Updated Daily  5/23/2015 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

All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians.  So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings.  Push back on misinformation.  Speak up for the facts.  Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution.  Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices.  Invest.  Divest.  Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.  Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013)  The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk?  Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "

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.

 

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. 

To be sure you have the latest News, refresh your browser, or Ctrl +R.  

News Highlight

Bold Climate Change actions for Rochester, New York                                                                                                               

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

I’ve been skimming through the 2015 Climate Action Plan (actually a comment draft) for Portland, Oregon. It’s very readable—full of photos and graphs and bullet points—easy to skim and get the gist: these folks are freaking serious about addressing Climate Change. It’s no wonder; Portland has been at this sort of thing for some time:

“In 1993, Portland was the first U.S. city to create a local action plan for cutting carbon. Portland’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) is a strategy to put Portland and Multnomah County on a path to achieve a 40 percent reduction in carbon emissions by 2030 and an 80 percent reduction by 2050 (compared to 1990 levels). The plan builds upon a legacy of forward-thinking climate protection initiatives by the City of Portland and Multnomah County that have resulted in significant total and per person reductions in local carbon emissions.” The City of Portland, Oregon Climate Action Plan

Increasingly, those who have been keeping up with the worldwide Climate Change disaster are realizing that individual actions won’t matter much if they are not organized and guided from a top-down approach. Left to their own, individuals in the aggregate tend not to do the right thing unless it is profitable, convenient, or regulated. I know, this kind of thinking puts libertarians (a strain of selfishness writ large) into a tizzy. But there is so much historical evidence that the unfettered quenching of desires without limits is suicidal on a finite planet that it’s not even funny.

What Portland’s plan does is put their efforts in a historical context, so they can measure their progress. The 2015 plan is one among many. The plan works with state, federal, and worldwide efforts. The plan also demonstrates the need for communities to work together to combat Climate Change, so they are not working against each other—stepping on each other’s efforts.

At the local level, Portland focuses on many of the challenges Climate Change brings to a community:

“Understanding Portland’s Carbon Emissions | Climate Action through Equity |A More Prosperous, Healthy and Equitable Portland |Buildings and Energy |Urban Form and Transportation |Consumption and Solid Waste |Food and Agriculture | Urban Forest, Natural Systems and Carbon Sequestration | Climate Change Preparation |Community Engagement, Outreach and Education |Local Government Operations | Implementation |Climate Action Plan Development Process” 2015 Climate Action Plan Chapters

The most salient points that caught my eye are the need to engage the poor and minority groups who contribute less to the problem, suffer most of the consequences, and are least able to deal with them; the role that transportation and buildings have in spewing out most of the greenhouse gas emissions (which allows for very measureable solutions); the importance of providing more canopy cover and carbon sinks with urban forests; creating a job Mecca with new green technology; and how recycling and solid waste figure into the Climate Change equations. But most important of all is how all these elements of Climate Change fit together and provide a circle of concerns and solutions that connect everyone in the community. You cannot solve Climate Change alone, but you can if everyone is pitching in with you and working from the same plan.

Lovely Warren, Rochester, NY’s mayor, recently announced the finishing up of our Climate Change action plan. Our first. We praise Mayor Warren for planning for this worldwide crisis. 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:

  • EPA Funding Helps Businesses in Upstate New York Prevent Pollution; $268,000 Will Help Small and Medium-Sized Companies The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $268,383 to organizations in New York to fund projects that will help small and medium-sized businesses reduce pollution. These grants were awarded to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and Empire State Development. “EPA helps businesses reduce the use of toxic materials, save energy, protect human health and save money,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The strategy is simple: it’s always better not to generate waste in the first place. It’s better for the environment and it’s better for a company’s bottom line.”  (November 10, 2014) EPA News Releases from Region 2 [ more on Green Business in our area]

  • You’re a student wanting a career in Sustainability or you’re and industry that wants to be more sustainable- meet at Climate Corps. “EDF Climate Corps is the premier fellowship program from Environmental Defense Fund. We recruit and train top graduate students and embed them in leading organizations to provide expert hands-on support for your energy management initiatives.”

  • NY reports 7 deals for clean energy projects ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials say they have reached agreements in principle to finance seven clean energy projects with a dozen banks and investment firms and the state's new NY Green Bank. They hope to close deals this year that would lead to more than $800 million invested in solar energy, cogeneration and energy-efficiency. The goal is a 575,000-ton annual reduction in carbon dioxide by generating and using energy in ways that reduce pollution and burning fossil fuels. (October 23, 2014) North Country Public Radio [more on Green Business in our area]
  • Rochester company awarded funding to develop solar technology A Rochester company has been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to go towards solar energy development, according to officials. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's office says Intrinsiq Materials Incorporated, a nanotechnology leader in printable electronic ink, has been awarded $450,000. (October 22, 2014) WHEC [more on Solar Power and Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight

  2015 Genesee River Basin Summit

    

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM SUNY Geneseo, College Union Ballroom Geneseo, NY

Help us build on the success of last year’s first ever Genesee River Basin Summit by creating an annual Basin Report Card that will be used to:

 •   Raise awareness of the Genesee and the condition of its waters

•   Provide a basis for conversation about what needs to be done to improve water quality in, and access to, the Genesee River

•   Establish visible targets for the work of stakeholders Give us all a way to measure progress on those targets Help attract more funding to execute critical projects

Who Should Attend: County/town and city planners, Soil & Water Conservation District personnel, municipal officials, economic development officials, engineers, interested citizens, conservation groups.

