Updated Daily  6/23/2017 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.

Follow FrankRrrr on Twitter 

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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SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.

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 June 18, 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 - Friday, June 23, 2017

  • Quebec floods: Why experts say disaster will strike again At 4 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2010, as residents slept in La Faute-sur-Mer in western France, the 80-year-old seawall built to protect their town collapsed and the ocean came pouring in. Whipped up by 160-km/h storm winds, the waters of the frigid Atlantic surged into the dozens of homes built in a below-sea-level bowl near the beach, killing 29 mostly older residents trapped in one-storey bungalows. Hundreds of survivors perched on their roofs for hours in the biting rain, awaiting rescue. In the aftermath, mayor René Marratier was sentenced to two years in prison, accused of covering up flooding risks in order to reap the “cash cow” of property development. Authorities ruled 1,500 homes had to be razed so their occupants would not live in “mortal danger.” (June 5, 2017) Montreal Gazette [more on Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]

  • US cities and states back Paris deal but ignore climate finance Several US states and cities have committed to cut emissions despite president Trump, but only Seattle remembered cash commitments to the developing world A wave of anti-Trump, pro-climate enthusiasm has washed across the US since president Donald Trump decided to abandonthe Paris climate agreement. Affirmations of the Paris goals have come from thousands of centres of power. State capitols, mayors’ offices and boardrooms have aligned to tell Trump “We Are Still In”. Twelve states, plus Puerto Rico, representing a third of US citizens, have joined the United States Climate Alliance, which commits to meet the carbon cuts the US pledged to the Paris accord. But those standing by the agreement had, until this week, universally ignored the part of the deal that binds it all together – cash. (June 15, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 95-Degree Days: How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across the World Extremely hot days, when temperatures soar to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, can be miserable. Crops wilt in the fields. Electric grids strain to keep pace with demand. People are at greater risk of dying. And those hot temperatures are expected to be much more frequent in the coming decades. The map above, based on a new analysis from the Climate Impact Lab, shows how 95-degree days (35 degrees Celsius) are expected to multiply this century if countries take moderate climate action. In this scenario, countries would take some measures, but not drastic ones, to curb emissions — roughly the trajectory of the current pledges under the Paris climate agreement. The resulting global warming would still cause significant shifts for many cities (June 22, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

News Highlight

Pruitt’s EPA trying to adapt to a fantasy world        

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

The problem of trying to make science political is that a tortuous joining of facts and fantasy only works politically, until it’s exposed as boloney. Then it often creates terrible collateral damage. Social Darwinism and Lysenkoism are two examples where politically motivated pseudoscience crusades ended up in the trash bin of history. Rightly so because both were nonsense on stilts, quite immoral, and wreaked bloody havoc.

Pruitt, the new head of the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), has been working furiously to get the EPA “Back To Basics”, which is to say turning our environmental protection agency upside down so that it views environmental problems through the lens of businesses’ priorities. This stance is ridiculous because most businesses want good stable environmental regulations from which to operate, not cherry-picked, politically-derived rules that simply remove obstacles to pollute. To accomplish his fantasy objectives, Pruitt seems hell-bent on gutting the EPA by asking Congress for a 31% budget cut.

But Congress said, NO!

Congress to Pruitt: We’re Not Cutting EPA Budget to Trump’s Levels House Republicans say they’ll protect programs that affect their districts. That’s a lot of the EPA’s work. Members of the congressional committee responsible for the Environmental Protection Agency's budget—Republican and Democrat alike—made clear Thursday they have no intention of approving the White House's proposal to slash the agency's spending. In a hearing, EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt defended the Trump administration's budget plan for the first time on Capitol Hill, insisting that the agency he leads could fulfill its mission under a plan that cuts its budget more than any other federal agency's. (June 15, 2017) Inside Climate News)

However, trying to stop Pruitt from taking away our environmental protections with the power of the purse is not exactly a resolution of the problem. Congress can force Pruitt to take money for EPA, but they cannot make him do his job. Those looking for a silver lining with Pruitt in charge of the EPA should be considering the situation of an impotent EPA from a larger perspective. An environmental agency trying harder to fit their agenda to our life support system does not a sustainable existence make.

The same Congress who could sit on their hands while the Trump administration pulled us out of the Paris Accord is the same body that dare not let go of the environmental protections their constituents have come to expect. While this might seem like a nice compromise politically, it doesn’t solve the problem of stopping our environmental crisis any more than the Compromise of 1850 stopped slavery or war. Rather, trying to quell the storm between contending factions by trying to accommodate the irreconcilable truths of reality (science) with shoddy political scaffolding makes the eventual collapse of our political and environmental problems more inevitable.

