Updated Daily  8/19/2017 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

Watch this short video about addressing Climate Change from friend and dedicated advocate for strong action on Climate Change. Paul’s message, the importance of showing up and demonstrating that you care about our people and our planet, will get you moving. Imagine if we all felt and ACTED towards our life support system as Paul. RT. Please make Paul’s message go viral. #StandUpForScience  #climatechangeshealth  ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange

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.

CheckerRecent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2: July 29:   406.04 ppm  (from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter August 13, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

 

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. 

Posted Today - Saturday, August 19, 2017

  • Trump Has Broad Power to Block Climate Change Report Influential advisers press the Trump administration to subject a draft climate change report to a “red team” review that many scientists decry as misplaced. Earlier this month, someone involved in the government’s latest report on climate change provided The New York Times with a copy of the version submitted to the Trump administration for final approval. The main intent of the leak, according to several people tracking the report, was to complicate any attempt to suppress the study or water down its findings. Publication of the document inflamed an already-fraught debate about climate change. Administration officials and Republican lawmakers accused the leaker and journalists of manufacturing a dispute. They said the report, which was required by law, was moving through a normal process of White House review. The report was submitted in late June and the Trump administration has broad authority to review its findings. Any one of a number of government agencies can block its release, which is ultimately subject to presidential review.(August 15, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Researchers: Algal blooms have cost Ohioans $152 million in property value GIBRALTAR ISLAND, Ohio — If ever there was something in nature to be described as Public Enemy No. 1, western Lake Erie’s toxic algae would be a leading candidate. It has threatened public health, hurt marketing and branding efforts, diminished property values, and been a nuisance in many other ways. But while evidence has emerged that the state’s $1.7 billion sport-fishing industry is taking a big hit from it in Lake Erie, the Ohio River, and all of their associated tributaries, there’s no evidence of a decline among spawning populations of walleye, yellow perch, and other Lake Erie fish — at least not yet. (August 18, 2017) The Blade [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • Canada's forests are burning, and the smoke is drifting into the Arctic Forests in Canada are ablaze, with 2.2 million acres going up in flames so far this year in British Columbia alone. These fires, and others in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have been belching smoke into the air, in some cases up to 8 miles high.  Once in the atmosphere, weather patterns are causing the wildfire smoke to converge into a blanket so thick it's blotting out the sun across northern Canada. This smoke is working its way to the high Arctic, where it could speed up the melting of sea and land ice.  According to NASA, the smoke has set a record for its thickness, and has been especially dense across the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut provinces. (August 18, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court ALBANY -- A federal Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a lawsuit from the owners of the Constitution Pipeline that challenged a state decision last year to not grant the project a water-quality permit. The controversial, 121-mile natural-gas pipeline has been planned to run through the Southern Tier and into the Catskills and Mohawk Valley. The Constitution Pipeline Co. sued in May 2016 to overturn the decision from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that rejected the project. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in Manhattan, sided with the state, saying the DEC had the right to reject or approve the water permit (August 18, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Energy in our area]




News Highlight

Greenhouse Gas Inventory results in Rochester, NY and beyond             

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

"Greenhouse Gas Inventory Results | The inventoried emissions within the City of Rochester jurisdictional boundaries for all activities and sources listed above totaled 2.8 million MTCO2e in 2014. For purposes of the CAP, large emitters, other fuels, and airline travel emissions were removed from the inventory due to the limited opportunity to be easily impacted or directly influenced through traditional community climate action strategies. (Large emitters are facilities that emit more than 25,000 MTCO2e per year; these facilities report to the EPA’s Greenhouse Gas Reporting Program3.) After this adjustment, the City of Rochester total GHG emissions were 1.8 million MTCO2e in 2014, which is the factor used throughout the CAP for goal setting and development of strategies. This is equivalent to 380,000 passenger vehicles being driven in any given year or the energy used by 190,000 homes for one year." (Page 20, Rochester Climate Action Plan)

Figuring out how much greenhouse gasses (GHGs) a community like Rochester emits into our atmosphere is no easy task. Everyone in the community, including governmental operations (vehicles, buildings, etc.), businesses, schools, individuals, and even Nature itself is spewing what is now too much of a good thing.

How do you tally all that up? How do you distinguish natural GHG emissions from manmade ones (read on)? How does the government itself monitor and control their GHGs? How do you get businesses to record all their GHGs, not just the ones they will agree to publicize? How do you get the public to send their data to a place where their GHG emissions can be recorded? (Spoiler alert, except through some voluntary apps, this scenario is very unlikely to happen.)  And how, for goodness sake, do you get the Trump administration to even acknowledge the emissions from hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs), which are “about 1,000 to 12,000 times as potent as carbon dioxide, depending on the specific chemicals used to make HFCs.” (Court Scuttles Rule Cutting Potent Greenhouse Gas, August 9, 2017 Climate Central)

Much of how data was compiled for Rochester’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is explained in the plan and much of that is ‘based on available data’. This is normal, especially for a city like Rochester that is just starting its CAP. For places like Portland, Oregon, who’ve been working on their CAP for over twenty years, they have lots of historical data.

On a world scale, accumulating comprehensive and accurate GHG data is complicated indeed: '

Dodgy' greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord "Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found." (August 8, 2017, BBC News)

There are more sources for GHGs and even more kinds of them than we ever thought. For example, these new HFC refrigerants (mentioned above) are thousands of times more potent than good ole carbon dioxide.

As noted, some experts are concerned that data collection itself is so haphazard that it might undermine the Paris Accord—even more than Trump has undermined it. (That would be a nice excuse for Trump pulling out of the accord wouldn’t it?)

So, what to do? The world really does need a way to verify what has been promised in the Paris Accord (not to mention actually lowering all GHG emissions); therefore, we need a way to do the collecting. In developing nations, they often do not have the equipment or know-how to access all their GHG emissions. In developed nations (like the US) there may not be a desire to share all that information.

But science offers a way around many of the political and ideological hindrances for a more complete and accurate monitoring of global GHGs.  

