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These Daily Updates for this month represent just one month in over a decade of connecting the dots on our area's environmental situation.
Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL STORY ABOUT THE ROCHESTER, NY AREA FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE? SEND IT TO ME! Looking for something specific. Use Control + F and search for it on this page.
These daily updates pertain to what is going on in our environment in Rochester & around the world. Although I do not see RochesterEnvironment.com, or Global Environmental Resources, as environmental activist sites, I do view them as active. They are active conduits for all the environmental news, services, links, and an on-going discovery for the potential role that I believe the Internet will play in environmentalism. Your local news media is not doing its job in informing the public on the breath and depth of our environmental problems, so you are going to have to get on the Internet.
2/27/2010 - Is Cap and Trade a possible solution for manmade Climate Change, or does it simply just put money it the pockets of the people who cause Climate Change? The Story of Cap & Trade is a fast-paced, fact-filled look at the leading climate solution being discussed at Copenhagen and on Capitol Hill. Host Annie Leonard introduces the energy traders and Wall Street financiers at the heart of this scheme and reveals the "devils in the details" in current cap and trade proposals: free permits to big polluters, fake offsets and distraction from what’s really required to tackle the climate crisis. If you’ve heard about cap and trade, but aren’t sure how it works (or who benefits), this is the film is for you.
2/27/2010 - Environmental Baseline: Instead of trying to come up with might seem a reasonable assumption about how many animals or plant species there should be in any given area based on modern data or what seems a comfortable number to us, wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to find out what the historic populations used to be—before massive human intervention? In other words how do we decide today how many deer, wolves, salmon, or birds there should be in our environment before we either take them off or put them on an endangered species list? How many animals or plants and it what proportions make up an healthy environment? We’re just guessing unless we really go out an examine all the data we can to find out what the baseline used to be for particular species in particular places. One such project is going just that in our oceans: History of Marine Animal Populations "Is a global research initiative. We study the past ocean life and human interaction with the sea. About 100 researchers have joined forces to develop an interdisciplinary research program using historical and environmental archives. We analyze marine population data before and after human impacts on the ocean became significant. Our goal is to enhance knowledge and understanding of how the diversity, distribution and abundance of marine life in the worlds oceans changes over the long term. "
2/26/2010 - Food Waste: Learn how to “reduce the generation and disposal of commercial and institutional food waste” in a free online webinar: Training Exchange "Offered by U.S. EPA - Region 2 in partnership with the New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation Registration for all webinar offerings closes at 11:59 PM Eastern Time the day BEFORE the webinar. Food Waste Reduction and Management Webinar Series In an effort to reduce the generation and disposal of commercial and institutional food waste, New York and New Jersey independently coordinated a series of regional forums in 2008 and 2009 to bring generators and managers of food waste together to learn how to better reduce and manage their food wastes and to share their experiences. Building upon these efforts, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, Region 2, and the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation have partnered with the Solid Waste Resource Renewal Group at the Rutgers New Jersey Agricultural Experiment Station to offer this webinar series designed to provide tips and tools for institutional and commercial food waste generators. This five part series will include topics such as an introduction to food waste and the climate change connection, how to conduct a waste audit, separation and collection of food waste, food donation, composting and anaerobic digestion, and EPA’s tools for waste reduction and food waste management. We look forward to your participation in this webinar series. "
2/26/2010 - Focusing on Climate Change: Tired of reading about Climate Change because it just hurts your eyes? Well, listen to a podcast entirely dedicated to speaking about Climate Change news. Earthbeat Radio Earthbeat Radio is the only hour-long broadcast of any kind in America dedicated entirely to the global warming crisis. Syndicated to over 50 stations nationwide from our Washington, D.C., studios, Earthbeat takes on every aspect of the climate / clean energy issue with interviews, features, humor, and commentary. Launched in 2003, we are an independent radio show produced out of Pacifica Radio’s flagship station WPFW 89.3 FM in Washington.
