Updated Daily  4/20/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

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

 

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

 

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Rochester area NewsLinks.

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

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter April 16, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

 

Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

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

Posted Today - Thursday, April 20, 2017

  • The EPA wants to know what you think about scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules The US has a lot of rules about which kinds of gases, particles, and forms of radiation can get pumped into the atmosphere. Many of those regulations were written by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority Congress granted it through the Clean Air Act. President Donald Trump and many other conservatives see these rules as overly burdensome and believe the country should have fewer of them. Trump's EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, vocally endorses that position, too. (April 19, 2017) Business Insider [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic. In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor. Because climate change is already shrinking the Arctic sea ice cover, more human activity in this still-isolated part of the world is increasingly likely as navigation becomes easier. As a result, plastic pollution, which has grown significantly around the world since 1980, could spread more widely in the Arctic in decades to come, the researchers say. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Recycling and Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • POLITICS Portman: Wetlands sites ‘working’ Senator pledges support for $300M Great Lakes restoration effort U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) pledged his continued support Tuesday for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as well as the agency in general and other agencies vital to Lake Erie programs and monitoring its algal blooms. Mr. Portman began his visit to the area with a stop at the man-made wetland developed by the University of Toledo and others west of Maumee Bay State Park’s entrance. THE BLADE  Enlarge | Buy This Image The wetland’s planning dates back to the early 1990s, when a local task force was trying to identify sources of bacteria at the state park beaches. (April 19, 2017) The Blade [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present How do we live with the fact that the world weknew is going and, in some cases, already gone? The future we’ve been warned about is beginning to saturate the present. We tend to imagine climate change as a destroyer. But it also traffics in disruption, disarray: increasingly frequent and more powerful storms and droughts; heightened flooding; expanded ranges of pests turning forests into fuel for wildfires; stretches of inhospitable heat. So many facets of our existence — agriculture, transportation, cities and the architecture they spawned — were designed to suit specific environments. Now they are being slowly transplanted into different, more volatile ones, without ever actually moving. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Rising seas could push some U.S. migration to areas far from coast: study Rising sea levels caused by climate change may drive U.S. coastal residents to areas far from the seaboard, not just to adjacent inland regions, according to a study published online in the journal Nature Climate Change. Even landlocked states such as Arizona and Wyoming could see significant increases in population because of coastal migration by 2100, and may be unprepared to handle the surge, said the analysis from a University of Georgia researcher. "We typically think about sea-level rise as being a coastal challenge or a coastal issue," Mathew Hauer, author of the study and head of the Applied Demography program at the University of Georgia, said in an interview on Tuesday. "But if people have to move, they go somewhere." (April 18, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

News Highlight

U.S. at crossroads: free science from politics and join the March for Science 

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

The complacency by too many Americans while their government is gutting science harkens back to those onerous days in the 1850’s when our fragmented country tried tooth and nail to hold on to slavery—despite the evil. Russia (1723) and the British Empire (1808) had abolished slavery. New York State had made slavery illegal in 1827.

Yet, at the federal level: “Fugitive Slave Act was passed by the United States Congress on September 18, 1850, as part of the Compromise of 1850 between Southern slave-holding interests and Northern Free-Soilers”(Wikipedia). Though most people believed that slavery was truly evil by the 1850’s, most of the public still sat on the sidelines until they were forced into the fray with their very lives, the Civil War, where 600,000 people perished.

The war was terrible; it wasn’t inevitable; it could have been prevented had it not been part of our compromised Constitution. We could have given into our better angels. But we didn’t.

The Three-Fifths Compromise is found in Article 1, Section 2, Paragraph 3 of the United States Constitution, which reads: Representatives and direct Taxes shall be apportioned among the several States which may be included within this Union, according to their respective Numbers, which shall be determined by adding to the whole Number of free Persons, including those bound to Service for a Term of Years, and excluding Indians not taxed, three fifths of all other Persons. (Wikipedia)

Those in the middle, those who stayed quiet while slavery raged on, were forced off the sidelines anyways with a war that might have been prevented if more had spoken up sooner.  The Abolitionists did get off the sidelines, but these relative few were accused of causing violence instead of trying to right a wrong. (What if everyone had joined the Abolitionists early on? What if everyone just got off the sidelines at crucial moments in human history?) 

We are at a crossroads again.

This time it’s about not so much a great divide on the value we place on people’s lives as how we shall govern at all. Will science form the backbone of our country or will we succumb to a relatively small group’s ideology? Will our government base its decisions on our accumulated knowledge and science, or cherry-pick fact and fiction to suit a minority’s agenda? Will science be the priority it has been for two centuries in this country, or will we give up and condemn future generations to hell?

Those in the middle now, those staying quiet while science is being gutted are going to be affected whether they think so or not. There may not be a war, but we will be much inconvenienced by a planet warming up far quicker than our species has ever experienced. There are no sidelines in science.

The Fugitive Slave Act was an attempt at compromise on an issue where there was (and is) no compromise. This law placed the Northern states in the impossible position of sending free Americans to a region of the country where they would be returned to slavery. With the growing turmoil, our country in the 1850’s was finally having to face our original sin: How could we promote our country around the world as a free nation when we were enslaving millions of our people? We couldn’t. It was one or the other. No middle ground. Our founding ideals was either true, or they were a lie.  

Sitting home and doing nothing on Earth Day to stop the federal government from muzzling scientists is akin to allowing the Fugitive Slave Law to stand. Because powerful ideologies in Washington really want to rip out science by the roots, all of us must now #StandUpForScience:    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:

  • 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]

  • Waste Management-owned site receives conservation award High Acres Nature Area, owned by Waste Management Inc. in Perinton, has been honored with the 2015 International Conservation Award by the Wildlife Habitat Council, an international non-profit that accredits programs that create wildlife habitat on corporate lands. It has recognized 600 sites around the world.  The High Acres Nature Area comprises 250 acres with four miles of nature trails adjacent to the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center in Fairport. Employees and community volunteers invest in conservation and education efforts through the nature area, officials said. (November 24, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight:

 Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate. 

 WE RESIST. WE BUILD. WE RISE.        

   

Change the dismal trajectory of history: Get Tickets. "Charter Buses for the People's Climate Mobilization March, Rochester to DC Join us in Washington, DC to stand up for our communities and our climate. The Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) is sponsoring two 56-seat buses for roundtrip travel to this critical event in Washington DC on April 29, 2017. The March is free. Use the TICKETS button above right to purchase bus tickets and/or to make a donation. About Donations: We are offering half-off and 75%-off tickets (full fare is $81) at the outset, so that everyone can participate in this historic event. We are taking a leap of faith, counting on our generous community to enable this. If you can't attend the March but want to contribute to the groundswell of support for strong climate action, please make a donation. We are very appreciative! " More....

Throughout the first 100 days in office, the People's Climate Movement is organizing a country-wide arc of action, culminating on April 29th in Washington DC in a powerful mobilization to unite all of our movements. To change everything, we need everyone.  

WHY WE’RE MARCHING There is no denying it: Donald Trump’s election is a threat to the future of our planet, the safety of our communities, and the health of our families.

This new administration is attacking the hard-won protections of our climate, health, and communities, and the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more.

If the policies he proposed on the campaign trail are implemented, they will destroy our climate, decimate our jobs and livelihoods, and undermine the civil rights and liberties won in many hard fought battles.

It’s up to us to stop that from happening before it starts. Our fights are tied together, and we will only succeed together.

 That’s why, from now through the first 100 days and beyond, we are taking action and standing up for everything and everyone we love — and we are calling on everyone to join us on April 29th; for a massive march to bring our demands to the streets of Washington, D.C.

We’re ready to fight back, and we are ready to build a resistance to Trump and Congress’ attacks on our climate, our communities, and our jobs that stands alongside the unprecedented Women’s Marches and other powerful rallies that shook the globe in the hours and days following the inauguration of Donald Trump and the 115th Congress.