Inside the Quest to Monitor Countries’ CO2 Emissions "The world needs a way to verify that nations have made their promised carbon cuts in order to make the Paris agreement effective" (February 28, 2017, Scientific American) 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:

  • Company to open nation's largest hydroponic greenhouse in Rochester A company is set to open what Governor Cuomo's office says will be the biggest commercial hydroponic facility in the nation in Rochester. The governor says Clearwater Organic Farms  will build a 15 acre, 650,000 square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park, creating 137 new jobs. About half of those positions will be reserved for veterans and the unemployed, the state says. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "The new Clearwater Organic Farms facility will drive innovation, create jobs for New Yorkers who need them most, and bolster economic growth throughout the region," Governor Cuomo said in a release. "Our economic strategy continues to generate new activity, attract high-growth industries to the region and build momentum to move the Finger Lakes forward." (May 10, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Plants and Food and Green Business in our area]

  • RIT-led consortium wins $70M in funding for clean energy institute A Rochester Institute of Technology-led consortium has won a nationwide competition and secured $70 million in federal funding to bring a public-private clean energy manufacturing institute here, officials announced Tuesday. The competition was held by the U.S. Department of Energy. The consortium will match the federal award of $70 million for a total investment of $140 million, officials said. The RIT-led consortium includes Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. (January 3, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

  • SED launches Community Solar Array in Greater Rochester Area Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., a clean energy company, will launch the first Community Solar Array project in the Greater Rochester Area in partnership with SunCommon. This offer allows all Rochester Gas & Electric customers to power their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy, with no upfront cost and anticipated savings on their electric bill. SunCommon is a Vermont-based solar company that has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar through home and Community Solar Installations. (June 14, 2016) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Green Business and Solar Power in our area]

  • Investors' Circle hopes to fund Rochester's clean energy scene People in Rochester's startup scene already know about the popular venture capital firms Excell Partners and Cranberry Capital. However, a North Carolina-based firm is joining the mix and looking to pass out money. Investors' Circle of Durham, North Carolina, has been funding startups for 24 years, but now wants to fund companies across New York state. The firm invests in different types of companies, such as software and education. However, the firm's biggest emphasis is on clean energy companies. (February 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight:

Genesee River Bash      A Rochester River Romance Event     

RiverWatch

Saturday Evening  October 7th, 2017 5:30-10:00pm  

Port of Rochester Terminal Building, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY  

A River Celebration featuring Food, Music and Entertainment    With Awards, Networking, Silent Auction and Exhibits from Outdoor Lifestyle Suppliers and River-Focused Organizations

Proceeds to benefit Genesee RiverWatch   Genesee RiverWatch improves the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational and economic assets for its communities.  We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river.

GeneseeRiverWatch, Center for Environmental Initiatives, 700 West Metro Park, Rochester, NY 14623

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

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...    

August 2017

  • August 15, 9 AM to 4 PM  Rattlesnake Hill WMA, Meet to carpool at the Park and Ride lot off I-390 at Exit 11 (Rush) by 9 AM.
    • Butterfly Walk   August 15, 9 AM to 4 PM  Rattlesnake Hill WMA, Meet to carpool at the Park and Ride lot off I-390 at Exit 11 (Rush) by 9 AM. The walk will feature higher elevation butterflies.  Dress for walking in meadows. Bring water, a lunch, and a folding chair.  Questions: 383-8168
  • Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 7 to 8 PM Where: Wherever you and your computer are
    • Electric Vehicle Basics Webinar  With the announcement of the latest Tesla model, electric vehicles are getting even more press. If you're not thinking about an electric car, maybe you should be. We recommend that you take advantage of an upcoming free webinar hosted by the Albany, NY Electric Vehicle club.      When: Wednesday, August 23, 2017, 7 to 8 PM Where: Wherever you and your computer are  More Info: Register online in advance for this free webinar   (from our friends over at ColorBrightonGreen.org
  • August 25, 6-8 PM, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)  
    • "Hiking Near and Far" and Potluck Supper, August 25, 6-8 PM, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)   Looking for trails to hike?  ADK member Jackson Thomas will present information and images of trails from Monroe County, the Finger Lakes, and the Adirondacks.  Bring table service and a dish to pass for the supper proceeding the program.  Questions:  385-3907   facebook.com/pg/banc.roc/events
  • Monday, August 28th from 9 AM to 3:30 PM Where: Port of Rochester, 1000 N River Street, Rochester, NY 14612
    • Project Aquatic WILD and Project WET (Water Education for Teachers) 2.0  Attention teachers! Join Delta Environmental Program Manager, Kaeti Stoss, and FLI Education Program Manager, Nadia Harvieux, for an introduction to hands–on, water–related activities that are easily incorporated into a school’s existing K–12 STEM curricula. This training is open to classroom and homeschool teachers, outreach educators, summer camp instructors, and afterschool providers. Participants will get hands–on training for water–focused field investigations, activities, games and classroom lessons. Participants will receive the curriculum and activity guides for Project Aquatic WILD and Project WET 2.0, plus a Certificate of Completion for 6 hours of professional development. Through hands–on activities and demonstrations, learn about both biologically engineered product innovations and responsible sustainable solutions to some of the major global challenges we face today. Be sure to check out the green features on our outdoor campus.    When: Monday, August 28th from 9 AM to 3:30 PM Where: Port of Rochester, 1000 N River Street, Rochester, NY 14612 More Info: Free, please bring your own lunch and RSVP to kstoss@adopt-a-stream.org (from our friends over at ColorBrightonGreen.org)
  • August 30, 10-12:15 AM, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)
    • "Dragonflies and Late Summer Flowers"  August 30, 10-12:15 AM, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)   Join members of the Canadaigua Botanical Society and dragonfly specialist Jon Dombrowski to explore the trails and wetlands of the Sanctuary and find late summer flowers as well as dragonflies and damselflies. Bring binoculars, water, and a lunch to enjoy on the porch after the walk. Questions: 425-2380   facebook.com/pg/banc.roc/events
  • Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:30 PM Kate Gleason Auditorium, Central Library of Rochester 115 South Avenue, 14604 Bausch & Lomb Building — the “new” building
    • Candidates Talk Climate: Mayoral Primary Forum Wednesday, August 30, 2017 6:30 PM Kate Gleason Auditorium, Central Library of Rochester 115 South Avenue, 14604 Bausch & Lomb Building — the “new” building | What are the candidates’ strategies for mitigating and adapting to climate change? Do they include these? ¨ Protecting our underserved communities from climate change impacts ¨ Environmental Justice ¨ Building efficiency & building codes ¨ Renewable energy supply ¨ Fuel switching ¨ Transportation improvements—mass transit, bike & pedestrian infrastructure ¨ Waste reduction & diversion ¨ Land use planning ¨ Food resiliency & access ¨ Potable water supply & wastewater management ¨ Financing mechanisms ¨ Green job creation BRING YOUR QUESTIONS FOR THE CANDIDATES! More info: 585-262-3730, info@lwv-rma.org, rocpcc@gmail.com       

