Updated Daily  12/16/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

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

 

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

 

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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.

CheckerDaily CO2 Mauna Loa Observatory  |  Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations November 18, 2017 405.65 ppm NOAA-ESRL November 18, 2016 403.18 ppm NOAA-ESRL (from CO2-Earth)

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter December 10, 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, December 16, 2017

  • Study: NY sewer overflows totaled billions of gallons The problem of sewer overflows affects the entire Great Lakes region. More than 182 municipalities have systems that can release untreated sewage during big storms, the Environmental Protection Agency says. A group called Environmental Advocates of New York analyzed sewage discharge data published by the state. The group estimates that more than 3.8 billion gallons of sewage was released into waterways from 2013 through July 2017. Liz Moran, the water and natural resources director for the group, says those figures could be even bigger. “Significant underreporting of overflow events continues to exist.” (December 8, 2017) WBFO [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • GAO: Military talks up climate change but does little to account for its costs The Pentagon says climate change poses a risk to its overseas operations, but it is doing little to assess the costs of those effects such as sea-level rise and weather issues, a federal watchdog agency said Wednesday. (December 13, 2017) Washington Examiner [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 60 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse at least 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources. (December 15, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]

  • A harder rain’s a-gonna fall in the US Ever-heavier downpours threaten mainland America with harder rain as a consequence of global warming. US cities need to be ready. For the US, harder rain is on the way: America’s summer thunderstorms are about to get stormier. Later this century, the notorious mesoscale convective storms of middle America will not just darken US skies: they will dump as much as 80% more water  on the farms, highways and cities of the 48 contiguous states. Mesoscale thunderstorms cover an area of around 100 kilometres: these have been on the increase, both in frequency and intensity, in the last 35 years and new research suggests that, as the world warms, their frequency could triple. “The combination of more intense rainfall and the spreading of heavy rainfall over larger areas means that we will face a higher flood risk than previously predicted,” said Andreas Prein, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the US, who led the study. “If a whole catchment area gets hammered by high rain rates, that creates a much more serious situation than a thunderstorm dropping intense rain over parts of the catchment. This implies that the flood guidelines which are used in planning and building infrastructure are probably too conservative.” (December 13, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Cashing Out From the Climate Casino It’s hard to be optimistic about climate action, not in a week when federal scientists reported that “the Arctic shows no sign of returning” to the “reliably frozen region of recent past decades.” Not in a month when California’s wildfires show every sign of burning straight through Christmas. And not in a moment when the federal government keeps scrubbing basic climate information from its websites. But something big is starting to shift. After years of effort from activists, there are signs that the world’s financial community is finally rousing itself in the fight against global warming. A foretaste came last month when Norway’s sovereign wealth fund — the world’s biggest — said that it is considering divestment from holdings in fossil fuel companies. December 15, 2017) By BILL McKIBBEN | New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]


News Highlight

Brownfields and Climate Change, what’s the connection?         

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Like Climate Change, Brownfields don’t tend to get noticed by the public until the big picture is understood, experts examine the evidence, and someone’s best interests (including their health) gets compromised. Often this processing of ours takes a long time, as both Climate Change and too many Brownfields have languished without adequate action. 

As Climate Change progresses in our Rochester region with more heavy rainfall in the spring, it is more likely that Brownfields that have not been cleaned up will leach dangerous chemicals into our soil, our neighborhoods, and our waters. [See: ‘Figure 2.18: Observed Change in Very Heavy Precipitation’ in the National Climate Assessment’s “Heavy Downpours Increasing”.]

Even the new* Environmental Protection Agency understands the urgency of getting Brownfields cleaned up as a Climate Change adaptation strategy.

"Why Mitigation and Adaptation Matter for Brownfield Communities | Many members of vulnerable populations, including children, the elderly, low-income communities of color and tribal communities, live close to brownfields and other blighted properties (EPA, 2015b). Brownfield redevelopment presents opportunities to reduce blight and improve the quality of life for vulnerable populations while mitigating the impacts of climate change. While all populations will be affected by climate change, vulnerable populations will be disproportionately affected as climate change continues to increase the burden they already experience. A report by the Centers for Disease Control National Center for Health Statistics found that heat- and cold-related deaths in the United States are highest among non-Hispanic black populations and low-income populations making less than $42,400 annually. This study also found that heat-and cold-related deaths are significantly greater among elderly individuals in the United States." (Page 7, Climate Smart Brownfields Manual)

In Rochester, we are still trying to deal with past industrial pollution, but few people realize this environmental health problem is also a Climate Change problem.

