Updated Daily  2/25/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com

Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."


Rochester, NY was one of the hosts of the World Canal Conference on September 19, 2010.

If it deals with the environment, Rochester, New York, and the Internet, it's here.

Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature.

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Since 1998, RochesterEnvironment.com has been an ongoing experiment to completely inform one community [Rochester, NY] of all its environmental Newslinks, Events, Daily Updates, Resources, Environmental Education, regional Climate Change, and Environmental Issues. Green Apps, and more...    * Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)  [Website best viewed on your tablet device.]

RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology.  Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules.  Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.  We Don't Get It!

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

All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians.  So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings.  Push back on misinformation.  Speak up for the facts.  Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution.  Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices.  Invest.  Divest.  Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.  Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013)  The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk?  Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

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

 

Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award

 

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Rochester area NewsLinks.

NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily.  Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter February 19, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

 

Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change.  Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word.  Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. 

Posted Today - Saturday, February 25, 2017

  • Former EPA regional administrator urges colleagues to 'fight back' Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections. In an interview for public radio and television, Enck explained why she took the unprecedented step of signing on to a letter, along with hundreds of former EPA staff, protesting Scott Pruitt. (February 24, 2017) WXXI News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • New model tracks plastic in Great Lakes Researchers have developed a new way to source, track and estimate concentrations of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. The new mathematical model using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data has discovered 80 percent of the plastic pollution sinks while the other 20 percent gathers on the shoreline or breaks down into micro plastics. And plastic from Chicago often crosses Lake Michigan and ends up on Michigan beaches. (February 24, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • Why We Need the EPA Let’s not forget what America looked like before we had the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our rivers caught on fire, our air was full of smog, and it stank (literally). “Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions,” said Richard Nixon, the founder of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in his 1970 State of the Union speech. If only. While there was clearly a time when support for environmental regulations transcended politics, the GOP’s broad support for EPA antagonist and Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the agency he so maligns tells us that day has passed. (February 14, 2017) NRDC [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • The U.S. is Poised to Set a Record-Setting Record California's biblical deluge has occupied many a meteorologists’ mind this February. But another notable story is unfolding across the eastern U.S. Unseasonable warmth has kickstarted spring up to a month early in the Southeast, cut into already paltry Great Lakes ice cover and created skiing conditions more reminiscent of April in the Northeast. But the most outstanding aspect of the persistent February warmth is what it has done to the ratio of record highs to record lows. There have been 3,146 record highs set for the month-to-date compared to only 27 record lows, ensuring February will go down as the 27th month in a row with more highs than lows. The astonishing 116-to-1 ratio of highs to lows would easily set a record for the most lopsided monthly ratio in history. There have also been 248 monthly record highs and no monthly record lows. (February 23, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Tiny Eskimo village becomes 'polar bear capital of United States' What happens when a remote community of 290 people is inundated with some rather large new residents As Trump struggles to get his Mexican border wall off the ground, another group of immigrants are making themselves at home at the opposite end of the country, in America’s 49th state – with no one to stop them. Thirty years ago, polar bears were rarely spotted on Alaska’s Arctic coast. But in recent years, they have been coming ashore in such high numbers that a whole new tourism industry has exploded around the phenomenon. As a result, the tiny Iñupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik on Barter Island – just off Alaska’s frigid north coast – is fast becoming the polar bear capital of the United States. The overwhelming evidence points towards climate change as the key driver behind these creatures seeking solace on mainland Alaska, due to the Arctic icepack retreating further and further each summer. (February 24, 2017) Independent [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

 

News Highlight

The Climate Change indicator, water          

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

As I write, the worst possible candidate to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) just got installed. It is terrible because it is via the EPA we get our legal authority to address Climate Change on a scale that will matter. States can do much, but it’s the feds that create a level playing field. So, Pruitt’s political (not scientific) confirmation could be a serious problem for our life support system. #ScienceMatters

Climate Change is affected by our politics in the sense that politics can affect humanity’s collective response to this crisis. But, at the end of the day, it is climate indicators, climate feedback mechanisms in our environment, that will determine whether we are making progress or not.

Basically, climate change indicators are things like: “Greenhouse Gas EmissionsGlobal Greenhouse Gas EmissionsAtmospheric Concentrations of Greenhouse GasesClimate ForcingU.S. and Global TemperatureHigh and Low TemperaturesU.S. and Global PrecipitationHeavy PrecipitationDroughtTropical Cyclone ActivityOcean HeatSea Surface TemperatureSea LevelOcean AcidityArctic Sea IceGlaciersLake IceSnowfallSnow CoverSnowpackHeating and Cooling Degree DaysHeat-Related DeathsLyme DiseaseLength of Growing SeasonRagweed Pollen SeasonWildfiresStreamflowGreat Lakes Water Levels and TemperaturesBird Wintering Ranges, and Leaf and Bloom Dates.” (From Climate Change Indicators in the United States, Environmental Protection Agency).

Please check these indicators soon, for we do not know how much longer they will exist on the EPA’s website.

Indicators are kinda like those tubes and monitors that are hooked up to you after you’ve had a life-threatening accident. If there are loud beeps from any one of those indicators, you are going to need a nurse Johnny-on-the-spot.

I want to make a point about the changes in our water, which constitutes many of the indicators above. The importance of our water goes far beyond our current state of dysfunctional politics.  more...


(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive

Green Business.

Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.

Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:

  • RIT-led consortium wins $70M in funding for clean energy institute A Rochester Institute of Technology-led consortium has won a nationwide competition and secured $70 million in federal funding to bring a public-private clean energy manufacturing institute here, officials announced Tuesday. The competition was held by the U.S. Department of Energy. The consortium will match the federal award of $70 million for a total investment of $140 million, officials said. The RIT-led consortium includes Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. (January 3, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

  • SED launches Community Solar Array in Greater Rochester Area Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., a clean energy company, will launch the first Community Solar Array project in the Greater Rochester Area in partnership with SunCommon. This offer allows all Rochester Gas & Electric customers to power their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy, with no upfront cost and anticipated savings on their electric bill. SunCommon is a Vermont-based solar company that has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar through home and Community Solar Installations. (June 14, 2016) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Green Business and Solar Power in our area]

  • Investors' Circle hopes to fund Rochester's clean energy scene People in Rochester's startup scene already know about the popular venture capital firms Excell Partners and Cranberry Capital. However, a North Carolina-based firm is joining the mix and looking to pass out money. Investors' Circle of Durham, North Carolina, has been funding startups for 24 years, but now wants to fund companies across New York state. The firm invests in different types of companies, such as software and education. However, the firm's biggest emphasis is on clean energy companies. (February 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]

  • Waste Management-owned site receives conservation award High Acres Nature Area, owned by Waste Management Inc. in Perinton, has been honored with the 2015 International Conservation Award by the Wildlife Habitat Council, an international non-profit that accredits programs that create wildlife habitat on corporate lands. It has recognized 600 sites around the world.  The High Acres Nature Area comprises 250 acres with four miles of nature trails adjacent to the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center in Fairport. Employees and community volunteers invest in conservation and education efforts through the nature area, officials said. (November 24, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight:

 Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate. 

 WE RESIST. WE BUILD. WE RISE.        

   

Change the dismal trajectory of history: Get Tickets. "Charter Buses for the People's Climate Mobilization March, Rochester to DC Join us in Washington, DC to stand up for our communities and our climate. The Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) is sponsoring two 56-seat buses for roundtrip travel to this critical event in Washington DC on April 29, 2017. The March is free. Use the TICKETS button above right to purchase bus tickets and/or to make a donation. About Donations: We are offering half-off and 75%-off tickets (full fare is $81) at the outset, so that everyone can participate in this historic event. We are taking a leap of faith, counting on our generous community to enable this. If you can't attend the March but want to contribute to the groundswell of support for strong climate action, please make a donation. We are very appreciative! " More....

Throughout the first 100 days in office, the People's Climate Movement is organizing a country-wide arc of action, culminating on April 29th in Washington DC in a powerful mobilization to unite all of our movements. To change everything, we need everyone.  

WHY WE’RE MARCHING There is no denying it: Donald Trump’s election is a threat to the future of our planet, the safety of our communities, and the health of our families.