September 2017

  • September 16th 10am to 6pm | 353 Court St, Rochester, NY 14607
    • The first annual Rochester VegFest is coming September 16th, 2017, to downtown Rochester at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Featuring: Lots of great food! Kids Activities! Speakers! Films! Yoga! Cooking Demos! Beauty Products! Nonprofits! Free street parking on Saturdays! All events and speakers are subject to change. Suggested donation $3 per adult 18 and over. Free gift bags to the first 100 people who donate $3 or more! Hours: 10am to 6pm Address: 353 Court St, Rochester, NY 14607 Don’t miss anything!  Sign up for email updates.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to help support the VegFest?  You can be an Individual Sponsor or a Volunteer.

October 2017

  • Saturday Evening  October 7th, 2017 5:30-10:00pm   Port of Rochester Terminal Building, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY
    • Genesee River Bash      A Rochester River Romance Event      Saturday Evening  October 7th, 2017 5:30-10:00pm   Port of Rochester Terminal Building, 1000 North River St., Rochester, NY   A River Celebration featuring Food, Music and Entertainment    With Awards, Networking, Silent Auction and Exhibits from Outdoor Lifestyle Suppliers and River-Focused Organizations Proceeds to benefit Genesee RiverWatch   Genesee RiverWatch improves the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational and economic assets for its communities.  We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river. GeneseeRiverWatch, Center for Environmental Initiatives, 700 West Metro Park, Rochester

 

Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.  

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 Now!
    • If you've been reading all the reports coming in about plastics in our oceans, you must be looking for a way to stop this kind of pollution. Take Action: Save our Oceans - End plastic pollution now! "By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.  It’s shameful. Half of the plastic made we use just once and throw out, choking our seas and all the animals in it.  But in days, our governments can stem this tide when they meet at a historic summit to outline their clean ocean commitments. Public pressure just got #2 polluter Indonesia to commit to a 70% reduction in plastic waste! Now we need to go after the other top polluters. If one million of us get behind a global call the Head of the UN Environment Programme will announce our petition from the summit podium and work with us to push countries to ban single-use plastics and let our oceans breathe again. Add your name. " (Avaaz )
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Don’t let all the work we have put into environmental protections since the 1970’s be gutted. Stand up for our absolute right to have a healthy, thriving life support system—our environment. There is no ‘balance’ between industrial rights and humanity’s fundamental right to clean water, air, and land. The silent majority must awake from what is being done to our EPA. Stop the Attacks on Our Environment and Health: Save The EPA! To be delivered to: New York and Connecticut Congressional Delegation The President has proposed to slash the EPA budget, eliminate funding for programs to restore the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, and cut programs to fight climate change. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of its responsibilities and put our environment, health, and economy at an unacceptable risk! I urge Congress to provide full funding for the EPA and critical programs that it administers, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Long Island Sound restoration, and efforts to fight climate change. (from Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Got bike? Got an old bike not being used? Why not donate that bike to R Community Bikes (RCB) and help others get around—without carbon emissions. Action Transportation (walking and bicycling) is increasing in Rochester and you can help get our city more climate friendly. Find out more about BikeRochester and our city’s draft Climate Action Plan that we are still waiting for passage.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • I think it proper to now distinguish Pruitt’s epa from the former U.S. EPA, which used to be a respectable federal agency  CONDEMN TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON THE EPA Trump and his Republicans want to weaken the EPA. Say you won't stand for it: here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply.  We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December.  Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Consider stopping wasteful phone books that littler our neighborhoods and no longer provide a useful service by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. Back in the day, our Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee tried to halt the delivery of these phone books with little effect. That now the phone company admits that this is a 12-tons-of-waste each year that can be avoided is interesting. Our group noticed over the years how phone books were tossed on to apartment complex porches’ and left for months there while folks just walked over them, avoiding them completely. And for many, many people the phone books would go immediately into the recycling bin—at best. At worst, folks threw them into the trash or let them scattered throughout the neighborhoods. We were told by the powers that be that although many people don’t use these books the advertising dollars that came from the phone books were too important. Now, finally, after long last, phone books are on the way out because they waste paper and aren’t needed. Which has been the case for years. Consider putting the nail this this wasteful coffin by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. More: Phone books to disappear for good The phone book, a one-time necessity that many now consider a wasteful nuisance, is about to disappear from your life forever. Frontier Communications, which provides landline phone service in the Rochester area and some other areas in New York, has asked state regulators for permission to end mass delivery of phone books to its customers. The books contain business listings, government contact information and consumer information. (February 1, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION due date: NOW!
    • Winds of Change by @revkin on Twitter, on Facebook  , or by email on ProPublica is a great way to “to keep track of subsequent changes on federal websites as the Trump administration settles in.” We must remain vigilant on making use our climate science is not being hijacked by ideology in these troublesome times. Much of the public’s and the media’s information on Climate Change comes from federal websites so you’re help is needed in tracking any wavering from the climate facts we need in order to have a sustainable life support system. Help Us Track Winds of Change as Trump Confronts Climate Issues If you see something, say something. ProPublica is eager to get tips on shifts in available government information related to climate change. Until late morning on Friday, the White House homepage had an “issues” link to a page on the environment touting former President Obama’s efforts to build a “clean-energy economy” and tackle climate change. It’s still viewable via archive.org, but almost as soon as President Donald J. Trump’s hand was off the Bible, White House websites flipped to content consistent with Trump’s campaign pledges to roll back such programs. The live White House homepage now reflects President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, including a link to his energy plan, which includes “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan” of his predecessor. (January 20, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • 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! 
    • 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!
    • 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: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • 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

 

 

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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...