Time passes.    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...    

June 2017    

  • June 28, 6-8:30 PM Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary at 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor  14564
    • Family Nature Night  June 28, 6-8:30 PM Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary at 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor  14564    Come learn more about insects, birds, fossils, rocks and minerals, trees, and many other natural things!  There will be displays, activities like a scavenger hunt, and guided walks on the Sanctuary trails. Contact:  Marigrace at 383-8462   www.bancny.org/   
  • Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6 to 10 PM with films at sundown Where: Memorial Art Gallery.  More Info: Free and open to the public.
    • Fast Forward Films at Memorial Art Gallery  As part of the Memorial Art Gallery’s “Flip the Switch!” event, the Fast Forward Film Festival will offer an exclusive viewing of their 11 local, award-winning short environmental films. Then, get ready to share the moment when the Gallery “Flips the Switch” on the latest public art in the Neighborhood of the Arts! Artist Jim Sanborn has made a public work of art for the area in front of the MAG's 1913 building. Argentum: Double-Positive consists of placing two projection cylinders in front of the “1913”. These cylinders are perforated with a series of texts that will light up at night (with the aid of an internal point source light) and projected widely onto the facade and surrounding landscape of MAG’s 1913 building. To further the celebration, Shine will play on the MAG 1913 front steps! Bring a blanket or lawn chairs and a picnic basket. Ice cream and concessions will also be available for purchase.     When: Thursday, June 29, 2017, 6 to 10 PM with films at sundown Where: Memorial Art Gallery.  More Info: Free and open to the public. Questions? Call (585) 276-8939 during business hours or email the Memorial Art Gallery.    
  • Friday, June 30, 2017, 8:30 to 10:30 PM Where: Rochester Public Market. 
    • Fast Forward Films at the Rochester Public Market  See winning and select short environmental films submitted to this year's Fast Forward Film Festival!      When: Friday, June 30, 2017, 8:30 to 10:30 PM Where: Rochester Public Market.  More Info: Free!  See Fast Forward Film Festival Website.    

July 2017

  • Thursday, July 6, 6:00 P.M.We will meet at Cobbs Hill reservoir in Rochester, at the top of the reservoir road off Highland Ave by the pine trees.
    • Climate Change and the Washington Grove Forest Thursday, July 6, 6:00 P.M. Join naturalist Peter Debes, who began a project in 2008 with the Sierra Club to restore and protect the old growth forest at Cobbs Hill Park. See giant trees 250 years old and evidence of the challenges they have faced in their lives. How will climate change affect these wonderful woods? We will review predictions for our area and predictions of which species may become more common or less common, and which new species may make their appearance here and in other forests of our area. By the end of our walk, you’ll be able to recognize 10 species of trees, just by their trunks and bark! We will meet at Cobbs Hill reservoir in Rochester, at the top of the reservoir road off Highland Ave by the pine trees. Wear loose fitting long-sleeve shirt and pants and bringing bug repellent. Alternate date in case of rain, strong winds or thunderstorms - Saturday, July 8, 10:00 AM. Call 585-820-2018 for info.
  • July 11, 6:30 -8 PM | Carlson Commons, 70 Corretta Scott Xing Rochester, NY 14608
    • "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 
  • Thursday, June 29, 10AM-1PM,  Ganondagan State Historic Site   Meet in parking lot of the Culture Center on Boughton Hill Road, Victor, NY 14564.
    • "Mid-summer Butterflies Walk"  Thursday, June 29, 10AM-1PM,  Ganondagan State Historic Site   Meet in parking lot of the Culture Center on Boughton Hill Road, Victor, NY 14564.  Bring water and insect repellent, and wear long pants and a hat.  Optionally, bring a lunch and folding chair.  Questions: 425-2380 http://rochesterbutterflyclub.org/

August 2017

  • 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.

