Updated Daily  10/31/2014 RochesterEnvironment.com

Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."

Rochester, NY was one of the hosts of the World Canal Conference on September 19, 2010.

If it deals with the environment, Rochester, New York, and the Internet, it's here.

Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature.

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Since 1998, RochesterEnvironment.com has been an ongoing experiment to completely inform one community [Rochester, NY] of all its environmental Newslinks, Events, Daily Updates, Resources, Environmental Education, regional Climate Change, and Environmental Issues. Green Apps, and more...    * Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)  [Website best viewed on your tablet device.]

RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology.  Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules.  Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.  We Don't Get It!

The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to save ourselves?   Bookmark This Site

All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians.  So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings.  Push back on misinformation.  Speak up for the facts.  Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution.  Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices.  Invest.  Divest.  Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.  Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013)  The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk?  Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.-- Carl Sagan


Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award


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Rochester area NewsLinks.

NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily.  Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.


Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change.  Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word.  Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. 

To be sure you have the latest News, refresh your browser, or Ctrl +R.  

News Highlight

Become the Media! in Rochester, NY on Climate Change                                                                                       

by Frank J. Regan

“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

A deer standing in the middle of the road while you approach it at 65 mph in a one-ton SUV seems to prove that many animals aren’t very smart at all.  Especially when you get closer and closer, honk your horn, and they continue to stare at you fixed-eyed and unmoved by the danger you present to them.  Of course, deer are not stupid. Hunters can attest to their extremely keen sense of smell, hearing, and the slightest disturbance to their environment. So why the incredible deer/car collision rate (18,000 deer per year in Connecticut)? Adaptation. Deer had hundreds of thousands of years to adapt to wolves and bears and only a little over a century to adapt to vehicles. Something humungous coming noisy and blazing-eyed straight towards them is, for all practical purposes, invisible.

That’s how we are reacting to Climate Change—a species watching a disaster coming straight us and doing little to react. Humans aren’t stupid.  We’ve put men on the Moon.  We’ve produced a Jane Goodall. But Climate Change, without an immediate shift in our collective consciousness, remains invisible to us. Climate Change isn’t sexy, it doesn’t do tricks for us, it’s not talked about much, it’s slow and boring, it doesn’t appear on our news, and unless you’re focusing on the science it’s almost imperceptible.

Almost. In fact there are many pressing consequences of Climate Change right in our Rochester, NY region if you’re paying attention or getting your facts from science.  This, from a list gained from numerous climate studies and posted on RochesterEnvironment.com: ‘Real changes in our region because of Climate Change’: Annual temperature increases, increase in intensive precipitation events, bird population shifts, reduced snowpack, earlier ice break up, increase in lake effect snowfall, increased plant frost damage,  plant growth and decomposition affected, species shifting locations, streamflow changes, amphibians responding to Climate Change, invasive species thriving, wildlife affected by Climate Change, increase in heat-related illnesses, increase in incidents of ground-level ozone, livestock affected more by heat stress, timing of seasons is off, Northeast extreme weather increasing, more extreme weather driving up liability claims, NYS coastal sea level rising, Climate Change causing plants to shift, and forest pests increasing.  more...

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive

Green Business.

Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.

Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:

  • NY reports 7 deals for clean energy projects ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials say they have reached agreements in principle to finance seven clean energy projects with a dozen banks and investment firms and the state's new NY Green Bank. They hope to close deals this year that would lead to more than $800 million invested in solar energy, cogeneration and energy-efficiency. The goal is a 575,000-ton annual reduction in carbon dioxide by generating and using energy in ways that reduce pollution and burning fossil fuels. (October 23, 2014) North Country Public Radio [more on Green Business in our area]
  • Rochester company awarded funding to develop solar technology A Rochester company has been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to go towards solar energy development, according to officials. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's office says Intrinsiq Materials Incorporated, a nanotechnology leader in printable electronic ink, has been awarded $450,000. (October 22, 2014) WHEC [more on Solar Power and Green Business in our area]
  • Environmental moves make good business sense  Bob Bechtold built a successful manufacturing company by embracing new technology, not treating it as a threat. Bechtold founded Harbec, Inc., almost 40 years ago in the Wayne County town of Ontario as an all-purpose machine shop. Computerized machine tools were just starting to make their way to shop floors, and some in the toolmaking and machining industries worried that the technology would supplant highly skilled workers. Bechtold says he believed that computers would be the best tool that toolmakers ever had. "And so I began wherever I could to change Harbec general purpose machine shop into Harbec, utilizer of technologies and opportunities to forge new business opportunities," he says. (July 30, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Green Business in our area]
  • Composting startup aims to ease pressure on expanding landfills Every Thursday, Luke Stodola goes out driving, filling the bed of his truck with, well, poop. Sometimes, buckets and buckets of it. “We give them a bucket full of composted soil, their cats defecate into the soil and we re-compost that soil cat-poop mixture into more compost,” Stodola said. He works with an alternative waste-management company in upstate New York. He and the co-owners of Community Composting provide door to door service collecting food scraps, and the occasional bucket of cat litter. Once all is collected, they take the organic waste to a composting plant. It’s a process the team says could also ease pressure on local landfills. (May 28, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Recycling and Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight

  Fast Forward Film Festival

Submission deadline is February 27, 2015. Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org"  


Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives 

Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT, and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

Its Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment.

As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness.

An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015.

Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org

Please spread the word! Send the links around.    

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.


350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  


Green Events.

RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.

Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...    