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  • 8/19/2017 - Is Climate Change based on science or the ruling of the ‘red team’? Hmm…. Who’s the red team? Trump Has Broad Power to Block Climate Change Report Influential advisers press the Trump administration to subject a draft climate change report to a “red team” review that many scientists decry as misplaced. Earlier this month, someone involved in the government’s latest report on climate change provided The New York Times with a copy of the version submitted to the Trump administration for final approval. The main intent of the leak, according to several people tracking the report, was to complicate any attempt to suppress the study or water down its findings. Publication of the document inflamed an already-fraught debate about climate change. Administration officials and Republican lawmakers accused the leaker and journalists of manufacturing a dispute. They said the report, which was required by law, was moving through a normal process of White House review. The report was submitted in late June and the Trump administration has broad authority to review its findings. Any one of a number of government agencies can block its release, which is ultimately subject to presidential review.(August 15, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/19/2017 - Some articles on toxic algae ruining our Northeast lakes connect the dots to Climate Change, some don’t. This one doesn’t (see below). This one does. So, which is it? Why are there more and more articles about more and more bodies of water being affected by toxic algae but less consistency on whether Climate Change is amplifying and accelerating this toxic threat to our lakes? How can we possibly solve this threat to our lakes if we all don’t get on the same page with climate science? Even the EPA (albeit the one before Pruitt screwed it up) informs about the rise in toxic algae and Climate Change. Researchers: Algal blooms have cost Ohioans $152 million in property value GIBRALTAR ISLAND, Ohio — If ever there was something in nature to be described as Public Enemy No. 1, western Lake Erie’s toxic algae would be a leading candidate. It has threatened public health, hurt marketing and branding efforts, diminished property values, and been a nuisance in many other ways. But while evidence has emerged that the state’s $1.7 billion sport-fishing industry is taking a big hit from it in Lake Erie, the Ohio River, and all of their associated tributaries, there’s no evidence of a decline among spawning populations of walleye, yellow perch, and other Lake Erie fish — at least not yet. (August 18, 2017) The Blade [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/19/2017 - With Climate Change comes more fires, with more fires come more smoke, with more smoke comes more dark particles on ice, with more dark ice comes more melting. Climate Change is becoming more predictable. We should plan accordingly. Time passes. Canada's forests are burning, and the smoke is drifting into the Arctic Forests in Canada are ablaze, with 2.2 million acres going up in flames so far this year in British Columbia alone. These fires, and others in the Yukon and Northwest Territories, have been belching smoke into the air, in some cases up to 8 miles high.  Once in the atmosphere, weather patterns are causing the wildfire smoke to converge into a blanket so thick it's blotting out the sun across northern Canada. This smoke is working its way to the high Arctic, where it could speed up the melting of sea and land ice.  According to NASA, the smoke has set a record for its thickness, and has been especially dense across the Northwest Territories, Yukon, and Nunavut provinces. (August 18, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/19/2017 - Renewable energy—solar and wind—have the potential to make New York 100% clean energy—not intermittent, not costly, not dirty. Pipelines, besides being environmentally disruptive, are setting the table for decades more of fossil fuels, which are warming the planet. We are living at a time of an energy transition that has practical and moral implications, a time when we need to use clean energy, not go back to a fuel that has put our future in jeopardy. Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court Constitution Pipeline in NY rejected by court ALBANY -- A federal Court of Appeals on Friday rejected a lawsuit from the owners of the Constitution Pipeline that challenged a state decision last year to not grant the project a water-quality permit. The controversial, 121-mile natural-gas pipeline has been planned to run through the Southern Tier and into the Catskills and Mohawk Valley. The Constitution Pipeline Co. sued in May 2016 to overturn the decision from the state Department of Environmental Conservation that rejected the project. But the U.S. Court of Appeals for the Second Circuit, based in Manhattan, sided with the state, saying the DEC had the right to reject or approve the water permit (August 18, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/18/2017 - As our federal government’s environmental protections collapse others step in to quell the madness. Will it be enough and in time? Time passes. NYU Law launches new center to help state AGs fight environmental rollbacks NYU School of Law will launch a new center, financed by Bloomberg Philanthropies, aimed at helping state attorneys general fight any federal moves to roll back renewable energy, environmental protections and climate policies. The grant of nearly $6 million, which will establish the State Energy and Environmental Impact Center, marks a new step in the escalating battle between state attorneys general and the Trump administration over the nation’s energy and environmental trajectory. Although the center will provide assistance to states regardless of party, Democratic attorneys general have been particularly aggressive in challenging the administration’s efforts to unravel regulations and policies that aim to curb fossil fuel production in the United States as well as restrict drilling and mining on federal lands and in federal waters. (August 16, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Environmental Health, Energy, and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/18/2017 - Climate Change is warming up the stew of toxic algae blooms in our lakes so we need to turn down the freaking burner. Note:  “… a changing climate is creating the perfect stew of conditions for harmful algae to thrive.” Researchers search for clues to toxic algae blooms From Washington Lake in southwest Minnesota, to Lake Minnetonka, to Helen Lake in northern Minnesota, toxic blooms of algae are again surfacing on the state's lakes. They're suspected culprits in one case of human illness and two dog deaths so far this summer. When lake temperatures warm, blue-green algae thrives, often forming in thick, pea-soup colored blooms that spread out across the surface of lakes. The algae has been present in Minnesota since at least the turn of the 19th century. But it's only recently exploded on the public's radar. It's believed to have killed 20 dogs in Minnesota since 2004, including this August at Lake Minnetonka and at Lake Geneva, near Alexandria, Minn. (August 17, 2017) MPRNews [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/18/2017 - Will the Trump administration ignore the urgency and science behind the National Climate Assessment’s new Climate Change Report? Or, perhaps more appropriate, should the Trump administration ignore the urgency and science behind the National Climate Assessment’s new Climate Change Report? Or this: Are we going to let the Trump administration ignore the urgency and science behind the National Climate Assessment’s new Climate Change Report? Time passes. Watch: Climate Change Report vs. E.P.A. Chief "A draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies directly contradicts statements by Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, that human contribution to climate change is uncertain." (August 8, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/18/2017 - Climate Change is one of those issues that put demands on you whether you believe in it or not? Someone’s going to have to pay for Climate Change protections and damages. And, some communities may have to decide when to cut their losses because in some communities, no matter how much money is thrown at the problem, are going to be overwhelmed. Time passes. Miami Taxpayers Asked to Foot the Bill to Protect the City from Climate Change Miami is among the U.S. cities most vulnerable to rising seas due to climate change, and city officials estimate that they may have to spend at least $900 million in the coming decades to upgrade the city’s flood prevention and drainage systems to keep the Atlantic Ocean at bay. City officials don’t know exactly where all the money will come from, but in November the city will ask voters to approve a $400 million general obligation bond—new property taxes that will start chipping away at the cost of shoring up the city against the ravages of climate change. Like many coastal cities, Miami is grappling with more frequent high tide flooding and vulnerability to hurricane storm surges as the Atlantic intrudes into once-dry areas and percolates inland through porous bedrock. Like all cities planning for the effects of climate change, Miami is struggling with who will pay for the costly measures needed to protect its residents. (August 16, 2017) Climate Liability News [more on Climate Channge in our area]