 

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!
    • 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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  • 6/23/2017 - Major flooding, like that which occurred this spring in the Northeast, is expected to increase because of Climate Change. Prepare. Quebec floods: Why experts say disaster will strike again At 4 a.m. on Feb. 28, 2010, as residents slept in La Faute-sur-Mer in western France, the 80-year-old seawall built to protect their town collapsed and the ocean came pouring in. Whipped up by 160-km/h storm winds, the waters of the frigid Atlantic surged into the dozens of homes built in a below-sea-level bowl near the beach, killing 29 mostly older residents trapped in one-storey bungalows. Hundreds of survivors perched on their roofs for hours in the biting rain, awaiting rescue. In the aftermath, mayor René Marratier was sentenced to two years in prison, accused of covering up flooding risks in order to reap the “cash cow” of property development. Authorities ruled 1,500 homes had to be razed so their occupants would not live in “mortal danger.” (June 5, 2017) Montreal Gazette [more on Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/23/2017 - Remember, no matter how divisive Climate Change is… there’s the heat. Even if you don’t want to think about Climate Change, there’s the heat. Even if you think your one solution will fix it all, there’s the heat. Even you don’t believe in Climate Change, there’s the heat. Even if you don’t humanity has the capacity to transition to another energy source that doesn’t warm the planet, there’s the heat. Even if you think there are more important issues than Climate Change, there’s the heat. At the end of the day, there’s the heat. 95-Degree Days: How Extreme Heat Could Spread Across the World Extremely hot days, when temperatures soar to 95 degrees Fahrenheit or higher, can be miserable. Crops wilt in the fields. Electric grids strain to keep pace with demand. People are at greater risk of dying. And those hot temperatures are expected to be much more frequent in the coming decades. The map above, based on a new analysis from the Climate Impact Lab, shows how 95-degree days (35 degrees Celsius) are expected to multiply this century if countries take moderate climate action. In this scenario, countries would take some measures, but not drastic ones, to curb emissions — roughly the trajectory of the current pledges under the Paris climate agreement. The resulting global warming would still cause significant shifts for many cities (June 22, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 6/22/2017 - Welcome to new communities into NYS’s Climate Smart Communities program. Rochester has been a member since 2009—and it makes a difference. Imagine if every community in NYS, or the whole country for that matter, was working together to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. We’d be moving much faster to address Climate Change and making a much bigger impact. Governor Cuomo Names Tompkins County and Town of Ithaca New York's 12th and 14th Certified Climate Smart Communities Model Municipalities Recognized for Actions to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Build Climate Resiliency  Supports the Governor's Goal to Reduce Statewide Emissions 40 Percent by 2030 Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today recognized Tompkins County and the town of Ithaca as New York's 12th and 14th local governments to be designated as Certified Climate Smart Communities. Actions to strengthen resiliency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions in these communities support the Governor's aggressive goals to reduce statewide emissions 40 percent by 2030. "New York continues to make significant strides in reducing greenhouse gas emissions, and by joining forces with communities across the state and the nation, we are combatting climate change to provide a more sustainable environment for future generations of New Yorkers," Governor Cuomo said. "I commend Tompkins County and the town of Ithaca for supporting these clean energy initiatives, and I encourage municipalities across New York to follow their lead and become Certified Climate Smart Communities."(June 21, 2017) GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/22/2017 - You go into Climate Change with the environment you have. If major ecosystems are in trouble, so are we. We have to stop thinking of our great big ecosystems, which would include our planet, as systems we can use as we please because they can take care of themselves. Actually, the more we learn from scientists is that our environment has always been very sensitive, humanity just hasn’t been large enough and capable of destroying major sections of it until recently. As our planet warms up, we are going to need healthy, thriving ecosystems, like the largest freshwater system in the world, to be as healthy and resilient as possible. This is going to take a lot of work, and money, and cooperation, and planning. We need to get our faith back in sciences. Time passes. Great Lakes aren't doing so great, says new government study Toxic chemicals in the Great Lakes have dropped but invasive species and algal blooms threaten the lakes' ecosystems and keep them from being truly great, says a new report from the U.S. and Canadian governments. The "State of the Great Lakes 2017 Highlights Report" from the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency and its Canadian counterparts says Lake Erie is in the worst condition. It describes Lake Erie as "deteriorating," with algal blooms caused by agricultural runoff contaminating drinking