How to Register: Click on this link. Even though there is no admission fee we need a headcount for breakfast and planning purposes.   Admission - Free (CEI is sponsoring the room, technical support staff, and breakfast). Donations are appreciated. --from Genesee RiverWatch

* For more background read:

Who's worrying about the water?  Much of California is coping with a severe, multi-year drought. The state's water supplies and reservoirs are depleted, urban residents are now required to limit their water use, and many farms in the state are losing their crops. By comparison, the Rochester region is hydrologically gifted. Lake Ontario provides people, farms, and businesses with massive quantities of water for drinking, irrigation, food production, manufacturing, and more. The lake supports a commercial shipping industry and is a valuable asset for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The Genesee River, which cuts northbound through the area before emptying into the lake, bolsters agriculture and industry. And it, too, has vast recreational potential. (May 13, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Water Quality and Genesee River in our area]

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

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

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

 350.org

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

 

Green Events.

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

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

June

  • Weds, June 3rd, 10am - 12:30pm Port of Rochester, Waterside Room 1000 North River Street Rochester, NY 14614  
    • Save the Date! Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meetings June 2nd, 3rd, 8th & 9th NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a first-of-its-kind basinwide partnership to advance key priorities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). The focus of these interactive work group meetings will be to identify watershed challenges and specific opportunities to collaboratively accomplish GLAA projects. All NYS Great Lakes stakeholders are invited to participate -- including environmental orgs, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government, individuals and other diverse stakeholder groups (business, health, recreation, planning, etc). Four sub basin work groups will provide a unique opportunity to connect, coordinate and collaborate with other groups and agencies working locally and basinwide. SW Lake Ontario Work Group -- Weds, June 3rd, 10am - 12:30pm Port of Rochester, Waterside Room 1000 North River Street Rochester, NY 14614  (May 6, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Sunday, June 14, 2015   9:00am to 1:00pm   Brighton High School front lawn on S. Winton Road. 
    • The Brighton Eco-Fair (formerly Brighton Green Energy Fair) alongside the Brighton Farmer's Market   Sunday, June 14, 2015   9:00am to 1:00pm   Brighton High School front lawn on S. Winton Road.  This popular event draws 300-400 people each year.   Come enjoy Green Vendors, Non-profits, Student Projects, Childrens' Activities, and a Silent Auction to benefit ColorBrightonGreen.org. Learn about green home energy, recycling, green products, water conservation, and more!   ColorBrightonGreen.org
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
    • 2015 Genesee River Basin Summit - AGENDA Water Quality Use and Access Protections in Place Restoration Admission - $0 (CEI is sponsoring the room and technical support staff) Food & Beverage – On your own, either SUNY cafeteria or bring your own. Learn more here.  From Genesee River Watch
  • Saturday, June 20,  11 AM – 2 PM | Taughannock State Park, Central Pavillion, Ulysses, NY 14886
    • FINGER LAKES AREA EVENT: Saturday, June 20,  11 AM – 2 PM A PRAYER FOR THE FINGER LAKES 108 Sun Salutations on the Summer Solstice  to benefit Gas Free Seneca Taughannock State Park, Central Pavillion, Ulysses, NY 14886 Vegetarian potluck picnic to follow, 2-4 PM, or later

September

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm) and Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm)
    • Two important meetings on local environmental and health issues: Environmental Health Sciences Research Day Celebrating 50 Years of Environmental Health Sciences Research at The University of Rochester Please note the upcoming speaker (June 11) and our Research Day (Sept 24).  Both are open to the public – please come and invite your colleagues!*Save the Dates * Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm), Science Café Series, Featuring a University of Rochester, Environmental Health Science Center Faculty Speaker, Barnes & Noble (Pittsford) AND Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm), Seminars, panel discussions, and a poster session, Flaum Atrium/ Class of ’62 Read more here.

Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) is working for environmental protection and enhanced quality of life in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region through education, collaboration and informed action.

 