  • 8/17/2017 - Antarctica volcanos, an example of Climate Change’s unknown unknowns, something about this crisis we didn’t even know we didn’t know. Now we know. As scientist learn more about Climate Change and how our planet’s systems work and change with warming, we are more likely to find more unknown unknowns. And, as more of us get engaged with addressing Climate Change we are more likely to find within ourselves the capacity to cope with the warming. Time passes. Another climate-change nightmare: 91 new volcanoes beneath Antarctica’s ice Antarctica has been having a rough time of it lately, you may have heard. You know — greenhouse gases, warming oceans, trillion-ton icebergs breaking off the continent like a middle-aged man losing hair in the sink. Not the best century for the old South Pole. And now it turns out Antarctica has problems we didn't even know about. Deep problems. Volcanoes-under-the-ice problems, which doesn't sound healthy. University of Edinburgh researchers on Monday announced the discovery of 91 previously unknown volcanoes under west Antarctica. They do not sound nearly as alarmed as, say, Quartz, which called the possibilities terrifying. “By themselves the volcanoes wouldn't be likely to cause the entire ice sheet to melt,” said lead researcher Max Van Wyk de Vries, whose team published the study in the Geological Society in late May. But if the glacier is already melting because of global warming, he said, “if we start reducing significant quantities of ice … you can more or less say that it triggers an eruption.” (August 15, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/17/2017 - Because Climate Change is a worldwide phenomenon, a mild July in Rochester, NY doesn’t mean it was mild around the world. July got hotter for Earth. July ties record for warmest month on Earth, but I'm sure we have nothing to worry about In a surprising finding, NASA released data Tuesday showing that July 2017 is tied for the warmest such month on record, statistically deadlocked with July 2016. This means that July was one of the warmest months the planet has seen in 137 years of record-keeping, comparable to July and August 2016, which tied for the record for the warmest month overall.  What makes this year's July record noteworthy is that it occurred in the absence of a natural climate cycle, like El Niño, which would help heighten global average surface temperatures. A strong El Niño, combined with human-caused global warming, helped push 2016 to claim the record for the warmest year since reliable thermometer records began in 1880.  In addition, the finding comes during a summer in which large parts of the Arctic have seen below average temperatures, bucking the recent sharp warming trend there. (Critics of NASA's temperature data sometimes argue that Arctic warming skews the agency's figures so they are biased as too high.) (August 16, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/17/2017 - This episode of the podcast ‘You are not so smart’ about “The Climate Paradox” is not only enlightening but cathartic (at least, for me). At a time when the science on Climate Change is more robust than ever, the public seems less interested than ever. What’s with that? Is humanity just incapable of addressing something so complex and divisive as Climate Change? Is social power more powerful than science for humans? Check out this podcast.

  • 8/17/2017 - Rochester, NY is moving forward on community choice aggregation to address Climate Change. City moving on energy program A year or so from now, City of Rochester residents and small businesses could have easy access to 100 percent renewable energy at a price lower than their current rates. Mayor Lovely Warren is preparing legislation stating the city's intent to pursue community choice aggregation. Under a CCA arrangement, which state law allows, the city and any other local governments it partners with would negotiate an energy-supply contract for their residents and businesses. Those utility customers then would then buy power from the chosen supplier. If Council passes the mayor's legislation, then the city will begin soliciting bids for a program manager, which would help the city work through the technical aspects of the CCA process, says Anne Spaulding, manager of the city's Division of Environmental Quality. She estimates that process – which includes a review by state utilities regulators – could take a year. (August 16, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 8/17/2017 - The following mayors have pledged their support for a community-wide transition to 100% renewable energy: 89. Mayor Lovely Warren, Rochester, NY Sierra Club's Mayors For 100% Clean Energy "Local leadership on clean energy is more important than ever.  As we face unprecedented threats to vital climate, environmental, and pollution protections, mayors and local leaders are seizing the moment to lead our nation towards a healthier, stronger future by committing to 100% clean, renewable energy for all. Mayors understand first-hand the threats to security and public health that families are facing across the country. We are asking mayors to respond to this moment by signaling their support for clean energy and healthy communities. Transitioning to 100% clean and renewable energy -- like energy efficiency, wind, solar and electrified transportation -- will protect our kids and families from pollution, create new jobs and local economic opportunities, and ensure that all people have access to affordable energy solutions. That's why with our Co-Chairs the Sierra Club's Ready For 100 Campaign is launching Mayors For 100% Clean Energy -- an initiative calling on all mayors -- regardless of political party, from big cities and small towns – to support a vision of 100% clean and renewable energy in their cities, towns, and communities, and across the country. Mayors have a powerful role in making 100% a reality, and a powerful voice to help us spread the message.  Whether you’re a mayor, activist, or partner, you can take action now! "

