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Devastating Mexico Earthquakes: Related to Climate Change? by City Tech Blogger Eduardo Bravo

Mexico has been hit by many earthquakes throughout the past years. The strongest to hit the country was on September 8, 2017. My hometown Huamuxtitlan Guerrero is located in the south eastern part of Mexico, and like many parts of Mexico it is a very poor town. The earthquake destroyed many houses, particularly where very poor people lived. These houses were very old and the material used to build them is called “adobe” which is a very soft clay-like material used by many people used to build their house because it’s cheap.

When the earthquake hit Mexico, it created a world of chaos. This earthquake struck in the morning when kids were at school and people were working. When the earthquake reached the 8.1 magnitude everybody started running and going to the schools to look for their children. In my hometown, 9 houses were destroyed by the earthquake. The government promised to send help, but the help never arrived. The food and materials to help the people also never arrived. Millions of people across the entire world sent money to help the Mexican people, but sadly the money never arrived. People are living under very bad conditions because they lost their house. They don’t have money to rebuild a new one because the economy is bad and the Mexican government is corrupt. Many people not only lost their homes, but they lost their loved ones as well. Thank God nobody died in my town, but in the town where the epicenter was located, the earthquake killed many people.



I know that all these earthquakes are happening in every single part of the world and that they are natural, but if we are being more conscious about taking care of our mother earth, we will reduce the magnitude of these disasters and their frequency. In my town, the elderly think that if we throw garbage on the roads and burn our garbage, it doesn’t affect the earth, but the truth is all the plastic and aluminum that is being burned in the landfills is actually causing the earth to increase the magnitude of these earthquakes. I try to tell people that we must use less plastic and at least try to recycle all the metals and plastic that they throw in the landfill. Some people are conscious and pay attention, while others ignore me and continue to burn their trash. I believe that by educating people and letting them see how every bad thing that we do to our mother earth actually comes back to us as natural disasters. I hope that one day the authorities in Mexico will be more conscious and spend money on educating people. Teaching them how to handle and take better care of the trash in each town.

Some see an indirect link to natural disasters such as the earthquake in Mexico and climate change. In his book Waking the Giant, Bill McGuire talks about the science behind climate change and how it creates ideal conditions for tsunamis, volcanic eruptions and earthquakes. We do many things to this earth that further the unstable fault lines, like the ones we have in Mexico. We need to examine what we do that might be making it easier for earthquakes to happen and when they do, to be more of a devastating effect

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Want to know about installing Solar? Check This Out

Solarize Our Congregation, an environmental arm of The Hudson River Presbytery Green, is holding two informational  sessions on installing solar energy in your home or non-profit business. The sessions will be held at two different locations in the Presbytery’s South region of Westchester and Rockland counties:

Post-Worship Info Session – Haverstraw    Sunday, March 18th, 11:30 a.m. to 12:30 p.m., Haverstraw Central Presbyterian Church, 89 Hudson Avenue, Haverstraw, NY 10927

Afternoon Info Session – Yorktown Heights    Sunday, March 18th, 4:00 to 5:00 p.m., First Presbyterian Church of Yorktown Heights, 2880 Crompond Road, Yorktown Heights, NY 10598



You can learn more about the programs here. Solarize Our Congregation is a unique initiative providing affordable, quality solar energy systems to homeowners and owners of commercial or nonprofit properties within the Hudson River Presbytery – SOUTH region (Westchester and Rockland counties). The proven Solarize model employs a group discount pricing structure, a pre-vetted and competitively selected solar installer, and community-based outreach and education to bring the benefits of solar energy to the community at a reduced cost.  All contracts must be signed by June 1, 2018 to qualify.

There is a special link to a form you can submit if you would like to find out if your home or commercial or nonprofit property is right for solar, just click the blue button on this page that says “Get Started.”

Save money by taking advantage of a unique group buying opportunity in a community and New York State-supported program.

The Solarize program benefits include:
• Significant solar discounts.
• Lower monthly utility bills.
• Pre-selected, competitively chosen solar contractor.

Solarize Our Congregation is a unique initiative providing affordable, quality solar energy systems to homeowners and commercial property owners.