water in its western end, and beach fouling and habitat loss plaguing its eastern end. Positive trends in Lake Erie include increased walleye throughout the lake, declines in sea lamprey injuries to native fish, and a resurgence of native plants in Michigan and Ohio after a successful campaign to reduce invasive phragmites. (June 21, 2017) Cleveland.com [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 6/22/2017 - Of course, if the Asian Carp does take over the Great Lakes there will be lots of blame to go around but it won’t matter. We’ll be too busy scrambling to keep this ecosystem viable. Time passes. Bill Seeks to End White House Delays in Combatting Asian Carp Invasion Groups Applaud Efforts by Members of Congress to Make Latest Research Available to the Public Joint Media Statement from: Alliance for the Great Lakes, National Wildlife Federation, Natural Resources Defense Council, Ohio Environmental Council, Prairie Rivers Network, Save The River, Sierra Club, Tip of the Mitt Watershed Council A bipartisan bill introduced today in Congress would push the Trump Administration to stop delaying a key effort to stop the Asian carp invasion of the Great Lakes. Conservation groups from around the Great Lakes region expressed support for the bill. The groups stressed that the current Asian carp control measures, from electric barriers to harvesting, are not enough to keep the harmful fish out of the Great Lakes. Two years ago, the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers was tasked with studying additional protection measures at the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, IL. The facility is a logical choke point location to install control measures to stop the fish from moving closer to the lake. The study was paid for at taxpayer expense and is ready for public review. The draft report was supposed to be released for public review and input on February 28, 2017. But, instead of releasing it to the public, the White House blocked the report’s release, leaving it hidden away on a Washington, D.C. shelf gathering dust. And with it, efforts to install critical prevention measures to halt Asian carp have all but come to a halt, putting the Great Lakes at risk. (June 21, 2017) Alliance for the Great Lakes [more on the Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 6/22/2017 - After all, natural gas is a fossil fuel and needs a large, expensive infrastructure that gobbles up our time and financial resources and still warms the planet. We should be moving away from developing any more fossil fuel infrastructures and quick transforming our energy sources to renewables if we want a sustainable future. It has become obvious to most around the world now that we cannot use our atmosphere as a dump, or our water and land for that matter. We have to change and do so quickly. Time passes. Natural gas can’t help to curb climate change Too much reliance on natural gas to generate electricity means the Paris climate target will be missed and money wasted on underused pipelines. Natural gas will have to be phased out along with coal if the world is to be kept safe from dangerous climate change. And that seems likely to have to happen far sooner than most official forecasts, according to a new report. If countries want to reach their Paris Agreement goals of limiting the long-term world temperature rise to 1.5°C, then many of the proposals to increase gas production and distribution will be unnecessary. New terminals and pipelines will never be fully used and will become stranded assets. The authors also warn that unless countries realise quickly that further investment in gas production is both unnecessary and damaging to the climate, they may lock themselves into emissions that they cannot afford to make. The report, Foot off the Gas, is published by the Climate Action Tracker (CAT), an independent science-based assessment which tracks countries’ emission commitments and actions. CAT’s members are Climate AnalyticsEcofys and NewClimate Institute, with the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research as a collaborator. (June 22, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/22/2017 - What caught my eye about this article on Trump 'betrayed' Great Lakes region is that the article is from Canada. However much the Trump administration desires to thwart his political enemies in the US, there are his ‘base’ and other countries who need the Great Lakes to be a healthy, thriving ecosystem. U.S. Sen. Brown believes President Trump 'betrayed' Great Lakes region Funding for enviromental programs could be eliminated under Trump administration U.S. Sen. Sherrod Brown (D., Ohio) said this morning he believes President Trump has betrayed the Great Lakes region by trying to eliminate funding for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s Great Lakes Restoration Initiative and other environmental programs, from climate change research to Ohio Sea Grant funding. “It makes no economic sense. It’s just a betrayal,” Mr. Brown told reporters in the hallway of the National Museum of the Great Lakes before headed into a panel his office convened for him to hear more directly about such concerns from Lake Erie shoreline business leaders, fishermen, Toledo drinking water officials, academic researchers and others. “The problem is you have a President and a White House who’s hostile to this,” Mr. Brown said. He noted the Great Lakes region was an important part of the voting bloc that got Mr. Trump elected over his Democratic rival, former U.S. Sen. and former U.S. Secretary of State Hillary Clinton of New York. (June 19,2017) The Blade [more on Great lakes in our area]