  • 8/17/2017 - Rochester, NY is making great strides towards addressing Climate Change with Sierra Club's "Mayors For 100% Clean Energy" initiative City of Rochester is furthering commitment to clean energy Mayor Lovely Warren made two announcements furthering the City of Rochester's efforts to protect the environment and combat climate change. Warren endorsed the Sierra Club's "Mayors For 100% Clean Energy" initiative, joining 141 other mayors from across the United States in supporting a community-wide transition to renewable energy. "We know that if we don't take action to battle climate change, the natural resources that we cherish will be at great risk. Yet still some deny that climate change is real. If Washington won't act, we will." (Aubust 16, 2017) WXXI News [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2017 - How are our birds being affected by Climate Change? It’s not as easy as you think to tease this threat from other threats to birds. Wildlife, ecosystem engineers if you like, are being assaulted by many forms of human disruption, including the spreading of invasive species, habitat loss due to development, overuse of pesticides and herbicides, and much more. So, how do we tease out, or separate all the other threats to birds and other wildlife from the threat of Climate Change? Important questions as we go into Climate Change trying to save our ecosystems and those creatures who helped create them. Ecosystems aren’t just a thing some people like; humanity needs healthy ecosystems to survive. Are our Climate Change plans sufficient to cover all the threats coming at us? Time passes. Climate Change Or Habitat Loss? Study Weighs Future Priorities For Conserving Forest Migrants Birds are among the first to let us know when the environment is out of whack. But predicting what might happen to bird populations is tricky. Studies often focus on a single issue or location: breeding grounds or wintering grounds, changes in climate, loss of habitat. But in the real world, nothing occurs in isolation. A new study just published in the journal Global Change Biology pulls the pieces together. “This is really the first study to measure the combined impact of climate change and land-use change over a bird’s full annual cycle,” says lead author Frank La Sorte at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology. “Typically, studies tend to focus on the breeding season. If you do that, you’re missing the real story which is inherently dynamic and complex.” The study merges projections for climate change with land-use change to model what the future might look like for 21 species of forest birds. Scientists ran dozens of scenarios to learn which combinations of factors would make this group of flycatchers, vireos, and warblers—all of which breed in eastern North America and winter in Central America—even more vulnerable to population decline. (July 24, 2017) All About Birds, The Cornell Lab of Ornitholgoy [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2017 - Mothballs are serious pesticides and not be to be taken lightly. Who knew? Mothballs Are Not For Errant Cats (Or Nosey Neighbors)... Use Pesticides Responsibly, Read the Label! Every year the NYSDEC Bureaus of Pest Management and Law Enforcement receive dozens of complaints regarding the use of mothballs to repel domestic animals and wildlife in urban settings. Label directions state mothballs are to be used in tightly closed containers to kill clothes moths and other fabric pests. Mothballs are not effective in keeping “unwanted visitors” out of vegetable and flower gardens, interior walls of buildings and/or drop ceilings. Besides, the use of mothballs in any manner other than is listed on the pesticide label is illegal and dangerous! Why Should I Be Concerned? mothball active ingredients are either paradichlorobenzene  the vapors from mothballs are toxic  Incorrect use and long-term exposure may cause health problems, harm children and contaminate soil, water, and plants  To learn more about mothballs visit the National Pesticide Information Center (NPIC). (August 15, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation [More on Pesticides in our area]

  • 8/16/2017 - Are we doing enough and on a scale that will actually keep the Asian Carp out of the Great Lakes? Is it even possible to stop this very invasive species out of the Great Lakes system, the largest freshwater system in the world? Have we covered all the possible routes the carp can use to get into the Great Lakes? Are we preparing for the possibility that this invasive species will get into our Great Lakes and keeping this system healthy as we go deeper into Climate Change? Are we planning on a large enough scale to address these issues with such an important ecosystem? Time passes. How Ohio is trying to keep Asian Carp out of Lake Erie CLEVELAND, Ohio -- Giant, leaping Asian Carp are already crowding native fish out of the Mississippi River and its tributaries. Scientists worry the Great Lakes could be next. The fish native to China and Siberia escaped fish farms in the southern United States during floods in the 1980s and rapidly spread throughout the Mississippi River system. Numerous public works projects are underway to keep them from migrating into the Great Lakes and destroying its fisheries. Take a look at what Ohio is doing to protect Lake Erie. (August 15, 2017) Cleveland.com [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 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.

