Updated Daily  1/16/2018 RochesterEnvironment.com

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


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

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

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

Follow FrankRrrr on Twitter 

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

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

RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology.  Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules.  Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.

 

Often I post new items to inform about Climate Change Been getting down because there’s so much climate denial and global warming misinformation out there? Cheer up, learn the denial tricks and symptoms. Check out Skeptical Science, Getting Skeptical about global warming skepticism. Think about taking this free course—Making sense of climate science denial—it’s awesome informative and well designed. Help free the world of climate denial so humanity can act on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes.

 We Don't Get It!

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

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

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

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

 

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

 

Bookmark and Share

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

Rochester area NewsLinks.

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

CheckerDaily CO2 Mauna Loa Observatory  |  Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations: January 10, 2018 408.13 ppm  NOAA-ESRL January 10, 2017 405.95 ppm  (from CO2-Earth)

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter January 14, 2018 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 - Tuesday, January 16, 2018

  • Michigan wants lead out of all pipes in 20 years The Department of Environmental Quality (DEQ) has proposed replacing all lead water pipes in Michigan within the next 20 years. “The new rules would require [municipalities] to start removing lead service lines at an average rate of 5 percent per year, which would get us to 100 percent over 20 years,” said Eric Oswald, director of the Michigan DEQ’s Drinking Water and Municipal Assistance Division. The rules would also reduce the acceptable level of lead in drinking water from 15 parts per billion to 10 parts per billion, Oswald said. But the main objective of the changes is to get lead out of drinking water. (January 10, 2018) Great Lakes Echo [more on Lead Poisoning in our area]

  • Research aims to predict algae blooms on lakes, rivers There's a whole network of satellites, underwater robots and scientific tools watching for toxic algae on Lake Erie. But when it comes to predicting where and when harmful blooms will show up on the Ohio's rivers and reservoirs, there's still a lot of mystery. Researchers now are beginning to look at how to determine which waterways around the state are at the greatest risk and when a crisis could be on the way. Doing that also could point the way to preventing it from happening and provide a model for states around the nation seeing an increasing number of waterways plagued by harmful algae. (January 13, 2018) Huron Daily Tribune [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • Alaska releases first detailed report on negative health impacts of climate change On Monday, the state Division of Public Health released the first comprehensive report about the adverse health impacts climate change could have on Alaskans. The sweeping list of potential health implications include the introduction of new diseases; an increase in accidents; an increase in anxiety and depression; a worsening allergy season; and increasingly dangerous hunting and harvesting conditions limiting subsistence activity. State health officials say the 77-page report is meant to raise awareness of how climate change could impact public health in a state where, over the past century, the air and water temperatures have warmed faster than the rest of the country. (January 8, 2018) Achorage Daily News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Human Emissions Made Ocean Heat Wave 53 Times More Likely Three 2016 marine heat waves that killed whales, birds, corals, and shellfish from Australia to Alaska were many times more likely thanks to climate change. The consequences for Alaska were stark: dozens of whales died, as did thousands of common murres and tufted puffins, while sealife native to the tropics came up in nets pulled from sub-Arctic seas. But an unusual mass of warm water nicknamed "the blob," which appeared off Alaska and hung around through 2016, didn't occur in isolation. In northern Australia in 2016, high ocean heat bleached hundreds of miles of corals, killed mangroves, and destroyed giant clams. Off New Zealand, an ocean hot spell wiped out black abalone and brought an oyster-killing disease. Just as atmospheric shifts can bring droughts and nasty heat waves on land, shifts in weather or ocean circulation also can spark deadly marine heat waves, which can thoroughly scramble life at sea. But until recently scientists understood little about what role climate change might play in these extreme sea events. (January 16, 2018) National Geographic [more on Climate Change in our area]


News Highlight

Don’t sacrifice Romulus, NY for trash incineration              

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

On Jan. 7, 2018, I attended the Trash Incinerator Forum in Romulus, NY. (A complete video of the forum is here.) The forum began with an introduction by Judith Enck, former head of the EPA Region 2, for the main speaker: Dr. Paul Connett, Professor Emeritus in Environmental Chemistry at St. Lawrence University in Canton, NY.

BTW: Judith Enck is a hero due to her outspoken criticism of the Pruitt EPA. What EPA chief Scott Pruitt promised — and what he’s done But Judith Enck, a New York-based regional EPA administrator under former President Barack Obama, said Pruitt’s rhetoric doesn’t match his record. “You can’t have clean air and you can’t have clean water if you’re going to roll back crucial environmental rules and not enforce the rules we have on the book,” said Enck, who recently returned from seeing hurricane damage in the Virgin Islands. “We’ll see the effects very soon.” (11/19/2017, Politico)

There was much in the forum that suggested that installing one of the largest waste incinerators in the USA in a small community between two of the largest of the Finger Lakes (Seneca and Cayuga) was a bad idea. This from the forum’s handout:

“It’s Bad for our Environment: A 260-foot smokestack would emit dangerous air pollutants including: dioxin, lead, mercury, particulates, acid gasses and nitrogen oxides which are a real problem for grape production. To make the same amount of energy, trash incinerations emit 2.5 times as much carbon dioxide than coal power plants. Carbon dioxide is a major cause of climate change. Burning garbage does not eliminate the need for landfills. Just like a wood stove or fire place produces ash after wood burning, burning garbage creates ash that needs to be landfilled. The fly ash is very toxic. Circular energy says they will use the ash to create new products—a bad idea that often does not work. Seneca County is already home to the Seneca meadows Landfill. Garbage is not a renewable resource and burning garbage is not legally considered a renewable energy source in New York State. Instead, we need companies to invest in real, clear renewable energy projects such as solar, wind, geothermal, small scale hydro and fuel cells and energy efficiency. Clean energy projects create local jobs that do not pollute communities. Rather than burning garbage, we need Zero Waste policies that prioritize was reductions (plastic bag bans, polystyrene bans) recycling, and composting green waste and food waste. These are the strategies that will protect agriculture, tourism and our health. (from Seneca Lake Guardian’s handout “Keep the FLX Beautiful…”)”