  • 6/21/2017 - Lake Ontario water level war between IJC and Cuomo highlights the difficulty in addressing Climate Change when planning remains regional. If humanity doesn’t work out a world-level planning system that prioritizes Climate Change, we are going to remain fighting amongst ourselves trying to address regional issues only. This issue also highlights a problem inherent in geoengineering because if some adapting measure (like Plan 2014 to readjust lake levels) is viewed as causing a specific problem (like shoreline property owners betting their beaches flooded) those adapting measures will probably get all the blame instead of looking at the big picture, Climate Change. One of the great advantages of the Paris Accord finally getting accepted worldwide (except for 3 holdouts) is that there would be a dialogue among national leader about how to address Climate Change across borders with leaders who could make nationwide decisions. The US pulling out of the Paris Accord is going to make issues like controlling the water levels of Lake Ontario, that borders two countries, more difficult to resolve—especially now as our federal governments are not on the same page when it comes to climate science. War of words: IJC responds to Cuomo’s ‘nastiest’ letter about Lake Ontario flooding (VIDEO) The International Joint Commission has issued its response to a letter from Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo that called the state’s flooding a “direct result” of the binational group. Leaders with the board pushed back against the governor on multiple points and repeated their assertion that the damage was caused by a “record-setting” influx of water. “The Board has been and continues to act in good faith, with as much foresight as unpredictable weather conditions allow,” wrote Gordon W. Walker and Lana Pollock, the IJC’s Canadian and American section chairs. “It has taken appropriate action in consideration of all interests.” Their letter, sent Friday, also urged the governor to improve the state’s coastal resiliency beyond repairing current damage in order to handle extreme conditions, “which are likely to occur again in the future.” (June 20, 2017) Watertown Daily News [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality, and Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/21/2017 - The kind of heat we are going to experience in our Climate Change future is going to challenge our way of life and our own body’s ability to keep cool. When you warm up an entire planet, everything cooks along with it. Time passes. It’s So Hot in Phoenix, Planes Can’t Takeoff An intense heat wave is crippling the West this week, sending the mercury above 120°F in places like Phoenix. In a sign of just how hot things are getting, some airlines have had to cancel flights because of the heat. American Airlines said it cancelled 50 flights out of Phoenix Sky Harbor aboard Bombardier CRJ aircraft on Tuesday because the planes can’t operate above 118°F. Heat waves are intimately tied to climate change as rising background temperatures make them more intense and common. The latest batch of heat will cook an area from northern California to western Texas, a region home to some seven of the 10 fastest-warming cities in the country. Temperature records have already fallen across California and heat will build throughout the week. Sacramento, San Jose, Palm Springs, Fresno and Death Valley all set daily highs on Monday. But the hottest temperatures aren’t even expected to arrive until Tuesday. They’ll last through Thursday, and forecast highs mean the region could set all-time records. (June 20, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 6/21/2017 - Saving and keeping healthy our major ecosystems like tropical forests are critical in addressing Climate Change. The free market economy is not going to provide special protection for these crucial components of our life support system. In fact, the market system is more likely to cause their complete destruction (with us along with them). We need people, moral leaders, politicians and more to speak out for ways for people to make a living without decimating the natural systems that make it so we can live. Time passes It’s So Hot in Phoenix, Planes Can’t Takeoff An intense heat wave is crippling the West this week, sending the mercury above 120°F in places like Phoenix. In a sign of just how hot things are getting, some airlines have had to cancel flights because of the heat. American Airlines said it cancelled 50 flights out of Phoenix Sky Harbor aboard Bombardier CRJ aircraft on Tuesday because the planes can’t operate above 118°F. Heat waves are intimately tied to climate change as rising background temperatures make them more intense and common. The latest batch of heat will cook an area from northern California to western Texas, a region home to some seven of the 10 fastest-warming cities in the country. Temperature records have already fallen across California and heat will build throughout the week. Sacramento, San Jose, Palm Springs, Fresno and Death Valley all set daily highs on Monday. But the hottest temperatures aren’t even expected to arrive until Tuesday. They’ll last through Thursday, and forecast highs mean the region could set all-time records. (June 20, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/20/2017 - Climate Change is a public health crisis for humanity. We need massive worldwide planning on this. Three-quarters of the world’s population could face deadly heatwaves within next 80 years, scientists warn 'We are running out of choices for the future' Nearly three-quarters of the world’s population could be hit by potentially lethal heatwaves within a lifetime if vast amounts of greenhouse gases continue to pour into the atmosphere, scientists have warned. A review of scientific papers found more than 1,900 places around the planet where people had died as a result of hot and humid weather since 1980, such as Moscow in 2010, when more than 10,800 people died, Paris in 2003 (about 4,900 deaths), and Chicago in 1995 (about 740 deaths). The researchers also estimated that about a third of the population had been exposed to 20 days or more of potentially deadly conditions in 2000. (July 20, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 6/20/2017 - One of the great assumptions about life, that our climate fluctuates between cold and warm, is quite likely no longer true. That our climate will only get warmer and warmer is a startling fact now about our existence. A world that just keeps getting warmer is really different from the one we thought we were living on. Humanity needs to pay attention to the science behind Climate Change because in our guts too many of us think our climate is ‘normal.’ Our guts are probably wrong on this one. We should be planning on a massive scale to adjust to this new world and keep it from getting warmer. Staying in the Paris Accord would have been helpful, working with other nations, and all that. Millennials have never lived through a colder than average month — and never will Scorching May continues decades-long streak of above-average months, and global warming is only accelerating. Last month was the second hottest May on record, NASA reported Thursday. Only May 2016 was warmer. “With May GISTEMP update,” tweeted Dr. Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS), “my prediction is 2017 will be ~2nd warmest year in the record” [see figure above]. May continues a streak of warmer than average months that dates back to at least August 1985 in NASA’s data set. (June 16, 2017) ThinkProgress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/19/2017 - John Oliver explains why the US pulling out of the Paris Accord is still a really, really bad decision.  However small this issue has vanished in the minds of people who look for new news, the US trying to leave the Paris Accord will have profound consequences for our relationships with other nations, our environment, our economy, and US.  This really bad Trump decision could be game over in a crisis that needs worldwide action before things get worse. Many are stepping up to the plate to do more to lower greenhouse gases, but Climate Change involves adaptation and monitoring on a large scale that needs major US participation. Time passes. Paris Agreement: Last Week Tonight with John Oliver  Donald Trump plans to withdraw the United States from the Paris agreement on climate change. That's bad news for anyone who happens to live on this planet. {Published on Jun 4, 2017, HBO) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/19/2017 - It’s simple: warmer climate = more mice = more ticks = more Lyme disease = more folks get sick. Ans. Plan for Climate Change. Why you need to know about mice, ticks, warm temperatures and Lyme disease Twice in the same week, Lois Wood woke to find ticks crawling over her bare leg in her New Hampshire home. A few nights later, she spotted a mouse running across her bed. A mother of seven, Wood tries to shrug off her tiny bedfellows. “It’s a common rural problem,” she says, although she admits that she has “never experienced anything like this in my own bed.” The recent appearance of vermin and pests in Wood’s bedroom coincides with the warming temperatures related to climate change. The past three years have been the planet’s hottest on record, and it is in this changing climate that many pests thrive, negatively affecting human health. (June 18, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Lyme disease, Climate Change, and Environmental Health 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.