2/26/2010 - Garbage dumps: For far too long we’ve held this fantasy that when we through garbage away it somehow disappears. It doesn’t really. It’s just that Earth is a really big place, but eventually that stuff we throw away accumulates somewhere: In our land and air and in this case our oceans: BBC News - Plastic rubbish blights Atlantic Ocean Scientists have discovered an area of the North Atlantic Ocean where plastic debris accumulates. The region is said to compare with the well-documented "great Pacific garbage patch". (February 24, 2010) BBC NEWS | News Front Page
2/25/2010 - Environmental Groups Divided on Fracking for Natural Gas: Natural Gas As A Climate Fix Sparks Friction : NPR "Some local chapters of environmental groups find themselves battling their national leadership over issues like natural gas. The national groups see natural gas as a less-harmful alternative to coal. But local groups fear the damage that gas production could bring to their fresh water and landscapes. "
2/25/2010 - Interesting essay on Natural Gas Drilling by Fracking: Cracking Down on Fracking | CommonDreams.org "Mike Markham of Colorado has an explosive problem: His tap water catches fire. Markham demonstrates this in a new documentary, “Gasland,” which just won the Sundance Film Festival Special Jury Prize. Director Josh Fox films Markham as he runs his kitchen faucet, holding a cigarette lighter up to the running water. After a few seconds, a ball of fire erupts out of the sink, almost enveloping Markham’s head. "
2/25/2010 - ACTION - We're passing on this request from Monroe County Parks : Pick Up the Parks A new initiative from the Monroe County Department of Parks April 10th, 2010 10AM - 2:00PM Join us and several local recreation and environmental groups in kicking off this new local stewardship event. In this first year, we will be targeting 4 parks: Ellison, Genesee Valley, Greece Canal, and Ontario Beach Parks for clean up and other park improvements. Why just four? As you know there are 21 parks within the Monroe County Parks system. As it’s a first year event, we wanted to identify popular parks that could also accommodate our widespread community. We welcome your ideas for future projects and will certainly add more parks to the event as community support grows. Email or call today to register your family, group of friends, club, organization, scout troop, or class! Contact Ryan Loysen at firstname.lastname@example.org or 585-753-7281. Be sure to tell us your group size, preferred park, e-mail address, and phone number, or just come on out to one of the project sites on April 10th and register on-site. Orientation begins at 10 a.m. at each project site with refreshments and additional information. Group projects and field work will begin at 10:30 a.m. The Monroe County Parks belong to all of us, so let’s join together to keep them clean and green. Check back for additional event details, meet-up locations and park information at www.monroecounty.gov/parks
2/24/2010 - How do rivers work in modern days? Check out this interesting online program about how rivers and dams interact: Multimedia - Healthy River Graphic - from The Nature Conservancy - Protecting Nature, Preserving Life
2/24/2010 - Why public is not 'getting it' on Climate change: I suspect as the planet warms up there is going to be endless speculation as to why, despite all evidence, the public does not believe in Climate Change. It seems NPR would like to believe it’s because people’s world view is the answer Belief In Climate Change Hinges On Worldview : NPR, meaning "People tend to conform their factual beliefs to ones that are consistent with their cultural outlook, their world view," Braman says.” Perhaps, but I think there’s more going on and certainly the media itself plays a role in why we as a species cannot adequately address a looming environmental problem. Others too are beginning to think the role of the media plays a critical part of the missing components in the world-wide acknowledgement of Climate Change. Check out: Signals and noise. Mass-media coverage of climate change in the USA and the UK "Various studies have shown that the public gathers much of its knowledge about science from the mass media (Wilson, 1995), with television and daily newspapers being the primary sources of information (Project for Excellence in Journalism, 2006; NSF, 2004). "
2/23/2010 - Climate skepticism seems to be the rage nowadays. Yes, there have been gaffs and missteps in scientific reporting and the Copenhagen Climate Talks didn’t do so well, but does that really mean that the accumulated evidence from decades of research on Climate Change are wrong? Is science now like politics where cyber-bullying (ABC The Drum Unleashed - Bullying, lies and the rise of right-wing climate denial) is a more convincing way of addressing a possible planetary climate change issue that could affect all our lives, and our children’s lives? Instead of cherry-picking the news to deny even a potential threat of warming, wouldn’t a keen attention to science and evidence be the way an intelligent species addresses such an issue? Maybe if the editors in our media could properly address the issue of climate change, in light of the fact that humans have affected the environment hugely in the last century, we wouldn’t have to combat this rage against science. We are becoming a dysfunctional species and very inept stewards of our planet. Role of mass media in climate change skepticism "ScienceDaily (Feb. 23, 2010) — Mass media have been a key vehicle by which climate change contrarianism has traveled, according to Maxwell Boykoff, a University of Colorado at Boulder professor and fellow of the Cooperative Institute for Research in Environmental Sciences, or CIRES. " (February 23, 2010) Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology
2/23/2010 - How is Congress doing on protecting our Environment? 2009 National Environmental Scorecard NEW YORK - Today, the New York League of Conservation Voters joined the national League of Conservations Voters in releasing the 2009 National Environmental Scorecard, revealing scores for the New York delegation in the first session of the 111th Congress. For 30 years, the National Environmental Scorecard issued by LCV has been the nationally accepted yardstick used to rate members of Congress on environmental, public health and energy issues." - from League of Conservation Voters - Turning Environmental Values Into National Priorities
2/23/2010 - President Obama gets a B+ from the League of Conservation Voters for Climate and Clean Energy: League of Conservation Voters Presidential Report Card "The election of Barack Obama as president in November 2008 represented a clean break from the previous eight years of the Bush administration, in which politics trumped science and, as a result, the United States continued a failed energy policy that favored corporate polluters over clean energy alternatives. From the snowy fields of Iowa and New Hampshire to the crowded tarmacs of key battleground states to the steps of the Capitol on Inauguration Day, President Obama made clear that transitioning to a clean energy economy and tackling the challenge of global warming would be among his top priorities. In his first year in office, the president has turned words into action and achieved real results that are beginning to pave the way toward a clean energy economy that creates jobs, makes America more energy independent and protects the planet. " --League of Conservation Voters - Turning Environmental Values Into National Priorities
2/22/2010 - Improving roads and interchanges as if pedestrians and bicyclists mattered: OK, we're not Copenhagen yet, but while making improvement to our vehicle infrastructure and including pedestrians and bicyclists is a good step towards a sustainable future by encouraging people to walk and bike instead of climbing into a gas-guzzler. NYSDOT | I590 Winton Road Interchange "NYSDOT will build a Diverging Diamond Interchange to improve traffic conditions and highway safety at the interchange of Interstate 590 and Winton Road in the town of Brighton, Monroe County, NY. Brighton is an urban suburb of Rochester, NY. " -more at Unique design planned for busy Monroe County interchange in Brighton - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow "When completed in the summer of 2012, the new configuration of Winton Road will reduce traffic congestion at the I-590 southbound ramps in the morning rush hour and at the I-590 northbound ramps in the evening rush hour; improve safety by eliminating opposing left turn conflicts; and improve bicycle and pedestrian safety with a multi-use sidewalk with crosswalks and dedicated bicycle space. " -from Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow
2/20/2010 - Energy & Copenhagen: Where do we go from here? OK, the Copenhagen Climate talks tanked, so what does that mean for the US developing an energy policy and getting us green jobs. Check out this interview with Energy Secretary Dr. Steven Chu FT.com / In depth - FT interview transcript: Steven Chu "The FT's Lionel Barber, Edward Luce and Anna Fifield sat down with Steven Chu, the Nobel prize-winning physicist who became President Barack Obama’s energy secretary just over a year ago, in his office on February 16. This is an edited transcript of the interview. FT: What are the prospects, post-Copenhagen, for an energy bill. What do you hope to have in as opposed to out? Is cap and trade now dead? " -from Financial Times - US homepage
2/20/2010 - Closing our parks: Why is the governor closing our parks and which parks is he closing? Here's that information: Statements from Governor David A. Paterson and Commissioner Carol Ash The Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation (OPRHP) today put forward a recommended list of closures and service reductions in order to achieve its 2010-11 agency savings target and help address the State's historic fiscal difficulties. Governor David A. Paterson issued the following statement: "New York faces an historic fiscal crisis of unprecedented magnitude. It has demanded many difficult but necessary decisions to help ensure the fiscal integrity of our State. The unfortunate reality of closing an $8.2 billion deficit is that there is less money available for many worthy services and programs. In an environment when we have to cut funding to schools, hospitals, nursing homes, and social services, no area of State spending, including parks and historic sites, could be exempt from reductions. We cannot mortgage our State's financial future through further gimmicks or avoidance behavior. Spending cuts, however difficult, are needed in order to put New York on the road to fiscal recovery. Going forward through the budget process, I look forward to a productive dialogue with the Legislature on parks and historic sites, as well as other issues." OPRHP Commissioner Carol Ash issued the following statement: "The 2010-11 Executive Budget included reductions to every area of State spending. As such, the Office of Parks, Recreation, and Historic Preservation has today put forward proposed closures and service reductions to meet its agency savings target. These actions were not recommended lightly, but they are necessary to address our State's extraordinary fiscal difficulties." (February 19, 2010) Press Releases
