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$50K grant will fund geothermal heat study in South Deerfield
03-11-2024 8:40 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

DEERFIELD — With the help of a $50,000 grant, the town will explore the feasibility of a geothermal heating and cooling system for the proposed town campus project.Over the next year, Deerfield will explore the possibility of using the earth below...

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Firefighters prep to meet ‘unique challenge’ as electrical vehicles gain popularity
04-01-2024 5:05 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

Take a drive down Routes 5 and 10 and count the number of electric or hybrid vehicles you see. Compare those numbers to what you saw two years, five years or 10 years ago and you’re likely looking at a significant increase.Data from the Massachusetts...


Massachusetts sees record-setting temperatures, precipitation in 2023
01-14-2024 7:00 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

A trend of warm years further cemented itself in 2023, as Massachusetts experienced, on average, its warmest year on record, according to new data from the University of Massachusetts Amherst.The average temperature around Massachusetts for the year...


Learning from the floods: To prepare for an unpredictable future, Valley farmers think big
12-15-2023 5:53 PM

By JACOB NELSON

“So much was just about to bloom,” says Suna Turgay of Flowerwork Farm in Northampton. “And then the flooding came.”Warmer, wetter, and less predictable weather are all on the rise in New England as our climate changes. The idea of normal is...


When misfortune strikes, local farmers unite 
11-24-2023 5:09 PM

By JACOB NELSON

In many ways, farming is an act of faith. Faith that nature will provide for a harvest, and a farmer’s faith in themselves to figure out whatever challenges arise. Some years bring bumper crops, others disappointment, but with climate change fueling...


On front lines of climate change: Farmers work to mitigate their climate impacts and become more resilient
11-17-2023 9:28 PM

By JACOB NELSON

It’s hard to throw water on a burning house while trying to rebuild it at the same time, but that’s exactly what addressing climate change requires. Rising greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are already changing the planet. The choice is whether or...


State climate chief offers sweeping call for change
10-25-2023 6:12 PM

By Sam Drysdale

BOSTON — Massachusetts needs to shift from an era of statewide planning for climate policy to the key details of implementing it, according to a new report from the state’s top climate official, which includes sweeping recommendations to accelerate...


Experts warn to heed lessons of previous floods, push analysis of aging infrastructure
09-05-2023 8:25 PM

By DOMENIC POLI

The Flood of 1936 caused widespread devastation in the Northeast and led to the passage of federal legislation aimed at mitigating damage caused by natural disasters. But the lawmakers who greenlighted the work would likely never have predicted that...


In visit in wake of flooding, Markey talks of prepping farmers for changing climate
08-03-2023 11:56 AM

By CHRIS LARABEE

CONWAY — As farms around the region determine their plans going forward following unprecedented rainstorms, U.S. Sen. Ed Markey and several other state and federal partners used a Wednesday visit to Deerfield and Conway to emphasize the opportunity in...


Friends of the Conte Executive Committee: ‘Protect and restore nature’
07-31-2023 4:40 PM

By FRIENDS OF CONTE EXECUTIVE COMMITTEE

This summer’s epic flooding up and down the Connecticut River watershed, from the hillsides of Vermont to the low-lying farmland and neighborhoods in Massachusetts and Connecticut, is simply astonishing. Gurgling little brooks, once just a few inches...


At risk: Eight dams in Hampshire/Franklin counties at threat to fail as a warming climate brings bigger storms
07-25-2023 2:13 PM

By MADDIE FABIAN

In July 2021, heavy rainfall caused a beaver dam to burst, leading to the collapse of a 20-foot-long portion of East Street in Belchertown and causing property damage to nearly half a dozen homes.While the beavers faced the brunt of the blame,...


Guest columnists Phil Korman, Claire Morenon, and Margaret Christie: Farms, floods, and climate change
07-24-2023 4:28 PM

By CLAIRE MORENON, MARGARET CHRISTIE and PHIL KORMAN

On July 10, heavy rains led to widespread flooding alongside small rivers and creeks throughout our region. The next day, the Connecticut River overflowed its banks to levels not seen since Hurricane Irene in 2011.This flooding event was fast in some...


Lawmakers weigh wood-burning for energy, heat
07-03-2023 2:07 PM

By SAM DRYSDALE

BOSTON — Facilities that burn wood to create energy should not be eligible for credits under a state program that rewards generators of “clean heat,” advocates said last week, arguing that two bills would close loopholes in the state’s climate...


Enviro advocates want Massachusetts to follow the lead of 150-plus municipalities and ban single-use plastic bags
06-19-2023 3:51 PM

By SOPHIE HAUCK

BOSTON — Time’s up for single-use plastics. Or at least that remains the hope of representatives from 10 environmental organizations who gathered last week on Beacon Hill to promote bills that would ban the distribution of plastic shopping bags at...


Guest columnist Julia Blatt: Climate change affects everyone through water — even in Massachusetts
06-18-2023 10:36 AM

By JULIA BLATT

When we think of climate change, the first images that come to mind are of hot temperatures, melting ice caps, and greenhouse gases clogging the atmosphere. A recent report by the United Nations, however, warns that most people will actually...


Columnist Russ Vernon-Jones: A taste of pollution — Smoke and solidarity
06-15-2023 2:48 PM

By RUSS VERNON-JONES

Early last week my adult daughter called me and asked what I was doing. I told her I was working on a project in my yard. She said, “Have you seen the Air Quality Index (AQI)?”When I said I hadn’t, she said it was over 100 in the Northampton-Amherst...


Going green, literally: introducing the bill that would bring more trees to the cities of Massachusetts
03-14-2023 1:44 PM

By Taylor Brokesh

The term “urban forest” may sound like an oxymoron, but it actually might be the key to mitigating climate change. A bill proposed in the state Senate aims to create a program that would increase tree canopy cover in cities to combat excessive heat in...


Record warmth in January raises concerns of environmental impacts
02-22-2023 6:04 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

With last month marking the warmest January on record for Massachusetts and New England, updated data from the University of Massachusetts is also putting the region on pace for one of its warmest winters ever.The average temperature in Massachusetts...


Foresters, conservationists oppose Healey logging moratorium
02-04-2023 1:33 PM

By CHRIS LARABEE

While campaigning, one of Gov. Maura Healey’s climate priorities was to place a moratorium on commercial logging on state-owned forest land, a move that foresters and environmental advocates say would be detrimental to forest health, the state’s...


Guest columnist Daniel A. Brown: When global warming stares you in the face
01-22-2023 3:52 PM

By DANIEL A. BROWN

I collect old LIFE magazines and was recently surprised to see a two-page advertisement in a February 1962 issue by Esso (Later Exxon) boasting that each day, they “Supply enough energy to melt 7 million tons of glacier!” Those were the exact words...


With climate education, Hitchcock Center looks to help children envision ideal world
01-19-2023 11:46 PM

By JULIAN MENDOZA

WHATELY — While winter’s warmest days remind us that our climate’s future could be bleak, the future generation reminds us that it may not have to be.Stephanie Apanell’s fourth grade class at Whately Elementary School joined forces with Amherst’s...

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