Daily Updates - Rochester, NY area


Analysis of the environmental news in our area 

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Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care.  For all Daily Updates going back to 1998, go to Update Archives.

* Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

Rochester, NY with its new bridgeLocal Media Doing their Job on Our Environment?

Coming up with a policy or an evaluation on the state of one's environment is impossible without data.  This truism is so obvious that it need not be expressed if it were not a fact that so many engage in both without enough information to support either.   

The government at the local, state, and federal levels does not have enough money (for whatever reasons) to pay for all the independent, objective and thorough studies needed to fully understand all an area’s flora and fauna and their interrelations, their ecology.  Neither do universities; neither do environmental organizations--though all cover various pieces of the puzzle that is our complex environment.   

There's one group left who can and should help the public evaluate the state of our environment - the media.  Besides making a profit, the media's job historically and manifestly is to inform the public on all critical matters, which, I submit, includes the state of our environment.  We need a healthy environment to survive and to do so we need a timely and complete picture of it.  We, the public, need information to be able to form evaluations and policies on our environment, so we can anticipate dangers, decide on solutions, and choose responsible leaders. Without a media with trained environmental reporters, a vital ingredient in the equation of a sustainable environment goes missing. Scientists cannot see all that occurs in the environment despite their expertise. 

The government won't notice danger signals, except those they are predisposed to see.  Environmentalists would have little to evaluate the health of our environment and the roles of those responsible.  And the public, without a media fully tuned to the environment, will think everything is going fine until a disaster indicates a tipping point and the aftermath splashes across the headlines.     

This is all to say that in recent years it is becoming increasingly obvious that because of financial and other extraneous considerations, our local media is experiencing a dearth of trained dedicated environmental reporters.  Only these professionals, who have the time and training to gather all the information from all the participants in our environment, can fill this critical role in our society.  Without them, what we get is a disparate snapshot of events going on in our environment that may or may not spell disaster.  A dedicated environmental reporter in each of our print and visual media would have the necessary, continual contacts to provide us with the depth and perspective that environmental stories need.  If our local media were doing their job, we could be anticipating environmental problems, instead of trying to catch up to long-standing realities .

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


Daily Updates: Saturday, September 24, 2016

These are the daily recordings of what I believe are important indicators of our Rochester-area environment --since 1998. For all Daily Updates, go to Update Archives

* My comments are in Bold text:

  • 9/24/2016 - Electric vehicle charging station in Brighton is so climate-smart community. Every community in NYS should be a Climate Smart Community. Brighton unveils electric vehicle charging station The town of Brighton recently opened an electric vehicle charging station, which can service two vehicles at a time. Parking is located in front of the Brighton Memorial Library at Brighton Town Hall. (September 23, 2016) Brighton-Pittsford Post [more on Transportation and Energy in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - Maybe we can just call Climate Change “bullshit” and vote it away in November. Maybe not. Climate Change Is Here: Inside the Summer of Hell and High Water With a catastrophic season of wildfires, megafloods and major hurricanes, the climate-change siege is fully upon us Southern California was ready to burn. El Niño rains that topped off reservoirs in the north of the state barely drizzled down south, leaving the region in a worst-in-centuries drought. By June, tree die-off in state forests, accelerated by bark beetles feasting on dry pines, had more than doubled from 2015, topping 66 million. Record heat – 122 degrees in Palm Springs – pushed the extreme fire conditions typical of September and October into midsummer. So when sparks hit the ground in August, fires across the state literally exploded. "It's almost like the mountains are just doused in gasoline," said one fire captain. (September 22, 2016) Rolling Stone [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - The world community and industry must have a clear signal that humanity is going to consistently address Climate Change. A Trump presidency would not be that signal. Trump threat looms over New York climate week Amid bullish clean energy predictions and packed climate policy events, fears are growing over the impacts of a potential Donald Trump presidency (September 20, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - Because our Northeast region has seen a 71% increase in heavy rain fall since 1958 (according to the Nation Climate Assessment) and “There are 184 communities in the United States portion of the Great Lakes Basin that have combined sewer overflows (CSOs)” (EPA), we are especially vulnerable to this particular consequence of Climate Change: “…floods often cause massive overflows of untreated sewage into streams, rivers, bays, canals, and even streets and homes.” We need to plan for this problem yesterday in order to adapt to Climate Change in our region. When it Rains it Pours, and Sewage Hits the Fan Record rainstorms across the U.S. in the past year have continued to make national news, causing billions of dollars of flood damage and killing dozens. But what has barely made headlines are that these floods often cause massive overflows of untreated sewage into streams, rivers, bays, canals, and even streets and homes. See the full report. Climate Central has investigated the extent of these sewage overflows. In most cases, we found reports that millions of gallons of untreated sewage were released into streets and waterways. These overflows can have devastating consequences for public health and the environment: they can trigger dangerous outbreaks of waterborne diseases and are often linked to fish kills. And when sewage overflows into homes and businesses, expensive remediation and decontamination is needed to make them safe again. (September 21, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Who are you going to call on “when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood”? Your government. That is why we need to prod and support our government to address Climate Change by planning adequately and in a time frame that will matter. With Climate Change there will be droughts and floods and major threats to all our livelihoods. Time passes. Drought in Wayne County qualifies for federal aid Farmers in Wayne County can apply for federal assistance because of losses suffered from this summer’s drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday. Wayne County and Chautauqua County in New York were officially declared disaster areas by the USDA on Sept. 15 because of the drought. (September 21, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change and Food in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - #ParisAgreement is getting closer to ratification, which is to say there is hope based on reason to hope. (Track the STATUS OF RATIFICATION here) Paris Climate Deal Passes Milestone as 20 More Nations Sign On More than 20 world leaders tendered legal documents on Wednesday, formally binding their governments to the Paris climate accord at a General Assembly ceremony here and all but ensuring that the agreement will go into force by the end of the year. The specifics of each country’s plans, though, are voluntary. There are no sanctions for failing to control pollution or to put economic polices into practice, or for submitting unambitious pledges. The legally binding portion of the Paris accord does little more than require governments to continue to convene at high-profile global climate summit meetings, make public pledges to tackle global warmingat home and submit those plans to be published on a United Nations website. (September 21, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Excellent article on Rochester’s own Fast Forward Film Festival @FastForwardRoc that inspires a deeper connection to our environment by you. Deadline for your short film is February 27, 2017. The FFFF will take place March 31st through April 1, 2017. Film festival plays matchmaker  The Fast Forward Film Festival wants moviemakers in the Rochester region to make short films about environmental issues that are important to them. And it also tries to encourage laypeople with environmental concerns to produce films on those subjects. But the problem is that some local filmmakers don't have topics to work with, while some community members have topics, but lack filmmaking experience or skills. Festival organizers have come up with an initiative to better connect the two groups. (The festival will accept submissions through February 27, 2017.) (September 21, 2016) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Environmental Education in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Prominent climate science deniers have done humanity a great disservice by slowing down and sometimes preventing an adequate response to Climate Change. Climate scientists have been trying to overcome the negative effects in the public and media of climate denial misinformation and the sewing doubt in climate science, but it’s been difficult. Historically, great issues have been eventually resolved so that truth wins out. However, with Climate Change we are running out of time to address this crisis in time to prevent the worst catastrophes to life and our environment. Deniers club: Meet the people clouding the climate change debate They've stalled action with a campaign of deliberate misinformation. August tied July as the hottest month on record, according toNASA data released this past week. This year we’ve seen half a dozen thousand-year floods, along with epic droughts. Mother Nature is telling us there’s a problem. The long-term trend lines are clear. Yet we have a Republican presidential nominee who has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” “Perhaps there’s a minor effect,” Donald Trump told The Washington Post’s editorial board, “but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.” So it goes in the madhouse of the climate debate. Even as the evidence has become unmistakable, and even though the alarm has been sounded several times, public policy has been paralyzed — sometimes from ignorance, sometimes from uncertainty, but often from a campaign of deliberate misinformation. Here are some of the worst offenders. (September 16, 2016) By Michael Mann and Tom Toles in the Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/21/2016 - Many people who absolutely believe that we must have renewable energy on a grand scale to avert the worst of Climate Change, absolutely don’t want Wind Power in their backyard. If not here, where? Push for wind farms along Great Lakes sparks controversy They’re one of several local land owners who signed leases with Apex Clean Energy. The Virginia-based company plans to install 71 wind turbines, generating enough energy to power 53,000 homes. Apex has nearly a dozen projects planned for communities in the Great Lakes region, including four in Ohio, one in Michigan and four in New York. This particular project, which stretches 12 miles through the towns of Somerset and Yates, has been met with both fierce support and intense opposition. (September 19, 2016) WBFP Buffalo's NPR station [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - I know, even the idea of legislation in the US to combat climate change strikes fear and trembling in all who think Big Government should stay out of all our affairs—especially Climate Change. However, the less we do to address Climate Change by adapting and stopping our greenhouse gas emission voluntarily the more we will be compelled to do so by governmental legislation and regulation. US predicts climate law within decade US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday predicted that the world's largest economy would have legislation by the end of the decade to combat climate change. (September 19, 2016) PHYS.org [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Find out about the #ReClotheNY campaign started Sept. 15 and keep 1.4 billion lbs of textiles in NYS each year out of our trash. Re-Clothe NY Coalition Renews Outreach Campaign to Increase Textile Reuse and Recycling in New York State Recyclers, governments, and non-profits collaborate to reduce environmental impacts of textile waste New York - Today, the Re-Clothe NY Coalition, a collaborative group of recyclers, nonprofits, and governments working to increase textiles reuse and recycling across New York State, announced a renewed outreach campaign to encourage residents to donate and recycle their unwanted clothing and household textiles, rather than put them in the trash. This year's campaign dovetails with the adoption of landmark standards for coalition membership that establish common messaging and ensure transparency, data sharing, and the highest, best possible use of donated textiles. These standards, which were facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), serve as the basis for this year's outreach campaign and strengthen the Coalition, one of the first public-private partnerships of its kind and size in the U.S. (September 15, 2016) New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC) [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Wonderful to hear for many of us in Rochester and other communities in New York State who demonstrated in Albany last May for #Albany2016 #BreakFree2016 that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is taking the environmental and justice issues around fossil fuel operations at Port of Albany seriously. DEC Letter: Global Companies Must Submit New Port of Albany Air Permit Application The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today sent a letter to Global Companies (Global) informing the company that its Port of Albany air permit renewal application will be considered as an entirely new application, requiring additional information to address issues identified by DEC and restarting the State's environmental review process. DEC intends to provide a public comment period, and possibly a public hearing, as part of the new permit application and require Global to develop an enhanced outreach plan that fully explores the impacts of its existing and proposed crude oil operations on the environmental justice community pursuant to DEC's policy on Environmental Justice and permitting. "Global Companies must restart its environmental review process, given the significant new information about the benzene levels in Albany's South End community and the hazards of crude oil transport," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC will ensure that this process includes a meaningful and thorough opportunity for public engagement." (September 16, 2016) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Bomb Trains and Air Quality in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Despite their impact on global warming we are still finding it almost impossible to eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies. Billions of our dollars are going to industries that are making mega billions warming our planet and fortifying the infrastructure to make sure they continue doing so. Time passes. US and China release fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews With public assessment of each others’ $15.42bn and $8.2bn in subsidies, China and the US take a big step on transparency, but inch forward on reform The world’s biggest polluters have released their fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews and the obstacles to reform are clear: the US will wait on Congress, while China will wait on China.1 The documents, released on Monday by China’s G20 presidency, reveal the long road ahead. The G20 has commited to eliminate “inefficient” subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the medium term and the G7, of which the US is a member, has tightened the timeline to 2025. (September 20, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - Plastic pollutants in our Great Lakes waters and tributaries has been going on for some time and our media is just noticing. If you been a part of a beach cleanup in a community in the Great Lakes basin you already know about the tremendous amounts of plastic bags and cigarette butts. Yearly cleanups of our beaches is a really good idea, but I suspect these cleanups don’t get even a fraction of the plastic waste that gets into our waters. (Environmental regulations alert.) I suspect if we don’t dramatically change our plastic pollution by voluntary means, we are going to have to install some robust regulations that will prevent further pollution of our drinking, bathing, and fishing, waters in the Great Lakes—the largest fresh water system in the world. The truth about our environment that we are slowing beginning to realize is that if we don’t change our behavior towards our life support system voluntarily, we will attempt to regulate human behavior as a desperate effort to keep our environment healthy. Shoreline cleanup finds high number of plastic pollutants Great Lakes Beach Sweep volunteers Saturday picked up thousands of cigarette filters, hundreds of plastic bottles and miles of plastic ribbon in their annual cleanup of the Buffalo Niagara region's shorelines. (September 20, 2016) Buffalo News [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - Nuclear power accidents are problematic when it comes to interpreting them. While those who support nuclear power fail to make the distinction of using old nuclear power plants with the new advances of this technology, they also fail to treat the perceived danger of nuclear damage fallout as something real. They dismiss the level of radiation as dangerous and the level of disruption from nuclear accidents as overreactions. “For many, the psychological damage is far more profound than the health effects.” Of course psychological damage is a negative health effect and it should be factored in as damage, not dismissed. All the pro-nuclear writing in the world is not going to overcome the public’s fear of a technology that has no room for error. We may need nuclear power to help power our future but aging power plants must go. And the public must be assured that nuclear power is not business as usual. In Fukushima, A Bitter Legacy  Of Radiation, Trauma and Fear Five years after the nuclear power plant meltdown, a journey through the Fukushima evacuation zone reveals some high levels of radiation and an overriding sense of fear. For many, the psychological damage is far more profound than the health effects. Japan’s Highway 114 may not be the most famous road in the world. It doesn’t have the cachet of Route 66 or the Pan-American Highway. But it does have one claim to fame. It passes through what for the past five years has been one of the most radioactive landscapes on the planet – heading southeast from the Japanese city of Fukushima to the stricken nuclear power plant, Fukushima Daiichi, through the forested mountains where much of the fallout from the meltdown at the plant in March 2011 fell to earth. (September 19, 2016) Yale: Environment 360 [more on Energy in our area] 