On April 29th, we will march for our families. We will march for our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and climate justice. We will march for our communities and the people we love.

In 2014, we said that it takes everyone to change everything. Now, with everything at stake, everyone has a part to play. Peoples's Climate Movement  

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...    

April 2017

  • Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 7:00 PM  The Park Church  208 W Gray St. (corner of Main and Church Streets)  Elmira, NY 14901
    • Free Screening of "Before the Flood" Wednesday, April 19, 2017, 7:00 PM  The Park Church  208 W Gray St. (corner of Main and Church Streets)  Elmira, NY 14901 Discussion will follow and refreshments will be provided. Before The Flood is an analysis of scientific evidence concerning the causes and effects of climate change. Released last October, it features Leonardo DiCaprio, actor, environmentalist and the United Nations Messenger of Peace, as he travels the world to learn how climate change affects our environment and what society can do to prevent the demise of endangered species, ecosystems and native communities across the planet. During his journey to five continents and the Arctic, DiCaprio speaks with President Barack Obama, Pope Francis, tech innovator Elon Musk, scientists, and activists about the many effects of climate change – threats to human health and safety from floods, tornadoes, and drought; damage to the national economy; and increased risk of terrorism. The Department of Defense and the property & casualty insurance industry agree that climate change is a clear and present danger. Future political decisions about human migrations, drought, flooding, food and water insecurity, and the resulting conflicts and border wars will be impacted by climate change Before the Flood is well done, positive but serious and easy to understand. Students will find it to be a helpful resource. Legislators in Chemung, Steuben and Schuyler Counties have been invited. Please invite your village, town or city elected officials to attend. Also, share this invitation with your contacts and post it to Facebook. The screening is sponsored by People for a Healthy environment (PHE) and co-sponsored by The Park Church, Catholic Charities, and the Jewish Center and Federation of the Twin Tiers.
  • Thursday, April 20th from 7-9 PM at the New Bethel CME Church located at 270 Scio Street, Rochester, NY 14605.  
    • The 19th Annual Environmental Forum Intersectionality and Building a Strong Climate Movement Sierra Club Annual Forum: This year, your Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club is bringing a distinguished advocate for environmental justice to Rochester. He is Aaron Mair, the President of the Sierra Club and a powerful speaker that can inspire our community. Aaron will be in Rochester to give his presentation on Thursday, April 20th from 7-9 PM at the New Bethel CME Church located at 270 Scio Street, Rochester, NY 14605. Come early to visit tables of local environmental groups to find out what they are doing in our area from 6-6:30 PM. This event is free and open to the public. He will also be addressing classes at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. You can find a schedule on our Facebook page early April. We are very excited the opportunity has arrived to join forces with the communities of color on the issues that affect us all. Please join us. more ...
  • April 21, 2017 The Links, East Syracuse, New York
  • Earth Day, April 22, 2017 9:00 am at Wadsworth Square (at the end of Marshall Street, off of Monroe Avenue). Step off is at 10:00 am.
    • The Rochester Earth Day Parade will kick off our Earth Day Grand Opening events as a celebration of our cooperative’s commitment to sustainability, real food, and making sure we don’t destroy our planet for generations to come. The parade will gather at 9:00 am at Wadsworth Square (at the end of Marshall Street, off of Monroe Avenue). Step off is at 10:00 am. Come support this inaugural Earth Day parade for Rochester so that we can create a new annual tradition to celebrate the many nonprofits and businesses here that are working to promote and safeguard more sustainable ways of living.
  • Earth Day, Marchers will gather at Martin Luther King Jr Memorial Park at Manhattan Square at 9:30AM on April 22nd. At 10:30AM, we will begin marching towards the Hyatt Regency.
  • Earth Day April 22, 2017 Earth Day | Washington, DC
    • The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments. Why   Science, scientists, and evidence-based policymaking are under attack. Budget cuts, censorship of researchers, disappearing datasets, and threats to dismantle government agencies harm us all, putting our health, food, air, water, climate, and jobs at risk. It is time for people who support science to take a public stand and be counted. What The March for Science is the first step of a global movement to defend the vital role science plays in our health, safety, economies, and governments. How   We are building a broad, nonpartisan, and diverse coalition of organizations and individuals who stand up for science. We are advocating for evidence-based policymaking, science education, research funding, and inclusive and accessible science. All with your support!* Who People who value science. Science advocates, science educators, scientists, and concerned citizens. More than 170 partner organizations and counting. And you! Where The National Mall in Washington, DC and 425+ satellite marches around the world. For DC, event details here, and info on buses here.
  • Earth Day: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1 PM  Where: Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan, 7000 County Road 41, Victor, NY
    • Film Presentation of Seed, The Untold Story  Few things on earth are as miraculous and vital as seeds. Yet in our modern world, these precious gifts of nature are in grave danger. See the film about this remarkable story.  When: Saturday, April 22, 2017, 1 PM  Where: Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan, 7000 County Road 41, Victor, NY More Info and tickets:  Call the Friends of Ganondagan at 585-742-1690. Film website.
  • Earth Day: Saturday, April 22, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m. Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road,
    • electric cars The Town of Penfield will host an electric car show on Saturday, April 22. Penfield has been hosting shows after installing the first publicly available charging station in Monroe County five years ago. (The town now has three charging stations.) Saturday's show is expected to include vehicles from GM, Nissan, Ford, Tesla, Volkswagen, and BMW. Information will be available about federal and state tax rebate programs for plug-in vehicles. The event will be at the Penfield Community Center, 1985 Baird Road, from 1 p.m. to 4 p.m.
  • Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm Brighton Memorial Library Friends Learning Center, Brighton, NY  
    • ColorBrightonGreen.org Winter Film/Speaker Series presents:   "Greening" Your Portfolio   “Green Investing” to most people still means divestment — selling stock in companies that produce fossil fuels, especially coal, the worst for climate change. However, there are now more options to put money into companies making products or services that reduce climate change such as, solar- or wind-power producers, companies that do carbon trading or energy-efficiency management, and  manufacturers of emission-cutting devices and systems.  Join us for a conversation on Green Investing with a panel of professionals from local financial institutions. Participants will learn how to invest successfully while still supporting companies with ‘green’ business practices, such as clean energy, reducing climate change, fossil fuel-free and other sustainable efforts. Additionally, participants will gain a better understanding of climate change risks and opportunities, potential investment upsides or downsides, and the increasing variety of green-focused offerings. Wednesday April 26, 2017 at 6:30 pm Brighton Memorial Library Friends Learning Center   Contact: info@colorbrightongreen.org
  • APRIL 28, 8:30AM-10:45AM, University at Buffalo, Davis 101, North Campus, Amherst.
    • APRIL 28, DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump - By Dr. Michael Mann, Climate Scientist and Author of 'The Madhouse Effect' illustrated by cartoonist Tom Toles. 8:30AM-10:45AM, University at Buffalo, Davis 101, North Campus, Amherst. Free & Open to the Public. [LINK]
  • April 28 – April 30 Apr 28 at 6 PM to Apr 30 at 3 PM | Braddock Bay Park
  • April 29th, @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm | Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S.  Rochester, NY 14604
    • Climate March – Rochester April 29 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm In solidarity with the Climate March in D.C., join in a peaceful gathering/march to help bring awareness, educate, and ultimately combat global warming. DETAILS Date: April 29 Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Website: Facebook. VENUE Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S.  Rochester, NY 14604  [info will be updated continually]
  • April 29th, 2017 | Where: Washington DC  
    • New year, new resolve. Time to mark your calendars for April 29th, 2017. That’s the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., when we will come together with hundreds of thousands of people to reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate, and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. Sign up to be part of it here, and connect with others near you who will be taking action in the run-up to April. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it's important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects. If we don't put forward our own vision -- of an economy built on justice and powered by clean, renewable energy -- then we let fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred win. We need to show that more people still believe in our shared vision for the future than in Donald Trump's. That's where you come in: The only way this mobilization will work is if it’s driven from the bottom up by people like you. That's why we want to get you involved with the People's Climate Mobilization starting today -- whether you've helped organize a dozen marches before, or if you're a first-time participant.

