Updated Daily  10/25/2014 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

Censure a remedy for powerful political climate change deniers                                                                                      

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "


As those who don’t exclusively get their news locally already know, September 2014 “is now the hottest on record, according to NASA”1 That jaw-dropping reality goes along with NASA’s conclusion that “Earth Just Experienced the Warmest Six-Month Stretch Ever Recorded.”2 I could go on with an endless litany of grim facts (benchmarks) from scientists proving every day that we are headed for disaster.

But one thing the public must be wondering: If things are this bad, why isn’t our media apoplectic with alarm, politicians pounding the pavement with their local solutions for addressing this crisis, or folks with their hair on fire over this?  

Good question.

Actually a lot of your friends and neighbors were out in the streets, their hair on fire as it were.  The People’s Climate March (PCM), beginning in Rochester with the People’sClimateMarch/WesternNY, was a massive demonstration that is finally starting to sink in.  Social experts are stating that because of the march “The Climate Change Movement Is Not Wishful Thinking Anymore”3 and may actually be “a burgeoning social fact” [ibid] Burgeoning, beginning to grow or increasing rapidly; flourishing.

What may be the most immediate result of the PCM comes from Todd Stern, Special Envoy for Climate Change at the US State Department: “Todd Stern says that mounting public pressure could rapidly force GOP to address global warming, and urged people to demand action. Climate change denial will switch from being a litmus test for major Republican politicians to a liability in the near future.” More:

"Stern said that mounting public pressure would eventually force American politicians' hand on global warming. The People's Climate March in New York City last month, he noted, was a start. Hundreds of thousands of people flooded the streets of Manhattan calling for action—any action—on climate change. The event took place 48 hours before world leaders, including Stern, gathered at the United Nations to lay the groundwork for climate treaty talks. "It's a basic rule of politics that politicians listen to the voice of potential voters," he said. "When politicians come to believe that not listening could be detrimental to their political health, they listen." Will Climate Change Denial Become a Political Liability? U.S. Treaty Envoy Thinks So (October 15, 2014 Inside Climate News)

Climate Change denial could become a political liability? Wow! Kind of unbelievable given the dreary assumption that climate deniers may flood the Mid-term elections. Yet historic social conditions thought to be so entrenched as to be impossible to transform have changed with amazing rapidity.  Recent examples include the acceptance of gay marriage.  Nowadays you don’t going around in colleges blurting that you’re a knee-jerk bigot on this issue.  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:

  • 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]
  • Environmental moves make good business sense  Bob Bechtold built a successful manufacturing company by embracing new technology, not treating it as a threat. Bechtold founded Harbec, Inc., almost 40 years ago in the Wayne County town of Ontario as an all-purpose machine shop. Computerized machine tools were just starting to make their way to shop floors, and some in the toolmaking and machining industries worried that the technology would supplant highly skilled workers. Bechtold says he believed that computers would be the best tool that toolmakers ever had. "And so I began wherever I could to change Harbec general purpose machine shop into Harbec, utilizer of technologies and opportunities to forge new business opportunities," he says. (July 30, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Green Business in our area]
  • Composting startup aims to ease pressure on expanding landfills Every Thursday, Luke Stodola goes out driving, filling the bed of his truck with, well, poop. Sometimes, buckets and buckets of it. “We give them a bucket full of composted soil, their cats defecate into the soil and we re-compost that soil cat-poop mixture into more compost,” Stodola said. He works with an alternative waste-management company in upstate New York. He and the co-owners of Community Composting provide door to door service collecting food scraps, and the occasional bucket of cat litter. Once all is collected, they take the organic waste to a composting plant. It’s a process the team says could also ease pressure on local landfills. (May 28, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Recycling and Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight

  Fast Forward Film Festival




Submission deadline is February 27, 2015. Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org"  

WATCH VIDEO  

Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives 

Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT, and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

Its Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment.

As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness.

An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015.

Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org

Please spread the word! Send the links around.    

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...    

October 2014

  • Mon, Oct 27: 6:30-8:30pm | Penfield Town Hall auditorium, 3100 Atlantic Ave, Penfield NY 14626
    • Butterfly Gardens & Wildlife Habitats Mon, Oct 27: 6:30-8:30pm   Bruce Zaretsky, Zaretsky & Associates, Inc. You know that butterflies are beautiful, butterflies are also important to your garden & our environment & an essential part of our ecosystem.  According to Butterfly-Conservation.org butterflies are: indicators of a healthy environment & healthy ecosystems; important for pollination & natural pest control; & an important element of the food chain & are prey for birds, bats & other insectivorous creatures.  In this presentation you will learn how to create your own butterfly-attracting garden, using plants right outside your door www.butterfly-conservation.org/ facebook.com/savebutterflies  New Environmental Discussion Series   Courtesy of your Penfield Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee Penfield Town Hall auditorium, 3100 Atlantic Ave, Penfield NY 14626
  • Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6 – 8 PM, Cayuga Onondaga BOCES, 1879 West Genesee St. Rd, Auburn, NY
    • Countywide Forum on Manure Runoff in the our Watersheds Countywide Forum: Wednesday, October 29, 2014, 6 – 8 PM, Cayuga Onondaga BOCES, 1879 West Genesee St. Rd, Auburn, NY The purpose of this forum is to open up a dialogue regarding manure application in light of the manure runoff events that occurred this past winter. This event is being organized by Cayuga County Legislators Keith Batman and Mike Didio with input from the Cayuga County Health Department, Cayuga County Soil and Water, Cornell Cooperative Extension, and Niles Town Supervisor Charlie Greene. The forum will provide an opportunity for County residents to voice their opinion, in 3 minutes or less, regarding possible regulations on the spreading of manure on frozen ground and near waterways and streams. People interested in speaking at the forum can pre-register by sending an email to kbatman@cayugacounty.us  with your name and address. For further information, please call Eileen O’Connor, Cayuga County Health Department, at 253-1405.

