Brutal cold weather from polar vortex grips much of US
Effects of polar vortex could become more severe
There has always been a polar vortex hanging around the Arctic Circle. The polar vortex spins to life every winter 10 miles above the ground in the high latitudes. Typically, it has a single center, surrounded by a wall of powerful winds. But sometimes the walls weaken, allowing the vortex to shift and even break into pieces. That’s what happened on Jan. 3rd. It’s a pattern that is happening more frequently and is often followed by severe cold and winter storms down south in our part of the world. The split takes two weeks to affect the weather: It warps the polar jet stream, bringing freezing arctic air south and warm air north. The effects of the polar vortex could become more frequent and severe. Scientists believe that the rapidly warming Arctic could bring about more intense periods of cold snaps and storms, even as winters become shorter and warmer.
While climate change is warming the earth, not all parts of the earth are warming at the same rate; the Arctic is warming at a rate twice as fast as the world average. This arctic warming has disrupted the vortex pattern bringing the brutal cold south. Meanwhile, in the southern hemisphere there have been 33 recorded all-time high temperatures.
The Citizens’ Climate Lobby has the only known way forward to reduce our emissions of global warming gasses.
Corman championed bill for greater revitalization opportunities
Sen. Jake Corman (R-Benner Township) has leveraged his leadership in support of Pennsylvania communities which will lead to greater revitalization opportunities. Sen. Corman championed bipartisan HB 645, which was signed into law last December. Act 100 of 2018 doubles the cap on tax credits that propel revitalization — from $18 million to $36 million.
Pennsylvania’s Neighborhood Assistance Program provides sustainable support for revitalization in underserved neighborhoods. At its heart are public-private partnerships wherein Pennsylvania businesses and corporations can contribute directly to local nonprofits focused on community revitalization. Entrepreneurial training for startup business owners, eliminating blighted sites, developing new commercial buildings and filling vacant storefronts are among the impacts realized because of NAP-coordinated private investment. To date, 136 projects across the Commonwealth have been supported by the NAP.
The NAP tax credit cap increase will have enormous impact on many more communities where Pennsylvanians live and work. These are neighborhoods where private money — previously left on the table because of a cap that hadn’t been increased in nearly 50 years — can now be strategically invested. The resulting transformative outcomes will allow even more Pennsylvania communities to look their best — from the inside and the outside. We greatly appreciate Sen. Corman’s leadership on this issue.
New York abortion law protects the lives and health of women
In response to Jeanne Cocolin’s recent letter, I am not at all outraged by the New York abortion law. That law has absolutely no relation to the deliberate torture and murder of Jews in the Holocaust. Instead, it is designed to protect the lives and health of women facing the most heart-wrenching situations in their lives. Any woman who has had a baby knows the challenges of pregnancy. Women who do not want to be pregnant and have the choice for an early-term abortion will not wait till the third trimester. Consequently, abortions after 24 weeks are extremely rare and medically complicated. Women in this situation often want to have a baby very much but are faced with the likelihood that they and also the fetus will die if the pregnancy continues. In some cases a developmental disorder means the fetus would endure a brief life of severe pain. These women and doctors are not Nazis; they are moral human beings in a position with only bad options. Rather than judge them, we should have compassion for their suffering and pray for them as they try to decide what is best. Some women will choose to continue the pregnancy; others will choose to end the pregnancy. We cannot choose for them because we do not know what harms are at stake.