May 2017

  • Saturday, May 6 from 2 to 6 pm. | Peacework Farm is located at 2231 Welcher Road (across from 2232 Welcher,
    • May 6 May Day Party at Peacework Farm - Tour an Organic Farm May Day Celebration at Peacework Farm   Please join the festivities at Peacework Farm, Saturday, May 6 from 2 to 6 pm. We are having a May Day Celebration that is open to one and all!  Peacework Farm is located at 2231 Welcher Road (across from 2232 Welcher, but that is a private home so use our marked parking areas).  At 2 pm, farmer Ammie Chickering, on her valiant nag, will lead us in dancing around the May Pole. No previous dance experience necessary. Next we will take a wild flower walk in the woods of the Kraai Preserve, a nature preserve open to the public. Then, we will have tours of Peacework Farm and the Johnson Brothers Food Forest.  At 4:30, we will have a potluck supper.  Please bring a dish to pass, a place setting and folding chairs.  The farm will provide beverages.  All are welcome!   If you would like to join in Community Supported Agriculture and get a share of Peacework produce every week from June 1 through November, you can sign up at the farm. The Peacework farmers grow over 200 varieties of 70 crops to supply weekly packets for families in Wayne County and the greater Rochester area. The farm is Certified Organic by NOFA-NY. You can also sign up on line at www.peaceworkcsa.org. Joining the CSA is a good way to save money if you want to feed your family organic produce at a reasonable price. As a CSA member you are more than a consumer: you become an invested shareholder with an active role in building cooperative, ethical, and sustainable communities. The impact of investing in a CSA share is high.  You simultaneously support
  • May 6, from 9:30-1:30pm. Location is the Canoga Firehouse, Seneca Falls.
  • Friday, May 12, 2017 6:00 - 9:00 pm Rochester Academy of Medicine 1441 East Ave, Rochester, NY
    • Art in Transit:  Reconnect's first annual fundraiser on May 12 Join us for an evening with friends and fellow transportation enthusiasts.   Friday, May 12, 2017 6:00 - 9:00 pm Rochester Academy of Medicine 1441 East Ave. Featuring: Silent auction with transit-themed artwork and other cool stuff Live auction with City Hall celebrities Erik Frisch & Kevin Kelley Live jazz music to accompany the mingling & bidding Delicious food spread, wine & beer ($5 suggested donation per drink)   Tickets are $25 per person RSVP deadline: Wed., May 10 @ 12pm     Purchase Tickets   Can’t make it on May 12?  Consider making a tax-deductible donation to support the event.     Make a Donation
  • Sunday, May 14 and runs through Saturday, May 20 
    • CURB YOUR CAR WEEK The Curb Your Car Week program encourages the use of cheaper, healthier, and more earth-friendly transportation alternatives. During one week in spring and one week in fall, ColorBrightonGreen.org asks residents from Brighton and around, who normally use an automobile for daily transportation, to consider walking, biking, car pooling, or riding the bus as alternatives. Follow our Curb Your Car Week Posts for announcements and opportunities to share your experiences! Spring 2017 Edition The Spring 2017 Edition starts on starts on Sunday, May 14 and runs through Saturday, May 20 and coincides with National Bike to Work Week. Register your pledge to participate now.  We will remind you when the week is about to start and how to share your experiences.
  • Wednesday, May 17th Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Where: Zebb’s 1890 S. Clinton Ave, Rochester NY 14620
    • You are invited to a Sip & Sun with Color Brighton Green! Enjoy a free drink while learning how solar works in our community! You have the power to control your energy needs & make your community greener and cleaner. SunCommon is a local, employee-owned B-Corp. We have a triple bottom line – people, planet, & profit. Being a force for good is the core of who we are & how we run our business. What: Solar Sip & Sun with CBG When: Wednesday, May 17th Time: 5:30-7:30 pm Where: Zebb’s 1890 S. Clinton Ave, Rochester NY 14620 RSVP: Mary at mary.nicholas@suncommon.com or call her at (585) 265-2384 x 152

June 2017

  • JUNE 10TH | 9:30am-3:30pm in Mendon Ponds Park
    • Outdoor Expo 2017 WORKSHOP Wetland Variety & Ecology in Mendon Ponds Park Come with naturalist and Sierra Club member Peter Debes to learn about the surprising, vital and interrelated life in the wetslands of Mendon Ponds Park. The event schedule is coming soon. Visit adk.org and sierraclub.org/atlantic/chapter for updates and presentation time.
  • June 15th, 2017  - 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - RIT Campus 
    • 4th ANNUAL GENESEE RIVER BASIN SUMMIT   River Access and Recreational Opportunities    June 15th, 2017  - 8:00 AM to 4:30 PM - RIT Campus      Genesee RiverWatch is hosting its 4th Annual Genesee River Basin Summit on June 15, 2017 in the Louise Slaughter Building on the Rochester Institute of Technology Campus.  The topic is "River Access and Recreational Opportunities." The Summit is open to the public. Please join us!   Purpose: Our region is blessed with an abundance of water assets. But those assets are underutilized especially the Genesee River and its tributaries. The purpose of this year's Summit is to review the current state of river access and recreational use, understand the benefits associated with increasing these opportunities and plan for how we can move forward to benefit our citizens and the local economy. The Summit will be broken down into four sessions. Available River Access - Presentations will review available river and tributary access opportunities and maps. Available Recreational Opportunities - Experts will discuss the boating, fishing, hiking and biking opportunities available. Why is it Important? - This series of presentations will explore various perspectives on why recreation and access is important to regional tourism and the economy. What Can or Should Be Done? - This session will look at what kinds of projects and programs are in the works across the basin and solicit feedback from the attendees on a path forward. A complete agenda will be published soon. Date: June 15, 2017 Time: 8:00am-4:30pm Place: Rochester Institute of Technology, Louise Slaughter Hall, Building 78, Rooms 2240-2210 Registration required:   Click here to Register  Fee: $15 includes breakfast, breaks and lunch. Includes: Continental breakfast, lunch and afternoon break.

 

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: May 1, 2017
    • for Wildlife in NYS. Make comment to the DEC that you want a state plan for managing wildlife through the lens of Climate Change. Due date for your comments is May 1, 2017. Our state wildlife are going to be severely impacted by a quickly warming climate and our state’s environmental agency has done little in actually informing the public of what needs to be done and actually doing things that will protect the beings that are largely responsible for the environment we inherited.  Learn more about Wildlife and how they will be impacted by Climate Change in our area. This is the time to act. DEC Invites Public Comment on Proposal to Update Habitat Management Activities Comments Accepted on New Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement through May 1, 2017 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to update its Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on Habitat Management Activities for DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife is now available for public review and comment. The draft SEIS describes and evaluates habitat management techniques implemented on nearly 234,000 acres of state land, designated primarily as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and managed for wildlife production and wildlife-dependent recreation. Comments will be accepted through May 1, 2017. DEC recognized the need to update the state's 1979 PEIS to reflect current practices. DEC uses a variety of methods to manage habitat for wildlife, including controlling undesirable vegetation, maintaining impoundments for waterfowl and wading bird production, planting trees, mowing and removing brush to maintain grasslands, and cutting trees to create openings in the forest. (April 3, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Wildlife in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: until Memorial Day
    • from our friends over at Alliance for the Great Lakes  "There are Adopt-a-Beach events scheduled at beaches near you for Earth Month — and we want you to join us for one! Being an Adopt-a-Beach volunteer is fun and easy, plus you get to make a difference with your community at your local beach. Keeping Great Lakes beaches and shorelines clean and healthy has never been so easy. You can sign up for an Adopt-a-Beach cleanup today. Spring Kickoff events take place from April 1 through Memorial Day. So, all you have to do is find an event near you that fits your calendar and sign up. I’m happy to help you with any questions you may have, just email me at ndrag@greatlakes.org or call me at (716) 261-9393. Happy Earth Month! Nate Drag Alliance for the Great Lakes "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • One of the things we found in the five-year work of the Rochester Sierra Club’s Zero Waste committee was that Styrofoam was really bad. It aint’ good for nothing, except a single-use monstrosity. Our committee helped work with Monroe County to get 3-7 plastics recycled. We help clean up Monroe County’s parks by helping to start the Pick Up the Parks yearly events, We helped local events, like Tour de Cure bike race, Greentopia, and the Clothesline Festival become zero waste events—including composting. We helped pressure the media and the City and the County about getting rid of e-waste properly and complying with the new state laws. And a lot more, but we made no freaking headway with Styrofoam. Please sign this petition because you cannot recycle Styrofoam—it’s not only instant trash; it’s an instant toxic substance. Ban EPS (aka Styrofoam) from Monroe County, NY. It is time to eliminate expanded polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) from Monroe County. As the federal government turns its back on environmental conservation, local citizens must pick up the slack. Despite the little 6 found on the bottom of most Styrofoam products, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle. In Monroe County, Styrofoam is not accepted at curbside pick-up. Persistent individuals aiming to recycle packing Styrofoam can deliver it to the Monroe County EcoPark near the airport, but single-use food containers remain unrecyclable. According to the EcoPark’s website: “Styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, coffee cups, takeout containers or other small post-consumer items have no local recycling option and should be placed in your trash.” This is partially because Styrofoam breaks down so easily that, if someone tried to clean it, all they would get is a mess of tiny beads. (Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group )
  • 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!
  • 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!
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW! 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

