Updated Daily 1/16/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com
Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."
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.
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.
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. "
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
SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.
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 January 15, 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 - Monday, January 16, 2017
The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester. This bikeshare program would let you rent a bike around town. The city is on board with the program, but they aren't funding it. The map of plans for a bike share system only includes areas with corporate sponsors who can foot the bill. For areas with smaller businesses, Reconnect Rochester is asking you for your help to get the program into gear. (January 16, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Transportation in our area]
Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict Researchers have concluded that the most likely cause of a giant dust storm that struck the Middle East in 2015 was climate and unusual weather rather than conflict. (January 13, 2017) Science Daily [more on Climate Change in our area]
It Can Power a Small Nation. But This Wind Farm in China Is Mostly Idle. On the edge of the Gobi Desert, the Jiuquan Wind Power Base stands as a symbol of China’s quest to dominate the world’s renewable energy market. With more than 7,000 turbines arranged in rows that stretch along the sandy horizon, it is one of the world’s largest wind farms, capable of generating enough electricity to power a small country. But these days, the windmills loom like scarecrows, idle and inert. The wind howls outside, but many turbines in Jiuquan, a city of vast deserts and farms in the northwest province of Gansu, have been shut off because of weak demand. Workers while away the hours calculating how much power the turbines could have generated if there were more buyers, and wondering if and when they will ever make a profit. (January 15, 2017) New York Times [more on Wind Power in our area]
by Frank J. Regan
“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "
In one fashion or another I’ve been promoting Earth Day events for almost twenty years in Rochester. In that time, local environmentalist have tried to capture the public’s attention on the one day of the year held sacrosanct for environmental concerns. Even our media, always looking for news opportunities, turns their attention towards our life support system on Earth Day.
Some of the environmental issues we highlighted to capture the public’s attention were:
· “Biotechnology: An Organic Farmer’s Perspective” Keynote speech by Mary-Howell Martens
· “The cost of sprawl to the environment, the economy, and people of the region” Keynote Speaker: Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr. · “From Crisis To Opportunity” A Forum on National, State, & Local Environmental Issues Keynote Speakers: Elizabeth Thorndike, David Higby, Jack Bradigan Spula
· “Protecting and Policing New York’s Environment” Keynote Speaker: Peter Lehner, JD Chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the NY Attorney General’s Office
· “Hemlock/Canadice: the Future of Our ‘Little’ Lakes” Keynote Speakers: Andy Beers and Jim Howe
· “Transportation Alternatives for Rochester A Vision for the Future” Keynote Speakers: Richard Perrin, David Keefe and John Thomas.
· “Local and Sustainable Food – Local Food Choices” Keynote Speakers: Michael Warren Thomas, Elizabeth Henderson, and Peter McDonald · “Transitioning to Sustainable Communities” Keynote Speaker: Tina Clarke from the Sustainability Institute
· “Sustainable Production, Rochester’s Cutting Edge” Keynote Speakers Dr. Nabil Nasr, RIT’s Assistant Provost and Director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability; Catherine Reeves, the Director of Sustainable Operations at Xerox Corporation
· “Our Water’s Fragile Future: Hydrofracking, Climate Change, & Privatization” Keynote Speaker: Jim Olson, a Michigan environmental attorney · “Protecting Our Great Lakes Forever” Keynote Speaker: author Maude Barlow
· “Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program” Keynote Speaker: Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst, Office of Climate Change, New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
· “Climate, Energy, and Intergenerational Justice”: Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Hansen
· “Agriculture and Climate Change: Formulating Sustainable Choices”
We covered many specific environmental concerns back in the day. But even within this short span of time, the themes have gravitated quickly towards Climate Change. In other words, we used to have a lot of separate environmental problems but now we have one. Climate Change is becoming a singularity at which many environmental issues, including public health and climate justice, are now swirling because it is an existential threat.
This year’s Earth Day is special because our environment needs as much attention by the public as it did on the first Earth Day in 1970, where millions took to the streets.
“On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.” (The History of Earth Day, Earth Day Network)
Now, a couple of groups in Rochester are making plans for Earth Day 2017. The Rochester Sierra Club is inviting the “man who was elected as the first African American President of the Sierra Club, Aaron Mair.” (December eco-logue). At the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, we are working on a large parade downtown. Inclusiveness, joining together, and accepting everyone from every walk of life are key to any kind of solution that will matter.
In every way possible, we have tried over the years to engage the public and get them to demonstrate their concern for their life support system. As Climate Change becomes more of a threat to our existence, so are the efforts of environmental activists, even as a great cancer of climate denial metastasizes throughout our land.
Just after this Earth Day, the People’s Climate Mobilization begins in 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.” (People’s Climate Movement)
Don’t sit this one out. more...
(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)
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]
Rochester Pachamama Alliance Presents
Friday, January 20, 2017 7:00 PM to 9:00 PM (6:30 PM check in time – so we may begin promptly at 7 PM)
Location: First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 220 Winton Rd. South, Rochester, New York 14610
Music and Dancing will follow for those who wish to stay
On the evening of Inauguration Day, all those who want to create positive change in our community and our world are invited to come together as one. We will take steps to move towards the openness of heart, aliveness of body and clarity of purpose we need to generate positive, creative responses to the world’s situation. We will begin to release what most distresses us, as we listen to one another and connect to our deepest values and wisdom. On this night of profound change in our world, we can shift from powerlessness and anxiety into hope-filled action. We can find our role in collectively being the change the world needs.