As the former chair of the Rochester Sierra Club’s Zero Waste Committee, I’m glad that Dr. Connett took the time to explain critical alternatives to burning waste—Zero Waste. Many regions around the country and the world are gravitating towards eliminating waste altogether by not creating it. Cradle-to-cradle design, where industry takes responsibility for their products from conception to end-of-use, promises to do just that. We need to move towards Zero Waste. We are not going to have a sustainable existence if we encourage the delusion that we can continually buy stuff then throw it in a big hole or burn it.

Communities around the country, desperate for jobs and keen to preserving their healthy environment, are going to be lured into large industry proposals as our economy and the need to accommodate a growing population advances. Despite a push by the Trump administration there are going to be few communities considering large coal operations anymore because they just don’t pay. As we go further into Climate Change, communities are going to be asked to support good energy options (like wind and solar), and they’ll be asked to support bad options (like sacrificing their local environment to support landfills, pipelines, Fracking operations, and trash incinerators).  It is increasingly critical that we learn to tell the difference.

The inclination of local leaders concerned about their community’s welfare is to try to strike a balance between a healthy environment and jobs. But this historical attitude doesn’t make any sense as we go deeper into Climate Change. Climate Change, the crisis of our warming planet, is also about the accumulated effects of all our past environmental abuses. Climate Change has taught us that our environment is far more sensitive to pollution and temperature rises than we thought. Climate Change action plans, like Rochester’s Climate Action Plan, highlight the priorities communities must now adopt in order to responsibly address the challenges of energy use, land use, public health, and much more. The notion of a balance between nature and jobs is a historical stance—not science.   more...

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive

Green Business.

Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.

Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:

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

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

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

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

Event Highlight:

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

Sunday, January 7, 2018, 3:30PM   

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

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

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

 

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

 

Help Prevent the Trash Incinerator!

 

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

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

 350.org

350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  

 

Green Events.

RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.

Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...      

January 2018

  • Tuesday, January 16 at 5:30 PM - 6:30 PM pin Show Map 75 College Ave, Rochester, NY 14607-1009, United States
    • Free Home Energy Efficiency & Solar Education Workshop Public  · Hosted by SunCommon New York and PathStone Corporation | Join Pathstone and SunCommon at this FREE workshop to find out how you can qualify for a FREE or reduced cost home energy assessment and a FREE solar analysis. Pathstone will show you how you can qualify for a free or reduced cost home energy assessment. A family of four that earns less than $70,752 a year can qualify for a 50% subsidy of up to $4,000 towards an energy efficient furnace, insulation, or other efficiency measures.  Have you ever been interested in learning about solar energy, and how it all works in Rochester? SunCommon will be on-site to provide information and let you know how YOU have the ability to power your home with renewable energy.  SunCommon is a Certified B Corp with a triple bottom line of people, planet, and profit. We are a local, employee-owned solar company located off 104 East and the first in Rochester to offer Community Solar, in addition to Rooftop and Commercial Solar. Whether you own or rent, you can Go Solar easily and affordably. suncommon.com/ny/
  • Save the date for one of these public meetings with the Town Supervisors and reps from the Canal Corporation: Wed, Jan. 17, 6pm at the Perinton Community Center, 1350 Turk Hill Rd., Fairport, 14450 | Thurs. Jan. 18, 6pm at Pittsford Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Rd, Pittsford, 14534
    • Help Stop the Erie Canal Clear Cut  The new owners of the Erie Canal in NYS are the NY Power Authority and their subsidiary the Canal Corporation. They have begun clear-cutting a total of 155 acres of trees wherever there's a tall embankment containing the canal in Orleans and Monroe Counties. They say it is for safety, even though trees have never caused a breach or other problem in the canal's 200 year history. While the damage has already been done in Western Monroe County, with huge public outcry we may be able to stop it in Brighton, Pittsford, and Perinton. Of course, trees and other green foliage are how nature takes carbon out of the air.  Trees are essential to combating climate change!  Plus, issues of property values, habitat, and tourism are at stake here. The state agencies are moving quickly. They claim that a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR) process-- which requires public input prior to the action-- isn't necessary. Based on Department of Environmental Conservation guidelines, which say that any clear-cutting requires a SEQR process, many citizens including the Town Supervisors of Brighton, PIttsford, and Perinton, think it is required. The goal is to get the state agencies to halt all on-the-ground action until they can reach an agreement with Town officials and the public. For background information, including maps of the proposed cut locations, see here. To get strategic updates including what you can do, ask to join the Facebook page, here, or search Facebook for "Stop the Canal Clear Cut." Save the date for one of these public meetings with the Town Supervisors and reps from the Canal Corporation: Wed, Jan. 17, 6pm at the Perinton Community Center, 1350 Turk Hill Rd., Fairport, 14450 Thurs. Jan. 18, 6pm at Pittsford Mendon High School, 472 Mendon Rd, Pittsford, 14534
  • January 20, 2018, 2:00-5:00 p.m. hosted by Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14626.
    • Healing the Great Divides January  20 The Rochester community is invited to come together across the lines of political party, race, class, culture, religion, and national origin to Healing the Great Divides, 2:00-5:00 p.m. January 20, 2018, hosted by Greece Baptist Church, 1230 Long Pond Road, Rochester, NY 14626.  This interactive program will give participants the perspectives and tools needed to create bridges of human-to-human understanding and respect in our deeply divided world.  This event is presented by Rochester Pachamama Alliance in collaboration with the Rochester National Coalition Building Institute.
  • January 27, 11:00 am -5:00 pm p.m. Rochester Vegan Community Center, 14 Edmonds Street, Rochester 14607
    • Grand Opening Find out more about this first of its kind center.  We will have local business, non-profits and of course food. Admission is free. There will be a talk at 4:00 by Demosthenes Maratos: "Veganism is Environmentalism."  Please see our Facebook for more details.  There is a ticketed dinner and show following at 6:00 pm.  Enjoy a delicious dinner catered by Everyday Gourmet followed by a performance of The Animal Show by the amazing Michael Harren.  $50.

