Updated Daily  7/22/2017 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

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.

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter July 16, 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, July 22, 2017

  • Climate scientists create Caribbean drought atlas Cornell atmospheric scientists have developed the first-of-its-kind, high-resolution Caribbean drought atlas, with data going back to 1950. Concurrently, the researchers confirmed the region’s 2013-16 drought was the most severe in 66 years due to consistently higher temperatures – a hint that climate change is to blame. Because of its topographic complexity, the new atlas delivers critical research data by providing a historical climate backdrop. (July 28, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Congress may order Lake Ontario flood study Legislation advancing in Congress would require a federal study of this year's Lake Ontario flooding and an assessment of the damage that high water has caused.  Language requiring the study by the U.S. State Department was inserted in a funding bill that was approved by the House Appropriations Committee on Wednesday.  However, a proposed amendment to the bill that would have halved funding to the International Joint Commission and directed that money to shoreline relief did not make the final version of the State and Foreign Operations appropriations bill. (July 21, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]

  • White House details plan to roll back environmental regs The Trump administration provided details for its aggressive plan to roll back environmental regulations Thursday. In the first regulatory agenda of the Trump administration, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed when and how agencies plan to repeal numerous Obama administration rules regarding air and water pollution, fossil fuel extraction and more. Many of the rollbacks had already been announced, though some new timelines or justifications were revealed. (July 20, 2017) The Hill [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays Off, Study Finds A 'payment for ecosystem services' experiment in Uganda found the climate benefits of reducing deforestation outweighed the program’s cost by more than 2 to 1. Across dozens of villages in rural Uganda, researchers have explored what they believe could be an easy way to help tackle climate change: paying landowners to leave their trees standing. The concept is simple—and controversial, because critics say it can foist the burden of cutting emissions onto developing countries. But the researchers, led by an economist from Northwestern University, found that these financial incentives—or "payments for ecosystems services"—have both a climate and economic benefit, something that had not been firmly established in previous studies. "This idea of payments for ecosystem services is not new, but there's still a lot of debate over how well it works," said Seema Jayachandran, an associate professor of economics at Northwestern who focuses on developing countries. (July 20, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Plants in our area]

  • Senate bill forces release of Asian carp report Lansing — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a funding bill for energy and water that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release a report on ways to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The Senate provision would force the stalled report’s release within 30 days after the budget is signed. The Trump administration delayed the scheduled release of the report in late February amid concerns from the commercial barge industry. (July 20, 2017) The Detroit News [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws A recent heatwave in Siberia’s frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. Last August a boy died of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, and 20 other infected people were treated and survived. Anthrax hadn’t been seen in the region for 75 years, and it’s thought the recent outbreak followed an intense heatwave in Siberia, temperatures reaching over 30C that melted the frozen permafrost. Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people. Methane release from melting permafrost could trigger dangerous global warming   Read more More recently, a huge explosion was heard in June in the Yamal Peninsula. Reindeer herders camped nearby saw flames shooting up with pillars of smoke and found a large crater left in the ground. Melting permafrost was again suspected, thawing out dead vegetation and erupting in a blowout of highly flammable methane gas. (July 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Here’s How Much Arctic Sea Ice Has Melted Since the ‘80s Arctic sea ice has been melting at a steady clip this summer as it heads toward its annual low point. But a new chart shows that with nearly two months still left in the melt season, sea ice area is already below what would have been a yearly low in the 1980s. The comparison shows the clear long-term decline of Arctic sea ice fueled by the global rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The dramatic shrinkage of sea ice over the past few decades is driving major changes, from the loss of crucial Arctic habitat to the potential influence of weather patterns around the world. (July 21, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

News Highlight

Rochester, NY passes Climate Action Plan, Part Two          

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

[Click here to read part one of “Rochester, NY passes Climate Action Plan”.]

Much has taken place in our country involving Climate Change since November’s election—Donald Trump, the Pruitt EPA running amuck on our environment, our country pulling out of the Paris Accord, Rochester joining the Mayors National Climate Change Agenda, and the passage of the City’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) on May, 23rd. Not to mention that an ice sheet in Antarctica the size of Delaware slipped into the ocean and is now afloat, freeing up some weighty glaciers so they can slip into the ocean—which will raise water levels. (I know, climate scientists are still not sure whether Climate Change is responsible for unleashing this colossus, but still… it’s gotta make you wonder.)   

The passage of Rochester’s CAP means it’s not a draft anymore, it’s in force. But what does that mean? How is the City going to achieve the goals of the CAP? How much is Climate Change going to enter into the up-and-coming elections in Rochester now that we have a CAP? How much effort is the City going to spend on getting the findings and goals of the CAP to the public—including reaching out to neighborhoods, businesses, and the media?

The passage of the CAP can stimulate a profound change in how local environmentalists approach local issues around Climate Change—climate justice, energy use and supply, transportation, waste and materials management, clean water, land use, public health, and our future priorities.