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

  • My Comments are in Bold text.

  • 4/20/2017 - Take ACTION! This is your opportunity to tell Pruitt’s EPA that “scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules” is craven and crazy. It’s like asking a hostage if it’s OK if you tape both their mouth and their nose closed while the hostage takers torture them. Go here to tell Pruitt’s EPA, Thank you very much for asking, but no I’d like to have a sustainable future if you don’t mind and don’t even consider scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules. Click here to comment. The EPA wants to know what you think about scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules The US has a lot of rules about which kinds of gases, particles, and forms of radiation can get pumped into the atmosphere. Many of those regulations were written by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority Congress granted it through the Clean Air Act. President Donald Trump and many other conservatives see these rules as overly burdensome and believe the country should have fewer of them. Trump's EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, vocally endorses that position, too. (April 19, 2017) Business Insider [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - Really, you think the #MarchForScience is “raising questions about the appropriateness of mixing science with politics”?!?!! You don’t think gutting the EPA, slashing environmental regulations, maybe pulling out of the Paris Agreement, and giving polluters more access to government than scientists have anything to do with this unprecedented effort to #StandUpForScience when it is being dismissed, even though it has been the backbone of our country’s policy’s on health, environment, infrastructure, and just about everything else? Really? You think it’s scientists who are upsetting the donkey cart?  You think it’s scientists who are upsetting the donkey cart?  Science march's political overtones spark debate A march aimed at promoting scientific-based public policy in the Trump era is raising questions about the appropriateness of mixing science with politics. The "March for Science" -- whose beginnings reflect the viral birth of the Women's March on Washington -- occurs this Earth Day. It will be comprised of scientists and their supporters, and largely grew out of opposition to President Donald Trump's environmental and energy policies. (April 19, 2017) CNN

  • 4/20/2017 - I know, with Trumpmageddon, the threat of nuclear war, and Climate Change, why worry about Plastic pollution? Well, plastic bits, microbeads, microfibers and plastic junk are getting into our oceans, our Great Lakes, and now we find they are in the warming Arctic—by the trillions. Plastic pollution isn’t just unsightly, like those ubiquitous plastic bags blown up against our hedges all along our streets and trail, plastic tends to be mistaken as food by critical animal (fish) species that keep our ecosystems thriving. And, plastic in our waterbodies have this annoying trait of accumulating other toxins we have put in our waters, which mean they accumulate in the food we eat—like fish. Plastic pollution is going to have to be solved along with Climate Change, and other pollution, invasive species, and the loss of biodiversity. So, maybe we shouldn’t gut the EPA. Hint, hint. Time passes. Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic. In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor. Because climate change is already shrinking the Arctic sea ice cover, more human activity in this still-isolated part of the world is increasingly likely as navigation becomes easier. As a result, plastic pollution, which has grown significantly around the world since 1980, could spread more widely in the Arctic in decades to come, the researchers say. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Recycling and Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - Maybe one of the reasons why the public confuses science with politics is that the media puts environmental issues in Politics section. Maybe each media should have a separate section for Environment, like these media. POLITICS Portman: Wetlands sites ‘working’ Senator pledges support for $300M Great Lakes restoration effort U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) pledged his continued support Tuesday for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as well as the agency in general and other agencies vital to Lake Erie programs and monitoring its algal blooms. Mr. Portman began his visit to the area with a stop at the man-made wetland developed by the University of Toledo and others west of Maumee Bay State Park’s entrance. THE BLADE  Enlarge | Buy This Image The wetland’s planning dates back to the early 1990s, when a local task force was trying to identify sources of bacteria at the state park beaches. (April 19, 2017) The Blade [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - On the other hand, if you don’t believe in Climate Change how do you explain the changes? Playing dumb? Hey, what that Climate Change, yuck, yuck? You could blame it on the shifting baseline syndrome, where the changes we are experiencing are happening so slowly (in our daily experience) that we fail to see it—except that everyone else is seeing it. How about accountability? At what point in time do you say, I was wrong about climate denial and, sorry about the effects of my feet dragging. Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present How do we live with the fact that the world weknew is going and, in some cases, already gone? The future we’ve been warned about is beginning to saturate the present. We tend to imagine climate change as a destroyer. But it also traffics in disruption, disarray: increasingly frequent and more powerful storms and droughts; heightened flooding; expanded ranges of pests turning forests into fuel for wildfires; stretches of inhospitable heat. So many facets of our existence — agriculture, transportation, cities and the architecture they spawned — were designed to suit specific environments. Now they are being slowly transplanted into different, more volatile ones, without ever actually moving. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - When sea level rise due to Climate Change compels coastline communities to move, where they gonna go? Maybe Rochester. #RochesterNY #ROC #Rochester We should be prepared. Time passes. Rising seas could push some U.S. migration to areas far from coast: study Rising sea levels caused by climate change may drive U.S. coastal residents to areas far from the seaboard, not just to adjacent inland regions, according to a study published online in the journal Nature Climate Change. Even landlocked states such as Arizona and Wyoming could see significant increases in population because of coastal migration by 2100, and may be unprepared to handle the surge, said the analysis from a University of Georgia researcher. "We typically think about sea-level rise as being a coastal challenge or a coastal issue," Mathew Hauer, author of the study and head of the Applied Demography program at the University of Georgia, said in an interview on Tuesday. "But if people have to move, they go somewhere." (April 18, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/19/2017 - It would be nice if our local media gave a more complete report about Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014 which is not only a plus for the environment, but a plan that will help the entire region adapt to Climate Change. It’s going to be very hard to plan for Climate Change and adapt if the media only focuses on those whose immediate concerns are addressed. Part of the Plan 2014 is to help compensate the losses for those disproportionally affected by this Plan 2014 and it would be nice if our local media addressed that also. It would also be nice to see if the Plan 2014 is the immediate cause of rising lake levels now. So, maybe first we should determine whether the recent Lake Ontario high water levels are a result of the Plan 2014 or a “wet spring”. Sodus Point Flooding: Good for Environment, Bad for Business In the Lakeside Village of Sodus Point, the spring rains have raised the water level of Lake Ontario to a point of concern. Residents are stacking sandbags in preparation for a possible flood. "Worst case scenario, we will have to shut down the village, and evacuate the people," said Mayor Chris Tertinek. "We flooded five times in a period of over 100 years; the low was 3 times below their limit in a hundred years. With the new plan, we're going to flood 17 times in 100 years." (April 17, 2017) Spectrum News Rochester [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/19/2017 - Of course, we have been tinkering with our environment for centuries, which put us in this Climate Change peril in the first place. The question is whether we go at this tinkering under the rubric of geoengineering with a determined plan. There are 3 main problems with geoengineering: 1. We really don’t know what we are doing and never have in such a complex ecosystem as ours. 2. Even if our efforts seem successful, the public may get lulled into thinking this is the ONLY way to bring a planet’s temperature down. 3. Geoengineering will only address the mitigation part of Climate Change and do little to help us adapt, that is, deal with the centuries of warming that’s coming even if we do stop more greenhouse gas emissions right now. Is It O.K. to Tinker With the Environment to Fight Climate Change? Scientists are investigating whether releasing tons of particulates into the atmosphere might be good for the planet. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. For the past few years, the Harvard professor David Keith has been sketching this vision: Ten Gulfstream jets, outfitted with special engines that allow them to fly safely around the stratosphere at an altitude of 70,000 feet, take off from a runway near the Equator. Their cargo includes thousands of pounds of a chemical compound — liquid sulfur, let’s suppose — that can be sprayed as a gas from the aircraft. It is not a one-time event; the flights take place throughout the year, dispersing a load that amounts to 25,000 tons. If things go right, the gas converts to an aerosol of particles that remain aloft and scatter sunlight for two years. The payoff? A slowing of the earth’s warming — for as long as the Gulfstream flights continue. Keith argues that such a project, usually known as solar geoengineering, is technologically feasible and — with a back-of-the-envelope cost of under $1 billion annually — ought to be fairly cheap from a cost-benefit perspective, considering the economic damages potentially forestalled: It might do good for a world unable to cut carbon-dioxide emissions enough to prevent further temperature increases later this century. (April 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 4/19/2017 - One of the consequences of Climate Change will be more extreme weather, like heatwaves. Good to monitor all that. Check out this resource to find out about Heat Warnings in your area, Planning for, Heat waves, At-Risk Groups, and more: National Integrated Heat Health Information System "The NIHHIS is an integrated system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat. The NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