February 2018

  • February 9, 7:30 PM, The Clover Center for the Arts and Spirituality, 1101 Clover St., Rochester 14610

    • "Night Lights in Alaska"  February 9, 7:30 PM, The Clover Center for the Arts and Spirituality, 1101 Clover St., Rochester 14610 Come on a photographic journey to the Fairbanks area and learn about the Northern Lights, as well as other points of interest. Presenter Martha Zettel will also share the experience of meeting the first woman to finish the Iditarod Race. Sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Nature Club. www.facebook.com/banc.roc/

  • WEDNESDAY, FEB. 28 6:30PM Brighton Memorial Library 2300 Emwood Ave, Brighton, NY

    • FILM SHOWING: BEFORE THE FLOOD Join Color Brighton Green for a film showing of Before the Flood. Produced by Martin Scorcese and starring Leonardo DiCaprio, this film takes viewers on a journey across the globe to investigate the impact of man-made global warming. DiCaprio meets with leaders such as Barack Obama, Elon Musk, Pope Francis, and Lindsey Allen to explore ways to reverse and combat climate change. Film length: 1 hour, 36 minutes. For more info, Kourtney at info@colorbrightongreen.org

 

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

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

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

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



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

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Are we helpless in the face of the Trump administration’s attacks on our environmental protections? No, says the NRDC. Find out more: "FIGHTING THE TRUMP AGENDA, A step-b-by-step guide to Trump's attacks on the environment and how you can help NRDC stop him | President Trump faces many hurdles in his quest to dismantle our system of environmental protections. Here, we document those steps, alongside NRDC’s actions to thwart Trump policies that attack our air, water, and wild spaces. We will also continuously update the page with steps you can take—because the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda is you. "Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • If you've been reading all the reports coming in about plastics in our oceans, you must be looking for a way to stop this kind of pollution. Take Action: Save our Oceans - End plastic pollution now! "By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.  It’s shameful. Half of the plastic made we use just once and throw out, choking our seas and all the animals in it.  But in days, our governments can stem this tide when they meet at a historic summit to outline their clean ocean commitments. Public pressure just got #2 polluter Indonesia to commit to a 70% reduction in plastic waste! Now we need to go after the other top polluters. If one million of us get behind a global call the Head of the UN Environment Programme will announce our petition from the summit podium and work with us to push countries to ban single-use plastics and let our oceans breathe again. Add your name. " (Avaaz )
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Don’t let all the work we have put into environmental protections since the 1970’s be gutted. Stand up for our absolute right to have a healthy, thriving life support system—our environment. There is no ‘balance’ between industrial rights and humanity’s fundamental right to clean water, air, and land. The silent majority must awake from what is being done to our EPA. Stop the Attacks on Our Environment and Health: Save The EPA! To be delivered to: New York and Connecticut Congressional Delegation The President has proposed to slash the EPA budget, eliminate funding for programs to restore the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, and cut programs to fight climate change. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of its responsibilities and put our environment, health, and economy at an unacceptable risk! I urge Congress to provide full funding for the EPA and critical programs that it administers, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Long Island Sound restoration, and efforts to fight climate change. (from Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Got bike? Got an old bike not being used? Why not donate that bike to R Community Bikes (RCB) and help others get around—without carbon emissions. Action Transportation (walking and bicycling) is increasing in Rochester and you can help get our city more climate friendly. Find out more about BikeRochester and our city’s draft Climate Action Plan that we are still waiting for passage.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply.  We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December.  Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
  • ACTION due date: NOW!
    • Winds of Change by @revkin on Twitter, on Facebook  , or by email on ProPublica is a great way to “to keep track of subsequent changes on federal websites as the Trump administration settles in.” We must remain vigilant on making use our climate science is not being hijacked by ideology in these troublesome times. Much of the public’s and the media’s information on Climate Change comes from federal websites so you’re help is needed in tracking any wavering from the climate facts we need in order to have a sustainable life support system. Help Us Track Winds of Change as Trump Confronts Climate Issues If you see something, say something. ProPublica is eager to get tips on shifts in available government information related to climate change. Until late morning on Friday, the White House homepage had an “issues” link to a page on the environment touting former President Obama’s efforts to build a “clean-energy economy” and tackle climate change. It’s still viewable via archive.org, but almost as soon as President Donald J. Trump’s hand was off the Bible, White House websites flipped to content consistent with Trump’s campaign pledges to roll back such programs. The live White House homepage now reflects President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, including a link to his energy plan, which includes “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan” of his predecessor. (January 20, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
     
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

 

FreePressFree Press is a national, nonpartisan, nonprofit organization working to reform the media. Through education, organizing and advocacy, we promote diverse and independent media ownership, strong public media, quality journalism, and universal access to communications.