November 2014

  • November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm
    • Learn about ‘community-owned wind investment.’ in Rochester, NY. I’m on a learning curve here. This is what Wiki says: “Community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, investors, businesses, schools, utilities, or other public or private entities who utilize wind energy to support and reduce energy costs to the local community. The key feature is that local community members have a significant, direct financial stake in the project beyond land lease payments and tax revenue. Projects may be used for on-site power or to generate wholesale power for sale, usually on a commercial-scale greater than 100 kW” However it works, it beats the crap out of Fracking, trekking tar sands oil across our state on tanker cars not built for that, and burning any fossil fuel for energy.  To find out more check out this information session tonight: October 21, Rochester, NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  5-6:30 pm by Black Oak Wind Farm “New York State’s First Community-Owned Wind Farm”. Here’s what they say: “The Mission of Black Oak Wind Farm LLC is to give New York residents the opportunity to own wind energy assets, providing clean energy to the grid and financial returns to our investors. Our Vision is to develop, own, and operate an 11.9 megawatt wind farm in western Tompkins County, New York. There will be seven GE 1.7 megawatt turbines, planned to start construction in late 2014.” If you cannot make tonight’s talk, there another in Rochester: November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm
  • Wednesday, November 05, 2014, 01:00pm - 05:00pm Rochester, Monroe County
    • Introduction to Solar Policy Workshop Wednesday, November 05, 2014, 01:00pm - 05:00pm Rochester, Monroe County The Introduction to Solar Policy Workshop provides local policymakers with the basic strategies and best practices used to develop a regulatory framework to support a growing solar market. Participants in this half-day event will learn how to take advantage of economic development opportunities offered by solar development through smart policies and local programs. The workshop will review nationally accepted planning and zoning best practices, strategies to reduce administrative burdens through transparent and streamlined permitting processes, and programs that expand financing options and drive adoption of cost-effective solar projects. Policymakers that complete this course are eligible to receive free one-on-one technical support in designing and implementing smart solar policy in their jurisdiction.
  • November 5, 2014 Radisson Conference Center, Rochester, NY
  • Wed., Nov. 5, 7:00 pm, Bath, NY  in the Great Hall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 122 Liberty Street in Bath.
    • Local Solar and Wind Owners Discuss Experiences, Wed., Nov. 5, 7:00 pm, Bath, NY A panel of local solar and wind project owners will discuss their experiences using renewable energy next Wed. Nov. 5 in the Great Hall at St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 122 Liberty Street in Bath. The discussion is sponsored by the Bath Peace and Justice Group and will be held from 7:00 to 8:30 pm. The forum will be preceded by a potluck dinner at 6:30 pm. Tom Tomsa, Executive Director of Cornell Cooperative Extension of Steuben County, will speak about Cooperative Extension program priorities for local renewable energy, including biomass systems and other residential and community-scale renewable energy options. He will also share his own experience with solar and wind energy and his plans to adopt additional renewable energy sources to power his off-grid home. Jeff and Jodi Andrysick from Pulteney will share their 20 year journey into sustainable energy and building. With the perspective of working with a peasant budget and just doing it, Jeff and Jodi will discuss their off-grid market, Harvest and Artists Market on the west side of Keuka Lake and their numerous off grid homes. Tips will be provided on how to out-fox the fossil fuel industries. "There are many things one can do to be more energy efficient and save money," Jeff says. "One doesn't have to be a Rockefeller to get started. Even peasants like ourselves have made a way." Peter Gamba from Jerusalem will discuss his family's experiences with their 5000 kilowatt photovoltaic solar system, and how it fits with their focus on using less energy over all. Their system was installed six years ago by ETM Solar from Endicott NY.  Peter’s background is in engineering and program management in the areas of electrical, industrial and systems engineering. Before retiring, he worked at Bell Telephone Laboratories, IBM and Lockheed Martin. He is President of the Penn Yan Library board and a founding member of the Committee to Preserve the Finger Lakes. Discussion and questions will follow the presentations. The program is free and open to the public. For more information, call 607-569-3564 or visit the group's Facebook page at https://www.facebook.com/pages/Bath-Peace-and-Justice-Group/346966388802313
  • Monday, November 10, 2014 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm  at the Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607
    • Get a Head Start on Your Holiday Toy Shopping!  Choosing safer, environmentally friendly toys    Monday, November 10, 2014 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm  at the Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607   Join us for a free workshop where you will learn what to avoid and look for when purchasing all kinds of toys, including those made from wood and plastic, arts and crafts supplies, and stuffed animals.   Attendees will leave knowing how to navigate toy labels and information to choose eco-healthy toys.   Learn how to:  Choose safer, environmentally friendly toys for children  Identify sources for toy testing & product recalls  Purchase used toys safely  Find eco-healthy toys at popular toy stores Registration is FREE! The first 50 people to register will be entered in a raffle to win a gift basket full of eco-healthy products for mothers and children!*   Register here: p2itoyworkshop.eventbrite.com    PLUS!! Each attendee will receive a free full size 10oz bottle of Yes to Baby Carrots Shampoo and Body Wash!   Contact NYSP2I at nysp2i@rit.edu or 475-2512 with questions *Winner must be present at workshop to claim gift basket
  • Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7 pm, Henrietta United Church of Christ, 1400 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta, NY  
    • You are invited to attend our next LIVING IN HARMONY meeting – Tuesday, November 11, 2014, 7 pm, Henrietta United Church of Christ, 1400 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta. Free and open to the public.   “Sustainable Responsible Investing: Investing for People, Planet and Profit.”   Our invited speaker will be Chuck Sawyer, CFP®. He is a financial advisor with Ameriprise Financial. He has over 20 years’ experience and is a CERTIFIED FINANCIAL PLANNER™ professional. Chuck specializes in sustainable responsible investing (SRI), a means of investing in companies that adhere to rigorous environmental, social and governance standards. Chuck is a founding member of the Rochester Chapter of Conscious Capitalism, and he is also a member of the Sustainable Investment Forum (USSIF), the Financial Planning Association and the Process Selection Committee of the Rochester Area Business Ethics Foundation’s (RABEF) Ethie Awards.   Chuck will give a general overview of sustainable responsible investing (SRI) – what it is, how it started, how it has evolved, etc. His talk will be educational and informational - he won’t “push any products” or solicit any business. If you have been wanting more information on this topic, plan to attend and bring a friend.  
  • Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online.
    • Learn about Micro-grids and how they might work to lower our carbon footprint in New York State. Webinar: a Climate Smart Communities (NYS program to address Climate Change) for “innovative models for energy purchase and management” Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online. Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Micro-grids and Community Choice Aggregation Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon     What if communities could design energy policy according to their own priorities, providing local choice and local benefit….all without placing financial demands on municipalities or taxpayers? This is true today in many states where communities have designed strategies to save residents money on energy costs, while financing renewable generation, creating more reliable electricity grids, and earning residents’ money in demand management markets.   This second webinar in our two part community energy options series will introduce innovative models for energy purchase and management that are being explored nationally, internationally and, now, locally. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), allows municipalities to pool the purchasing power of their residents and businesses, enabling alternative energy purchase as well as innovative financing mechanisms for efficiency and renewable supply. Micro-grids have the power to create unified and optimized grid assets from the disparate resources at the “edge of the grid.” In so doing, micro-grids provide superior information, control and value to grid operators and communities alike. (October 22, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Saturday, 11/15/14, 9 AM 5 PM | Textor Hall, Ithaca College
    • Saturday, 11/15/14, 9 AM 5 PM (Ithaca) COLLATERAL DAMAGE FROM FRACKING: Preventing Impacts on Communities An action oriented conference: Learn what you can do about fracking Infrastructure, air pollution, waste disposal, transportation Textor Hall, Ithaca College Opening speaker: David Slottje, Esq., Community Environmental Defense Council More info and registration here: http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?u=c14db32ebd0e8d4e4aef4e85d&id=94542d13c4&e=dfae976fcb
  • Friday November 21, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM  | Hobart and William Smith Colleges Scandling Center 300 Pulteney St. Vandervort Room Geneva, NY 14456 
    • 2014 Finger Lakes Research Conference November 21, 2014 Conserving the Finger Lakes: Invasive Species, Climate Change, and Anthropogenic Influences This year’s program will focus on threats to the Finger Lakes and showcase research and strategies to combat them. Presentations will be made on emerging contaminants, invasive species, nutrient management and more. A poster session will also be held with prizes awarded to the best undergraduate and graduate poster. 