  • 4/18/2017 - What the Pruitt EPA refuses to understand is that most environmental regulations came about because of catastrophes that had to be righted. Rivers burned because of industrial pollution, people got sick, ecosystem were dying and finally after years and years of our government dragging their feet, environmental regulations had to be placed. Because our memories are so short (shifting baseline syndrome) too many folks tend to think our government just willy-nilly began creating and enforcing environmental regulations to fit some liberal agenda. This is hogwash because if most cases, these regulation were a result of disasters that the public finally got sick of. Republicans set their sights on the EPA’s science The federal agency that regulates our environment may soon have less data to work with. Federal regulatory changes can be about as interesting to ponder as drying paint. Of course, federal regulations also are the reason that drying paint is lead-free in this country. Now, the way that the U.S. makes many federal environmental regulations may be changing. In March, the House passed two bills aimed at defanging the Environmental Protection Agency, largely along party lines. The first, House Bill 1430 – named the HONEST Act – would challenge the EPA’s access to scientific data. The second, House Bill 1431 – named the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 – would replace scientists and public health experts on its advisory panel with industry members and politicians. Both bills are now in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Previous versions passed the House in 2014 and 2015, but stalled in the Senate, with former President Barack Obama threatening to veto. It’s unlikely President Donald Trump would do the same. (April 14, 2017) High Country News [more on Environmental Health in our area]  

  • 4/18/2017 - You know what’s really weird? Local environmental agencies scrambling to help citizens adapt to Climate Change and the feds denying the whole thing. On one level, our freaking politics, it kinda makes sense. But on the other level, where reality hits the road, it doesn’t make any sense at all. How can only pockets of people be preparing for Climate Change and others just ignoring the whole thing? If our successors ever get a chance to have a future, they’re going to look back at these times and just wonder a how incredibly amazing that some people tried to adapt to Climate Change and others didn’t. They probably won’t think much of those who denied the science behind the warmer world our children will inherit. Local Government Training Workshop: Preparing for Extreme Weather Events through Land-Use Planning in the Lake Erie/ Niagara River Region   Date: May 3, 2017 Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm (check in and refreshments 8:00 - 8:30 am) Where: Erie County Fire Safety Training Center, 3359 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227 (Lake Erie/Niagara River Region Local Government Resiliency Training, May 3 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent this bulletin on 04/17/2017 02:09 PM EDT )

  • 4/18/2017 - For those who ‘get’ Climate Change but think it’s going to be slow and gradual, think again. This Climate Change isn’t our great ancestors’ climate change. Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.” This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. It occurred last spring at the Kaskawulsh Glacier, one of Canada’s largest, with a suddenness that startled scientists. A process that would ordinarily take thousands of years — or more — happened in just a few months in 2016. Much of the meltwater from the glacier normally flows to the north into the Bering Sea via the Slims and Yukon Rivers. A rapidly retreating and thinning glacier — accelerated by global warming — caused the water to redirect to the south, and into the Pacific Ocean. (April 17, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/18/2017 - In order to address Climate Change here in the U.S. and elsewhere we need the “long memories, centuries old wisdom and deep knowledge of this land” of Indigenous scientists. #MarchForScience #StandUpForScience Let Our Indigenous Voices Be Heard "Indigenous Science March for Science Letter of Support"