  • 9/20/2016 - Many think that the devil is in the details of putting a price on carbon emissions, but that’s because Capitalism didn’t put a price on them in the first place. One of the main reasons we are in a Climate Change crisis is because we created an economic system that willfully ignored our environment, our life support system. Now, in order to save Capitalism we must get our environment on to the accounting sheets and not only start pricing carbon, but going back and making up for the carbon emission we ignored for so long. That’s the purpose of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). But we are finding that it’s very difficult put a price on something we got for free for so long. We need to change our attitude and get a price on carbon before it’s too late for our economic system and our future. Time passes. Canada will impose nationwide carbon price: minister Canada will impose a carbon price on provinces that do not adequately regulate emissions by themselves, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said on Sunday without giving details on how the Liberal government will do so. Speaking on the CTV broadcaster's "Question Period," a national politics talk show, McKenna said the new emissions regime will be in place sometime in October, before a federal-provincial meeting on the matter. She only said the government will have a "backstop" for provinces that do not comply, but did not address questions on penalties for defiance. (September 19, 2016) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - On the other hand, there should not be any more future incidents like the pipeline rupture in Alabama regardless of how lucky we were in avoiding the loss of life and massive environmental damage. “Spilling 338,000 gallons of fuel in an ecologically sensitive area” is an indication that fossil fuels infrastructures are inherently unsafe—not to mention they are the structure that supports a warming planet. We should remember that these pipeline accidents are NOT rare occurrences. Check out “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century” | Pipeline rupture in Alabama threatens fuel shortages across eastern US The governors of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency following a gasoline spill in an ecologically sensitive area An interstate gasoline pipeline has ruptured in central Alabama, spilling 338,000 gallons of fuel in an ecologically sensitive area and threatening fuel shortages across the eastern US. So far governors in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency. The line runs from Houston to the New York harbor, and experts say the line’s owner, Colonial Pipeline, was extraordinarily lucky: the spill happened 500ft from the retention pond for a mining company, and all the fuel flowed into it. That spared the Cahaba river system, one of the most biologically diverse spots in the country, prized by scientists for its concentration of endangered species. (September 16, 2016) The Guardian [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/19/2016 - How’s your state doing in actually developing renewable energy (Wind and Solar)? Recent Progress Further Strengthens Clean Power Plan Outlook As the D.C. Circuit Court of Appeals prepares to hear challengers’ arguments against the Clean Power Plan on September 27th, the most up-to-date analysis shows that the Clean Power Plan’s goals have become even more readily achievable as the electricity sector is already shifting to clean energy. Many power companies are not waiting for the courts to resolve the legal challenges. Instead, they are accelerating the shift to clean energy, assisted by the rapid cost declines of renewable technologies. This steady and continuing shift in our power sector makes clear that the goals set forth by the Clean Power Plan are eminently attainable. (September 14, 2016) National Resources Defense Council [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 9/19/2016 - Mainstream media is not inclined to herald many important voices about local issues, so check out The Broken Spear Vision on Rochester Free Radio. Often what you need to know about important issues, like our environment and Climate Change, need a more robust and personal characterization than what our regular for-profit media are ready to communicate. Check out George Payne’s local radio program on the new Rochester Free Radio and get important perspectives on critical issues in our community. WELCOME LISTENERS TO ANOTHER EPISODE OF THE BROKEN SPEAR VISION ON ROCHESTER FREE RADIO 106.3 FM Rochester Free Radio is a community, non-commercial radio station run by volunteers to provide locally-focused, locally-created information, conversation and entertainment.  The goal of RFR is to help solidify the Rochester community by enjoying and celebrating our similarities and differences; our strengths and weaknesses; our ideas and curiosities. Rochester Free Radio, was created by three members of the community, each with varying degrees of experience in broadcast radio and community activism.  Chuck McCoy, Jeff Moulton and Dave Sutliff-Atias recognized the need for opportunities for unheard individuals and groups to be heard by the rest of Rochester. (September 17, 2016) Gandhi Earth Keepers International

  • 9/17/2016 - Is the best way for us to experience wild nature parks for us to trample through them in large numbers? How much do we learn about Nature from following trails though parks like the Adirondacks without a guide or instructor? (I grew up in the Adirondacks and spent most of my childhood hiking and fishing with my friends there, but it was in books and classes that I learned what was going on.) What are our large wild parks, like Adirondack Park, for? Should we allow nature to function in our large wild parks without human disruption or for should we encourage large populations of humanity to do what they want in them? Parks that we reserve for the public may be the last stronghold for Nature to work unencumbered by human disruption, which may be critical for our ecologies to function properly. What’s the point of preserving land for ‘parks’ from human development if we’re just going to trample our parks with human disruption anyways? As hiker crowds grow Adirondack Peaks feel less wild Trail crowding is once again a growing problem in the Adirondacks. Popular mountains see hundreds of hikers a day on weekends. From Baker Mountain in Saranac Lake to Cascade and the eastern High Peaks, trail heads are often packed with cars. Congestion on mountain summits has grown so severe that some critics say the wilderness experience in the Park is being eroded. Mike Lynch with Adirondack Explorer Magazine was one of the first reporters to look at the problem. (September 15, 2016) North Country Public Radio [more on Parks in our area]

  • 9/17/2016 - Amidst Climate Change the new normal is “… record-breaking temperatures, extreme flooding and an unprecedented mammalian extinction.” Although it’s the ‘new normal’ it doesn’t mean we’ll survive this kind of normal. It means we have no excuse for ignoring the obvious. We should be planning for Climate Change, we should have planned, we will try to plan in the future—but it will be too late by then. Summer 2016 has seen some of the scariest observable effects of climate change yet In the last few months, we've witnessed record-breaking temperatures,extreme flooding and an unprecedented mammalian extinction. And unfortunately, that doesn't indicate an anomalous summer. It means we're witnessing the tangible and quantifiable results of global warming. (September 15, 2016) News.Mic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/17/2016 - Not a big surprise that poor nations are at a great big disadvantage at climate negotiations. There was to be more funded so each nation could talk on an equal footing but that funding hasn’t been forthwith. No big surprise there. Humans ya gotta laugh. UN cash crunch means poor face climate envoy funding axe Lower than expected contributions to global climate body means some small island states and least developed nations may have fewer envoys at COP22 Negotiators for poor countries often say they are at a disadvantage at UN summits, lacking the numbers, technology and institutional support of richer countries. For example, at the latest round of UN climate talks in Bonn in May, Bangladesh sent 4 officials, Burkina Faso 3, Ethiopia 5 and Uruguay 6 compared to 25 for the UK,  31 for the European Commission, 58 for Japan and 44 for the US. (September 15, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/16/2016 - What I take away from this new report on microplastics pervasive in Great Lakes tributaries is that we’ve been fooling ourselves by not constantly monitoring our Great Lakes waters. Though we are banning the use of microbeads in some products, we are finding that microbeads are not the main culprit for plastics pollution in the Great Lakes. We know that plastics absorb toxins and concentrate their detrimental effect. “Pervasive’ means there’s a lot of plastics in our Great Lakes tributaries. And one more thing: As I have been a part of helping out and leading several local Great Lakes tributaries trash pickups, our groups have found that cigarette butts are the most common item in all the crap we picked up. Cigarette butts contain the kind of microplastics pollution we are talking about. The focus in the local media has been on microbeads, but I’ve long thought that the plastics in cigarette butts that our groups have found in great abundance must be the larger plastics pollution problem. I suggest there has long been a problem with folks stepping out cigarette butts in the millions, but we have not been willing to point a finger at the environmental consequences of throwing cigarette butts to the ground near water tributaries, our parks, our streams, our streets where rains take these environmental hazards to the storm drains and out to our lakes. Microplastics pervasive in Great Lakes tributaries Plastic debris is pervasive in the waters that feed the Great Lakes, according to a new study published by the United States Geological Survey. The study found widespread microplastics in 29 tributaries, with the highest concentrations in the Huron River at Ann Arbor, Mich., and the Buffalo River at Buffalo, N.Y. Microplastics are fibers and beads that come from decomposing bottles and bags, clothing, and even some cosmetic products. (September 15, 2016) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/16/2016 - It’s going to be hard to protect specific areas of our ocean because Climate Change involves warming up and acidifying the whole ocean. It’s hopeful that President Obama has set aside the large Papahānaumokuākea Marine National Monument for protection. But isn’t that a little like taking extra precautions to protect a person’s leg in a car crash? Can the leg survive if the person doesn’t? Can we, in other words, save the planet from Climate Change by saving isolated ecosystems? Shouldn’t we be saving the whole patient—our life support system? Can we exploit most of the planet through development and pollution and set aside only relatively small areas and achieve our goals? Is just a little preservation on a large planet going to matter? Time passes. We’ve been protecting Earth’s land for 100 years. We’re finally starting to protect its oceans A decade ago, only a tiny fraction of the world’s oceans had been protected from overfishing and other environmental threats. The United States had scores of national parks and other landmarks. Other countries had safeguarded cultural, historical and natural treasures. But for the oceans, such efforts remained in their infancy. “Ocean conservation was an afterthought,” said Matt Rand, who directs the Global Ocean Legacy project for the Pew Charitable Trusts. “When you looked around the world a decade ago, very little investment was going into the conservation of ocean ecosystems.” (September 14, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/16/2016 - For the US military Climate Change is not only a "threat multiplier" but will involve our forces at the operational level and strategic level. Unlike many of our ideological leaders, our military does not have the luxury of avoiding Climate Change. They need to plan accurately to protect themselves so they can protect us. Our military takes Climate Change seriously at an operational level, so should we. We need to plan accordingly. Why US military officials are worried about climate change Retired US military and intelligence officials are raising alarms again about the threats posed by climate change – this time, to military installations along the coast. A group of former top officials from US military and national-security agencies have endorsed three documents warning of climate change's "strategically-significant risk to US national security" and calling on the next president to create a cabinet position dedicated to managing the problem. One of the documents, published on Wednesday by the Washington-based Center for Climate and Security and signed by a panel of retired military officials, pointed in particular to the risk posed to coastal military installations by increasingly frequent extreme weather events.  "The complex relationship between sea level rise, storm surge and global readiness and responsiveness must be explored down to the operational level, across the Services and Joint forces, and up to a strategic level as well," it said, according to Reuters. (September 14, 2016) Christian Science Monitor [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/15/2016 - New York State officially banned Fracking on June 29, 2015 because of water quality issues. Why would we now want that Fracking crap on our roads? Salt that we put on our roads washes off into our streams and lakes during heavy rainfall and melting snow, so would Fracking waste. We should ban the use of all hazardous chemicals that could potentially contaminate our water. Lawmakers, Environmentalists, Urge Cuomo Adm to Ban Oil and Gas Drilling Wastewater A group of state lawmakers is teaming up with environmental groups to ask Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s administration to ban the use of wastewater from hydrofracking and other oil and gas extraction from being spread on public roadways. The state Department of Environmental Conservation just closed a public comment period to revise regulations covering solid waste management facilities. Environmental groups and several state lawmakers said those new rules also should address whether wastewater from the production of natural gas and from oil drilling can be used in the state to de-ice roads in the winter and control dust in the summer. (September 13, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 9/15/2016 - From our friends over at RE-ENERGIZE Buffalo and the Niagara Group of the Sierra Club: TALK on Thursday, September 22, 2016 – 6- 7:30PM at the Crane Branch Library, 633 Ellmwood at Highland in Buffalo: Tribes Take Action Against Pipeline Project to Protect Their Water and Sacred Land Agnes Williams, Coordinator at Indigenous Women's Initiative, will speak about the 200 tribes that have united to resist the Dakota Access Pipeline

  • 9/15/2016 - We are losing bird species at an alarming rate because of Climate Change, development, pesticides, and domestic cats, but not wind turbines. The big pictures is that birds need to survive in large numbers to make their species and ecosystems work. So addressing Climate Change by changing our use of energy to renewables (Wind and Solar and Geothermal) and focusing on how we can change our use of forests and agriculture and developing so we don’t destroy important feeding and stop-over grounds will go a long way to saving birds. Focusing on wind turbines killing birds (which can be addressed by turbine development) is not a proper characterization of the priorities we must focus on if we really want to save wildlife species and their ecosystems from Climate Change.  Climate Change is going to change our priorities from our historical environmental concerns because we need solutions in a rapidly warming world on a scale and time frame that will matter. 1.5 billion birds missing from North American skies, ‘alarming’ report finds The report also listed 86 species of birds, including the Canadian warbler, that are threatened by plummeting populations, habitat destruction and climate change. North American skies have grown quieter over the last decades by the absent songs of 1.5 billion birds, says the latest summary of bird populations. The survey by dozens of government, university and environmental agencies across North America has also listed 86 species of birds — including once-common and much-loved songbirds such as the evening grosbeak and Canada warbler — that are threatened by plummeting populations, habitat destruction and climate change. (September 14, 2016) TheStar.com [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/15/2016 - The Arctic is melting because of our energy use and soon there will be no summer ice there. Will we exploit this disaster or hallmark it as a warning? If we can alter a major feature of Earth’s surface without hardly trying, imagine what we could do if we put heart into making our planet sustainable for us and our fellow creatures and plants. We have the power; will we use it for good or evil? Time passes. Arctic sea ice cover set to be second lowest ever recorded, data suggests Satellite data shows ice was close to last year’s record low confirming a long-term downward trend towards ice-free Arctic summers Arctic sea ice cover could be confirmed within days as the second lowest ever recorded, the latest data suggests. According to the US national snow and ice data centre (NSIDC) the ice which forms and disperses annually has been close to its minimum extent for the year for several days and has begun to grow again as autumn sets in. It was measured by satellite as 4.169m sq km on 12 September, a slight increase on the 4.139m sq km on 11 September. As the Arctic winter closes in, the ice cover will climb, reaching around 15m sq km by March. (September 14, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/14/2016 - Governor Cuomo is right, “Water is Key.” NYS must monitor water quality constantly and fix all water issues. No excuses. We are going into Climate Change with the environment we have and if our water quality is lousy, it’s going to get worse with more flooding and extreme weather. Planning for Climate Change puts our Water Quality on alert. Water Quality Hearings Buoy Hopes of New York's Environmental Groups  Environmental groups are cheering a renewed focus on water quality from state officials. It's a silver lining in an otherwise increasingly glooming picture of chemical contaminations in upstate New York communities. "New York state has been seen as a leader on evironmental issues in this country and we really think now is a time for New York state to shine and make water testing a priority," said Elizabeth Moran, a water and natural resources associate with Environmental Advocates of New York. (September 13, 2016) Time Warner News Rochester [more on Water Quality in our area}

  • 9/14/2016 - Actually, the #StandWithStandingRock protest against fossil fuel infrastructure is not the beginning. It began in places like Albany, NY in May to Break Free From Fossil Fuels and the Phily protest at DNC in July. The world is changing and if mainstream media cannot keep up, ‘we the people’ must Become the Media! We must #KeepItInTheGround if we want a future. Standing Rock protests: this is only the beginning The world has been electrified by protests against the Dakota access pipeline. Is this a new civil rights movement where environmental and human rights meet? A pioneer monument and a lot of state troopers with batons and riot helmets stood between the mostly young native activists and the North Dakota state capitol on Friday afternoon. Many of the activists arriving at the capitol’s vast green lawn hadn’t heard that the Washington DC judge had decided against the Standing Rock reservation Sioux lawsuit. That was the lawsuit asserting that the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL) had gone forward without adequate tribal consultation. There was a sign of anguish when the news was delivered by megaphone, and then, a few minutes later, shouts of joy as a young woman with a long black braid standing in the pouring rain announced the victory chasing the heels of that defeat. (September 12, 2016) The Guardian [more on Energy in our area}

  • 9/14/2016 - Although, not covered by local mainstream news (Rochester Free Radio and indymedia Rochester, NY were there) there was a rally in Rochester, NY yesterday for the effort by the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation in North Dakoda to stop a “a pipeline designed to carry oil 1,200 miles from the Bakken oil fields to a distribution center in Illinois.” There were rallies around the US and around the world. Mainstream media is being trumped by social media (#StandWithStandingRock) to highlight the injustice and anti-environmental efforts to continue major fossil fuel infrastructures, when the #ParisAgreement has said we must switch to renewables yesterday. At Standing Rock, protest camp becomes a movement It started small. Back in April, a few Standing Rock tribal members set up camp in a small valley where the Cannonball River flows into Lake Oahe. They were protesting a pipeline designed to carry oil 1,200 miles from the Bakken oil fields to a distribution center in Illinois. Fueled by social media, the protest caught fire, and the camp is now larger than most small towns in North Dakota. Standing Rock Tribal Chairman Dave Archambault said he's been overwhelmed by the response to a carefully considered decision to fight the Dakota Access pipeline. (September 14, 2016) MPRNews.com [more on Energy in our area] 

  • 9/14/2014 - Full audio coverage of the Standing Rock Rally at Washington Square, Rochester, NY by Rochester Free Radio. As described by Democracy Now! Rochester's event was part of "Today is a global day of action against the $3.8 billion Dakota Access pipeline, which has faced months of opposition from the Standing Rock Sioux Tribe, as well as members of hundreds of other tribes across the U.S. and Canada. As many as 80 protests are expected to take place today in major U.S. cities, including New Orleans, Denver, Anchorage and Honolulu, as well as in Britain, Portugal, Japan and other countries. " (Dozens of Protests Planned Today Against Dakota Access Pipeline )

  • 9/13/2016 - Great praise for Neely Kelley on mobilizing Mother’s Out Front for actions on Climate Change locally. Mothers Out Front is doing a lot locally to focus attention on Climate Change issues—like today’s (Tuesday, September 13th)  at 5pm for the "Water is Life Rally" at Liberty Pole Way. Learn more at Mother’s Out Front Rochester’s Facebook page. Woman to Watch: Neely Kelley Neely Kelley, the New York state lead organizer for Mother’s Out Front: Mobilizing for a Livable Climate, spearheads a movement of mothers, grandmothers and allies in nine areas around the state that advocate for environmental change. With organizational branches located in Massachusetts and Virginia, Kelley engages New York’s local and state-based sectors while connecting with community partners. As a mother of two, she embraces the organization’s mission of motherhood empowerment. (September 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

  • 9/13/2016 - This map of facilities in NYS trying to divert compost from landfills is pretty neat: “NYS Compost Facilities Map (and surrounding states) In addition to compost facilities, this map includes compost education and demonstration sites as well as transfer stations and places that are diverting organics to centralized facilities”—from Cornell Waste Management Institute. Hover over Rochester and see who’s helping to keep good soil generators out of bad landfills.