STUDENTS, PARENTS STAGE PROTEST OVER CHEMICALS DETECTED NEAR ROCHESTER PREP ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A steady downpour of rain did not dampen the passion behind the voices of dozens of students who gathered for a demonstration outside of Rochester Prep Tuesday.  They were protesting over recent reports that traces of trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogenic chemical solvent from a former industrial site, remain near St. Paul Street and Martin Street. (December 5, 2017) Spectrum News Rochester [more on Brownfields in our area]

I wrote this--A word about Brownfields cleanups in Rochester, NY--in July of 2016.

You can find out more about Brownfields in our state and even check out the progress of local cleanups by going to the Department of Environmental Conservation’s Environmental Restoration Program.

We go into Climate Change with the environment we have. If our environment (our life support system) is not as healthy and resilient as possible, trying to address this worldwide warming crisis will profoundly affect our ability to adapt.

Time passes.

* The ‘new’ EPA is that federal environmental protection agency now under Pruitt. Strangely, the old EPA exists as a parallel online entity that has been kept alive. The new EPA says of the old EPA “This website is historical material reflecting the EPA website as it existed on January 19, 2017. This website is no longer updated and links to external websites and some internal pages may not work.” (When you think about it, things over at the EPA have gotten very weird—not in a good way.)   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:

  • Rochester Regional Health announces green energy initiative Rochester Regional Health says it intends to source 100 percent of the electricity it uses from renewable energy sources and carbon free production by the year 2025. President and CEO Eric Bieber says that's a big deal, and the organization will have to things differently as they go forward.  But he maintains it's the right thing to do, and it equates to taking scores of cars off the road and burning many tons less coal. (October 20, 2017) WXXI News [more on Green Business and Energy in our area]

  • Organic farming operation to bring 50 jobs to Brockport Organic farming is bringing 50 jobs to the Brockport area. That according to Governor Cuomo who says that Duncan Family Farms, a leading organic grower based in Arizona, has expanded into Monroe County. Duncan is partnering with Newstead Ranch on an $11.8 million dollar project. The company will be growing baby leaf items including spinach and romaine for customers throughout the region and along the East Coast. They eventually expect to expand into other specialty vegetable crops. (September 6, 2017) WXXI News [more on Food and Green Business in our 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]

Event Highlight:

Train Trash Incinerator | The Problems, the Dangers and Alternatives to Incineration    

Sunday, January 7, 2018, 3:30PM   

Romulus Central School Auditorium, 5705 State Route 96. Romulus, NY  

Please come and learn from an independent expert how the impacts of the proposed “Waste to Energy” train trash facility at the Seneca Army Depot in the Town of Romulus would affect the Finger Lakes Region.

Guest Speaker: Dr. Paul Connett, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. For the past 30 years, Paul has put his scientific knowledge to work by donating this time to communities around the world, helping them understand the science of controversial issues, such as waste incineration in addition to educating communities on the dangers associated with these practices, he offers alternative solutions.

 

With an introduction by Judith Enck, former head of the EPA Region 2 and former NYS Deputy Secretary for the Environment, member of NYPIRG, where she researched incinerators, promoting zero waste and composting.

 

Help Prevent the Trash Incinerator!

 

Sponsored by: Seneca Lake Guardian and Romulus Residents Opposed to the Trash Plan.

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...      

