and Using Energy Wisely
Fossil Fuels Contributes to Global Warming
Fossil Fuels Contributes to Local Air Pollution with Adverse
on Foreign Oil Compromises U.S. National and Economic Security.
Renewable Energy Sources
Energy Leadership Task Force
Island Interfaith Environmental Network
Island Energy and Environment Roundtable
Island Offshore Wind Energy
Fuel School Buses
Star Homes requirement for local building codes
Fossil Fuels Contributes to Global Warming
warming documentary film "An Inconvenient Truth" has
been well received on Long Island. To find out more about the
film, and find local theaters where it is playing, visit www.climatecrisis.net.
To read a Long Island Press article about the film, visit www.longislandpress.com/?cp=162&show=article&a_id=8770.
atmosphere acts as a natural blanket trapping heat.
Human beings are increasing the amount of Greenhouse gases
by burning fossil fuels. The increased greenhouse gases "thicken
the blanket, because, although they allow in visible light
from the sun, they trap more of the energy that the earth would
otherwise radiate out to space as infra-red light.
the greenhouse gases ?
Carbon dioxide (CO2)
nitrous oxide (NOx)
and water vapor
As a result
of the increased "greenhouse effect" the earth's temperature
is increasing. Records show an average global temperature increase
of almost 1 degree Fahrenheit, about 1/2 a degree in the past
two decades. The rate of increase is very rapid, geologically
speaking, and it is speeding up.
Hansen of the Goddard Institute for Space Studies claims that
his research indicates that the rate of increase in greenhouse
gases must be reduced within 10 years, or unstoppable climactic
changes will result. Hanson stated on CBS News' 60
have to, in the next 10 years, get off this exponential curve
and begin to decrease the rate of growth of CO2 emissions, and
then flatten it out. And before we get to the middle of the
century, weve got to be on a declining curve...
doesn't happen in 10 years, then I dont think we can keep
global warming under one degree Celsius and that means were
going to, that theres a great danger of passing some of
these tipping points. If the ice sheets begin to disintegrate,
what can you do about it? You cant tie a rope around the
ice sheet. You cant build a wall around the ice sheets.
It will be a situation that is out of our control."
Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has stated that the globe's temperature
could rise by up to 11 degrees Fahrenheit, in this century. By
way of contrast, the last ice age, which ended 12,000 years ago,
was brought on by a drop in average temperature of only 5 degrees
Fahrenheit, at its peak, the average temperature was only 7 degrees
F colder than today.
It is predicted that droughts may become more common and longer
Glaciers: Two-thirds of Antarctica's Larsen B ice shelf
(the size of Rhode Island) collapsed over a 35-day period between
January 31 and March 7, 2002. Both Arctic and Greenland glaciers
are melting very rapidly. Permafrost in Western Siberia is thawing
for the first time in 11,000 years. The area, which is the size
of France and Germany combined, could release billions of tons
of greenhouse gases (mostly methane) into the atmosphere.
Level Rise: As the oceans warm they expand, and the melting
of glaciers releases water that was trapped on land into the oceans,
raising sea level.
models predict a rise in sea level over the next 100 yrs of
8 to 34 inches, but most likely 20 inches
Total monetary losses caused by a 39 inch rise are estimated
to be between $270 and $275 billion.
a rise would inundate wetlands, accelerate coastal erosion,
raise water tables, and increase salinity of rivers, bays, and
Our Built and Natural Environments:
A Technical Review of the Interactions
Between Land Use, Transportation,
and Environmental Quality
US Environmental Protection Agency
Frequency and Severity of Extreme Weather: As energy
is added to the atmosphere in the form of increased temperature,
storms will become more frequent and more violent, heat waves
will be more common.
Publication Regional Impacts Report, says: Global
climate change is expected to alter the frequency and severity
It also is possible that hurricanes could become
more intense. This is already happening: many cases of unusually
violent storms are documented around the globe.
Hurricane Charley -Category 4 = Winds 131 - 155 mph
Hurricane Frances -Category 4
Hurricane Ivan -Category 5 = Winds >155 mph
2005 U.S. Hurricanes
Katrina, Wilma, and Rita all were Category 5 before they hit land.