  • 9/13/2016 - Great praise for celebrities like Leonardo DiCaprio who are willing to leverage their media appeal for Climate Change education and action. Mainstream media has always been late addressing critical changes in our human existence—like slavery and poverty—because of the inertia inherent in appealing to the public’s present interests, which translates into subscriptions and sales. Without the help of attention getters, the media might well ignore the most important changes going on in our lives. Climate Change is happening quickly but too slowly to keep humanity’s attention daily. So thoughtful celebrities willing to use their fame for good can help keep the media keep their attention on what matters. Leonardo DiCaprio's Climate Change Documentary a 'Rousing Call to Action' Leonardo DiCaprio may be the star of his latest documentary, Before the Flood, but something much bigger takes center stage: Earth. The Oscar-winning actor and longtime environmental advocate celebrated the world premiere of his climate change documentary on Friday at the Toronto International Film Festival (TIFF). "Looking forward to sharing this documentary with everyone as we continue to act on#climatechange together," DiCaprio tweeted. He also wrote on Instagram, "filming 'Before the Flood' was an incredible experience & today's screening of the documentary at #TIFF16 is an honor." (September 12, 2016) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/12/2016 - Not only is Climate Change bad, how we are reacting is bad. We need to do good by mitigating and adapting to Climate Change. Blame Global Warming for Your Bad Attitude Climate change is making us angry. It may also cause more assaults, murders, and even poor math grades for your kids. It doesn’t take a PhD to see that climate affects our lives. Anyone who lives far enough from the equator can tell just by opening the closet. It takes a lot of scientists, however, to reveal how climate affects us—particularly as our climate changes. Sure, there’s prolonged heat and drought in some places, persistent floods and storms in others—all the ways we’ve learned to see global warming (though some still reject the science). But an exhaustive review of almost 200 different studies reveals not only the extent of those predictable changes but also how we humans are reacting to climatic wallops. The results are troubling. (September 8, 2016) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/12/2016 - There’s a difference between local opposition to building more fossil fuel infrastructure and renewable (wind and solar) structures. Fossil fuel infrastructures—pipelines, Bomb Trains, gas storage, etc.—leak, explode, contaminate water and air, disrupt local ecosystems, and have historically plowed through local rights to private land. Renewable energy, doesn’t pollute the air and water, doesn’t warm the planet, and at least tries to placate local opposition by respecting air, water, wildlife, and conducting public health studies to assess and mitigate possible damage. To go forward in providing ourselves with sufficient and reliable energy on a warming planet, we need to understand the vast difference between local opposition to building more fossil fuel infrastructures and opponents to establishing renewable energy systems.  Seen in this sense, Climate Justice takes on a clearer meaning. Obama Administration: Dakota Pipeline 'Will Not Go Forward At This Time' Brushing aside a fresh court ruling, three federal agencies said they are withholding a permit on a portion of the project near Sioux Land. In a major concession to tribal opponents of the Dakota Access pipeline, and brushing aside a fresh court ruling, the Obama administration announced it would not grant a permit for a key portion of the project near Sioux land until further, extensive review. The administration also said it would reassess how tribal input is taken into account in similar project reviews, and whether the whole approval process needs a comprehensive overhaul. The decision signals that the opposition of Native Americans and environmentalists might have a ripple effect beyond their protest encampments. (September 10, 2016) Inside Climate News [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/10/2016 - Combined sewer overflows are going to occur more often during the extreme weather (heavy flooding) of Climate Change. This is important because “Currently, there are 184 communities with combined sewer systems in the Great Lakes region.” This is one of the major reasons why our local politicians, our leaders, our political candidates, and our local media need to address this issue because it is vital to how we adapt to Climate Change locally. If we ignore updating our sewer systems around the Great Lakes basin, our water quality from the largest freshwater system in the world will quickly fail. Michigan congresswoman urges action to reduce sewage discharges into Great Lakes The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is developing a new regulation to require public notices of combined sewer overflow discharges into the Great Lakes. Michigan Congresswoman Candice Miller is in favor of such a regulation, but she says it won't be enough. (September 9, 2016) Michigan Radio [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 9/10/2016 - Wilderness can be defined as largely intact landscapes that are mostly free of human disturbance. But it might be better to say that wilderness are ecosystems whose evolution are not orchestrated by humans. Wild lands have been evolving for millions of years according to rules and regulations billions of years old. Built environments, or human disturbed environments, are evolving according to humanity’s whims. When we take over wilderness to suit our own agenda, instead of allowing ecosystems to thrive on their own, we put we put a young, selfish species in charge of the store. It seems obvious to me that much of our relationship to our environment, our life support system, is driving by our economic systems, which treat our environment as a dump. The Planet Is Going Through A ‘Catastrophic’ Wilderness Loss, Study Says Just over 20 percent of the world can still be considered wilderness. A tenth of the planet’s wilderness was eradicated in the last two decades and conservation efforts are failing to keep pace with the rate of wilderness loss, according to a new study. The loss recorded since 1990 is equivalent to an area twice the size of Alaska and half the size of the Amazon, according to the study published Thursday inCurrent Biology. Most of the depletion is happening in South America, which experienced a nearly 30 percent loss, and Africa, which lost 14 percent of untouched ecosystems. (September 8, 2016) Think Progress

  • 9/10/2016 - Conservative media consumers wouldn’t be so prone to climate denial if their media weren’t so orchestrated by the fossil fuel industry – and rich liars. How the media presents the science of climate is having a major influence on how Americans perceive reality. Of course, we have to wonder how much of the problem of climate denial is encouraged by folks who want to be lied to. Conservative media bias is inflating American climate denial and polarization New studies show that climate polarization is on the rise in the US; WSJ climate coverage is full of denial. A new study by a team of sociologists at Oklahoma State University has foundpolitical polarization on climate change is growing in the United States. Today’s Republicans are less likely than they were a decade ago to accept that the effects of global warming have begun, that humans are responsible, and that there is a scientific consensus on these questions. Democrats and independents are slightly more likely to answer these questions correctly today than a decade ago. (September 6, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 9/09/2016 - Like Climate Change, falling ash trees are a clear and present threat because the Invasive emerald ash borers are killing our ash trees and when these trees die they often fall in very inconvenient places. We ignore these inevitable threats at our peril. BTW: Studies like “Effects of climate on emerald ash borer mortality and the potential for ash survival in North America” suggest that warmer winters due to Climate Change will increase the likelihood of EAB killing our ash trees. “We found that between 1945 and 2012, while some Canadian locations experienced temperatures potentially cold enough to kill all EAB, very few locations in the United States experienced such temperatures” (2013, Agricultural and Forest Meteorology) Dead ash trees are a growing hazard Six years after invasive Asian beetles began infesting local ashes, neighborhoods are dotted with dead trees ready to fall in the next heavy wind. Cars, houses, kids playing in the yard — they all could be at risk. The trees need to be cut down to minimize that risk, but experts warn it's a multi-million dollar undertaking that’s not happening as quickly as required. Some property owners are turning a blind eye in hopes that if the worst happens, their insurance company will pick up the tab. That’s a gamble they will probably lose. (September 8, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Invasive Species in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - Last month we got a taste of what our hot future will probably be: “Thanks to a combination of weather and drought, much of the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic regions roasted during August. Connecticut, Delaware, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Jersey, New York, Pennsylvania, and Rhode Island were all record hot for the month.” While breaking records makes news, passing these temperature benchmarks should be convincing the public that Climate Change is our present and threatens our future. Our leaders and our media should be leading and guiding us through these amazing times. But what seems to be happening is that a small portion of the public is working feverishly to cajole the rest to face our new normal. Time passes. 5th Hottest U.S. Summer Saw Record Northeast Heat The dog days of summer were especially scorching across the Northeast and Mid-Atlantic last month, with eight states in those regions recording their hottest August in 122 years. Two of those — Connecticut and Rhode Island — also had record-warm summers, according to data released Thursday by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration.  While ample rains kept temperatures closer to normal across much of the country last month, the contiguous U.S. still had its fifth-warmest summer on record and its third warmest year-to-date. Outside of the Lower 48, Alaska continued its streak of sweltering weather, with its third-hottest August and second-hottest summer in the past 92 years. So far, 2016 is far and away its hottest year on record. (September 8, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - We (well …, me anyways) often forget Geothermal as a real renewable energy but it could be a major player in our future energy options. However, I am not in favor of a hybrid system that uses local biomass resources. Biomass should not be burned for energy; it should go back to the soil. Geothermal project could warm campus, expand energy study Cornell is pursuing a project that has the potential to eliminate an estimated 82,000 metric tons of carbon from its annual footprint and establish one of the country’s most advanced geothermal systems to heat the 745-acre Ithaca campus – an effort that could demonstrate a new scalable model for using this sustainable energy source throughout the U.S. and almost anywhere in the world. (September 8, 2016) Cornell Chronicle [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - Even in water-rich New York State droughts can have a devastating effect on our agriculture. If we plan wisely for Climate Change in our region, we can offset some of the financial and other consequences of more frequent droughts towards autumn, which are predicted in local climate studies. This year’s drought in western New York should also remind us of the far more severe droughts occurring in other parts of world, where future droughts there will put more demands on agriculture here. We should plan more comprehensively for the consequences of Climate Change in our region. We should be asking our political candidates what they have in store for Climate Change actions. New York agriculture leaders survey drought's damage At the Hemlock Haven Christmas tree farm in Sandy Creek, Oswego County, frail, burnt orange pine trees stand out in sharp contrast to their emerald green neighbors. Owner and operator Michele Forsyth said with combined drought and sustained heat this summer, she's lost more than 10 percent of the trees on her farm.  "Perhaps even more because we don't know what the ramifications will be farther on," Forsyth said. "We just need more rain and unfortunately, there's nothing we can do about that. There's no way to irrigate 125 acres. We don't have that kind of capital."  (September 7, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Food in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - It never did make sense to grow food to burn (which releases greenhouse gases into our atmosphere) and deprive people of food and soil of nutrients. It was a dream … UM study: biofuel emissions environmentally worse than fossil fuels A recent University of Michigan study suggests biofuels are worse for the environment than fossil fuels. We speak with the lead researcher at the University of Michigan Energy Institute, John DiCicco. For years, many environmentalists and researchers have pointed to the benefits of burning corn ethanol instead of gasoline or other fossil fuels. The crops are renewable and better for the environment. But a study released last month by the University of Michigan casts doubt on that environmental claim. (September 6, 2016) WKAR Public Media from Michigan State University [more on Energy and Plants in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - Humanity’s relationship with its life support system is at a breaking point. But to solve all our environmental challenges, we have to understand that Climate Change is now the mother of all problems and orchestrate all our plans prioritized on the great warming. This statement doesn’t get at the change in our priorities—“Climate change is now also a huge challenge for conservation.”—because it only treats Climate Change as part of the conservation problem. It should be the other way around. Our planet at a crossroads How can humans protect themselves and the environment? Environment experts from around the world are meeting in Hawaii to discuss just that. One thing is clear: the oceans, in particular, need our help. The world's oceans are warming. A loss of coral reefs as a result is having a devastating impact on global fish stocks, while warmer waters have the potential to spread disease. It is these and a diverse range of other environmental challenges that around 6,000 delegates from 170 countries are discussing as part of the International Union for the Conservation of Nature's (IUCN) World Conservation Congress. And the world's environmental problems are pressing. “Planet at the crossroads” is the motto of this year's congress, and it comes at an important time for nature, says IUCN general director Inger Andersen. “No IUCN Congress before has come at a more pivotal time for humanity's relationship with the environment.” (September 7, 2016) Deutsche Welle [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 9/08/2016 - Climate Change is a “clear and public health crisis” but we are not addressing that. Instead we are addressing the spread of tropical diseases (which will be increasingly fueled by Climate Change because many tropical diseases like Zika virus will move northward) by lifting restraints on pesticide use. This is tragic because if we have planned long ago to address this increase of tropical diseases (like West Nile Virus) by other means, we would not be compelled to go nuts with pesticide use. US beekeepers fear for livelihoods as anti-Zika toxin kills 2.5m bees ‘It kills everything’: conservationist warns over threat to other animals Regulators: ‘clear and public health crisis’ allows use of Naled chemical Huddled around their hives, beekeepers around the south-eastern US fear a new threat to their livelihood: a fine mist beaded with neurotoxin, sprayed from the sky by officials at war with mosquitos that carry the Zika virus. Earlier this week, South Carolina beekeepers found millions of dead honey bees carpeting their apiaries, killed by an insecticide. Video posted by a beekeeper to Facebook showed thousands of dead insects heaped around hives, while a few survivors struggled to move the bodies of fellow bees. (September 4, 2016) The Guardian [more on Pesticides and Wildlife in our area]

  • 9/07/2016 - You’d think birds--unlike mammals, reptiles, and amphibians--would adapt to Climate Change by just flying over our highways and byways but it ain’t that simple. They’re coming to the table before the table is set. Birds are arriving earlier each year to our Great Lakes region because of global warming but finding that their food isn’t ready for them. Humanity needs to start paying attention to wildlife as a whole (not individual species) because they are one with our ecosystems. Climate change disrupts the migratory clock for Great Lakes songbirds Some of the migratory songbirds that pass through the Great Lakes region are already on the move. But Great Lakes Today tells us these birds are being affected by climate change - and that could put them in danger. Volunteers at the Braddock Bay Bird Observatory are getting ready for the fall migration. The observatory is on the shore of Lake Ontario, just west of Rochester. Hundreds of species visit each year –sparrows, swallows, finches, warblers, and more. (September 6, 2016) North Country Public Radio [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/07/2016 - However adamant your position that our economic health must trump Climate Change, if deals like the TPP undermine our ability to address Climate Change, we lose. If worldwide trade agreements undermine the policies we put in place to address Climate Change we are thinking we can have our cake and eat it too. But we cannot address Climate Change and continue business as usual. Our economic system is system we set up to for humanity to thrive—though we didn’t factor in reality. We didn’t set up our climate system; we evolved into it and received a set of rules we disobey at our peril. The TPP's Climate Blindspot Free trade deals, and in particular the proposed Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), have taken a beating this election season. Most of the noise on trade from Presidential candidates Donald Trump and Hillary Clinton has focused on the loss of jobs linked to the offshoring. Much less attention has been paid to the serious impact the TPP and past trade agreements will have on our ability to respond to climate change. In a new report on the TPP and climate commitments made by countries as part of the Paris climate agreement, we found that trade rules consistently benefit multinational corporations in high greenhouse gas emitting sectors like agriculture and energy, while creating barriers for governments in setting climate-related policies. Our analysis found that the Trans Pacific Partnership expands the scope of past trade agreements to harm the climate in three important ways: (September 6, 2016) Common Dreams [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/07/2016 - Much of our own inability to address Climate Change that we caused is being addressed by our oceans. If it wasn’t for the oceans sucking up the heat of Climate Change we would have already cooked ourselves. (“…the surface of the Earth would have warmed by a devastating 36C, rather than 1C, over the past century.) But the oceans didn’t provide this service for us until we got out act together; there’s a terrible price being paid in stored heat and profound ecosystem changes where the piper will have to be paid. Time passes. There is going to be a procrastination penalty for not obeying the laws of physics—where the trapped heat from our greenhouse gas emissions must be accounted for. There has been no hiatus, no free ride, no time out, and no carbon budget where we have more time before we have to act. It has long since past when we should have reversed our greenhouse gas emissions. Soaring ocean temperature is 'greatest hidden challenge of our generation' IUCN report warns that ‘truly staggering’ rate of warming is changing the behaviour of marine species, reducing fishing zones and spreading disease The soaring temperature of the oceans is the “greatest hidden challenge of our generation” that is altering the make-up of marine species, shrinking fishing areas and starting to spread disease to humans, according to the most comprehensive analysis yet of ocean warming. The oceans have already sucked up an enormous amount of heat due to escalating greenhouse gas emissions, affecting marine species from microbes to whales, according to an International Union for Conservation of Nature (IUCN) report involving the work of 80 scientists from a dozen countries. (September 15, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/06/2016 - I suspect that cleaning up after decommissioning a wind farm and getting back to square one is far easier and cleaner than cleaning up after a decommissioned oil refinery, a nuclear power plant, or a Fracking site. The environmental footprint of renewable energy (solar and wind) is vanishingly small compared to the fossil fuel and nuclear infrastructures we have established. Let’s hear some news about how rigorously cleaning up decommissioned fossil fuel plants has been.  Who cleans up when a wind farm closes? As America plans to move away from coal-fired power plants to renewable energy, the country plans to build more commercial wind farms. But the country's first commercial wind farms are nearing retirement, and there are few requirements to take them down. Inside Energy's Leigh Paterson looks at who is responsible for taking down the giant turbines. (September 5, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Wind Power in our area] 