January 2018

  • Sunday, January 7, 2018, 3:30PM | Romulus Central School Auditorium, 5705 State Route 96. Romulus
    •  Train Trash Incinerator | The Problems, the Dangers and Alternatives to Incineration Please come and learn from an independent expert how the impacts of the proposed “Waste to Energy” train trash facility at the Seneca Army Depot in the Town of Romulus would affect the Finger Lakes Region. Guest Speaker: Dr. Paul Connett, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry St. Lawrence University, Canton, NY. For the past 30 years, Paul has put his scientific knowledge to work by donating this time to communities around the world, helping them understand the science of controversial issues, such as waste incineration in addition to educating communities on the dangers associated with these practices, he offers alternative solutions. With an introduction by Judith Enck, former head of the EPA Region 2 and former NYS Deputy Secretary for the Environment, member of NYPIRG, where she researched incinerators, promoting zero waste and composting. Help Prevent the Trash Incinerator! Sponsored by: Seneca Lake Guardian and Romulus Residents Opposed to the Trash Plan.
  • Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 6:30 pm Brighton Memorial Library: Friends Learning Center, Brighton, NY
    • #6 Educating Girls #54 Walkable Cities #63 Telepresence   These are 3 of the top 100 solutions to reduce  global warming by 2050*. Want to learn more? Join us for an inspiring workshop that discusses the top 80 solutions we can implement today, according to Paul Hawken’s book, Drawdown--- The Most Comprehensive Plan Ever Proposed to Reverse Global Warming*. Wednesday, January 10, 2018 at 6:30 pm Brighton Memorial Library: Friends Learning Center Sponsored by: Pachamama Alliance    For more information, contact Kourtney Blackburn at: info@colorbrightongreen.org suestar1@rochester.rr.com

 

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!
    • Are we helpless in the face of the Trump administration’s attacks on our environmental protections? No, says the NRDC. Find out more: "FIGHTING THE TRUMP AGENDA, A step-b-by-step guide to Trump's attacks on the environment and how you can help NRDC stop him | President Trump faces many hurdles in his quest to dismantle our system of environmental protections. Here, we document those steps, alongside NRDC’s actions to thwart Trump policies that attack our air, water, and wild spaces. We will also continuously update the page with steps you can take—because the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda is you. "Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • 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!
  • 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!
    • 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!
    • 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!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

 

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Daily  Updates.

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

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  • 12/16/2017 - And New York State is only one of the states (and provinces) in the Great Lakes basin releasing untreated sewage during big storms (that will occur more often during Climate Change). What’s the plan to fix this? If we had a national and international Climate Action Plan to ready our Great Lakes for the many challenges ahead for more Climate Change, we could address this sewage releases and other Great Lakes issues on a scale and time frame that would matter. Time passes Study: NY sewer overflows totaled billions of gallons The problem of sewer overflows affects the entire Great Lakes region. More than 182 municipalities have systems that can release untreated sewage during big storms, the Environmental Protection Agency says. A group called Environmental Advocates of New York analyzed sewage discharge data published by the state. The group estimates that more than 3.8 billion gallons of sewage was released into waterways from 2013 through July 2017. Liz Moran, the water and natural resources director for the group, says those figures could be even bigger. “Significant underreporting of overflow events continues to exist.” (December 8, 2017) WBFO [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 12/16/2017 - Instead of getting our country ready to adapt to Climate Change, the Trump administration is gutting our environmental protections. At what number of protections gutted will a public tipping point against this monstrosity occur? How far or at what point does the public say enough is enough? Time passes. 60 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the Trump administration has sought to reverse at least 60 environmental rules, according to a New York Times analysis, based on research from Harvard Law School’s Environmental Regulation Rollback Tracker, Columbia Law School’s Climate Tracker and other sources. (December 15, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/16/2017 - According to National Climate Assessment, our Northeast region has increased heavy rainfall 71% from 1958 to 2012. How bad will it get? Are our infrastructures—road and bridges, water and wastewater—ready? Or are we frozen in doubt by politics so much so that we haven’t even accomplished normal infrastructure updates—leaving us and our children vulnerable to the increase in flooding?  Time passes. A harder rain’s a-gonna fall in the US Ever-heavier downpours threaten mainland America with harder rain as a consequence of global warming. US cities need to be ready. For the US, harder rain is on the way: America’s summer thunderstorms are about to get stormier. Later this century, the notorious mesoscale convective storms of middle America will not just darken US skies: they will dump as much as 80% more water  on the farms, highways and cities of the 48 contiguous states. Mesoscale thunderstorms cover an area of around 100 kilometres: these have been on the increase, both in frequency and intensity, in the last 35 years and new research suggests that, as the world warms, their frequency could triple. “The combination of more intense rainfall and the spreading of heavy rainfall over larger areas means that we will face a higher flood risk than previously predicted,” said Andreas Prein, of the National Centre for Atmospheric Research in the US, who led the study. “If a whole catchment area gets hammered by high rain rates, that creates a much more serious situation than a thunderstorm dropping intense rain over parts of the catchment. This implies that the flood guidelines which are used in planning and building infrastructure are probably too conservative.” (December 13, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 12/16/2017 - According to NASA Global Climate Change, today’s climate is “407.06 ppm CO2, temperature is 1.7F since 1880, Arctic ice minimum down 13.2 percent per decade, land ice down 286.0 gigatonnes per year, and sea level is up 3.4 millimeters per year”. Find out what all this means and more about monitoring the health of our planet during Climate Change. Climate Change includes myriad information, opinions, plans, and it must also include exact information about how our planet is responding to our warming it.