This new administration is attacking the hard-won protections of our climate, health, and communities, and the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more.

If the policies he proposed on the campaign trail are implemented, they will destroy our climate, decimate our jobs and livelihoods, and undermine the civil rights and liberties won in many hard fought battles.

It’s up to us to stop that from happening before it starts. Our fights are tied together, and we will only succeed together.

 That’s why, from now through the first 100 days and beyond, we are taking action and standing up for everything and everyone we love — and we are calling on everyone to join us on April 29th; for a massive march to bring our demands to the streets of Washington, D.C.

We’re ready to fight back, and we are ready to build a resistance to Trump and Congress’ attacks on our climate, our communities, and our jobs that stands alongside the unprecedented Women’s Marches and other powerful rallies that shook the globe in the hours and days following the inauguration of Donald Trump and the 115th Congress.

On April 29th, we will march for our families. We will march for our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and climate justice. We will march for our communities and the people we love.

In 2014, we said that it takes everyone to change everything. Now, with everything at stake, everyone has a part to play. Peoples's Climate Movement  

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

 350.org

350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  

 

Green Events.

RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.

Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...    

February 2017

  • Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM Where: Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York
    • ColorBrightonGreen.org Film Screening and Discussion: In Defense of Food  “Eat food. Not too much. Mostly plants.” With that seven-word maxim, US-based journalist Michael Pollan (The Omnivore’s Dilemma) distills a career’s worth of reporting into a prescription for reversing the damage being done to people’s health by today’s industrially driven Western diet. In Defense of Food debunks the daily media barrage of conflicting claims about nutrition. Traveling the globe and exploring the supermarket aisles to illustrate the principles of his bestselling “eater’s manifesto,” Pollan offers a clear answer to one of the most confounding and urgent questions of our time: What should I eat to be healthy? When: Wednesday, February 22, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM Where: Brighton Memorial Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester, New York More Info: Visit the website of In Defense of Food
  • Saturday, February 25, 2017. Sign in at 9:30 am. Program 10 am to 2:30 pm. Where:  Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave., Rochester, NY
    • Where On Earth Are We Going? And What Can We Do About It? These are two of the questions at the heart of the symposium: Awakening the Dreamer Changing the Dream. The symposium is a profound inquiry into a bold vision...bringing forth an environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just human presence on Earth. Through dynamic group interactions, leading edge information and inspiring multimedia, you will explore the current state of our planet from a new perspective. You will connect with a powerful global movement to reclaim our future. When: Saturday, February 25, 2017. Sign in at 9:30 am. Program 10 am to 2:30 pm. Where:  Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave., Rochester, NY 14607 More Info: Sponsored by Pachamama Alliance. Link for free online registration; Questions? Contact Lee Welles at 607-542-9781. Further information on the Pachamama Alliance website. 
  • Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm | Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan 7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road) Victor, NY 14564
    • NEITHER WOLF NOR DOG A FUNDRAISER FOR THE WATER PROTECTORS! offered by The Sanctuary at Crowfield Farm and Aperçu Coaching in Partnership with Friends of Ganondagan What: Presentation of the film, “Neither Dog nor Wolf” When: Sunday, February 26 at 2:00 pm Where: Seneca Art and Culture Center at Ganondagan 7000 County Road 41 (Boughton Hill Road) Victor, NY 14564 Admission: $10 - for tickets, send a $10 check made out to Sanctuary and mail to Steve Aman - 2480 Zurich Norris Rd - Newark NY 14513. Please, include your name and address! Note: Although tickets may be available at the door, Get your tickets now - There is only room for 175 people! More Info: Contact Steve at 315-945-5559 or Bruce at 585-530-2308. Film trailer:  Come join us on February 26 at 2 p.m. for the showing of “Neither Wolf nor Dog” at Ganondagan Historical Site.

March 2017

  • Tuesday, March 7. at 7 p.m. Gleason Works Auditorium, 1000 University Avenue.
    • Transforming through city farming The Community Design Center of Rochester will present "Growing Food, Jobs, and Engagement: The Benefits of Urban Agriculture," a lecture at 7 p.m. on Tuesday, March 7. David Vigil, director, and Jannatul Rahman, outreach coordinator for East New York Farms! will share the story of this model of urban farming and community development in Brooklyn. The farm has improved neighborhood access to healthy and nutritious food, provided youth internships, and supported a large network of neighborhood gardens. The event will be held at Gleason Works Auditorium, 1000 University Avenue. General admission: $15. Information: www.rrcdc.org. (From Rochester City Newspaper, Urban Action
  • March 8, 9 AM, Irondequoit Bay Outlet
    • "Late Winter Ducks"  March 8, 9 AM, Irondequoit Bay Outlet, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club A variety of over-wintering and returning ducks gather in the Irondequoit Bay Outlet in March. Long-tailed ducks, mergansers, scoters and even loons may be present. Meet in the parking area on the Irondequoit side of the outlet, bring binoculars, and wear warm clothing and sturdy footwear. Facebook
  • Thursday, March 9: 6:30 p.m. - 9 p.m. at the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus (Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) - Carlson Auditorium), Rochester, Monroe County.  The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board.
  • March 10, 7:30 PM  St. John's Meadows, Briarwood Bldg., 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (14620)
    • "Warner Castle Gardens Reinvented"  March 10, 7:30 PM  St. John's Meadows, Briarwood Bldg., 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (14620) Burroughs Audubon Nature Club   Since 2012, the Rochester Civic Garden Center has been in the process of reinventing the historic Warner Castle Estate Gardens. Milli Piccione explains the principles that guide this work, such as selecting a variety of plants that are not only beautiful, but also appeal to pollinators and resist disease and pests. Facebook 
  • 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at The Clubhouse at Durand Eastman Park Golf Course, 1200 Kings Highway North, Rochester, NY, 14617.
    • The March 2017 Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at The Clubhouse at Durand Eastman Park Golf Course, 1200 Kings Highway North, Rochester, NY, 14617.  A Public Workshop on Shared Use Trails in Tryon Park will be held at the March meeting, which will include a presentation by Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists (GROC) and opportunity for public input/discussion.
  • Wednesday, March 22, 2017:6:30pm.| Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends Learning Center, Brighton, NY.
    • Wednesday, March 22, 2017: “Merchants of Doubt” Merchants of Doubt is a 2014 American documentary film directed by Robert Kenner and inspired by the 2010 book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. The film traces the use of public relations tactics that were originally developed by the tobacco industry to protect their business from research indicating health risks from smoking. The most prominent of these tactics is the cultivation of scientists and others who successfully cast doubt on the scientific results. Using a professional magician, the film explores the analogy between these tactics and the methods used by magicians to distract their audiences from observing how illusions are performed. For the tobacco industry, the tactics successfully delayed government regulation until long after the establishment of scientific consensus about the health risks from smoking. As its second example, the film describes how manufacturers of flame retardants worked to protect their sales after toxic effects of the retardants were discovered. The central concern of the film is the ongoing use of these tactics to forestall governmental action to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in response to the risk of global climate change.
  • Friday, March 31 and April 1st (Little Theatre on Friday, March 31 and a Festival Gala at the George Eastman Museum on Saturday, April 1.  )
    •  Friday, March 31 and a Festival Gala at the George Eastman Museum on Saturday, April 1st .   Fast Forward Film Festival About the Fast Forward Film Festival An initiative of The Lost Bird Project, Fast Forward Rochester (www.fastforwardroc.org) invites the Rochester community to submit environmental short films and videos of 5 minutes or less to the inaugural Fast Forward Film Festival. The festival is the first of its kind in the greater upstate NY area focused on showcasing new environmental perspectives in a local contest-style format, which has proved to unify the greater Rochester environmental, art, and film communities with two sold out events in 2015 & 2016. With a “for local, by local” mindset, the festival planning began in early 2014 and took off quickly with the community’s support.  This year’s sponsors are the Lost Bird Project, WXXI/The Little Theatre, City Newspaper, and Rochester Institute of Technology. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, Fast Forward films strives to become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people, and build an environmentally concerned community. The Festival program will be announced Monday, March 6th. For more information about these events, to obtain tickets, and for full information about the juried Fast Forward Film Festival, go here.