2/19/2010 - Methane Bomb: As our list of concerns about the consequences of Climate Change grows (and we become more dysfunctional about addressing this issue) here’s more evidence of what the melting of our tundra might bring: the massive release of methane gas to our atmosphere. Some have said that for Climate Change, carbon dioxide is the fuse, methane is the bomb. Canada's permafrost retreats amid warming trend | Reuters WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The permanently frozen ground known as permafrost is retreating northward in the area around Canada's James Bay, a sign of a decades-long regional warming trend, a climate scientist said on Wednesday. When permafrost melts, it can liberate the powerful greenhouse gas methane that is locked in the frozen soil. The amount of methane contained in permafrost around James Bay is slight compared to the vast stores of the chemical found in ancient, deep permafrost in the Yukon, Alaska and Siberia. (February 17, 2010) Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com
2/17/2010 - Ocean Acidification: One of the grave consequences of Climate Change that gets too little attention from both the media and the Climate Change Deniers is Ocean Acidification. Maybe the climate change deniers cannot come up with a good talking point about the increased acidity of our oceans, which isn’t so easily manipulated and open to confusion as a heavy snowfall in Washington, DC in the midst of Global Warming. Nevertheless, a rise in the acidity of our oceans is measureable, it’s happening, and it should be factored in as what will happen if we don’t solve Climate Change: Global Scientists Draw Attention To Threat Of Ocean Acidification More than 150 leading marine scientists from 26 countries are calling for immediate action by policy-makers to sharply reduce CO2 emissions so as to avoid widespread and severe damage to marine ecosystems from ocean acidification. (February 5, 2010) Science Daily: News & Articles in Science, Health, Environment & Technology
2/17/2010 - Food and our Environment: There is a growing popular movement towards not only eating healthier, but how our eating patterns affect our environment. Here’s a week-long series that address this matter: Katherine Goldstein: The Week Of Eating In: A HuffPost Green And Eyes&Ears Challenge "We'd like to invite you to eat with us. As HuffPost Green has expanded and grown over the past year and a half, we've come to learn that our readers are extremely passionate about all things food. How we eat impacts everything from climate change to the farmers in our communities to our country's growing waistlines. " [more on Food and our Environment]
2/17/2010 - Bill McKibben explains why the Washington Snow Storm that Climate Change deniers herald as proof that the planet isn't warming is not the case if you understand the science behind the issue: Washington's snowstorms, brought to you by global warming - washingtonpost.com RIPTON, VERMONT -- You want to hear my winter weather story? No, really, I know you do. The cross-country ski race I've been training for, set for today high in the Green Mountains: cancelled, lack of snow. Meanwhile, across the continent, backhoes and helicopters are moving snow down British Columbia's Cypress Mountain in an attempt to cover the Olympic ski courses, and technicians are burying cooling pipes beneath the moguls to keep them from melting. Some climate-conscious jokers put out a video pushing the sport of "bobwheeling" for future snow-challenged Olympiads. And apparently there was some: (February 14, 2010) [more on Climate Change in our area] washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines
2/16/2010 - The Climate/Weather Rage: Along with the wild weather changes that are coming with Climate Change (which is why many wanted Global Warming changed to ‘Climate Change’) will be the raging in the press heralding the climate change deniers claim that because of the snow in Washington, the nasty climate scientist emails, and the Himalaya glacier timetable all mean that Climate Change is a great big hoax. There are only discrepancies in the Climate Change prediction that our climate is warming up if you interpret these latest media denier stories as evidence that the rise in global warming gases in our atmosphere are not warming up the planet. This is all tragic because the overwhelming evidence is that our atmosphere is warming up and we are increasingly (note the collapse of the Copenhagen talks) incapable of addressing an issue that needs a sea change in our attitude towards our planet’s environment. more...