The event is free, but please register to assure that there is seating for everyone. Nominal donations will be gratefully accepted to help defray costs.
Co-sponsors include: the Social Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Church, The Interfaith Alliance of Rochester (TIAR), The Sisters of Mercy, The Sisters of St. Joseph of Rochester, Living in Harmony, Mothers Out Front, Genesee Valley Citizens for Peace (GVCP), the Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition (RPCC), Rochester Area Vegan Society, Greater Rochester Community of Churches (GRCC)– Faith In Action Network, Christ Church, Rochester Committee on Latin America, Facing Race, Embracing Equity – FR=EE, Showing Up for Racial Justice (SURJ) Rochester, Peacework Organic CSA, Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, The Mahavatar Babaji Mystery School of Rochester, St. Monica Church Creation Stewards and Social Justice Committees, Citizen’s Climate Lobby of Rochester, the Bahai's of Rochester
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 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.
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...
- Saturday, January 14 from 11
a.m. to 2 p.m | Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince
- Activism fair to be held More than two dozen Rochester-area social justice, faith, and civil rights groups will hold the "Rochester Activism Fair" on Saturday, January 14. Many activists from across a wide spectrum of issues will be available for discussions, to make personal connections, and to answer questions. The event will be held at Visual Studies Workshop, 31 Prince Street, from 11 a.m. to 2 p.m. (from Urban Action, Rochester City Newspaper)
- Sunday, January 15th, 5:30 pm
and 7:00 pm |Brighton Town Lodge, 777 Westfall Road,
- Rochester Area Vegan Society 5:30 pm and 7:00 pm Brighton Town Lodge, 777 Westfall Road PLEASE ATTEND the January 2017 meeting of the Rochester Area Vegan Society to hear Sherry Colb, JD speak on Feminism and Using Animals for Food Sherry Colb is Professor of Law and Charles Evans Hughes Scholar at Cornell University, where she teaches courses in animal rights. She is the author of Mind If I Order the Cheeseburger? and co-author of Beating Hearts: Abortion and Animal Rights. WHEN: Sunday, January 15, 2017; 5:30 PM Vegan Dinner, 7:00 PM Program WHERE: Brighton Town Park Lodge, 777 Westfall Road DINNER: Dinner is a vegan potluck. Vegan means no animal products (no meat, poultry, fish, eggs, dairy products or honey). Please bring a dish with enough to serve a crowd, and a serving utensil; also bring a place setting for your own dinner. We can help non-vegetarians or others uncertain about how to make or bring a vegan dish; please call 234-8750 for help. DIRECTIONS: The Brighton Town Park Lodge is on Westfall between E. Henrietta Rd (15A) and S. Clinton Rd. From Route 390, take Exit 16 onto 15A and go north to traffic light. Turn right on Westfall Rd. The Lodge is on the south side of Westfall. It is a log cabin set well back from the road, and the driveway leading to the Lodge is called "Haudenosaunee Trail." Look for the "Brighton Town Park" sign. COST: Free to RAVS members. $3 guest fee for non-members, plus bring a vegan dish. MORE INFORMATION: rochesterveg.org
- Monday, January 16th, 7:00 pmFirst Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Road S. - Room 220 Newcomers: Join us at 6:30
- January 20, 2017 7-9
p.m. (please arrive at 6:30 so we can start promptly,
dancing and music will follow for those who wish to
stay) Where: First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 220
Winton Rd. South Rochester, NY 14610
- Inaugurating Hope What: Join with others to shift from powerlessness and anxiety into hope-filled action on a night of profound change in our world. When: January 20, 2017 7-9 p.m. (please arrive at 6:30 so we can start promptly, dancing and music will follow for those who wish to stay) Where: First Unitarian Church of Rochester, 220 Winton Rd. South Rochester, NY 14610 Cost: The event is free, but please register to assure that there is seating for everyone. Donations will be gratefully accepted to help defray costs Facebook event page here.
- Wednesday, January 25, 2017:
6:30PM, Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends
Learning Center, Brighton, NY.
- ColorBrightonGreen.org presents The 2017 Winter Film/Speaker Series at the Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends Learning Center. All presentations begin at 6:30pm. Wednesday, January 25, 2017: “Climate Action at the Local, State, and Federal Levels: We Can Do It!” There are currently actions that can be taken at the local and State level to fight climate change, and there is a need to coalesce people to lobby for carbon fee and dividend at the federal level. Representatives of the Rochester People's Climate Coalition will be presenting information on Community Choice Aggregation, the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, and the Citizen's Climate Lobby proposal for carbon fee and dividend. There will be a presentation and discussion on each of these topics. Efforts are already under way to create a Community Choice Aggregation program in the Rochester metropolitan area. This is very exciting because it would result in a lower fixed-rate for electricity for residents and small business in participating municipalities, and a mechanism to grow our local renewable energy supply. (ColorBrightonGreen.org )
- Thursday, February 9th, 7:00 PM @
First Unitarian Church, 220 Winton
- DO YOU FIND GLOBAL WARMING TOO DEPRESSING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Come to our book discussion on Thursday, February 9th, 7:00 PM to participate in a discussion of Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone’s ACTIVE HOPE: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy Ecophilosopher Joana Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice and the environment, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activisim. Physician and coach Dr. Chris Johnstone is a specialist in the psychology of resilience, happiness, and positive change. Copies of the above books are available at discount at the First Unitarian bookstore open most Sundays after services, or by using the link to Amazon that benefits the church here. Free, and the public is invited to participate. RSVP to email@example.com is encouraged but not required.