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!
    • Do this! DEMAND WORLD LEADERS SIGN A STRONG AGREEMENT AT THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS IN DECEMBER. TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW Climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather for the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December, now is the moment for the world to speak as one: A strong emissions reductions agreement is the key to our collective prosperity, and well-being for all. --from The Climate Reality Project
  • 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!
    • Been wondering how your group can help our environment? Help monitor our Water Quality by being Citizen Scientists. “Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.” Learn more, get training, get equipment, get started. EPA Region 2 Citizen Science |  Equipment Loan Program [PDF 437 KB, 5 pp] Apply for the Region 2 Citizen Science equipment Loan Program [PDF 318 KB, 2 pp] Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.  Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern to them.  Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of citizen science projects as tools have advanced and people have become more empowered.  These projects have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people’s awareness of their environment, and leveraging change. EPA Region 2
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • SIGN THE PETITION: Voice your opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world. The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process. Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “fast track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests. (December 30, 2014) Senator Bernie Sanders
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Please sign this petition: Sign the petition: Stop NPR from gutting its climate coverageAs tax-paying citizens of the USA, whose government supplies 4.6% of NPR’s income (and 39% from individual contributors), we insist that you restore your climate reporting team—or rather, actually increase it. At this critical juncture, with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is coming up where our leaders need to act on Climate Change, our public needs more day-to-day, accessible, and thorough coverage. NPR’s reasoning that “because so many other staffers cover the subject, along with their other beats”, it’s OK to gut your climate reporting teams ignores the fact that so many Americans are uninformed about an issue that requires long-term planning and public support for long-term adaptation strategies as noted in most climate plans and studies. more...
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New York State needs a clear and enforceable climate action plan so we can prepare our state for damage to our public health, our water, waste, transportation, telecommunications infrastructures and agriculture.  This cannot be done ad hoc, or just with grants, or just using the market forces.  Properly planning for something as pervasive as Climate Change needs top-down direction from our leaders.  Urge Governor Cuomo to Develop a Climate Action Plan "Governor Cuomo,  The world is changing. New York communities have been caught devastated by the growing climate crisis, suffering through hurricanes and other extreme weather events. World leaders, assembled by the United Nations for a summit on the climate crisis, have recognized the need to act now to protect communities worldwide from the ravages of climate change, and to create an economy that works for the people and the planet.  Governor, you’ve already made a commitment to an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2050. We applaud you for this. We ask that you articulate your plan for getting us there. It is time for you to take the bold step to pull our state out of the dirty energy ways of the past and to move us forward with energy sources that are clean, healthy and beneficial for all New Yorkers.  We, the undersigned are asking your administration to seize the moment by creating a climate action plan for New York. We believe that without such a plan, piecemeal efforts to offset or mitigate the hazards of climate change will too little and too late. New York should be a clean energy leader, and a leader in cutting climate-altering pollution. We are calling on you to prepare a plan to fight climate change, keep our communities safe, and move New York away from the dirty fossil fuels of the past.  Sincerely, " from Environmental Advocates of New York
  • 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!  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • 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!
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • 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!
    • Don’t need those massive phone books?  Just throw them away because you’re a digital kind of person? Opt out of getting those phone books, easy peasy, and save trees .  Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all? In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste. Find your local recycle  solution for Phone Books So why do phone books continue to show up? According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.  (November 20, 2012) Earth 911 [more on Recycling in our area]
  • 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
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • As Climate Change increase the changes of combined sewer overflows due to increase frequency of heavy rain fall in the spring, this issue will become more critical.  We must plan for this and it will be expensive, but more so if we wait.  Take action here: Help Keep Sewage Out of the Great Lakes Billions of gallons of combined raw sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes each year. Raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products — along with industrial wastewater, household chemicals, urban runoff, herbicides and pesticides — often flow into the lakes after heavy rains. Urge Congress and the president to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Help keep untreated sewage out of the Great Lakes! --from Alliance for the Great Lakes

 

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Daily  Updates.