  • 12/15/2017 - Besides what we think are the usual uses of our precious Great Lakes, we must not forget we are still using the largest freshwater system to dump our pollution. We must ready the Great Lakes for Climate Change by cleaning it up, filtering out pharmaceuticals, getting the plastics out, stopping sewage overflows, preventing invasive species, and much more if we are to depend on this greatest of natural resources as we warm our planet. Time passes. Who uses the Great Lakes' water? The Great Lakes/St. Lawrence River make up the world's biggest freshwater system -- and an enormously valuable resource. It supplies drinking water for millions of residents and powers the region's economy. Last year, 42 million gallons were withdrawn from the basin each day, according to a new report from the Great Lakes Commission. Here's where it went. (December 15, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 12/15/2017 - If say, you’re a blogger trying to communicate a full understanding of Climate Change, the urgency to address it, and its local implications, then you’re going to like NYS AG Schneiderman efforts to Protect Net Neutrality. The Internet gave many of us a voice, don’t let big telecommunications corporations shut you up. Learn more about this important right of Net Neutrality, you’ve just lost from FreePress.

  • 12/15/2017 - When the Pruitt EPA isn’t gutting our environmental protections, it’s pitching American gas exports around the world. Our EPA has really changed—not in a good way. Pruitt promotes gas exports in trip abroad U.S. EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt pitched American gas exports this week as part his environmental talks in Morocco, thrilling the energy industry and infuriating environmentalists. The EPA chief traveled to North Africa to meet with foreign officials, "update" an environmental work plan under the Morocco Free Trade Agreement with the U.S. and discuss Morocco's interest in importing liquefied natural gas, according to a press release the agency sent last night. "These meetings allowed us to directly convey our priorities and best practices with Moroccan leaders, as well as identify opportunities for continued cooperation, as our two countries further talks around the Environmental Work Plan," Pruitt said in a statement. "We are committed to working closely with countries like Morocco to enhance environmental stewardship around the world." (December 13, 2017) E&E News [more on Energy in our area]  

  • 12/15/2017 - Hard for the Trump administration to play dumb on Climate Change when our government’s National Climate Assessment explains the science and the crisis pretty darn well. US ‘no position’ on how much humans are changing climate, says Trump envoy George David Banks speaks with Arthur Neslen about keeping the US in the Paris deal, morale in the state department and why he said he didn’t know what 2C means Donald Trump’s climate advisor George David Banks cut an intriguing, divisive figure at the recent climate talks in Bonn. His appearance at negotiations to lay down rules for the Paris Agreement, which Trump wants to leave, attracted widespread opprobrium. But few White House officials understand international climate policy as well as Banks. The free market advocate served as a special advisor on international climate affairs under president George W Bush. After Bush decided not to ratify the Kyoto Protocol, the precursor to the Paris climate agreement, Banks designed the ‘major economies forum’, a meeting that became a key driver of climate ambition during the Obama presidency. (December 13, 2017) Climate Home News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/15/2017 - More confirmation from expert studies that warmer waters caused by Climate Change “supercharges” extreme, record-breaking storms. A warmer world where our oceans are sucking up most of the heat must be planned for accordingly. Time passes. Climate Change Likely Supercharged Hurricane Harvey Two separate studies find that climate change boosted the storm’s rainfall by at least 15 percent In August 2017, Hurricane Harvey dumped more than four feet of rain on Houston, Texas, in a matter of days, sending unprecedented floods through one of the largest cities in the U.S. In the deluge’s aftermath, climate scientists noted that storms like Harvey are rare—but cautioned that unusually warm waters, made likelier by human activity, may have supercharged the hurricane’s extreme rainfall. Now, two separate teams of scientists have found humans’ fingerprints all over the storm. One research team’s results, accepted for publication in Geophysical Research Letters (GRL), found that in comparison to a typical 1950s hurricane, climate change likely increased Harvey’s seven-day rainfall by at least 19 percent. A separate study, published today in Environmental Research Letters (ERL), found similar results, showing that climate change boosted Harvey’s three-day rainfall by about 15 percent. (December 13, 2017) National Gerographic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/14/2017 - Climate Change effect on Northeast farmers: The good news is that the growing season will be longer; the bad news is that farmer’s fields will be too soggy to take advantage of that. Northeast farmers weigh warm climate, drenched fields Farmers in the Northeast are adopting production habits tailored to longer, warming climate conditions, but they may face spring planting whiplash as they confront fields increasingly saturated with rain, according to a new Cornell-led paper in the journal Climatic Change, November 2017. Climate change in the Northeast could present two faces. “Climate change can easily intensify agricultural susceptibility, but also present fresh, surprising opportunities,” said David Wolfe, professor of plant and soil ecology and senior author of the paper. For the past two decades, the Northeast has been getting warmer for longer periods of time. Concurrently, the region has seen a 71 percent increase in the frequency of extreme precipitation events – more than any other region in the United States, according to the paper. Heavy rainfall, for example, increases the likelihood of foliar diseases, such as potato and tomato late blight, and plant root fungal problems that stress carrots and other root vegetables. (December 13, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change and Food in our area]