April 2015


Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) is working for environmental protection and enhanced quality of life in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region through education, collaboration and informed action.


ACTION highlight

Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, (October 9, 2012) over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature. 

But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties

Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 


Greentopia Festival 2012

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: Due Date: Friday October 17th
    • Got thoughts on “Why Getting Rid of Bus Stops Can Improve Bus Service.” RTS seeking feedback on Bus Stop Optimization Study "As you may be aware, RTS has recently released the findings and draft recommendations from its Bus Stop Optimization Study. As part of this effort, RTS inventoried and analyzed of all of its current bus stops (~3,400) and is recommending to phase out approximately 25 percent of them by the end of 2015. I am attaching documents that provide some background on the project and recommendations, as well as a list of which stops are being recommended for elimination. You can read more on the project website and explore an interactive map that shows which stops are recommended for elimination and which will be preserved (Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer 10+ or Google Chrome to accurately view the map). RTS is requesting feedback on the study and accepting comments through next Friday, October 17th. You can use this online comment form to submit comments, email RTS’ Customer Service Department at Monroe@myRTS.com , or call them at 288-1700.  I am developing some comments from a health/health equity perspective. The focus will be to recommend that RTS preserve bus stops that are co-located with key health care providers (e.g., licensed public health care and behavioral health facilities) and health supporting venues/services (e.g., affordable housing, senior centers, grocery stores). I encourage you to share your thoughts as well and to share this email with anyone in your networks who rely the bus, serve folks who rely on the bus, or who are interested in making our bus system work better for our community. If you have any questions, please let me know." Elizabeth Murphy  Active Transportation Specialist Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency 1150 University Avenue Bldg 5 Rochester, NY 14607 www.flhsa.org www.healthikids.org 
  • ACTION: Due Date: November 30th
    • Because NYS DEC comment period has been extended yet again (Nov 30) on proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany, take action.  The Tar Sands fight comes home to NY  “Right now there is a proposal before the Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the amount of crude oil coming into the port of Albany from 1.2 billion gallons to nearly 3 billion gallons annually.  In addition, the applicant, Global Partnerss LLC is looking to build a boiler facility to heat the heavy tar sands coming off rail cars to reduce viscosity and facilitate more fluid transfer to ships.  The DEC has already determined that there are no significant environmental impacts attached  to these actions. Will you tell DEC to take the necessary steps to ensure a full environmental impact statement is conducted on this emerging threat to New York’s health and safety?” Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. Read more: Comment period extended on Port of Albany oil plant proposal

  • ACTION: Due Date: December 17th 2014
    • Making comment on open space in NYS and Climate Change, it’s no longer fun and games. This is critical ”…the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.” “Public comments can be submitted by email to LF.OpenSpacePlan@dec.ny.gov  or mailed to DEC by December 17 to: Open Space Conservation Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233” DEC and State Parks Release State Open Space Conservation Plan for Public Comment Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23. (September 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • ACTION: Due date: February 27, 2015
    • Got short film abilities and want to message importance of our environment?  "Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT,  and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "
  • ACTION: Due Date: now
    • Get your community to pledge to the NYS Climate Smart Communities program. This will be one of the most important actions you can take on addressing Climate Change in our region. If you live in the Western New York, Rochester region and don’t belong to Irondequoit, Brighton, Rochester, and Victor, [check here] your community probably has not voluntary pledged to this program. Your community should belong in order to take “Local Action to Combat Climate Change. Two types of actions enable Climate Smart Communities to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs: Reducing GHG Emissions: Starting now to reduce GHG emissions and create permanent sinks that remove GHG from the atmosphere; these actions will help stabilize atmospheric GHGs at manageable levels and avoid severe climatic changes. Adapting to a Changing Climate: Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, which will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.” Ask your community leaders to make the pledge, get state assistance, and help make this voluntary program more robust. For more info go here: Climate Smart Communities and check the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Forum on this: "Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program" There is no excuse for your community not being a part of this state-wide program.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now (with your friends and group)  
    • What if in the Rochester, NY area we channeled this idea of the street librarian to educate locals on Climate Change.  So, we put together materials and get a neat bike (see photo) made so we casually ride around all the neighborhoods of Rochester and answer anyone’s questions about Climate Change in our area, hand out literature, engage the public at the very street level in a very low carbon emissions footprint way on this worldwide crisis. This wouldn’t be a charity project at all. This would be a crucial link in the Climate Change issue that is missing in the Rochester area—outreach.  If we hope to have a chance that the public will support the long-term actions we must make to upgrade and refit our infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, water, etc.) we are going to need the public to understand an support these efforts year after year, elections after elections.  This outreach program would be inexpensive, effective, and probably a lot of freaking fun. Homeless Outreach in Volumes: Books by Bike for ‘Outside’ People in Oregon (October 9, 2014) New York Times
  • ACTION: Due Date: now
    • Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey  and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Please make comment on a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. Transportation issues are strongly related to Climate Change because our transportation infrastructure (roads and bridges) is extremely vulnerable to extreme weather—heat, flooding, and very expensive to repair. Most of your transportation dollars ($15 billion annually in New York State) go to keeping this vast system in repair, and now it must do so in a time of warming. If the public doesn’t urge our transportation authorities to strongly make our system more robust and resilient, and provide more and more access to alternative transportation (bicycling and walking) in a time of increased extreme weather, the transportation system as a whole might be in jeopardy. We have many bridges and roads and disrepair already and much will have to be done at a high cost to ready the transportation system to Climate Change. More folks walking and bicycling would reduce the amount of infrastructure wear (after they are built) more safety, and a lot less greenhouse gas emissions. Without public support for this increase attention to our transportation infrastructure it may compromise our most robust and viable adaptation efforts in our region. All climate studies in this region call for major updating and repair of our transportation infrastructures. Transportation Survey: Genesee Transportation Council wants your input Work is underway for develop strategies that will guide investments in transportation for the NEXT 25 YEARS – a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. You can help by  1. Taking a Brief 5 Minute Survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GTC-LRTP-2040.  2. Go to the Public Input Map at http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/gtc-lrtp-2040/p-71950 and add any comments you have/show what projects you feel would be beneficial.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now:  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now. 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • ACTION : Due Date Now:
    • Join the New York Water Sentinels stream team! Training provided periodically. Sentinels test and document stream quality now, so future effects from gas drilling are more easily identified. Water Sentinels has trained over 100 citizens to use simple scientific methods to evaluate stream quality. With stream information (such as stream depth and conductivity), we can help regulators recognize trends and address problems.  For more information:  NYWaterSentinels@gmail.com | or FaceBook
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nchester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date Now
    • Don’t need those massive phone books?  Just throw them away because you’re a digital kind of person? Opt out of getting those phone books, easy peasy, and save trees .  Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all? In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste. Find your local recycle  solution for Phone Books So why do phone books continue to show up? According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.  (November 20, 2012) Earth 911 [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • As Climate Change increase the changes of combined sewer overflows due to increase frequency of heavy rain fall in the spring, this issue will become more critical.  We must plan for this and it will be expensive, but more so if we wait.  Take action here: Help Keep Sewage Out of the Great Lakes Billions of gallons of combined raw sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes each year. Raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products — along with industrial wastewater, household chemicals, urban runoff, herbicides and pesticides — often flow into the lakes after heavy rains. Urge Congress and the president to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Help keep untreated sewage out of the Great Lakes! --from Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature.  But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties. Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Tired of meteorologists failing to connect the dots between Climate Change and our daily weather?  Do something about it. Take action: Forecast the Facts WE NEED OUR TV METEOROLOGISTS TO REPORT THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. According to a recent national survey, more than half of TV weather reporters don’t believe in human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, their viewers are facing unprecedented climate-change induced heat waves, droughts, and flooding.