The proven Solarize model employs a group discount pricing structure, a pre-vetted and competitively selected solar installer, and community-based outreach and education to bring the benefits of solar energy to the community at a reduced cost.

Who can take advantage of this offer?
Presbyterian Church members, along with friends and family that own their own homes and small businesses.

Sign up today and take advantage of great Solarize discounts! Deadline to Enroll: June 4, 2018.

Visit www.solarizeourcongregation.org/ for more information.


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OUR TAKE: Time for an Underground Supergrid by ClimateYou editor Abby Luby

Over a week ago, raging winds slammed the U.S. east coast, flooding coastal cities, toppling trees, downing power lines. Here in Westchester, New York, a large county directly north of New York City, most residents lost power for several days and many, like me, for over a week. When my neighborhood was without power it was pretty cold outside. And inside. The day after the storm, driving in a gusty, 25 mile-an-hour wind, we saw 50-year old white pines toppled across roads wrapped in electricity lines like Gulliver falling into the Lilliputians’ tangled web.

Living without electricity resonates strongly right now. At a recent meeting sponsored by the Climate Institute of Washington D.C., I learned first-hand about the North American Supergrid (NAS), a popular proposal to bury a high voltage direct current (HVDC) transmission network underground, complementing our existing grid to efficiently distribute electricity throughout the continental United States. Replacing our aging, above-ground grid with NAS would be a vast improvement and move us into the 21st century. The electricity NAS provides wouldn’t be susceptible to destructive storms, like the kind of storm we are increasingly experiencing from the impacts of climate change on our weather systems. You can read ClimateYou’s first report on the Supergrid here.

The NAS meeting featured knowledgeable experts who explained how the underground grid would work in a way everyone could understand. John Topping, CEO of the Climate  Institute, gave a comprehensive overview and introduced Charles Bayless, Former CEO, Tucson Electric and Illinois Power. Bayless spoke to the economics of NAS and projected a cost of $500 billion which would be incremental over a 30-year period and paid by rate-payer fees without resorting to federal funds. Also, the project expects to hire between 650,000 and 950,000 workers yearly. NAS would be cost-effective because it would have the ability to tap into any energy provider (think solar, wind), no matter how far away, meaning ample electricity to every state and would greatly reduce carbon emissions from fossil fuel plants. Rachel Levine, Chief Engineer at Climate Institute showed us the nuts and bolts of the project and how most of the underground cable would run parallel to roadways, much like the U.S. Interstate Highway system. The underground super grid would have little environmental impact because of its minimal footprint. Most important: the Supergrid would use fortified hardware to protect against extreme weather, electromagnetic pulses, terrorism and geomagnetic disturbances.


The Supergrid received wide recognition in 2016 when Dr. Sandy MacDonald, one of the world’s top weather scientists, and a group of scientists released an NAS study in the publication Nature Climate Change. The Climate Institute immediately jumped on board and bolstered the study with its own feasibility analyses easily justifying that NAS was a necessity. Organizations such as Bloomberg Philanthropies should be taking notice, especially since Michael Bloomberg and Carl Pope’s book “Climate of Hope” cites an HVDC Supergrid as “one of the productive means the U.S. might promote de-carbonization.” It’s time to push forward for more traction with policymakers and investors.

I’m not missing thundering gas generator right outside my bedroom window, especially when it started to growl that it needed more gas.  As I huddled around my wood stove five days into the outage, heavy, wet snow was falling and would be 6-8 inches deep by the morning, making any possible repairs to  electric lines more difficult, if at all possible. It took  ConEd crew much longer to fix the lines and restore power.

Climate change weather models show us scenarios that will get predictably worse. Our century old, above-ground grid has become more and more vulnerable. We can’t just hope the NAS becomes a reality, it has to be built.