April 2017

  • Thursday, April 6th, 7:00 pm Otto Shultz Community Center, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY
    • Contemplation and Ecological Action 7:00 pmOtto Shultz Community Center, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY This is the first in a 2-part forum at Nazareth College, "Contemplation and Ecological  Action: Tenderness and Justice in "Laudato Si."  Presenter Christine Z. Peppard  is an expert on the ethics of fresh water and problems of climate change, social justice and sustainability. She is a science and ethics professor at Fordham, the author of many books on the subject and has lectured widely. This forum is part of Nazareth College's 2016-17 William Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies series of lectures. The event is free and open to the public.
  • Friday, April 7th, 1:30 pm Linehan Chapel, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY
    • Forum - Fresh Water is a Human Right 1:30 pmLinehan Chapel, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY Christina Z Peppard presenting "Fresh Water is a Human Right." This is the second in a 2-part forum at Nazareth College, "Contemplation and Ecological  Action: Tenderness and Justice in "Laudato Si." Christine is an expert on the ethics of fresh water and problems of climate change, social justice and sustainability. She is a science and ethics professor at Fordham, the author of many books on the subject and has lectured widely. This forum is part of Nazareth College's 2016-17 William Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies series of lectures. The event is free and open to the public.
  • April 7,  7:00 PM, Owl Woods, Manitou Beach Rd., Greece
    • "Woodcock Courtship Display"  April 7,  7:00 PM, Owl Woods, Manitou Beach Rd., Greece   Hear one of nature's unusual spring sounds ~ courting woodcocks. Join BANC and the Rochester Birding Association to possibly see these birds display their courting behavior. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Meet in the parking lot across from Owl Woods on Manitou Beach Raod, just north of the Lake Ontario State Parkway. The parking lot is on the right, very soon after you turn onto Manitou Beach Rd. Facebook
  • Thursday, April 20th at 1 PM - 4 PM
    • Sierra Club Annual Forum: President Aaron Mair speaking @ Sierra Club Annual Environmental Forum (time, location, tabling , tbd ...soon)
  • April 21, 2017 The Links, East Syracuse, New York
  • April 22, 2017 Earth Day | Washington, DC
    • The March for Science is Set to Happen on Earth Day Scientists officially have a date where they’ll be taking to the streets. The March for Science has been scheduled for Saturday, April 22 in Washington, D.C. A growing constellation of marches are also scheduled for that day in cities across the U.S. What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community.   The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970. The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December. (February 1, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • April 29th, @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm | Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S.  Rochester, NY 14604
    • Climate March – Rochester April 29 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm In solidarity with the Climate March in D.C., join in a peaceful gathering/march to help bring awareness, educate, and ultimately combat global warming. DETAILS Date: April 29 Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Website: Facebook. VENUE Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S.  Rochester, NY 14604  [info will be updated continually]
  • April 29th, 2017 | Where: Washington DC  
    • New year, new resolve. Time to mark your calendars for April 29th, 2017. That’s the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., when we will come together with hundreds of thousands of people to reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate, and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. Sign up to be part of it here, and connect with others near you who will be taking action in the run-up to April. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it's important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects. If we don't put forward our own vision -- of an economy built on justice and powered by clean, renewable energy -- then we let fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred win. We need to show that more people still believe in our shared vision for the future than in Donald Trump's. That's where you come in: The only way this mobilization will work is if it’s driven from the bottom up by people like you. That's why we want to get you involved with the People's Climate Mobilization starting today -- whether you've helped organize a dozen marches before, or if you're a first-time participant.

 

Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.  

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: Due Date: Short film submissions due by February 27th, 2017
    • 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.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply.  We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December.  Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Consider stopping wasteful phone books that littler our neighborhoods and no longer provide a useful service by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. Back in the day, our Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee tried to halt the delivery of these phone books with little effect. That now the phone company admits that this is a 12-tons-of-waste each year that can be avoided is interesting. Our group noticed over the years how phone books were tossed on to apartment complex porches’ and left for months there while folks just walked over them, avoiding them completely. And for many, many people the phone books would go immediately into the recycling bin—at best. At worst, folks threw them into the trash or let them scattered throughout the neighborhoods. We were told by the powers that be that although many people don’t use these books the advertising dollars that came from the phone books were too important. Now, finally, after long last, phone books are on the way out because they waste paper and aren’t needed. Which has been the case for years. Consider putting the nail this this wasteful coffin by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. More: Phone books to disappear for good The phone book, a one-time necessity that many now consider a wasteful nuisance, is about to disappear from your life forever. Frontier Communications, which provides landline phone service in the Rochester area and some other areas in New York, has asked state regulators for permission to end mass delivery of phone books to its customers. The books contain business listings, government contact information and consumer information. (February 1, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION due date: NOW!
    • Winds of Change by @revkin on Twitter, on Facebook  , or by email on ProPublica is a great way to “to keep track of subsequent changes on federal websites as the Trump administration settles in.” We must remain vigilant on making use our climate science is not being hijacked by ideology in these troublesome times. Much of the public’s and the media’s information on Climate Change comes from federal websites so you’re help is needed in tracking any wavering from the climate facts we need in order to have a sustainable life support system. Help Us Track Winds of Change as Trump Confronts Climate Issues If you see something, say something. ProPublica is eager to get tips on shifts in available government information related to climate change. Until late morning on Friday, the White House homepage had an “issues” link to a page on the environment touting former President Obama’s efforts to build a “clean-energy economy” and tackle climate change. It’s still viewable via archive.org, but almost as soon as President Donald J. Trump’s hand was off the Bible, White House websites flipped to content consistent with Trump’s campaign pledges to roll back such programs. The live White House homepage now reflects President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, including a link to his energy plan, which includes “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan” of his predecessor. (January 20, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    •  stop the Cuomo tax.Governor Cuomo wants to increase our electric bills to bail out old, unprofitable nuclear power plants It will cost hard working New Yorkers nearly $8 billion dollars. Your money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion. The Governor says it’s about preserving jobs and fighting climate change, but we know better. Energy efficiency and wind and solar cost less, lower your energy bills, create more jobs and give us cleaner air and healthier communities. ⇢ New Yorkers deserve better. Join us, and stop the Cuomo tax.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW! 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