  • 12/14/2017 - At some point, it is more likely that low-pollution scenarios, where our coastal cities don’t get inundated by sea level rise, will be moot unless we dramatically address Climate Change and bring our greenhouse gas emission levels down. Business as usual means only high-pollution scenarios are available. This will be a very high procrastination penalty, indeed. Time passes. Antarctic Modeling Pushes Up Sea-Level Rise Projections Antarctic ice sheet models double the sea-level rise expected this century if global emissions of heat-trapping pollution remain high, according to a new study led by Dr. Robert Kopp of Rutgers University and co-authored by scientists at Climate Central. Global average sea level is expected to rise by one foot between 2000 and 2050 and by several more feet by the end of the century under a high-pollution scenario because of the effects of climate change, according to the projections in the new peer-reviewed study. It shows 21st century sea-level rise could be kept to less than two feet if greenhouse gas emissions are aggressively and immediately reduced, reflecting a larger gap in sea-level consequences between high and low emissions scenarios than previous research has indicated. (December 13, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/14/2017 - Climate Change is sending our weather into new territory. “In a first, an American Meteorological Society annual report found certain extreme weather events could not have happened without human-caused CO2 emissions.” 2016’s Record Heat Not Possible Without Global Warming, Study Says In a first, an American Meteorological Society annual report found certain extreme weather events could not have happened without human-caused CO2 emissions. The devastating heat wave that hit Asia in 2016 and the unprecedented warmth of ocean waters off of Alaska that year had something in common: neither would have been possible without the excess carbon dioxide that humans have pumped into the atmosphere over the past century, according to new research. That year was the warmest on record globally, and that extreme also would have been impossible without climate change, the report said. The findings marked an ominous first for the American Meteorological Society's annual report on the role of climate change in extreme weather events, which was released Wednesday. While five previous editions included research showing that climate change made dozens of heat waves, droughts and storms more likely or more severe, none had determined that the events could not have occurred under "natural" conditions. (December 13, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/13/2017 - If we are losing the battle against Climate Change, who are we losing it to? Ourselves. Humanity is confronting what it means to be human in this existential crisis. We will either become a better people or wipe ourselves out. Time passes. World is losing the battle against climate change, Macron says PARIS (Reuters) - French President Emmanuel Macron delivered a bleak assessment on the global fight against climate change to dozens of world leaders and company executives on Tuesday, telling them: “We are losing the battle”. “We’re not moving quickly enough. We all need to act,” Macron said, seeking to breathe new life into a collective effort that was weakened this summer when President Donald Trump said he was pulling the United States out of an international accord brokered in the French capital two years ago. Macron, who has worked to establish his role as a global leader since his sweeping election win in May, said modern-day science was revealing with each day the danger that global warming posed to the planet, he said. (December 13, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 12/13/2017 - Many people, communities, and institutions still don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change, but insurance companies are learning they don’t have the luxury of denial. Increasingly, insurance companies are learning that it is in their best interest to make sure those they are insuring prepare adequately for Climate Change. Because if they don’t, they’ll go broke. Time passes. To Test for Climate Disasters: Break, Burn and Throw Stuff A team of researchers is destroying things — with wind, water and fire — to help insurers manage the increasing risks of extreme weather. In the backwoods of Rhode Island, a team of researchers spends whole days trying to destroy things: setting boxes on fire, shattering chunks of ice, hurling debris through the air at hurricane speed. They work for an insurance company, FM Global, and the pandemonium simulates the hazards that are expected to strike with increasing frequency in this age of extreme weather. “There’s a realization that hazards are changing, and we need to understand that,” said Louis Gritzo, the lab’s research manager, who has spent his career studying deadly risks. “This year will be a tipping point.” (December 11, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/13/2017 - I know, you’re