We now have a document in which to connect the dots between Climate Change and measure our progress in addressing it. Listen online to this recent discussion about the City’s CAP since its passage by City Council:

Connections: Understanding Rochester's Climate Action Plan Rochester City Council endorsed the city’s Climate Action Plan in May. The plan’s goal is to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40% from 2010 levels by 2030. We discussed the draft plan in November when the document was available for public comment. Now that the plan has been approved, members of local climate action groups say their input was not taken into full consideration. They want more information about how the plan will be enacted: How will programs be funded? Will the plan create jobs? Will it impact the city’s poverty issues? Last month, Mayor Lovely Warren joined the Mayors National Climate Change Agenda, which has pledged to strengthen local efforts to protect the environment. We discuss how the Climate Action Plan fits in with this goal and if proposed efforts will have enough of an impact on combating climate change. (July 14, 2017) WXXI's Connections [more on Climate Change in our area]

The CAP isn’t a law, it’s a plan. There are many benefits for each community that has a CAP, as I wrote  about in early 2016: Why Climate Action Plans (CAP) are so important for every community.

Here are some of the opportunities for environmental groups and business to leverage the CAP so that all segments of our local community benefit are manifold:

·         Increase active transportation (walking and bicycling): This has the advantage of being a relatively inexpensive contribution to lower greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, plus making a profound difference in the daily lives of our citizens. 
·         Reinforces the advantages of programs like those that NYSERDA offers, which assist low-income families to make their homes and businesses more energy efficient, which in turn will lessen fossil fuels use and emit less GHGs.
·         Support the City in getting our transportation authorities—Genesee Transportation Council, Rochester Transit Authority, and the New York State Department of Transportation—to increase the safety and viability of public transportation for everyone. Robust public transit not only reduces greenhouse gas emissions (transportation accounts for a large proportion of our emissions), it is a key ingredient in addressing poverty.   
·         Connect the dots between local actions that address Climate Change and information and proposals in the CAP so that such efforts are better coordinated among stakeholders.
·         Businesses can use the CAP to understand the logic behind the City’s efforts (like promoting renewable energy) to address Climate Change and predict where local government regulations and enforcement are heading. (Note the havoc created by the Trump administration’s back-peddling on all our environmental protections and the horrific confusion over how the science behind Climate Change will be implemented.)
·         Increase the likelihood that the media will connect the dots between the local consequences of Climate Change—more heavy precipitation, more harmful algae outbreaks in our lakes, and more incidents of West Nile Virus and Lyme disease (vector-driven diseases)—so the public becomes more aware that Climate Change is happening now and not at some nebulous point in the future. 
·         The CAP provides an onramp for Monroe County to join the City in an official capacity to address Climate Change. (After all, the lion’s share of our region’s environmental impact occurs within our county outside the city.)

I applaud WXXI’s Connections for airing the news about the CAP’s passage and facilitating a conversation about the CAPs merits with a top City official and members of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition.   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:

Sierra Club President Gives Powerful Address on Environmentalism and Intersectionality    

July 11, 6:30 -8 PM.

Carlson Commons, 70 Corretta Scott Xing Rochester, NY 14608

Important public event in Rochester coming up on intersectionality of issues of social injustice with environmentalism "Sierra Club President Gives Powerful Address on Environmentalism and Intersectionality Carlson Commons, 70 Corretta Scott Xing Rochester, NY 14608, July 11, 6:30 -8 PM.

On April 20 this year, the first African American president of the Sierra Club. Aaron Mair came to Rochester to the New Bethel. CME church to talk about the history of the Sierra Club. People who attended were spell-bound by the depth and breadth of what Aaron shared in a short time, and many regretted that more people in our community did not have the chance to hear it.

Others who were there said they wanted a chance to hear it again as he packed so many ideas in so quickly. Come watch the video and experience his powerful address! Learn some astonishing details about how the largest environmental organization began, its history of racism, and his amazing courage and activism that is helping to change the organization.

In his words, he wants to help the Sierra Club to be "a more welcoming environment for all people, regardless of their race or socio-economic status." He makes it clear that environmental organizations must understand the intersectionality of issues of social injustice with environmentalism to ensure success in the future. After the video, there will be time for questions and discussion on how to move forward with intersectionality to address problems in Rochester.

(This event is brought to you by collaboration of the Sierra Club, PLEX (Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood Assoc., BHEIRS (Building Healthy External/Internal Relationships Steadfastly), and the Pachamama Alliance of Rochestser) FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Questions? Call 585-820-2018 or sierraclub.rrg@gmail.com  

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...    

July 2017  

  • July 22, 7-9:30 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564
    • "Moth Night"  July 22, 7-9:30 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564  (near Powder Mills Park) Through exhibits, Carol and David Southby will share information about moths and how to attract them for observation. Jay Greenberg will contribute tips on photographing these nocturnal insects.  Contact: 383-8168
  • July 29, 10 AM-12:30 PM  Meet  at Creek-side entrance near intersection of Wilkinson and Victor Rd. in Wayne County, 727 Wilkinson Rd, Macedon NY 1450 
    • Butterfly Walk at Ganargua Creek Meadow Preserve, July 29, 10 AM-12:30 PM  Meet  at Creek-side entrance near intersection of Wilkinson and Victor Rd. in Wayne County, 727 Wilkinson Rd, Macedon NY 1450  Wear long pants and appropriate footgear, as there is poison ivy. Brng water. Optional: bring lunch and folding chair.  rochesterbutterflyclub.org

