MLK Day Special: Rediscovered 1964 King Speech on Civil Rights, Segregation & Apartheid South Africa

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World leaders and top CEOs discuss slowing economic growth

Study finds rising seas are eroding value of homes along coast – The Boston Globe

A home in Quincy’s Houghs Neck section, in March 2018.

Depreciation estimated at $273m in Mass. as prices slip in risky areas

By Tim Logan Globe Staff January 22, 2019

Rising seas have already cost Massachusetts homeowners more than a quarter of a billion dollars in lost property value, according to a study set to be published Tuesday, with much more severe losses likely to come.

That’s according to the First Street Foundation, a New York-based nonprofit that studies sea level rise and its impacts on coastal communities. Its report estimates that the value of homes in Massachusetts has potentially been eroded by $273 million since 2005 because of concerns about flooding and sea level rise, with the biggest effects in low-lying parts of coastal towns, including Salisbury and Barnstable.

Studies of changes in the sea level have typically looked forward, such as an estimate last year by the Union of Concerned Scientists that 7,000 Massachusetts homes, worth $4 billion, would be subject to chronic flooding by 2045.

…(read more).

Antarctic krill: Key food source moves south – BBC News

A keystone prey species in the Southern Ocean is retreating towards the Antarctic because of climate change.

Krill are small, shrimp-like creatures that swarm in vast numbers and form a major part of the diets of whales, penguins, seabirds, seals and fish.

Scientists say warming conditions in recent decades have led to the krill contracting poleward.

If the shift is maintained, it will have negative ecosystem impacts, they warn.

Already there is some evidence that macaroni penguins and fur seals may be finding it harder to get enough of the krill to support their populations.

“Our results suggest that over the past 40 years, the amount of krill has, on average, gone down, and also the location of the krill has contracted to much less of the habitat. That suggests all these other animals that eat krill will face much more intense competition with each other for this important food resource,” Simeon Hill from the British Antarctic Survey told BBC News.

The study is published in the journal Nature Climate Change.

…(read more).

Satellites saw rapid Greenland ice loss – BBC News

Greenland has gone through an “unprecedented” period of ice loss within the last two decades.

The Grace satellites revealed a four-fold increase in mass being lost from Greenland’s ice sheet from 2003-2013.

The study in Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences shows that ice loss subsequently stalled for 12-18 months.

The research reveals how different areas of Greenland might contribute to sea-level rise in future.

What did the study look at?

Scientists concerned about sea levels have long focused on Greenland’s south-east and north-west regions, where glaciers continually force large chunks of ice into the Atlantic Ocean.

But the largest sustained acceleration in ice loss from early 2003 to mid-2013 occurred in south-west Greenland, which is largely devoid of these large glaciers.

“Whatever this was, it couldn’t be explained by glaciers, because there aren’t many there,” said the study’s lead author Michael Bevis, from The Ohio State University.

“It had to be the surface mass – the ice was melting inland from the coastline.”

…(read more)

Governor Baker seeks big real estate sales tax hike to fund climate programs – The Boston Globe

By Matt Stout Globe Staff January 19, 2019

Governor Charlie Baker, a Republican who once campaigned against raising taxes, unveiled a proposal Friday to hike the tax on Massachusetts real estate transfers by 50 percent, and funnel the more than $1 billion it could generate in the next decade into steeling cities and towns against the effects of climate change.

The plan, which Baker intends to include in his state budget proposal on Wednesday, marks one of his most high-profile bids to address climate resiliency as he begins his second term.

But it’s also expected to face heavy resistance within real estate circles, where trade groups warn a tax hike could exacerbate the region’s already steep housing costs. v

Baker’s proposed tax increase would add nearly $1,200 in taxes to the sale of a $500,000 home, with those costs paid by the seller.

Baker said the increase to the so-called deeds excise rate could generate anywhere from $130 million to $150 million annually toward a Global Warming Solutions Trust Fund, which cities and towns could then tap through grants, loans, and other avenues for local projects. That could include modernizing public buildings, fortifying sea walls, or improving drainage and flood control methods, depending on a city or town’s needs.

“This is an excise tax that’s basically about property. And the proposal we’re making here is to protect property,” Baker told reporters after unveiling the contours of the plan to hundreds of local officials at the Massachusetts Municipal Association’s annual meeting.

“We think in the long run, the cost benefit on this one is a good deal for Massachusetts residents,” Baker said.

…(read more).

Environmental Business Council of New England

Environmental Business Council of New England 25th Anniversary


Environmental Business Council of New England
Published on Jun 22, 2015

Celebrating 25 years of supporting the development of the environmental and energy sectors in New England.