already habituated to the fact that the Arctic is warming really fast; but remember “What happens in the Arctic doesn’t stay in the Arctic; it affects the rest of the planet …” Time passes. Arctic permafrost thawing faster than ever, US climate study finds Sea ice also melting at fastest past in 1,500 years, US government scientists find ‘The Arctic is a very different place than it was even a decade ago’ – author Permafrost in the Arctic is thawing faster than ever, according to a new US government report that also found Arctic seawater is warming and sea ice is melting at the fastest pace in 1,500 years. The annual report released on Tuesday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration showed slightly less warming in many measurements than a record hot 2016. But scientists remain concerned because the far northern region is warming twice as fast as the rest of the globe and has reached a level of warming that’s unprecedented in modern times. (December 12, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/13/2017 - “… young people who say their rights are at risk from the government’s inaction on climate change” are being heard in our legal system. Shouldn’t everyone have a right to a clean and un-cooked future? Time passes. SF court cool to Trump administration attempt to quash youths’ climate suit A federal appeals court in San Francisco gave a chilly response Monday to the Trump administration’s argument to scuttle a far-reaching lawsuit by 21 young people who say their rights are at risk from the government’s inaction on climate change. The youths, aged 10 to 21, sued President Barack Obama’s administration in 2015. Their lawyers contended that the government’s long-established obligation to protect public resources such as rivers and seashores applies to the atmosphere, and that the youths’ constitutional right to life and liberty, and to due process of law, is being violated by federal policies on fossil fuels and related issues. Ruling that the youths had made at least a preliminary showing that the government’s policies were likely to harm them, a federal judge in Oregon refused to dismiss the suit in November 2016. At a hearing Monday attended by 18 of the young plaintiffs, a Trump administration lawyer called the ruling “unprecedented” and asked the Ninth U.S. Circuit Court of Appeals in San Francisco to overturn it. (December 11, 2017) San Francisco Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/13/2017 - 'One Planet' climate summit in Paris: "it's about directing all investments worldwide towards climate-friendly options."  Macron urges swifter action at 'One Planet' climate summit in Paris Politicians and finance industry representatives are meeting to discuss how to promote green investments to fight global climate change. The summit is taking place on the second anniversary of the Paris climate accord. More than 50 world leaders have arrived in Paris on the second anniversary of the Paris climate agreement for a summit on how to promote green investments to combat global climate change. High-profile public figures also attending the "One Planet" summit include Sean Penn, Arnold Schwarzenegger and Elon Musk. French President Emmanuel Macron warned the delegates that the world was not reducing its carbon dioxide emissions fast enough.  "We are losing the battle" against climate change, Macron said. "We are not moving fast enough." Germany's Environment Minister Barbara Hendricks said before the conference began that "it's about directing all investments worldwide towards climate-friendly options." (December 12, 202017) Deutsche Welle [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 12/12/2017 - To get the Great Lakes ecosystem as healthy and resilient as possible, as we go farther into Climate Change, we must also address pharmaceuticals, plastics, invasive species, sewer overflows, lake levels and much more. There are a lot of environmental issues facing the largest freshwater system in the world and we would be wise to address them all as soon as possible so we can depend on fresh clean water, fishing, and recreation as the consequences of a warmer climate increase. Time passes. Pain-killers, other drugs found in Great Lakes ecosystem As America confronts the opioid crisis, environmental scientists are warning about a related problem. Chemicals from pain-killers and other drugs often end up in lakes and rivers, creating what some scientists say could be a deadly cocktail for fish and other wildlife. “What we use in our everyday lives goes down the drain and ends up somewhere, it just does," says Emma Rosi, an aquatic ecosystem ecologist at the Cary Institute in New York. Rosi's team studies a long trail of chemicals from opioids, antidepressants, and even illicit drugs, like cocaine. They get into the environment through human urine and feces. Sometimes unused medications are flushed down toilets and drains. The compounds eventually reach streams, lakes and rivers. (December 12, 2017) WBFO [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]  

