Rhode Island’s economy – tourism, small business, boating, fisheries – depends on its policymakers looking beyond the current budget cycle and providing a reliable funding stream for these efforts. We also have the opportunity to recognize the innovation, growth and job creation that will come to our state when we embrace these priorities.

Our coastlines are being threatened by sea level rise. The Coastal Resources Management Council provides Rhode Island with maps predicting a changed shoreline in every coastal community. We must improve the capacity of local communities to respond to these changes by offering education, technical assistance and funding to support resilience and adaption. There is no need to spend any more time questioning the probability of sea level rise. It’s happening.

Off the coast of Rhode Island is a sustainable resource that is becoming a driver of economic growth: wind power. Policymakers must seize the opportunity to ensure that this green industry has the support it needs to grow in a way that respects the needs of those who use the waters for fishing and boating. Governor Raimondo’s mention of this in her State of the State address is a good sign, as is her commitment to 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030.

Rhode Island’s water supply needs long-term planning and policymakers’ attention. From the reservoirs close to the beach in Newport County, to the cross-bay pipeline that serves the East Bay, to the PFAS-polluted wells in Burrillville, our drinking water faces continued risk. The General Assembly must join with the governor to study these risks and provide stable, long-term funding to address them.

As we all know, Rhode Island faces a grave waste-management problem. The Central Landfill is nearing capacity; the town of Johnston cannot be expected to bear the burden of significant expansion. There is an easy mid-term solution here: produce less waste. At relatively low cost, the state can lead the nation in cutting our waste significantly by limiting the distribution of single-use plastic bags, straws and Styrofoam. We can also establish an aggressive statewide composting program to divert food waste and yard waste from the landfill to our renewed small-farming sector and our own home gardens.

All these issues require our policymakers’ immediate attention, stable funding and focused planning. If we are to protect our precious resources and secure a sustainable, healthy future for our beautiful state, the time to act is now.

Rep. June S. Speakman (D-Dist. 68, Warren, Bristol), Rep. Susan R. Donovan (D-Dist. 69, Bristol, Portsmouth), Rep. Liana Cassar (D-Dist. 66, Barrington, East Providence), Rep. Terri Cortvriend (D-Dist. 72, Portsmouth, Middletown) and Rep. Lauren H. Carson (D-Dist. 75, Newport) all represent coastal communities and share deep concern for the environment.

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justanidiot

perfect legislation for the general assembly. they need to outlaw climate change, sear rise, and tides while they are at it. then they can attack outlawiing hurricanes and blizzards. we just need rain at nights to keep the grass green in spring and summer. a light coating of snow on xmas. 75 degree days and 47 degree nights with 8% humidity. get on it ga. we need this all enacted into law.

Thursday, January 23
davebarry

Once again, if the seas are rising and maps show coasts being flooded, where are these politicians when it comes to building and rebuilding on the shore? Nada. Nothing. Not a peep. People should pay more for federal flood insurance and it should be a one time deal for any area that floods more than once in x number of years. Pick a number. Can't rebuild. Take the money and move. THAT is serious shore management.

Wednesday, January 29
Wuggly

1967: Dire Famine Forecast By 1975

1969: Everyone Will Disappear In a Cloud Of Blue Steam By 1989 (1969)

1970: Ice Age By 2000

1970: America Subject to Water Rationing By 1974 and Food Rationing By 1980

1971: New Ice Age Coming By 2020 or 2030

1972: New Ice Age By 2070

1974: Space Satellites Show New Ice Age Coming Fast

1974: Another Ice Age?

1974: Ozone Depletion a ‘Great Peril to Life

1976: Scientific Consensus Planet Cooling, Famines imminent

1980: Acid Rain Kills Life In Lakes

1978: No End in Sight to 30-Year Cooling Trend

1988: Regional Droughts (that never happened) in 1990s

1988: Temperatures in DC Will Hit Record Highs

1988: Maldive Islands will Be Underwater by 2018 (they’re not)

1989: Rising Sea Levels will Obliterate Nations if Nothing Done by 2000

1989: New York City’s West Side Highway Underwater by 2019 (it’s not)

2000: Children Won’t Know what Snow Is

2002: Famine In 10 Years If We Don’t Give Up Eating Fish, Meat, and Dairy

2004: Britain will Be Siberia by 2024

2008: Arctic will Be Ice Free by 2018

2008: Climate Genius Al Gore Predicts Ice-Free Arctic by 2013

2009: Climate Genius Prince Charles Says we Have 96 Months to Save World

2009: UK Prime Minister Says 50 Days to ‘Save The Planet From Catastrophe’

2009: Climate Genius Al Gore Moves 2013 Prediction of Ice-Free Arctic to 2014

2013: Arctic Ice-Free by 2015

Make up your minds.

Monday, February 10