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  • 2/24/2017 - A sick EPA won’t be an effective environmental regulatory agency. It would be like your surgeon going on an extended vacation instead of fixing you up. Actually, it would be more like all your health care providers going on vacation until you perished. #StandUpForScience #climatechangeshealth #ClimateFacts  MarchForScience #ScienceMatters  Former EPA regional administrator urges colleagues to 'fight back' Judith Enck, the former regional administrator of the EPA under President Barack Obama, said the new head of the EPA under President Donald Trump threatens to roll back major environmental regulations, including climate change actions and pollution protections. In an interview for public radio and television, Enck explained why she took the unprecedented step of signing on to a letter, along with hundreds of former EPA staff, protesting Scott Pruitt. (February 24, 2017) WXXI News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - The amount of plastics pollution in our Great Lakes is alarming. Plastics accumulate toxins. Plastics get into our Great Lakes water in many ways—litter (cigarette butts included), microbeads from products, and as microfibers from our laundry. On this last item, microfibers are getting much more attention because they may exist in our waters in great qualities, though the microfibers themselves are really, really small—making a strand of our human hair look like a huge pipe in comparison. When I contacted an expert on this issue, the expert stated that there might be some merit in putting a lint filter on your washing machine drain hose to help divert these microfibers from getting into our wastewater, and thus out to our lakes. I’ll keep monitoring this possible solution to see if it pans out. Meanwhile, there are new products you can put in your washing machine that will collect this tiny, tiny fibers. Check out this very good video which explains much of this microfiber problem and a possible solution: “A human-scale solution to the biggest plastic pollution problem facing our ocean: Synthetic Microfibers” | New model tracks plastic in Great Lakes Researchers have developed a new way to source, track and estimate concentrations of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. The new mathematical model using National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data has discovered 80 percent of the plastic pollution sinks while the other 20 percent gathers on the shoreline or breaks down into micro plastics. And plastic from Chicago often crosses Lake Michigan and ends up on Michigan beaches. (February 24, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - I don’t mean to be disrespectful, but a lot of folks have forgotten why the EPA was created. It should be freaking obvious, but if not, this from NRDC:  Why We Need the EPA Let’s not forget what America looked like before we had the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency. Our rivers caught on fire, our air was full of smog, and it stank (literally). “Restoring nature to its natural state is a cause beyond party and beyond factions,” said Richard Nixon, the founder of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency, in his 1970 State of the Union speech. If only. While there was clearly a time when support for environmental regulations transcended politics, the GOP’s broad support for EPA antagonist and Oklahoma attorney general Scott Pruitt to head the agency he so maligns tells us that day has passed. (February 14, 2017) NRDC [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - We need scientists to see Climate Change, but getting rid of scientists won’t make Climate Change disappear. Killing the messenger, disrespecting scientists and their work, is only going to make addressing Climate Change impossible—which is to say, goodbye to our future. This concept of “ratio of record highs to record lows” (see below) is more difficult to understand and less intuitive than making a snowball and tossing it to a bunch of Congressmen (thinking that because there’s still snow Climate Change must be a hoax), but critical, like other complicated Big Picture views of Climate Change for the public to understand. There has been no lack of scientific information provided by our scientists about Climate Change and the urgency for humanity to address it. There has been a great lack of information provided in our mainstream media about Climate Change and a great disinclination from the public to get engaged on the crisis of our age. Time passes.  #StandUpForScience  #climatechangeshealth #ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters The U.S. is Poised to Set a Record-Setting Record California's biblical deluge has occupied many a meteorologists’ mind this February. But another notable story is unfolding across the eastern U.S. Unseasonable warmth has kickstarted spring up to a month early in the Southeast, cut into already paltry Great Lakes ice cover and created skiing conditions more reminiscent of April in the Northeast. But the most outstanding aspect of the persistent February warmth is what it has done to the ratio of record highs to record lows. There have been 3,146 record highs set for the month-to-date compared to only 27 record lows, ensuring February will go down as the 27th month in a row with more highs than lows. The astonishing 116-to-1 ratio of highs to lows would easily set a record for the most lopsided monthly ratio in history. There have also been 248 monthly record highs and no monthly record lows. (February 23, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - Climate Change is driving wildlife up mountains to escape the heat, to coolers waters, and, in the case of polar bears, scavenging. Some wildlife run out of mountains to climb, some run up against dams, and some try to eke out a living best they can in a new land. Trouble is that even when wildlife are afforded a route through our cities, farms, highways, and other human disturbances, they are removed from the ecosystem they help create and, in turn, a place that created them. We move around because of jobs, just for the hell of it, or because of man’s inhumanity to man. Moving around for many wildlife, which are going extinct at an alarming rate around the world because of humanity (See: Holocene extinction), is not like humanity moving around. When we move, we change. When wildlife moves, their home, their ecosystems (which we need to survive) changes—usually not in a good way. We should be planning for Climate Change with wildlife in mind if we want a sustainable future. Tiny Eskimo village becomes 'polar bear capital of United States' What happens when a remote community of 290 people is inundated with some rather large new residents As Trump struggles to get his Mexican border wall off the ground, another group of immigrants are making themselves at home at the opposite end of the country, in America’s 49th state – with no one to stop them. Thirty years ago, polar bears were rarely spotted on Alaska’s Arctic coast. But in recent years, they have been coming ashore in such high numbers that a whole new tourism industry has exploded around the phenomenon. As a result, the tiny Iñupiat Eskimo village of Kaktovik on Barter Island – just off Alaska’s frigid north coast – is fast becoming the polar bear capital of the United States. The overwhelming evidence points towards climate change as the key driver behind these creatures seeking solace on mainland Alaska, due to the Arctic icepack retreating further and further each summer. (February 24, 2017) Independent [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - Change the dismal trajectory of history: Get Tickets. "Charter Buses for the People's Climate Mobilization March, Rochester to DC Join us in Washington, DC to stand up for our communities and our climate. The Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) is sponsoring two 56-seat buses for roundtrip travel to this critical event in Washington DC on April 29, 2017. The March is free. Use the TICKETS button above right to purchase bus tickets and/or to make a donation. About Donations: We are offering half-off and 75%-off tickets (full fare is $81) at the outset, so that everyone can participate in this historic event. We are taking a leap of faith, counting on our generous community to enable this. If you can't attend the March but want to contribute to the groundswell of support for strong climate action, please make a donation. We are very appreciative! " More....