This season was the most costly in U.S. History, surpassing the
$45 billion record set the prior year.
every area will become hotter as the earth warms: One
model predicts that global warming could diminish the flow of
the gulf stream. This would cause temperatures to drop on the
east coast of North America and in Western Europe
Insurance Industry Sees Weather Risks Ahead: According
to insurance industry data, weather-related disasters cost the
insurance industry an average of about $2 billion/yr in the 1980s
and more than $12 billion/yr in the 1990s (From The Heat Is On,
by Ross Gelbspan)
2004, the world's second-largest reinsurer, Swiss Re, warned that
the economic costs of natural disasters, aggravated by global
warming, could double to $150 billion a year in 10 years.
Diseases May Spread Northward:
As temperatures rise, diseases now endemic to tropical and sub-tropical
areas may increase their range. Diseases that are spread
by mosquitoes and other insects could become more prevalent if
warmer temperatures enabled those insects to survive winters.
diseases include malaria, dengue fever, yellow fever, encephalitis,
and West Nile. Malaria reemerged on L.I. in 1999.
Fossil Fuels Contributes to Local Air Pollution with Adverse Health
study from the University of California showed that children with
asthma are at much greater risk of increased asthma symptoms when
they live in communities with higher levels of ozone and particulate
matter, like Nassau & Suffolk.
(which runs childrens schoolbuses) is a fossil fuel which
contains several carcinogens, and releases a high level of particulates
Island is a Non-attainment Area for Ozone
is formed when nitrogen oxides (NOx) react with other pollutants
- such as Volatile Organic Compounds (VOCs) - in the presence
of sunlight. The major sources of ozone are automobile and power
effects of ozone include: rapid shallow breathing, airway irritation,
coughing, wheezing, shortness of breath. Ozone makes asthma worse,
and it may be related to premature birth, cardiac birth defects,
low birth weight and stunted lung growth.
who are more vulnerable to ozone include: children, the elderly,
people with asthma or other respiratory disease, and people who
Island Lung Disease Incidence
Pediatric Asthma 26,713
Adult Asthma 78,237
Chronic Bronchitis 42,687
Cardiovascular disease 369,834
Pediatric Asthma 31,031
Adult Asthma 84,906
Chronic Bronchitis 44,577
Cardiovascular disease 369,325
Renewable Energy Sources
production facility opened in Bohemia.
the ribbon cutting ceremony for the biodiesel plant (left
to right): Andy Edelman, Corporate Board Member of NAFBC;
Legislator Wayne Horsley; Gary Weiner, President of Russell
Reid; C. David Butler II, CEO of NABFC; County Executive
Steve Levy; Deputy Presiding Officer Vivian Viloria-Fisher;
and Neal Lewis, Executive Director of the Neighborhood Network.
North American BioFuels
Company has opened the first commercial processing facility in
the northeastern United States to convert restaurant grease into
biofuel. The Bohemia-based North American BioFuels Company, Inc.,
will initially be producing up to 1,000 gallons of biodiesel per
day in its pilot program, and anticipates it can produce as much
as 20,000 gallons daily with a steady waste stream of restaurant
grease. Russell Reid, a local, non-hazardous liquid waste hauler,
will provide the waste grease supply which will be converted into
biodiesel fuel for on-road use, as well as home heating oil.
Biodiesel can be used
in any diesel vehicle, or in home heating oil burners. It can
be used alone, or mixed with petroleum diesel at any percentage.
Biodiesel greatly reduces most diesel emissions, especially particulate
matter, sulfates, hydrocarbons (which contribute to ozone formation),
polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbons (potential carcinogens). Because
it is made from plant material, the carbon dioxide released when
biodiesel is burned was absorbed by the plant while it was growing,
greatly reducing net greenhouse gas emissions.
This project is an
environmental plus on many levels; it takes a local waste product
and produces a clean fuel for local use.
The Long Island Green Homes Consortium is helping Long Islanders participate in government and utility programs to improve home energy efficiency.