November 2014

  • November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm
    • Learn about ‘community-owned wind investment.’ in Rochester, NY. I’m on a learning curve here. This is what Wiki says: “Community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, investors, businesses, schools, utilities, or other public or private entities who utilize wind energy to support and reduce energy costs to the local community. The key feature is that local community members have a significant, direct financial stake in the project beyond land lease payments and tax revenue. Projects may be used for on-site power or to generate wholesale power for sale, usually on a commercial-scale greater than 100 kW” However it works, it beats the crap out of Fracking, trekking tar sands oil across our state on tanker cars not built for that, and burning any fossil fuel for energy.  To find out more check out this information session tonight: October 21, Rochester, NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  5-6:30 pm by Black Oak Wind Farm “New York State’s First Community-Owned Wind Farm”. Here’s what they say: “The Mission of Black Oak Wind Farm LLC is to give New York residents the opportunity to own wind energy assets, providing clean energy to the grid and financial returns to our investors. Our Vision is to develop, own, and operate an 11.9 megawatt wind farm in western Tompkins County, New York. There will be seven GE 1.7 megawatt turbines, planned to start construction in late 2014.” If you cannot make tonight’s talk, there another in Rochester: November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm
  • Wednesday, November 05, 2014, 01:00pm - 05:00pm Rochester, Monroe County
    • Introduction to Solar Policy Workshop Wednesday, November 05, 2014, 01:00pm - 05:00pm Rochester, Monroe County The Introduction to Solar Policy Workshop provides local policymakers with the basic strategies and best practices used to develop a regulatory framework to support a growing solar market. Participants in this half-day event will learn how to take advantage of economic development opportunities offered by solar development through smart policies and local programs. The workshop will review nationally accepted planning and zoning best practices, strategies to reduce administrative burdens through transparent and streamlined permitting processes, and programs that expand financing options and drive adoption of cost-effective solar projects. Policymakers that complete this course are eligible to receive free one-on-one technical support in designing and implementing smart solar policy in their jurisdiction.
  • November 5, 2014 Radisson Conference Center, Rochester, NY
  • Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online.
    • Learn about Micro-grids and how they might work to lower our carbon footprint in New York State. Webinar: a Climate Smart Communities (NYS program to address Climate Change) for “innovative models for energy purchase and management” Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online. Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Micro-grids and Community Choice Aggregation Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon     What if communities could design energy policy according to their own priorities, providing local choice and local benefit….all without placing financial demands on municipalities or taxpayers? This is true today in many states where communities have designed strategies to save residents money on energy costs, while financing renewable generation, creating more reliable electricity grids, and earning residents’ money in demand management markets.   This second webinar in our two part community energy options series will introduce innovative models for energy purchase and management that are being explored nationally, internationally and, now, locally. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), allows municipalities to pool the purchasing power of their residents and businesses, enabling alternative energy purchase as well as innovative financing mechanisms for efficiency and renewable supply. Micro-grids have the power to create unified and optimized grid assets from the disparate resources at the “edge of the grid.” In so doing, micro-grids provide superior information, control and value to grid operators and communities alike. (October 22, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • Saturday, 11/15/14, 9 AM 5 PM | Textor Hall, Ithaca College
    • Saturday, 11/15/14, 9 AM 5 PM (Ithaca) COLLATERAL DAMAGE FROM FRACKING: Preventing Impacts on Communities An action oriented conference: Learn what you can do about fracking Infrastructure, air pollution, waste disposal, transportation Textor Hall, Ithaca College Opening speaker: David Slottje, Esq., Community Environmental Defense Council More info and registration here: http://us3.campaign-archive1.com/?id=94542d13c4&e=dfae976fcb
  • Friday November 21, 2014 from 8:30 AM to 4:30 PM  | Hobart and William Smith Colleges Scandling Center 300 Pulteney St. Vandervort Room Geneva, NY 14456 
    • 2014 Finger Lakes Research Conference November 21, 2014 Conserving the Finger Lakes: Invasive Species, Climate Change, and Anthropogenic Influences This year’s program will focus on threats to the Finger Lakes and showcase research and strategies to combat them. Presentations will be made on emerging contaminants, invasive species, nutrient management and more. A poster session will also be held with prizes awarded to the best undergraduate and graduate poster. 

 

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

Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, (October 9, 2012) over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature. 

But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties

Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 

 

Greentopia Festival 2012

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: Friday October 17th
    • Got thoughts on “Why Getting Rid of Bus Stops Can Improve Bus Service.” RTS seeking feedback on Bus Stop Optimization Study "As you may be aware, RTS has recently released the findings and draft recommendations from its Bus Stop Optimization Study. As part of this effort, RTS inventoried and analyzed of all of its current bus stops (~3,400) and is recommending to phase out approximately 25 percent of them by the end of 2015. I am attaching documents that provide some background on the project and recommendations, as well as a list of which stops are being recommended for elimination. You can read more on the project website and explore an interactive map that shows which stops are recommended for elimination and which will be preserved (Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer 10+ or Google Chrome to accurately view the map). RTS is requesting feedback on the study and accepting comments through next Friday, October 17th. You can use this online comment form to submit comments, email RTS’ Customer Service Department at Monroe@myRTS.com , or call them at 288-1700.  I am developing some comments from a health/health equity perspective. The focus will be to recommend that RTS preserve bus stops that are co-located with key health care providers (e.g., licensed public health care and behavioral health facilities) and health supporting venues/services (e.g., affordable housing, senior centers, grocery stores). I encourage you to share your thoughts as well and to share this email with anyone in your networks who rely the bus, serve folks who rely on the bus, or who are interested in making our bus system work better for our community. If you have any questions, please let me know." Elizabeth Murphy  Active Transportation Specialist Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency 1150 University Avenue Bldg 5 Rochester, NY 14607 www.flhsa.org www.healthikids.org 
  • ACTION: Due Date: November 30th
    • Because NYS DEC comment period has been extended yet again (Nov 30) on proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany, take action.  The Tar Sands fight comes home to NY  “Right now there is a proposal before the Department of Environmental Conservation to expand the amount of crude oil coming into the port of Albany from 1.2 billion gallons to nearly 3 billion gallons annually.  In addition, the applicant, Global Partnerss LLC is looking to build a boiler facility to heat the heavy tar sands coming off rail cars to reduce viscosity and facilitate more fluid transfer to ships.  The DEC has already determined that there are no significant environmental impacts attached  to these actions. Will you tell DEC to take the necessary steps to ensure a full environmental impact statement is conducted on this emerging threat to New York’s health and safety?” Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter. Read more: Comment period extended on Port of Albany oil plant proposal