August 2017

  • August 4, 6-8 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564
    • "Forest Health in New York" and Potluck Supper  August 4, 6-8 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)   Many insects are adversely affecting native trees and shrubs around the state. Kevin Farrell of the Genesee Land Trust will talk about the impact of these pests and other threats to forest health, as well as what we can do to help. A potluck supper will proceed the program. Bring a table setting and a dish to pass.  facebook.com/pg/banc.roc/events
  • August 7-11, 2017 Nazareth College, Golisano Academic Center, Room 233 from 1:00PM-8:00PM
    • Global Citizenship Immersion: Building Skills and Knowledge for a Diverse World (For high school students) August 7-11, 2017 Nazareth College, Golisano Academic Center, Room 233 from 1:00PM-8:00PM This week-long academic immersion program is designed for students in grades 9 through 12 but open to college freshman also.For details, please go to our website: The last date for registration is July 20, 2017, registration fee is $95.00 includes refreshments and suppers. To register, email: cisd@naz.edu or call:(585) 389-2963 Contact Nora Bradbury Haehl" <norabradbury@gmail.com>  the program coordinator for any question. Please circulate it to your friends and students.
  • Monday Aug 7th to Friday Aug 11, 2017, 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm Nazareth College Golisano Academic Center Room #  235 Registration Information (Deadline July 20, 2017)
    • Interfaith Immersion with concentration on leadership Skills and Conflict Management. A week-long non-credit certificate course with spiritual journeys to places of worship. Monday Aug 7th to Friday Aug 11, 2017, 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm Nazareth College Golisano Academic Center Room #  235 Registration Information (Deadline July 20, 2017): Program Fee: $179.00 which includes suppers and visits to places of worship. This week long interfaith course is designed for professionals, business managers, teachers, religious leaders, and social workers for cultural and religious diversity training. Please email Rev. Gordon Webster: revgvw@gmail.com  is the program coordinator for any question. Register by email: interfaith@naz.edu or call: (585) 389-2963. for program details, see: here Limited number of scholarships are available. Please write  a check to Nazareth College, Hickey Center and mail it to my attention on the College address.

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.

 

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: 5:00 p.m. on July 21, 2017
    • Think Fracking (which NYS banned on June 29, 2015) waste should be allowed in our NYS landfills? Make comment by 5:00 p.m. on July 21, 2017. We banned Fracking for good reasons, including the threats to our water and land and public health. So, why would we accept Fracking waste from other states? Seems kinda counterproductive. NYS Exposed: Fracking waste dumped in Finger Lakes landfill Hundreds of trucks roll into the Seneca Meadows landfill in Seneca Falls every day, dumping your garbage. But environmental advocates say, for years, trucks carried construction debris straight from Pennsylvania fracking sites. "The concerns are that they can contain the hundreds of chemicals that are used during the process, some of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens," says Liz Moran, Environmental Advocates of New York. (June 27, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: July 24, 2017
    • With this extension to July 24, 2017 to make public comment you can make sure the cleanup at one of Rochester’s most industrially polluted sites gets done so to the highest standard—not just what can be squeezed out of other parties. Please make comment on this issue so that this local polluted Brownfield gets best and most thorough cleanup possible to make our neighborhoods and environment safe. For some background on this issue, check out the City of Rochester’s website VACUUM OIL BROWNFIELD CLEANUP PROGRAM | Public Comment Period Extended About Proposed Cleanup of Contamination at Site on Flint St., Rochester Note: the public comment period has been extended through July 24, 2017. The following link opens a fact sheet that invites the public to comment on a proposed remedy to address contamination related to the 5 & 15 Flint Street Site #C828162 (Rochester, Monroe Co.) within New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program: here. NYSDEC is now accepting public comments about the proposal through July 24, 2017.Please see fact sheet to learn about the proposal and how to comment. (July 11, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation
  • 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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  • 7/22/2017 - Monitoring Climate Change is critical to our ability to address it. Our local universities are helping. More federal monies to help more monitoring like this would be good. Climate scientists create Caribbean drought atlas Cornell atmospheric scientists have developed the first-of-its-kind, high-resolution Caribbean drought atlas, with data going back to 1950. Concurrently, the researchers confirmed the region’s 2013-16 drought was the most severe in 66 years due to consistently higher temperatures – a hint that climate change is to blame. Because of its topographic complexity, the new atlas delivers critical research data by providing a historical climate backdrop. (July 28, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - How far back will the Trump administration send our environmental protections and put us in jeopardy? Might want to track that. White House details plan to roll back environmental regs The Trump administration provided details for its aggressive plan to roll back environmental regulations Thursday. In the first regulatory agenda of the Trump administration, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed when and how agencies plan to repeal numerous Obama administration rules regarding air and water pollution, fossil fuel extraction and more. Many of the rollbacks had already been announced, though some new timelines or justifications were revealed. (July 20, 2017) The Hill [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - However economically sound “Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays”, our priorities are entirely backwards. Life first, not money. Humanity needs to keep trees and soil healthy to feed ourselves and address Climate Change. To these ends, our economic experts should shape economic policies to make this happen. Life comes before human invented economics. If life doesn’t pay, your economics is whacked. One of the major reasons why humanity is not addressing Climate Change on a scale and in a time frame that will matter is that we are still putting our economics before our own existence. We need to get our priorities straight. Time passes. Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays Off, Study Finds A 'payment for ecosystem services' experiment in Uganda found the climate benefits of reducing deforestation outweighed the program’s cost by more than 2 to 1. Across dozens of villages in rural Uganda, researchers have explored what they believe could be an easy way to help tackle climate change: paying landowners to leave their trees standing. The concept is simple—and controversial, because critics say it can foist the burden of cutting emissions onto developing countries. But the researchers, led by an economist from Northwestern University, found that these financial incentives—or "payments for ecosystems services"—have both a climate and economic benefit, something that had not been firmly established in previous studies. "This idea of payments for ecosystem services is not new, but there's still a lot of debate over how well it works," said Seema Jayachandran, an associate professor of economics at Northwestern who focuses on developing countries. (July 20, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Plants in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - When and if the Asian Carp invasive species get into our Great Lakes and begin transforming this major ecosystem, who will be held accountable? Will, like Climate Change, it be a case where after-the-fact we our leaders just say, “We didn’t know for sure, it’s was somebody else’s problem, or the dog ate my homework?” Time passes. Senate bill forces release of Asian carp report Lansing — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a funding bill for energy and water that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release a report on ways to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The Senate provision would force the stalled report’s release within 30 days after the budget is signed. The Trump administration delayed the scheduled release of the report in late February amid concerns from the commercial barge industry. (July 20, 2017) The Detroit News [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - One of the scientific predictions of Climate Change is the increased thawing of permafrost. Is that happening on a scale that should concern us? Or, are these tales just apocryphal, unrelated, and merely interesting? Imagine if the US wasn’t gutting its EPA and climate science how much better we would be able to monitor Climate Change indicators and inform the public accurately. Time passes. All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws A recent heatwave in Siberia’s frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. Last August a boy died of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, and 20 other infected people were treated and survived. Anthrax hadn’t been seen in the region for 75 years, and it’s thought the recent outbreak followed an intense heatwave in Siberia, temperatures reaching over 30C that melted the frozen permafrost. Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people. Methane release from melting permafrost could trigger dangerous global warming   Read more More recently, a huge explosion was heard in June in the Yamal Peninsula. Reindeer herders camped nearby saw flames shooting up with pillars of smoke and found a large crater left in the ground. Melting permafrost was again suspected, thawing out dead vegetation and erupting in a blowout of highly flammable methane gas. (July 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - One of the most important (and quickly changing) Climate Change indicators is Arctic Ice melt, i.e., a reality check. Climate Change indicators are a necessary feedback to keep some of our wild opinions (climate denial, for example) about this phenomenon in check. Here’s How Much Arctic Sea Ice Has Melted Since the ‘80s Arctic sea ice has been melting at a steady clip this summer as it heads toward its annual low point. But a new chart shows that with nearly two months still left in the melt season, sea ice area is already below what would have been a yearly low in the 1980s. The comparison shows the clear long-term decline of Arctic sea ice fueled by the global rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The dramatic shrinkage of sea ice over the past few decades is driving major changes, from the loss of crucial Arctic habitat to the potential influence of weather patterns around the world. (July 21, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/21/2017 - One of the unintentional consequences of the Climate Change experiments we are running: How much heat can humans tolerate? The answer is probably like a bell curve, where at the ends the young and old and sick get nailed by the heart first, with the majority, the healthy (who aren’t working or playing hard in the heat outside), being able to tolerate more heat. Of course, as the heat (and the humidity) go up there’s a point where even the healthiest cannot work outside without a spacesuit. Science is leaning towards the idea that the human body cannot work, air-condition itself after a certain point. Check my essay: “Remember, no matter how divisive Climate Change is… there’s the heat.” | Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits. Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits. Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found. (July 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/21/2017 - Even if you don’t believe methane releases from permafrost is a present concern for accelerating Climate Change, it would be foolhardy to ignore this. We know our climate is warming quickly; we know methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, we know some permafrost areas are releasing some methane because of warming; we don’t know how much or how fast methane will be released from permafrost in the future. We don’t know if there will be a tipping point, where a whole lot of thawed permafrost methane will be released in a short time. We need to monitor this closely and increase funds for scientists to do their freaking jobs so we can be informed so we can make plans for a warming world. Time passes. Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits. Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits. Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found. (July 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change 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.