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

  • My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books
  • 5/23/2015 - Actually, I cannot think of a place that wouldn’t be the worst possible place for an oil spill. Why don’t we stop with fossil fuel altogether, for clearly we cannot use this form of energy safely? One has to wonder at what point (see: “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century”) will oil spills become so intolerable that we’ll move quickly to renewable energy. So many folks think that we have to have fossil fuels, that we can eventually stop oil spills from happening, or that oil spills are just one of those things we have to put up with in order to grow, but don’t give a moment of thought to Climate Change and the destruction of vital ecosystems we need to survive. For example, in the recent article “Thirty Million Gallons under the Sea”, a report about the continued damage from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf in Harper’s Magazine, we find out that a large area of the ocean bottom has smothered critical biological components that help produce oxygen and there’s no recovery in sight. We are bound and determined to continue business as usual no matter how much evidence there is to convince us that this behavior will crash our planet’s environment. Time passes. This Aging Oil Pipeline Is In Great Lakes' 'Worst Possible Place' For A Spill  (May 20, 2015) The Huffington Post
  • 5/23/2015 - If “Extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other weather-related event”, why move to a hot state in Climate Change? It’s interesting to read recently that the populations of northern cities, like Rochester, are dropping presumably to regions that are warmer and close to the water. Which is crazy because the hot states are going to be dangerously hot, soon out of water, and shoreline properties are going to disappear because of sea level rise. More likely is that cities like Rochester will start increasing from Climate Change refugees who will be trying to avoid the heat, to always have fresh water, and to farm our un-Fracked soil.  Rochester should bake climate refugees into their climate action plans. Study Finds Sun Belt Population Growth and Warming Climate Could Quadruple Exposure to Extreme Heat A valuable study published this week in Nature Climate Change projects that exposure to extreme heat in the United States is likely to rise enormously by mid century, driven equally by demographic shifts boosting Sun Belt populations and projected changes in heat waves in a warming climate. Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press has written a nice summary of the research, undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and the City University of New York. (May 18, 2015) Dot Earth, NYT
  • 5/23/2015 - Today’s question boys and girls: How many oil pipeline breaks have there been the US in the 21st century? Ans: A lot, really a lot. For the complete list go here: “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century” For those who continually say that fossil fuels are safe and even if they are not we must stay addicted to them because we cannot do without them, really ought to think about the number of accidents (including the rising number of Bomb Train ‘accidents’ from moving crude oil over our decrepit rails) that are occurring in just the US alone. Not to mention fossil fuels are driving up the greenhouse gas emissions to where our way of life (and maybe all life) is not sustainable. I’m thinking that business as usual or just waiting until things get better is not going to work. Time passes. Pipeline Operator: Possibly Months To Determine Cause Of Calif. Spill It could be months before investigators can determine what caused a pipeline leak that has fouled a stretch of coast in Southern California, the company that operates the oil conduit says.  (May 22, 2015) NPR
  • 5/23/2015 - With Climate Change, if you are a topical bird and you can’t or won’t move to avoid danger, the danger will come to you. As Andes Warm, Deciphering  The Future for Tropical Birds Scientists have theorized that tropical birds in mountainous regions will move uphill as the climate warms. But new research in the Peruvian Andes suggests that the birds will stay put and face a new threat — predator snakes that will climb into their territory to escape the heat. (May 12, 2014) Yale Environment 360
  • 5/22/2015 - So the reason why our transportation system is falling apart is because so many folks are driving alternative fuel and electric vehicles and paying no taxes. Really? If this is so, then a lot of folks have gone to a lot of trouble and money to conceal their vehicle from looking as if they are gas guzzlers. Our transportation system is falling apart and we haven’t even started addressing the fixes needed to get ready for more extreme weather (more heat, more floods, and more shoreline highways threatened by sea level rise). But instead of fixing this problem, we’re going to blame the lack of funds on too many vehicles that don’t have to pay a gas tax? Really? How can anyone say such an amazingly loony, fossil fuel addicted thing? Cost of fixing bridges: Could a gas tax hike be in the near future? (May 22, 2015) WHEC Rochester
  • 5/22/2015 - I don’t tend to get political, but who becomes MC Executive is absolutely critical for addressing Climate Change. Frankel will lead. Much of the climate silence and lack of action in the Monroe County and Rochester region is due to a failure of leadership. The public isn’t talking about the worldwide crisis of Climate Change because our local leaders aren’t doing anything but trying to lead by secretly making their buildings more energy efficient and trying to make Rochester a Bicycle Friendly City without explaining to the public why this approach is a major way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation sector. Without leadership on Climate Change the media doesn’t connect the dots between growing public health issues and fortifying our water, waste, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructures for more extreme weather—including more intense heat waves which will affect the poor in our region disproportionally—even though the poor did not cause the warming. Frankel has demonstrated her concern about Climate Change and is most ready to take leadership on this worldwide crisis locally. Climate Change is not a special interest issue; it is the mother of all issues of which all our other concerns—taxes, infrastructures, poverty, schooling, fairness—are a part of.  Let this political race in Monroe County be about Climate Change (so the public will understand the comprehensiveness and the enormity of this issue) and let Frankel win. Sandy Frankel Officially Kicks Off Campaign for MC Executive Former Brighton Town Supervisor Sandy Frankel began her launch party with a few words in honor of the approaching Memorial Day. "The men and women who protect our freedoms, our liberties, our democratic way of life, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude." This is not Frankel's first launch. After her failed campaign in 2011 against Maggie Brooks, Frankel is confident she knows what it takes to win the electorate this time around. (May 21, 2015) WXXI News