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Daily  Updates.

Daily Updates: Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care.  Get Daily Updates since 1998...

  • My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books
  • 10/31/2014 - Watch, listen, and read amazing coverage of human blockade of methane gas storage facility gates near Seneca Lake, a Finger Lakes, a water source, a tourist attraction, an ecosystem, and a whole lot of other thing put in jeopardy by another volatile fossil fuel. Better yet, join in the protest and protect our life support system. 10 Arrested as Human Blockade Continues Protesting Methane Gas Storage Facility  (October 9, 2014) EcoWatch
  • 10/31/2014 - As NYS transports more volatile crude oil across our state and Albany grows as a fossil fuel hub, local, state, and federal teams got to figure out what can go wrong and could go wrong at the worst possible moment.  Of course, we here in New York State could decide not to transport dangerous fossil fuel on a system not designed for ‘bomb trains’ and instead transport wind turbines and solar panels.  We wouldn’t need disaster experts sitting in a war room trying to figure out how to keep New Yorkers safe and with energy and not blow ourselves up at the same time.  Just saying…  DEC Participates in Annual Response Preparedness Exercise at Global Partners Albany Terminal (October 30, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/31/2014 - What we are hearing: World renowned climate scientist and activist and author, Dr. Hansen has agreed to speak the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club’s Earth Day forum for 2015. More details to come as I learn more. 
  • 10/31/2014 - When traditionally migrating birds opt-out of migrating because of warmer winters, is that a tipping point on Climate Change, or just an alarm? Even if you don’t care about birds, or geese, or wildlife in general and think them a nuisance, radically changing bird patterns have got to be a wake-up call on Climate disturbance—not in a good way.  Good for the gander? As Alaska warms, a goose forgoes a 3,300-mile migration  (October 30, 2014) Environmental Health News
  • 10/31/2014 - Considering that NYS has lost almost half of its historic wetlands and even restored wetland can help us adapt to Climate Change…  Shouldn’t we be protecting our remaining wetland and restoring our wetlands, the kidneys of our environment (not to mention a whole lot more eco-services), on a massive scale? Study finds restoring wetlands can lessen soil sinkage, greenhouse gas emissions  (October 30, 2014) PHYS.org
  • 10/30/2014 - This sucks, we march 700,000 strong for People’s Climate March around the world to act on Climate Change but they couldn’t hear us in Bonn.  It was interesting listening to Secretary of State, John Kerry, on the excellent climate documentary “Years of Living Dangerously” where Kerry said that in order for countries to stop insane practices like drilling for more fossil fuel in the Arctic the people need to demonstrate on a level that their political servants cannot avoid. (Or something to that effect.)  Which is to say, the public must make it clear that not acting on Climate Change is unacceptable if they are to give our leaders the clout they need in tackling this issue. Which is to say, we should not just sit around and hope the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris does not fail. We must demonstrate that failure at Paris is totally unacceptable.  Governments at Bonn climate talks apparently lose memo on people’s support for climate action  (October 25, 2014) Climate Action Network
  • 10/30/2014 - Of course, local Rochester media does not connect the dots of invasive species outbreaks in NYS with Climate Change.  And when they don’t do this (even though the NYT and the NYS DEC do so) it allows the public to think that out of freaking nowhere we are getting nailed by these very destructive pests.  But it isn’t out of nowhere, the pest have been predicted in climate studies because our warmer winters are permitting more outbreaks, because invasive species that used to be killed off by colder winters are now surviving longer here in the North. This is to say because our local media does not connect the dots, we have not planned to stop and irradiate these invasive species properly.  Instead of addressing Climate Change, stopping the movement of these species early, we wait until these invasive species attack then scramble impotently and dump tons of pesticides, which get into our environment even more.  This policy by local media to not connect the dots on Climate Change and the spread of invasive species is great for the pesticide businesses—not so much for our life support system. Tree pests found at both ends of NY  New infestations by two devastating forest pests have been detected at opposite ends of New York state, endangering pines in Long Island and hemlocks in a rugged canyon south of Buffalo.  (October 30, 2014) Webster Post
  • 10/30/2014 - Climate Change probably permits the spread of invasive pine beetles (“Warming winter temperatures don’t cause the outbreaks, but they permit it.”).  If the first sightings of Southern Pine Beetle in New York State portends anything like the devastation of the Mountain Pine Beetle has wrought in the West, we are in for rough ride indeed.  The spread of these very devastating invasive species highlights the necessity to address Climate Change sooner than later. Trying to stop the pine beetles once we’ve warmed up our winters, is going to be just about impossible. Better to have acted on Climate Change earlier. The spread of dangerous invasive species will continue further if we don’t get temperatures, greenhouse gas emissions, down.  Long Island Confronts Destructive Southern Pine Beetles (October 28, 2014) New York Times
  • 10/30/2014 - Will the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) be sufficient to uphold our health and environmental legislations, or gut our climate actions? In other words, if we are able to pull ourselves together and adopt environmental regulations and adaptations practices to address Climate Change here in the US, will they be undermined by TPP? Is anyone paying attention to the possibility that we might be acting on Climate Change on the one hand and getting those actions taken away by cross-border agreements on the other? Why support the TPP when it will let foreign corporations take our democracies to court? (October 29, 2014) The Guardian
  • 10/30/2014 - Hurricane Sandy: What are we learning about Climate Change and ourselves?  Two Years On: Sandy Inspires Storm of Climate Research The two years that have passed since Hurricane Sandy crashed into the New Jersey shoreline have not been enough time for scientists and researchers to make much headway on the hows and whys of the Northeast’s epic storm.  (October 29, 2014) Climate Central
  • 10/29/2014 - Just getting you ready for what will be purportedly a major fork in the road for humanity.  We either get our act together on Climate Change or we don’t. "The final installment of the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) is due for launch on 2 November" Special Alert: IPCC Synthesis Report (October 24, 2014) The Tree
  • 10/29/2014 - In our society the burden of proof on toxicity of a product is on the shopper, so get advance knowledge before shopping for toys for your kids.   In other places (Europe) the burden of proof is on the manufactures that a product will do no harm before it gets sold, but until we adopt such sensible measures, we over here in the USA must do our homework before we get stuff for the kids, or anyone else for that matter.  Get a Head Start on Your Holiday Toy Shopping!  Choosing safer, environmentally friendly toys    Monday, November 10, 2014 1:00 pm- 2:00 pm  at the Rochester Museum and Science Center 657 East Avenue Rochester, NY 14607   Join us for a free workshop where you will learn what to avoid and look for when purchasing all kinds of toys, including those made from wood and plastic, arts and crafts supplies, and stuffed animals.   Attendees will leave knowing how to navigate toy labels and information to choose eco-healthy toys.   Learn how to:  Choose safer, environmentally friendly toys for children  Identify sources for toy testing & product recalls  Purchase used toys safely  Find eco-healthy toys at popular toy stores Registration is FREE! The first 50 people to register will be entered in a raffle to win a gift basket full of eco-healthy products for mothers and children!*   Register here: p2itohop.eventbrite.com    PLUS!! Each attendee will receive a free full size 10oz bottle of Yes to Baby Carrots Shampoo and Body Wash!   Contact NYSP2I at nysp2i@rit.edu or 475-2512 with questions *Winner must be present at workshop to claim gift basket