Daily  Updates.

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

  • My COMMENTS are in Bold text:

  • 1/16/2018 - In places like Alaska, where temperatures are risings faster than the rest of the USA, we can see more dramatic public health effects of Climate Change. But Alaska should not be our guinea pig. We should all be preparing. Alaska releases first detailed report on negative health impacts of climate change On Monday, the state Division of Public Health released the first comprehensive report about the adverse health impacts climate change could have on Alaskans. The sweeping list of potential health implications include the introduction of new diseases; an increase in accidents; an increase in anxiety and depression; a worsening allergy season; and increasingly dangerous hunting and harvesting conditions limiting subsistence activity. State health officials say the 77-page report is meant to raise awareness of how climate change could impact public health in a state where, over the past century, the air and water temperatures have warmed faster than the rest of the country. (January 8, 2018) Achorage Daily News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/16/2018 - What is an ‘ocean heat wave’? What are the consequences of them? What’s the connection with Climate Change? Human Emissions Made Ocean Heat Wave 53 Times More Likely Three 2016 marine heat waves that killed whales, birds, corals, and shellfish from Australia to Alaska were many times more likely thanks to climate change. The consequences for Alaska were stark: dozens of whales died, as did thousands of common murres and tufted puffins, while sealife native to the tropics came up in nets pulled from sub-Arctic seas. But an unusual mass of warm water nicknamed "the blob," which appeared off Alaska and hung around through 2016, didn't occur in isolation. In northern Australia in 2016, high ocean heat bleached hundreds of miles of corals, killed mangroves, and destroyed giant clams. Off New Zealand, an ocean hot spell wiped out black abalone and brought an oyster-killing disease. Just as atmospheric shifts can bring droughts and nasty heat waves on land, shifts in weather or ocean circulation also can spark deadly marine heat waves, which can thoroughly scramble life at sea. But until recently scientists understood little about what role climate change might play in these extreme sea events. (January 16, 2018) National Geographic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/15/2018 - Pretty funny, Rochester, NY media so agog that Weather Channel did 20,000th Live Shot weather event in our city they missed Climate Change connection. At the end of the article, Mike Seidel says, “"I will tell you just from experience that the weather has become more extreme," Seidel said. " ... If anybody says the weather is not getting extreme, I'll show my travel log."” Rochester's snowfall brings The Weather Channel's Mike Seidel for 20,000th live shot (Jannuary 13, 2018) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/15/2018 - Imagine heating cities with cold winters (like Rochester, NY) with ‘district heating’ but not fossil fuels. Some cities are doing just that. “A district heating scheme is a network of insulated pipes used to deliver heat, in the form of hot water or steam, from where it is generated to wherever it is to be used.” District heating warms cities without fossil fuels Many cities which endure cold winters are adapting district heating schemes to keep people warm without the use of fossil fuels. Heating homes and offices without adding to the dangers of climate change is a major challenge for many cities, but re-imagined district heating is now offering an answer. A district heating scheme is a network of insulated pipes used to deliver heat, in the form of hot water or steam, from where it is generated to wherever it is to be used. As a way of providing warmth for thousands of homes, typically in multi-storey apartment buildings, district heating has a long history in eastern Europe and Russia. But the hot water it distributes typically comes from power stations burning coal or gas, which means more greenhouse gas emissions. Tapping into other forms of producing hot water, from renewable energy, bio-gas or capturing waste heat from industrial production, supermarkets or IT systems, provides alternative sources of large scale heating without adding to the carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. Sweden has pioneered the switch from fossil fuels to other ways of heating water. The Swedish Environmental Protection Agency says  the country has gone from almost exclusively relying on fossil fuels to being 90% powered by renewable and recycled heat in 2017. (January 15, 2018) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/15/2018 - Great public service by Climate Central and others to help inform about specific extreme weather events and how they may be related to Climate Change. This is a valuable tool I hope the media uses to help the public understand that our world is warming and the need to act is urgent.World Weather Attribution (WWA) is an international effort to analyze and communicate the possible influence of climate change on extreme weather events, such as storms, extreme rainfall, heat waves, cold spells, and droughts. Recognizing society’s interest in reducing the human, economic, and environmental costs of weather-related disasters, WWA delivers timely and scientifically reliable information on how extreme weather may be affected by climate change. WWA is a partnership of Climate Central, the University of Oxford Environmental Change Institute (Oxford ECI), the Royal Netherlands Meteorological Institute (KNMI), the University of Melbourne, and the Red Cross Red Crescent Climate Centre (the Climate Centre). Climate Central also administers WWA. WWA was initiated in late 2014 after the scientific community concluded that the emerging science of extreme event attribution could be operationalized.”

