ALBANY, N.Y. (WTEN/WUTR/WFXV/WPNY) — Climate advocates are pushing for a measure known as the New York Heat Act, which would cap utility costs for those looking to move away from fossil fuels and onto renewable energy; all this in light of what they call a climate crisis. While voices against climate change seem to be fewer than those speaking about it, our Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige spoke with someone who doesn’t believe there’s cause for concern when it comes to our climate.
“Our reliance on fossil fuels is costing us, NY HEATS the solution. It’ll save the average New Yorker $75 a month, which is nothing to scoff at while helping the state save more money by getting us away from fossil fuels,” said Liz Moran, NY Policy Advocate with Earth Justice. Moran said the bill would be a way for New Yorkers to lessen their carbon footprint. “And if we don’t act rapidly and dramatically … we’re gonna see more of the types of things we saw this summer, which is extreme weather events, flooding that leaves people stranded, ever increasing costs of gas, extreme heat….”
But not everyone feels like there’s a climate crisis to tackle, including Tom Harris, Executive Director of the International Climate Science Coalition. Harris said we should instead focus on air, land and water pollution. One solution Harris suggests is burying electrical cables underground, “When Hurricane Sandy hit New York City, most of the city lost power and Internet, and everything else, but there was one region in Manhattan that didn’t lose anything, and that’s because their cables were buried underground.”
Harris also points to the Earth’s temperature as evidence of a normal climate change, “You can see for example that the temperature rose across the Earth… on average, has risen about 1.1 degrees since 1880. So, 1.1 degrees in 143 years I mean you wouldn’t feel that in your entire lifetime.”
However Moran disagrees, “1.1 degrees, this may sound small to the average person but it’s actually a huge degree of warming. So we have to make sure that we don’t raise the earth’s temperature more than 3° so the fact that we’ve already raised this much it is having drastic consequences. When it comes to the New York Heat Act, our Capitol Correspondent, Amal Tlaige was told sponsors of the bill are pushing for the Governor to include it in next year’s budget.