  • 2/24/2017 - Sorry about the steady drumbeat of Climate Change consequences but avoiding them and turning to denial will make things worse. Unlike many issues that come and go as the public discourse on them changes, Climate Change will get steadily worse if we do not stop the warming and adapt to the warming we’ve put into our climate system. 100+ species face extinction as warming hits Australia’s southern waters Scientists tell senate committee that marine animals and plants at Australia’s southern-most point have “nowhere to go” and will disappear this century Seaweeds, invertebrates, fish and giant, ethereal kelp jungles are among a group of more than one hundred species that are being driven towards extinction by warming waters around Tasmania, an Australian senate inquiry has heard. Neville Barrett, a research fellow at the Institute for Marine and Antarctic Studies in Hobart, where the hearing was held, told the Environment and Communications References Committee that the waters around Tasmania were a global hotspot for warming. (February 21, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 2/24/2017 - Is making NASA’s climate research ‘uncertain’ really a wise trajectory as humanity hungers for more info on Climate Change? Just when we are starting to connect the dots on how amazingly complex warming our planet is, what advantage would we get by blinding ourselves to the clear and present danger ahead? A huge Antarctic glacier just lost another chunk of ice — and we know because of NASA One of Antarctica’s most rapidly melting glaciers has shed yet another large block of ice in an event that NASA scientists say is “further evidence of the ice shelf’s fragility.” The agency drew attention to the incident in a tweet Wednesday morning.   Pine Island Glacier, located on the edge of the increasingly unstable ice sheet of West Antarctica, is a top concern for climate scientists and one of the region’s biggest potential contributors to global sea level rise. It’s pouring about 50 billion tons of ice into the ocean each year, and scientists think this rate could continue to increase in the future. Altogether, the glacier has the potential to raise global sea levels by an estimated two feet. (February 22, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - If Climate Change is a factor in the present famine crisis (and it probably is), what are the chances climate denier nations will help alleviate a situation they helped cause?  Time passes. Why 20 Million People Are on Brink of Famine in a ‘World of Plenty’ UNITED NATIONS — In a world filled with excess food, 20 million people are on the brink of famine, including 1.4 million children at imminent risk of death. In the face of such grim numbers, a stark question confronts the world’s most powerful: Why in 2017 can’t they avert such a seemingly archaic and preventable catastrophe? Secretary General António Guterres of the United Nations raised the alarm Wednesday afternoon about the risk of famine in northern Nigeria, Somalia and Yemen. And this week, the United Nations declared famine in a patch of South Sudan. “In our world of plenty there is no excuse for inaction or indifference,” Mr. Guterres said at a news conference, flanked by the heads of his aid agencies. (February 22, 2017) New York Times [more on Food in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - One of the things that these communities around the Great Lakes have in common is Climate Change. For Climate Change will affect all the issues related to our Great Lake region. Added to this, residents in the Great Lakes region should voice their concerns about water infrastructures around the lakes that need fixing and updating, the prevention and removal of plastic bits in these waters, invasive species, and much more that will be amplified by Climate Change. Public meetings in Buffalo, other cities target Great Lakes Residents in the Great Lakes region will get a chance to voice their concerns about the waters' health in a series of March meetings. The International Joint Commission, which helps regulate use of the Great Lakes, has announced dates and other details of meetings scheduled in Buffalo and five other cities. "We’re going to be listening to local concerns that are particular to that area," said Lana Pollack,  chairperson for the IJC’s U.S. section. "But it will also be interesting to see how much these different areas have in common." (February 22, 2017) WBFO Buffalo's NPR News Station [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - One of the great gifts humanity has received from #Science is an objective baseline from which to make wise environmental decisions. Instead of allowing self-interests and ideology to rule our behavior towards our environment, our life support system, we finally had a chance for a way of rigorous, peer-reviewed, and testable thinking, to guide us that would free us from our lesser angels. But, we are throwing one of our greatest gifts away here in the US. Sad. Time passes.   Partisan Divide in Congress Wider Than Ever on Environmental Issues, Group Says League of Conservation Voters' voting scorecard shows record disparity on green issues, with GOP campaigns increasingly funded by fossil fuel company contributions. House Republicans cast pro-environmental votes just 5 percent of the time in 2016, while their Democratic colleagues tallied a 94 percent voting record, according to the League of Conservation Voters. That makes the 114th Congress the most politically polarized in the 46-year history of LCV's Scorecard, the new numbers released Thursday show. In the Senate, the average GOP member was voting pro-environment 14 percent of the time, while the Democrats' average was 96 percent. The gap of 85 points between the Republican and Democratic average scores in 2016 was only slightly smaller than the record 87-point divide in 2015. As a whole, Congress was more divided than ever in the two years before the most recent election. (February 23, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/24/2017 - This is the worst possible time to ramp up climate denial and downplay the role of scientists.  #StandUpForScience #climatechangeshealth #ClimateFacts We’re now breaking global temperature records once every three years Denial and “alternative facts” haven’t stopped the Earth from warming to record-shattering levels According to Nasa, in 2016 the Earth’s surface temperature shattered the previous record for hottest year by 0.12°C. That record was set in 2015, which broke the previous record by 0.13°C. That record had been set in 2014, beating out 2010, which in turn had broken the previous record set in 2005. If you think that seems like a lot of record-breaking hot years, you’re right. The streak of three consecutive record hot years is unprecedented since measurements began in 1880. In the 35 years between 1945 and 1979, there were no record-breakers. In the 37 years since 1980, there have been 12. The video below illustrates all of the record-breaking years in the Nasa global surface temperature record since 1880. (January 23, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/23/2017 - Attempts to downplay Trump’s possible exit from the Paris Agreement are delusional. While China and businesses around the world are stepping up to the plate on addressing Climate Change, they are no replacement for the strategic role the U.S. must take in this international crisis. There are many elements to addressing Climate Change besides renewable energy and bringing down our planet’s temperature. We have to adapt to the changes—ecosystem changes, more flooding, more drought, more heat, more threats to our food systems, and more social upheaval—and without the US being engaged with this crisis in a leadership role, even China’s efforts are likely to fail—however positively their political efforts might be framed. If the US pulls out of the Paris Agreement, it will be awful for everyone and every effort should be made to make sure that doesn’t happen. (Maybe everyone should get together and by Trump a computer with just Twitter on it or something.) We cannot just paint over this potential catastrophe with happy talk. #ScienceMatters China trumps US on climate change UK environmental campaigner Bryony Worthington says China’s positive action on climate change is much more significant than Donald Trump’s threat to exit the Paris agreement. LONDON, 23 February, 2017 – A leading voice in the debate on climate change says more attention should be paid to positive action being taken to tackle CO2 emissions in China rather than worrying about the US and Donald Trump. Bryony Worthington, a Labour peer and co-author of the 2008 Climate Change Act, says the White House “soap opera” is compelling but a distraction and not a potential road block to successful worldwide action against global warming. “In many ways it would be ‘back to business as usual’ if Trump pulled the US out of the Paris climate change agreement as he has threatened,” she argues. (February 23, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/23/2017 - If you surf over to http://wxshift.com/, then insert your zip code you get today’s temperature—and (if you are living in Rochester) a post that says “Rochester winters are warming” and below that you get an orange box that says “Show Me” and when you click on that you get the graph  that shows that Rochester’s winter average temperatures have been going distinctly up since 1970. It’s pretty dramatic. (Sorry about all the wonky directions but I couldn’t just get a url for Rochester because it’s a search result on the above url.) Anyway, I woke up this morning at 6AM and it was 54 degrees (in February) and I just had to find out how freaking abnormal have our winter temperatures been over time. It’s getting warmer. Nice weather out there today, but it’s February and it’s getting warmer. Scientists cannot say whether this winter and today’s temperatures are a result of Climate Change because there is so much ‘noise’, so many other factors in a day’s weather, that it’s difficult to attribute today’s warming to Climate Change. But the trend in our winter temperatures is making it more clear that our winters are warming up. If this trend keeps up (and it will, we just don’t know how long), things are going to change. Not in a good way. However pleasant we might find today’s temperature, this spate of warming is wreaking havoc with our region’s plants’ and animals’ (ecosystems) life cycles that have been finely tuned for cold winters all through the Holocene. We need to address Climate Change.  #ScienceMatters

  • 2/22/2017 - I’m liking Michael Moore’s 9th point, on addressing the Trump scourge, Become the Media. I’ve long since advocated that ordinary citizens to Become The Media! as I have done since 1998 with RochesterEnvironment.com. Our mainstream media has missed environmental news and Climate Change. But there is an amazing amount of news, data, studies, and information on the state of our environment on the Internet. There are local events, presentations, classes, and many other venues that we can leverage and exploit so that the public gets the news and information they need to make informed decisions about the health of our environment and ultimately ourselves. We need a good librarian to tailor important worldwide environmental news to our localities—which I have been doing for a long time. It’s time, more than ever, to become the media! Listen to Michael: “9. YOU MUST BECOME THE MEDIA: Stop complaining about the media, stop wishing they were something they’re not, find the ones who are doing a good job and then start your own “media empire” by sharing their work and your work on the internet. Use Facebook, Twitter, Instagram, Snapchat and other social media sites to spread news and information. Make sure all your friends and family are signed up. Yes, I’m talking to you, Baby Boomers. Get over it, put down your postage stamps and your “TV clicker” and find a six-year old to show you how to start tweeting. You can be your own reporter, your own editor. You can curate the news for your friends. And now Facebook lets you have your own network with Facebook Live! It’s all free. Get on social media now. Imagine, your own CNN is in the palm of your hand...” Do These 10 Things, And Trump Will Be Toast (February 21, 2017) The Huffington Post

  • 2/22/2017 - “Unprecedented Warmth” is code word for Climate Change in Rochester, NY because to put our amazing February weather in the context of this worldwide crisis is still unfashionable here. When there is the possibility that these string of above 70 temperatures in February are a fluke or part of a worldwide pattern in disruptive weather due to Climate Change, our media chooses fluke: “This is Amazing! What are you going to do in this great weather? Play ball? Skip work and go for a ride?” Unprecedented February warmth for Rochester Rochester, NY – A record warm stretch of weather is on the way for Rochester. It’s possible that this stretch of warmth will be unprecedented compared to our cities 146 years of records. (February 21, 2017) WHAM [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/22/2017 - ACTION: One of the most effective ways to help our environment is to become a Citizen Scientist and help monitor the state of our environment. Become a Citizen Scientist Through FrogWatch USA New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with Friends of Reinstein Woods, will train interested volunteers to help FrogWatch USA on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in the town of Cheektowaga, Erie County. Community members can join an international team of citizen scientists by monitoring frog populations in the many wetlands throughout the preserve. (February 21, 2017) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/22/2017 - We remember proudly what a stalwart champion the EPA was for our public and environmental health. RIP. #ScienceMatters “Condescending and Hypocritical”: An EPA Staffer Blasts Scott Pruitt’s First Speech Trump’s new EPA boss isn’t exactly getting rave reviews. Scott Pruitt may have wanted to ease Environmental Protections Agency staffers' concerns about him Tuesday, but his first remarks as head of the agency hardly mentioned environmental protection at all. With Donald Trump's EPA transition staff sitting nearby, Pruitt delivered an 11-minute speech, in which he declared, "We as an agency and we as a nation can be both pro-energy and jobs and pro-environment." He also quoted famed conservationist John Muir: "Everyone needs beauty as well as bread, places to pray in and play in." Pruitt did lament the "toxic environment" in the country, but it was a reference to the political climate—part of a call for a more civil discourse. (February 21, 2017) Climate Desk