2/15/2010 - Clean Transportation: You’ve decided to go for that new Hybrid vehicle but you don’t know how they work, what the choices are, or how to compare one hybrid from another. This site might help you out: Hybrid Center Scorecard The UCS Hybrid Scorecard is the first comprehensive listing of hybrid vehicles available on the US market. Vehicles are scored on both environmental performance and value, easing the burden on the planet and your pocketbook. --from Union of Concerned Scientiests
2/13/2010 - Energy Conservation Locally: Looks like Net Metering is coming to town: Just what is Net Metering and how can you conserve energy: Net metering - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia "Net metering is an electricity policy for consumers who own (generally small) renewable energy facilities, such as wind, solar power or home fuel cells. "Net", in this context, is used in the sense of meaning "what remains after deductions" — in this case, the deduction of any energy outflows from metered energy inflows. Under net metering, a system owner receives retail credit for at least a portion of the electricity they generate. Most electricity meters accurately record in both directions, allowing a no-cost method of effectively banking excess electricity production for future credit. " Also Check out: Cutting-edge clean power technologies now eligible for net metering ALBANY – The State Public Service Commission Thursday approved tariff filings of the six investor-owned utilities in New York to encourage the installation of residential micro-combined heat and power (micro-CHP) and fuel cell electric generating systems that will enable homeowners to sell excess power to the utility. The utilities participating in this net metering initiative include Central Hudson Gas & Electric Corporation, Consolidated Edison Company of New York, Inc., National Grid, New York State Electric & Gas Corporation, Orange and Rockland Utilities, Inc., and Rochester Gas and Electric Corporation. (February 12, 2010) New York State News on the Net! [more on Energy in our area]
2/12/2010 - Your opportunity to report on illegal activities related to gas drilling Natural Gas Drilling Tip Line | Mid-Atlantic Region | US EPA "Natural Gas Drilling Tip Line EPA's Mid-Atlantic Region has a natural gas drilling tip line for reporting dumping and other illegal or suspicious hauling and/or disposal activities. Tip line number (toll free): 877-919-4372 (877-919-4EPA) Tip email address: email@example.com Tip mailing address: EPA Region 3 | 1650 Arch Street (3CEOO) Philadelphia, PA 19103-2029 "
2/12/2010 - "Get the Land-Based Wind Farm Siting Policy in the Great Lakes Region State and Provincial Land-Based Wind Farm Siting Policy in the Great Lakes Region: Summary and Analysis was recently published by the Great Lakes Wind Collaborative and is now available online. " -from News in the Great Lakes Region
2/12/2010 - Watch the discussion about what to do about Asian Carp in the Great Lakes: "U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, on behalf of the Asian Carp Regional Coordinating Committee, will hold a meeting in Chicago on Feb. 12 to discuss plans and get recommendations on Asian carp control efforts. The committee will answer questions and listen to comments from the public. When: 3:00 – 6:00 p.m., Friday, Feb. 12 The meeting will be available via live web stream at: Live video | Great Lakes "
2/12/2010 - The future of investigating reporting on our environment: We came across this story about how in the present media crisis the prospect for investigative reporting might shake out: 'Newsonomics' Predicts The Future Of The Media : NPR “The Internet has finally surpassed newspapers as readers' number one choice for news, yet most papers are still struggling to make money online. Former newspaperman Ken Doctor, author of Newsonomics: Twelve New Trends That Will Shape The News You Get, and media entrepreneur David Cohn weigh in on the future of the news industry.” One of the emerging ideas is Spot.us (Spot.Us is a nonprofit project of the Center for Media Change and funded by various groups like the Knight Foundation.) One of the ideas for increasing investigative reporting is to “Essentially, we have independent journalists or freelancers who create pitches. One, for example, on our site right now is looking into the UC regents. And we distribute the cost of hiring that reporter across a lot of different people. So, you know, 50 or 100 people giving $10 or $20 each is enough to do that investigation.” ('Newsonomics' Predicts The Future Of The Media : NPR) The problem with this model of course is that many types of reporting don’t work well for this kind of long-and-involved procedure before a reporter goes out and investigates. However, environmental reporting does fit this model well. For example, if individuals in a community believed that a particular disease or syndrome was do to an environmental factor, but got no answers from the local media or government, then a media a Spot.us would work fine. And, it might make up for a reluctant media to find out what is actually going on in our environment.