  • 1/13/2018 - Be nice if local media (like Rochester, NY’s) put recent spate of cold snaps in the context of Climate Change instead of late shopping mall openings due to a heavy snow dump. We are experiencing weather extremes, which probably have a global warming connection. That should be discussed—as it is in other media—to familiarize the public with the changes already happening in a warming world. Time passes. In a fast-warming world, scientists say recent cold wave was exceptionally weird The record-crushing cold that rang in 2018 was like a blast from the past that will become increasingly rare. For much of the Eastern United States, the polar vortex unleashed the coldest start to a calendar year in recorded history. The punishing cold was exceptional for both its strength and duration, shattering scores of records and persisting two weeks after its invasion on Christmas Eve. (January 11, 2018) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 1/13/2018 - @realDonaldTrump must STOP RACISM and START working with the rest of the world to address Climate Change. Our media’s attention needs to be diverted from Trump’s outrages and focused on how quickly our planet is warming. The time to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is running out. The likelihood of low emission scenarios, where we act quickly to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions and keep the warming within tolerable limits, is shifting to a world where only the highest emission scenarios will be played out. That may be intolerably hot. Time passes. Warming set to breach Paris accord's toughest limit by mid century: draft OSLO (Reuters) - Global warming is on track to breach the toughest limit set in the Paris climate agreement by the middle of this century unless governments make unprecedented economic shifts from fossil fuels, a draft U.N. report said. The draft, of a report due for publication in October, said governments will also have to start sucking carbon dioxide from the air to achieve the ambition of limiting temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius (2.7 Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial times. “There is very high risk that ... global warming will exceed 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels,” the U.N. panel of experts wrote, based on the current pace of warming and current national plans to limit their greenhouse gas emissions. (January 11. 2018) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area)

  • 1/13/2018 - It’s easy: Food Donation and Food Waste Recycling is GOOD. Incinerating and landfilling food not eaten is BAD. Food waste should be composted either by you or your community. Extra food should go to those organizations that can get this food to those in need. Burning food creates more greenhouse gases and warms the planet and deprives our soil of its ability to regenerate. Kudos to NYS DEC’s responsible plan: DEC Announces $3.5 Million in Grants Awarded in 2017 to Increase Donation of Wholesome Food and Divert Food Scraps from Landfills Food Donation and Food Waste Recycling Support Governor Cuomo's Goal to Reduce Greenhouse Gas Emissions 40 Percent by 2030 New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Basil Seggos announced today that in 2017 DEC awarded $3.5 million to support the donation of wholesome food and municipal organics recycling projects across the state through the Environmental Protection Fund's Municipal Recycling and Climate Smart Communities grant programs. Directed by Governor Andrew M. Cuomo, New York is making significant investments to encourage donation of food and recycling of food waste, resulting in less waste directed to landfills and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. "Through Governor Cuomo's leadership, New York is becoming a national leader in pioneering a variety of investments and initiatives to encourage wholesome food donation and food waste recycling," said Commissioner Seggos. "Diverting food and food waste from landfills stands to benefit all New Yorkers by putting good, wholesome food to use at area food banks, reducing the greenhouse gas emissions that contribute to climate change, and saving resources. New York State is making significant investments in the capability to donate food and municipal organics recycling infrastructure across the state, facilitating increased food donation to food banks, and providing funds for larger generators of food scraps to divert material from landfills." (January 12, 2018) Department of Environmental Conservation  (more on Recycling 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.

  • 1/13/2018 - Been getting down because there’s so much climate denial and global warming misinformation out there? Cheer up, learn the denial tricks and symptoms. Check out Skeptical Science, Getting Skeptical about global warming skepticism. Think about taking this free course—Making sense of climate science denial—it’s awesome informative and well designed. Help free the world of climate denial so humanity can act on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes.