  • 6/17/2017 - Of course, Trump or no Trump the fight to address Climate Change will endure. Responsible beings don’t let their life support system die. But this position from the Rochester Business Journal Staff is awkward: “If the U.S. is going to do its part to fight the real threat of climate change, Trump’s decision must be viewed not as permission to relax environmentally friendly practices but as a challenge to do more to protect the planet for future generations.” We who are trying to get our officials and the public to engage and address Climate Change have enough of a ‘challenge’ without the Trump administration thwarting our every efforts. I know the media, environmental groups, businesses, governors, and even other nations want to put a positive spin on Trump pulling out of the Paris Accord, but let’s get real. Trump action on Paris is a severe blow to nations working together as only they can to enact laws, enforce regulations, work on comprehensive planet-scale solutions, and lead their citizens in messaging the crisis of our age. Just at time when the consequences of Climate Change are boring in on us, the US federal government drops the ball—and this should not be downplayed at all. The public needs to get their head around the possibility that Trump’s actions could be game over for our future. Everyone has their opinion on Climate Change, but if those opinions aren’t based on science and the evidence that our planet is warming, those opinions are incorrect. Climate change fight endures It is difficult to claim President Donald Trump’s decision last week to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord on climate change will necessarily have a negative long-term effect on the environment. First, members of the agreement must wait three years before they are eligible to withdraw, which means Trump’s first term will be nearly over by the time the withdrawal takes place. If Trump doesn’t win a second term, the next president could rejoin the accord in as little as 30 days. Trump also has said he is open to rejoining the accord if the United States can secure better terms, so it’s possible—maybe even likely—that the country’s actual absence from the accord will end up being very short. (June 9, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/17/2017 - Even if environmentalists and lawyers are able to thwart the Trump administration’s anti-environmental policies at every turn, time is running out. The window of opportunities to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is closing. We are now battling furiously to keep what little progress we have made in making environmental regulations and creating positive actions towards a sustainable way of living. But instead of quickly building on those efforts for a just and viable future we are wasting time just keeping things from sliding backward. We may win all the battles and all of us (on both sides) may well lose the war. Time passes. Dakota Access pipeline: judge rules environmental survey was inadequate In what’s being hailed a ‘significant victory’ for pipeline’s opponents, a judge said he would consider whether operations must halt until assessment is redone A federal judge has handed a lifeline to efforts to block the Dakota Access pipeline, ruling Wednesday that the US Army Corps of Engineers did not adequately consider the possible impacts of an oil spill where the pipeline passes under the Missouri river. US district judge James Boasberg said in a 91-page decision that the corps failed to take into account how a spill might affect “fishing rights, hunting rights, or environmental justice, or the degree to which the pipeline’s effects are likely to be highly controversial”. (June 14, 2017) The Guardian [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/17/2017 - Can both the US and Canadian mayors on both side of the Great Lakes address Climate Change on the level of the US federal government, who has pulled out of the Paris Accord? There are a lot of officials trying to make up for the US federal government not only taking a back seat and addressing Climate Change, but actually leaving the car. Can these governors, companies, groups, take charge and change laws, fix infrastructures, provide a massive emergency response, provide grants, and many of the other things that only a federal government can do? I’m thinking, that however energized these parties may be, they cannot address keeping the Great Lakes health and address Climate Change on a level and scale and that the US federal government can. Not to mention, these parties may be thwarted at many turns by a government that is hostile to science and environmental issues. Great Lakes mayors support efforts to address climate change Support for continued efforts to address climate change is expanding among Great Lakes mayors in the aftermath of President Trump’s decision to pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement, the world’s most comprehensive attempt to address climate change. The Chicago-based Great Lakes and St. Lawrence Cities Initiative announced at its annual conference today in Montreal it is pushing forward with efforts to reduce greenhouse gases in the eight-state, two-province region that provides drinking water to 30 million Americans and 10 million Canadians. The Great Lakes also hold 20 percent of the world’s fresh surface water. “While the President of the United States has bowed out of the Paris Agreement, we are stepping up as cities to lead the charge against climate change,” Niagara Falls, N.Y. Mayor Paul Dyster, the group’s newly appointed chair, said. (June 15, 2017) The Blade [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 6/17/2017 - If many nations keep putting a price on greenhouse gas emissions and the US does not, how does that work economically? Besides the issue of nations stepping up to the plate and fixing their economies so that their economy reflects the price of warming the planet with fossil fuels, what about the increasing isolation of the US (a major greenhouse gas emitter) who will not put a price on carbon? What will be the ramifications of a country subsidizing the fossil fuel industry with billions of dollars each year and not putting a price on carbon that will make the goods coming from the US artificially low—because they don’t reflect the true cost of production and shipping? Doesn’t it seem unfair for a major polluter to ignore that the world is warming due to the use of fossil fuels and then doubling down on the use of fossil fuels? Isn’t this state of affairs going to cause a lot of resentment towards the US? 40 countries are making polluters pay for carbon pollution. Guess who's not. This map shows the steady, inexorable spread of carbon pricing. Most people who have given climate change policy any thought agree that it is important to put a price on greenhouse gas emissions. They are a form of harmful waste; those producing the waste should pay for the harms. (There’s plenty of debate over just how central pricing is to a serious climate strategy, but very little debate that it should play some role.) That policy consensus has been in place for quite a while. It seems the political world is beginning to catch up. The sustainability think tank Sightline has just updated its map of carbon pricing systemsacross the world. Things have gotten quite lively. Here’s an animated version: (June 15, 2017) VOX [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 6/17/2017 - From our friends over at "We Are Seneca Lake", their newsletter The Banner: June 13, 2017 In the wake of Trump's withdrawing from the Paris Agreement, states and cities and concerned business leaders have been establishing relationships with each other, and even with other nations. In addition to making the most of a handshake, French President Macron has found advantage in President Trump's plans to dump research funding, inviting U.S. scientists to live and work over there. We'll explore how state governors legislators, mayors, business leaders and other nations are responding to the nation's new anti-regulation and isolationist government. But first the news.