- 6:00 pm on Thursday, February
16, 2017 at Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park, 171
Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620
- The February 2017 Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park, 171 Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 (across the street from the Lamberton Conservatory). The PAC will review and receive public comment on the Draft Highland Park South Master Plan. A full copy of the draft plan will be available to the public beginning February 1, 2017 here.
- 6:00 pm on Thursday,
March 16, 2017 at The Clubhouse at Durand Eastman Park
Golf Course, 1200 Kings Highway North, Rochester, NY,
- 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.
- April 21, 2017
The Links, East Syracuse, New York
- Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century Thirteenth Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century CAN WE STILL REACH OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS *New York State 50% by 2030 *United States 30% by 2025 Hear from National & NYS experts. April 21, 2017 The Links, East Syracuse, New York 7:30am - 2:00pm Optional Tours following ****REGISTER NOW ****
- April 29th, 2017 | Where:
"hundreds of actions around the country. In every corner
of the nation "
- 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 highlightClimate 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: 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: January 24, 2017
- Got three days of your time? Been thinking that now, really now, our Rochester region needs someone from Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet? And that someone could be you? Then, sign up here. The dates for this training are March 2-4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 24, 2017. More: “You know our climate is changing. You want to make a difference. We’ll show you how. Join us for a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action. Give us three days. We’ll give you the tools to change 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!
- 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!
- Save Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region from LPG Gas Storage! New York has banned fracking, but related infrastructure for transporting and storage of fracked gas continues to threaten our communities. In the Finger Lakes region of New York, we are fighting plans to store dangerous, explosive liquefied petroleum gases (“LPG” – propane and butane) in abandoned salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, the heart of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The facility poses unacceptable risks of catastrophic accidents, injuries, air pollution, and contamination of Seneca Lake, which is the largest body of freshwater within New York State and the drinking water source for 100,000 people. It would also undermine the economy of the entire Finger Lakes, which is built on the region's beauty, tourism, and wineries. Transportation of the LPG via rail to the facility puts the 750,000 annual visitors in Watkins Glen State Park at risk.
ACTION: Due Date:
- 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
- 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!
- Sign the petition to Get Exploding Oil Trains Off the Tracks: http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/
- ACTION: Due Date Now!
- Considering signing a petition or donating to help this cause to reject Inergy Midstream‘s (now Crestwood) proposal to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas and expand natural gas storage at facilities on the shore of Seneca Lake in Reading, NY. More at Gas Free Seneca Even folks in the Rochester area should care about the health of our Finger Lakes. Airman-turned-activist arrested for 'civil disobedience'
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:
- 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 firstname.lastname@example.org for more information or to sign up today! "
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: email@example.com We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
ACTION: Due Date:
- 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
Daily Updates: Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care. Get Daily Updates since 1998...
- My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books
My Comments are in Bold text.
1/16/2017 - Bicycles should be a viable transportation option in the Rochester region. Along with more bike share programs, we should have more media attention on bicycling safely pertaining to both cyclists and motorists so it is more likely that everyone will follow the rules of the road and keep all forms of transportation in our streets safe. Active transportation (walking and bicycling) can have a major effect on reducing greenhouse gasses in our region. Time passes. The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester. This bikeshare program would let you rent a bike around town. The city is on board with the program, but they aren't funding it. The map of plans for a bike share system only includes areas with corporate sponsors who can foot the bill. For areas with smaller businesses, Reconnect Rochester is asking you for your help to get the program into gear. (January 16, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Transportation in our area]
1/16/2017 - Knowing whether weather conditions are caused by Climate Change is critical in convincing the public that Climate Change is happening and addressing the proper causes of extreme weather. If for example, a giant dust storm is caused by human conflict then that should be addressed. If a storm is caused by Climate Change, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Human conflict can (in theory) be stopped immediately. Climate Change has a long lag time and cannot be stopped immediately. The warming we have already baked into our climate system since the mid 1800’s has already caused extreme weather and changes to our ecosystems and this will take time to play out. Time passes. Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict Researchers have concluded that the most likely cause of a giant dust storm that struck the Middle East in 2015 was climate and unusual weather rather than conflict. (January 13, 2017) Science Daily [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/14/2017 - Understanding the Big Picture of getting “North America’s unconventional oil reserves to market”: it’s a whack-a-mole game between activists and the fossil fuel industry that may end up threatening the Great Lakes. #keepItInTheGround is more complex and dangerous than we ever thought. “As pipeline protests have raged out West for the last decade, ever-growing volumes of North American oil have been discreetly flowing through the far more populous Great Lakes region, under its forests, rivers, ponds, wetlands, cities and towns and even, in one extreme case, across the bottom of the Great Lakes themselves. This is the story of what could be called the Great Lakes XXL — a swelling, invisible river of oil flowing through the world’s largest freshwater system at a time when other regions on the continent are rejecting the risk of new pipelines.” Path of least resistance As new pipelines stall on the Great Plains, oil pressure builds in the Great Lakes As pipeline protests have raged out West for the last decade, ever-growing volumes of North American oil have been discreetly flowing through the far more populous Great Lakes region, under its forests, rivers, ponds, wetlands, cities and towns and even, in one extreme case, across the bottom of the Great Lakes themselves. This is the story of what could be called the Great Lakes XXL — a swelling, invisible river of oil flowing through the world’s largest freshwater system at a time when other regions on the continent are rejecting the risk of new pipelines. (January 13, 2017) Journal Sentinel [more on Great Lakes and Energy in our area]