  • ACTION: Due Date: December 17th 2014
    • Making comment on open space in NYS and Climate Change, it’s no longer fun and games. This is critical ”…the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.” “Public comments can be submitted by email to LF.OpenSpacePlan@dec.ny.gov  or mailed to DEC by December 17 to: Open Space Conservation Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233” DEC and State Parks Release State Open Space Conservation Plan for Public Comment Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23. (September 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • ACTION: Due date: February 27, 2015
    • Got short film abilities and want to message importance of our environment?  "Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT,  and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "
  • ACTION: Due Date: now
    • Get your community to pledge to the NYS Climate Smart Communities program. This will be one of the most important actions you can take on addressing Climate Change in our region. If you live in the Western New York, Rochester region and don’t belong to Irondequoit, Brighton, Rochester, and Victor, [check here] your community probably has not voluntary pledged to this program. Your community should belong in order to take “Local Action to Combat Climate Change. Two types of actions enable Climate Smart Communities to minimize the risks of climate change and reduce its long-term costs: Reducing GHG Emissions: Starting now to reduce GHG emissions and create permanent sinks that remove GHG from the atmosphere; these actions will help stabilize atmospheric GHGs at manageable levels and avoid severe climatic changes. Adapting to a Changing Climate: Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, which will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.” Ask your community leaders to make the pledge, get state assistance, and help make this voluntary program more robust. For more info go here: Climate Smart Communities and check the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Forum on this: "Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program" There is no excuse for your community not being a part of this state-wide program.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now (with your friends and group)  
    • What if in the Rochester, NY area we channeled this idea of the street librarian to educate locals on Climate Change.  So, we put together materials and get a neat bike (see photo) made so we casually ride around all the neighborhoods of Rochester and answer anyone’s questions about Climate Change in our area, hand out literature, engage the public at the very street level in a very low carbon emissions footprint way on this worldwide crisis. This wouldn’t be a charity project at all. This would be a crucial link in the Climate Change issue that is missing in the Rochester area—outreach.  If we hope to have a chance that the public will support the long-term actions we must make to upgrade and refit our infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, water, etc.) we are going to need the public to understand an support these efforts year after year, elections after elections.  This outreach program would be inexpensive, effective, and probably a lot of freaking fun. Homeless Outreach in Volumes: Books by Bike for ‘Outside’ People in Oregon (October 9, 2014) New York Times
  • ACTION: Due Date: now
    • Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey  and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Please make comment on a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. Transportation issues are strongly related to Climate Change because our transportation infrastructure (roads and bridges) is extremely vulnerable to extreme weather—heat, flooding, and very expensive to repair. Most of your transportation dollars ($15 billion annually in New York State) go to keeping this vast system in repair, and now it must do so in a time of warming. If the public doesn’t urge our transportation authorities to strongly make our system more robust and resilient, and provide more and more access to alternative transportation (bicycling and walking) in a time of increased extreme weather, the transportation system as a whole might be in jeopardy. We have many bridges and roads and disrepair already and much will have to be done at a high cost to ready the transportation system to Climate Change. More folks walking and bicycling would reduce the amount of infrastructure wear (after they are built) more safety, and a lot less greenhouse gas emissions. Without public support for this increase attention to our transportation infrastructure it may compromise our most robust and viable adaptation efforts in our region. All climate studies in this region call for major updating and repair of our transportation infrastructures. Transportation Survey: Genesee Transportation Council wants your input Work is underway for develop strategies that will guide investments in transportation for the NEXT 25 YEARS – a Strategic Plan for Transportation in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region through 2040. You can help by  1. Taking a Brief 5 Minute Survey at www.surveymonkey.com/s/GTC-LRTP-2040.  2. Go to the Public Input Map at http://wikimapping.com/wikimap/gtc-lrtp-2040/p-71950 and add any comments you have/show what projects you feel would be beneficial.
  • 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:
    • Join the New York Water Sentinels stream team! Training provided periodically. Sentinels test and document stream quality now, so future effects from gas drilling are more easily identified. Water Sentinels has trained over 100 citizens to use simple scientific methods to evaluate stream quality. With stream information (such as stream depth and conductivity), we can help regulators recognize trends and address problems.  For more information:  NYWaterSentinels@gmail.com | or FaceBook
  • 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: nchester@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
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature.  But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties. Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now
    • Tired of meteorologists failing to connect the dots between Climate Change and our daily weather?  Do something about it. Take action: Forecast the Facts WE NEED OUR TV METEOROLOGISTS TO REPORT THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. According to a recent national survey, more than half of TV weather reporters don’t believe in human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, their viewers are facing unprecedented climate-change induced heat waves, droughts, and flooding.