  • 6/16/2017 - Important public event in Rochester coming up on intersectionality of issues of social injustice with environmentalism. This is an excellent chance for environmental leaders and the public to learn and dialogue on the future of environmental issues in our region. Spread word of this event widely.  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 to 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 

  • 6/16/2017 - What will the EPA look like when Pruitt’s has his way with your environmental protection agency? Ravaged. One of the most immediate ways in which US citizens could be impacted by the Trump administration’s anti-science, anti-environment ideology is a failure to monitor, inform, and address environmental problems which are a clear and present danger to you. How Can Scott Pruitt Defend Drastic Cuts to EPA’s Budget? Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt has trouble telling the truth. The world saw that from his brazen attempts on TV recently to spin President Trump's withdrawal of the U.S. from the Paris climate accord. Many fact-checkers have called him out on his lies. See here, or here, or even here. Pruitt will be in the spotlight again on Thursday. He’s scheduled to testify before the House Appropriations Interior Subcommittee on Trump’s draconian FY18 budget proposal for EPA. There's no way that a 31% budget cut will not paralyze environmental protection and threaten public health. (June 14, 2017) Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 6/16/2017 - Under the Pruitt epa polluters get a reprieve. Seems like if environmental protections get to burdensome for the fossil fuel industry, they just contact the epa and complain. They got to love it. But our future, not so much. U.S. EPA extends delay of oil, gas rules to two years The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency said Tuesday it would propose a two-year stay of the previous administration's oil and gas industry methane emissions standards while the agency reconsiders the regulation. (June 13, 2017) Reuters