  • 8/16/2017 - Trying to fix our infrastructure without considering Climate Change is like building a house without a roof. Trying to fix our infrastructure without considering Climate Change may not be “costly and overly burdensome”—until extreme weather hits. Our infrastructures-water, waste removal, electric grid, transportation, telecommunications—are all at risk with Climate Change. One of the major ways we adapt to Climate Change is to make our infrastructures more resilient to the consequences of Climate Change—flooding, extreme weather, and heat. With a population nearing 9 billion by 2050, we cannot survive without health infrastructures and so to build without considering Climate Change is reckless indeed. Trump Signs Order Rolling Back Environmental Rules on Infrastructure A key element of the new executive order rolls back standards set by former President Barack Obama that required the federal government to account for climate change and sea-level rise when building infrastructure. It also puts in place what the White House called a “one federal decision policy” under which one lead federal agency works with others to complete environmental reviews and other permitting decisions for a given project. All decisions on federal permits will have to be made within 90 days, and agencies will have a two-year goal to process environmental reviews for major projects. “It’s going to be a very streamlined process, and by the way, if it doesn’t meet environmental safeguards, we’re not going to approve it,” Mr. Trump said. (August 15, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - While the Trump administration pounds coal in Washington, we in the Rochester, NY region ramp up Solar Power. Hope. Construction underway on future Greece solar farm Supervisor Bill Reilich recently announced work on Solar Liberty’s first solar farm in Greece is underway after two years of planning and working toward bringing alternative energy to the town.  This will result in a portion of the town’s electrical expenses being reduced to the maximum allowed limit. Solar Liberty is a solar electric installation company. It promotes energy independence through installation of solar electric systems. A solar electric system generates electricity and provides a secure return on investment by generating electricity through sunlight with little or no maintenance. Solar energy is generated when sunlight is absorbed into the cells of the solar panels. The electrons between the charged silicon layers of the cells become excited and produce DC electricity. The solar electricity passes through an inverter, which turns it into the same type of AC power that is delivered by the utility company. (August 14, 2017) The Post [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - In the US now, how do you find out if renewable energy has been given a fair chance at the grid? Sue, Baby, Sue. Time passes. Sierra Club sues U.S. Energy Department over power grid study Environmental group the Sierra Club sued the U.S. Energy Department on Monday in hopes of forcing it to reveal the groups it has consulted in conducting an eagerly awaited study on the electricity grid. It was the latest push-back on the department’s study from backers of renewable energy such as wind and solar power who fear it could be used by the Trump administration to form policies that could slow growth in the industry. Energy Secretary Rick Perry, who commissioned the 60-day study in April, ordered his department to see whether "regulatory burdens" by other administrations including former president Barack Obama’s had forced the premature retirements of so-called baseload power plants, fired by nuclear and coal. Perry said those policies potentially put at risk the reliability and security of the national power grid. (August 14, 2017) Reuters [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - Climate Change is affecting every aspect of the Great Lakes, which means all communities in the basin must work together for solutions. Surface temperatures, water quality, precipitation, extreme weather, harmful algae blooms, fish and wildlife, ice coverage, water levels, tourism, shipping and recreation, and much more are being amplified and accelerated by Climate Change. Our media, our politics and elections, our planning for the future, and jobs should all reflect the relationship between Climate Change and the largest freshwater system in the world. Time passes.  How is climate change affecting the Great Lakes? Across the globe, climate change is increasing temperatures, spurring on extreme weather, harming ecosystems and raising sea levels. But what does it mean for the Great Lakes? For the 30 million Americans and Canadians who live in the Great Lakes basin, climate change, primarily attributed to human activities increasing greenhouse gas emissions, is a real threat to the home of 84 percent of North America’s surface fresh water. Rising temperatures could lower water levels in the lakes, intensify harmful algal blooms and threaten fish and wildlife. Here’s what the research says about how the globe's shifting climate affects these vast bodies of water in terms of temperature, precipitation, extreme weather, water quality and harmful algal blooms, fish and wildlife, ice coverage, water levels, shipping, tourism and recreation. (August 15, 2017) Cleveland.com [more on Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - Climate Change in our Rochester region is bringing more heavy spring rains, more flooding, and more raw sewage into our waters. Our region and all communities in the Great Lakes basin must get together and help fortify all our sewage systems so that they don’t overflow with sewage as more heavy rains come. Addressing this sewage overflow problem as a Climate Change problem would go far in all communities working together for this present and looming problem. We must plan; we must plan together to address Climate Change. This sewage issue and flooding are the most salient ways we in this region are experiencing the consequences of Climate Change. Time passes. Spring rain caused severe sewage overflows in Lake Ontario This spring's heavy rains caused record-breaking flooding along Lake Ontario's shoreline. But what happened to the lake itself? New data from U.S. and Canadian cities shows that the rain pushed millions of gallons of raw sewage into the lake. This spring's heavy rain in the Lake Ontario region had quite an impact on homeowners, but it also affected the water offshore. The rainfall overwhelmed sewage systems in cities around the lake, and pushed millions of gallons of raw sewage into the water. Mike Garland is director of environmental services for Rochester and the rest of Monroe County, NY, which means he's in charge of showing off the county's wastewater treatment center. “It’s a dirty job, but someone’s gotta do it,” he says, as he walks through the center. Garland says this facility treats about 100 million gallons of sewage per day. Most days, everything works as it should, and no untreated sewage winds up in Lake Ontario. (August 14, 2017) North Cuntry Public Radio [more on Climate Change, Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - Even the Arctic’s caribou know Climate Change is happening. They can feel it. Ouch! Wildlife will have to adapt to Climate Change—or not. We can help addressing Climate Change and make it so Wildlife can adapt, allowing them to move to other regions without constraints (fences, roads, etc.). But Pesticides are not the answer to the growing swarms of insects because that would be throwing massive amounts of manmade toxins into our environment, our soils and waters. We need to treat our ecosystems as ecosystems as our planet warms, not a GMO and pesticide experiments on a massive scale. Time Passes. WHY THE ARCTIC'S MOSQUITO PROBLEM IS GETTING BIGGER, BADDER The trend could spell disaster for caribou (and more nasty bites for humans). When the wind drops and the endless summer sun bakes the ponds that dot the frozen tundra, some of the Arctic’s most ferocious predators emerge and form menacing blizzards that darken the horizon – and everyone’s mood. “It is the talk of the town when the Arctic mosquitoes are out,” says Lauren Culler, a postdoctoral researcher who studies insects in Greenland for Dartmouth College’s Institute of Arctic Studies. “There aren’t a lot of animals for them to eat in the Arctic, so when they finally find one, they are ferocious. They are relentless. They do not stop. They just keep going after you.” Climate change, it turns out, may make that even worse. (August 14, 2017) National Geographic [more on Climate Change and Wildlife in our area]  