  • 7/21/2017 - Which one: “fewer regulations will boost business growth and lead to higher corporate profits” or fewer regulations will compromise our environment and public health? I suppose if you don’t believe in science or Climate Change or you believe corporations are more important than people then it does look like anyone opposing your views are pushing “unnecessary regulatory burdens”. Is there going to be any accountability when these environmental protections being gutted end up making people sick and putting our life support system at risk? We have entered a time of ‘extreme recklessness’. Time passes. White House deregulation push clears out hundreds of proposed rules WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said Thursday it had withdrawn or removed from active consideration more than 800 proposed regulations that were never finalized during the Obama administration as it works to shrink the federal government's regulatory footprint. In a report, the Trump administration said it had withdrawn 469 planned actions that had been part of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda published last fall. Officials also reconsidered 391 active regulatory proceedings by reclassifying them as long-term or inactive "allowing for further careful review," the White House said. (July 20, 2017) Reuters

  • 7/20/2017 - Wanted: If you don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change, get a top job in #Trump administration. Great salary, lots of influence, and work very easy. SAD. Trump just nominated a climate skeptic to USDA’s top science post President Trump on Wednesday nominated Sam Clovis, a former college professor and talk radio host who has challenged the scientific consensus that human activity has been the primary driver of climate change, to serve in the Agriculture Department’s top scientific post. “Dr. Clovis was one of the first people through the door at USDA in January and has become a trusted advisor and steady hand as we continue to work for the people of agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement Wednesday evening. “He looks at every problem with a critical eye, relying on sound science and data, and will be the facilitator and integrator we need. Dr. Clovis has served this nation proudly since he was a very young man, and I am happy he is continuing to serve.” Clovis, whose expected nomination has been previously reported by The Washington Post and several other outlets, is a former economics professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, who served as one of Trump’s first campaign policy advisers. In a 2014 interview with Iowa Public Radio, he said he was “extremely skeptical” about climate change and added that “a lot of the science is junk science.” (July 19, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/20/2017 - Action from our friends over at Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) Help Wanted: Table Staffers Type of request: Volunteer service 7/18 update: We now have a Tabling Coordinator, who can help with planning and logistics, so YOU just need to show up and show your passion! Description: To raise awareness and climate change and let people know how they can make a difference on this issue, we often have a table at local festivals, farmers’ markets, and other events, where people can come talk to us, sign up for our newsletter, and take action by signing postcards or petitions. In order to do more of this, we need more volunteers to staff these tables. If you enjoy starting conversations with strangers and can remain respectful and pleasant even when they disagree with you, you would be a perfect fit for this job! It would require approximately 2 hours of your time per month (or more if you want). Requesting organization: RPCC Contact information: abby@rocpcc.com

  • 7/20/2017 - Had a meeting across town (Rochester, NY) last evening. Rode bike. Felt great. Left car in garage to charge. Saw lots of other folks bicycling too. Lots of people moving and not spewing greenhouse gases. Biking Rochester works. Don’t have a bike, could use one quick, try our City’s Bike Share. Bike-sharing program in Rochester to launch on Thursday The City of Rochester will launch its new bike-share program on Thursday, according city release. Mayor Warren will join the program's vendor, Zagster, for the launch Thursday morning. According to the release, the city will also announce new "bicycle-related community event series" that will begin this summer. (July 19, 2017) Rochester WHEC [more on Transportation in our area]  