1/14/2017 - We know Climate Change will impact Wildlife. But how many wildlife species will impact Climate Change? Our environment, our life support system is extremely complex. It’s a system that has evolved for billions of years, everything finely tuned and in sync with all other life forms. An even slight change in climate causes ripples throughout our life support system. These changes don’t go just one way; these changes move according to biological patterns we are just beginning to find out about. Trying to find hope in these patterns will be fleeting and ephemeral because the complexity of our environment is still beyond our knowledge of it. Before we changed the climate on Earth, maybe we should have planned that out a little better. Time passes. How Reindeer Could Help Combat Climate Change Reindeer are climate change victims themselves, but they could also be a powerful weapon against it, a study suggests. Climate change poses a serious threat to reindeer. Over the past decade, at least 80,000 of them have starved to death in Siberia because of melting sea ice. In the North Pole, warmer temperatures have caused reindeers to shrink in size. But it turns out that reindeer may themselves be a useful weapon in the fight against global warming, a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters last month finds. And their own appetites could help ensure their continued survival. Researchers visited the Arctic county of Troms, Norway, and discovered that reindeers’ grazing could help slow climate change by increasing albedo, or the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space, in the Arctic. (January 6, 2017) The Huffington Post [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]
1/14/2017 - What is the “social cost of carbon”; how much is it; and, why should we care? Will Trump’s Climate Team Accept Any ‘Social Cost of Carbon’? The nation’s top science panel has just sketched a clearer way to set a fair price today for cutting tomorrow’s climate risks. Some of Trump’s advisers say the price should be zero. President-elect Donald Trump and members of his proposed cabinet and transition team have taken aim at many of President Obama’s climate and clean-energy policies, programs and legacies — from the Paris Agreement to the Clean Power Plan. But there’s probably no more consequential and contentious a target for the incoming administration than an arcane metric called the “social cost of carbon.” (January 11. 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]
1/13/2017 - One of the predicted effects of Climate Change in our region is an increase in mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika and tick-borne Lyme disease because of a warmer temperatures. This study by “… Cornell will serve as the hub for a team of medical entomologists, virologists, epidemiologists, ecologists, modelers and molecular biologists, under the direction of entomology professor Laura Harrington.” Climate Change will affect public health and we must find out how that is going to happen. $10M CDC grant funds center to fight vector borne diseases Managing mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika and tick-borne Lyme disease have been a challenge due to lack of resources, knowledge and trained expertise. To better understand, prevent and treat diseases passed from insects to people, the Cornell-led Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases will launch later this month, thanks to a $10 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (January 9, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]
1/13/2017 - Carbon sinks can only be carbon sinks when we #KeepItInTheGround Some regions should be kept entirely free of human development. Carbon deposit in Congo swamp equal to 20 years of U.S. gas emissions: study Scientists say a recently discovered area of peatland straddling the two Congos contains 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 20 years of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and must be protected to prevent major environmental damage. The British and Congolese teams, who made the discovery in 2014, say it is the largest known tropical peatland - home to rare gorillas and forest elephants - and in Wednesday's edition of Nature they say development there would release the gas. Carbon dioxide is linked to climate change and peatlands, formed from the accumulation of dead plant material, act as "carbon sinks." Peat does not decompose in a water-logged state but when it dries, the organisms that break down plant material revive and the carbon seeps back into the atmosphere. (January 11, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/13/2017 - With Climate Change, development, our infrastructures, pollution, threats to our ecosystems, and the lives of seven billion people, scientists are crucial to humanity’s ability to have a sustainable existence. Protecting the integrity of science and our scientists is a must in a world so finely woven with humanity’s influence. On eve of Trump, Obama’s Energy Department announces new policy to protect scientists | Speaking at the National Press Club Wednesday, outgoing Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a new “scientific integrity” policy for an agency recently wracked by concerns about how an administration led by President-elect Donald Trump will treat employees who worked on climate change and other sensitive energy-related issues. “It’s part of establishing the environment that allows scientist to do their work, to stay with us, and to recruit new people,” Moniz said in announcing the new policy. (January 11, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/12/2017 - One thing we can do about the nearly 2,000 square miles chunk of ice about to break off the Antarctic Ice Shelf is just deny that it’s happening. Of course, that would be crazy. Antarctica is about to lose an enormous piece of ice. The question is what happens after that. Last week, British scientists announced a disturbing finding — a crack in the Larsen C ice shelf in the Antarctic Peninsula had dramatically accelerated its spread, increasing 11 miles in length in the space of a month. This means the floating ice shelf, which is nearly as big as Scotland and the fourth largest of its kind in Antarctica, is poised to break off a piece nearly 2,000 square miles in size, or over 10 percent of its total area. An ice island the size of a small U.S. state would then be afloat in the Southern Ocean. [The crack in this Antarctic ice shelf just grew by 11 miles. A dramatic break could be imminent] That’s dramatic enough, but there is uncertainty in the science world about what would happen next. On the one hand, the researchers with Project MIDAS, who announced the growth of the rift, have published research suggesting that, in their words, it “presents a considerable risk to the stability of the Larsen C Ice Shelf.” If they’re right, it’s hard to understate how big a deal it is — Antarctica has lost ice shelves before, but not one so enormous. Not only would a loss of Larsen C change the map of the Earth itself; the shelf holds back glaciers capable of contributing about 4 inches of global sea level rise over time. (January 10, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change 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.