  • 1/13/2018 - Rather than the norm, these spates of cold snaps in places like Rochester, NY may become less likely. Overall, as we move further into Climate Change, our warms will be getting warmer and our colds not so cold. “In fact, the researchers calculated that a cold wave like this occurred about once every 17 years at the beginning of the 20th century, but now can be expected to occur just once out of every 250 years. In other words, there used to be a 5.8 percent chance of such a cold wave occurring in a given year, but now the odds are down to 0.4 percent.” As the world warms, it's making cold snaps like the recent one extremely rare The first week of January was the coldest such week on record in most locations in the Eastern United States. It was so frigid that week, and the week preceding it, that sea ice formed around Cape Cod and Chesapeake Bay, sharks froze to death on Massachusetts beaches, and alligators went into a resting state while entombed in ice.  One might think that a cold snap like this one all but disproves global warming, or at least refutes the more dire scenarios about winter all but disappearing as the globe responds to sharp increases in greenhouse gases, such as carbon dioxide and methane. However, the reality is far more complex, scientists say. In fact, it's getting harder to pull off a cold outbreak of the severity and longevity of the late December and early January Arctic blast, according to a new analysis published on Thursday. (January 12, 2018) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/12/2018 - What if the developing countries are no longer willing to take the developed nations’ crap? Well, it can pile up and cause a lot of problems. Or, if developed nations could start living sustainably and helped developing nations do the same? Imagine humanity working together to find solutions to an economic system that treats our environment, our life support system, as a magical resource generator and a dump. Imagine existing so our way of living didn’t produce mountains of crap festering like a cancer on our planet. Time passes. Plastics Pile Up as China Refuses to Take the West’s Recycling LONDON — Ever since China announced last year that it no longer wanted to be the “world’s garbage dump,” recycling about half of the globe’s plastics and paper products, Western nations have been puzzling over what to do when the ban went into effect, which it did on Jan. 1. The answer, to date, in Britain at least, is nothing. At least one waste disposal site in London is already seeing a buildup of plastic recyclables and has had to pay to have some of it removed. Similar backups have been reported in CanadaIrelandGermany and several other European nations, while tons of rubbish is piling up in port cities like Hong Kong. Steve Frank, of Pioneer Recycling in Oregon, owns two plants that collect and sort 220,000 tons of recyclable materials each year. A majority of it was until recently exported to China. “My inventory is out of control,” he said. (January 11, 2018) New York Times [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 1/12/2018 - Climate Change during the Trump administration years won’t be all bad. There’s hope in action and planning and divesting from fossil fuels and spreading the word about the importance of the science behind Climate Change. New Yorkers celebrate as NYC Mayor announces divestment from fossil fuels, files climate lawsuit #DivestNY victory reverberates around the world as New Yorkers vow to keep up the fight for bold climate action New York, NY — Today, following over five years of persistent campaigning from New Yorkers, New York City Mayor Bill de Blasio announced the City is moving forward with full fossil fuel divestment. The city’s five pension funds, a combined $191 billion, will divest $5 billion in securities from over 100 fossil fuel reserve owners. New York’s announcement brings the total number of global divestment commitments to 810 institutions representing more than $6 trillion in assets. “New York City today becomes a capital of the fight against climate change on this planet. With its communities exceptionally vulnerable to a rising sea, the city is showing the spirit for which it’s famous: it’s not pretending that working with the fossil fuel companies will somehow save the day, but instead standing up to them, in the financial markets and in court,” said Bill McKibben, co-founder of 350.org. “Ever since Sandy, New Yorkers understand the risk, especially for the poorest and most vulnerable. Now, thanks to Mayor de Blasio and his team, the city is fighting back, and in ways that will actually matter.” In addition to this multi-billion-dollar hard-won divestment, Mayor de Blasio announced the City is launching a lawsuit against five major oil companies, including ExxonMobil, Chevron, BP, Shell, and ConocoPhillips for climate damages. With New York Attorney General Eric Schneiderman investigating ExxonMobil, and seven municipalities across California fighting similar damage lawsuits, this announcement adds significant momentum to the #ExxonKnew campaign to hold fossil fuel corporations accountable for the role in climate destruction. (January 10, 2018) 350.org [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/12/2018 - Before we even consider putting one of the largest train trash incinerators in the small rural community Romulus, NY, which lies between the largest Finger Lakes (Seneca and Cayuga), why don’t we consider alternatives? Like living sustainably, as the NYS DEC suggests. New Year, New You! Wasting Less in 2018 As we start the New Year, we welcome our New Year's resolutions ranging from eating healthier to saving money to learning a new skill or hobby. This year, why not make a resolution to support waste reduction? Reducing your waste doesn't have to be an all or nothing goal. Try just one or two of these simple ideas to make changes that can help you keep a waste reduction lifestyle. (January 11, 2018) Department of Environmental Conservation  (more on Recycling in our area] 

  • 1/12/2018 - What if in 2018 there is as much loss due to extreme weather in the US as last year. “In 2017, there were 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States.” Who going to pay? What if we cannot pay any more. Wouldn’t planning for a warming world reduce the cost and suffering of climate disruption? As our climate gets warmer there are more people with more to lose, which at some point will probably be prohibitively expensive. What then? Time passes. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters: Overview The National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) is the Nation's Scorekeeper in terms of addressing severe weather and climate events in their historical perspective. As part of its responsibility of monitoring and assessing the climate, NCEI tracks and evaluates climate events in the U.S. and globally that have great economic and societal impacts. NCEI is frequently called upon to provide summaries of global and U.S. temperature and precipitation trends, extremes, and comparisons in their historical perspective. Found here are the weather and climate events that have had the greatest economic impact from 1980 to 2017. The U.S. has sustained 219 weather and climate disasters since 1980 where overall damages/costs reached or exceeded $1 billion (including CPI adjustment to 2017). The total cost of these 219 events exceeds $1.5 trillion. This total now includes the initial cost estimates for Hurricanes Harvey, Irma and Maria. 2017 in Context… In 2017, there were 16 weather and climate disaster events with losses exceeding $1 billion each across the United States. These events included 1 drought event, 2 flooding events, 1 freeze event, 8 severe storm events, 3 tropical cyclone events, and 1 wildfire event. Overall, these events resulted in the deaths of 362 people and had significant economic effects on the areas impacted. The 1980–2017 annual average is 5.8 events (CPI-adjusted); the annual average for the most recent 5 years (2013–2017) is 11.6 events (CPI-adjusted). NOAA National Centers for Environmental Information (NCEI) U.S. Billion-Dollar Weather and Climate Disasters (2018).