  • 7/19/2017 - I don’t know exactly what brought the US to a climate-denier Trump administration, but climate facts are no less true. When you put a pot of water over a flame, the water eventually boils. Time passes. Surrendering to fear brought us climate change denial and President Trump I propose that people take indefensible positions like climate denial and Trump support simply out of fear This story picks up where an earlier post left off a few weeks ago. Then, I discussed some of the political realities associated with inaction on climate change. In that post, I said I would revisit the question of why so many people deny the evidence of a changing climate. Now is the time for that discussion. (July 17, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 7/19/2017 - And if the public wasn’t so complacent about our environment (life support system), they’d be decrying cuts to the EPA budget also. Environmental groups, employees decry cuts to EPA budget Environmental groups and federal employees on Monday battled back against congressional budget cuts proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency, saying human and environmental health are threatened. The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday is expected to vote on a fiscal 2018 budget for the EPA that slashes the agency's budget nearly 8 percent across the board, or $528 million, to the lowest funding level since 2008. The groups said the House budget includes a 15 percent cut to science and technology programs and a 9 percent cut to environmental field work by the agency, saying Congress appears willing to stand aside as critical environmental issues remain unresolved or worsen — things like drinking water contamination and toxic algal blooms in lakes. (July 17, 2017) Deluth News Tribune [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 7/19/2017 - Just how urgent is addressing Climate Change? Some say it’s all a hoax; some say it’s too late; some say it’s very urgent but not hopeless. I suspect communicating Climate Change is going to change as it becomes warmer and one’s audience changes. (You probably don’t want to tell a class of 6th graders that “the 's*** is hitting the fan'”.)  I don’t think anyone has a real handle on the best way to communicate Climate Change because it’s so complicated. And, with the election of Trump, climate denial has been given new (monstrous) life. In my opinion, it would be good for Climate Change communicators to bake benchmarks (like the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) and other climate indicators into their messaging in order to keep measuring and monitoring wherever we are in this crisis—with some degree of objectivity. The EPA In 2016, just before Pruitt arrived on the scene, put out their most recent report “Climate Change Indicators in the United States”. (It still looks valid.) Other governments and organizations are probably putting out their Climate Change indicators and I’m thinking it would be useful if humanity had a way of monitoring our progress, or lack of, on how our planet is actually responding to the warming. We are getting bombarded in the media with news about solutions, renewable energy, actions states, and other nations are taking etc., but the final arbitrator is Earth itself. If we don’t keep exact track of the indicators of Climate Change, many of our efforts will be delusional—making our efforts to communicate this crisis delusional as well. Time passes. Carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere to avoid extreme climate change, say scientists One of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of climate change, Professor Jim Hansen, warns the 's*** is hitting the fan' Humans must start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as soon as possible to avoid saddling future generations with a choice between extreme climate change or spending hundreds of trillions of dollars to avoid it, according to new research. An international team of researchers – led by Professor Jim Hansen, Nasa’s former climate science chief – said their conclusion that the world had already overshot targets to limit global warming to within acceptable levels was “sufficiently grim” to force them to urge “rapid emission reductions”. But they warned this would not be enough and efforts would need to be made to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by about 12.5 per cent. (July 19, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/18/2017 - One of the things to remember about this energy transition (there have been many throughout human history) is that this move from fossil fuel to renewable energy is trying to bake fairness into it. Finding jobs and retraining workers for those who will be replaced by this quick move from dirty energy to clean energy is unprecedented and praiseworthy. After the Civil War, when fossil fuel oil replaced whale oil, whalers did not have programs to get retrained. Back in the day, Creative destruction was the rule, where the merciless result of free market fundamentalism just pushed ‘ahead’ without any thought to those whose livelihoods were destroyed by new technology. In our present energy transformation, there is a real effort to retrain and lighten the loss of those who must retrain for an energy that won’t crash the planet. This must be remembered as we all try and move to an energy system that will get us through Climate Change, a future where we can thrive. Rising from the ashes, a Buffalo suburb ends its dependence on coal Sixteen months ago, the coal-fired Huntley Generating Station, which sits on the banks of the Niagara River, stopped producing power for first time since World War I. Erie County lost its largest air and water polluter. But the town of Tonawanda, a working class Buffalo suburb 13 miles downstream of America’s most storied waterfalls, also lost its biggest taxpayer. The impact of Huntley’s decade-long slowdown — and finally shutdown — hit this upstate New York community like a punch to the gut. In just five years, between 2008 and 2012, Huntley’s pre-tax earnings tumbled by $113 million as it operated far below capacity, translating into a combined revenue hit of at least $6.2 million to the town, county, and local school district. That precipitous decline came when state education funds were also shrinking. Belt-tightening wasn’t enough; 140 teachers lost their jobs. Three elementary schools and one middle school closed their doors. (July 11, 2017) Grist [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/18/2017 - American should NOT be complacent about Pruitt’s epa gutting our environmental protections; they came at a high cost. The characterization of our environmental protections by the Trump administration as burdensome, unnecessary regulations is completely false and the Trump administration’s attitude must be recognized by the public as the threat they are to our lives and our environment—our life support system. The public cannot sit this one out where our environmental protections are being gutted by an administration clouded by a false (anti-science) ideology. Time passes. Environmental regulations weren’t created without cause So, Donald Trump supporters, you say you’re all for dialing back environmental regulations and taking us back to the good ol’ days before those frumps at the Environmental Protection Agency started sticking their noses into everything. OK, so let’s explore that notion. Join us on a trip to the 1960s and early 1970s with this true-or-false test about the Clean Water Act, which turns 45 this year, and the Clean Air Act, which is 2 years older. (July 17, 2017) Las Vegas Sun [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 7/18/2017 - Climate Change is a threat multiplier and our military doesn’t have the luxury of ignoring this relationship—however inconvenient to the Trump administration. Understanding Climate Change is more than a fixation on exactly what our scientists can tell us with complete certainty. Understanding Climate Change means that humanity must include projecting probable scenarios that may or may not turn out. This is because we cannot get take a chance that we won’t be prepared. Our military especially cannot be caught off guard when it comes to climate disruption because they are charged with taking care of crises. Climate denial is a serious threat because it leaves us paralyzed and impotent in the face of danger. Time passes. HOW CLIMATE CHANGE DENIAL THREATENS NATIONAL SECURITY IN A CRAMPED meeting room Wednesday on Capitol Hill, House Democrats hosted a roundtable to discuss climate change with several national security experts. In attendance were two former admirals, a retired general, a once-ambassador to Nigeria, and the former undersecretary to the Secretary of Defense. Over several hours of questioning, they described how climate change would escalate instability across the globe and make it harder for the US military to conduct its operations. Nothing they said, however, was all that new. In fact, the Department of Defense has known about, and sometimes planned for, the security threats created by climate change for well over a decade. Congressional Democrats—minority members of the House Science Committee—called the roundtable as a plea to the Republican-led Congress to stop standing in the way of the military's preparations for the heightened dangers of a warming world. (July 17, 2017) Wired [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 7/17/2017 - No way increasing natural gas infrastructures is going to address Climate Change in a good way. Natural gas, methane, CH4, is a very potent greenhouse gas.  