  • 9/06/2016 - More and more we are seeing complex climate data being translated into visuals and charts that are accessible to all. Already, willful ignorance is the last refuge for the climate denier. 167 Tiny Maps Tell the Major Story of Climate Change Climate change just got another telling visual courtesy of the famed temperature spiral creator. But rather than a graph, it’s a series of 167 maps. Alone, they each tell the story of whether a year was mostly hot or mostly cold or mostly average. Together, they show unequivocally how much our planet has warmed since the 1850s, including the rapid rise over the past three decades. (August 31, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/06/2016 - All our local officials should be concerned about the state of all our bridges and railroads in a time of Climate Change and the transport of massive amounts of volatile fossil fuels. We should know the state of all our infrastructures so we can plan for more extreme weather wisely and safely. We shouldn’t have to beg for information we need to know to be safe and plan properly. Town supervisor pushing for more information on railroads (September 5, 2016) WHAM Rochester [more on Dangerous Crude Oil Trains in our area]

  • 9/05/2016 - Although only given brief mention (“They agree that climate change is a problem that the state should act on.”) Climate Change is a major factor in all our elections. It is our government officials who must plan and protect the public health and ready our aging infrastructure on a rapidly warming planet. Not only our states but Rochester and Monroe County must act on Climate Change. They can do so by educating the public on the specific Climate Change challenges to our region—more flooding, more droughts, more heatwaves, more tropical diseases, and the inevitability of more public funds to address extreme weather consequences. We are at an amazing point in our human history, where our generation is facing the twilight of our opportunities to plan properly for the worst consequences of Climate Change. Yet, we still have to suffer the opinions of politicians who dismiss Climate Change. More examination of those political candidates who would address Climate Change and how they would do so would be good. Less exhibiting of those political candidates who dismiss science would be nice. Challenging those politicians by the media who still dismiss the world crisis of Climate Change would offer up a spectacle for the public which would reveal the pathetic poverty of responsibility for those we entrust our future. It's Bronson, hands down (August 31, 2016) Rochester City Newspaper  

  • 9/05/2016 - U.S. and China ratify the Paris Agreement. When the EU and a few other countries do likewise, we’ll have an official framework to bring the planet’s temperature down. That doesn’t mean we will bring the planet’s temperature down, it just means we’ll have a way to all get on the same page if we ratify the treaty. Paris isn’t perfect; it’s a major move by humanity to address Climate Change as one. An important caveat is that it may be too late to avert some catastrophic damage to our life support system—which includes our infrastructures that our species now needs to survive—because we’ve waited so long. Time passes. We’ve only just begun: more climate fights are coming Luckily for the chances of avoiding global warming, the Paris climate deal isn’t the only game in town. Here’s a rundown of what else is cooking So we know the much-heralded Paris climate agreement is likely to come into force this year, and we also know it’s not going to achieve much in the short term (more on that here). Given we’re heading for the hottest year on record, with scientists linking sea level rise, Arctic melt, drought and flooding to rising greenhouse gas emissions, something needs to be done. This week’s G20 summit in China will offer a sense of how seriously politicians are taking global warming amidst myriad concerns ranging from a stagnating global economy, war in Syria, Brexit and the South China Sea crisis. (August 29, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/05/2016 - Including the Paris Agreement, humanity should be working on several fronts to confront Climate Change—stopping fossil fuel subsidies, stopping climate deniers from getting electing to high office, addressing the major use of fossil fuels in jets and ships (which cross international borders), stopping the use of greenhouse gases used to keep us and our stuff cool on a warmer planet, and fixing our economy so that our life support system isn’t treated as an externality—or we shall perish from the earth. Time passes. We’ve only just begun: more climate fights are coming Luckily for the chances of avoiding global warming, the Paris climate deal isn’t the only game in town. Here’s a rundown of what else is cooking So we know the much-heralded Paris climate agreement is likely to come into force this year, and we also know it’s not going to achieve much in the short term (more on that here). Given we’re heading for the hottest year on record, with scientists linking sea level rise, Arctic melt, drought and flooding to rising greenhouse gas emissions, something needs to be done. This week’s G20 summit in China will offer a sense of how seriously politicians are taking global warming amidst myriad concerns ranging from a stagnating global economy, war in Syria, Brexit and the South China Sea crisis. (August 29, 2016) Climate Home  [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/05/2016 - Climate Change is not a distraction for our governments and military. It’s a major priority that needs adequate planning. The gridlock in Congress on Climate Change can be likened to a beast bewildered by changes in its environment that it cannot respond rapidly enough to survive. Time passes. Flooding of Coast, Caused by Global Warming, Has Already Begun Scientists’ warnings that the rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline are no longer theoretical. Huge vertical rulers are sprouting beside low spots in the streets here, so people can judge if the tidal floods that increasingly inundate their roads are too deep to drive through. Five hundred miles down the Atlantic Coast, the only road to Tybee Island, Ga., is disappearing beneath the sea several times a year, cutting the town off from the mainland. And another 500 miles on, in Fort Lauderdale, Fla., increased tidal flooding is forcing the city to spend millions fixing battered roads and drains — and, at times, to send out giant vacuum trucks to suck saltwater off the streets. For decades, as the global warming created by human emissions caused land ice to melt and ocean water to expand, scientists warned that the accelerating rise of the sea would eventually imperil the United States’ coastline. (September 3, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/03/2016 - Adapting to Climate Change for mammals, birds and amphibians is going to be an insuperable problem for these creatures because of our highways, urban regions, and canals. Our experts have long ago described this problem for wildlife in many climate studies but the media and even our conservations departments haven’t picked up on it and educated the public. Until we find ways to help wildlife across our various infrastructures so that our fellow creatures can adapt to the great warming, our professed concerns for our wildlife will be phantasmagoric. The proof is in the pudding. If we really care about the creatures who share our world and were instrumental in making it the way it is, we are going to have to begin a major campaign for them to cross our built barriers so they can survive and thrive. Maybe this animated depiction of the problem will help get the public’s attention. Interactive map shows where animals will move under climate change Scientists predict that as Earth warms and climate patterns morph in response, animals will be forced to move to survive. That usually means hightailing it to higher latitudes as equatorial areas become too hot and dry.  This movement pattern has happened fluidly and naturally in the past as climates have shifted, but now with human developments such as cities, highways and agriculture, critical animal migrations will be limited in surprising and troubling ways. The University of Washington and The Nature Conservancy have created an animated map showing where mammals, birds and amphibians are projected to move in the Western Hemisphere in response to climate change. The visualization draws upon flow models from electronic circuit theory, taking inspiration from existing visualizations of wind flow across the U.S (August 29, 2016) PHYS.org [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/03/2016 - An educational contest intended to teach kids the principles of sustainable design for solar panels while engaging in neighborhood improvements is a wonderful project. Imagine such a thing with a polluting fossil fuel infrastructure. ROCSPOT hosting student innovation challenge ROCSPOT is extending its solar efforts in Rochester's neighborhoods with an educational contest intended to teach kids the principles of sustainable design while engaging in neighborhood improvements. The students are presented with background on sustainable design and a diagram of the solar array, then asked to respond to one question: “what would you put around a lot full of solar panels to help your neighborhood?” The top 20 entries will be selected by ROCSPOT board members by Oct. 4, and those selected must submit video entries explaining their ideas by Oct. 20. (September 2, 2016) Brighton-Pittsford Post [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 8/27/2016 - The trouble with nuclear power plants is that there is no room for error—but we keep having them. Environmentalists point to FitzPatrick safety incidents in new report Environmental critics of nuclear power are seizing on a few safety incidents at the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant detailed in a report from the Nuclear Regulatory Commission (NRC).  The report notes multiple mishaps, like the oil leak into Lake Ontario that was connected to a temporary shutdown of the plant, and another event when two FitzPatrick employees were unintentionally exposed to radiation. The starkest finding is that solid nuclear waste which had spilled onto the floor of a contained room in the plant has been left untreated for at least four years. NRC spokesperson Neil Sheehan said that spill did not leave the site. (August 26, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/27/2016 - This program to teach mayors and their aides how to tackle major problems—“… climate change to poverty to public health …” sounds like a great fit for Rochester. Being a part of this program would also demonstrate to the public that Rochester cares deeply about handling a warmer future sustainably and justly. How do we sign up? Bloomberg gives Harvard $32 million to teach mayors and aides Former New York City mayor Michael R. Bloomberg is giving $32 million to Harvard University to launch a program to teach mayors and their aides how to tackle major problems facing cities. The gift, made through Bloomberg Philanthropies and announced Thursday, will harness faculty at Harvard’s business and government schools as well as other urban experts to provide executive training to as many as 300 mayors and 400 aides over the next four years. Bloomberg, a billionaire business executive, served three terms as mayor of the nation’s largest city. (August 25, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/27/2016 - Humanity was born to walking as birds are to fly and fish are to swim. Humanity was not born to sit in a gas guzzler and warm the planet. We must get right with our life support system. 50 Reasons Why Everyone Should Want More Walkable Streets From making you live longer to making cities more resilient: If you want a reason to make your city more walkable, it's in here. As more cities try to improve walkability—from car-free "superblocks" in Barcelona to heat-protected walkways in Dubai—a new report outlines the reasons behind the shift, the actions that cities can take to move away from a car-centric world, and why walkability matters. "The benefits of walkability are all interconnected," says James Francisco, an urban designer and planner at Arup, the global engineering firm that created the report. "Maybe you want your local business to be enhanced by more foot traffic. But by having that benefit, other benefits are integrated. Not only do you get the economic vitality, but you get the social benefits—so people are out and having conversations and connecting—and then you get the health benefits." A single intervention can also lead to environmental and political benefits. The report sifted through dozens of studies to quantify 50 benefits of walkability in cities. (August 24, 2016) Fast CoExist [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 8/27/2016 - Biofuels and gasoline are both bad for the climate because in both cases you’re putting more greenhouse gases into the air. Though gasoline has traditionally put more greenhouse gases into the air, biofuels rob our soil from ingredients that should be put back in the soil. We should be growing plants for food, not to burn for fuel. Trying to prove the worthiness of biofuels based solely on lifecycle analyses puts a lot of faith in our future ability to grow crops sustainably and creating more and more monocultures (think acres and acres of corn) that are subject to collapse. Study Finds Biofuels Worse for Climate than Gasoline Years of number crunching that had seemed to corroborate the climate benefits of American biofuels were starkly challenged in a science journal on Thursday, with a team of scientists using a new approach to conclude that the climate would be better off without them. Based largely on comparisons of tailpipe pollution and crop growth linked to biofuels, University of Michigan Energy Institute scientists estimated that powering an American vehicle with ethanol made from corn would have caused more carbon pollution than using gasoline during the eight years studied. (August 25, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/27/2016 - If a warmer more acidic Antarctic isn’t favorable to krill due to Climate Change, then then a major ecosystem may collapse. Some species are more important than others for keeping ecosystems thriving because of they’re the main item on the menu. Ecosystems are the organs of our planet’s biology. Time passes. Climate Change Could Put Tiny Krill at Big Risk They may be small, but krill — tiny, shrimp-like creatures — play a big role in the Antarctic food chain. As climate change warms the Southern Ocean and alters sea ice patterns, though, the area of Antarctic water suitable for krill to hatch and grow could drop precipitously, a new study finds. Most Antarctic krill are found in an area from the Weddell Sea to the waters around the Antarctic Peninsula, the finger of land that juts up toward South America. They serve as an important source of food for various species of whales, seals and penguins. While those animals find other food sources during lean years, it is unclear if those alternate sources are sustainable long-term.  (August 26, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/26/2016 - Time is of the essence so every community now, even Rochester, NY should prioritizing the use climate data into planning. 5 Chicago Communities Will Use Data to Plan for Climate Change A $300,000 grant will help five Chicago-area communities use climate data to address potential climate extremes, such as flooding or drought. The American Planning Association received the grant from the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration to help communities incorporate the data into capital improvement plans. Over the course of the two-year project, planners and climatologists will work with the pilot communities to incorporate climate data into planning efforts, identify climate resources and create guidelines that could help other communities.  (August 24, 2016) Next City [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/26/2016 - The quality of your health shouldn’t be directly linked to your zip code, the environment in your neighborhood. But too often it is. Every environment should give everyone the same chance at good health. This is what Climate Justice will be all about. HEALTH AND NEIGHBORHOOD ARE TOO OFTEN LINKED. THESE PEOPLE ARE OUT TO CHANGE THAT. Across the U.S. people are trying to reduce inequities in how environment affects physical well-being As an emergency room physician in Washington, D.C., it didn’t take long for Leana Wen to notice a pattern: Patients making repeat visits to the ER, wheezing and coughing from asthma exacerbations or suffering from lead poisoning, conditions that most often afflict those living in low-income neighborhoods. She helped soothe her patients’ immediate needs, but she was acutely aware she was only providing temporary relief, leaving the root causes unchecked — and a gap in the health of residents living in the city’s poorest ZIP codes versus those in the wealthiest. She wanted the opportunity to intervene earlier in those ER patients’ lives. (August 25, 2016) Ensia [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 8/26/2016 - The TU Editorial Board has an interesting spin on the Hudson River PCB cleanup—and it ain’t pretty. Though Climate Change is now gaining traction as one of our main environmental concerns, Brownfields, the industrial pollution of our land and waters, were one of our top environmental concerns for the last century. We have much to clean up form the times we allowed industry to pollute our life support system willy-nilly. We go into Climate Change with the environment we have, which is to say an environment compromised by pollution is not a good environmental baseline from which to address the great warming. Brownfields need to be cleaned up completely. More harm to the Hudson It would be easy to mistake state Environmental Conservation Commissioner Basil Seggos’ statement that more needs to be done about PCBs in the Hudson River for stating the obvious. It’s more than that. Welcome as it is to hear that assessment – and news that the state finally intends to dredge the Champlain Canal – it should not divert attention from Gov. Andrew Cuomo’s failure to address Hudson River issues before now. The administration seems to be moving in a new and positive direction. That’s good, but Mr. Cuomo should recognize the mistakes he has made so they’re not repeated. (August 25, 2016) Albany Time Union [more on Brownfields in our area]   