1/12/2017 - Fast Forward Film Festival (FFFF) - Rochester, NY @fastforwardroc due date for your short environmental film submissions is due by February 27. The festival itself will be held this year at the Little Theatre on March 31 and at the Fast Forward Film Festival gala at the George Eastman Museum on April 1. I wrote “Become the Media! in Rochester, NY on Climate Change” back in 2014 and included the importance of the Fast Forward Film Festival. More than ever communicating our environment to everyone is critical. This from our friends over at the FFFF: “Greetings from Rochester and happy 2017 from the Fast Forward Film Festival! We hope your organization will consider participating in this year's festival! Read on... In Rochester, we pride ourselves on being at the cutting edge of science and technology, culture, and creativity. And for a long time our community has been a fantastic film town. These are reasons why the Fast Forward Film Festival is such a great fit for this community. FFFF is a juried local film festival focusing on environmental issues, perspectives, and concerns expressed in short, five-minute films. Whether you are an experienced filmmaker with a state of the art professional video/film setup--or have never made a film before and and have a smart phone in your pocket--you can join the FFFF fun! Whatever your environmental passion--climate change, water quality, air quality, biodiversity, energy, solid waste, wildlife, transportation, food and agriculture, urban or rural development, etc. etc. etc.--you can express, share, teach, and advocate with your five-minute film submitted to the festival! FFFF welcomes entries in the adult (18 and over) and youth (17 and under) categories; cash awards will be bestowed upon selected winners! There is no entry fee, and selected films will be showcased at a premier at the Little Theatre on March 31 and at the Fast Forward Film Festival gala at the George Eastman Museum on April 1. In addition, community screenings throughout the year at prominent venues such as the Rochester Museum and Science Center, Memorial Art Gallery and City of Rochester Public Market will showcase the selected short films. Submitting your film to the Fast Forward Film Festival is a terrific way to provide information and inspiration to the community on environmental issues close to your heart! There's still time to make a film. Submission deadline is February 27; films of all genres and styles are welcome, but must be five minutes or less. We hope you will enter a film this year, and hope you will spread the word about this opportunity to your networks. (Fast Forward Film Festival}
1/12/2017 - Addressing Climate Change is good for businesses. You can’t run a company on a failed planet. US business to Trump: don’t ditch climate laws Coalition of American businesses repeats call made at 2016 UN climate summit, urges new administration to respect global climate pact Nike, Mars, Unilever and DuPont are among 630 US companies that have released a letter to lawmakers asking them to keep the country in the Paris climate deal. According to US green business group Ceres, which has coordinated the move, the businesses are based across 44 states, employ nearly 2 million people and take in $1.15 trillion a year. “We want the U.S. economy to be energy efficient and powered by low-carbon energy,” write the companies, who also include Starbucks, Hewlett Packard and IKEA. (January 10, 2017) Climate Home [more on Green Business and Climate Change in our area]
1/12/2017 - Does the clarity of the science behind Climate Change become less clear if people in high places sow doubt on certainty? It took a long, long time by a lot (meaning experts from around the world) of climate experts to confirm that Climate Change is real, it is happening, this climate change is human caused, and it’s a major threat to our future. Can all that be unraveled by politics? Can physics be influenced by opinions? We know the answer to this question, we should not be behaving as if we don’t. Exxon’s Tillerson Murky on Future of Paris Climate Pact Former ExxonMobil CEO Rex Tillerson downplayed global warming’s dangers during a hearing into his nomination for secretary of state on Wednesday, refusing to rule out an American withdrawal from a climate treaty even as he acknowledged that “the risk of climate change does exist.” Tillerson recently resigned after a four-decade career with America’s biggest oil company, allowing him take the top diplomacy job in the Trump administration if senators approve his nomination. Like Trump, Tillerson has no government experience and he has close and controversial ties with Russia. (January 11, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/12/2017 - We probably are at the point in Climate Change when geoengineering should be taken seriously. It also means all else has failed and there’s the potential that the cure is worse than the disease. But it does seem prudent at this time where, “… scientists should at least be getting a head start on research in case geoengineering is someday needed.” Time passes. White House Urges Research on Geoengineering to Combat Global Warming A White House road map for federally funded climate research has for the first time recommended research into geoengineering, the concept of intervening in nature to slow or reverse global warming. The document, an update of a report that lays out a plan for climate-related research at 13 federal agencies until 2021, calls for studies related to the two most-discussed approaches to geoengineering: distributing chemicals in the atmosphere to reflect more heat-producing sunlight away from the earth, and removing carbon dioxide from the air so the atmosphere traps less heat. (January 10, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/11/2017 - I’m not a fan of the idea of a Carbon Budget and even if I was we have probably have already blown it. When you consider that along with global warming, we must solve the loss of biodiversity, pollution, over population, over consumption, loss of water quality, and breakdown of ecosystems, it seems very arbitrary to think we can put any more carbon in the system without causing catastrophic damage to our life support system. We have already experienced massive disruption as we have quickly raised our planet’s temperature by 1C—and we still don’t know the ramifications of that. So, to think we can go any further is reckless and delusional. That we are set to overrun even our arbitrary carbon budget is even more grim. We should be addressing Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter—right now and forget about trying to calculate fanciful carbon budgets. Very Soon, We'll Have Blown The World's Entire Carbon Budget [Updated] By one calculation, we