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Climate Change Pushing Species Extinction by ClimateYou Senior Editor George Ropes

The Guardian has just published an article entitled, “The Terrifying Phenomenon that is Pushing Species towards Extinction,” by freelance science journalist David Derbyshire and about how climate change is contributing to the rise in mass mortality events (MMEs).  A study by the National Academy of the Sciences found 727 such events involving more than 2400 animal populations since 1940. They have occurred around the world, afflicting antelope-like saiga in Kazakhstan, flying foxes (aka fruit bats) in Australia, as well as sardines, anchovies, and starfish along the Atlantic coast. Disease triggered by climate change (heat, cold, humidity, oxygen stress, starvation) causes about 1/4 of the die-offs, climate change alone another 1/4, and human-caused conditions like pollution about 1/5. The frequency and the severity of MMEs seems to be increasing year by year. Scientists expect additional species to be impacted, including reindeer and elk. They are on the lookout because MMEs can push any species toward extinction. Since climate is implicated in about half of all MMEs, the best preventive measure humans can take is to clamp down hard on the greenhouse gases that cause most climate change

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OUR ANTHROPOCENE: ECO CRISES – Artists Respond to Climate Change by ClimateYou Editor Abby Luby

Artistic expression, be it music, prose, poetry or the visual arts, reveal the essence of how we live – our joys, fears, beliefs, and future expectations. Today, surfacing fears about the impacts of climate change loom large in our cultural environment and have motivated artists to create work inspired by the increasing and startling scientific data coupled with their personal and esthetic sense of global warming.

In the show “Our Anthropocene: Eco Crises” at the Center for Book Arts in Manhattan, 27 artists from all over the world share their personal take on the devastating impacts of climate change, from diminishing glaciers to ravaging forest fires and devastating droughts, to garbage/waste fouling our oceans to floods and erosion. The show’s name is taken from the current codified geological epoch, the Anthropocene. The works here are mostly in book form which makes the message accessible to the viewer. Book art is what the Center for Book Arts has always been about and is known for cutting edge book art featuring traditional and contemporary artist books celebrating books as art objects. Hand-made, original art books are innovative, unconventional and take many forms. Some are sculptural, most are meant to be picked up, read or to view images. In this show books are shaped like trees, with word-filled pages fanning out, multiplying the tree shape. Others are accompanied by boxes of artifacts that bring to life the contents of the partnering book, such as a collaborative work by Thorsten Baensch/Karin Dürr/Carolin Röckelein/Zoe Zin Moe, “I Love You/Plastic Has a Price” and is about garbage, packaging and waste.

Susan Reynolds’ piece “Fire in the Forest” is about her experience during the 2013 Silver Fire that devastated 138,000 acres of the Gila National Forest in New Mexico, just miles from her home. Her handwritten journal chronicles the facts of the fire, Reynolds’ emotional reactions, and photographs of the extent of the devastation.  The journal is accompanied by a fold out exhibition box covered by a hand-drawn leafless forest and within the sections are a charred beer bottle, burnt drinking flask and a small log, now a chunk of charcoal.


The dramatic photographs of glaciers in a book by Ian Van Coller are both stunning and deeply alarming. Coller draws the viewer in to bottomless crevices or gleaming glaciers that are cracking and melting, catching a moment of geological erasure and that these icons hold the earth’s history, a moment that will soon be gone. Shu-Ju Wang’s book “The Medium is the Baggage” shows us various packaging material used with the products we buy that ends up as waste.

The show’s premise is undeniable: we have caused our own ecocide and in the not too distant future, ultimate mass extinction. The artists in this exhibition include

Alma Collective (Christoph Both-Asmus/Owanto/Robbin Ami Silverberg/Andreas Wengel/Hervé Youmbi), Thorsten Baensch/Karin Dürr/Carolin Röckelein/Zoe Zin Moe, Sammy Baloji, Julie Dodd, Stephan Erasmus, Nuno Henrique, Daniel Knorr, Guy Laramée, Gideon Mendel, Barbara Milman, Heidi Neilson, Tara O’Brien, Sara Parkel, Susan Reynolds, Ian Van Coller, Shu-Ju Wang, Käthe Wenzel, Thomas Parker Williams, Michelle Wilson, Philip Zimmermann.

The show is up until March 31. A short and concise video about the show is here.

Roundtable Discussion with Artists: Friday, March 2, 2018, 6:30 pm


Center for Book Arts

28 West 27th St, 3rd Flr
New York, NY 10001

Mon-Fri 11am-6pm
Sat 10am-5pm




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