  • 5/22/2015 - ACTION: Do this! DEMAND WORLD LEADERS SIGN A STRONG AGREEMENT AT THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS IN DECEMBER. TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW Climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather for the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December, now is the moment for the world to speak as one: A strong emissions reductions agreement is the key to our collective prosperity, and well-being for all. --from The Climate Reality Project
  • 5/22/2015 - This proposal to dim NYC’s lights to cut energy costs, help migratory birds and relieve light pollution could make a difference, unlike the state’s proposal to just dim their official buildings around the state—which would have demonstrated the state’s commitment to conserving energy, but not much else. Proposal to dim New York’s city lights at night to save energy  (May 21, 2015) tcktcktck
  • 5/22/2015 - The recent oil pipeline ruptured in Santa Barbara County in Central California was very bad; an oil spill in the Arctic will be criminal. Accidents are what happen when you don’t plan. Continuing to drill and rail and pipe fossil fuels and then burn them that raises global greenhouse gas concentrations is no accident, they are deliberate acts of ecocide. WILL THIS SPILL CHANGE ANYTHING?  As of yesterday evening, officials claimed that an estimated 21,000 gallons had spilled into the ocean in an oil slick that was four miles wide. Unfortunately, as of this morning, the slick had spread to at least nine miles wide, as the winds and tides did what they do.  (May 20, 2015) GreenPeace
  • 5/22/2015 - Those expecting benefits from Climate Change fail to realize that with an increase in CO2 comes a lot of other detriments. Climate Change brings with it extreme weather and drought and social disruption and the bottle-necking of centuries of environmental abuse. I suspect the only good that will come of Climate Change is the opportunity of humanity to mature into fair-minded stewards of their planet. We have a long time to grow in a short amount of time. Findings cast doubt on plant benefits from rising CO2  (May 22, 2015) The Daily Climate
  • 5/21/2015 - The faith community in Rochester, which has embodied most of the worker bees on environmental issues and Climate Change in our area, has demonstrated their commitment to a healthy and just environmental future. The role of Pope Francis on leading on Climate Change is a game changer on climate silence. Added to those alarmed and committed to addressing Climate Change should include atheists—though strictly speaking we are not religious. While it is oftentimes difficult for atheists to speak as one (as getting them to do so is like herding cats), I do think that ‘none of the above’, free thinkers, atheists (whatever one call us) constitute a large part of our public and our voices should be heard on the moral issues of Climate Change. Because there’s nowhere else to go, atheists tend to care a lot about Climate Change, knowing that all of our past, present, and futures are inexorably bound up in our ability to keep our environment, our life support system, thriving. Faith and environmentalism: common goals   (May 20, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper
  • 5/21/2015 - Breaking: Feds bless storing massive gas in salt mines near the shores of Seneca Lake even though locals hate it. It’s like a great big slap in the face to hear the Feds dismiss local citizens and business groups (think tourism and wine growers) concerns that this massive increase in fossil fuel infrastructure in the Finger Lakes regions (one of the most environmentally sensitive region anywhere) is now going to be threatened. Not to mention a massive buildup in the fossil fuel infrastructure during a time of Climate Change, when we absolutely need to get off our addiction to fossil fuels. It’s especially galling to read this Fed decision right after the oil spill on the shores of California yesterday, an event which is continually promised to the public that it would never happen. Even though Climate Change looms, we are continually having fossil fuels shoved down our throats. Hundreds of folks are willing to get arrested over this Seneca Lake gas storage issue and I doubt the Fed’s ruling will quell that. Seneca Lake gas storage foes rebuffed by regulators A proposal to store gas in salt mines near the shores of Seneca Lake received an emphatic blessing from federal regulators Wednesday who dismissed claims that it’s an accident waiting to happen. In an “Order Denying Rehearing” issued Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission notified Gas Free Seneca that the commission has done due diligence in granting a permit for the project, and it would not be revisiting the issue. The decision, while not unexpected, was a blow to opponents of expansion of the fossil fuel industry in the popular Finger Lakes tourism destination. (May 20, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 5/21/2015 - Two important meetings on local environmental and health issues: Environmental Health Sciences Research Day Celebrating 50 Years of Environmental Health Sciences Research at The University of Rochester Please note the upcoming speaker (June 11) and our Research Day (Sept 24).  Both are open to the public – please come and invite your colleagues!*Save the Dates * Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm), Science Café Series, Featuring a University of Rochester, Environmental Health Science Center Faculty Speaker, Barnes & Noble (Pittsford) AND Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm), Seminars, panel discussions, and a poster session, Flaum Atrium/ Class of ’62 Read more here.
  • 5/21/2015 - Breaking the climate silence in Rochester, NY, actually talking about Climate Change and community involvement. Check out this interesting (but rare) discussion where the public gets to ask what the Rochester region actually doing about this worldwide crisis. (Unless you haven’t noticed, it’s meager.) Climate silence, where you know about Climate Change, but aren’t inclined to talk about it at all or in any meaningful way, has been a staple in Rochester. But this discussion, one you can listen to online (or as a podcast) and then respond in the comment section, is a dialogue about what our city and the public can and should be doing on addressing this issue. Lots of folks are talking about ad hoc things folks are doing but few are asking if these actions are on a level and speed that will matter. Are our efforts being coordinated with state and federal and ultimately worldwide efforts? While other communities like Portland, Oregon have been working on climate actions plans for two decades, Rochester has been sleeping. Does this mean that now that Rochester is coming up with a climate action plan we should only expect baby steps? Or, should Rochester be trying to catchup as quickly as possible to what other cities are doing to address this worldwide crisis? Don’t be silent, speak up. Be critical. Read climate studies. Get involved. Make some noise. Connections: Climate Change NASA says the last remaining section of a huge Antarctic ice shelf will be gone by 2020 -- faster than scientists initially expected. The shelf is known as Larsen B, and it's existed for 10,000 years. We'll take a look at the data and talk about how this event fits into the broader context of climate change with our panel: Eric Hittinger, RIT professor of public policy with a focus on energy policy Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability advisor for RIT Abigail McHugh-Grifa, Rochester People's Climate Coalition Susan Spencer, ROCSPOT (May 20, 2015) Connections