2/11/2010 - Recycling Everything: Maybe someday we can recycle just about everything: Wow, You Can Recycle That? - Earth911.com "A few weeks ago, Earth911 investigated some of the lesser known recyclables. Sure, they don’t receive as much media attention as some of their co-stars like the plastic bottle or the aluminum can, but your massive response to “I Didn’t Know That Was Recyclable!” proved that there is an outcry to dispose of those odd items. From paint and batteries to "
2/11/2010 - Great idea by the Environmental Protection Agency: Make a difference in your environment by encouraging your government to protect our environment—with your ideas. Check this out: Open | Open Government | US EPA "Under President Obama's Open Government Directive, we're taking several steps to be more transparent and work with you to protect the environment. But we won't come up with all the best thinking on our own. Until March 19, we're specifically looking for good ideas about what to put into our open government plan, how to assess the quality of our information, and prioritize what we publish. So please join the conversation on our new open government Web site. You'll find a link to our idea collection system, where you'll also be able to vote and comment on other people's ideas, plus: innovative ways we're working with you recent data we've published links to our various social media sites like Facebook and Twitter "
2/10/2010 - Coming soon National Wildlife Week - March 15-21, 2010 - find an outdoor activity in our area At Play - National Wildlife Federation "There’s a reason they call it the great outdoors™. It’s time to celebrate the wonderful wildlife that lives around you and explore the world. " -from Home - National Wildlife Federation
2/10/1010 - The Asian Carp Issue: Confused as to why a single fish has caused so much fuss on the health of the Great Lakes? Granted it is hard to believe that a single invasive species ominously making its way to the Great Lakes up through the Mississippi sounds more drama and fantasy than real, but it is real. Here’s a place to find out all about the issue: Asian Carp Management AsianCarp.org is an official web site established to coordinate the implementation of control and management of Asian carps in the United States. Development and maintenance of this web site is supported by the U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service through a partnership with the University of Texas - Arlington and contains information and resources derived from a variety of other partners and sources. Permission is granted for the fair use of documents and other materials contained on this web site for personal, academic, scientific, conservation, and natural resource management purposes. None of the materials contained herein may be used for profit.
2/09/2010 - Get the facts on Climate Change from NOAA Climate Services With the rapid rise in the development of Web technologies and climate services across NOAA, there has been an increasing need for greater collaboration regarding NOAA's online climate services. The drivers include the need to enhance NOAA's Web presence in response to customer requirements, emerging needs for improved decision-making capabilities across all sectors of society facing impacts from climate variability and change, and the importance of leveraging climate data and services to support research and public education. To address these needs, NOAA embarked upon an ambitious program to develop a NOAA Climate Services Portal (NCS Portal). Our goal is for the Portal to become the "go-to" website for NOAA's climate data, products, and services for all users.
2/09/2010 - Avoid mercury poisoning to you and your environment. Those old thermometers, our fish, and those new energy-efficient florescent light bulbs (CFL) have mercury in them. Find out all about mercury and how you can prevent mercury poisoning. Mercury Policy Project - Promoting policies to eliminate mercury use and reduce mercury exposure The Mercury Policy Project (MPP) works to promote policies to eliminate mercury uses, reduce the export and trafficking of mercury, and significantly reduce mercury exposures at the local, national, and international levels. We strive to work harmoniously with other groups and individuals who have similar goals and interests.
2/08/2010 - Keeping our attention on Biodiversity: Because 2010 is the Year of Biodiversity, RochesterEnvironment.com highlights this issues and how it may pertain to our area’s environment. BBC News - Biodiversity nears 'point of no return' The decline in the world's biodiversity is approaching a point of no return, warns Hilary Benn. In this week's Green Room, the UK's environment secretary urges the international community to seize the chance to act before it is too late. Much greater concerted effort is needed to stop the plunder of our ecosystems In 2002, the world's governments made a commitment to significantly reduce the rate of biodiversity loss by 2010. (February 8, 2010) BBC - Homepage
2/08/2010 - Better Transportation Modes: Imagine the health benefits; the drop in greenhouse gases, and better urban planning if our city moved in the direction that Portland has. Bicycling can provide good transportation for short distances, but it needs a lot of city infrastructure changes to do that—mostly because our region has been designed for the gas-guzzling car that is expensive to you and our environment. Portland promotes urban cycling, but costs will be high / The Christian Science Monitor - CSMonitor.com The eco-conscious city plans to build more than 680 miles of new bikeways in the coming two decades at a cost of $613 million. If approved, the 2030 Portland Bicycle Plan will be the nation's most ambitious urban cycling project. When completed, city planners hope the hundreds of miles of new bikeways will dramatically cut carbon emissions and promote a more active lifestyle.
2/06/2010 - Energy Citizens from Every Rooftop: If this bill has even a remote possibility of passing, I am for it. Except for the mega-greenhouse gas fuel corporations, I cannot understand why anyone would be against this renewable, clean, power source that we all could become a part of. Another benefit, besides green jobs, energy independence, and reducing greenhouse gases, would be reducing the albedo effect of all our black rooftops absorbing more heat, especially in our urban area. If all our rooftops were a lighter color they would reflect instead of absorbing solar energy and adding to our climate change issue. Check out the actual bill, introduced by Senator Bernie Sanders (I-VT). A BILL To increase the quantity of solar photovoltaic electricity by providing rebates for the purchase and installation of an additional 10,000,000 solar roofs and additional solar water heating systems with a cumulative capacity of 10,000,000 gallons by 2019.