  • 1/12/2018 - Oh, and there’s another reason why climate deniers don’t like believing in the science behind Climate Change—accountability. What if those who lied and misrepresented the science behind Climate Change and spewed a lot of the greenhouse gases that are now warming the planet were finally held responsible for the damage they caused? New York City Sues Oil Companies Over Climate Change, Says It Plans to Divest The lawsuit against Exxon, Chevron, BP, Shell and ConocoPhillips is the latest from a coastal city seeking to hold fossil fuel producers accountable. New York City is suing five of the largest oil companies over the billions of dollars it spends protecting the city from the effects of climate change, and it plans to divest its pension funds' $5 billion in assets involving fossil fuel producers, Mayor Bill de Blasio announced Wednesday. As head of the nation's largest city, de Blasio is throwing significant weight behind a movement by local governments to directly target fossil fuel companies for the role their products play in fueling global warming. "They are the first ones responsible for this crisis, and they should not get away with it anymore," de Blasio said at a news conference held in a building that flooded when Hurricane Sandy hit the city in 2012. "It's time for them to start paying for the damage they've done." (January 11, 2018) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/11/2018 - Great climate science won’t disappear because of the Trump administration’s anti-science agenda, it may have to move out of the US, though, to achieve some stability. Sad! French president taps climate scientist to ‘Make Our Planet Great Again’ The race to see who will lead the fight against climate change is heating up. After President Donald Trump announced in June his intention to withdraw the United States from the Paris climate accord, French President Emmanuel Macron proposed a “Make Our Planet Great Again” program that would bring climate scientists to France and fund their research with $70 million in three- to five-year grants. On Dec. 11, Macron unveiled the first round of recipients. Among the initial 18 scientists selected – 13 of whom are American – is Louis Derry, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences in the College of Engineering and faculty fellow with Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. (January 9, 2018) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/11/2018 - Despite Trump administration’s disdain for the Paris Accord, other nations are working furiously to make the Paris climate deal work. The US trying to pull out of the Paris Accord doesn’t mean the worldwide agreement is defunct. It means other nations must work harder. Time passes. Five big gaps in national climate plans – and how to close them The Paris climate deal is based on pledges from 165 countries, but there are major omissions that need addressing before the next round in 2020 The 165 national climate action plans submitted by countries to the UN climate negotiations are key to implementing the Paris Agreement. Known as (intended) nationally determined contributions (iNDCs) in UN jargon, these documents spell out the world’s collective promise to move towards a low-carbon future and adapt to the impacts of climate change. The headline numbers are clear: if all the promises are kept, global mean warming by 2100 will be reduced from a projected 3.6°C to 2.7°C above pre-industrial levels. (January 2, 2018) Climate Home News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/11/2018 - The Trump administration is scrubbing ‘Climate Change’ from its website, which sows doubt in the public about the science. Thankfully, this attempt to deceive the American public is not going unnoticed. The US public can go to other places to get their environmental information, but it’s not the same as your federal agencies working with the public trying to solve the same problem. A situation where our government is trying to push their anti-environmental agenda is not in the public good at all. How Much Has ‘Climate Change’ Been Scrubbed From Federal Websites? A Lot. Nearly a year into the Trump administration, mentions of climate change have been systematically removed, altered or played down on websites across the federal government, according to a report made public Wednesday. The findings of the report, by the Environmental Data and Governance Initiative, an international coalition of researchers and activist groups, are in keeping with the policies of a president who has proudly pursued an agenda of repealing environmental regulationsopening protected lands and waters to oil and gas drilling, withdrawing the United States from the Paris climate accordshrinking the boundaries of federal monuments, and appointing top officials who have questioned or denied the established science of human-caused climate change. The authors of the study said that the removal of the words “climate change” from government websites, and a widespread effort to delete or bury information on climate change programs, would quite likely have a detrimental impact. (January 10, 2018) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/10/2018 - Whether you or Stable Genius doubt Climate Change can accelerate and amplify social unrest, some (like world militaries and world health organizations) don’t have that luxury. Climate Change findings predict major social unrest because a warming planet presents an “underlying condition” (heat, extreme weather, droughts) that will force desperate people into the streets. Climate Change May Have Helped Spark Iran’s Protests One of Iran's biggest economic challenges has been a cycle of extreme droughts that began in the 1990s The impacts of climate change are among the environmental challenges facing Iran that helped spark protests in dozens of cities across the Islamic republic. At least 20 people have died in the uprising, driven by the sudden collapse of financial institutions, low wages and mistrust of national leaders. Rising temperatures are seen by some experts as an underlying condition for the economic hardships that led to the unrest. A severe drought, mismanaged water resources and dust storms diminished Iran's economy in recent years, according to experts who study the region. While the protests are largely driven by resistance to the country's hardline conservative government, such environmental factors might have contributed to the largest protests inside Iran in years. Former President Mahmoud Ahmadinejad understood that climate change and water mismanagement was ravaging family farms, and his government provided subsidies to families who struggled to put food on the table, said Amir Handjani, a senior fellow at the Atlantic Council's South Asia Center. When the current president, Hassan Rouhani, signaled that he would reduce those benefits, enraged Iranians across the nation's arid countryside joined the wave of protests. (January 8, 2018) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/10/2018 - In order to protect a critical ecosystem like the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world, we need to know how we have treated this system historically (not all that well) and how dealing with issues like invasive species plays a major role in finding solutions to make this ecosystem sustainable. This book “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Great Lakes reporter Dan Egan id an excellent read and provides great insight into a system of waters we thought we knew. Great Lakes Author Dan Egan talks about invasive species There’s an urgency to “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes” by Milwaukee Journal Sentinel Great Lakes reporter Dan Egan that reminds us there is still time to protect the fresh lakes and streams in the Adirondark Park. The book chronicles years of pollution, invasive species, and efforts to repair damage that in some cases changed the makeup of the five Great Lakes. And while the Great Lakes face different sets of challenges, you will recognize many of the issues – and some of the invasive species – because we’ve talked about them here. We spoke with Dan Egan last month, in advance of his talk to the Lake Champlain Research Conference January 8. Egan speaks from 7 to 8:30 p.m. in the Grand Maple Ballroom in the Davis Center of the University of Vermont in Burlington. (January 8, 2018) Adirondack Explorer [More on the Great Lakes in our area]