  • 12/12/2017 - Are we doing as much as we can to prevent the very invasive species Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes? Many think not. Time passes. Congressmen demand faster action on Asian carp Twenty-six members of Congress — including U.S. Reps. Marcy Kaptur (D., Toledo), Bob Latta (R., Bowling Green), Tim Walberg (R., Tipton), and Debbie Dingell (D., Dearborn) — have joined numerous other elected officials in demanding more aggressive action from the Army Corps of Engineers against destructive Asian carp threatening to enter the Great Lakes near Chicago. A bipartisan letter submitted Friday said the congressmen are firmly holding the Corps to an early 2019 deadline for completing the most crucial report to date for a long-term fix, called the Brandon Road Lock & Dam Study. (December 11, 2017) The Blade [more on Invasive Species and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/12/2017 - It’s unlikely we’ll find solutions to “record-smashing” wildfires in S. California and other hot spots without addressing a “warming climate” (code for Climate Change). Wouldn’t a reasonable person, not even a scientist, conclude from the findings of Climate Change that there would be more record-breaking wildfires in regions where wildfires ‘normally’ occur? In some regions Climate Change unleashes more rain in the spring to grow plants quickly, then a summer drought dries everything out (including the soil) and you’ve got a region ripe for bigger and worse wildfires. There are other reasons (more houses being built in the fires’ path, great winds, etc.) for more major wildfires, of course, but without addressing Climate Change it’s unlikely we’ll stop the increase in damage. California’s record-smashing fire season sparks hunt for solutions This year’s wildfire season, still on the move in Southern California, is one for the record books. Federal firefighting costs soared to a new high. The nightmarish Wine Country blazes leveled more than 5,000 homes and killed 44 people. And two weeks before Christmas, when fire danger is typically gone, flames continue to eat through the outskirts of Los Angeles and San Diego, chasing tens of thousands from their homes and threatening the cushy estates of Elon Musk and Jennifer Aniston. Cities and towns watching the onslaught are grasping for ways — large and small — to avoid becoming the next Santa Rosa or Ventura. But while wildfire experts anticipate more devastating years ahead, they say communities can do a lot more to brace themselves, beginning with basic actions of clearing fire breaks in nearby forests and fields and planning a swift emergency response. The challenge, the experts say, is doing enough to meet the mounting threats posed by a warming climate and the housing development that’s put more people in fire-prone places. (December 9, 2017) San Franciso Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/12/2017 - Divesting from fossil fuel companies must be an important part of address Climate Change. When “big market players” announce they’re divesting, it seems to encourage others to do so. A very positive feedback loop, indeed. How divesting of fossil fuels could help save the planet Recently, a number of institutional investors, including Caisse de dépôt et placement du Québec in Canada and Norway’s sovereign wealth fund, announced their intent to reduce their exposure in investments linked to fossil fuels. The announcements show that investors withdraw their funds to either mitigate financial risks or for ethical reasons. But the question remains whether divestment and divestment announcements have a financial impact on the share price of fossil fuel companies. We’re a team of researchers at the School of Environment, Enterprise and Development (SEED) at the University of Waterloo. We recently conducted an analysis that suggests divestment announcements have a statistically significant negative impact on the price of fossil fuel shares. Our study aggregates the impact of more than 20 announcements across 200 publicly traded fossil fuel companies. The results suggest that share prices dropped on the days that institutional investors announced they were divesting of fossil fuels. (December 10, 2017) The Conversation [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/11/2017 - Are we really going to leave our children with an unbelievably hot world that will wreck their chances for a future? We’ll see. Time passes. Hotter world than predicted may be here by 2100 A hotter world could be on the way, unless nations act. That’s because the gloomiest predictions may not have been gloomy enough.  Tomorrow may experience a hotter world than anyone had feared. Global warming, under the notorious “business-as-usual scenario” in which humans go on burning fossil fuels to power economic growth, could by 2100 be at least 15% warmer than the worst UN projections so far. And the spread of uncertainty in such gloomy forecasts has been narrowed as well. Climate scientists had worked on the assumption that there was a 62% chance that the world would have warmed on average by more than 4°C if no action was taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. But a new study has not only raised the stakes, it has narrowed the uncertainty. There is now a 93% chance that global warming will – once again, under the business-as-usual scenario – exceed 4°C by 2100. And since, in Paris in 2015, the world’s nations met and agreed to keep overall global warming to “well below” 2°C,  even that figure represents “dangerous” global warming.  One degree higher would count as “catastrophic”. And a rise of beyond 5°C would deliver the world into an unknown and unpredictable period of change. (December 8, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/11/2017 - As the Trump administration quietly guts our environmental protections, glad responsible media like #NYT is keeping close watch. After the fox has taken over the henhouse, at least someone’s watching the fox. Under Trump, E.P.A. Has Slowed Actions Against Polluters, and Put Limits on Enforcement Officers The highway billboard at the entrance to town still displays a giant campaign photograph of President Trump, who handily won the election across industrial Ohio. But a revolt is brewing here in East Liverpool over Mr. Trump’s move to slow down the federal government’s policing of air and water pollution. The City Council moved unanimously last month to send a protest letter to the Environmental Protection Agency about a hazardous waste incineratornear downtown. Since Mr. Trump took office, the E.P.A. has not moved to punish the plant’s owner, even after extensive evidence was assembled during the Obama administration that the plant had repeatedly, and illegally, released harmful pollutants into the air. “I don’t know where we go,” Councilman William Hogue, a retired social studies teacher, said in frustration to his fellow council members. “They haven’t resolved anything.” Scott Pruitt, the E.P.A. administrator, has said the Trump administration’s high-profile regulatory rollback does not mean a free pass for violators of environmental laws. But as the Trump administration moves from one attention-grabbing headline to the next, it has taken a significant but less-noticed turn in the enforcement of federal pollution laws. (December 10, 2017) New York Times [more on 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.