While we struggle over how to communicate and plan for Climate Change, the fossil fuel industry is quietly and busily building the very system that will warm our planet beyond our ability to cope. Time passes. Natural Gas Building Boom Fuels Climate Worries, Enrages Landowners They landed, one after another, in 2015: plans for nearly a dozen interstate pipelines to move natural gas beneath rivers, mountains and people's yards. Like spokes on a wheel, they'd spread from Appalachia to markets in every direction. Together these new and expanded pipelines — comprising 2,500 miles of steel in all — would double the amount of gas that could flow out of Pennsylvania, Ohio and West Virginia. The cheap fuel will benefit consumers and manufacturers, the developers promise. But some scientists warn that the rush to more fully tap the rich Marcellus and Utica shales is bad for a dangerously warming planet, extending the country's fossil-fuel habit by half a century. Industry consultants say there isn't even enough demand in the United States for all the gas that would come from this boost in production. (July 17, 2017) NPR [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/17/2017 - How do we communicate the urgency of Climate Change as the window of opportunity steadily closes without scaring the bejesus out of the public? Much of the controversy over how to communicate Climate Change is trying to figure out the right balance between urgency and calm that the audience hears. And trying to accurately monitor what’s what will transpire when a planet quickly warms. I suspect as things become more dire, so will the message. Time passes.  Doomsday scenarios are as harmful as climate change denial Michael E. Mann is distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Pennsylvania State University and director of the Penn State Earth System Science Center. Susan Joy Hassol is the director of Climate Communication LLC. Tom Toles is the editorial cartoonist for The Post. It is easy to understand why advocates for climate action have become somewhat dispirited in recent months. In the space of less than a year, we’ve seen the United States go from playing a leading role in international climate negotiations to now being the only nation in the world to renege on its commitment to the 2015 Paris climate accord. It is in this environment of defeat and despair that we’ve witnessed a dramatic rise in the prominence of climate doomism — commentary that portrays climate change not just as a threat that requires an urgent response but also as an essentially lost cause, a hopeless fight.  Some of the more egregious examples can be found among fringe characters such as ecologist Guy McPherson —a doomist cult hero who insists that exponential climate change likely will render human beings and all other species extinct within 10 years. (July 12, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/17/2017 - Reducing our ability to monitor and understand the impacts of Climate Change and redirecting funds to dig up more fossil fuels is suicidal. Climate denial has truly metastasized. Trump Plan Would 'Reduce or Eliminate' Important Data Access, Federal Science Official Warns A USGS email alert to international scientists says a wide range of research areas would be hit, including work on flood risks, wildfires and climate change. A U.S. Geological Survey program coordinator has sent an alert to colleagues around the world, warning that the Trump administration's proposed 2018 budget cuts, if approved, will undermine important data-gathering programs and cooperative studies in areas including forests, volcanoes, flooding, wildfires, extreme precipitation and climate change. The email went to 500 researchers on June 19 to give them time to comment on the proposed changes and prepare. In it, Debra Willard, coordinator for the USGS Climate Research and Development Program, wrote that the cuts "would reduce or eliminate the availability of current data and collaborations between the USGS, other agencies and universities." The reductions threaten as many as 40 programs involved in monitoring the speed and severity of climate change impacts and the effects of other land use changes, Willard said. (July 15, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/15/2017 - Now in the US: Scientists say Climate Change is urgent and needs planning. Trump government says Don’t worry your pretty little face. The trouble with the Trump government’s stubborn stance against the science behind Climate Change and the many, many climate studies urging action to avoid the ‘high scenario’ is that the ‘low scenario’ will pass us by. The lack of wholesale planning for Climate Change, which climate deniers seem hell bent on achieving, means that ‘low scenarios’ where we might have been able to plan on a time frame and scale that will matter won’t happen. Imagine where we would be now if we had put denial aside and began a fair and competent effort to address and mitigate Climate Change decades ago. Time passes. Published Study Identifies When Hundreds of Coastal Communities Will Face Inundation, Possible Retreat Meeting Paris Agreement Goals Could Spare Many Communities from This Fate WASHINGTON (July 12, 2017)—More than 90 U.S. communities already face chronic inundation from rising seas caused by climate change, and the number could jump to nearly 170 communities in less than 20 years and as many as 670 by the end of the century, according to a study by analysts at the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) published in the peer-reviewed journal Elementa today. The analysis is the first to look at the entire coastline of the lower 48 states and identify communities that will experience flooding so extensive and disruptive that it will require either expensive investments to fortify against rising seas or residents and businesses to prepare to abandon areas they call home. The analysis projects when communities can expect to see this degree of flooding and which cities and towns might avoid such flooding if the long-term temperature goals of the Paris climate agreement are achieved. The study was published on the same day a 2,200 square mile iceberg—one of the largest ever recorded and nearly the size of Delaware—broke off from an ice shelf in Antarctica, highlighting how quickly the planet is warming. (July 12, 2017) Union of Concerned Scientists) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/14/2017 - Unlike the anti-Climate Change ideologs in the Trump administration, our military doesn’t have the luxury of avoiding the clear and present danger of Climate Change. Our military has long recognized the security and amplifying effect Climate Change has on our military’s mission. Our military cannot just UN-recognize this existential threat just because the Trump administration is in serious climate denial mode. Time passes. House defeats amendment to strip climate study from Defense bill The House defeated an amendment to a defense policy bill Thursday that would have blocked a Department of Defense study into the impacts of climate change on national security. The amendment, from Rep. Scott Perry (R-Pa.), would have stripped a National Defense Authorization Act (NDAA) provision that would have required a study into the 20-year impacts of climate change on the military. Perry said his amendment was not meant to debate the existence of climate change, but rather, “my point is that this should not be the priority" for the military. (July 13, 2017) The Hill [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/14/2017 - ACTION: With this extension to July 24, 2017 to make public comment you can make sure the cleanup at one of Rochester’s most industrially polluted sites gets done so to the highest standard—not just what can be squeezed out of other parties. Please make comment on this issue so that this local polluted Brownfield gets best and most thorough cleanup possible to make our neighborhoods and environment safe. For some background on this issue, check out the City of Rochester’s website VACUUM OIL BROWNFIELD CLEANUP PROGRAM | Public Comment Period Extended About Proposed Cleanup of Contamination at Site on Flint St., Rochester Note: the public comment period has been extended through July 24, 2017. The following link opens a fact sheet that invites the public to comment on a proposed remedy to address contamination related to the 5 & 15 Flint Street Site #C828162 (Rochester, Monroe Co.) within New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program: here. NYSDEC is now accepting public comments about the proposal through July 24, 2017.Please see fact sheet to learn about the proposal and how to comment. (July 11, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation

  • 7/14/2017 - It’s especially difficult to communicate the role of greenhouse gases in influencing global temperatures if you’re an administration that doesn’t believe in human-caused Climate Change. Trying to twist science to fit an ideology can be very arduous, indeed, to communicate—not to mention immoral and deceiving. It’s kinda strange for the NOAA to now start releasing information about Climate Change that they’ve been doing for years and expecting the public to believe the subterfuge. Suddenly, sidestepping the scientific consensus that humans are primarily responsible for the rise in greenhouse gas is going to fool who? Climate-Altering Gases Spiked in 2016, Federal Scientists Report Annual greenhouse gas emissions rose more quickly last year than they have in nearly three decades, an increase scientists attributed in part to a strong El Niño weather pattern, the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported this week. The Annual Greenhouse Gas Index also shows that global emissions of greenhouse gases that lead to warming, primarily driven by the burning of fossil fuels and other human activity, increased 40 percent between 1990 and 2016, a significant measure of man’s influence on the climate. Unlike most news releases accompanying the index during the Obama administration, NOAA’s announcement this year does not directly link human activity to emissions. “The role of greenhouse gases on influencing global temperatures is well understood by scientists, but it’s a complicated topic that can be difficult to communicate,” NOAA officials said in releasing the index. (July 13, 2017) New York Tiimes [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/13/2017 - Now that Larsen C is afloat, sort of an elephant in the ocean, how do we not talk about any Climate Change connection? These Images Show Just How Big the Larsen C Iceberg Is The Larsen C ice shelf has calved an iceberg after months of waiting and watching. With an area the size of Delaware and a volume of 277 cubic miles, its measurements boggle the mind. Even written comparisons don’t fully convey the hulking hunk of ice currently adrift in the Weddell Sea. After all, can you really imagine 463 million Olympic-sized pools, let alone all those pools filled with ice. To help create a more helpful visual frame of reference, Climate Central has created a series of images showing the ice next to familiar places. There are a few things to consider as you view these. First, this is an idealized ice ball. The real iceberg is obviously not uniform and its shape will change as it drifts and melts. (July 12, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/13/2017 - Local Rochester media carries syndicated news on the collapse of Larsen C ice shelf and even mentions Climate Change. Lordy, I hope there’s more. Are we seeing a thaw in Climate Change coverage in local news? What will this mean to subscription rates if climate deniers stop reading or watching local news because their favorite media begins to carry and even report on more news about Climate Change and the local consequences of Climate Change? Did your media mention this major planetary event in Antarctica and if they did, did they even mention that some climate scientists think the data leans toward human-caused Climate Change? Or, did they think this science is too divisive and just wouldn’t touch it. Time passes. Massive iceberg breaks away from Antarctica Iceberg has volume twice that of Lake Erie (CNN) - A massive iceberg weighing more than one trillion tons has broken away from western Antarctica, according to a UK-based research team. Scientists from Project MIDAS had been monitoring a break in the Larsen C ice shelf -- the fourth largest in Antarctica -- following the collapse of the Larsen A ice shelf in 1995 and had observed significant advances in the rift over the past 12 months. Experts said a 5,800-square-kilometer (2,239-square-mile) section of Larsen C was confirmed to have broken away between Monday and Wednesday by NASA's Aqua MODIS satellite. (July 12, 2017) RochesterFirst.com [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/13/2017 - Not to mention that cases of Lyme disease are very likely to increase with Climate Change: Check it out: “Climate Change Indicators: Lyme Disease” (EPA) A cautionary tale about Lyme disease (July 12, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Lyme disease in our area]