  • 10/29/2014 - Cleaning up the Genesee River. Check out this video "Restoring Our River" 12 minutes. This film debuted at our [Center of Environmental Initiatives] 40th Annual Community Salute on September 30th and is viewable here in it's entirety. Learn more about the Genesee River Watch "The Rochester Embayment of Lake Ontario is a federally designated Area of Concern because of a range of concerns including pollution, contaminated sediments, fish consumption advisories and impairment of beneficial use such as beach closings. Many area tributaries to Lake Ontario and the Genesee River do not meet state water quality standards. The beaches of Lake Ontario are closed typically for 30 to 50% of the bathing season because of high bacteria levels and contamination with algae. Development of our lakeshore assets, including the Port of Rochester, is dependent upon a sustained improvement in the near-shore water quality. "Center of Environmental Initiatives]
  • 10/29/2014 - Petition to get more Climate Change reporters on NPR! It’s more than an outrage that our public radio has decided that less coverage of the world crisis, Climate Change, instead of more is the right way to keep its viewers, which is to say its supporters, informed.  One of the leading reasons why Americans are so daft on Climate Change is because our mainstream media has opted to confuse rather than inform on this very complex issue—the mother of all issues.  To learn that our public supported radio has decided reduce Climate Change reporters is more than disappointing, more disappointing than when corporate-backed media decides to gut its Climate Change reporting staff. We cannot let this stand. On the News With Thom Hartmann: NPR's Climate Coverage Has Declined Over the Years, and More In today's On the News segment: NPR is supposed to be our national public radio, but it's barely covering climate issues that are in the public's interest; the World Trade Organization says you don't need to know where your meat comes from; more than 24,000 Texans want climate denial removed from their children's textbooks; and more. (October 28, 2014) Truthout
  • 10/29/2014 - More thoughts on the People’s Climate March and what it meant, personally and the numbers. Climate change: It's all about the numbers Ultimately, it's all about the numbers. A demonstration can have inspiring speeches, gorgeous floats, and stirring bands, but to be successful, it has to attract many people. So I made it my mission to get the people I knew to come to the People's Climate March in New York City on September 21.  (Fall 2014) Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter
  • 10/28/2014 - This is pretty funny, the guy running against Cuomo on Fracking can’t visit a Fracking site because drillers don’t want reporters. We will so loose our sovereignty if we lift the moratorium on Fracking in New York State. Those Fracking people will want it all.   Astorino postpones trip to fracking site  The Republican candidate for governor in New York is putting off a visit to a Pennsylvania drilling site designed to highlight the benefits of hydraulic fracturing for natural gas. A spokeswoman for Rob Astorino says the drilling operator didn't want reporters to be included and that the visit will be postponed until after Election Day. (October 28, 2014) WHAM
  • 10/28/2014 - Rochester, NY region gets major bucks to address Climate Change by increasing walking and bicycling, but it’s hush, hush.  In the Rochester and Monroe County region you can talk about active transportation (walking and bicycling) as long as you talk about public safety, health benefits, tourism, and boosting economic development, but even though our local climate studies and the EPA mentions that 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions come from the transportation sector, it is very unfashionable (quite impolite) to suggest there is a link between increasing active transportation and addressing Climate Change. I think the reasoning is, if you even suggest that increasing active transportation is addressing Climate Change the media and the local government will be seen as climate hawks, or being controversial, or something dreadfully unpopular. We are so not able to talk about Climate Change in this region. Area gets funding for bike, pedestrian paths Communities across New York state are getting some of the nearly $70 million in federal funds being awarded for dozens of bicycle and pedestrian path projects. Gov. Andrew Cuomo says the funds from the Federal Highway Administration will go toward 68 projects that will promote walking and biking and boost tourism and economic development from Long Island to the Canadian border. (October 28, 20140 Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 10/28/2014 - Of course, our top priority is not whether fishermen can eat the fish they catch; it’s about Great Lakes Water Quality. If the fish in the Great Lakes are freaking filled with toxic contaminants (“PCBs, pesticides, mercury, lead and cadmium,”) then we don’t just have a fishing problem, we have a major water quality problem—which, of course, we know we already have with Great Lakes water-regardless of this single study. Michigan, New York, Minnesota test fisheater’s blood for contaminants Health authorities in New York, Michigan and Minnesota are waiting for the results of tests for elevated levels of chemicals and metals in people who eat lots of Great Lakes fish. Blood and urine from volunteers were tested for PCBs, pesticides, mercury, lead and cadmium, according to the New York Department of Community Health. Each state focused on a community. Michigan tested anglers along the Detroit River and Saginaw Bay. Minnesota tested the Ojibwe tribe near Lake Superior. New York tested licensed anglers and Burmese refugees and immigrants along the Buffalo River, Niagara River, Eighteenmile Creek and the Rochester Embayment on Lake Ontario, according to the Agency for Toxic Substances and Disease Registry, which facilitated the project. (October 27, 2014) Great Lakes Echo
  • 10/28/2014 - Let me see… humm… la-de-da, type my zip code, and presto, yep looks like some bomb trains coming my way. Do we really have to have an energy system that puts our lives, our environment, our future in such jeopardy? Really? Bomb trains, trains cars not properly fortified to carry high explosive crude oil, are better than a wind turbine out in the fields or a solar panel on your roof? 25 Million Live in Oil Train Blast Zone: New Online Mapping Tool Shows Threat to Homes, Schools, and Cities Today the citizens group ForestEthics launched www.Blast-Zone.org, a website that allows users to see the routes of trains carrying millions of gallons of crude oil and assess the threat of accidents to specific locations.  (July 7, 2014) Forest Ethics
  • 10/28/2014 - Just when you think you’ve gotten your head around Climate Change, you find out you haven’t. Now the ocean conveyor system could be screwed up. For those who think Climate Change isn’t a big deal or that we are too busy with Ebola or something else, they should try and get their heads around how much we still don’t know about the consequences of our climate changing so quickly. We’ve disrupted a very complex life support system that took a long time to develop. Study provides deeper understanding of climate change Study suggests that changes in the storage of heat in the deep ocean could be as important to climate change as other hypotheses  (October 26, 2014) MyCentralJersey.com
  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.