  • 4/17/2017 - There they go again ‘accidentally’ spewing more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and further warming the planet. Fossil fuel companies, ya gotta laugh. BP Struggles to Control Damaged Well in Alaskan Arctic The British oil giant BP worked through the weekend to control a damaged oil well on Alaska’s remote North Slope that had started spewing natural gas vapors on Friday morning, the company and Alaska officials said. There have been no injuries or reports of damage to wildlife, but crews trying to secure the well have failed amid frigid winds gusting to 38 miles an hour. (April 16, 2017) New York Times [more on Energy in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - Only a selfish, isolationist, anti-science, and immoral country would ‘exit’ the Paris Agreement. Let that not be the U.S. Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ from the Paris accord, sharpening the Trump White House’s climate rift President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change. Speaking with “Fox & Friends,” Pruitt commented, “Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion.” “It’s a bad deal for America,” Pruitt continued. “It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.” Pruitt’s claim about China and India having “no obligations” until 2030 is incorrect — while these countries do indeed have 2030 targets, they are already acting now to reduce their emissions by investing in renewable energy and other initiatives. (April 14, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - Earth Day was supposed to be a celebration that we have changed our ways and become stewards of our planet. And note our progress. But with Trump and Pruitt’s EPA we must claw our way back to a sane attitude towards our life support system. Sad. EARTH DAY IN THE AGE OF TRUMP Next week, millions of Americans will celebrate Earth Day, even though, three months into Donald Trump’s Presidency, there sure isn’t much to celebrate. A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet. As David Horsey put it recently, in the Los Angeles Times, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,” but “his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.” The list of steps that the Trump Administration has already taken to make America polluted again is so long that fully cataloguing them in this space would be impossible. Here’s a sample: (April 12, 2017) The New Yorker [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - The media should view events through the lens of Climate Change—every freaking day. The media needs to be proactive on providing the public continual reporting of a quickly warming world and shouldn’t be waiting for someone, or some group, or some incident urges them to report on this crisis. Suzuki wants journalists to forget the Dow Jones, report on climate every day David Suzuki cuts straight to the chase. The state of Canada’s climate action is “disgusting,” he says, and the federal government should be ashamed. “Canada should hang its head,” he told National Observer in an interview. “(Trudeau) has given no indication that he was serious about the promise made at Paris.” It’s a typically frank assessment by the 81-year-old star environmentalist, scientist and broadcaster. In 2015, he famously called Justin Trudeau a “twerp” during a phone call about the Liberal climate change platform, after Trudeau reportedly indicated that his comments were “sanctimonious crap.” As Trudeau’s Liberals today cling to widely-criticized Harper-era climate change targets and continue to approve new oilsands pipelines, Suzuki says countries like Sweden, Morocco and Costa Rica are blazing ahead in climate leadership. Even India and China, two of the world’s biggest emitters of heat-trapping carbon pollution, are leaders in wind and solar investment — statistics that put Canada to shame, he says. (April 13, 2017) National Observer [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 4/17/2017 - Think you know the Great Lakes? These lakes that hold 20% of the world’s usable fresh water have gone through many tremendous changes because of us. Read “Death and Life of the Great Lakes” Death and Life of the Great Lakes The five mighty Great Lakes, separated from the ocean for millennia, hold twenty percent of the world’s surface freshwater. Dreams of trade spurred construction of the St Lawrence Seaway, opening the lakes to intercontinental shipping but transforming their ecosystems, thanks to unintended biological hitch-hikers such as Quagga and Zebra mussels. Environmental journalist Dan Egan’s new book, “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes”, details the changes, and he discussed the impact on the Great Lakes with host Steve Curwood. (April 14, 2017) Living on Earth [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality, and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - It’s inconvenient but it’s getting warmer. Who will be held accountable for not planning for the consequences? March Was Second Hottest on Record Globally The exceptional global heat of the past few years continued last month, with March ranking as the second hottest on record for the planet. It followed the second hottest February and third hottest January, showing just how much Earth has warmed from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. March was 2.02°F (1.12°C) warmer than the 1951-1980 average, according to NASA data released Friday. It ranks behind only March 2016, which was 2.29°F (1.27°C) above that same average. NASA’s global temperature records extend back 137 years. (April 14, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Which begs the questions, how many Americans are eating pesticides and how likely will the Pruitt EPA tell us? How many pesticides have you eaten today? A new report finds that about half the food consumed in Europe contains pesticide residues. The EU's food safety authority says there is no danger. Environmentalists aren't convinced. Traces of pesticides are contained in almost half of the food Europeans eat, according to an annual report issued this week by the European Union's food safety watchdog. Researchers found pesticides in 46.7 percent of the samples.  While this may sound like a lot, only 2.8 percent exceeded maximum residue levels permitted under EU law. The rest, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stressed, is completely safe. The figures, based on about 85,000 food samples, are for the year 2015. (April 13, 2017) Deutsche Welle [more on Pesticides and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a system of thought that all people respected and followed during Climate Change? If all people respected science we still might have a chance. Time passes. World must hit zero carbon emissions 'well before 2040', scientists warn New research suggests it will be an ‘enormous challenge’ to prevent global warming getting out of hand Humans must reduce net greenhouse gases emissions to zero “well before 2040” in order to ensure global warming does not go above 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, scientists have warned after carrying out a study using a sophisticated new computer model. The analysis suggests that efforts to prevent temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels may have to rely heavily on “negative emissions” technology that is still in its infancy. Commenting on the study, Professor Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre, said the “important” research spelled out the “enormous challenge” ahead. (April 14, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - The real tragedy is that we had already put climate denial to rest before the last US elections. Denier arguments have no merit but they are now in power. And now we have to continually defend science. Valuable time at a crucial moment in time is being wasted on fighting a war that has long been over in academia. Even if reasonable people and expert scientists win again, which we will (because, duh, it’s physics) we will have most likely have lost valuable time preparing and holding back the worst of Climate Change. America has made a mistake we may not recover from. Climate Change Projections Are Based on Hard Scientific Data It is extremely difficult to battle climate change when those in charge are resistant to the science that points to its future danger. Climate scientist's projections are not just based on guesses made to support an agenda, they are derived from hard data run through complex models on supercomputers, giving us the most accurate information possible. (April 7, 2017) Futurism [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Diversion, taking water from the Great Lakes to other areas is an issue that won’t go away as Climate Change makes other regions more desperate for water. For all the laws and attitudes against taking water from the Great Lakes, it’s going to be hard to resist pleas from communities who cannot get enough water. On the other hand, removing great quantities of water from the greatest freshwater system in the world could vastly affect our region’s ecology, weather, and lake levels. One solution would be for folks who need water to come to the Great Lakes basin region and live amongst us and help keep this fantastic water resource clean and plentiful. I’m thinking, anyway you look at it, the Great Lakes region is going to be a great attractant for folks to live as water elsewhere become more problematic. #WaterIsLife Pipe Great Lakes water to Southwest? Not so fast Talk of a fictional pipeline that could carry Great Lakes water to the Southwest caused a recent uproar from folks around the lakes. But the NASA scientist who mentioned the idea says Phoenix and other desert cities aren’t coming for the Great Lakes’ water any time soon. “Such models, that can realistically transport water from a natural system via aqueducts, canals, pipelines, etc., to another managed or natural system, really don’t exist,” said hydrologist and water scientist Jay Famiglietti. (April 14, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Another feature of a Climate Change world: However great your state may be, if it ain’t got water it won’t be livable. NYS has water, lots of fresh, clean, un-Fracked water. Every state, and nation for that matter, should be doing all it can to protect its water resources because soon water in a warmer will be more valuable than gold. NY's water systems to get $2.5B boost The state budget includes $2.5 billion over five years to improve New York's clean-water infrastructure. The Clean Water Infrastructure Act, passed as part of the 2017-18 state budget, allocates the $2.5 billion toward assisting local governments with addressing water emergencies, paying for infrastructure construction projects and investigating and mitigating contaminants in drinking water. “Cities in central New York like a lot of older cities in the state have been suffering with water pipes breaking literally, and it’s not sexy but it’s important and it’s expensive,” Cuomo said Wednesday in Syracuse. “So we have $2.5 billion to help cities rebuild their water infrastructure.” (April 14, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - This is where our local media is failing us. Media should connect the Climate Change dots. Rather than simply characterizing the threat of the invasive species Hydrilla in our Finger Lakes as a problem with boating and fishing and a brief mention to water quality, our local media should also be mentioning that the increase in many invasive species that wreck our local ecosystems is due to Climate Change. Warmer waters are making our Northern water bodies friendlier to Southern invasive species. One of the reasons we put climate deniers into office and fail to plan for our local environmental problems accurately is because our media won’t demonstrate to our public the local connections to the consequences of Climate Change. “Invasive species originating in warmer climates are moving north, exemplified by the sudden threat of Hydrilla to Cayuga Lake (and potentially across the Great Lakes Basin), and the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid to our steep-banked, cool-water creeks.” Climate Change & Related Issues Cayuga Lake Watershed Network   Hydrilla threatens to overtake Finger Lakes Fast-spreading aquatic plant growing in Cayuga Lake can choke off waterways and make boating and fishing nearly impossible Hydrilla, a weed that grows like crazy and can eventually choke waterways and kill recreation, is now found throughout 27 acres in Cayuga Lake. If left to spread, the plant — which can grow 6 to 8 inches per day — could eventually overtake not just Cayuga but other Finger Lakes, including Canandaigua. “If hydrilla takes root it will grow at record speed, leaving millions in economic damage to Cayuga Lake in its wake,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday in a press conference at Cayuga Lake State Park in Seneca Falls where he called for federal funding to fight hydrilla. “Seneca County and the Finger Lakes region generates millions in economic activity, in large part due to the tourists, boaters, and fisherman who visit these true treasures every year. A single aquatic plant could put all of that at risk,” Schumer continued. (April 13, 2017) Daily Messenger [more on Finger Lakes and Water Quality and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - With Climate Change, there will be heat. Is our community prepared for heat stress, especially those vulnerable to heatwaves—the young, the sick, the elderly, those who live alone without help in case of a power failure, which tends to happen when everyone is running their ACs? Can our public health system handle more extreme weather? Now is the time to ask, not after the fact. Early Heat Wave Bakes India, Sign of What’s to Come Temperatures across northern India, including the capital New Delhi, are set to soar well above 100°F (37.8°C) through the weekend and into next week thanks to a pre-monsoon heat wave that has set in somewhat earlier than normal. Such heat waves are expected to become both more common and more intense as the world warms from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, in India and elsewhere, posing a threat to public health. Studies have suggested that India will be a particular hotspot for populations stressed by the combination of extreme heat and humidity. (April 13, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - You go into Climate Change with the environment you have, so if your environment isn’t sustainable already, you’re going to be at a great disadvantage from the start. Water, the gold of the future, must be clean and ready for billions of people going into more dire environmental changes. Two billion people drinking polluted water worldwide: WHO Dramatic improvements are needed in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, warning that nearly two billion people currently use fecal-contaminated water. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because they are forced to drink contaminated water, the WHO said, urging large investments to help provide universal access to safe drinking water. (April 13, 2017) Press TV [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - Within the City of Rochester, we have an old growth park: WASHINGTON GROVE PRESERVATION PROJECT Washington Grove is a city owned woodland area nestled on the eastern edge of Cobbs Hill Reservoir. “Urban old growth forests like the ancient preserve and the North Woods tend to harbor greater ecological complexity and biological diversity while giving city-dwellers a glimpse of what their states looked like before white colonists began cutting forests centuries ago” Respect the elderly: Saving cities’ oldest trees Old growth forests are increasingly rare in US cities—protecting these health-boosting relics from bulldozers, invasives and apathy is no easy feat. Jeff Stant was nervous. He passed easily through the undergrowth and spring pools of an unlikely old growth forest standing five miles from downtown Indianapolis, but he was looking out for contractors working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “I’m waiting for some people to show up and tell us to leave,” said Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance. Over the background noise of chickadees, crunching leaves, humming traffic and a leaf blower clearing the shoulder along 42nd Street, Stant spent that morning in early March extolling the virtues of the Crown Hill North Woods — a 15-acre pre-settlement relict of the flatwood swamp forest that once covered much of the state. His organization spent the past year working to spare the woods from a VA plan to clear part of the land for a National Cemetery. “You can count the number of forests you have like this basically on two hands in the northern two-thirds of this state,” Stant said. (April 13, 2017) Environmental Health News [more on Plants in our area]