 

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  • 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
  • 10/25/2014 - Observations of local Climate Change changes from a regional climate expert. Warming effects are already afoot.  Journey to a Future Climate Exploring climate change in the Adirondacks By David W. Wolfe, PhD It's mid afternoon in late May, crazy hot for this time of year (upper 80s), and we are sloshing our way through Spring Pond Bog, the largest open bog in the Adirondacks. The weather has brought the black flies out in full force, loving the heat and humidity, and loving us even more. I'm with a colleague of mine from Cornell, plant ecologist Jonathan Comstock, and we are being led by the legendary Adirondack naturalist, Jerry Jenkins. Jerry knows this state park-from its soaring peaks to bog wilderness areas-probably better than anyone else alive, and he's taking us to see some of the areas that are most vulnerable to climate change. (October 2010) The Conservationist
  • 10/25/2014 - So what’s going on with our friends over at Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia –things are afoot. The Greentopian News from a Sustainable, Resilient Rochester October 2014 "We've now merged our Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia newsletters into THE GREENTOPIAN. We've also merged our email newsletter lists - so you will now receive just one, simple monthly newsletter! "
  • 10/25/2014 - Let’s say you personally don’t care about Climate Change, you still better hope your insurance company does.  For those whose only possible interest in Climate Change is how this worldwide crisis could affect them personally, they will care about Climate Change when something happens because of extreme weather and neither their insurance company nor their government can afford to put their world back together again.  It is the nature of the job for insurers to plan for the future and if Climate Change doesn’t factor prominently in that planning, you are on your own. First-of-its-Kind Report Ranks U.S. Insurance Companies on Climate Change Responses  (October 22, 2014) Ceres
  • 10/25/2014 - Besides Florida wanting to split (literally) over Climate Change, trying to patrician ourselves doesn’t bode well for solving a worldwide crisis. Though this story dramatizes the differences between those governments who understand Climate Change and are feeling the most spectacular immediate effects and those who do not, there is no way that trying to distance ourselves from ourselves, as we have over other issues in the past (like slavery), will solve anything for a physical problem that knows no boundaries. South Florida Wants to Split State Over Climate Change, Become 51st State (October 24, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change
  • 10/24/2014 - Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo, you (as a layman & not an expert) can read a zillion studies from beyond NY that prove Fracking is a public health risk. Extreme extraction of natural gas by Fracking is not new. New York State does not exist in a bubble. Lots of places are doing this crazy way of blasting through the bedrock for more fossil fuels in a time of Climate Change and there are studies about public health risks in those places.  Just Google “Fracking public health risks”. Even a layman can read. Cuomo Says Fracking Study Will Be Out by Year's End(October 23, 2014) WXXI News
  • 10/24/2014 - I know, for most Rochesterians the People’s Climate March was last year’s bird’s nest. But Wow! It has changed a lot of attitudes on Climate Change.  Watch this great video and re-experience humanity speaking for the planet, or if you’ve just seen photos of the march—get inside the change. Inside the ginormous, huge-tastic climate march Hear the People's Climate March make history. They promised the biggest climate march in world history. But when the big morning arrived, the Weather app showed a thundercloud.  Hear what happened next—and feel the (renewable) energy of a giant, urgent movement hitting the streets together for the first time—as The Good Fight takes you inside the most ambitious grassroots mobilization of the year. (September 26, 2014) The Good Fight With Ben Wikler
  • 10/24/2014 - If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If we ignore Asian Carp approach to Great Lakes, will they not come? If we doubt Climate Change, will it happen anyway?  If we choose not to keep our environment, our life support system, healthy, will it just go on keeping us healthy?  If we believe that it won’t hurt us if our house is on fire, will we get hurt? I could go on, but I think you get the drift. New Evidence of Mounting Asian Carp Invasion at Great Lakes  A new series of DNA analyses have revealed the possible beginnings of an invasion of Lake Michigan, with evidence of Asian carp showing up in a pair of Michigan tributaries.  (October 22, 2014) Nature World News
  • 10/24/2014 - The Bonn climate talks are but one of the stops along the way to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris  At Bonn “Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’).  So how’s all that going: Daily TCK: Day 4 at the climate talks in Bonn (October 24, 2014) tcktcktck
  • 10/24/2014 - If you haven’t read ClimAID and you live in New York State, you should. The study is our reality check on Climate Change and solutions.  Just to whet your appetite, check out this short article about the “Responding to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)” study where you can get a sense of the most important study about how Climate Change will affect our region that is being used by our authorities and planners.  This would be a good question for political leaders in New York State: “Have you read the ClimAID”? For if they haven’t, how can they properly plan for our future.  ClimAid Recommendations for adopting to a changing climate  (February 2013 Conservationist
  • 10/24/2014 - What did last winter’s frigid temperatures teach us about Climate Change and how we will respond? A frigid winter, like we had last winter, not only did not prove that Climate Change is not happening it caused us to warm up climate more.  Just as when it gets colder we turn up the heat, when it gets hotter we will turn on the air conditioning.  So, when it gets cold we will warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels and when it gets hot we’ll warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels.  What’s wrong with this picture? Polar Vortex Spiked U.S. CO2 Emissions in 2013  (October 21, 2014) Climate Central
  • The Story of ChangeStory of Change « The Story of Stuff Project "Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. "
  • 10/23/2014 - Fess up.  Are you using Monroe County’s EcoPark-- a “one-stop drop-off” to dispose of or recycle certain items”?  If not, why not?  So where have you been putting your e- waste, scrap metal, clothing (for donation), ink jet cartridges (to benefit charity), curbside recyclables, batteries, sneakers, tires, bulky plastics, flags to be destroyed), household hazardous waste and prescriptions (for proper disposal) and probably even more?  In Monroe County only an appallingly small percentage (I’ve heard that it’s only 1%) of folks actually use this county-run facility to take care of the kind of waste you cannot put in your trash or recycling bin. I’ve also heard that they are dropping hours for those employed at one of the best county-run facilities to keep hazardous waste out of our environment—our life support system.  It costs money and resources to keep the place lit and heated and it just isn't getting a lot of traffic. I don't know why the D&C has never covered it or why more people (politicians) aren't talking about it.  Please help to spread the word and let your friends know about EcoPark so they can use it.  Let your representatives know that it is important to you and that they should be proud of Rochester's leading environmental resource.  Once the hours get even more limited it will make it less likely that people will use it and before you know it we will be using one of the great facilities that we have here in town.