  • 10/28/2014 - With a mediocre success at Bonn and “… the 2015 deadline fast approaching, governments meeting in Peru must be ready to get down to business” (See below)  The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris must not fail “… to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world.” (Wikipedia)  Daily TCK: Long road ahead to Lima as climate talks wrap up in Bonn   (October 27, 2014) tcktcktck
  • 10/28/2014 - More people, more Climate Change, and more floods and more demands on sewage (and more) infrastructures means more planning and educating is needed.  Read my essay “Water, sewage, and Climate Change in the Rochester, NY region” (March 2012) And this from the EPA “Combined Sewer Overflows (CSO)”: “Combined sewer systems are sewers that are designed to collect rainwater runoff, domestic sewage, and industrial wastewater in the same pipe.  Most of the time, combined sewer systems transport all of their wastewater to a sewage treatment plant, where it is treated and then discharged to a water body.  During periods of heavy rainfall or snowmelt, however, the wastewater volume in a combined sewer system can exceed the capacity of the sewer system or treatment plant. For this reason, combined sewer systems are designed to overflow occasionally and discharge excess wastewater directly to nearby streams, rivers, or other water bodies. These overflows, called combined sewer overflows (CSOs), contain not only stormwater but also untreated human and industrial waste, toxic materials, and debris.  They are a major water pollution concern for the approximately 772 cities in the U.S. that have combined sewer systems.” Climate change has thrown historic rain patterns out of whack. Sanitation departments throughout the Midwest are bracing to keep up with more frequent and intense runoff.  A Climate at Your Doorstep story.  (October 28, 2014) The Daily Climate
  • 10/27/2014 - Bumpy and strange weather ahead (including hail and abnormal high temps) are viewed in local news as ‘winter surges.’ I have never heard of ‘winter surges’ though I have lived in NYS for over 60 years.  So maybe what’s going on here is that rather than bring up the specter of Climate Change in our region, we’ll come up with new ways of saying anything but Climate Change, like ‘winter surges.’  Trying to figure out what climate studies call extreme coming weather and the local denier zeitgeist views as just bumpy weather or winter surges should be what we should be trying to figure out.  But our local news has settled on the stance that all extreme weather is only a part of a historical bumpy weather patterns we all known to have happened in the past and (oh by the way) don’t worry your pretty little heads. Which is to say our media is blinding us to the most critical issue of our day and whether we are properly preparing for it. Weather: Hail, record temps and maybe snow (October 26, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 10/27/2014 - Short reminder, while everyone is mesmerized by US media hysteria on Ebola and NPR guts climate team, the People’s Climate March rages on. Into the Streets (People’s Climate March + Flood Wall Street) Over 400,000 people took to the streets of Manhattan as a unified front against climate justice inaction. Diverse perspectives converge as a popular movement unfolds. (October 2014) Directed by Meerkat Media Collective meerkatmedia.org/ [more on Climate Change in our area] 
  • 10/27/2014 - My favorite Rochester-area park is the one where this is no trash, where the ecosystems contained have healthy wildlife and plants.  More and more as we move further into Climate Change those relatively few places that we set aside to be parks should be thriving ecosystems that are able to carry on critical life processes—as our highways and urban areas and Brownfields are not able to do so.  I know, everyone wants more tennis courts, more trails, more lawns, less mucky water, less trees, and they don’t want to be taxed for all this stuff either.  They want Nature to provide them with a great big playground with lots of picnic tables and lots of trash cans and no taxes even though those trash cans need to be emptied often.  Not to mention, our parks would be a great way to monitor consequences of Climate Change and prepare our parks for all that. Greece surveys residents about park system(October 26, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 10/27/2014 - Of course, one big way to help the public understand Climate Change is to get National Public Radio to reverse its decision to yank climate reporters. If our public media thinks Climate Change isn’t worth reporting on Climate Change (which is odd because Climate Change will change everything and maybe some for all of eternity) it’s going to make it more difficult to convince the public of the deep changes that have already occurred and plan for the stuff that is coming. Stanford Roundtable panelists discuss how to improve public understanding of climate change  (October 27, 2014) Stanford News
  • 10/27/2014 - US on new UN report wants clarification on the word “irreversible” in the context of Climate Change.  This may help: “Humpty Dumpty sat on the wall…” Irreversible is when you drag your feet so long on making critical decisions to prepare for extreme weather that when you do decide to act, it’s too freaking late.  U.N. climate change draft sees risks of irreversible damage Climate change may have "serious, pervasive and irreversible" impacts on human society and nature, according to a draft U.N. report due for approval this week that says governments still have time to avert the worst.  (October 26, 2014) Reuters
  • 10/27/2014 - Truly, new UN report on Climate Change report “may be impenetrable to the policymaker or public”in the US.  Attitude.  Because we still think we have the luxury of avoiding the moral and physical consequences of this worldwide crisis we find it more convenient to avoid the obvious and let the chip fall, as they may, around the world.  Climate Change Still Viewed With Skepticism in US Climate change is still viewed with a measure of skepticism in the US. This is despite perennial warnings by scientists around the globe, warning of dire consequences if serious action is not heeded.  (October 26, 2014) Guardian Liberty Voice
  • 10/27/2014 - Time to take the ‘public’ out of National Public Radio and insert ‘Climate Change denier’. One more media source, our public media source, to keep us informed on the most important issue of our era relinquishes its most pressing responsibility. When there never has been more urgency to have objective media coverage (which is to say our eyes and ears) on the most important issue facing humanity, so we are our leaders, can plan properly, they go mum.  NPR Guts Its Environment And Climate Reporting Team, Becomes ‘Part Of The Problem’ NPR has gutted its staff dedicated to covering environmental and climate issues. Given the nation’s and world’s renewed focus on the threat posed by unrestricted carbon pollution, this baffling move is already receiving widespread criticism from scientists and media watchers.  (October 24, 2014) Climate Progress
  • 10/26/2014 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter October 26, 2014 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe
  • 10/25/2014 - Observations of local Climate Change changes from a regional climate expert. Warming effects are already afoot.  Journey to a Future Climate Exploring climate change in the Adirondacks By David W. Wolfe, PhD It's mid afternoon in late May, crazy hot for this time of year (upper 80s), and we are sloshing our way through Spring Pond Bog, the largest open bog in the Adirondacks. The weather has brought the black flies out in full force, loving the heat and humidity, and loving us even more. I'm with a colleague of mine from Cornell, plant ecologist Jonathan Comstock, and we are being led by the legendary Adirondack naturalist, Jerry Jenkins. Jerry knows this state park-from its soaring peaks to bog wilderness areas-probably better than anyone else alive, and he's taking us to see some of the areas that are most vulnerable to climate change. (October 2010) The Conservationist