  • 8/26/2016 - That humans have been mucking with our climate longer than we previously thought is because our scientists had to get their heads around the concept that humans could even effect our entire planet’s climate. Once realized, now it seems that even before the Industrial Revolutions (there were at least two) scientists understand that we have been changing the climate by our behavior. Scientists are learning a lot about how we have been changing the climate but most of humanity are still trying to get their heads around the concept that humans could even effect our planet’s climate. We don’t have a whole lot of time for that epiphany to occur worldwide. Time passes. Humans Have Caused Global Warming for Longer Than We Thought Global warming isn't just a 20th and 21st century phenomenon People have been contributing to global warming since the mid-nineteenth century, decades before scientists previously estimated, according to new research published in the journal Nature. (August 24, 2016) Time [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/25/2016 - The PCB cleanup in the Hudson: Did they get all or did they leave too much pollution behind? Best not to have polluted at all. NY challenges effectiveness of PCB cleanup in the Hudson New York's conservation chief is challenging the effectiveness of recently completed dredging of contaminated sediment from the upper Hudson River, saying unacceptably high levels of industrial waste were left behind. Commissioner Basil Seggos says dredging improved the Hudson but the federal Environmental Protection Agency needs to re-evaluate the six-year project and get objective analysis in its ongoing review of fish, water and sediment data. His letter to the EPA comes a year after General Electric finished dredging a 40-mile stretch of the river for PCBs in a federal Superfund project. (August 22, 2016) North Country Public Radio [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 8/25/2016 - One of the most difficult problems in messaging Climate Change to the public is scientifically connecting individual weather events to Climate Change. Climate Signals, in beta, is attempting to do just that. And while it may not be perfect, it offers a glimpse of how important this science is to helping the media and the public and our governments to ‘see’ important feedbacks of a warming world. We can plan for Climate Change better when we can see it. “Climate Signals is a digital science platform for cataloging and mapping the impacts of climate change. Currently in open-beta release, the platform is designed to identify the chain of connections between greenhouse gas emissions and individual climate events.” Climate Signals

  • 8/25/2016 - #ParisAgreement hinges on ratification by China and US. While not perfect, this agreement would offer humanity a mechanism to work together on addressing Climate Change.  Our future should not have to be teetering at this time on the “uncertainties” in the US treaty ratification process. We should not have a political system that does not respect science. China and US to ratify landmark Paris climate deal ahead of G20 summit, sources reveal Move may tip momentum and bring accord into force at global level China and the United States are set to jointly announce their ratification of a landmark climate change pact before the G20 summit early next month, the South China Morning Post has learned. Senior climate officials from both countries worked late into the night in Beijing on Tuesday to finalise details, and a bilateral announcement is likely to be made on September 2, according to sources familiar with the issue. President Xi Jinping will meet his US counterpart Barack Obama for the G20 summit in Hangzhou, Zhejiang province, two days later on September 4. (August 25, 2016) South China Morning Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/25/2016 - The problem with nuclear power plants is that there is no room for error. Should we have to put our environment in jeopardy to get energy? In a time of planetary warming, we need to ask ourselves important questions about how we get energy because if we don’t ask these questions we’ll be desperate and recklessly choose energy sources that are either too dangerous or makes Climate Change worse. Early planning with renewable energy—wind and solar—and conservation and energy efficiency would have given us time to develop safe energy options—that provided lots of jobs. We shouldn’t have to hitch our wagons (our future) to technology that makes news every time a little glitch occurs. We should NOT have to pin our hopes and future on Murphy’s Law. Misplaced '<' in emergency plan earns Ginna plant an F Is it ">" or "<"? Remember those vexing "greater than-less than" problems in middle-school math? Seems they have trouble with the concept at the Ginna nuclear plant too. Federal regulators have cited plant owner Exelon Corp. for a safety violation because the Wayne County generating station's emergency plan contained a sentence that misused less-than symbols. Had there been a serious accident at Ginna, that little boo-boo in the written emergency management decision flowchart, could have led control-room operators to mistakenly call for a mass evacuation because they thought the nuclear fuel core was headed for meltdown. (August 24, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/24/2016 - If we’re talking just money, “Americans in their 20s and 30s could lose trillions of dollars in potential lifetime earnings as climate change disrupts the global economy”.   If we’re talking life, future life, and wondering if we can stop Climate Change before it goes beyond our ability to adapt—well, that’s far more important than our economy.   There’re really no dollar signs for Climate Change because you can’t take it when you go.  Although our media likes to frame Climate Change as an economic issue to reach the people who only see reality through an economic prism, except for how our economics drives our behavior there’s no relationship between the physics of Climate Change and the practice of economics. Climate doesn’t give a farthing for our dollars. Climate change could cost millennials trillions of dollars in lifetime income Americans in their 20s and 30s could lose trillions of dollars in potential lifetime earnings as climate change disrupts the global economy and weakens U.S. productivity, according to a new report by NextGen Climate said. If countries fail to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and limit the amount and pace of global warming, a 21-year-old college graduate today could lose $126,000 in lifetime wages and $187,000 in long-term savings and investments, the report found. This would outrank the lost income due to student debt or wage stagnation. (August 23, 2016) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/24/2016 - When Climate Change was first taken seriously in the last century, humanity was hard pressed to find evidence. Now, climate indicators are pooling all around us. However: “Not just a sign of global warming, these so-called supraglacial lakes can cause an ice sheet to collapse.” Nearly 8000 Strange Blue Lakes Have Appeared in Antarctica Researchers studying East Antarctica have observed nearly 8,000 dazzling, blue lakes appeared on the Langhovde Glacier between 2000 and 2013. Not just a sign of global warming, these so-called supraglacial lakes can cause an ice sheet to collapse. (August 22, 2016) Futurism [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/24/2016 - During Climate Change, look to the skies because we are learning that clouds are much more substantive to our future than previously thought. Though, clouds are still the wildcard in climate modeling. Where previously in humanity’s history we looked at clouds with wonder and amusement and for signs of impending weather, we must now try to determine whether manmade Climate Change has changed role of clouds from friend to foe. We are living on a warmer planet now and we must be aware of the new skyscape. Time passes. Clouds’ climate impact defies simple analysis The perennial question of how clouds affect the Earth’s climate takes another twist, with one study expecting cooling and another the opposite. Scientists have just been presented with new evidence on how tropical clouds’ climate impact affects rates of global warming, and therefore need to be factored into computer simulations of climate change over the next century. Confusingly, one study says thin tropical clouds at 5km height are far more common than thought, and have a substantial cooling effect on climate. The other suggests that as the world warms there will be fewer low-level clouds, which will therefore reflect less sunlight back into space and possibly push global temperatures to 2.3°C above the average for most of  human history. (August 22, 2016) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/23/2016 - ACTION: Still there are too many old TV’s and e-waste being illegally curbed in Rochester. Help do the right thing and get your old e-waste to this City event and even volunteer to help out. Saturday, October 15 at 8:15 AM - 1 PM, Sahlen's Stadium, 460 Oak St, Rochester, NY 14608 “Join RPCC in supporting the City of Rochester's E-Waste Day. Help unload cars of electronic equipment, cell phones, etc. for recycling. rocpcc@gmail.com.  FREE breakfast, lunch and water will be provided! Please note: This job will require occasional heavy lifting.  This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for work teams, Eagle Scouts, older Girl Scouts, high-schoolers, or just YOU!” Link to sign up!

  • 8/23/2016 - Our ecosystems extend far beyond our parks. It would be nice if humanity had the foresight to remove the blocks—roads, buildings, parking lots, baseball fields, you-name-it--in our parks so that animals and plants could adapt (move) and keep our ecosystems healthy. But our ecosystems, these major organs of our environment, which is to say our life support systems, don’t just exist within the confines of our parks. Ecosystems are everywhere throughout our countryside, our cities, our private and public lands. We’ve got to find the public will, the money, and a way to jump the legal hurdles to keep the animals and plants thriving that make up our ecosystems. Climate change will create new ecosystems, so let’s help plants move Australia’s ecosystems are already showing the signs of climate change, from the recent death of mangrove forests in northern Australia, to the decline in birds in eastern Australia, to the inability of mountain ash forests to recover from frequent fires. The frequency and size of these changes will only continue to increase in the next few years. This poses a major challenge for our national parks and reserves. For the past 200 years the emphasis in reserves has been on protection. But protection is impossible when the environment is massively changing. Adaptation then becomes more important. If we are to help wildlife and ecosystems survive in the future, we’ll have to rethink our parks and reserves. (August 23, 2016) The Conversation [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/23/2016 - Climate Change will amplify existing public health issues, “including a rise in infectious disease, drought and rising water levels that cause mass displacement, and even violent conflict.” Of course the poorest people in the poorest countries who did not cause Climate Change will get most immediate public health challenges, then the poorest people in the richest nations will be hit, then the richest people in the poorest nations, then the richest people in the richest nations. That’s what the richest people in the richest nations probably think—a great big buffer of humanity gets nailed before the rich have to worry their pretty little heads. But this non-historic crisis may not work out in a historic way. A large amount of the poor, who do not have adequate health care coverage, may get hit so badly that the repercussions cascade right through all classes to the richest. Who knows? Who knows why our governments aren’t preparing properly for the devastating public health effects of Climate Change, effects that may ripple though humanity very quickly. Demand that your government at all level prepare for the health effects of Climate Change. Climate change a significant threat to public health, CMA members hear Climate change is the “greatest global health threat of the 21st century,” so it is incumbent that physicians take a stand to protect their patients, one of the world’s leading human-rights advocates says. “Responding to climate change is not just a scientific or technological issue,” James Orbinski, a founding member of both Médecins sans frontières(Doctors Without Borders) and Dignitas International, told the general council of the Canadian Medical Association in Vancouver on Monday. “It’s time for the CMA to step up and step out, to be genuinely courageous on climate change,” he said. (August 22, 2016) The Globe and Mail [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/23/2016 - Great profile of Rochester, NY climate activist and co-founder of Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, Abigail McHugh Grifa MUSICIAN TURNED CLIMATE JUSTICE ACTIVIST INSPIRES MOTHERS EVERYWHERE TO JOIN THE FRONT LINES (August 21, 2016) Gandhi Earth Keepers International

  • 8/22/2016 - If the Great Lakes are indeed warming to several degrees above normal this summer and this is due partly to warmer air temperatures and “above normal overnight lows”, these are what one sees in climate projections for the Great Lakes. But, of course, this article does not mention Climate Change or global warming. One of the characteristics of Climate Change in our Northeast summers is that during heatwaves we won’t get much relief from the high temperature is because the overnight lows won’t be very low. It’ll stay hot. Great Lakes several degrees warmer than normal (August 19, 2016) Petoskey News-Review

  • 8/22/2016 - Has mainstream media done an adequate job of properly characterizing Louisiana’s deadly flood as an extreme weather event, possible an indicator of the weather to come in a warmer world? Or were our too media busy with other stuff our dysfunctional media are more comfortable with? What Fueled Louisiana’s Deadly Flood? As news media fixated on athletic achievements at the Rio Olympics, and of course remained fixated on Donald Trump, different corners of the United States were confronting weather-related hazards — including relentless steamy heat in the East and drought-fueled wildfires all around California, including the explosively spreading “Blue Cut” Fire east of Los Angeles. But nothing has come close to the deadly off-the-chart deluges and flooding in southern Louisiana, which the Red Cross says have produced the country’s worst natural disaster since Hurricane Sandy. (August 17, 2016) Dot Earth, New York Times. 

  • 8/22/2016 - Can the Nature Conservancy’s new mapping tool for renewable energy in NYS, Biodiversity and Wind Siting Mapping Tool, help place enough renewable energy to address Climate Change? Or will it just find excuses not to place renewable energy in a region that has been historically responsible for much of the greenhouse gases in our atmosphere? Should our priority be placed on local biodiversity or addressing Climate Change? Can we prioritize both goals? Are the impacts of Climate Change given their due? Getting to 50 by '30, and Preserving Nature New York state has committed to getting 50 percent of its power from renewable sources by 2030, and now conservation groups are creating tools to help make that happen.  The Clean Energy Standard was approved Aug. 1.  Cara Lee, senior conservation manager at the Nature Conservancy, says achieving the standard's renewable energy goal is critical for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, but it will require a rapid expansion of the state's renewable energy infrastructure. (August 22, 2016) Public News Service [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/20/2016 - Important viewpoint on using nuclear energy to help free us from fossil fuels in this article, Where is the outrage?, in Audrey Newcomb’s newsletter: Sifting & Winnowing “Being outspoken on fossil fuels and silent on crazy plans to rehabilitate potentially-dangerous aging nuclear plants needs urgent consideration of a policy upgrade by every organization purporting to be working to preserve the earth.”

  • 8/20/2016 - Important Event: Learn how an aggregate of trained citizen scientists (that’s you) can help fill critical gaps in important research on our environment.   One-Day Microplastics/Citizen Science Workshop – Learn how to get involved. October 11, 2016 – SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, The Gateway Center, 1 Forest Drive, Syracuse, NY.  

  • 8/19/2016 - Some folks think that because climate scientists cannot directly link specific extreme weather events with Climate Change there’s no reason for concern or urgency to address Climate Change. Some folks think this kind of uncertainty provides no reason for complacency. Time passes. Drought worsens south of Rochester A swath of land from Buffalo to Seneca Falls, as well as the area centered on Ithaca, are now listed in "extreme drought." It's only the second time since 2000, when the U.S. Drought Monitor began posting weekly reports, that any part of New York state has received that designation — the second-most-severe of five categories used by the Drought Monitor. The only other New York dry spell that was categorized as "extreme" was in the late winter and spring of 2002. (August 18, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

  • 8/19/2016 - The Arctic, as our species has known it, is entering its death spiral and it should NOT be just scientists who are sad. An ice-free Arctic means that a major ecosystem has undergone a radical change; that a gold-rush of sorts will rage through humanity for more oil and more minerals; and that more sea routes previously unattainable will be possible. When one of our planet’s refrigerators was working properly humanity and our avarice were kept at bay—somewhat. Climate Change isn’t a time for sadness any more than finding that your car, which is speeding along at 100 miles per hours, has just lost its brakes. Time passes. Time to listen to the ice scientists about the Arctic death spiral The Arctic’s ice is disappearing. We must reduce emissions, fast, or the human castastrophe predicted by ocean scientist Peter Wadhams will become reality Ice scientists are mostly cheerful and pragmatic. Like many other researchers coolly observing the rapid warming of the world, they share a gallows humour and are cautious about entering the political fray. Not Peter Wadhams. The former director of the Scott Polar Research Institute and professor of ocean physics at Cambridge has spent his scientific life researching the ice world, or the cryosphere, and in just 30 years has seen unimaginable change. When in 1970 he joined the first of what would be more than 50 polar expeditions, the Arctic sea ice covered around 8m sq km at its September minimum. Today, it hovers at around 3.4m, and is declining by 13% a decade. In 30 years Wadhams has seen the Arctic ice thin by 40%, the world change colour at its top and bottom and the ice disappear in front of his eyes. (August 18, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/19/2016 - #ParisAgreement is not ratified yet. 55 is the magic number. 404.48ppm of CO2 is the reality number. Time passes. The Arab world could be a DECIDING FACTOR in the fight against CLIMATE CHANGE As Morocco hosts the next global climate change meeting in November 2016, the world looks to the Middle East and North Africa region for leadership in the fight against climate change 55 is the magic number. Sure - 175 parties (174 countries plus the European Union) signed the Paris Agreement in April in New York City earlier this year. But this alone is not enough. It matters not only how many countries signed the document, but also how many countries ultimately join the Paris Agreement by ratifying it. Only once the Paris Agreement is ratified, does it become operational and legally binding. And this is where the magic number 55 comes in. It matters in two respects. At least 55 parties have to ratify the Paris Agreement, and enough countries need to have joined so that their collective emissions exceed 55 percent of global emissions. (August 17, 2016) The World Bank [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/18/2016 - If you live in New York State (if you live in Rochester, NY, you do) check out our Climate Change profile—by ClimateNexus. Maybe, send this link to your local political leaders and ask them how they are protecting us from this crisis.

