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Menopausal Mother Nature

News about Climate Change and our Planet

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On the Ballot: Clean Air, Clean Water, Green Jobs

Ten years later, it’s clear that we have not done enough.

A lot of projects are still only in the early stages, and there’s no one-size-fits-all solution. Every area, every neighborhood, has its own topography and its own characteristics, but there’s no coherent, comprehensive plan.

Also, under current rules, you have to wait for a disaster to happen before you can access billions of federal dollars to help future-proof against the next disaster. That’s one reason a lot of projects that were talked about immediately after Sandy did not get started until five, six, seven years later. Money from the bond act, if it’s approved, could be spent on projects in places where a disaster could happen but hasn’t — yet.

Will this really bring us closer to the climate goals set by New York State in 2019?

Yes. Private industry isn’t going to invest unless executives think that infrastructure projects are really going to happen. State and local projects will go a long way, but they have to be funded.

Who supports the bond issue, and who opposes it?

Environmental and climate groups are for it, as is Gov. Kathy Hochul. There isn’t a huge amount of opposition. Hochul’s opponent, Representative Lee Zeldin, the Republican candidate, has not taken a position. Many Republicans in New York appear to have concluded that denying climate change and the need to spend money to address it are not winning positions here.

The Conservative Party came out against the bond act, and the Citizens Budget Commission warned about getting closer to the state’s debt cap. Paul Rodriguez, who’s running for state comptroller on the Republican and Conservative Party lines, said this not the time to be borrowing more money. His opponent, the Democratic incumbent, Thomas DiNapoli, is for it.

In much of the state, the bond issue will appear on the back of the ballot, not on the front with the candidates. Will voters bother to turn their ballots over?

This is so important. The organizations that are for it have been running social media campaigns to remind people to flip over their ballot and vote for Proposition 1 because otherwise, they would miss it. It remains to be seen if that message will get through.

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