  • 10/23/2014 - Learn about Micro-grids and how they might work to lower our carbon footprint in New York State. Webinar: a Climate Smart Communities (NYS program to address Climate Change) for “innovative models for energy purchase and management” Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online. You can find out more about the state’s program from the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Earth Day Forum  "Climate Smart Communities:  Let’s Get With the Program" | Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Micro-grids and Community Choice Aggregation  (October 22, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/23/2014 - Putting a climate denier into office is like your insurance company only using historical data—both are dangerously delusional.  Because Climate Change is a problem of physics, energy from the sun being trapped more since the Industrial Revolution because of the rise in greenhouse gases faster than any time in the last 10,000 years, choosing a leader who cannot address this problem because of their stance against a problem of physics is insane. You cannot prepare your region with adequate planning if your leaders believe that what’s coming, won’t be coming.  Just like insurance companies that don’t factor in Climate Change, there won’t be enough money in the pot if they haven’t been getting ready for more destruction due to more frequent extreme weather.  Steyer Escalates Campaign to Keep Climate Deniers Out of Office  (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch
  • 10/23/2014 - But, but, if we lift the moratorium on Fracking in New York State the Fracking companies won’t create more and take advantage of more loopholes and put OUR water in danger, right? OK sure the Fracking companies got the Halliburton Loophole to get around the Safe Drinking Water Act but they won’t find other ways to get around the act and put our drinking water in danger, right? Not in New York.  If allowed into to our state, the Fracking companies would be good as gold (unless they came across real gold in our bedrock while they were drilling around down there  in which case presumably all environmental concerns about water or earthquakes or public health would be off the table.) Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals, report says Federal laws meant to protect drinking water require fracking companies to get a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process.  (October 23, 2014) The Columbus Dispatch
  • 10/23/2014 - If your insurance company can no longer cover you because they didn’t factor in Climate Change, who ya gonna call? That’s right, your government--the insurers of last resort. But even your government can only replace a finite number of houses and property when extreme weather comes more frequently.  This latest study about silence on Climate Change from insurance companies is very troubling because insurance companies, in order to stay viable, must be looking carefully and accurately into the future.  If your insurance company is only relying on historical data, it’s like trying to drive backwards down the highway without a rearview mirror. U.S. Insurers Meet Climate Risk With 'Deeply Troubling' Silence 'Insurers show widespread indifference to climate risk, both in regard to their core business' and their investments, new report says. Even though insurers are in the business of protecting others from risk, a new report shows that most major United States players are turning a blind eye to a serious threat to their own bottom line—climate change.  (October 23, 2014) Inside Climate News
  • 10/22/2014 - Incredibly pithy and cogent argument on why we must limit warming to 2C. This quote from the article is especially spot on: “Despite having accessible public information about global warming for more than two decades, many countries continue emitting greenhouse gasses at record-breaking rates.” We need to understand the kind of problem Climate Change presents humanity because it ain’t just about changing your light bulbs. Limiting global warming to 2°C: the philosophy and the science  (October 21, 2014) The Conversation
  • 10/22/2014 - Better yet, remove Bakken crude from any trains going through New York State altogether. New York State Sends Letter To North Dakota Governor Dalrymple Supporting Proposed Regulations To Decrease Crude Oil Volatility (October 21, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/22/2014 - Interesting, immediate health benefits from stricter standards on coal power plants a new study finds. Da, ya think? We certainly do have a penchant for studying the obvious. But I guess we won’t get pollution down unless we do these studies so we can prove to the folks making zillions from the fossil fuel industries that, yeah, burning fossil fuels actually does pollute the air (See China) and heats up the planet.  We’ve only been studying this freaking issue for decades. Anyway, we’d get a whole lot more air pollution down if we stopped burning fossil fuels for energy and you don’t need any studies to find this out.  We just need the political will and public education on how energy conservation, energy efficiency, battery improvements, micro grids, along with renewable energy can wean us off our addiction to fossil fuel energy.  Despite mainstream thinking to the contrary, we don’t have to threaten all life on this planet to turn on a light. Go renewables (wind and solar) and make it work. Study finds New York would benefit from proposed new coal standards New Yorkers could see health benefits from proposed standards for coal power plants, new research has found.  (October 17, 2014) Innovation Trail
  • 10/22/2014 - It’s flu season and time to get your shot and time for me to march out my flu essay: “Getting your flu shot and why it matters” | Flu Season to Begin Soon County officials remind residents to get their flu shots, as the season fast approaches. Between 50-60% of residents are regularly vaccinated against the highly preventable illness. Mid- to late October is the time of year when flu begins to appear in the region. Although there hasn’t been a confirmed case of the disease this year, spokesperson for the Monroe County Department of Public Health, John Ricci said the flu is on its way. (October 21, 2014) WXXI News
  • 10/22/2014 - Take home message about loss of biodiversity: “These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth.”  Besides our way of life and because of Climate Change we are experiencing a loss of biodiversity that equals the five other great extinction events.  More than tragic and the prospect of living on a lonely planet, we probably need most of those creatures to keep our life support system going.  We cannot create a key stone species to prop up a failing ecosystem if we kill off a species critical to the operation of a specific environment—a wetland, a forest, a stream. Half Earth’s Wildlife Gone, Governments Meet to Save the Rest Global wildlife populations have declined, on average, by 52 percent in the 40 year period since 1970, reports the global conservation nonprofit WWF.  (October 14, 2014) Environmental News Service (ENS) [more on Wildlife