Most Long Islanders have already started making their homes more energy efficient, and less costly to heat and cool.
According to a 2008 survey, 75% of Long Island homeowners have invested in more insulation in their homes. Energy efficiency investments in your home more than pay for themselves and save you money for years.
- Now it’s easier than ever to upgrade your home’s energy performance.
- Start with a free or reduced-cost home energy audit.
- All contractors are BPI accredited and approved by State and utility.
- Energy bill savings more than pay for improvements to your home.
- With low cost financing from NYSERDA, you could have little or no out-of-pocket expenses.
Several utility and government program are available to Long Island homeowners. Visit the LI Green Homes Consortium website to find out how you can get the incentives and benefits that are best for your home.
The Neighborhood Network is partnering with other Long Island environmental, civic, public health and business groups in what may be the largest grass roots public awareness campaign ever on Long Island. The collaborative is working to make every Long Island homeowner aware of the many State, local government and utility sponsored programs that are available to provide assistance in making homes more energy efficient, and urging all Long Islanders to take advantage of these programs.
Network Clean Energy Projects
The Neighborhood Network's
clean energy efforts are funded in part by a grant from the Henry
Phillip Kraft Memorial Fund at the Long
Island Community Foundation.
Energy Leadership Task Force
Network has launched an exciting program that will work with municipalities
to transform their buildings and vehicle fleets to clean energy
technologies. See Clean Energy Leadership
Island Places of Worship Clean Energy Committee
is growing interest among many religious institution around the
country in good stewardship of the planet earth. The Neighborhood
Newtork is working to foster and harness this interest on Long
Island, to create positive change. To that end we have joined
with a number of representatives of religious congregations to
form the Long Island Places of Worship
Clean Energy Committee. The mission of the committee
is to educate leaders and facility managers about energy efficiency
and renewable energy technologies that they can implement in their
places of worship.
Island Places of Worship Clean Energy Committee.
presented a conference on Energy Efficiency for Religious
Congregations, Thursday, May 10, 2007. The confernece
was held at the Neighborhood Network office in Farmingdale, and
featured presentations on:
energy efficiency makes us good stewards of the earth,
incentive programs are available to places of worship, and
success stories from places of worship in our region.
a flyer about the conference (pdf format)
Island Places of Worship Clean Energy Committee is made
up of various faiths including representatives from Catholic Charities,
Unitarian Universalist Fellowship of Huntington, St. Martin of
Tours Outreach, Amityville, Sophia Garden/Homecoming, the LI Council
of Churches, Molloy College, and New York State Interfaith Power
your congregation to participate; all faiths welcome. Find out
more by calling the Neighborhood Network at 631-963-5454.
Network Public Education Campaigns and General Information
energy and money with LED holiday lights
Saving Tips -- It's easy!
Warming and Fossil Fuel Use Facts
Climate Change Presentations
Network hosts Greater
Long Island Clean Cities seminar "Municipalities
- Fleets of the Future" July 27, 2005
-- LIPA releases Clean Energy Initiative Report for 2004
York Times Long Island Section profiles Neighborhood Network sponsored
screening of "End of Suburbia"
from the 2003 Blackout
States accounts for 4% of the global population but 43% of energy
use. The time is ripe for changes in public attitudes and behavior
on energy consumption and climate change. Climate scientists have
extensive documentation of the effects of climate change already
occurring. The continuing violence in Iraq, Afghanistan, Israel
& Palestine, highlight the instability of the Middle East.
The heightened focus on national security call into question the
U.S.'s increasing dependence on foreign oil, when the world's
largest reserves are located in extremely volatile regions. These
energy supply and national security concerns, rising fuel prices,
combined with the environmental goals of improving local air quality
and reducing climate change provide strong incentives for change.
There are a number
of steps that all of us can take, both by adopting new technologies
and by changing our habits to reduce our use of non-renewable
Steps Towards Energy Efficiency
Lighting -- Replace incandescent
bulbs with long-lasting, power saving compact fluorescent
bulbs. By changing to compact fluorescence the average
consumer can save 50-80% in their lighting energy costs. (To learn
more about efficient lighting see www.greenseal.org.) LED lights are even more
efficient and are being used in applications from exit signs to
holiday lights. Install motion sensors so lights are not left
on when there is nobody present. Use task lighting instead of
room lighting. When possible use natural lighting sources such
as skylights and "light-pipes."