2/06/2010 - You cannot really appreciate the purpose of RochesterEnvironment.com until you understand 'get' the severity of our media/investigating reporting crisis going on in our country. Though our cables, satellites, and Internet connections seem awash in news, they are simply awash in recycled news from a vanishingly few media sources doing real investigative reporting. Especially, on the state of our environment: There are looming environmental concerns that the public does not fully understand the consequences of because mainstream media are not doing their jobs—for a variety of reasons. If you are continually listening to the same media sources that have their own agenda, which is not investigative reporting critical for a Democracy and a sustainable environment, you cannot see the severity of this problem. But, listening to Robert McChesney and John Nichols on “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again”You can get good picture of the media crisis we are in. Check out some short interviews about this issue: Interview #1: Robert McChesney and John Nichols on "The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again" "University of Illinois Professor Robert McChesney and The Nation correspondent John Nichols, two leading advocates of the media reform movement, join us to talk about their new book, The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again. " --from (February 4, 2010) http://www.democracynow.org/ And. Interview #2: Robert McChesney and John Nichols on The Death and Life of American Journalism -from (February 5, 2010) Fairness & Accuracy In Reporting (FAIR)
2/06/2010 - A friend suggested this site before going shopping to determine the environmental impact of her shopping choices. Looks interesting: Green Options - Helping You Make Good Choices "Green Options Media’s rapidly growing network of environmentally-focused blogs provides users with a broad spectrum of information for making sustainable choices. Launched in February, 2007, Green Options Media has grown into a leader among “green” news and information sources aimed at general audiences. Written by experienced professionals and topic experts, Green Options Media’s individual blogs engage visitors with authoritative content, compelling discussions, and actionable advice. Users new to the “green life” can contribute to the conversation by joining in dialogue between our writers and visitors on individual blogs. We don’t preach to the choir, or require a commitment to our vision: we invite anyone with questions, or simply curiosity, to add their voices to the community, and share their approaches to achieving abundance while lightening their environmental footprint. "
2/05/2010 - Consider bird watching. Lots of bird watching events coming up this spring. Check them out: Rochester Birding Association--Field Trips -- from Rochester Birding Association--Home Page "The Rochester Birding Association, based in Rochester, New York, was established in 1975. We are very well versed in birding, bird watching equipment, bird songs and everything else bird related. Contact us if you have questions regarding any birding activities. Situated on the southern shore of Lake Ontario, Rochester NY is a great place for birding, bird watching and bird field trips. Those of us who live and bird this area are very thankful for the diversity of birds we get to experience. We hope you can join us sometime. "
2/05/2010 - Can we Solve our Environmental Problems: As we go forward in trying to solve our energy problems and climate change problems, we are going to be at the mercy of the most convenient, quickest, dangerous, and dirtiest solutions because we didn’t solve them earlier. Because of our need for jobs, our growing energy needs and the run-up to Climate Change runaway effect are we going to be forced to make really bad decisions on solving Climate Change? It seems likely, that it’s just easier not to believe in the overwhelming evidence that Climate Change is occurring and much faster than we thought. Has the EPA given in to bad science? EPA capitulates on ethanol, hearts clean coal | Grist "The press release could have come straight out of the utterly disgraced Bush EPA—and if it had, I can well imagine the howls of outrage it would have provoked, because I would have joined the chorus. Its headline read as follows: “Obama Announces Steps to Boost Biofuels, Clean Coal.” "--from Grist | Environmental News, Commentary, Advice
2/05/2010 - We keep tallying what Climate Change will mean to our region. Check out Northeast from United States Global Change Research Program "The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP) coordinates and integrates federal research on changes in the global environment and their implications for society. The USGCRP began as a presidential initiative in 1989 and was mandated by Congress in the Global Change Research Act of 1990 (P.L. 101-606), which called for "a comprehensive and integrated United States research program which will assist the Nation and the world to understand, assess, predict, and respond to human-induced and natural processes of global change." "
2/04/2010 - Watching an environmental invasion occur, or doing something about it. How will the Great Lakes ecology change if the Asian Carp takes hold: Find out: Battling Back the Asian Carp The invasive Asian Carp has been detected past the electric barrier on the Chicago Ship and Sanitary Canal, just 6 miles upstream of Lake Michigan. This is nearly 20 miles closer than previous tests had shown. - from Welcome to Great Lakes United | Great Lakes United / Union Saint-Laurent Grands Lacs