  • 2/22/2017 - Many people in many places, including the U.S., don’t have the luxury climate denial for they are desperately trying to adapt to Climate Change. In Massachusetts, Coastal Residents Consider How To Adapt To Climate Change Living by the ocean might sound nice, but in the era of climate change, it's a risky proposition. As sea levels rise, coastal residents are faced with tough choices: try to fortify their homes, move to higher ground or just pull up roots and leave. Homeowners in Nahant, Mass., are grappling with these wrenching questions. The community lies on a rocky crescent moon of land in the Atlantic Ocean just north of Boston (February 17, 2017) NPR [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/22/2017 - Seems sort of reckless to transport solid and liquid nuclear waste, not to mention nuclear weapons, through our highways—but this may work out. Accidents don’t happen very often. They know what they’re doing. Everything will be OK. We won’t worry. Toxic Liquid Nuclear Waste Headed for US Roadways Less than two ounces, says one analysis, could destroy a city's water supply. The Department of Energy, to the consternation of environmental groups, is preparing to transport 6,000 gallons of highly toxic liquid nuclear waste over American roadways. The spent nuclear fuel is "target residue material" containing highly enriched uranyl nitrate—which after processing can be used as fuel. The DOE has spent years planning for the transfer of the waste from Canada's Chalk River Laboratories in Ontario to the Savannah River Site, a reprocessing facility in South Carolina. It will be transported in at least 100 to 150 separate truck shipments over a period of about three years, encased in cannisters normally used to transport solids that have been retrofitted to handle liquids. For security reasons, DOE won't reveal the exact timing or routes of the shipments. But elected officials in states it is likely to pass through are concerned about safety. (February 15, 2017) Mother Jones

  • 2/21/2017 - Actually, I suspect that all major urban areas in the Great Lakes basin need serious attention to their water infrastructures. Because of aging water systems and Climate Change, the cost of updating (meaning, not just repairing but tailoring our infrastructures for a warmer climate) is going to be far more urgent and difficult than this news piece suggests. I suspect the updates are going to have to be accomplished at a much more aggressive time scale. If we had been paying attention to our crucial infrastructures, like our water pipes, and figured out how to pay for their upkeep more fairly earlier, we would not be in the position of having to replace massive infrastructures at a great burden to the public. There is a price to be paid for Climate Change procrastination. Getting our infrastructures up to snuff is going to be a major hurdle. Because the public hasn’t been continually informed of the critical need we now have of infrastructure (historically and politically, only focusing on price) and the coming consequences of Climate Change, things are going to be much worse than that should have been. Time passes. #ScienceMatters Erie County needs $1 billion in water system improvements  It’s estimated it would cost Erie County Water Authority $1 billion to replace hundreds of miles of old pipe that run underground. But the authority is taking a piecemeal approach — at this point — to maintain the cost of bringing water to and from homes to prevent bills across the region from sky-rocketing. Although it may not seem like it, 2016 actually included fewer water main breaks than the year prior. But the late-July break in Amherst wreaked havoc because of the number of people whose pipes suddenly went dry in the middle of the summer. (February 17, 2017) WIVB [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/21/2017 - Remember, however mild and wonderful some may find the loss of ice coverage on the Great Lakes, it’s not a good sign. Learn more: “Changes in the extent and duration of winter ice cover may influence lake levels via water loss through evaporation.  Loss of lice cover earlier in the spring can lead to higher water temperatures by affecting the onset of summer warming.” (from GLEAM GREAT LAKES ENVIRONMENTAL ASSESSMENT AND MAPPING PROJECT) | Meager ice cover on Lake Superior this winter Except for coastline areas, Lake Superior is mostly open water this winter. THUNDER BAY — Most of Lake Superior remains ice-free at mid-February, which improves the chances of an early start to navigation this spring. Data obtained by tbnewswatch.com from The Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory in Ann Arbor, Michigan shows only 8.2 per cent of the largest great lake is currently ice-covered, which is virtually identical to the situation last year at the same time.  George Leshkevich, who manages the facility for the U.S. government's National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, noted that "Last year was a strong El Nino year, and that seems to be kind of carrying over to this year, too, although maybe it's not as strong." (February 18, 2017) SooToday [more on Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/21/2017 - Does this spate of unseasonably warm weather in Rochester this week “fuel climate change skepticism”? It probably will and it shouldn’t. People tend to believe their eyes, not their climate scientists. This is not good because, without scientists, we’d still think Earth was the center of the universe. And, although we tend to like mild weather in the winter here in Rochester, warmer winters will throw off plants and animals that thrived in more predictable season changes. Read more because #ScienceMatters Do mild days fuel climate change scepticism? When it comes to the weather, research suggests people often trust the evidence of their own eyes rather than expert opinion Why do so many people remain sceptical about climate change when the evidence for it seems so obvious? One recent study may offer an interesting clue, because American scientists stood the argument on its head and looked at places across the globe that will probably enjoy more pleasant weather with climate change. For Britain, northern Europe and North America there will be more days of mild weather, defined as 18 to 30C, with low humidity and little rain – the sort of weather which by most people’s accounts would be most agreeable. Parts of southern England, for example, will get an extra 10 to 15 days of mild weather a year by the end of this century. It’s not entirely good news, because the mild days will tend to come in spring and autumn, while the summers will grow hotter and more humid. (February 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/21/2017 - We know that snow, when it melts, provides water but what’s the “amount of liquid water contained in snow cover”? #SnowEx Because Climate Change is affecting how much snow that has traditionally fallen in regions dependent on water from snow, this is important information for future planning. How much snow needs to fall in order to have a normal amount of water? This is the kind of research and information our federal government agencies provide everyone, including the public. This is why it matters that our government stay on top of monitoring and addressing Climate Change. #ScienceMatters NASA: Snow Science in Support of Our Nation’s Water Supply Researchers have completed the first flights of a NASA-led field campaign that is targeting one of the biggest gaps in scientists' understanding of Earth's water resources: snow. NASA uses the vantage point of space to study all aspects of Earth as an interconnected system. But there remain significant obstacles to measuring accurately how much water is stored across the planet's snow-covered regions. The amount of water in snow plays a major role in water availability for drinking water, agriculture and hydropower. Enter SnowEx, a NASA-led multi-year research campaign to improve remote-sensing measurements of how much snow is on the ground at any given time and how much water is contained in that snow. SnowEx is sponsored by the Terrestrial Hydrology Program at NASA Headquarters in Washington, D.C., and managed by NASA's Goddard Space Flight Center in Greenbelt, Maryland. The first year of the ground and air campaign takes place in February in western Colorado. (February 16, 2017) NASA [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/20/2017 - DAPL is on the frontline of the battle to address Climate Change. #NoDAPL Things are moving rapidly, not slow and gradual. Be engaged. No one is on the sidelines in the battle to address Climate Change. #ScienceMatters Pipeline or Roller Coaster? A Timeline of DAPL’s Dizzying Developments Even in this age of Trump where executive orders are shot out of the White House as if it were a malfunctioning ball machine on meth, reality has a way of pressing the pause button. The Ninth Circuit Court of Appeals upheld the travel ban suspension in a unanimous decision, and funds to build the multi-billion dollar border wall aren’t exactly sitting in Peña Nieto’s wire transfer queue. But the battle over the Dakota Access Pipeline is another story altogether. Game changing developments have been cropping up nearly every day. The Trump administration has set in motion a path to pipeline completion that’s advancing at a bewildering pace, and DAPL opponents — most notably the Standing RockCheyenne RiverYankton and Oglala Sioux Tribes, whose drinking water, ancestral lands and spiritual ceremonies would be irreparably harmed by a spill — are waging a renewed battle on all fronts. (February 18, 2017) Planet Experts [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/20/2017 - Science rallies like the big one in Boston yesterday do have the appearance of looking like a special interest rally. They are. Humanity’s interest. For those thinking that they are looking from the sidelines shaking their heads at scientists out in the streets rallying for the return of the integrity of science, remember there are no sidelines. We cannot survive without scientists and their work. Our way of life, with 7 billion people, is not possible without science. How is it that we have come to a time when centuries of proving the values of science have come under suspicion and question? What will become of us? #ScienceMatters Hundreds rally for science at demonstration near AAAS meeting BOSTON--Hundreds of science supporters gathered here in Copley Square this afternoon at a rally coinciding with the annual meeting of AAAS, which publishes Science. Ralliers chose the meeting—the first major gathering of scientists since Trump took office—as an opportune moment to demonstrate that the science community plans to fight recent policies that many see as dangerous to the role of science in society.    “We scientists want to send a message to Mr. Trump, and that’s that America runs on science,” Geoffrey Supran, a postdoctoral fellow studying energy modeling at MIT and science history at Harvard, tells Science. “Neither scientists nor citizens are going to stand idly by while the administration peddles anti-science rhetoric and alternative facts.”   The Rally to Stand Up for Science, which was supported by over a dozen science activism groups, is not the first of its kind, and it won’t be the last. Concerned scientists organized a similar event at the December American Geophysical Union conference in San Francisco, shortly after President Trump was elected. And science supporters in the hundreds of thousands have pledged to march in cities around the globe on Earth Day (22 April). (February 19, 2017) Science Magazine

