RENewsletter | August 2, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”

[07/26/09– 08/02/09]


Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

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Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |



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Opening Salvo:  Green Isolationism


Isolationists, most notably George Washington in his farewell address “The great rule of conduct for us, in regard to foreign nations, is in extending our commercial relations, to have with them as little political connection as possible,” believe that one’s territory can be contained, one’s sovereignty sustained by removing oneself from the rest. And while it was probably wise council for a young nation to stay out of ‘political connections’ as we built our new nation, isolationism of any kind really is not possible in today’s world.  Isolation is only an illusion, especially in our environment. Connections are the rule.  A sand storm in Africa gives Central American’s asthma.


What happens in Buffalo, or Quebec, or Pennsylvania (where the Genesee River begins), the Hudson River, the Adirondacks, Syracuse, and Ohio in terms of their pollution, their air quality, the species that have invaded them, global warming studies that they’ve done all make isolationism absurd. As the invasive Emerald Ash Borer makes its way into southern New York counties, we should prepare here.  We should understand and share the information.


Americans pride ourselves on being unique, standing on one’s own, being free and allowed to pursue Happiness—as one envisions it.  However, as time goes on, as we mature as a species, we are learning that what we do matters to others despite our best intensions. Only in our minds can we litter, pollute, overuse resources, and not affect every living thing on the planet. [One can get a sense of this in the 2004 film, “The Fever” where it dawns on an urban sophisticate that everything she does affects how others in other parts of the world live.]   


This imaginary isolationism, where the media only focuses on breaking environmental issues in our area, is why pulling environmental stories from surrounding communities is critical to our future. Americans thinking during the span before World War I that events in Europe did not pertain to us was a dangerous illusion.  Instead of being able to isolate ourselves and escaping the madness that consumed a generation, we got suck up into it.    


Aggregating news stories, now viewed as reprehensible within a medium strapped for money by its own profligacy, must be the future media model of reality. Though we cannot predict the future, we can get a pretty good sense of what is in store for us environmentally by observing what happens to our neighbors. If global warming studies in Ohio show how it’s going to happen there, most of those effects will probably happen here. The pollution next door means it’s only a matter of time before it is here—and maybe it is already, we just haven’t checked.


Finding out what’s going on with environmental matters all around us, including stories that nuclear power is failing in Germany or that the fish in the Great Lakes are getting toxic, “Up to the Gills: 2009 Update on Pollution in Great Lakes Fish,” [] There’s no isolation on a planet where barriers and levees eventually breakdown.  And while it has become fashionable to cop an attitude that it won’t matter to us when an environmental problem occurs but doesn’t do so in our neck of the woods, it probably will.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]


         Western NYSA Waterways Lab

         Organic Food Better?

         Wind Turbines for Lake Ontario

         State of our Area's Beaches

         Genesee River

         Fuel Cell Cars & Our Region

         "No Kill" Buffalo Animals

         Solar in Buffalo

         Hudson River PBS Update

         Syracuse: Not TV's in Recycling

         EPA: Lakes Restoration Meeting in Rochester

         Stimulus Monies for Rochester's Infrastructure

         Emerald Ash Borer Quarantine

         NYS AG Lawsuits Against Fishing Limits

         Less Nuclear Plants - Ca.

         Great Lakes Projects - EPA

         Ginna Nuclear Power Plant

         Canandaigua Lake Environment



UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]

                                 7/30/09 - Beach conditions are not simply a natural phenomenon that is something we are born to suffer and beyond our control.  In most cases, it’s probably manmade pollution—from bad agricultural practices, storm water runoffs, industrial pollution, etc.  Our beaches get worse and like the boiling frog metaphor we accustom ourselves to worsening beaches over the years until public bathing with be a thing of the past. That isn’t simply sad, that’s us shooting ourselves in the foot by allowing ourselves to do this to our environment.  - Get the Beach Report: NRDC: Testing the Waters 2009 "A Guide to Water Quality at Vacation Beaches | NRDC's annual survey of water quality and public notification at U.S. beaches finds that pollution caused the number of beach closings and advisories to hit their fourth-highest level in the 19-year history of the report. The number of 2008 closing and advisory days at ocean, bay and Great Lakes beaches topped 20,000 for the fourth consecutive year, confirming that our nation's beaches continue to suffer from serious water pollution that puts swimmers at risk."