  • 5/21/2015 - Whatever your position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we ‘the people’ should at least know what’s in it. We don’t want to keep hearing that our environmental protections are being upheld by the TPP and don’t worry your pretty little heads, we want to read the agreement and even the fine script. Just as if we were adults. Let the Public Read the Completed Parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are under public dispute. Fast track must not be approved until this is cleared up. We the People deserve to know what is being voted on with fast track. (May 19, 2015) Bill Moyers and Company
  • 5/21/2015 - The new California oil spill highlights the new normal: no matter how dire Climate Change we won’t change. The only way to stop oil spills is to shift to renewable energy, but we have a zillion excuses why we won’t do that so… get your plastic bag and start picking up the oily stuff. Wildlife, pristine beaches focus of 'aggressive' oil spill cleanup Oil pipeline company officials said Wednesday that as many as 105,000 gallons of crude oil may have spilled from a ruptured pipeline on the California coast.  (May 20, 2015) CNN
  • 5/21/2015 - Note: New web address for: Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) was formed in September 2014 to mobilize our community to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City.  Within a few weeks, 30+ member organizations joined the coalition, including businesses, churches, political offices, environmental groups, and other nonprofits.  The RPCC continues to grow, collaborate, and build political power.  For a full list of member organizations and information on how to join, see here.
  • 5/20/2015 - The idea of allowing an air quality permit (a waiver) to permit the warming up of crude oil (which makes it volatile, i.e., explosive) so that thick oil can be removed from Bomb Trains coming through our neighborhoods then placed on barges in Albany (which will allow it to become a major fossil fuel hub) and sent down the Hudson River is so incredibly reckless and dangerous in a time of Climate Change and when we have an incredible NYS transportation infrastructure challenges as to be quite insane. Concerns Over Crude Oil Facility Near The Hudson River New York state regulators are expected to decide soon on a permit for a facility at the Port of Albany that critics say would make the port a hub for heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil.  Global Partners, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, needs the air quality permit to install boilers that would warm rail tanker cars to facilitate offloading of dense crude to storage tanks or Hudson River barges. (May 20, 2015) WXXI News
  • 5/20/2015 - Considering that travel loads of liquid fuels has increased dramatically and our roads, highways, rails and bridges are getting worse, it’s only a matter of time until this transportation system breaks down. It’s really tough to talk about Climate Change and Transportation when we don’t want to talk about Climate Change or connect the dots between transportation and Climate Change (27% of our GHGs come from the transportation sector) or even about the proper maintenance of our existing transportation infrastructure. (Not to mention the rising issue of exploding crude oil trains (or Bomb Trains)). We have a problem. Report: Rural bridges in NY among worst in U.S. A new report finds rural bridges in New York State are the 15th worst in the country. This comes from TRIP, a national transportation research group. (May 20, 2015) WHEC Rochester
  • 5/20/2015 - Oil spill bullshit over the truth. Remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Think the gulf is all cleaned up and ready for more drilling? Think again. Looks like in order to find out the truth about the results of the BP Gulf Oil Spill five years ago one must take a sub about a mile down to a moonscape-like barren ocean floor and see for oneself. 80% of fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to survive Climate Change, NOT drill for more in a place that has been destroyed by the largest oil spill in US history. 30 Million Gallons Under the Sea: Five Years After BP Disaster, New Drilling OK’d by Spill Site  (May 14, 2015) Democracy Now!
  • 5/20/2015 - Fossil fuels more important for governments than public health. What’s wrong with this picture? Coal, oil, gas subsidies higher than public health spending Around 1.6 million premature deaths would be prevented annually if the world's governments stopped subsidising fossil fuels, a study by four researchers from the International Monetary Fund found. (May 19, 2015) euobserver
  • 5/20/2015 - Our New York politicians need to take their climate action plan off the shelf and put it on their plate.  Hello, we have a climate action plan for New York called Climate Action Plan Interim Report and our leaders need to dust it off and freaking read it and then begin acting so our state will be prepared. This climate plan, began in the Governor Patterson days, has been around awhile and provides comprehensive evidence that Climate Change is affecting our state and the plan explains what needs to be done. So there’s no excuse for this critical document languishing away in obscurity when it needs to be acted on.  Be nice if our local media brought this up once in a while, maybe things get dull on the sports field—which they seem inordinately obsessed with. Time passes. New York Senators Call Out Their Colleagues For Denying Climate Change New York state senators who question the science of human-caused climate change got a public reprimanding from their colleagues during a town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss how residents have been impacted by the phenomenon.  (May 19, 2015) Think Progress/Climate Progress
  • 5/19/2015 - There would be HOPE if 5.3 Trillion dollars went into renewables instead of fossil fuels. Otherwise hope is baseless. Fossil fuel subsidies to hit $5.3 trillion in 2015, says IMF study  Governments could cut 20% of carbon emissions at a stroke if they stopped subsidising oil, gas and coal Subsidies for fossil fuels that cause climate change have soared since 2013, a new study from the International Monetary Fund has revealed. Oil, gas and coal costs will be subsidised to the tune of US$5.3 trillion a year in 2015. The last time the IMF ran the data it calculated they were worth $1.9 trillion. Economists say the latest figures are more accurate as they represent the “true” cost of energy, which includes the environmental, health and climate impacts of burning fossil fuels. (May 19, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