  • 2/20/2017 - Rapid ice melt in the Arctic that scientists predicted in 1979 has come to pass. Not by magic or crystal ball. By science. What if we and our political leaders had listened to our scientists decades ago? #ScienceMatters Researcher's 1979 Arctic Model Predicted Current Sea Ice Demise, Holds Lessons for Future Study from decades ago proved remarkably accurate in showing how global warming would affect the Arctic's sea ice, currently in steep decline. Claire Parkinson, now a senior climate change scientist at NASA, first began studying global warming's impact on Arctic sea ice in 1978, when she was a promising new researcher at the National Center for Atmospheric Research. Back then, what she and a colleague found was not only groundbreaking, it pretty accurately predicted what is happening now in the Arctic, as sea ice levels break record low after record low. Parkinson's study, which was published in 1979, found that a doubling of atmospheric carbon dioxide from preindustrial levels would cause the Arctic to become ice-free in late summer months, probably by the middle of the 21st century. It hasn't been ice-free in more than 100,000 years. Although carbon dioxide levels have not yet doubled, the ice is rapidly disappearing. This record melt confirms the outlook from Parkinson's 1979 model. (February 20, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/18/2017 - We should have learned from our past environmental experiences: “Good decisions come from experience. Experience comes from making bad decisions.” (Mark Twain) Scott Pruitt Confirmed To Lead Environmental Protection Agency Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt has been confirmed as the next administrator of the Environmental Protection Agency, an agency Pruitt has long criticized. The Senate approved Pruitt on a 52-46 vote Friday afternoon, with two Democrats — Joe Manchin of West Virginia and Heidi Heitkamp of North Dakota — voting for his nomination. Republican Susan Collins of Maine voted no. The vote came after a failed Democratic attempt to delay the confirmation proceedings until after a new batch of documents from Pruitt's state office are made public under court order. Those emails will be released beginning next week. (February 17, 2017) WXXI News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/18/2017 - We are hearing more and more about banning plastic bags and Styrofoam to–go containers in various regions. Our Great Lakes waters are polluted with plastics and we can do something about it. In Monroe County, consider signing a petition to rid our county of Styrofoam to–go containers. ‘Bag-It Duluth’ Calls On City Council For No-Plastic Ordinance DULUTH, Minn. – Momentum is building as community members gather to talk about and potentially come up with a plan to rid away from using plastic bags and Styrofoam to–go containers. The event Thursday that was hosted by “Bag–It Duluth.” The group is hoping to raise the level of concern involving plastic and our surrounding water supply. Researchers and city council members were present to answer any questions the community had about the impacts plastic has on our watershed. (February 16, 2017) FOX 21 [more on Recycling and Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/18/2017 - Considering the ecological havoc the invasive species, the Zebra Mussels, have already wrought on the Great Lakes, you’d think we do everything in our power to keep invasive species out of the largest freshwater system in the world. NY's AG Leads Coalition Against Bill To Strip State Authority On Ship Discharges New York’s Eric Schneiderman and 10 other attorneys general have sent a letter to U.S. Senate leaders. The letter urges opposition to a bill that would eliminate states’ authority to protect waterways from ships’ polluted discharges, making it easier for non-native species to invade the Hudson River and Great Lakes. Schneiderman says the legislation would stop states from taking actions they deem necessary to protect their waters from aquatic invasive species discharged by commercial ships. This occurs when ships dump ballast water Dr. David Strayer is a freshwater ecologist with the Millbrook-based Cary Institute of Ecosystem Studies. (February 16, 2017) WAMC [more on Invasive Species and Zebra Mussels and Water Quality in our area]

  • 2/18/2017 - Helps to eradicate invasive species if you can intensify them easily. We should be aware of the various invasive species in our area because they can wreak havoc.  When an invasive species arrives, they usually do not have any natural enemies and they can, over time, change our area's ecology. New video helps identify some Great Lakes region’s watery invasives. Video helps volunteers take on aquatic invasives Early detection is often critical in the fight against invasive species. Citizen groups in Michigan and Wisconsin are combating invasive aquatic plants by producing videos to help them identify invasive species fast. “Video is great because we can easily show plants from different angles,” said Jo Latimore, outreach specialist in the department of Fisheries and Wildlife at Michigan State University. Latimore starred in the Exotic Aquatic Plant Watch video co-produced by the MiCorps Cooperative Lakes Monitoring Program and Michigan’s Department of Environment Quality. It highlights four common invasive aquatic plants in Michigan lakes. (February 17, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Water Quality and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 2/17/2017 - You don’t have to be a Liberal to understand the danger of putting a fossil-fuel defender at the top of the EPA. Someone who’s first concern is protecting our environment is the only proper candidate for the chair of the EPA—politics be damned. #ScienceMatters Scott Pruitt, President Trump’s EPA Nominee, Ordered to Release Thousands of Emails On the eve of Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt's confirmation vote to be head of the Environmental Protection Agency, a judge from the Sooner State ordered the release of thousands of emails between his office and fossil fuel companies. Oklahoma County District Judge Aletia Haynes Timmons told Pruitt's office that it would have to hand over the emails to the Center for Media and Democracy, or CMD, which requested the first batch of documents in 2014, or to the court. (February 16, 2017) NBC News

  • 2/17/2017 - I know, banning the plastic bags seems like such small potatoes for most of us and a great burden for the poor. But we are poisoning our ecosystems with plastics. There were no plastic bags before 1960 but now they are polluting our water, breaking down and accumulating toxins that contaminate fish and then us. Humanity should learn more about how plastics are accumulating in our ecosystems (which must be healthy if we are to thrive) and how to move away from single-use plastic bags in a way that is fair to all people. Ireland and other places can move away from single-use plastic bags and so can we. Plastic, Or Reusable? Environmentalists Discuss Impact Of Single-Use Bags BUFFALO, N.Y. -- It's an item used on a daily basis, but many don't realize how much it is actually being used. Researchers say the United States uses roughly 100-billion plastic bags a year. "We need to look at proactive solutions that help advance the environment and create a regenerative economy while also balancing economic needs,” said Ryan McPherson, WNY Environmental Alliance Chair. Hoping to address the issue, and how it's impacting the ecosystem, the Alliance held a public forum Wednesday. "Unfortunately our research has proven the Great Lakes are as contaminated with plastic pollution as some of the worst parts of the world's oceans,” said Dr. Sherri Mason, SUNY Fredonia Geology and Environmental Sciences Chair. (February 16, 2017) Buffalo News [more on Recycling and Water Quality in our area]

  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.