  • 10/25/2014 - So what’s going on with our friends over at Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia –things are afoot. The Greentopian News from a Sustainable, Resilient Rochester October 2014 "We've now merged our Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia newsletters into THE GREENTOPIAN. We've also merged our email newsletter lists - so you will now receive just one, simple monthly newsletter! "
  • 10/25/2014 - Let’s say you personally don’t care about Climate Change, you still better hope your insurance company does.  For those whose only possible interest in Climate Change is how this worldwide crisis could affect them personally, they will care about Climate Change when something happens because of extreme weather and neither their insurance company nor their government can afford to put their world back together again.  It is the nature of the job for insurers to plan for the future and if Climate Change doesn’t factor prominently in that planning, you are on your own. First-of-its-Kind Report Ranks U.S. Insurance Companies on Climate Change Responses  (October 22, 2014) Ceres
  • 10/25/2014 - Besides Florida wanting to split (literally) over Climate Change, trying to patrician ourselves doesn’t bode well for solving a worldwide crisis. Though this story dramatizes the differences between those governments who understand Climate Change and are feeling the most spectacular immediate effects and those who do not, there is no way that trying to distance ourselves from ourselves, as we have over other issues in the past (like slavery), will solve anything for a physical problem that knows no boundaries. South Florida Wants to Split State Over Climate Change, Become 51st State (October 24, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change
  • 10/24/2014 - Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo, you (as a layman & not an expert) can read a zillion studies from beyond NY that prove Fracking is a public health risk. Extreme extraction of natural gas by Fracking is not new. New York State does not exist in a bubble. Lots of places are doing this crazy way of blasting through the bedrock for more fossil fuels in a time of Climate Change and there are studies about public health risks in those places.  Just Google “Fracking public health risks”. Even a layman can read. Cuomo Says Fracking Study Will Be Out by Year's End(October 23, 2014) WXXI News
  • 10/24/2014 - I know, for most Rochesterians the People’s Climate March was last year’s bird’s nest. But Wow! It has changed a lot of attitudes on Climate Change.  Watch this great video and re-experience humanity speaking for the planet, or if you’ve just seen photos of the march—get inside the change. Inside the ginormous, huge-tastic climate march Hear the People's Climate March make history. They promised the biggest climate march in world history. But when the big morning arrived, the Weather app showed a thundercloud.  Hear what happened next—and feel the (renewable) energy of a giant, urgent movement hitting the streets together for the first time—as The Good Fight takes you inside the most ambitious grassroots mobilization of the year. (September 26, 2014) The Good Fight With Ben Wikler
  • 10/24/2014 - If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If we ignore Asian Carp approach to Great Lakes, will they not come? If we doubt Climate Change, will it happen anyway?  If we choose not to keep our environment, our life support system, healthy, will it just go on keeping us healthy?  If we believe that it won’t hurt us if our house is on fire, will we get hurt? I could go on, but I think you get the drift. New Evidence of Mounting Asian Carp Invasion at Great Lakes  A new series of DNA analyses have revealed the possible beginnings of an invasion of Lake Michigan, with evidence of Asian carp showing up in a pair of Michigan tributaries.  (October 22, 2014) Nature World News
  • 10/24/2014 - The Bonn climate talks are but one of the stops along the way to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris  At Bonn “Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’).  So how’s all that going: Daily TCK: Day 4 at the climate talks in Bonn (October 24, 2014) tcktcktck
  • 10/24/2014 - If you haven’t read ClimAID and you live in New York State, you should. The study is our reality check on Climate Change and solutions.  Just to whet your appetite, check out this short article about the “Responding to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)” study where you can get a sense of the most important study about how Climate Change will affect our region that is being used by our authorities and planners.  This would be a good question for political leaders in New York State: “Have you read the ClimAID”? For if they haven’t, how can they properly plan for our future.  ClimAid Recommendations for adopting to a changing climate  (February 2013 Conservationist
  • 10/24/2014 - What did last winter’s frigid temperatures teach us about Climate Change and how we will respond? A frigid winter, like we had last winter, not only did not prove that Climate Change is not happening it caused us to warm up climate more.  Just as when it gets colder we turn up the heat, when it gets hotter we will turn on the air conditioning.  So, when it gets cold we will warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels and when it gets hot we’ll warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels.  What’s wrong with this picture? Polar Vortex Spiked U.S. CO2 Emissions in 2013  (October 21, 2014) Climate Central
  • The Story of ChangeStory of Change « The Story of Stuff Project "Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. "
  • 10/23/2014 - Fess up.  Are you using Monroe County’s EcoPark-- a “one-stop drop-off” to dispose of or recycle certain items”?  If not, why not?  So where have you been putting your e- waste, scrap metal, clothing (for donation), ink jet cartridges (to benefit charity), curbside recyclables, batteries, sneakers, tires, bulky plastics, flags to be destroyed), household hazardous waste and prescriptions (for proper disposal) and probably even more?  In Monroe County only an appallingly small percentage (I’ve heard that it’s only 1%) of folks actually use this county-run facility to take care of the kind of waste you cannot put in your trash or recycling bin. I’ve also heard that they are dropping hours for those employed at one of the best county-run facilities to keep hazardous waste out of our environment—our life support system.  It costs money and resources to keep the place lit and heated and it just isn't getting a lot of traffic. I don't know why the D&C has never covered it or why more people (politicians) aren't talking about it.  Please help to spread the word and let your friends know about EcoPark so they can use it.  Let your representatives know that it is important to you and that they should be proud of Rochester's leading environmental resource.  Once the hours get even more limited it will make it less likely that people will use it and before you know it we will be using one of the great facilities that we have here in town.
  • 10/23/2014 - Learn about Micro-grids and how they might work to lower our carbon footprint in New York State. Webinar: a Climate Smart Communities (NYS program to address Climate Change) for “innovative models for energy purchase and management” Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online. You can find out more about the state’s program from the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Earth Day Forum  "Climate Smart Communities:  Let’s Get With the Program" | Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Micro-grids and Community Choice Aggregation  (October 22, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/23/2014 - Putting a climate denier into office is like your insurance company only using historical data—both are dangerously delusional.  Because Climate Change is a problem of physics, energy from the sun being trapped more since the Industrial Revolution because of the rise in greenhouse gases faster than any time in the last 10,000 years, choosing a leader who cannot address this problem because of their stance against a problem of physics is insane. You cannot prepare your region with adequate planning if your leaders believe that what’s coming, won’t be coming.  Just like insurance companies that don’t factor in Climate Change, there won’t be enough money in the pot if they haven’t been getting ready for more destruction due to more frequent extreme weather.  Steyer Escalates Campaign to Keep Climate Deniers Out of Office  (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch
  • 10/23/2014 - But, but, if we lift the moratorium on Fracking in New York State the Fracking companies won’t create more and take advantage of more loopholes and put OUR water in danger, right? OK sure the Fracking companies got the Halliburton Loophole to get around the Safe Drinking Water Act but they won’t find other ways to get around the act and put our drinking water in danger, right? Not in New York.  If allowed into to our state, the Fracking companies would be good as gold (unless they came across real gold in our bedrock while they were drilling around down there  in which case presumably all environmental concerns about water or earthquakes or public health would be off the table.) Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals, report says Federal laws meant to protect drinking water require fracking companies to get a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process.  (October 23, 2014) The Columbus Dispatch
  • 10/23/2014 - If your insurance company can no longer cover you because they didn’t factor in Climate Change, who ya gonna call? That’s right, your government--the insurers of last resort. But even your government can only replace a finite number of houses and property when extreme weather comes more frequently.  This latest study about silence on Climate Change from insurance companies is very troubling because insurance companies, in order to stay viable, must be looking carefully and accurately into the future.  If your insurance company is only relying on historical data, it’s like trying to drive backwards down the highway without a rearview mirror. U.S. Insurers Meet Climate Risk With 'Deeply Troubling' Silence 'Insurers show widespread indifference to climate risk, both in regard to their core business' and their investments, new report says. Even though insurers are in the business of protecting others from risk, a new report shows that most major United States players are turning a blind eye to a serious threat to their own bottom line—climate change.  (October 23, 2014) Inside Climate News
  • 10/22/2014 - Incredibly pithy and cogent argument on why we must limit warming to 2C. This quote from the article is especially spot on: “Despite having accessible public information about global warming for more than two decades, many countries continue emitting greenhouse gasses at record-breaking rates.” We need to understand the kind of problem Climate Change presents humanity because it ain’t just about changing your light bulbs. Limiting global warming to 2°C: the philosophy and the science  (October 21, 2014) The Conversation
  • 10/22/2014 - Better yet, remove Bakken crude from any trains going through New York State altogether. New York State Sends Letter To North Dakota Governor Dalrymple Supporting Proposed Regulations To Decrease Crude Oil Volatility (October 21, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/22/2014 - Interesting, immediate health benefits from stricter standards on coal power plants a new study finds. Da, ya think? We certainly do have a penchant for studying the obvious. But I guess we won’t get pollution down unless we do these studies so we can prove to the folks making zillions from the fossil fuel industries that, yeah, burning fossil fuels actually does pollute the air (See China) and heats up the planet.  We’ve only been studying this freaking issue for decades. Anyway, we’d get a whole lot more air pollution down if we stopped burning fossil fuels for energy and you don’t need any studies to find this out.  We just need the political will and public education on how energy conservation, energy efficiency, battery improvements, micro grids, along with renewable energy can wean us off our addiction to fossil fuel energy.  Despite mainstream thinking to the contrary, we don’t have to threaten all life on this planet to turn on a light. Go renewables (wind and solar) and make it work. Study finds New York would benefit from proposed new coal standards New Yorkers could see health benefits from proposed standards for coal power plants, new research has found.  (October 17, 2014) Innovation Trail
  • 10/22/2014 - It’s flu season and time to get your shot and time for me to march out my flu essay: “Getting your flu shot and why it matters” | Flu Season to Begin Soon County officials remind residents to get their flu shots, as the season fast approaches. Between 50-60% of residents are regularly vaccinated against the highly preventable illness. Mid- to late October is the time of year when flu begins to appear in the region. Although there hasn’t been a confirmed case of the disease this year, spokesperson for the Monroe County Department of Public Health, John Ricci said the flu is on its way. (October 21, 2014) WXXI News
  • 10/22/2014 - Take home message about loss of biodiversity: “These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth.”  Besides our way of life and because of Climate Change we are experiencing a loss of biodiversity that equals the five other great extinction events.  More than tragic and the prospect of living on a lonely planet, we probably need most of those creatures to keep our life support system going.  We cannot create a key stone species to prop up a failing ecosystem if we kill off a species critical to the operation of a specific environment—a wetland, a forest, a stream. Half Earth’s Wildlife Gone, Governments Meet to Save the Rest Global wildlife populations have declined, on average, by 52 percent in the 40 year period since 1970, reports the global conservation nonprofit WWF.  (October 14, 2014) Environmental News Service (ENS) [more on Wildlife
  • 10/22/2014 - Here’s the scary part: What if when we do decide to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and that doesn’t work? One of the assumptions we make is that when we do get our act together and realize that we must get our greenhouse gas levels down ‘stuff’ happens and things don’t work out as we planned.  We then realize we cannot turn the planet’s thermostat down instantly, that other factors come into to play (like a cold winter) and our thinking we can just tweak this or that is a lot more complicated than we thought. This is another reason why we should have started reducing greenhouse gas emissions long ago. Stopping warming much more difficult that stopping a car. U.S. Carbon Emissions Rise Despite Efforts to Combat Climate Change In a troubling sign, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration  (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch
  • 10/21/2014 - I like this quote about Rochester’s new transit center, let’s hope it turns out to be true: “Therese McMillan, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, noted that the new hub was designed to benefit residents who rely on the public transportation system while bolstering downtown’s economy.” Officials get peek at new transit center (October 20, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 10/21/2014 - One of the reasons why we marched (actually walked and waited) for the People’s Climate March in NY was to kickstart the UN Climate Summit 2014.  How did that work out? Top 5 Takeaways From the United Nations Climate Summit The historic United Nations Climate Summit provided the clearest signals yet of how world leaders and top business executives perceive the threat of global warming. There was a dizzying barrage of announcements that together add up to proof of life for the previously moribund U.N. climate treaty talks. Here are the top takeaways from the summit: 1. Extreme weather is spurring action. 2. We are awesome at opening and closing Climate Summit meetings. The in-between part still needs some work 3. So, about that Green Climate Fund... 4. Private companies and cities are in the lead now. 5. We might actually keep forests around for a bit longer. (September 24, 2014) Mashable