Midland man to document Greenland warming, updates on energy forums and Bay City transport projects

Mr. Great Lakes (Jeff Kart). As heard in Bay City, Michigan, on Friday Edition – 9 a.m., May 17, 2013, on Delta College Q-90.1 FM

1 – Midland resident Peter Sinclair will join a scientific team on the Greenland ice sheet this summer.

greenland frozen meltpond
Via NASA

Along for the ride will be well-known climate activist and writer Bill McKibben, who will cover the journey for Rolling Stone magazine.

The effort is called the DarkSnowProject, and it’s being led by Jason Box, formerly of the Byrd Polar Center at Ohio State, now with the Denmark Geological Survey.

Box and the team will be sampling snow at key points on the ice sheet, to determine the causes of a decreased whiteness that has been observed in the past decade. A darkening of the ice causes more solar energy to be absorbed, and more melting.

Box recruited Sinclair to document the expedition in video and photos.

Sinclair produces a popular YouTube series called “Climate Denial Crock of the Week,” which pokes fun at those who doubt the science of global warming and climate change.

The expedition has been funded through private donations and via an Internet campaign.

The researchers will be on the Greenland ice during late June and early July.

2 – Earlier this year, state-sponsored forums on Michigan’s energy future were held throughout the state, including on March 4 at Delta College.

A recent analysis by the Michigan Land Use Institute says the seven forums drew big crowds and strong support for clean energy development.

All but two of the forums attracted full houses, and a total of almost 250 people spoke during the sessions.

A coalition that’s pushing for higher renewable and energy efficiency requirements in the state said a majority of commenters at each forum endorsed one or both of the goals.

State officials are now mulling more than 1,000 comments submitted as part of the sessions. They are to be presented to Gov. Rick Snyder this fall, and he plans to offer recommendations in December.

Michigan’s current standard requires utilities to generate 10 percent of their power from renewable sources like wind and solar by 2015.

3 – The Bay City Area Transportation Study is hosting an open house on May 30 in Bay City.

The Study helps channel federal money to road and transportation projects in the area. Bay County planners are seeking public comment on a proposed Transportation Improvement Program for 2014 through 2017.

The public open house will be held on Thursday, May 30, from 4-7 p.m. at the Wirt Library in Bay City.

All users of the transportation system in the Bay City Area, from pedestrians and bicyclists to bus riders, commuters, truckers and shippers are invited to attend.

There also are opportunities to review the plan and comment by phone, fax, mail and email until June 4.

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