  • 2/17/2017 - ACTION: One of the things we found in the five-year work of the Rochester Sierra Club’s Zero Waste committee was that Styrofoam was really bad. It aint’ good for nothing, except a single-use monstrosity. Our committee helped work with Monroe County to get 3-7 plastics recycled. We help clean up Monroe County’s parks by helping to start the Pick Up the Parks yearly events, We helped local events, like Tour de Cure bike race, Greentopia, and the Clothesline Festival become zero waste events—including composting. We helped pressure the media and the City and the County about getting rid of e-waste properly and complying with the new state laws. And a lot more, but we made no freaking headway with Styrofoam. Please sign this petition because you cannot recycle Styrofoam—it’s not only instant trash; it’s an instant toxic substance. Ban EPS (aka Styrofoam) from Monroe County, NY. It is time to eliminate expanded polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) from Monroe County. As the federal government turns its back on environmental conservation, local citizens must pick up the slack. Despite the little 6 found on the bottom of most Styrofoam products, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle. In Monroe County, Styrofoam is not accepted at curbside pick-up. Persistent individuals aiming to recycle packing Styrofoam can deliver it to the Monroe County EcoPark near the airport, but single-use food containers remain unrecyclable. According to the EcoPark’s website: “Styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, coffee cups, takeout containers or other small post-consumer items have no local recycling option and should be placed in your trash.” This is partially because Styrofoam breaks down so easily that, if someone tried to clean it, all they would get is a mess of tiny beads. (Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group )

  • 2/17/2017 - Climate Change is and will continue to affect public health in profound ways. That’s not debatable. It’s debatable as to whether we’ll care enough to address this crisis in time.  Until the public has a complete understanding of Climate Change, a quick planetary warming, and all the consequences that come with it, their opinion about this crisis is suspect. The public must take initiative and learn about Climate Change. For, we have to believe that those against addressing Climate Change don’t understand it. Because, if they do and are still against it, there is no hope. Critical condition: Health experts sound the climate alarm. Experts paint a dire portrait of climate change’s public health impacts, but leave a little room for hope. ATLANTA—In a gathering impacted by presidential politics, an all-star cast of public health experts largely stuck to their own bleak script: Climate change is poised to unleash an unprecedented, global public health crisis.  Not even former Vice President Al Gore, who served as the day's emcee, waded into the political swamp. He presented a half-hour, health-themed version of his much-lauded slide show.  While Gore summarized the gobsmacking array of climate impacts—heat stress, water supplies, food security, mental health, respiratory and infectious diseases, allergens, and weather disasters—he left room at the end for some more convenient truths: The world, he said, is more than able to shift to a clean energy economy, reduce CO2 emissions, and blunt the worst impacts of climate change.  Harvard internist Ashish Jha discussed the climate-related spread of pathogens, and provided one of the conference’s few direct political jabs: “Walls,” he said, “will not keep these pathogens out.” (February 16, 2017) The Daily Climate [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/17/2017 - It can be difficult to communicate Climate Change if the audience only views reality as about US. However, the end result of ecosystem crashes are about US, and you, and them. That means environmental protections, like the Endangered Species Act, really matter. “Scientists say that while the Endangered Species Act focuses on individual species, it actually helps protect ecosystems that support those species.” Keeping ecosystems healthy is not simply a special issue, as if some people like forests and others like shopping malls. Shopping malls, while nice for a while, are not places that support life on their own. Our planet needs ecosystems; it’s done without shopping malls for billions of years. How the Endangered Species Act Helps Save Humans, Too As some Republican members of Congress seek to roll back the Endangered Species Act, conservation groups have taken to familiar arguments about protecting wildlife. But there's one species that is often overlooked in that defense: Homo sapiens. As it turns out, biodiversity protects against climate change and helps ensure a stable food supply. And those both have economic benefits that in some cases dwarf the value of developing land. (February 15, 2017) Time [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/16/2017 - Our oceans have been gorging on our greenhouse gas emission and now they are really sick. If our oceans hadn’t been doing this, we’d be gonners already. More: “Soaring ocean temperature is 'greatest hidden challenge of our generation'” (The Guardian) “The ocean has absorbed more than 90% of the extra heat created by human activity. If the same amount of heat that has been buried in the upper 2km of the ocean had gone into the atmosphere, the surface of the Earth would have warmed by a devastating 36C, rather than 1C, over the past century.”   #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange #StandUpForScience Scientists have just detected a major change to the Earth’s oceans linked to a warming climate A large research synthesis, published in one of the world’s most influential scientific journals, has detected a decline in the amount of dissolved oxygen in oceans around the world — a long-predicted result of climate change that could have severe consequences for marine organisms if it continues. The paper, published Wednesday in the journal Nature by oceanographer Sunke Schmidtko and two colleagues from the GEOMAR Helmholtz Centre for Ocean Research in Kiel, Germany, found a decline of more than 2 percent in ocean oxygen content worldwide between 1960 and 2010. The loss, however, showed up in some ocean basins more than others. The largest overall volume of oxygen was lost in the largest ocean — the Pacific — but as a percentage, the decline was sharpest in the Arctic Ocean, a region facing Earth’s most stark climate change. (February 15, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/16/2017 - The EPA is doing its job keeping US sustainable! Why would anyone in their right mind want to gut this agency? America’s Climate Pollution is Falling, EPA Report Says After two years of increases, greenhouse gas emissions fell in 2015, reducing America’s overall climate pollution to below 1994 levels, according to a draft Environmental Protection Agency report published Tuesday. The decline in 2015 was mainly because that year’s mild winter reduced demand for heat across the country, and electric power companies were using less coal and more natural gas to generate electricity than in previous years, the report says. Emissions fell 2.2 percent overall. The draft report is required to be produced annually under an agreement with the United Nations. It is open for public comment and scheduled to be finalized in April, according to an EPA statement. (February 14, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/16/2017 - The most reasonable and responsible response to environmental regulations is to learn how to comply with them, not gut the gut the regulatory agency. Businesses can only thrive in a healthy environment and the EPA was designed to keep businesses and their environments stable and sustainable. Tearing down one of the most successful agencies, an agency that sprung from the renewed and responsible attitudes towards our life support system on the first Earth Day, is collective suicide. #ScienceMatters EPA Veterans Mobilize to Defend Agency's Work, Bracing for Trump's Impact Former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency, who typically steer clear of politics, have begun advocating to support the work in Trump's crosshairs. Retired and former employees of the Environmental Protection Agency are banding together in rare activism to defend colleagues still working for the agency, as fears of deep layoffs, regulatory rollbacks and science suppression spread through the federal ranks. Though organizing is still in its early stages, they're holding protest rallies, looking to nurture agency whistleblowers and pushing senators to vote against President Donald Trump's EPA administrator nominee, Oklahoma Attorney General Scott Pruitt. Having vehement opponents of regulation and deniers of mainstream climate change science as president and administrator of the EPA propelled them into a type of activism most had never embraced, former EPA employees said. (February 15, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 2/15/2017 - Farming practices both contribute to and address Climate Change on a large scale. This needs humanity’s attention. #Science Matters Farming a warmer planet What’s happening here is emblematic of forces that reach far beyond Moussa’s venture in these arid, windswept mountains of southwestern Morocco. Worldwide, 3.4 billion people live in rural areas, often in poverty and with lifestyles that expose them disproportionately to the effects of changes in Earth’s warming climate. From Afghanistan to Bolivia, as well as in large swaths of Africa, many of them cultivate land that’s dry or growing drier. The challenge for farm communities is to adapt and respond before climate change starts to erode agricultural productivity. For governments and development groups, the challenge is broader: They are recognizing that it’s not just that climate change is affecting farmers, it’s also that farmers are affecting the climate. While plants like argan trees can help store excess carbon that would otherwise add to the world’s emissions, many agricultural practices create greenhouse gases. They, in fact, account for about a quarter of such emissions worldwide. (February 12, 2017) Christian Science Monitor [more on Food and Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 2/15/2017 - Now that we know that microplastics are contaminating the Great Lakes we need to get them out and stop anymore from getting in. Looking at the big picture, we should have known long ago that dumping plastics and cigarette butts (which have microplastics in their filters) and plastic fibers in our laundered clothes and microbeads from our body care products which get washed into the greatest freshwater system in the world all have to go someplace and that place, Duh!, turns out to be where we drain our waste—right where we drink and fish and swim and eat. But we didn’t proactively look for where our trash was going and now we have looked, long after we have been putting plastics into our Great Lakes. Now we know. So, now we need to get those plastics out because plastics accumulate toxins, because fish eat plastics instead of their food, and much more. We cannot play dumb on our environment anymore. International Joint Commission Recommends Action to Curb Microplastics in the Great Lakes The International Joint Commission is calling for the U.S. and Canada to take action against micro-plastics in the Great Lakes. The commission’s report recommends a binational plan for research, education and outreach. It also recommends a standardized scientific approach to sampling and finding out where the plastic is coming from. (February 13, 2017) WKSU [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality and Recycling in our area]

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