  • 8/18/2016 - The urgency to address Climate Change is compounded by humanity’s inability to achieve even the pathetic goals we set for ourselves. It’s like an alcoholic saying he’ll only drink a six-pack each day but keeps drinking two six-packs. We’ve kick the Climate Change can down the road for so long that we’ve come to think the road is an endless highway, when in fact we’ve long since left the road. Scientists (not politicians) have been telling us a “safe” global temperature threshold was probably the one we were at for most of the Holocene—around 350ppm of CO2.  Any goals that include the allowance for future warming is a dangerous delusion. Rethink needed on Paris emissions targets Warning that humans may already have emitted enough carbon dioxide to undermine the 1.5°C temperature rise threshold agreed by 195 nations last December. The historic international agreement to limit global warming to a global average rise of 1.5°C may be a case of too little, too late. In December last year, 195 nations at the Paris climate summit promised a programme of action to contain greenhouse gas emissions and limit climate change. But UK scientists now warn that humans may have already emitted enough carbon dioxide into the planetary atmosphere to take air temperatures over land to above 1.5°C. And that means nations may have to think again about what constitutes a “safe” global temperature threshold. (August 16, 2016) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/17/2016 - We can “say about the about the Louisiana floods and climate change” is that the Northeast should get ready and plan properly. The Northeast (Rochester’s home) has seen a 71% increase in heavy precipitation since 1958. Read “Heavy Downpours Increasing” from the National Climate Assessment/Northeast What we can say about the Louisiana floods and climate change Here we are again, with a flood event upending the lives of large numbers of Americans and making everybody wonder about the role of climate change. In this case, it’s the stunning, multiday flooding in southern Louisiana that hit after a low pressure system combined with record amounts of atmospheric water vapor, dumping more than two feet of rainfall over three days in some places. At least 11 people were killed, and thousands have had to leave their homes. (August 15, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/17/2016 - From the Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) newsletter: ACTION: "City of Rochester's E-Waste Day - Seeking Volunteers! Action:  Join RPCC in supporting the City of Rochester's E-Waste Day. Help unload cars of electronic equipment, cell phones, etc. for recycling.  When:  Saturday, October 15, 8:15am to 1:00pm Where: Sahlen's Stadium, 460 Oak St, Rochester, NY 14608 Contact: Sign up for yourself or your group here. If you have questions, please email rocpcc@gmail.com.   FREE breakfast, lunch and water will be provided! Please note: This job will require occasional heavy lifting.   This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for work teams, Eagle Scouts, older Girl Scouts, high-schoolers, or just YOU! "  * Sign up for the RPCC newsletter at the bottom of this page PRESS.

  • 8/17/2016 - Today it’s Louisiana, recently it was Oklahoma, Texas, South Carolina and West Virginia. However, research shows greatest concern is for “… Northeast, Midwest and Upper Great Plains regions…” for VERY heavy rainfall. Northeast, that us here in Rochester. Are we ready for really heavy flooding, which is to say, are our roads and bridges and other infrastructures robust and resilient enough for the rains bombs that come with a warmer air that can hold more water? Flooding in the South Looks a Lot Like Climate Change Climate change is never going to announce itself by name. But this is what we should expect it to look like. That’s what many scientists, analysts and activists are saying after heavy rains in southern Louisiana have killed at least 11 people and forced tens of thousands of residents from their homes, in the latest in a series of extreme floods that have occurred in the United States over the last two years. That increase in heavy rainfall and the resultant flooding “is consistent with what we expect to see in the future if you look at climate models,” said David Easterling, a director at the National Centers for Environmental Information, which is operated by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. “Not just in the U.S. but in many other parts of the world as well.” (August 16, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2016 - When our governments and insurance companies can no longer afford to keep up with frequent extreme weather from Climate Change, then many will ‘get’ Climate Change. But by then, of course, it will be too late to do much else but suffer the worst consequences. Historic Rains Flood Southeast Louisiana (August 14, 2016) Think Progress/Climate Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2016 - I know, US politics are screwed up. But still, not talking about Climate Change in 2016 in our presidential elections displays a major flaw in our political mindset that has to be fixed. Our media and our leaders are doing ‘we the people’ a great disservice by NOT allowing Climate Change to be the central focus of this election year. We need to get our priorities straight. Scientists Call on Presidential Candidates to Address Key Science Issues Prominent organizations try for the third straight election to get candidates to answer questions about climate change and other crucial issues. Science, especially climate science, has again gotten so little attention in the presidential campaigns that a group of more than 50 science organizations is seeking to push it into the conversation. The group, which includes the American Association for the Advancement of Science, The National Academy of Sciences, the American Geophysical Union and Duke University, represents more than 10 million scientists and engineers nationwide. It is calling on the U.S. presidential candidates to address a set of questions related to science, engineering, technology, health and the environment, including climate change. It is also encouraging the media, the moderators that ask the debate questions and voters themselves to ask these questions of the candidates in the course of the campaign. (August 10, 2016) Inside Climate News

  • 8/16/2016 - If we are around to look back and see the Climate Change warning signs we ignored, we’ll probably wonder at our capacity to avoid the obvious. Scorching July is World’s Hottest Month on Record The reign of record hot months in 2016 continues, with last month claiming the title of hottest July on record globally, according to data released by NASA on Monday. This July was also the hottest month on record for the world. The streak means that 2016 is still well on its way to upsetting last year as the hottest year on record. Or as Gavin Schmidt, director of NASA’s Goddard Institute of Space Studies, said on Twitter, there is still a 99 percent chance 2016 will take the top slot. (August 15, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2016 - Scientist in ‘Climate forensics’ episode of podcast @ourwarmregards talks about animals not having to contend with roads in past climate changes. Meaning our transportation infrastructure thwarts animals’ and plants’ ability to adapt to a rapidly changing environment. How about a whole show on Climate Change and our present infrastructures (the veins and arteries of our 7-billion numbered species? Our built infrastructures—roads, water, waste, telecommunications--will be affected by Climate Change and will affect Climate Change? Check out podcast: Warm Regards

  • 8/16/2016 - Major article in New Republic on the absolute urgency of addressing Climate Change now by Bill McKibben. A World at War We’re under attack from climate change—and our only hope is to mobilize like we did in WWII. BY BILL MCKIBBEN In the North this summer, a devastating offensive is underway. Enemy forces have seized huge swaths of territory; with each passing week, another 22,000 square miles of Arctic ice disappears. Experts dispatched to the battlefield in July saw little cause for hope, especially since this siege is one of the oldest fronts in the war. “In 30 years, the area has shrunk approximately by half,” said a scientist who examined the onslaught. “There doesn’t seem anything able to stop this.” In the Pacific this spring, the enemy staged a daring breakout across thousands of miles of ocean, waging a full-scale assault on the region’s coral reefs. In a matter of months, long stretches of formations like the Great Barrier Reef—dating back past the start of human civilization and visible from space—were reduced to white bone-yards. (August 15, 2016) New Republic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/15/2016 - The Blame-Game Climate Change future: When Climate Change disasters hit the public, they will sue their governments. But their governments didn’t prepare because the public didn’t support their governments preparing for Climate Change. Sound absurd but this is the way we are probably going to try and adapt to Climate Change. Time passes. Watch Suing for the Climate With insurance losses from natural disasters rising, insurers are beginning to point a finger at local governments for neglecting to update critical infrastructure. This raises an important question: who should be held responsible for the costs of climate change? Nexus media

  • 8/15/2016 - Find out what Climate Change impacts are happening in the Northeast US right now and what are projected. Great summary by Climate Nexus @ClimateNexus of what changing are and will occur in our region because of Climate Change so we can plan. The public will get behind our leaders on Climate Change when our leaders lead on adapting to the changes and help stop more heat going into our atmosphere. Northeast Climate Change Impacts "Connecticut Ÿ• Delaware •Ÿ Maine Ÿ• Massachusetts Ÿ• New Hampshire Ÿ• New Jersey Ÿ• New York • Pennsylvania Ÿ• Rhode Island Ÿ• Vermont Ÿ• West Virginia Ÿ• District of Columbia The following is a compilation of climate change impacts occurring right here, right now in the Northeast, as well as projected impacts, economic and human health consequences, and notable recent events. Over 64 million people are concentrated in the Northeast and are already beginning to experience climate change impacts. These include record temperatures, more extreme precipitation events, and coastal flooding due to sea level rise and storm surge. " Climatenexus

  • 8/13/2016 - We should get ‘ticked off’ that when our public broadcasting system does a news story that includes Climate Change and not mentions ‘Climate Change’.  We will have more incidences of vector-driven (including ticks and mosquitoes) diseases (Lyme disease, West Nile Virus, malaria, etc.) with Climate Change because our climate is moving towards a more tropical climate that is favorable to ticks surviving longer and making more of them. Note this is code of Climate Change: “As few as ten years ago it was unusual to find even one brown dog tick or lone star tick on your person after a weekend of camping in northern NY state. Now in many places all you have to do is set foot in the brush to get several black-legged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks, which are harder to see than other ticks.” Ticked off  Summer should be a carefree season full of picnics and swimming, a time for hikes and barbeques on the deck, not a time to fret about tick-borne illnesses. We want limes, not Lyme. As few as ten years ago it was unusual to find even one brown dog tick or lone star tick on your person after a weekend of camping in northern NY state. Now in many places all you have to do is set foot in the brush to get several black-legged ticks, commonly known as deer ticks, which are harder to see than other ticks. The deer tick is known to transmit Lyme disease as well as babesiosis, anaplasmosis, Powassan virus and other serious illnesses. In fact it’s possible for two or more diseases to be transferred to a host, human or otherwise, by a single tick bite. (August 12, 2016) North Country Public Radio [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 8/13/2016 - When climate scientists attempt to model climate they will have to factor in humanity’s behavior—how we’ve polluted our environment and what our responses will be to warming. This is to say, humans have become a major force on our environment so much so that our past and future actions have to be a part of the data (challenging as that will be) we use to predict future climate scenarios. If we plan properly to address Climate Change it is more likely that our behavior will present hopeful data for climate modeling. Project maps the chemistry of the world's oceans Human actions are changing the oceans' chemistry. Pollution washes in from the coasts, iron-laden dust blows in from increasingly arid land, greenhouse gases raise surface temperatures and carbon dioxide levels. To predict how marine ecosystems are going to respond to these changes, we need to understand how marine biology and ocean chemistry interact. (August 11, 2016) PHYS.org [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/13/2016 - I know, we cannot prove this present heatwave in Rochester is related to Climate Change, but these hot times portend to be the new normal for our summers. We should be mindful of how we live during this heatwave and how substantially uncomfortable and dangerous even a slight rise in temperatures will be in a warmer climate. Outside workers will be greatly challenged to stay outside and work. We should plan so that our public health and our public infrastructures (transportation, water, waste, and telecommunications ((which are now the life’s blood for humanity))) can handle the increases in heat. Heat index cracks 100 in Rochester The heat index has risen above 100 degrees in Rochester, and government officials galore are warning everyone to take it slow and easy. The temperature here at 1 p.m. was 92 degrees. But with a mass of super-humid air in place, the "this-is-how-hot-it-feels" heat index was 102. At 2 p.m., the temperature and the heat index had fallen by one degree each — but the heat-index value was high enough to pose a health threat to people who exert themselves outdoors. (August 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle  

  • 8/13/2016 - Some are calling the rainstorm in Louisiana a “classic signal of climate change”.  It may be too soon to tell and certainly some will deny the relationship even if eventually all climate scientists agree. We can spawn debate every time it rains very hard, or gets very hot, or when a hurricane moves into new patterns of destruction. Or we can accept that Climate Change is happening and begin the tough planning for more of these events so we aren’t overwhelmed. The EPA just released its Climate Change Indicators in the United States, published in 2016. Perhaps our mainstream media should read this report and get a sense of the events that represent local indicators of Climate Change and then contact experts to verify and then inform the public so that ‘we the people’ can make informed choices about our warming world. America’s Latest 500-Year Rainstorm Is Underway Right Now in Louisiana Observers are calling the record floods a “classic signal of climate change” — and high-resolution models predict another one to two feet of rain by Saturday evening. By mid-morning on Friday, more than a foot of rain had fallen near Kentwood, Louisiana, in just a 12-hour stretch — a downpour with an estimated likelihood of just once every 500 years, and roughly three months’ worth of rainfall during a typical hurricane season. It’s the latest in a string of exceptionally rare rainstorms that are stretching the definition of “extreme” weather. It’s exactly the sort of rainstorm that’s occurring more frequently as the planet warms. (August 12, 2016) Pacific Standard [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/12/2016 - Burning methane hydrates (think leaking lots and lots of methane into our atmosphere) is unsustainable. Be concerned, be very concerned. Methane Hydrates, The Next Shale Gas? The talk a few years ago about an imminent peak in oil and gas production was proven incorrect by the technological strides made to access shale oil and gas resources. It seems that governments, exploration companies, and even the United Nations are striving to make the next technological leap – this time into accessing the gas resources available in methane hydrates. These are frozen combinations of gas and water that are stable at high pressures and low temperatures, found in Polar Regions and on the seabed (mostly shallow waters near continents and on continental slopes). (August 11, 2016) Resilience [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 8/12/2016 - It doesn’t sound corny to me at all to ask folks to “reduce, reuse, recycle” to save our wildlife from plastic pollution. It doesn’t sound corny when someone says 2 + 2 = 4. It doesn’t sound corny to remind folks that our environment is our life support system. All are true and if we don’t understand the basics, we’re basing our behavior on fantasy. We’ve treated our environment so badly for so long we copped this attitude that it’s corny to be green, to live sustainably, and to address Climate Change. Plastics, only something humans can make, are despoiling our ocean waters and our freshwaters. We are treating our environment as if it’s only a backdrop to our dreams, somehow forgetting that without a healthy environment, the one we thrived on for the past 10,000 years, our future is in jeopardy. Shame on us: “One in 10 Canadian freshwater birds are polluted with plastic…” Plastic hurting Canada’s loons, ducks and geese Study: One in 10 Canadian freshwater birds are polluted with plastic, which can block up their digestion and load them with contaminants Bottle caps, coffee cup lids, packing tape wire, foil, Styrofoam pellets—sounds like the ingredients for a MacGyver prison camp break out, right? Not quite—this is what Canadian researchers are finding in the stomachs of freshwater birds across the country, including birds like long-tailed ducks and loons, which prefer more remote, wild areas. The new research suggests Canada’s freshwater birds, just like their ocean-dwelling counterparts, are at risk from our plastic-saturated lifestyles. “We think of urban mallards or gulls around cities picking up contamination, but you think of long-tailed ducks or something … a person into wildlife would associate them with wild places,” said Mark Mallory, a professor and Canada research chair in coastal wetland ecosystems at Acadia University. “It’s kind of shocking really.” (August 5, 2016) Environmental Health News [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/11/2016 - The public should be concerned about aging nuclear power plants that are ‘struggling’ financially and operating with safety issues. If our energy future must have nuclear power that does not mean that we should keep aging, unsafe power plants going. These are two different issues. Proponents of the need for nuclear power to address Climate Change should distinguish keeping aging nuclear power plants separate from new generation nuclear (which can reuse spend nuclear materials) and small nuclear power operations (which can be built for less money and provide backup for renewable energy like wind and solar). It would be helpful to the public and our ability to plan for the future if our media investigated how safe aging nuclear power plants are when these local nuclear power plants are struggling financially and continually having safety issues. And keep that issue separate from next generation nuclear power. Ginna owner taking over additional Upstate nuclear plant Exelon, which owns the Ginna nuclear power plant, has agreed to buy the FitzPatrick plant in Oswego for $110 million. That means that Exelon will own all three of Upstate New York's nuclear power generators. And all three are struggling.  In recent years, each of the plants has been flagged by the federal Nuclear Regulatory Commission for non-critical mechanical or safety violations. Each has also been losing money, though the dual-reactor Nine Mile Point in Oswego has reportedly fared better than Ginna and FitzPatrick. (August 10, 2016) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/11/2016 - Two things jump out at me in this article about this year’s Rochester region's drought: That “The region has endured the fourth-driest June-July period since precipitation records began to be kept in Rochester in 1871.” And, if we get relief from this drought by a suddenly heavy precipitation (which according to the National Climate Assessment, our Northeast region has seen an increase in 71% of them since 1958) this would not be a good thing. Flooding and sewer system overflows and much more challenges come with too much rain at once—a phenomenon that is already occurring. With Climate Change in our region, we need to prepare for droughts (even though we have a lot of water) and more heavy precipitation (rain or snow). A dry soil can have a poor absorption ability so too much water at once can wreak havoc. More rain coming, still more needed One soaking rain down, several more to come. Will it be enough to end the Rochester region's drought? Um, well ... we'll see. Nearly everyone in western New York and the Finger Lakes received a good amount of rain in the pre-dawn hours Wednesday. Most of Monroe County got a half-inch or more in a few minutes' time as the storms moved through between 3 and 4 a.m. Areas to the west of Monroe County got less; areas to the east and southeast got more. Locales near Ithaca and Cortland got more than two inches of rain (August 10, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