have a little more than a year left to do something drastic with our carbon emissions before we lock in a future of drastic climate change. As of now—by one calculation—the world has one year to stop pumping CO2 into the atmosphere if we want to stop climate change at 1.5 degrees Celsius of warming, the aim of the Paris climate agreement. A carbon countdown clock from researchers at the Mercator Research Institute on Global Commons and Climate Change does the math, estimating the time left at current emission levels. Even with a higher limit of two degrees of warming and the most optimistic projections, we still only have about 23 years to fully transition to a carbon-free economy. (January 9, 2017) FastCoExist [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/11/2017 - Governor Cuomo “Directs State Agencies to Determine Cost-Effective and Responsible Pathway to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy Statewide” Governor Cuomo Presents 25th Proposal of 2017 State of the State: Nation's Largest Offshore Wind Energy Project Off Long Island Coast and Unprecedented Commitment to Develop up to 2.4 Gigawatts of Offshore Wind Power by 2030 Calls on Long Island Power Authority to Approve 90 Megawatt Project Off Montauk and Supports Development of 800 Megawatt Offshore Wind Lease Area Off Rockaway Peninsula 2.4 Gigawatts Enough Power Generation for 1.25 Million Homes Directs State Agencies to Determine Cost-Effective and Responsible Pathway to Reach 100 Percent Renewable Energy Statewide Offshore Wind Master Plan to be Completed by End of 2017 All Offshore Wind Projects Developed Out of Long Island Coastal Viewshed and in Close Collaboration with Communities Critical to Governor's Directive to Reach 50 Percent Renewable Power by 2030 (January 10, 2017) GOVERNOR ANDREW M. CUOMO [More on Energy in our area]
1/11/2017 - Climate Change isn’t just about polar bears; it’s about the kind of planetary change we are causing that threatens such a majestic species. When Newton realized that the same force that made an apple drop from the tree also drives the motions of the planets and stars, he was on to something big. Likewise humanity must realize that a force large and powerful enough to change our climate is something to be reckoned with. Not ignored or compartmentalized into various threats that might concern some people, as Climate Change will affect everything on Earth, especially humanity and their now critical infrastructures. Time passes. Human-Driven Global Warming Is Biggest Threat to Polar Bears, Report Says Federal wildlife officials on Monday called climate change the biggest threat to the survival of the polar bear and warned that without decisive action to combat global warming, the bears would almost certainly disappear from much of the Arctic. “It cannot be overstated that the single most important action for the recovery of polar bears is to significantly reduce the present levels of global greenhouse gas emissions,” the officials wrote in a report released by the Fish and Wildlife Service. “The sooner global warming and sea-ice loss are stopped, the better the long-term prognosis for the species,” they added. The report, called a conservation management plan, is required under the Endangered Species Act and outlines what must be done for a species to recover and avoid extinction. The polar bear was listed as threatened under the act in 2008. (January 9, 2017 New York Times [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]
1/11/2017 - Climate scientists aren’t debating whether Climate Change is happening or whether it’s human-caused. They debating things like whether the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC is going to happen because of Climate Change. Is it possible … “within the span of a human lifetime” to shut down the AMOC “essentially by flooding the Atlantic with cold water and screwing up its finely tuned density cycle”? We, the public and our leaders, should not have to go back to learning about Climate Change from the start just because of a US election. We should be following closely what climate science is now talking about and addressing Climate Change based on the ample evidence of this crisis already provided by our experts. The Atlantic Ocean and an Actual Debate in Climate Science Scientists have recently begun to re-examine a scary question: Will a crucial ocean current shut down? Nor has there been a debate for years. Since at least 1995, the balance of evidence in climate science has indicated that human-caused greenhouse-gas emissions are behind the planet’s warming. Agreement on this question has only strengthened since. By 2012, an international panel of leading researchers in the field said there was at least a 95 percent chance that human activity has caused global warming since 1950. There are active discussions in climate science—they’re just not about this. So before we all have to talk about a topic on which there is near total scientific agreement, I thought it might be fascinating to examine a real area of dispute in the field. And one of the most consequential disagreements is about something called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, or AMOC. (January 7, 2017) The Atlantic [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/10/2017 - I know, at the moment you’re freaking freezing and we can still make snow balls in Rochester. But Climate Change is still happening. It’s climate stupid. Even if your ideology and political stance aren’t comfortable with the science, Climate Change is happening, it’s human caused, and it’s wreaking our future if we don’t get real. Time passes. 2016 Was Second-Warmest Year on Record in U.S. The average temperature of the lower 48 states reached the second-highest level in the historical record in 2016, the government said on Monday. The National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration reported that only 2012 had been warmer in archives stretching to 1895. The near-record average temperature was influenced by the long-term global warming trend caused by human emissions, scientists said, as well as by a burst of heat from the El Niño climate pattern in the Pacific Ocean. Among the 48 states, only Georgia set a temperature record in 2016, though several states in the Northeast came close, while every state was well above its 20th-century average temperature. “The breadth of the 2016 warmth is unparalleled in the nation’s climate history,” NOAA said in a statement. “No other year had as many states breaking or close to breaking their warmest annual average temperature.” (January 9, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/10/2017 - Past climate changes are a harbinger of Climate Change, except this self-induced climate crisis is happening faster, with 7 billion people, with our critical infrastructures—water, waste, transportation, telecommunications, etc.