  • 5/19/2015 - Perhaps this video can help challenge the pervasiveness of Climate Change silence crippling Rochester, NY. There’s a reason why our media, our government, and our public are not talking about and acting actively on the worldwide crisis of Climate Change on a level and speed that will matter. Whatever the reason for climate silence, more of it will mean will we will entirely unprepared for the consequences. Challenge the pervasiveness of Climate Change silence. Burying this disaster under a shroud of silence and feel-good journalism that (if mentioned at all locally) downplays the inevitable effects of this crisis will make this disaster much worse—maybe impossible to adapt to. I was talking to a very well educated person who allowed Climate Change to be mentioned for a few moments and this person said that their region wasn’t experiencing hardly any warming. Even if this was true, which it is not, this admission means the signs of warming—a heat trapping process on a global level that is inevitable—are clear to this person. But still, the desire to follow though the implications of a process that is built into our future and becoming more dire was not in this person’s comfort zone. It was time for climate silence. We changed the subject. But the heat goes on. 'We have to challenge the pervasive silence on climate change' - video Leading climate change activist George Marshall and Guardian journalist George Monbiot talk about how our decision-making processes are driven by cues, signals and bias, why this is a problem for the climate change movement and how we can encourage a sense of collective purpose about the issue.  (May 19, 2015) The Guardian
  • 5/19/2015 - The Heat, which seems to have brushed by the Northeast and our surface air temperatures, has not disappeared. The Heat is making its way through our Earth systems (93% going into our oceans for a while) and it will find its way through every section of our environment. Not because Heat is evil; the Heat is the energy that we have been capturing with our greenhouse gas emissions and once it has made its through all the cold caverns of our planet and warmed them up, it will begin warming up everything else as it struggles to leave the cage we have unwittingly created. We should be prepared for the monster we have trapped in our planet and find a way to let it out harmlessly out into space. Heat is Piling Up in the Depths of the Indian Ocean The world’s oceans are playing a game of hot potato with the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions.  (May 18, 2015) Climate Central
  • 5/19/2015 - Another one of the great unknowns about our way of life is what happens to the pharmaceuticals once they leave our bodies. Many folks probably assume that after we use a drug that drug has been used up, gone, and neutralized. Not really. In many cases our bodies barely break down the drugs we ingest. Some of our pharmaceuticals are affecting fish. Some are doing godknowswhat as they radiate out into our environment after having been supercharged by our waste treatment plants. There are a lot of unknowns and probably a lot of unknown unknowns about how our way of life affects our environment, which is to say our life support system. Because we have broken Nature (seriously disrupted many vital ecosystem with our pollution, loss of biodiversity, and Climate Change) we cannot assume that Nature will heal itself and make the world right again for us. Nature is merely a mindless biological algorithm—garbage in garbage out. We now have to be engaged and mindful of every facet of our environment for a healthy future. Bacteria making meds in wastewater outflows. Wastewater treatment plants not only struggle removing pharmaceuticals, it seems some drugs actually increase after treatment.  (May 13, 2015) Environmental Health News
  • 5/18/2015 - “… a bill that would slash at least three hundred million dollars from NASA’s earth-science budget” is suicidal. Wake Up! The G.O.P.’s War on Science Gets Worse (May 6, 2015) The New Yorker [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 5/18/2015 - One of the things we learned about the oil trains passing through Rochester is that we are going to need evacuation plans here in Rochester and elsewhere. Mothers Out Front and People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE) hosted an informative meeting Sunday on the dangers of Bomb Trains (railroad’s term not ours) that included a litany of explosive oil train derailments that have already caused much damage and some loss of life. When these trains detonate (they truly detonate because in order to get this thick oil into trains the oil is pressurized with volatile gases and so it doesn’t take much to set them off) they create a spectacular ball of flame that resists emergency crews attempts to rescue folks and uncouple other trains from creating even larger explosions. And because of railroads are riddled with old rails and deteriorating bridges that are not equipped to hold these heavy loads, they are more prone to derailments. This is all to say that these trains carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota through Buffalo and Rochester and Syracuse to Albany are a clear and present danger to our communities. When these trains detonate our communities are going to have to be able to evacuate immediately because not only can these explosions keep going on when you have lots of these trains hitched together, the toxic air from the explosions is not fit to breathe. Even if the proposed regulations for more robust train cars and more safety were implemented (which probably won’t do any good because some past derailments already had these retrofits) folks anywhere nearby these train routes are going to have to evacuate during a ‘mishap.’ What are those plans to quickly remove a lot of folks in our community when these explosions occur? And, why aren’t we focusing on renewable energy instead of Bomb Trains after New York finally rid itself of Fracking in a time of Climate Change? Learn more about this whole issue at PAUSE and take ACTION. Mothers talk about oil train dangers At least 24 oil trains have been involved in major fires or derailments over the past decade in the U.S. and Canada. It’s a topic of concern for the group Mothers Out Front. They met on Sunday in Brighton to discuss the issue of how oil is transported. In Monroe County, dozens of trains carrying crude oil pass through our communities. Recently, federal regulators set new guidelines for the railroad industry, but some environmental groups say the new rules don’t go far enough. (May 18, 2015) WHAM
  • 5/18/2015 - Certainly there are other ways to bring money and jobs to Alaska than drilling and potentially destroying the warming Arctic. Seattle flotilla protests Shell's Arctic drilling plans Hundreds of activists in kayaks and small boats fanned out on a Seattle bay on Saturday to protest plans by Royal Dutch Shell to resume oil exploration in the Arctic and keep two of its drilling rigs stored in the city's port.  (May 16, 2015) Reuters
  • 5/17/2015 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter May 17, 2015 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe
  • 5/16/2015 - Walkable neighborhoods in Rochester—it would be a good idea. Much needs to be done to respect pedestrians. Without that respect walking the sidewalks in Rochester can be inconvenient and dangerous. Being able to walk safely around Rochester (or any other community for that matter) is not just about real estate. Walking is critical for getting to jobs and addressing Climate Change—where folks walk short distances instead of jumping into their gas guzzlers because it’s more convenient and safe. We already have a situation where we bus school children, even though the school may not be far away, because it’s safer than allowing them to walk. That’s tragic. I’ll admit with much of this article’s portrayal of our neighborhoods, including places nearby worth waking to and great trails all around to walk to, is spot on. From my house, I can walk to most of the places I need to go. But there’s more to this story. Our sidewalks are almost impassible in winter because they are too icy and clogged from snow-plowing, which does not respect pedestrians. Also, many drivers do not look for pedestrians before they back out of their driveway, or when they are turning right on red (without stopping). Our traffic lights do not favor pedestrians, being so wildly out of sync with traffic and pushing the ‘walk’ button, that most folks ignore the traffic lights and work out their own system for crossing the streets.  Walking is a fundamental transportation mode; if you have to drive across the street to get to the other side safely, there’s something dramatically wrong. Finally, much of the driving we do is for short distances—less than six miles. If we walked those distances instead of drove, we would be healthier, more folks would want to retire to Rochester, and we’d have a very inexpensive way to seriously address Climate Change—as transportation accounts for 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions.  Walkable neighborhoods are in demand  One of the biggest trends to emerge in real estate in the past decade is the popularity of walkable neighborhood.  (May 16, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 5/16/2015 - “Lethal Seas” from PBS NOVA. Your oceans are dying, in part, because of Climate Change. Watch online. Lethal Seas A unique coral garden in Papua New Guinea shows what the future may hold as oceans acidify. Aired May 13, 2015 on PBS PBS Program Description A deadly recipe is brewing that threatens the survival of countless creatures throughout Earth’s oceans. For years, we’ve known that the oceans absorb about a quarter of the carbon dioxide in our atmosphere. But with high carbon emissions worldwide, this silent killer is entering our seas at a staggering rate, raising the ocean’s acidity. It’s eating away at the skeletons and shells of marine creatures that are the foundation of the web of life. NOVA follows the scientists making breakthrough discoveries and seeking solutions. Visit a unique coral garden in Papua New Guinea that offers a glimpse of what the seas could be like a half-century from now. Can our experts crack the code of a rapidly changing ocean before it’s too late? (May 13, 2015) PBS NOVA
  • 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.
  • 5/16/2015 - Incredible first installment of The Guardian’s ‘global ‘carbon bombs’, 14 giant proposed fossil fuel projects that will fry our planet more. "Keep it in the Ground" – the Guardian’s climate campaign First, let me introduce our first story on global "carbon bombs". These are 14 giant proposed fossil fuel projects around the world. The numbers are staggering. If they go ahead, these projects will lead to the emission of 6.3 gigatonnes of carbon dioxide a year by 2020. That is as much as the entire US emits annually. View the interactive In the first, our Australia environment specialist Oliver Milman visits the Galilee basin in Queensland. The plans here are truly colossal. Developers hope to establish a series of mines to exploit a deposit of 247,000 sq km (95,400 sq miles) of coal: a land mass the size of Britain. If the complex is fully developed, CO2 emissions from the burned coal would top 700m tonnes a year. That would mean a CO2 output just behind Germany. There are also concerns that the project will also impact the Great Barrier Reef because of the risks posed by increased shipping to export the coal. We have established that the Australian government has engaged in a frantic diplomatic push to avoid the Great Barrier Reef being listed as "in danger" by the UN. Preventing the Galilee basin coal mines and other projects from going ahead is the front line of efforts to Keep it in the Ground and prevent dangerous climate change." The Guardian
  • 5/16/2015 - The next time you hear someone say that renewable energy cannot stand up on its own and must be subsidized by the state for it to prosper and provide for our energy needs, remember this article about how much freaking money the fossil fuels gets and has gotten for years and years—from ‘we the people’. US taxpayers subsidising world's biggest fossil fuel companies  (May 12, 2015) The Guardian
  • 5/16/2015 - Canada joins other nations on the road to Paris to reduce GHG emissions. COP21 must work; there’s no Plan B. Humanity will either make an agreement in December to bring down our greenhouse gas emissions to a sustainable level, or they won’t. There is no other mechanism that will address Climate Change on a time frame and level that will matter than a worldwide agreement—which includes fairness, regulations, and helping the developing nations that did not cause this crisis. Canada Sets Goal to Cut Emissions by 2030  (May 15, 2015) Climate Central
  • 5/16/2015 - New York State’s ban on Fracking proves that when you take a good long look at Fracking, you’ll drop it. Of course, it would have been better if Cuomo had dropped Fracking seven years ago and instead focused on leading on Climate Change by restructuring our energy options with renewable energy in the first place. A lot of time was lost in New York because its energy options were hijacked by the Fracking issue. We hope Cuomo doesn’t take another six long years to drop putting dangerous crude oil on our rails (Bomb Trains) and running them through our communities to foster another fossil fuel infrastructure during Climate Change. Dangerous levels of greenhouse gases are building up in our atmosphere and oceans because of our energy use. We should stop all forms of fossil fuels which caused this crisis. No Fracking; No Bomb Trains; No coal, No massive gas storage in our Finger Lakes region. Yes to wind; Yes to solar; Yes to geothermal; Yes to great energy efficiency; Yes to energy conservation; Yes to better battery storage; Yes to micro grids; and Yes to Smart Grids. Why Did NY Ban Fracking? The Official Report Is Now Public The massive study finds that health, safety and environmental uncertainties regarding fracking's dangers have 'grown worse over time.' New York issued its long-awaited environmental assessment of fracking Wednesday detailing a wide range of health and climate concerns that underpinned Governor Andrew Cuomo's decision last December to impose a statewide ban on the practice. (May 15, 2015) Inside Climate News