  • 8/11/2016 - With warmer temperatures in places that were once too cold for tropical diseases, Climate Change is probably helping to spread tropical diseases to new places, like New York. Climate Change is going to dramatically challenge our public health. We should plan appropriately. Time passes. Scientists Tease Out Climate Change’s Role in Zika Spread Athletes and tourists converging on Brazil this week are crowding into a country where rapid environmental change and natural weather fluctuations nurtured a viral epidemic that has gone global. The Zika virus has exploded throughout South America, up through Mexico and Puerto Rico and into Florida, but the conditions it needed to fester in northern Brazil were rooted in urbanization and poverty. The initial Brazilian outbreak appears to have been aided by a drought driven by El Niño, and by higher temperatures caused by longer-term weather cycles and by rising levels of greenhouse gas pollution. (August 4, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/10/2016 - Solar Power is increasing without much fanfare in our Western NY region, but Wind Power must try to proceed with much local resistance. Without a focus on keeping Climate Change as a top priority—for birds and bats and humanity—we will get lost in past ideas about using our environment for energy. Lighthouse Wind releases Avian and Bat Study Plan  On Aug. 1, Lighthouse Wind submitted its Avian and Bat Study Plan, detailing the study plan’s science methodology, for its wind project on the state Department of Public Service website. The Avian and Bat Study Plan — developed in conjunction with the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and the state Department of Environmental Conservation according to the cover letter provided by Lighthouse Wind attorneys — highlighted the methodology Lighthouse Wind used, and still is using, to determine the impact to bat and avian species in the project area. (August 9, 2016) The Daily News [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 8/10/2016 - Solar panels on Rochester’s roofs will look very nice on our future. There’s a lot of energy real estate on our roofs, which means we don’t lose power through long power lines. Not to mention, lots more Solar and a lot (really a lot) LESS fossil fuels means we get to have a freaking future. Solar campaign adds first Rochester home with rooftop panels The City of Rochester celebrated a first Tuesday afternoon. A home on Highland Avenue is the first in the city to have rooftop panels installed as part of the "Solarize The Flower City" campaign. The community-based organization ROCSPOT is backing the campaign. It receives funding from New York State and hasset a goal to produce as much solar power energy as Ginna Nuclear Power Plant by the year 2025. (August 9, 2016) WHAM Rochester [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 8/10/2016 - Check out Warm Regards @ourwarmregards a great podcast about noodling through the facts and implications of Climate Change. This new podcast provides great insights into the fundamentals of Climate Change that the public needs to know. “Warm Regards is a podcast about the warming planet. The show is hosted by meteorologist Eric Holthaus. Co-hosts are Jacquelyn Gill, a paleoecologist at the University of Maine, and Andy Revkin, a veteran reporter at the New York Times.”

  • 8/10/2016 - This EPA report is a ‘must read’ for those who really want to understand how Climate Change is happening in our region. You can get a really detailed and thorough view of how Climate Change is already impacting our US environment and gain a sense of the things (indicators) that we can monitor to see what to keep our eye on for the future in this report. Download and read the full report: EPA's Climate Change Indicators in the United States, published in 2016.  2016 full report (PDF)(96 pp, 24 MB, August 2016) "This report presents 37 indicators, each describing trends related to the causes and effects of climate change. It focuses primarily on the United States, but in some cases global trends are presented to provide context or a basis for comparison." (Environmental Protection Agency, EPA)

  • 8/10/2016 - It appears that permafrost melting due to Climate Change does more than put more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere: “Anthrax can lie dormant in frozen soil such as permafrost for decades and only becomes a problem if the permafrost melts.” A warming world will be a different environment than the one our species thrived on in the Holocene. Russian anthrax outbreak blamed on climate change Two people and over two thousand reindeer have been killed by the bacteria. (August 5, 2016) Aljazeera [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/09/2016 - Add the accumulated carbon from peatlands, which are warming and burning, to our carbon budget, which we have probably long passed. I suspect that a carbon budget is an economic fantasy term used by folks in the economic field, a field which did not factor in our environment for centuries except as an externality. As Peat Bogs Burn, a Climate Threat Rises RED EARTH CREEK, Alberta — Kristyn Housman grabbed the end of a sampling auger, a steel tube that two colleagues had just drilled into a moss-covered hummock in a peat bog, and poked through a damp, fibrous plug of partly decomposed peat. Peat has been building up for centuries in this bog, where the spongy moss is interspersed with black spruces and, on a late spring morning, the air is teeming with mosquitoes. The sample, taken from three feet down, is at least several hundred years old, said Ms. Housman, a graduate researcher at McMaster University in Hamilton, Ontario. “There’s literally tons of carbon here,” she said, looking around the bog, which covers several acres off a muddy oil-company road amid the vast flatness of northern Alberta. (August 8, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/09/2016 - Climate studies for our Northeast region predict more droughts towards the end of our summers. We should plan for the long-term so that government monies will be there in our warmer world. I know, many folks think we should not exist in a nanny state, where our government rescues farmers and other businesses from natural unpredictable disasters. But in the real world, it’s warming and extreme weather is becoming more predictable. If we don’t plan properly for Climate Change, private insurance and then our public agencies will quickly be overwhelmed. Time passes. Schumer Calls For Federal Action On Drought Relief New York Senator Charles Schumer is calling on the U.S. Department of Agriculture to begin the process of issuing a disaster declaration to help Upstate New York farmers who suffer major losses and crop damage from the severe drought. (August 5, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/09/2016 - Climate Change is dramatically affecting our Great Lakes region (remember: Rochester is on the Great Lakes) and the consequences are getting stronger. Our politics, our media, and our public attention don’t reflect this urgent crisis but that doesn’t stop Climate Change. Only our abrupt change towards addressing Climate Change will matter. We should mitigate Climate Change so it doesn’t get worse; but we’ll have to adapt to the changes whether we like it or not. Time passes. Climate change warning signs getting stronger Great Lakes ills reflect trend Climate change is becoming more pronounced across our planet, with effects in the Great Lakes region including anything from more toxic algae to faster evaporation of Great Lakes water. Other documented Great Lakes impacts include higher shipping costs, more pollen, more Lyme disease, and changes in wintering habits of some birds that have been migrating across this part of North America for thousands of years. Climate change has received little attention in the 2016 presidential campaigns of Republican Donald Trump and Democrat Hillary Clinton, save for Mrs. Clinton’s call for lower emissions and more renewable energy jobs during her Democratic National Convention acceptance speech. (August 8, 2016) The Toledo Blade [more on Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/09/2016 - ACTION: From our friends over @FastForwardRoc "The Fast Forward Film Festival Call for Entries is now OPEN! "Accepting submissions from novice and veteran filmmakers who live in the Greater Rochester region NOW through February 27th, 2017! If you already have your film ready, please submit. If you haven't yet started filming, get your gear ready, and don't miss out on making the most of Rochester's beautiful summer weather!" Find out more here.

  • 8/09/2016 - We may very well need to suck a lot of CO2 out of the atmosphere to address Climate Change but we still don’t know if we can do it on a scale and speed that will matter. Negative emissions technology, where we find a techno-fix for our inability to curb CO2 emissions and stay on our carbon budget, is a reliance on a silver bullet we haven’t even invented yet. Considering the amount of climate disruptions we are already experiencing--record-breaking heatwaves in parts of the world, wildfires, sea level rises, damage to our coral reefs, and more extreme weather—we have probably long blasted through our carbon budget. If we have put ourselves in a state where negative emissions are necessary to survive, it should have been happening quite a while ago. Many put their faith on planting trees on a massive scale but it would have to be a lot of trees and it would have to be done quickly. Time passes.  Michigan Scientists See Urgency for Negative Emissions ANN ARBOR, Mich. — When Sarang Supekar describes how he thinks global warming will have to be stabilized, he talks in terms of sucking a lot of carbon dioxide out of the air and in a very short timeframe. Supekar, a systems engineer at the University of Michigan, is part of a team developing a computer model that estimates how countries can stay within their carbon budgets, limiting their greenhouse gases so that the earth does not warm beyond the 2°C (3.6°F) threshold. His research, which is ongoing and has not yet been published, is suggesting an increasingly dire situation: Countries may have only until 2026 to begin retiring most old coal-fired power plants and replacing them with 100 percent renewable power sources, or the globe is likely to blow through its carbon budget and exceed 2°C of warming. (August 8, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/08/2016 - Too many humans, unlike some fish who think global warming is night, have another strategy and pretend global warming is a hoax. When the consequences of not planning for Climate Change (of which global warming is a subset) hit home, fairy tale time will end. Some fish tackle ocean global warming by pretending it's night Some fish may cope with the changing chemistry of the oceans linked to global warming by permanently setting their body defenses to night-time levels, the time of day when they find sea water least hospitable, a study said on Monday. Man-made carbon dioxide, released into the air by burning fossil fuels, forms a weak acid when mixed with water that can harm marine life in what is likely to be a worsening effect of global warming this century. Fish adjust their bodies every day because levels of carbon dioxide naturally in the seas peak at night and dip during sunlight hours when algae, seaweed and other plants absorb carbon dioxide to generate energy. (August 1, 2016) Reuters (more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/08/2016 - Climate Change as the opening ceremony at the Rio Olympics demonstrates that however much politicians and media and deniers aggressively ignore the crisis of our age, the message gets through. I suspect as the great warming gets more dire, the growing population of concerned people will find more ways to reach the public on Climate Change. But time is running out. The Rio Opening Ceremony Put Climate Change Front And Center Brazil wasted no time with the whole world watching. The Opening Ceremony at the Rio Olympics Friday evening was filled with celebrations of Brazilian culture and unity. But for a few brief moments, the message was polarizing and crystal clear: The world must do whatever it can to stop climate change. (August 7, 2016) The Huffington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/06/2016 - Heatwaves in Northeast during Climate Change still get reported in local media as anomalies that don’t break historical records. We are reminded that in the “… Summer of 1952. In that year, the thermometer touched 90 a total of thirty-two times!” Though, when we look at the big picture (climate) we find that “Heat waves, heavy downpours, and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. Many states and cities are beginning to incorporate climate change into their planning.” And “Under both emissions scenarios, the frequency, intensity, and duration of heat waves is expected to increase, with larger increases under higher emissions” (See the National Climate Assessment | Northeast) And, we know right now that records are being broken on heat records in many places around the world. 2015 Set Frenzy of Climate Records The warming of the world’s climate has reached a fever pitch in recent years, causing records to fall like dominoes. In 2015, the planet saw a number of such records set, from the hottest global temperature measured to the largest annual increase in carbon dioxide. Those records — along with numerous other indicators of the considerable change wrought on land, in the oceans and air, and to ecosystems — are detailed in the annual State of the Climate Report released Tuesday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (August 2, 2016) Climate Central And 2016 is quite likely to break 2015 records, as some are already broken this year. Yes, El Niño is making last year and this year hotter, but Climate Change is making these cyclical weather phenomenon more acute. My point is that  our local media should be focusing on putting our heat waves in the context of what is being experienced around the world and within climate studies of our region and climate models, not simply a maniacal parochial fixation on our present heat waves, as if we were not part of a warming world. Yet another Heat Wave for Rochester ...and yet another 90 degree day Today's high temperature in Rochester was 92 degrees. Yup, another 90 degree day! This was the seventeenth time it's hit 90 degrees in Rochester this season.  As you might imagine, we've had our full quota of 90 degree days this season. A typical Summer in Rochester brings nine 90 degree days. This Summer, we've had nearly double that! (August 5, 2016) RochesterFirst.com

  • 8/06/2016 - Wildlife, if nothing else, are indicators of environmental health, which is to say the state of our life support system. This situation, where terns are experiencing premature feather loss, is still unknown origins (“as-yet unknown toxins or pathogens,” the study said.) or may be weather related. Wildlife have a value in and of themselves. But even if you don’t care about our wildlife you should still care what happens to them because, more likely than not, whatever affects them will affect us. Helping Wildlife adapt to Climate Change should be given high priority because wildlife are key features of the ecosystems that keep us alive—which makes them Climate Change indicators. These birds of a feather lost their feathers We’re told that birds of a feather flock together. But what happens when flocks of birds lose their feathers? Scientists are puzzling over a rare occurrence: premature feather loss among common tern chicks at Gull Island in northern Lake Ontario, Canada. The July 2014 discovery was the first known occurrence of premature feather loss among terns in 40 years, a new study said, and “was largely of unknown origin.” The phenomenon affected about 5 percent of tern chicks that were banded that season. (August 5, 2016) Great Lakes Echo [more on Great Lakes and Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/06/2016 - Will your vote (or not voting) this year for US President produce a 2C world or a 4C world? That is the question. Why the 2016 Election Is About Climate Change The Risk of Moving Too Slowly The thumbnail definition of risk is probability combined with potential consequences. Americans understand a lot about risk. Taking calculated risks built this country. We now face the catastrophic risk of climate change and consequences beyond human experience. From 1980 to present there have been 196 climatic extreme events that have caused damage greater than $1 billion. The total aggregate cost for damages is $1.1 trillion. Globally, 90 percent of disasters are weather-related. In 2016, the disaster damage reached $250 billion (Forbes, May 12, 2016). As the weather changes with a changing climate, the cost of damages is projected to exceed $1 trillion by 2020. Global urban infrastructure expenditure is expected to reach $350 trillion by mid-century. (August 5, 2016) Planet Experts [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/06/2016 - Blue-green algae is the bad of algae (the kind that produces toxins) and it will represent a continual problem as our lake waters warm up with Climate Change. We should prepare and educate accordingly, instead of reporting on these outbreaks as random oddities that come and go. Sandy Bottom Beach closed due to blue-green algae A popular beach on Honeoye Lake is closed due to blue-green algae. Officials say Sandy Bottom Beach is closed due to the blooms. The algae can produce toxins which can pose health risks. Symptoms include allergic reactions or eye, skin, nose and throat irritation. (August 5, 2016) WHEC Rochester [more on Water Quality and Honeoye Lake in our area]