—in jeopardy. Sea level threats because of Climate Change won’t just affect major coastline cities, it will create a stronger and more horrific hurricanes. We have upset a very sensitive system of climate on our planet and we don’t really know if we can adapt to changes we have wrought. Time passes. Antarctic past points to sea level threat Evidence of Antarctic ice sheet melting and sea level rise almost 15,000 years ago raises alarm over current climate change dangers. Scientists have identified a fearful lesson from the past. Some 14,700 years ago, the Antarctic continent experienced a warm phase, when ice sheets melted and the global sea level rose by three metres. And they warn that it could happen again, as conditions in the southern ocean that triggered the bygone event are being repeated. Changes in ocean-atmosphere circulation have left the southern ocean stratified − a cold layer at the surface, and a warmer ocean lapping the base of the ice below. And this is making the ice sheets melt more strongly, the scientists say in Scientific Reports journal. “The changes that are currently taking place in a disturbing manner resemble those 14,700 years ago,” says one of the authors, Michael Weber, an expert in paleoclimatology, geology and oceanography at the University of Bonn, Germany. (January 9, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/10/2017 - It’s very troubling to think our federal and state governments may now sow doubt into official Climate Change information. Our official agencies are key in informing the public and the media about clear and present dangers to the American public. Figuring out exactly how we are contributing to Climate Change and how Climate Change is going to affect our future isn’t just important—it’s information we need to exist. There are other resources to find Climate Change information, like my list Global Environmental News, which links to news and media with environmental news all around the world. But it is our government we should be able to trust with critical information about the worldwide crisis of Climate Change and what our official agencies are going to do about it. Everyone should be concerned about how the science of Climate Change is being presented to the public. Endangered Species Under GOP? Climate Change Information on the Web A recent reworking of language concerning climate change on a Wisconsin government website could be replicated under a Trump administration. James Rowen, a longtime Wisconsin journalist and environmental blogger, recently discovered a stark remaking of a state Department of Natural Resources webpage on climate change and the Great Lakes. Until December, the page, dating from the Democratic administration of former Gov. James Doyle, had this headline — “Climate Change and Wisconsin’s Great Lakes” — and a clear description of the state of the science, including this line reflecting the latest federal and international research assessments: “Earth’s climate is changing. Human activities that increase heat-trapping (“green house”) gases are the main cause.” The page described a variety of possible impacts on the lakes and concluded, “The good news is that we can all work to slow climate change and lessen its effects.” Nine hyperlinks led readers to other resources. (January 4, 2017) ProPublica [more on Environmental Education and Climate Change in our area]
1/07/2017 - Find out what coral bleaching is, how it’s connected to Climate Change, and why you should care. Coral Reef Conditions Are About to Get a Lot Worse Thanks to climate change Last year was a devastating one for coral reefs around the globe, but according to new research, it may have been just the tip of the iceberg. A new study published in the journal Nature Scientific Reports shows that coral bleaching—a process that sometimes precedes death where corals lose their color—will affect 99% of reefs each year by the end of the century if current climate change trends continue. “We are going to need to be much more innovative and proactive if we want to see coral reefs thrive into the next century,” says study co-author Gabby Ahmadia, a marine scientist at the World Wildlife Fund (WWF). “Conventional conservation is not going to cut it against the impacts of climate change.” (January 5, 2017) Time [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/07/2017 - Predicting the future climate around the Great Lakes basin won’t be so unpredictable when climate models are factored in. Hint: For a while, as the Arctic warms up, things will get more unpredictable, aka disruptive (lake-effect snow and local flooding). Then, eventually our climate will get predictability warmer—with all the predictable warmer water implicatons, lower lake levels due to less ice and more evaporation, and dramatic changes to our environment in the largest fresh water system in the world. There’s a lot we don’t know about the future climate in the Great Lakes region and there’s a lot we do know. We should plan for life in the Great Lakes region because we already know a lot about Climate Change and the Great Lakes. Time passes. Predicting the unpredictable Great Lakes climate the subject of MTU computer model A Michigan Tech University researcher is leading the effort to create a comprehensive model for the complicated and diverse climate of the Great Lakes region. Pengfei Xue, an associate professor of civil and environmental engineering at Michigan Tech, developed a model combining climate and water models with assistance from Loyola Marymount University, LimnoTech and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration’s Great Lakes Environmental Research Laboratory. (January 5, 2017) The Mining Journal [more on the Great Lakes and Climate Change in our area]
1/07/2017 - I suspect that as more people learn about the threats of plastic pollution in our environment there will be more efforts to ban the use of instant plastic trash—stuff like plastic cutlery, plastic bags, and other things used once and then thrown away. While banning items like instant plastic trash seems unlikely at this point in time, remember that plastic bags didn’t even exist before the 1960’s and now they cover the globe. Also, at some point in the future people will look aghast at photos of plastic pollution in our times and wonder what the heck were we thinking. “They just used this toxic stuff and then they just threw it into the landfills, into their forests and city streets, and into their lakes and rivers? Really?” Campaign could lead to ban on plastic shopping bags in Duluth The global effort to stop plastic shopping bags from lining roadside ditches, choking waterways and filling landfills will blow into Duluth soon if a new group gets its way. Bag it Duluth on Thursday announced a campaign for a city ordinance that would ban thin plastic shopping bags and impose a minimum 5-cent fee on all paper bags distributed within the city. The ban would be phased in over a year to allow retailers and consumers time to adjust. (January 6, 2017) Twin Cities Pioneers Press [more on Recycling and Water Quality in our area]