  • 8/15/2017 - States, “including New York…, are using the social cost of carbon to measure and reduce CO2 impacts from their power grids.” What are the social cost of carbon? “Put simply, the social cost of carbon is a dollar estimate of the future damages from droughts, sea level rise, heat waves and other climate impacts wrought by each ton of carbon dioxide released to the atmosphere.” States Are Using Social Cost of Carbon in Energy Decisions, Despite Trump's Views The climate metric, maligned by the Trump administration, helps build the cost of future climate harms into state electricity plans and markets. The social cost of carbon was an arcane but important tool in the federal climate toolbox until President Donald Trump targeted it in his sweeping March 2017 executive order to weaken climate actions. Now, states are taking up the metric. Policymakers and regulators in several states, including New York, Minnesota, Illinois and Colorado, are using the social cost of carbon to measure and reduce CO2 impacts from their power grids. Some are using it to compensate rooftop solar panel owners who feed low-carbon power in the grid. Others use it to incentivize nuclear power and renewable energy. Their efforts, aimed at reducing planet-warming greenhouse gas emissions, come as Congress and the Trump administration try to restrict its use. (August 14, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 8/15/2017 - Is a country failing to address Climate Change denying young people their fundamental right for a viable future? What is the purpose of a government if not to protect our progeny from a clear and present danger? OK, US government — see you in court OPINION | JAMES HANSEN AND SOPHIE KIVLEHAN We are a 76-year-old grandfather and his oldest grandchild, who just graduated from high school in Pennsylvania. We are among 22 plaintiffs in a lawsuit filed by Our Children’s Trust on behalf of young people and future generations against the federal government. The suit willl show that the government, by authorizing and subsidizing production, transport, and burning of fossil fuels, is substantially responsible for growing climate disruptions that could lead to irreparable harm to young people. These federal actions, we assert, violate young people’s constitutional rights to life, liberty, property, and equal protection of the law. The reality and intergenerational nature of human-made climate change are undeniable. It takes decades and centuries for the ocean to warm and ice sheets to melt in response to changes of atmospheric composition. Benefits of burning fossil fuels occur today, but the principal climate effects will be felt by young people and their offspring (August 14, 2017) The Boston Globe [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/14/2017 - Climate Change is complicated and it’s going to take more than technology do deal with it. Learn more about Climate Change communications at podcast, Warm Regards. Great podcast, listen in with experts on good conversations about communicating this worldwide crisis.

  • 8/14/2017 - Sorry, but this may be very inconvenient to greenhouse gas emitters : Drones offer not only to “more accurately measure surface reflectivity” for monitoring and managing Climate Change, but in the future properly equipped drones could help with independent verification of greenhouse gas emissions. This possible and probable scenario—where a system of drones seeks out and monitor all greenhouse gas emissions, could give humanity far more accurate data on sources for greenhouse gas emissions than independent reporting—which presently are not accounting for: 'Dodgy' greenhouse gas data threatens Paris accord Potent, climate-warming gases are being emitted into the atmosphere but are not being recorded in official inventories, a BBC investigation has found. (August 8, 2017, BBC News) Drone tech offers new ways to manage climate change An innovation providing key clues to how humans might manage forests and cities to cool the planet is taking flight. Cornell researchers are using drone technology to more accurately measure surface reflectivity on the landscape, a technological advance that could offer a new way to manage climate change. “When making predictions about climate change, it’s critical that scientists understand how much energy the earth is absorbing and retaining,” said Charlotte Levy, a doctoral candidate who presented a talk on her research at the annual Ecological Society of America meeting, in Portland, Oregon, Aug. 8. (August 8, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/14/2017 - Is our clean air, a fundamental right, really going back to being an industry sewer under the Pruitt epa? SEVEN WAYS SCOTT PRUITT IS THREATENING OUR HEALTH In selecting Oklahoma’s former Attorney General Scott Pruitt to head EPA, President Trump has prioritized polluters over the health of our families. Pruitt has an extensive record of suing the agency he now runs, and through his current leadership at EPA, Scott Pruitt is threatening our health Moms Clean Air Force

  • 8/14/2017 - Our EPA is now Pruitt’s epa. Under that EPA wetlands and other ecosystems we need to survive are being demoted. Other ecosystems? It’s a secret. Sad. Scott Pruitt Is Carrying Out His E.P.A. Agenda in Secret, Critics Say When career employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are summoned to a meeting with the agency’s administrator, Scott Pruitt, at agency headquarters, they no longer can count on easy access to the floor where his office is, according to interviews with employees of the federal agency. Doors to the floor are now frequently locked, and employees have to have an escort to gain entrance. Some employees say they are also told to leave behind their cellphones when they meet with Mr. Pruitt, and are sometimes told not to take notes. Mr. Pruitt, according to the employees, who requested anonymity out of fear of losing their jobs, often makes important phone calls from other offices rather than use the phone in his office, and he is accompanied, even at E.P.A. headquarters, by armed guards, the first head of the agency to ever request round-the-clock security. (August 11, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 8/12/2017 - It is a crime against humanity for a government to withhold a major climate study from the public they need to plan with.  You have to get your head around what is going on, don’t sit this one out: “Read the Draft of the Climate Change Report A final draft report by scientists from 13 federal agencies concludes that Americans are feeling the effects of climate change right now. The report was completed this year and is part of the National Climate Assessment, which is congressionally mandated every four years” (August 7, 2017, New York Times) Former EPA Administrator says climate report leakers should be thanked The former EPA regional administrator under President Obama says scientists who leaked the report on further evidence of climate change to the New York Times should be commended as "whistleblowers." Judith Enck, who was with the EPA from 2009 until President Trump took office, says it’s important that the public see the report. Compiled by scientists at 13 federal agencies, it contains the results of thousands of studies showing that climate change caused by greenhouse gases is affecting weather in every part of the United States, causing average temperatures to rise dramatically since the 1980s. Enck says those who leaked the report should be thanked for providing a public service.    “I would refer to whoever did it as a whistleblower, not a leaker,” Enck said. “Tax dollars were spent putting this report together.”   Enck says it’s also important that the draft report be seen, to protect against any potential watering down of its conclusions by the Trump Administration. (August 9, 2017) North Country Public Radio [more on Climate Change in our area]

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