  • 8/05/2016 - The media, ya gotta laugh: Biologists trying to reintroduce monstrous alligator gar into the Great Lakes never thought they could handle the Asian Carp. Asian Carp would vastly outnumber the gars and the gars cannot even open their jaws wide enough to eat an Asian Carp. But the media likes to publish stories about bringing back great big monster-bad fish to eat the hordes of big invasive species—and save the day! Good grief.  Our media needs to evolve into an information system that will get us through Climate Change, the mother of all problems (which will include dealing with invasive species). Alligator Gar Not Effective Weapon Against Asian Carp, Says Biologist A spate of recent news articles have suggested that reintroducing a mammoth fish called the alligator gar into Illinois waterways may help protect Lake Michigan from the invasive Asian carp. But not everyone believes this to be true, including Dan Stephenson, a longtime biologist and chief of fisheries at the Illinois Department of Natural Resources. That's the state agency that’s reintroducing the once-extinct alligator gar into Illinois’ waterways. “We’re just trying to bring back an extirpated species, a native fish that was here once and we’d like to have them back,” Stephenson said. “There was never a thought in our minds at all about any kind of control on Asian carp.” (August 3, 2016) Chicago Tonight WTTW [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 8/05/2016 - Should the $7.6 billion dollar bailout of nuclear power plants in New York State be blamed on renewable energy or cheap fracked gas? It seems that we are still dealing with ‘all of the above’ when trying to provide energy in a time of Climate Change. The public subsidies nuclear and oil, gets lured into cheaper fracked gas because of prices, and doesn’t focus enough on Solar Power and Wind Power. Solar and Wind should be our top priority for our energy needs in a time of Climate Change because of physics and safety. Fossil fuel energy options, while still providing jobs, are heating up the planet and nuclear power, large aging nuclear plants, are a public safety wildcard. We could shift to 100% renewable energy very soon if we put our top priority on bringing down our greenhouse gases in a time of warming—where we are putting our future in danger.  Our energy goals should be to help transition workers to a new, cleaner, sustainable energy paradigm by shifting our attitudes and economic incentives to make that happen. Time passes. Nuclear Power Is Losing Money At An Astonishing Rate Half of existing nuclear power plants are no longer profitable. The New York Times and othershave tried to blame renewable energy for this, but the admittedly astounding price drops of renewables aren’t the primary cause of the industry’s woes — cheap fracked gas is. The point of blaming renewables, which currently receive significant government subsidies, is apparently to argue that existing nukes deserve some sort of additional subsidy to keep running — beyond the staggering $100+ billion in subsidies the nuclear industry has received over the decades. But a major reason solar and wind energy receive federal subsidies — which are beingphased out over the next few years — is because they are emerging technologies whose prices are still rapidly coming down the learning curve, whereas nuclear is an incumbent technology with a negative learning curve. (August 4, 2016) Think Progress/Climate Progress [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/05/2016 - So far 175 countries signed the Paris Agreement at a ceremony in New York on 22 April, 2016, but only 19 countries have ratified the Agreement. We need 55 nations whose greenhouse gas emissions add up to 55% of the world’s total in order to ratify Paris by Earth Day 2017 Press Release: UN Secretary-General invites all Member States to event on 21 September aimed at accelerating Paris Agreement entry into force Early entry into force seen as critical for boosting climate action United Nations Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited leaders from all countries to attend a special event on 21 September to deposit their instruments of ratification, acceptance, approval or accession to the Paris Agreement on climate change. The event will also provide an opportunity to other countries to publicly commit to joining or ratifying the agreement before the end of 2016. The agreement will enter into force 30 days after at least 55 countries, accounting for 55 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, deposit their instruments of ratification or acceptance with the Secretary-General. It is expected that the September event will help efforts to secure early entry into force of the agreement. (July 18, 2016) UN Sustainable Development Goals [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2016 - Sorry, but no species benefits from global warming. We cannot compartmentalize the effects of the mother of all problems. Singles species may do well for a while as our climate quickly warms but eventually all will cook under the relentless climb of global temperatures. And even in the short run, there are many factors—availability of food, predation, ecosystems stress, how human will react to warming—that will probably not benefit any single species. When you change the entire temperature of the planet quickly there are innumerable consequences, many of which are unknown. Those who think there are both good and bad elements of Climate Change, don’t know Climate Change. It’s like saying the one benefit of your house burning down is that you will get to live in another place. Attempts by the media to find happy points in Climate Change and global warming are misguided and shortsighted. Global warming good for endangered Fowler's toad at Long Point on Lake Erie Global warming is not all bad - at least if you are a Fowler's toad at Long Point on Lake Erie. Listed as endangered in Canada, the warty amphibians have been studied by McGill University professor David Green and his students for more than 25 consecutive years. What Green has found is the climate at Long Point southeast of London has been changing slowly. "Over a period of nearly a century and a half it has gotten a little bit warmer and a little wetter and the toads have been coming out a little earlier," Green said. (July 24, 2016) The London Free Press [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2016 - Actually, we don’t just want future generations to enjoy the Great Lakes, we need to have the Great Lakes work as a healthy ecosystem. If the Asian Carp are allowed to invade the largest fresh water system in the world and screw it up, we’ll only have ourselves to blame. But a broken ecosystem is not merely a moral failure, it will be a vital component of our life support system broken, which will have many known and unknown physical consequences some of which we may not be able to recover from. Have we done enough to stop the Asian Carp from entering the Great Lakes? The media tends to characterize threats to major ecosystems, like the Great Lakes, in terms of ending fun for some people, people who like to boat and swim and fish. But our media should long ago have helped educate the public how important an ecosystem is to our existence and how we can adapt to the changes that are coming to our Great Lakes in a warmer world. Asian carp ‘fatigue’ threatens Great Lakes Boat captains call on Congress to renew efforts to address potential invasion Great Lakes charter boat captains are calling on Congress to refocus efforts on Asian carp, the exotic species with a voracious appetite that many fish biologists fear would wreak havoc on the region’s $7 billion fishery if they ever became established in it. Those fishing captains are one of the groups with the most to lose, because they are highly dependent on a diverse mix of fish species to make their businesses more attractive. That’s especially true in Lake Erie, where more fish are spawned than the rest of the Great Lakes combined. (August 3, 2016) The Toledo Blade [more on the Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 8/04/2016 - Is the drought we are experiencing in Western NY (including Monroe County) due to Climate Change? I don’t know. But we know this kind of drought is projected in climate models to be the new normal towards the end of our Western NY summers—so we should be planning for these droughts to be the new normal at this time of year (though this particular drought is early.) Just for giggles, check out the U.S. Climate Resilient Toolkit’s Climate Explorer for Rochester, NY and Monroe County for present and projected temperature and precipitation levels for our region: Even though our City and County have a lot of water, droughts are not to be ignored. Read the DEC’s warnings: Governor Cuomo Directs DEC to Issue Heightened Drought Warning for Western New York Under a framework established under an Executive Order, Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today directed the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) to issue a heightened Drought Warning for most of Western New York. In response, DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos issued a Drought Warning for western State Drought Regions VI, VII and VIII. These regions include the following counties in western NYS: Allegany, Cattaraugus, Cayuga, Chautauqua, Chemung, Erie, Genesee, Jefferson, Livingston, Monroe, Niagara, Onondaga, Ontario, Orleans, Oswego, Seneca, Schuyler, Steuben, Tompkins, Wayne, Wyoming and Yates. Commissioner Seggos issued the warning after consulting with experts from the State Drought Management Task Force and Federal technical agencies. The remainder of the State remains under a previously declared Drought Watch. "Recent rains helped to reduce the severity of drought conditions in the eastern portion of NY. However, much of western NY did not receive large rainfall amounts over the past weekend and continues to experience significant drought conditions with extremely low stream flows and reduced groundwater levels," Governor Cuomo said. "Residents throughout the state should continue to conserve water whenever possible during the coming months." (August 3, 2016) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation

  • 8/04/2016 - Actually, since 2000 the National Climate Assessment under the Global Change Research Act of 1990, every government agency has had to consider Climate Change. 13 branches of government have “produced the report, which was extensively reviewed by the public and experts, including federal agencies and a panel of the National Academy of Sciences.”1 These governmental agencies know quite well how Climate Change is going to impact their department’s bailiwicks and what they need to do to address Climate Change.  It’s almost unimaginable to think we’d install a president who denies the challenges our country will have to face with Climate Change. From now on, every government agency will have to consider climate change In the past several weeks alone, the Obama administration has made multiple new moves to fight climate change. The administration announced new steps to help fill U.S. roadways with electric vehicles. It ruled that greenhouse gas emissions from aircraft endanger human health and welfare. And on the international stage, it moved the world closer to a deal to phase out super-polluting HFCs, chemicals in refrigerants and other industrial substances that warm the climate. But as Obama’s term dwindles, the act isn’t over — on Tuesday the White House released yet another policy to fight climate change, one with potentially far-reaching consequences. The White House’s chief environmental office, the Council on Environmental Quality, finalized a six-year process of shaping how the government’s agencies, across the board, will factor climate change into their decisions. (August 2, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2016 - Climate change is about planning to save ecosystems not baseball bats. Sen. Schumer hits a home run: “It's not just baseball bats on the line.  It's whole forests and many of the trees that decorate mainstreets all over New York state. Emerald ash borers have killed roughly 50 million ash trees across the country since 2002. ” Climate Change, where our Northern winters will tend to be warmer, will allow the Emerald Ash borer to do more damage to our ash trees. It would be nice if our public broadcasting system could connect the dots between invasive species proliferation and Climate Change instead of pandering to the public’s fear of losing baseball bats. Asian beetle threatens Adirondack forests that produce iconic baseball bats (August 1, 2016) North Country Public Radio [more on Climate Change and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 8/03/2016 - Whatever your attitude—from alarmed to denial—about Climate Change, if you’re not focused on the rising temperatures you’re fooling yourself. It is the physics of Climate Change that catapults this issue above all others. If humanity doesn’t focus our priority on bringing down the heat, we are going to cook. And all those other things you wanted to do won’t happen. 2015 Set Frenzy of Climate Records The warming of the world’s climate has reached a fever pitch in recent years, causing records to fall like dominoes. In 2015, the planet saw a number of such records set, from the hottest global temperature measured to the largest annual increase in carbon dioxide. Those records — along with numerous other indicators of the considerable change wrought on land, in the oceans and air, and to ecosystems — are detailed in the annual State of the Climate Report released Tuesday by the U.S. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (August 2, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/03/2016 - Once we get our heads out of ground and look to the sun, there will be no limits on how to harness the energy of the sun. Not even humans can screw up the Sun so we ought to go whole hog on solar power and ditch dirty fuel energy right now. Using solar tech to clean pollution A Portland, Oregon, company has received state backing to perfect using a solar technology to clean farm and factory pollution.      State research investors with Oregon BEST believe Focal Technologies has a promising technology based on using the sun’s rays to clean up contaminated water. The idea is not new, according to Ken Vaughn, commercialization director at Oregon BEST. He said scientists have long worked to use solar energy to purify water. (August 1, 2016) Innovation Trail [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 8/03/2016 - Even if you agree that nuclear power must be a part of our Energy mix to address Climate Change, it’s still dangerous to keep aging nuclear power plants going years after their expiration dates. What extra care? what concerns? and what should the public know about keeping aging nuclear power plants operating? —these are not question we addressed at the Clean Energy Standard meetings around the state. We discussed the desire of folks and communities benefiting from nuclear power jobs and we discussed how we’d have to turn back to coal if we the state didn’t subsidies nuclear power. We didn’t discuss increasing large-scale wind farms and implementing energy efficiency and energy conservation to pick up the slack while we dismantled aging nuclear power plants. If we had prioritized Climate Change planning and public safety at these Clean Energy Standard meetings the outcome would have been different. New York State Aiding Nuclear Plants With Millions in Subsidies Utility customers in New York State will pay nearly $500 million a year in subsidies aimed at keeping some upstate nuclear power plants operating, regulators in Albany decided on Monday. The subsidies were included in an order from the Public Service Commission to establish new rules on how power consumed in the state is generated. The policy, championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, calls for half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources, such as solar or wind, by 2030. (August 1, 2016) New York Times [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/03/2016 - To toxic flame retardants in our Great Lakes we can add pharmaceuticals, plastic bits, human waste (from periodic sewer overflows), invasive species, pesticides, and much more. We will go into Climate Change with the environment we have and the Great Lakes, which will be incredibly vital to our ability to adapt to Climate Change, must be restored to the healthiest state possible. Read:  Restoring the Great Lakes - Success Stories from the 2014 Field Season from the US. Fish and Wildlife Service. New York State Aiding Nuclear Plants With Millions in Subsidies Utility customers in New York State will pay nearly $500 million a year in subsidies aimed at keeping some upstate nuclear power plants operating, regulators in Albany decided on Monday. The subsidies were included in an order from the Public Service Commission to establish new rules on how power consumed in the state is generated. The policy, championed by Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo, calls for half of the state’s electricity to come from renewable sources, such as solar or wind, by 2030. (August 1, 2016) New York Times [more on Energy in our area] 

  • 8/02/2016 - Humanity has learned how to supplant the role of many animals within ecosystems but not how to duplicate ecosystems themselves. Individual animals we will mourn the loss of as we make their ecosystems inhabitable to them with Climate Change and fail to help them adapt to a very rapid warming. But when enough animals and enough of the particular animals (think keystone species) needed to make an ecosystem thrive bring down an ecosystem, humanity will quickly follow. While many of us focus on the survival of individual animals and species, it is health of our ecosystems that we must prioritize. Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection 2015-2016 How climate change affects the structure and function of ecosystems—past, present, and future–is a well-represented topic in PLOS publications for 2015-2016. The following, highlighted articles constitute the PLOS Ecological Impacts of Climate Change Collection and include a small sample of the work authors from both PLOS One and PLOS Biology have contributed towards better understanding our changing planet.   The collection was started in 2013 by PLOS Academic Editor, Ben Bond-Lamberty to reflect the broad diversity of climate change informed research in PLOS publications. The collection is divided into subsections:  climate impacts on oceans, assessments of large-scale vulnerability, pests and disturbance, soils in a warming world, management and conservation, climate impacts on animals, and learning from the past. (August 1, 2016) PLOS Ecology Community (more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/02/2016 - Today’s question boys and girls: Who’s going to pay for bigger and hotter wildfires that come with Climate Change? Ans: Everyone. There are going to be more wildfires in a warmer world in regions already prone to wildfires (and eventually areas that have not been prone to massive wildfires) and these fires have no respect for public or private property, rich or poor, or anything else for that matter. How do we provide insurance for a planet burning up? Burning Economic Issues Behind America’s Wildfire Problem The West, and federal taxpayers, have a serious and growing problem as communities continue to expand in and around forested and grassy landscapes prone to fire. As Headwaters Economics has shownso vividly in fine-grained maps, there is a vast amount of developable land in vulnerable zones that, without changed policies, will greatly increase exposure to hazard, and do so even as climate change boosts odds of fire-friendly conditions. (August 1, 2016) NYT: Dot Earth [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/02/2016 - Questioning why humanity should save endangered species could only come from a pompous and irresponsible being quite removed from reality. For some time now, we have created money and economic systems and still haven’t grasped life’s costs. What is the point on saving endangered species? It will cost billions of dollars to save all the world's threatened species. What's in it for us? In 1981, mountain gorillas were at rock-bottom. Confined to a small mountain range in central Africa, with humans encroaching on their habitat bringing poaching and civil war,their population was estimated at just 254. They would all have fitted into a single Boeing 747. Today things look a little better. A survey in 2012 reported thatthe population was up to 880. That is a big improvement, but it's still only two Boeing 747s of mountain gorillas. They remain critically endangered. (July 14, 2016) BBC [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/01/2016 - The Paris Agreement signed by most countries on Earth Day 2016 but still to be ratified, is the agreed bottom-up approach to address Climate Change that most said was the only way to go. It’s now August of 2016, how’s Paris working out? After Paris, how are governments tackling climate change? Governments appear committed to delivering on their promises, but many will require more funding and assistance to deliver a fast and effective green transition The Paris climate talks marked a high water mark in international diplomacy, as countries queued up to present plans shaping their contribution to emissions reduction and climate resilient growth. The overall ambition to hold temperature rise to well below 2C was rightly regarded as a landmark. Seven months on, the Vienna conference on amending the Montreal Protocol has made major strides toward cutting hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs) which could curb global warming this century by up to one degree. (July 25, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/01/2016 - Climate Change means that it is more likely that we will continue to break high temperature records in places—until even higher temperatures are the norm. With human intelligence, ingenuity, compassion, and empathy, we could have made Earth our heaven. Instead, it we are making it a hell. Searing Kuwait Temp Could Rank Among World’s Hottest The Middle East is no stranger to scorching heat, but a recent heat wave sent temperatures soaring to heights that are rarely seen even there. On July 21, Mitribah, Kuwait, recorded a temperature of 129.2°F (54°C) during the height of the heat wave. If it checks out, that will be the second hottest temperature ever measured in the Eastern Hemisphere. (July 29, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]