2/03/2010 -- What does the International Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) think of the Copenhagen Climate Change Talks, the hacked climate scientists emails, and the state of Climate Change now: Check out their January newsletter IPCC News Jan. 1, 2010
2/03/2010 - Here are some sites that explain why we must renew our faith in tap water and why bottled water could be bad for our environment: Take Back The Tap "What you don’t know about the bottled water industry could be costing you hundreds of dollars a year. Get the facts on bottled water and find out why tap water is a better bet. " | Water | Corporate Accountability International "Clean drinking water is the basis for life, but soon two out of three people globally will not have enough of it to survive. Private corporations, often with the help of the World Bank, are increasingly determining who gets water, for what purpose and at what price. It is now our choice – will we manage water democratically so everyone has clean, safe water, or will we let corporate interests control this precious common resource at an overwhelming human cost? " | Bottled Water Free Day "Join the Canadian Federation of Students, the Sierra Youth Coalition, and the Polaris Institute in the countdown to Canada’s first Bottled Water Free Day! Organisations across the country are actively working and supporting Bottled Water Free Day by planning actions in their communities and adopting resolutions in support of the Bottled Water Free Day Pledge. "
2/03/2010 -- News from film: Now that we are in an era where some of the best investigatory news comes from independent filmmakers because, for some reason or another, mainstream media won’t or cannot tackle the important news we need to know (like the run-up to the Iraq War and environmental pollution) someone with a camera and willingness to dig deep into a story may be how we get important news in the future. I haven’t seen this film, but at least someone in the media is looking at gas drilling in our area: GASLAND "When filmmaker Josh Fox discovers that Natural Gas drilling is coming to his area—the Catskillls/Poconos region of Upstate New York and Pennsylvania, he sets off on a 24 state journey to uncover the deep consequences of the United States’ natural gas drilling boom. What he uncovers is truly shocking—water that can be lit on fire right out of the sink, chronically ill residents of drilling areas from disparate locations in the US all with the same mysterious symptoms, huge pools of toxic waste that kill cattle and vegetation well blowouts and huge gas explosions consistently covered up by state and federal regulatory agencies. These are just a few of the many absurd and astonishing revelations of a new country called GASLAND. "
2/02/2010 - Are We Falling Behind because we don't get it on Climate Change? China Is Leading the Race to Make Renewable Energy - NYTimes.com TIANJIN, China — China vaulted past competitors in Denmark, Germany, Spain and the United States last year to become the world’s largest maker of wind turbines, and is poised to expand even further this year. (January 30, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
2/02/2010 - A reaction on the Copenhagen Climate Talk from the World Wildlife Fund - The Copenhagen Accord: A Stepping Stone? "The Copenhagen Accord is far from the fair, ambitious and binding deal the world needs to prevent dangerous climate change. Based on an analysis of the Accord’s strength and weaknesses, however, WWF believes it could become a stepping stone towards a fair, ambitious and binding deal. "
2/2/2010 - Here's a good way organizations can reduce energy costs and help our environment Green Power Partnership | US EPA The Green Power Partnership is a voluntary program that supports the organizational procurement of green power by offering expert advice, technical support, tools and resources. Partnering with EPA can help your organization lower the transaction costs of buying green power, reduce its carbon footprint, and communicate its leadership to key stakeholders. Green power is electricity produced from a subset of renewable resources, such as solar, wind, geothermal, biomass, and low-impact hydro. Buying green power is one of the easiest and most effective ways to improve your organization’s environmental performance.
2/01/2010 - What does the US public think of the Climate Change Issue? Mostly, they have other thing on their mind. But, Nature doesn't get pushed down the priority list. CHeck out this survey: Climate Change in the American Mind: Americans’ Global Warming Beliefs and Attitudes in January 2010
2/01/2010 - Nuclear power, the way to go? For many who don’t believe in Climate Change, and for many who do, the increase in nuclear energy is seen as a way to solve our energy problems in the future. However, there isn’t much room for error is this energy technology and the potential to contaminate is a constant possibility (and reality) that has not been addressed. If we hitch our wagons to nuclear power (as Obama promised in his State of the Union Address) we are taking a big chance on an industry that has contamination issues and disinclined to admit to them. Leaks imperil nuclear industry - The Boston Globe## VERNON, Vt. - The nuclear industry, once an environmental pariah, is recasting itself as green as it attempts to extend the life of many power plants and build new ones. But a leak of radioactive water at Vermont Yankee, along with similar incidents at more than 20 other US nuclear plants in recent years, has kindled doubts about the reliability, durability, and maintenance of the nation’s aging nuclear installations. (January 31, 2010) Boston.com