                                 7/29/09 -- It's a bit far away in time and distance, but maybe we can have a great big green event here in Rochester: Opportunity Green Conference - November 7-8, 2009 | Sustainability Conference | Los Angeles | UCLA Opportunity Green Business Conference at UCLA November 7-8, 2009 Join today's brightest leaders and innovators at the forefront of the green business revolution. Forge new strategic partnerships and explore the latest in sustainable strategies and best practices to lead your organization to success. Get the inside view on the hottest topics, trends and technologies at the premier green business event focused on creating new opportunities through sustainability.

                                 7/29/09 - This just in from a friend: Cascadian Farms, a manufacturer of granola bars and other organic food items, is partnering with New York State Parks to help raise money for trails.  For every visitor to, Cascadian will donate $1 to State Park trails' maintenance and promotion. The promotion expires November 15, or as soon as a $25,000 cap is reached but we are trying to reach the top goal as quickly as possible.  New York is the only state participating in this initiative, so please encourage your friends and family to go to and generate some free money for our trails!    The link can also be found at:

                                 7/29/09  -  We hope the EPA comes to our area too to talk about Green Jobs here: FOR IMMEDIATE RELEASE July 28, 2009 Thursday: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson to Visit Chicago to Announce Funding to Train Workers for Green Jobs WASHINGTON – On Thursday, July 30, 2009, EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson will hold a press conference in Chicago to announce funding to train workers for green jobs. The press conference will be held at the Chicago Center for Green Technology at 12:15 p.m. Additional details will be provided in the coming days. WHO: EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson WHAT:Press conference in Chicago to announce green jobs training funding WHEN: Thursday, July 30, 12:15 p.m. WHERE: Chicago Center for Green Technology 445 North Sacramento Blvd. (between Chicago and Lake streets) Chicago, Ill.  60612 --from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

                                 7/29/09 - Don't miss a chance to pipe in our your environment tonight: Draft Report on Recommendations for Implementing the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Draft Report on Recommendations for Implementing the Great Lakes - St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact Our Great Lakes Water Resources Conserving and Protecting Our Water Today for Use Tomorrow This report was prepared by the Great Lakes Basin Advisory Council (GLBAC) in response to the directive issued to the Council by the New York State Legislature in approving the ratifying legislation of the Great Lakes-St. Lawrence River Basin Water Resources Compact (the Compact) in 2008. Also, it is the GLBAC's desire that this report stimulate new dialogue within the State regarding how our water resources can best be managed, in light of the growing need for renewable energy, threats from climate change and to guarantee sustainable resources for future generations of New Yorkers, along with the fish, birds, animals, and plants that make up a healthy ecosystem.

                                 7/28/09 - More resources for the pandemic flu: New York State Department of Agriculture and Markets - H1N1 Info

                                 7/27/09 -- Though mostly ignored (even though Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) was discovered in our area) is not an issue that goes away simple because our local media doesn't report on it.  But some do: Anglers caught in the middle as U.S.-Canada at odds over live bait restrictions - Outdoors Blog Not good enough, the officers said. From now on, anglers who want to fish with live bait on the Canadian side need to purchase Canadian bait or risk a $300 fine. The restriction covers minnows, crayfish, leeches and salamanders. The only live bait one can use from the American side is worms. (July 23, 09) Syracuse NY Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - [more on Viral Hemorrhagic Septicemia (VHS) in our area]



EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.





ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 




AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]