1/07/2017- Along with Climate Change, the loss of biodiversity threatens our life support system with a loss of resiliency and health it used to have. We should have left large segments of our environment alone back in the day (say 500 years ago) to keep our environment heathy and strong. But we didn’t. Humanity should consider giving back some of the environment we took so we and other species can survive. On one level it seems absurd that humanity would suddenly leave large swaths of land and water completely alone so the plants and animals that help create our environment can do their job. On another level, it seems absurd that we would find it absurd that our environment needs room to function properly. At some point, our attitudes about our environment must get in sync with science. Time passes. A BIOLOGIST'S MANIFESTO FOR PRESERVING LIFE ON EARTH An eminent scientist offers a bold vision for preserving Earth's biodiversity We are playing a global endgame. Humanity's grasp on the planet is not strong; it is growing weaker. Freshwater is growing short; the atmosphere and the seas are increasingly polluted as a result of what has transpired on the land. The climate is changing in ways unfavorable to life, except for microbes, jellyfish, and fungi. For many species, these changes are already fatal. (December 12, 2016) Sierra Magazine [more on Environmental Health in our area]
1/07/2017 - I suspect in the near future there will be a lot more scary climate studies that will indicate possible scenarios that demonstrate a dramatic shift in our climate and the functioning of our environment. We were getting studies decades ago about climate potentialities of Climate Change that turned out to be true. Some didn’t. What has happened over time is that climate scientists are getting better at predicting climate changes and they are doing so as Climate Change is already wreaking the havoc previous studies anticipated. Humanity shouldn’t be sitting around hoping and betting the climate scientist are wrong. Humanity should be trying to stop the warming and prepare for the heat we’ve already put into the system. Time passes. Potential for Collapse of Key Atlantic Current Rises The large, looping Atlantic Ocean current that keeps northwestern Europe fairly warm and influences sea levels along the U.S. coast is a key component of the Earth’s climate system. But because of global warming, it may be more likely to substantially slow down — or even collapse — than previously thought, according to two new studies If that current, called the Atlantic Meridional Overturning Circulation, were to slow down substantially, it could lead to chillier weather in northern and western Europe, starve economically important fisheries and cause waters to rise along the U.S. coast, leading to more so-called “sunny day” flooding and storm surge when hurricanes come ashore. It could also shift tropical rain belts, causing major disruptions to regional climate in Central and South America. The new studies factor in elements that have been missing from previous projections of how likely the collapse of the current is. One study factors in the melting of the Greenland Ice Sheet, which is adding a pulse of freshwater into the North Atlantic, but is difficult to incorporate into current climate models. The other attempts to correct a bias in climate models that underestimates how unstable the AMOC really is. (January 5, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/06/2017 - Insurance companies are not climate scientists. But if they think more extreme weather is associated with Climate Change (attribution), you’d better pay attention. Many people will finally discover the truth behind Climate Change when they can no longer afford home insurance, or think they have adequate insurance and then insurance companies just cannot handle the increase in disasters. U.S. had more floods in 2016 than any year on record 2016 really was the year of the flood in the U.S.: In total, 19 separate floods swamped the nation last year, the most in one single year since records began in 1980. This is according to an analysis by Munich Re, a global reinsurance firm. The worst flood was in August in Louisiana. At least 13 people were killed and roughly 60,000 buildings were destroyed. The disaster cost $10 billion, Munich Re reported, which noted it was the worst natural catastrophe in the U.S. since Hurricane Sandy in 2012. (January 4, 2017) USA Today [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/06/2017 - According to IUCN: International Union for Conservation of Nature, If it wasn’t for the oceans sucking up the heat of human-caused Climate Change “…the surface of the Earth would have warmed by a devastating 36C, rather than 1C, over the past century…” (“Soaring ocean temperature is 'greatest hidden challenge of our generation’” (September 15, 2016, The Guardian) BTW: “Thirty-six degrees Celsius is equal to 96.8 degrees Fahrenheit. So, it should come as no surprise that one of the repercussions of this is “Rising carbon dioxide levels threaten to permanently disrupt vital ocean bacteria”. Climate Change is happening at a very rapid pace and it looks like many of the consequences are going on unseen (like deep in the ocean). Without the aid of expert climate scientists, we wouldn’t notice some of the most profound changes in our environment, our life support system. Science is now under threat because its findings in climate science have been undermined by wrong-headed ideology that is dismissing science when we need it the most. We purposely blind ourselves when we prioritize ideology over science. Project Censored 3. Rising carbon dioxide levels threaten to permanently disrupt vital ocean bacteria Systemic changes associated with global warming threaten human welfare and all life on earth through a multitude of different pathways. These remain largely hidden from public view. One potential pathway — directly dependent on carbon, not temperature — is through the catastrophic overproduction of Trichodesmium bacteria, which could devastate the entire marine food chain in some regions. It lives in nutrient-poor parts of the ocean, where it fixes atmospheric nitrogen into ammonium, an essential nutrient for other organisms — from algae to whales. (January 4, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]