  • 12/11/2017 - The extinction of the North Atlantic right whale doesn’t have to happen if humanity doesn’t want that to happen. Humanity isn’t simply “an actor upon the stage” anymore, we are increasingly the directors. Endangered North Atlantic right whales are set to become extinct with just 100 breeding females remaining, officials warn North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world There are about 450 of the whales left and 17 of them have died so far in 2017 Officials say US and Canada must work to reduce human-caused whales deaths Vessel-strikes and entanglement in fishing gear are two frequently cited causes Officials with the federal government say it's time to consider the possibility that endangered right whales could become extinct unless new steps are taken to protect them. North Atlantic right whales are among the rarest marine mammals in the world, and they have endured a deadly year.  The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration has said there are only about 450 of the whales left and 17 of them have died so far in 2017. (December 10, 2017) DailyMail [more on Wildlife in our areaa]

  • 12/11/2017 - Many folks in Rochester region don’t think clear-cutting trees along Erie Canal is the best way to protect the embankment and stop flooding. Community members protest removal of trees along Erie Canal Activists and people who live along the Erie Canal are demanding a stop to the cutting of trees along the canal. The Canal Corporation is in the middle of a plan to clear more than 100 acres of woods. Community members rallied at the Ayrault Road launch in Perinton Sunday to say "no further.” Clearing down these trees will help protect the embankment and stop flooding, according to the Canal Corporation. (December 10, 2017) WHEC Rochester

  • 12/09/2017 - We are unlikely to adapt to Climate Change if do not stop sewage spills into New York waterways. Clean, potable water, is our region’s most valuable natural resource as we go farther into Climate Change and we must make it so our wastewater infrastructure is updated to be resilient for more heavy rainfalls (which has increased 71% since 1958 in our region, causing more sewer overflows). Increasing the ability and reliability of reporting on sewage spills is important feedback to make sure we are accomplishing this goal. Report Calls for Increased Water Infrastructure Spending ALBANY, N.Y. – Reporting of sewage spills into New York waterways has improved, but a new report says substantial investment is needed to stem the flow.  The analysis of Department of Environmental Conservation data says from May 2013 to last July, there were more than 10,500 sewage overflows in New York, totaling more than $3.8 billion.  Liz Moran, the water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York, says in one important way, the large number of reported spills is a good thing. "Reporting has actually increased by 273 percent," she notes. "And we think that this is because DEC finalized the regulations implementing the sewage pollution right-to-know law." But she cautions the data also shows under-reporting is still a problem, and it underscores the need for state investment in water infrastructure. The Sewage Right-to-Know law went into effect in 2013 and requires reporting of untreated sewage discharges. (December 8, 2017) Public News Service [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

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