  • 10/22/2014 - Here’s the scary part: What if when we do decide to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and that doesn’t work? One of the assumptions we make is that when we do get our act together and realize that we must get our greenhouse gas levels down ‘stuff’ happens and things don’t work out as we planned.  We then realize we cannot turn the planet’s thermostat down instantly, that other factors come into to play (like a cold winter) and our thinking we can just tweak this or that is a lot more complicated than we thought. This is another reason why we should have started reducing greenhouse gas emissions long ago. Stopping warming much more difficult that stopping a car. U.S. Carbon Emissions Rise Despite Efforts to Combat Climate Change In a troubling sign, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration  (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch
  • 10/21/2014 - I like this quote about Rochester’s new transit center, let’s hope it turns out to be true: “Therese McMillan, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, noted that the new hub was designed to benefit residents who rely on the public transportation system while bolstering downtown’s economy.” Officials get peek at new transit center (October 20, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 10/21/2014 - One of the reasons why we marched (actually walked and waited) for the People’s Climate March in NY was to kickstart the UN Climate Summit 2014.  How did that work out? Top 5 Takeaways From the United Nations Climate Summit The historic United Nations Climate Summit provided the clearest signals yet of how world leaders and top business executives perceive the threat of global warming. There was a dizzying barrage of announcements that together add up to proof of life for the previously moribund U.N. climate treaty talks. Here are the top takeaways from the summit: 1. Extreme weather is spurring action. 2. We are awesome at opening and closing Climate Summit meetings. The in-between part still needs some work 3. So, about that Green Climate Fund... 4. Private companies and cities are in the lead now. 5. We might actually keep forests around for a bit longer. (September 24, 2014) Mashable
  • 10/21/2014 - I know, this makes me sound like Bah Humbug, but grants, even when you get one, are a lousy way of cleaning up Brownfields. In the first place, if you use grants as a way of cleaning up industrial waste sites that some irresponsible corporation left for the public to clean up, it’s a crap shoot as to whether you’ll get the grant or not.  ‘Applicants’ have to jump through a Byzantine series of clerical hoops to be considered. And when they do get a grant, part of the grant money (as always) goes to administering the grants—not cleaning up the mess. Also, is the given amount of grant money enough to do the job? Instead of righting our environment, a fixed price is set and those with the lowest bid get to claim that they can clean up whoknowswhat with what limited funds.  Cleaning up Brownfields, which will unevenly affect low-income areas who will have to deal with more toxic runoff as Climate Change produces more frequent heavy rainfall in our region, should not be left to chance. Cleaning up Brownfields should be an immediate and comprehensive program that provides jobs to low-income communities so they can up the standards of their living and clean up their environment. Cleaning up Brownfields should not be left up to chance; they need to be cleaned up now.  EPA is Announcing - Funding Available for 2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants (October 20, 2014)   The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/21/2014 - Learn about ‘community-owned wind investment.’ Tonight in Rochester, NY. I’m on a learning curve here. This is what Wiki says: “Community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, investors, businesses, schools, utilities, or other public or private entities who utilize wind energy to support and reduce energy costs to the local community. The key feature is that local community members have a significant, direct financial stake in the project beyond land lease payments and tax revenue. Projects may be used for on-site power or to generate wholesale power for sale, usually on a commercial-scale greater than 100 kW” However it works, it beats the crap out of Fracking, trekking tar sands oil across our state on tanker cars not built for that, and burning any fossil fuel for energy.  To find out more check out this information session tonight: October 21, Rochester, NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  5-6:30 pm by Black Oak Wind Farm “New York State’s First Community-Owned Wind Farm”. Here’s what they say: “The Mission of Black Oak Wind Farm LLC is to give New York residents the opportunity to own wind energy assets, providing clean energy to the grid and financial returns to our investors. Our Vision is to develop, own, and operate an 11.9 megawatt wind farm in western Tompkins County, New York. There will be seven GE 1.7 megawatt turbines, planned to start construction in late 2014.” If you cannot make tonight’s talk, there another in Rochester: November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm
  • 10/21/2014 - Instead of focusing on becoming stewards of our environment, it looks like we’ve let the camel get its nose in the tent—and it’s a very long nose indeed. With the Boom in Oil and Gas,  Pipelines Proliferate in the U.S. The rise of U.S. oil and gas production has spurred a dramatic expansion of the nation's pipeline infrastructure.  (October 6, 2014) Yale Environment 360
  • 10/20/2014 - But the emerald ash borer (EAB), which is eating more of our ash trees, is probably doing so because the EAB is better able to weather our winters because of Climate Change. So, will ash tree seed collections restore a tree that will be prone to more invasive species because of warmer winters?  How long will we store the seeds? Millions of years until our climate returns to the time when the ash tree thrived and flourished?  Invasive Species Causes the Decline in Ash Tree Population  Ash trees in the northeast and Midwest are under assault from an invasive species.  (October 20, 2014) Time Warner News Rochester
  • 10/20/2014 - What we know is that NYS is getting $197 million to help finance improvements to water projects. What we don’t know is whether this money is sufficient to protect our water quality as our region experiences more frequent extreme weather (flooding) as a result of Climate Change. How can the EPA talk about helping to improve New York State’s water quality without talking about Climate Change? In truth we cannot figure out whether this funding is enough, what the state is actually doing about these issues as they related to Climate Change: "This funding helps New York communities upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, improving the environment and protecting public health.” All these issues related to water and public health are going to be seriously challenged by Climate Change and we need to plan and the EPA, or New York State for that matter, says nary a word about the elephant in the room. EPA Provides New York State $197 Million for Water Infrastructure Projects  (October 17, 2014) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)
  • 10/20/2014 - If you don’t find the science of Climate Change compelling enough to address this issue, maybe the ‘moral imperative’ will get you to act. In the Rochester, NY area, there a lots of things you can do: ACTION. Holy See to UN: Dealing with climate change a "moral imperative" (October 20, 2014) Vatican Radio
  • 10/20/2014 - But what if your state regulators do a half-ass job reporting on key Fracking air toxics and omit measurements of most pollutants? How can you determine the people health risks of Fracking if you’re going to cherry pick the measurements so that only Fracking doesn’t get sick? If we lift the moratorium in New York State on Fracking, is this what we have to look forward to instead of clean renewable energy? State studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants.  (October 20, 2014) Powersouce Pittsburg Post Gazette
  • 10/19/2013 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter October 19, 2014 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe
  • 10/19/2014 - Important and articulate thoughts on the People’s Climate March from long-time local environmentalist Audrey Newcomb in her newsletter “Sifting & Winnowing”: 400,000 demand climate action at NYC People’s March At the Sept.21 People’s Climate March, NYU Professor Christian Parenti noted that the Pentagon correctly recognizes that climate change has led to violence in the Global South (which includes most nations of Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia, including the Middle East). But during the Cold War, it was Colonialism that led to massive instability in the Global South, where neoliberal economic policies such as restructuring and austerity were superimposed by IMF and World Bank. Countries opting for progressive solutions such as regulation and socialism have faced military intervention by the US and Europe. The arming of rebels with cheap weapons left over from imperialist wars also fomented the violence. Climate change often looks more like civil war or banditry than bad weather in these countries because their populations are already vulnerable to the extreme effects of climate change. UN estimates that 150 armed conflicts that killed 20 million people, displaced 15 million, and wounded 60 million from 1945-1990.Today, alternating drought and flooding take a huge toll. Although the Pentagon recognizes the part climate change plays, its counterinsurgency policies have not and are not working. The War on Terror makes societies less and less able to deal with problems caused by extreme weather. (October 2014) Sifting & Winnowing [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • 10/18/2014 - Let’s get real, cleaning up Frack water is not just about getting the salt out, there are undisclosed Fracking chemicals that this report doesn’t mention. Why not? Not only have Fracking chemicals been removed as hazardous water waste in the Safe Drinking Water Act from the Halliburton Loophole, it looks like our public media is also on the Fracking secrecy thing. Read this Why Wastewater From Fracking is Such a Threat –from Catskill Mountaineer. Turning frack water into profit proves a challenge (October 17, 2014) Innovation Trail
  • 10/18/2014 - Study: Find out more about the present state of mercury in our water and in our fish from the U.S. Geological Survey | Mercury in the Nation’s Streams—Levels, Trends, and Implications (October 14, 2014) U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey
  • 10/18/2014 - Nice to see Paris getting ready for the Big One: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December 2015, in Paris. Paris 2015, which the People’s Climate March, the UN Summit in NYC,  and the up-coming Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014,have been moving towards must not fail.  We must achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Anything less is wishful thinking and doomed to failure. France Prepares to Lead the World in Low-Carbon Sustainablity  (October 13, 2014) Environmental News Service (ENS)
  • 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.
  • 10/18/2014 - Climate Change, it’s a lot more than carbon dioxide. Methane, a more potent greenhouse gas, is also harder to find. How scientists overlooked a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane over the Southwest (+video) Scientists first noticed the largest methane hotspot in the US years ago, but the readings were so extreme they thought it might be instrument error.  (October 10, 2014) Christian Science Monitor
  • 10/18/2014 - Don’t vote for candidate who plays dumb on Climate Change. Make the Mid-term elections Climate Change denier’s dances impossible. Candidates step up to their responsibilities on Climate Change or they don’t. I suspect many candidates do understand the science of Climate Change and what this means for leadership, but feel constrained by their part to play dumb. The Difficult Dance of the 2014 Climate Change Denier  (October 17, 2014) The Huffington Post
  • 10/17/2014 - Monroe County and Rochester, NY get screwed out of DEC grant for urban forests. More urban forests are critical in addressing Climate Change. I know, our region didn’t get nailed by a major extreme weather event (except flooding) and the Emerald Ash Borer or the Asian Long Horned Beetle haven’t completely chomped down all our trees yet, but still trees (when you leave them in the ground) are one of the most effective ways to address Climate Change—as they protect soil, provide shade, they are a carbon sink, they promote the welfare of Wildlife, which in turn keep our ecosystems healthy, and about a zillion other reasons.  Planting trees, like good agricultural practices, are a tried and true way of geoengineering our planet for Climate Change.  Not as high-tech and sexy as a billion mirrors in our atmosphere to reflect the sunlight (as some nerdy, irresponsible loonies believe) but sound environmental kinda of help in a time of Climate Change.  So, yeah it would have been nice if our friends over at the DEC shunted some of our public monies to our region so we could put some more trees in would have been nice. But trying to solve Climate Change via grants makes addressing Climate Change an ad hoc and ultimately useless way of funding our life support system.  We’re going to need something more robust than a competitive grant system to get New York State ready for what’s coming with Climate Change. DEC Announces $280,000 in Urban Forestry Grants Awarded to Communities for Tree Planting And Other Urban Forestry Projects  (October 16, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • 10/17/2014 - This Climate Change quiz by the EPA sounds really fun, but I’d rather my community leaders take it and reveal their results.  If our leaders at a local and national level cannot pass this quiz, I suspect we are in real trouble. Are you climate ready? from Environmental Protection Agency EPA
  • 10/17/2014 - The more we learn about Climate Change, the more we learn that denial is not an option—especially in our leaders.  What if you live on the coast (any coast) and your leader is a climate denier and refuses to orchestrate plans to fortify your community for higher sea levels. Get bigger boots? Boots in the water just doesn’t cover it. Sea level rise in last century ‘unprecedented,’ say researchers  The rise in sea levels seen in the last 150 years is unmatched by any period in the last 6,000 years, according to new research.  (October 15, 2014) tcktcktck
  • 10/17/2014 - Whether we can feed 2 more billion folks than thought and Climate Change worse, it’s not simply rhetorical for Rochester. Sure, we live in the lap of luxury with small farms and large all about us. Not to mention the food we air, train, ship, and truck from all over the world. But as Climate Change makes it more dire for folks around the world to produce enough food, our productive agricultural region and others may be where Climate Chang refuges come to live and eat and farm. Climate Change will make our world smaller as there will be more of us scurrying around for more when there will be less.  The best bet for sustainability in this new world is for our leaders to plan and not to install leaders who won’t plan for Climate Change. Can the world produce enough food for 2 bln more people?  (Oct 15, 2014) Thomson Reuters Foundation
  • 10/16/2014 - Connect the dots: Loss of biodiversity, more diseases, we have less biodiversity because of human development, and more Climate Change. Here’s the Climate Change/biodiversity connection: “It is now widely recognized that climate change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity is affected by climate change, with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Consequently, conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is critical to addressing climate change” Convention on Biodiversity | Study proves biodiversity buffers disease When a community is biodiverse with many different species, the risk of disease decreases, according to a new study that uses experiments to understand the mechanisms for this pattern, called the “dilution effect.”  (October 14, 2014) Cornell Chronicle Online