  • 4/13/2017 - Free Science from Politics! U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL nails it: A country as large and complicated MUST get on the same page on SCIENCE. Nelson, near Trump’s Palm Beach resort, calls for end to attacks on climate science  Three years after he held a field hearing in Miami Beach to draw attention to a region at ground zero for climate change, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson convened a second hearing in West Palm Beach on Monday with a new target: the Trump administration’s attack on climate science. Held just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s vulnerable island retreat, the hearing highlighted worsening conditions — and the need to free science from politics. “There are people trying to muzzle scientists. I’ve seen it in Washington. I’ve seen it here in the state of Florida,” said Nelson, a Democrat and the state’s former insurance commissioner. (April 10, 2017) Miami Herald [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/13/2017 - Here’s why we #StandUpForScience: Powerful ideologies in Washington really want to rip out science by the roots. However crazy, we can’t let that happen. Get engaged. Be there on Earth Day. #climatechangeadaptation #adaptingtoClimateChange #StandUpForScience #climatechangeshealth #ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange #BeInconvenient #PeoplesClimate #RochesterNY Scott Pruitt Faces Anger From Right Over E.P.A. Finding He Won’t Fight When President Trump chose the Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, his mission was clear: Carry out Mr. Trump’s campaign vows to radically reduce the size and scope of the agency and take apart President Barack Obama’s ambitious climate change policies. In his first weeks on the job, Mr. Pruitt drew glowing praise from foes of Mr. Obama’s agenda against global warming, as he moved to roll back its centerpiece, known as the Clean Power Plan, and expressed agreement with those who said the E.P.A. should be eliminated. His actions and statements have galvanized protests from environmentalists and others on the left. But now a growing chorus of critics on the other end of the political spectrum say Mr. Pruitt has not gone far enough. In particular, they are angry that he has refused to challenge a landmark agency determination known as the endangerment finding, which provides the legal basis for Mr. Obama’s Clean Power Plan and other global warming policies. (April 12, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.

  • 4/13/2017 - I know, permafrost probably isn’t on your radar or really your ‘thing.’ But now we’ve gone and broken it and now we own it. We are melting vast swaths of formerly frozen ground that used to hold a lot of greenhouse gases and now those gasses are going into our atmosphere warming up the planet quicker than we ever thought possible. Looks like hardy ole Earth is much more sensitive than we thought. We ain’t putting this Humpty Dumpty permafrost back together again and we’re going to have to deal with the consequences. Going into denial ain’t gonna work. Time passes. Each degree of warming thaws India-sized area of permafrost – study Frozen tundra may be more sensitive to rising temperatures than previously thought, releasing methane and worsening global warming Permafrost, the layer of permanently frozen ground that lies just beneath the Earth’s surface in the polar regions, has been found to be more sensitive to the effects of global warming than climatology had recognised. In a study published in Nature Climate Change journal, scientists say they expect the warming to thaw about 20% more permafrost than previously thought, potentially releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere. (April 4, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - Trump isn’t being 'unclear' about Climate Change, he’s being coy. Just trying to squirm out of our county’s responsibility. Sad. Four emerging countries are pushing the US to stop being 'unclear' about climate change China, Brazil, India and South Africa have urged industrialized countries to honor financial commitments made in Paris in 2015 to help developing countries fight against global climate change, they said in a statement on Tuesday. Following a meeting in Beijing, climate change ministers from the "BASIC" bloc of four major emerging economies called on rich countries "to honor their commitments and increase climate finance towards the $100 billion goal", and said more clarity was needed to "track and account for" those pledges. (April 12, 2017) Business Insider [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - As the number two top emitter of greenhouse gasses, shouldn’t the U.S. give a rat’s ass about Climate Change? Is that unreasonable? Am I missing something? Because, say, if you’re the number two reason why your basketball team loses every game, wouldn’t it be prudent for the team’s coach to do something about that? This Interactive Chart Explains World’s Top 10 Emitters, and How They’ve Changed A lot has happened since countries met in Paris in 2015 and agreed on an accord to combat climate change. So far, more than 140 countries have ratified or otherwise joined the Paris Agreement, representing more than 80 percent of global emissions. Several major economies, including Canada, Germany and Mexico, have also developed long-term plans to decarbonize their economies. As countries implement their targets and policies and develop more detailed pathways to reduce their emissions, it’s important to fully understand our global emissions picture and how it has changed over time. WRI recently updated its CAIT Climate Data Explorer on the world’s top greenhouse gas-emitting countries with the latest global data available (2013). Here’s an interactive chart to explore it by country and by economic sector, showing how the top emitters have changed in recent years. (April 11, 2017) World Resources Institute [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - A must-read local newsletter The Banner, Vol. 3, No. 15 - States of Resistance, from our friends over at We Are Seneca Lake.