  • 7/13/2017 - Not to mention that poison ivy becomes more toxic with Climate Change. Check it out:What Climate Change Feels Like: A More Toxic Poison Ivy” (December 7, 2015, NYT) Rains bring more poison ivy: what you should know (July 12, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Plants in our area]

  • 7/13/2017 - I’m with the camp that says the collapse of the floating ice shelf called Larsen C is “a canary in a coal mine”. It would be prudent to interpret this major calving event as part of a wholesale change in our planet’s reaction to more heat, even if climate scientists are not completely sure of that. Because it seems foolhardy and reckless to say that scientists disagree so let’s continue burning fossil fuels with complete abandonment. The fact is that this Delaware-sized iceberg is free and may have opened the door for many other escapees who have to the power to do a lot of sea-level-rising damage. An Iceberg the Size of Delaware Just Broke Away From Antarctica A chunk of floating ice that weighs more than a trillion metric tons broke away from the Antarctic Peninsula, producing one of the largest icebergs ever recorded and providing a glimpse of how the Antarctic ice sheet might ultimately start to fall apart. There is no scientific consensus over whether global warming is to blame. But the landscape of the Antarctic Peninsula has been fundamentally changed, according to Project Midas, a research team from Swansea University and Aberystwyth University in Britain that had been monitoring the rift since 2014. “The remaining shelf will be at its smallest ever known size,” said Adrian Luckman, a lead researcher for Project Midas. “This is a big change. Maps will need to be redrawn.” (July 13, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]   

  • 7/12/2017 - Climate scientists are getting better and better at ‘attributing’ extreme weather events with Climate Change. Back in the day, when scientists began to see humanity’s carbon footprints on our climate, there was a lot of mission information (that is now being filled in), predictions (that are now be more fine-tuned), and more certainty that our burning of fossil fuels is causing a very quick warming of our planet’s atmosphere and oceans. Those who deny and carp about Climate Change information are not keeping up with expert information coming out of this quickly evolving science. This Map Shows Warming’s Fingerprints on Weather The field of climate science that looks for the fingerprints of climate change on extreme weather events has been growing rapidly in recent years, making it hard to keep track of the dozens of studies that have been done. A new interactive map put together by Carbon Brief, a UK-based data journalism site, makes that task easier. It rounds up the results of those attribution studies, as they are called, and color-codes them according to whether or not they found a discernable influence from human-induced warming. Nearly two-thirds of the 137 studies did find such an influence, in particular those looking at heat waves. (July 11, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

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