  • 10/16/2014 - But, Mr. Harper what big oil tankers you have running through the St. Lawrence River! The better to piss off environmentalists, replied the wolf. Guess if they cannot pipe it, truck it, or rail it, the fossil fuel folks will get government to change the rules so they can send astronomical amounts of fossil fuels through our waterways.  We are so not addressing Climate Change and our energy needs in a sustainable way. Harper announces plans for Quebec’s St. Lawrence oil resources Harper said Ottawa and Quebec are well-positioned to table the legislative framework to implement an accord that was signed in 2011.  Ottawa estimates that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and surrounding areas have the potential for 39 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.5 billion barrels of oil. (October 14, 2014) Global News
  • 10/16/2014 - But during Climate Change does Rochester’s new transit center make active and public transportation more accessible? Because Transportation accounts for 27% of GHGs, accommodating more pedestrians, bicyclists, and using public transportation more is a critical and inexpensive and viable way of addressing Climate Change in our region. Is there easy access for pedestrians to get off the streets and on to buses or trains?  Are there easy places for bicyclists to get to bicycle racks and make sure they are secured while folks then get on a train or bus—and are there enough bike racks? What other encouragements are a part of the design for this new transit center to reduce greenhouse gases for local transportation? Touring Rochester's shiny new transit center  (October 15, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 10/16/2014 - One of the results of the historic People’s Climate March is that climate change denial may be a political liability henceforth. We cannot have leaders who don’t believe in the fundamental way our planet is now functioning. Mid-term elections: We must not put a climate denier into public office Our military understands that Climate Change is affecting their role now and they cannot be hampered by climate change denier ideologues who have backed themselves into an absurd position. It’s not our fault that Climate Change was put into the political arena, but we must remove it and get on with governing in the real world.  Our military cannot function in a magical world, where climate change deniers rule. The Department of Defense Must Plan for the National Security Implications of Climate Change The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies. Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change.  (October 13, 2014) White House Blog | Will Climate Change Denial Become a Political Liability? U.S. Treaty Envoy Thinks So Todd Stern says that mounting public pressure could rapidly force GOP to address global warming, and urged people to demand action. Climate change denial will switch from being a litmus test for major Republican politicians to a liability in the near future.  (October 15, 2014) Inside Climate News
  • 10/16/2014 - 3 reasons why Fracking not good for Climate Change: kills renewable energy, more energy use overall, fugitive methane adds to climate change. So, should we Frack New York State? NO!  A global natural gas boom alone won't slow climate change Comprehensive analysis shows that natural gas could displace both coal and low-emitting energy sources over the long term A new analysis of global energy use, economics and the climate shows that without new climate policies, expanding the current bounty of inexpensive natural gas alone would not slow the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the long term, according to a study appearing today in Nature Advanced Online Publication.  (October 15, 2014) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory
  • 10/15/2014 - How is Cuomo leading on the Fracking debate? “…Cuomo, meanwhile, is steering clear of the issue.” Ya gotta laugh. If Cuomo was leading on Climate Change, as he promised, he would put a ban on Fracking immediately and go full out on renewable energy—which he should have done long ago. We should be debating about energy use in New York State as Climate Change is happening, not how to help the worst choice—extreme extraction for more fossil fuels—Fracking get into our ground. Gubernatorial candidates and fracking Trips to Pennsylvania drilling sites are emerging as a political pilgrimage for candidates for governor in New York as politicians and voters wrestle with fracking.   (October 15, 2014) WHAM
  • 10/15/2014 - This is what happens when your policy is that products must be proved to be harmful before they are banned. The legal assumption that all products are OK until proven guilty means we are just surprised and amazed when hitherto safe products have seriously damaged our life support system—because we didn’t test them for what would happen when thousands and thousands of folks flushed some products down the toilet—even when used as directed. We so have the wrong attitude about our environment. A product must be proved to be safe for us and our environment before they are used. Nothing else makes any sense. Microplastics found in sediment from the St. Lawrence, a worrisome first   (October 13, 2014) TV News Montreal
  • 10/15/2014 - Wonder how this powerful message from US Military that “we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier”” will play in Peru? As the shaping of decisions for the Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014 in Peru take shape, this message by the US Military should make it plain that we in the USA are serious about addressing Climate Change and that we are ready to take serious action—not just promises. The Department of Defense Must Plan for the National Security Implications of Climate Change The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies. Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change.  (October 13, 2014) White House Blog
  • 10/15/2014 - This is awkward: Pentagon plans for Climate Change as a clear and present danger, but powerful deniers think it’s bullshit.  How can we prepared long-term for the worldwide crisis of Climate Change if the moment the deniers get into office Climate Change will no longer be a ‘legitimate threat’?  Climate Change denial has reached a new level of insanity and we the people are going to suffer because these deniers won’t let go of their madness. We will be unprepared because our leaders won’t be planning for a warmer world. The king of this madness will never back up from a position he has double-downed on.   “Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a prominent skeptic on climate change, said of the Pentagon report. “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate threats in the world.”” Is there no accounting for those who block the rest of us from protecting ourselves? Censure might send a signal that Climate Change denial, just as slavery, is off the table at the US Congress. Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change  The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises.  (October 13, 2014) New York Times
  • 10/15/2014 - Is Climate Change “a burgeoning social fact”? Did the People’s Climate March make it so? Don’t ask, make it so.  Stop sitting around wondering if demonstrating to your leaders to act on Climate Change will make a difference. Make it make a difference. Keep the pressure on.  The Climate Change Movement Is Not Wishful Thinking Anymore An expert on social movements looks back on the historic march.  (October 6, 2014) Mother Jones