  • 4/12/2017 - Something to live by: If climate scientists are worried about present Climate Change consequences, we should be worried too. Ignoring scientists is like dismissing your car mechanic who says your car ain’t going to make it. Great Barrier Reef at 'terminal stage': scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data ‘Last year was bad enough, this is a disaster,’ says one expert as Australia Research Council finds fresh damage across 8,000km Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found. The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover. (April 9, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - Students in Rochester, NY and probably around the U.S. understand Climate Change. They understand that their future is at risk. Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids didn’t have to brainstorm their way around Trump’s anti-science administration in order to have a sustainable future? Shouldn’t us adults be fixing our climate so it’s fit for our kids? The Rochester Youth Climate Summit was one of the many events of Earth Month in Rochester. There’s more events coming and a chance to bus to DC for the People Climate Mobilization March on April 29th. Students come together to fight climate change Rochester, N.Y. - Middle and high school students put their heads together Sunday at the Rochester Museum & Science Center to brainstorm ideas on how to fight climate change. It all happened at the Climate Summit, which was held by the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders. (April 9, 2017) WHAM Rochester [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 4/12/2017 - Extreme weather isn’t a fluke anymore if it happens all the time. Did last winter seem a little extreme to you? Maybe, because it was. Maybe we’re getting so used to extreme weather that we don’t notice that the new normal is extreme. One of the strange characteristics of being human is the shifting baseline syndrome, where we tend to get so used to the new normal that we forget that they aren’t normal. Like Presidential behavior, where the new normal of the behavior of our present President isn’t as outlandish and unprecedented as we first thought. With winter weather, we’ve become used to wild swings between lots of snow and little. It is with the help of science and careful monitoring that we know our winters have been shifting radically according to the predictions of Climate Change in our area. We should be backing science and get our politicians to plan for more extreme weather because it ain’t just a fluke. Normal About America’s Freakish Winter Weather A tornado in Massachusetts, wildfires in the Great Plains, and record snow in the Sierra Nevada. It’s been a weird winter. It’s not your imagination. The weather has been weird. So weird, in fact, it’s had an almost biblical feel: a February tornado in Massachusetts; record wildfires across the Great Plains and beyond; more snow than ever in the Sierra Nevada; and temperatures whiplashing from balmy to frigid, killing crops and coaxing flowers out of their winter slumber. While some of the swings may result from chance, scientists agree climate change is adding to weather mayhem and that the world will have to brace for worse. President Donald Trump is also seeking to roll back measures to fight global warming, saying the regulations kill jobs. “The bottom line: It’s not just in our minds that the weather is changing,” said David Titley, a meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University. “It is changing, and changing rapidly in ways we understand and ways we are just beginning to examine.” (April 10, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/11/2017 - Take home message on Trump’s anti-environmental assaults: There will be marches and litigation and a lot of our money spent protecting what we already had. Sad. Trump moves to open Atlantic coast to oil drilling for first time in more than 30 years The White House is taking steps that could open up new areas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to offshore oil and gas drilling, according to multiple individuals briefed on the proposal. The White House is considering an executive order instructing the Interior Department to reverse President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of hundreds of millions of offshore acres from future drilling in December. The executive order — which could come out in the next few weeks — represents President Trump’s latest attempt to promote domestic energy exploration by rolling back restrictions put in place by previous administrations, though it would take considerable time for Interior to carry out aspects of the proposed directive. (April 7, 2017) The Washington Post

  • 4/11/2017 - Been waiting for the DEC report on the investigation of the Kodak pollution on the lower Genesee River? Be nice if someone would boil down this lengthy, wonky report into something the public can actually understand. My take (and I’m not an expert or a scientist) is that yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in the Genesee River, but it probably cannot be linked to Kodak. The report is out but it’s really detailed: RCRA FACILITY INVESTIGATION for the Lower Genesee River (Operable Unit 5 of the Eastman Business Park) March 2017: This is the summary: “Nature and Extent of Contamination Historical sample results and analytical data compiled as part of this RFI were compared to applicable and appropriate screening levels for each media to assess potential impacts to the lower Genesee River and to develop an understanding of the distribution of environmental contaminants. Contaminants of concern identified in the lower Genesee River based on exceedances of NYSDEC criteria or guidance values include the following: Silver and other metals Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) Pesticides/herbicides Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Dioxins/furans While these compounds have been identified as contaminants of concern, they are not all necessarily attributable to historic EBP operations.” To read the whole report, which is so long you have to download it or go someplace and read it, the DEC says “Because of the large file size, the full investigation report is available on request through DEC's file transfer service. To request access, send email to: here. ” The report also is available for review at the following locations: Maplewood Community Library, 1111 Dewey Avenue, Rochester, NY 14613; Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14612; NYSDEC Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414-9519, Open Monday – Friday,(585) 226-5324, Please call for appointment.” Whew! Genesee River Project - Investigation Report Available DEC has issued a report on investigation of the lower Genesee River. The investigation assessed the effects of historic releases from Kodak's operations at the Eastman Business Park (EBP) located in Rochester, New York. The investigation identified EBP-related contamination of certain river sediments, wetland/floodplain soils, and biota (fish/mussels) that has the potential to adversely affect ecological receptors at some locations. The investigation also identified the potential for human exposures to EBP-related contaminated wetland/floodplain soils and biota (fish/mussels). The primary EBP-related contaminant of concern is silver. While the potential for adverse risk to ecological and human receptors appears to be relatively low and localized, DEC will undertake a Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to further evaluate these exposure pathways, and to identify and evaluate possible cleanup options that could be taken to reduce exposures. (March 2017) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (More on the Genesee River and  Brownfields in our area]

  • 4/11/2017 - How many of you actually voted for Trump to make our life support unsustainable? Did you mean to give what's left of our environment to the polluters so we can all choke and die? Or, is making life impossible just one of those collateral damages that come with having a president who promises to fix everything that annoys you? We are all going to suffer greatly for this colossal lack of judgment. What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts What is at stake as Congress considers the E.P.A. budget? Far more than climate change. The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging. It seeks to shrink spending by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs. The cuts are so deep that even Republican lawmakers are expected to push back. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the chairwoman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, pointedly reminded Mr. Trump last month that his budget request was just “the first step in a long process.” Here are some proposed cuts that are likely to face resistance when the budget reaches Congress. (April 10, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/11/2017 - #MarchForScience will happen on #EarthDay in #RochesterNY and around the country. No one can sit on the sidelines of science. No one should sit on the sidelines when science is being discounted. Local scientists, supporters plan to March for Science on Earth Day Adding to growing momentum for the upcoming national "March for Science," a Rochester contingent is planning a series of science-related events and activities for Earth Day. The Rochester "March for Science" on April 22 will kick off with a 9:30 a.m. rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Manhattan Square Park, to be followed by a march to the first-ever Rochester Science Expo, which begins at noon at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E. Main Street. Organizers announced their event on Monday at Rochester City Hall. Amanda Preske, who holds a PhD in Chemistry from University of Rochester is the founder of Circuit Breaker Labs in Rochester and an organizer of the March for Science. She said one aim of the event is to help show the tight links between science and everyday life. Her company, which has three employees, makes jewelry from recycled electronics. (April 10, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/10/2017 - Unlike the Trump administration which bases its Climate Change policy on ideology, New York is going science based. Superb! But, we must realize that states, or nations for that matter, cannot do it alone on addressing Climate Change. At the state level, much can be done to adapt to Climate Change by protecting the public health, upgrading our infrastructures, and working with other states and the federal government on joint projects. As for mitigation, or stopping more global warming, everyone—individuals, cities, rural communities, states, and nations—all need to be on the same science-based page to address this worldwide crisis. States can do a lot, but without a responsible, science-based policy and action from the US federal government and other nations, we will not able to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes. Time is running out. Time is not on our side. New York Adopts Science-Based Sea Level Rise Projections New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday that the state has adopted official sea-level rise projections to help state agencies and coastal communities plan for the impacts of climate change, becoming one of the first states in the nation to formalize sea level rise projections. The DEC first proposed the projection regulations in October of 2015. The projections are based on peer-reviewed research conducted by scientists at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Hunter College as part of the New York State ClimAID study, which included consideration of possible rapid melt of land-based ice in Antarctica and Greenland. (February 7, 2017) East End Beacon [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/10/2017 - We must switch gears to renewables immediately to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees by 2020. The Single Shining Hope to Stop Climate Change | Science is under attack at the very moment when we need it most. President Donald Trump’s March 28 executive order went much further than simply throwing a lifeline to fossil fuels, as industry-funded congressional climate change–deniers have done in the past. It intentionally blinded the federal government to the impacts of climate change by abolishing an interagency group that measured the cost of carbon to public health and the environment. Now, the government won’t have a coordinated way to account for damages from climate change when assessing the costs and benefits of a particular policy. With that in mind, Trump should read the landmark “2020” report now published by Mission 2020, a group of experts convened by the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangeThe report establishes a timeline for how we can ensure a safe and stable climate. We don’t have much time — 2020 is a clear turning point. (April 8, 2017) Time [more on Climate Change in our area]

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