  • 1/10/2018 - Despite the ‘analysis’ of the Stable Genius coal for energy doesn’t make sense anymore. Not morally, not for addressing Climate Change, and not financially. Our future, if we are to have one, must shift quickly to 100% renewables. If we were acting prudent on our energy transition, we would be helping coal workers train for renewable energy and only use for fossil fuels for operations (like forging steel) that still can’t be done with solar or wind. Whatever carbon budget we have (and, I suspect we’ve already blown through that), we must use it only for those things that cannot be done without it--yet. We must advance technology so we can live completely without burning fossil fuels. Time passes. It’s the same story under Trump as under Obama: Coal is losing out to natural gas Just a day after federal regulators nixed a major Trump administration proposal to shore up the struggling coal industry, the nation’s top energy forecaster predictedcontinuing, slow declines in U.S. coal production and in the burning of coal for electricity in 2018 and 2019, thanks to cheap natural gas and coal plant retirements. The U.S. Energy Information Administration’s monthly short-term energy outlook, the first to include predictions for 2019, projected that coal production will decline from 773 million short tons last year to 759 million in 2018 and 741 million in 2019. The burning of coal for electricity — its chief use in the United States — also will decline steadily. (January 9, 2018) Washington Post [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]  

  • 1/10/2018 - Thankfully, climate denialism has its limit. That limit is called reality. Climate Denial Pervades the Trump White House, But It's Hitting Some Limits The administration's culture of denialism and support for fossil fuels has pushed rollbacks of policies meant to protect public health, safety and the environment. Five years after Donald Trump's infamous "hoax" tweet, in which he called climate change a fiction developed by the Chinese, the president, again on Twitter, reacted to a recent cold snap by saying "we could use a little bit of that good old Global Warming"—this, at the tail end of a year that was the United States' third warmest on record. Trump's musings have gone from fringe fantasy to official obfuscation, enshrining a denialism that runs through the core of his administration, from the top down. Yet signs are beginning to surface that suggest this refusal to accept even the basics of climate science may come up against some limits. (January 8, 2018) Inside Climate News [mdore on Cimate Change in our area]

  • 1/09/2018 - If you’re just hearing about the HUGE trash incinerator being proposed for Romulus, NY (between Seneca Lake and Cayuga Lake), check out this video of the Trash Incinerator Forum January 7, 2018. This from the Seneca Lake Guardian: “On Jan. 7, 2018 we hosted an independent expert on how the impacts of the proposed “Waste to Energy” train trash facility at the Seneca Army Depot in the Town of Romulus​ would affect the Finger Lakes region.” Trying to solve our waste problem by sacrificing one of New York’s most valuable farm and wine country (not to mention our Finger Lakes) by constructing one of the largest trash incinerators in our country isn’t a good idea at all. The more you learn about this incinerator project the more you learn how devastating it will be for the region and why we need to transform how we use products so that we don’t feel compelled to burn them when we are done with them and warm the planet more. The Romulus Trash Incinerator idea is scary dumb. Romulus board proposes moratorium on new solid waste facilities, including proposed incinerator The Romulus Town Board has voted to introduce a local law imposing a six-month moratorium on all projects requiring approval by the town Zoning Board of Appeals, including a proposed $365 million waste-to-energy incinerator on former Seneca Army Depot property. The law would prevent issuance of any building permits or certificates of occupancy for any project requiring ZBA approval. It also reserves the town’s right to direct the town building and code enforcement officer to revoke or rescind any building permit or certificate of occupancy issued in violation of the local law. In addition, Supervisor David Kaiser said he is considering the introduction of a one-year moratorium on any and all waste-to-energy facilities or landfill operations within the town “to ensure that the town’s zoning code effectively prohibits environmentally hazardous operations.” (January 5, 2017) Finger Lakes Times [more on Seneca Lake and Recycling in our area]

  • 1/09/2018 - Some of the reasons why many folks don’t want to believe in the science behind Climate Change are its ramifications—addressing this crisis will be very inconvenient. We can and should design plans that deal with the consequences of Climate Change in such a way that the most vulnerable don’t take the full punch. Climate Change is a planetary crisis and sooner or later everyone will have to take on the heat, the flooding, the extreme weather—and more. Time passes. In New York, Drawing Flood Maps Is a ‘Game of Inches’ As FEMA revises the maps to account for climate change, deciding who is in the flood zone will be a battle with millions of dollars at stake. With its 520 miles of coastline and thousands of acres of waterfront development, New York has more residents living in high-risk flood zones than any other city in the country. Hurricane Sandy, the devastating October 2012 storm, did $19 billion in damage to the city, and the pace of development along the water has only increased. Now, after a year in which hurricanes ravaged Houston and the Caribbean, the Federal Emergency Management Agency is substantially redrawing New York’s flood maps for the first time in three decades. It is a painstaking process that will affect tens, if not hundreds, of thousands of people, determining how and where buildings can be constructed and the cost of flood insurance on everything from modest bungalows to luxury skyscrapers. New York will be the first major metropolis to be remapped taking into account the realities of climate change, like rising sea levels and increasingly powerful storms. (January 9, 2018) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 1/06/2018 - Instead of this bitter cold snap disproving Climate Change “It is an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” Dr. Michael Mann. A ‘PERFECT STORM’: EXTREME WINTER WEATHER, BITTER COLD, AND CLIMATE CHANGE World-renowned climate scientist Dr. Michael Mann explains why the bitter cold and snowy conditions gripping the US are “an example of precisely the sort of extreme winter weather we expect because of climate change.” The US East Coast is experiencing an “old-fashioned” winter, with plenty of cold weather and some heavy snowfall in certain places. Listening to climate contrarians like President Donald Trump, you might think this constitutes the death knell for concern over human-caused climate change. Yet, what we were witnessing play out is in fact very much consistent with our expectations of the response of weather dynamics to human-caused climate change. (January 4, 2017) Climate Reality Project [more on Climate Change in our area]

  •