RENewsletter | December 02, 2012

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

[11/25/2012 – 12/02/2012]

 

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

 

 

Opening Salvo:  “Climate Change talks in Doha, Qatar: ya gotta laugh”

 

One of the more startling moments in Plastic Ocean comes when Captain Moore (the book’s author) reveals the Great Pacific Garbage Patch to world leaders and they tell him to prove that it’s doing any harm.  Ya gotta laugh. That’s like discovering a bomb in the nation’s capitol and having the police dismiss you because they don’t think bombs do any damage.  Another amazing point in the book is learning that chemical companies in the US have to pull their products off the market only if their studies prove their product’s toxicity, which means these companies have zero incentive to do their own studies.  How their products radiate out into our environment is anyone’s guess.

 

This all comes to mind as I review this week’s amazing environmental news.  There’s a study that proves our Great Lakes are filled with plastic bits.  Besides making pseudo food for birds and fish that provides no nourishment but fills them up, plastic bits have a nasty habit of attracting and accumulating toxins.  Another story deals with the dropping lake levels this year, but fails to mention Climate Change being a factor in determining lakes levels, even though one of the studies used for the article includes just that. Then there’s a story about how difficult it is to rid our drinking water of pharmaceuticals because our wastewater treatment plants were not designed to remove the myriad drugs that fill our Great Lakes.  And, pharmaceuticals are not even the half of it; our Great Lakes are filled with Chemical Pollutants.

 

Ok, what that says to me is that we have some potentially significant public health issues before us.  So you have to wonder why Governor Cuomo is keeping the Fracking process moving along that will finalize the regulations so drilling permits can be issued in New York State, instead of waiting until the health review is completed.  (I know, this Fracking debacle is all very bewildering: Check this great summary: DEC to take public comments on fracking regs from December 12). The skinny is Fracking takes a lot of our precious fresh water (most which comes from the Great Lakes) and we really ought to find out if we have enough fresh clean water to spare for an industry that has hijacked our state’s energy program—especially during anticipated droughts in our region because of Climate Change.

 

That brings us to Climate Change itself.  If you’ve only been listening to mainstream media, you probably haven’t heard much about this year’s Doha Climate Change Conference.  You can watch the proceedings yourself, unfiltered by pundits with their own loony agendas, by going here: UNFCCC Webcast.  If you do, you can get a free book that you can download or read online Climate, Development and Equity about equality and Climate Change.  Because, when you come right down to it, Climate Change is about giving everyone, everywhere, and for all time, an equal chance at living while addressing a world-wide warming. 

 

How are those talks going? Just about everyone thinks the Doha Climate Change Conference is going to fail, except UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres.  Anticipating that, the folks over at 350.org have sent an open letter to the world leaders to get off their duff.  It’s quite a conundrum because the more Climate Change takes hold, with melting glaciers and more extreme weather, the less likely we’ll get even modest gains at our increasingly ineffective climate talks because as time passes the solutions become costlier --while most of the world, who don’t enjoy our standard of living, dig their heels in deeper into the fossil fuels gig to get where we got—even though it’s warming the planet.

 

All this intractable implacability sounds eerily familiar as I watched Spielberg’s Lincoln.  It’s the scene where Lincoln asks the couple if they would encourage their senator to pass the thirteenth amendment if Lincoln could win the war without it. No, they said, they’d just as soon have slavery and no more war.  Humans. Ya gottoa laugh. We all want our cake and eat it too, but we cannot.     

 

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment  and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.

 

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

 

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

 

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My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books

 

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

 

 

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

 

 

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Events Rochester 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: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.

 

December 2012

 

 

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Action Take 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. 

 

 

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Award Environmental 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.]