  • 6/15/2017 - Good hour discussion locally on the moral and real repercussions of the US pulling out of the Paris Accord. We should be asking ourselves, if we are moral creatures, how should we view our nation’s downplaying this crisis? Admittedly, it’s a crisis like no other humanity has faced? If you missed this program, check out the podcast: Connections: The impact of withdrawing from the Paris Agreement It has been almost two weeks since President Trump announced his decision to withdraw the United States from the Paris Agreement. What will it mean for our country? Our guests weigh in on how the decision will affect the environment, the economy, diplomacy, and the future of alternative energy. In studio: Lawrence Torcello, associate professor in the Department of Philosophy at RIT Kevin Schulte, CEO of SunCommon NY (June 14, 2017) Connections [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 6/14/2017 - If Trump administration gets their way on gutting the EPA, who ya gonna call when you cannot drink the water or breathe the air? Because our environment and public health has been and is continually being challenged by industrial waste and Climate Change, there will be problems—which is why we created the EPA in the first place. I hope the public isn’t going to wait until Trump has gutted our environmental protections before they wake up to what is a happening to their lives. Raw, partially treated sewage dumped in Lake Ontario by city during heavy rain fall Toronto forced to dump 521 Olympic sized pools of partially treated sewage into Lake Ontario last month because of the rainfall. As spring rains pelted Toronto last month, the City dumped 1.3 million cubic metres of partially treated sewage into Lake Ontario — the equivalent of 521 Olympic sized pools. But these “bypasses” don’t mean you should give up your water sports this summer. As a basic rule, people should start thinking about water quality like the weather — “it’s something that changes every day,” said Krystyn Tully, the vice-president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Exercise caution for 48 hours after it’s rained, but “if it hasn’t rained for several days, then for the most part we don’t think people should be afraid of the lake at all.” (June 12, 2017) The Star [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 6/14/2017 - Sewage systems in the Great Lakes basin need to be updated so that Climate Change caused heavy rains don’t pollute our drinking water. Old and non-resilient sewage systems that are overwhelmed when heavy rains come, which is now happening and will increase because of Climate Change consequences in our Northeast region, must be addressed now. Raw, partially treated sewage dumped in Lake Ontario by city during heavy rain fall Toronto forced to dump 521 Olympic sized pools of partially treated sewage into Lake Ontario last month because of the rainfall. As spring rains pelted Toronto last month, the City dumped 1.3 million cubic metres of partially treated sewage into Lake Ontario — the equivalent of 521 Olympic sized pools. But these “bypasses” don’t mean you should give up your water sports this summer. As a basic rule, people should start thinking about water quality like the weather — “it’s something that changes every day,” said Krystyn Tully, the vice-president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. Exercise caution for 48 hours after it’s rained, but “if it hasn’t rained for several days, then for the most part we don’t think people should be afraid of the lake at all.” (June 12, 2017) The Star [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 6/14/2017 - As our infrastructures (like water pipes) are disintegrating from neglect, there will be an urge to allow private companies to take over. Because we don’t like paying the taxes that are needed to rebuilt and make our infrastructures resilient during the vagaries of Climate Change. But there are problems with that, one of which is that companies tend to focus on their making a profit—not the public who owns and depends on water. Who pays for water infrastructure? As facilities age and public funding declines, private companies may step in. Private investment in public works isn’t a new idea: In 2014, former President Barack Obama launched an initiative focused on partnerships between public agencies and private companies to boost infrastructure financing and innovation. Now, President Donald Trump is calling for more such collaborations, and even outright privatization, in an attempt to shore up the nation’s aging highways and water systems. Water infrastructure, for both drinking and irrigation, is especially in need of improvement in the arid West. Amid a wave of aging reservoirs, treatment plants and pipelines, and a Congress unwilling to pony up funding to fix them, the Bureau of Reclamation is considering private investment as a possible solution. While some municipalities in the U.S. have partnered with private companies on water projects, such deals are almost non-existent on the federal level. (June 12, 2017) High Country News [more on Water Quality in our area]

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