Efficient appliances -- Replace old, electricity-hungry
appliances that waste power and money with new, Energy Star labeled devices. Heavy electricity users include:
refrigerators; washing machines (LIPA offers a rebate
off the purchase of Energy Star clothes washers); dishwashers;
and air conditioners. (LIPA also provides rebates
on Energy Star central air conditioners.) To learn more about
efficient lighting see www.greenseal.org.
Energy saving practices --
- Check your
refrigerator -- defrost, check seals, clean coils.
- Use a programmable
thermostat for heating and central air, don't waste money and
energy heating or cooling your house when nobody is home. (See
the LIPA Edge program for getting a thermostat.)
- Use fans
instead of air conditioners.
- Many appliances
and electronic devices use power even when they are turned off,
unplug them, or use a power strip with a switch to cut these
"energy vampires" off.
- See LIPA's
web site for a web-based, do-it-yourself home energy audit.
- Cut down
on peak usage, do laundry and dishes at night or in the morning,
set pool pumps to run during off peak hours (after 8:00 p.m.)
tips see the Sustainable Energy Alliance of Long Island and the NRDC
Hybrid and alternative power cars
-- If you are in the market for a new car, hybrid cars are becoming
available in more models (Honda Insight & Civic,
and more are slated to be on the market soon. Using both a gasoline
engine and an electric motor, hybrid cars get substantially better
gas mileage than conventional cars, but don't have the range limitations
and special recharging requirements of electric vehicles. (More
information about how
hybrid cars work.)
about the Neighborhood Network staff's experience with a compressed
natural gas (CNG) powered car.
Major home system upgrades --
heating and cooling -- Geothermal heat pumps use the ambient temperature of the earth
to heat and cool your home. An EPA study found that geothermal
systems are the most energy and cost efficient available.
power -- The power of the sun can be used to heat
water, or to create electricity. Photovoltaic systems produce
the most electricity in the summer, when demand is the highest,
and could potentially reduce the peak load significantly. The
cost of photovoltaic systems can be offset by Federal and NY
State credits and LIPA's Solar Pioneer program, and now NY State and Suffolk County
have eliminated the sales tax on solar
from the 2003 Blackout
know the blackout spread quickly and widely because of
an antiquated electricity transmission system during a period
of heavy load. An updated transmission grid would be more energy
efficient and less likely to fail. Electricity providers also
need to fix bottlenecks in the grid where they exist.
blackout makes it more apparent that we must conserve energy (see
LIPA statement below) and should actively urge our representatives
to reinstate higher efficiency air conditioner standards that
were recently overturned by the Bush administration. Reducing
strain on the electricity grid through efficiency conservation
not only means that we are doing our part for the electricity
grid, but also saves us money on energy bills, and reduces the
amount of greenhouse gases we produce which contribute to global
climate change. See LIPA's "LIPA Edge" program at www.lipaedge.com
which allows LIPA to lower central air demand if needed.
must also urge for alternative power such as solar panels, wind
and hydrogen fuel cells, and adopt new federal rules that allow
these alternative power sources access to the electricity grid.
LIPA offers an excellent rebate for solar panels for homes and
businesses. See www.lipower.org/solar/index.html.
policy makers are already starting to take advantage of the blackout
to push environmentally destructive energy policies that will
do nothing to solve the transmission grid problems. Relaxing environmental
regulations on power plant air pollution, drilling for oil in
the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge, and opening up sensitive
public lands to oil and gas exploration will do nothing to fix
transmission bottlenecks at the root of the recent blackout.
Energy Related Links:
(Great L.I. Clean Cities Coalition)
(ground source heating and cooling)
(structural insulated panels)
(wind generation info)
(magnetically levitated trains)
(National Renewable Energy Laboratory)
(LIPA's Clean Energy Initiative)
(to enroll online in LIPA's Watts Going Down program)