Updated Daily  12/10/2016 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 December 4, 2016 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, December 10, 2016

  • 16 years in the making: Water level plan for Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River approved Green groups and boaters along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario won a huge victory Thursday. The U.S. and Canada approved a new, more natural plan for managing water levels after 16 years of study that cost more than $20 million. It's the first time a new method for managing outflows at the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam has been enacted since the dam was built in the 1950s. The new regime, known as "Plan 2014," more closely mimics the natural ebbs and flows of the water, and is expected to improve northern pike populations and help revive 64,000 acres of wetlands. (WRVO Public Radio {more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8 charts that show the toll climate change will take on Boston City officials this week released a report that included updated projections of how climate change is expected to impact Boston and outlined ways the city can prevent and brace for the potentially devastating effects. “Boston residents are already impacted by extreme heat, rain, snow and flooding,” Austin Blackmon, the city’s chief of environment, energy and open space said in a statement. The report “shows that these trends are expected to continue, and now we have a better understanding of what we need to do to prepare.” (December 8, 2016) Boston Globe [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Statement By A.G. Schneiderman On The Reported Nomination Of Scott Pruitt As Administrator Of The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement on President-elect Trump’s reported intention to nominate Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:   “President-elect Trump’s reported nominee to lead the EPA is a dangerous and unqualified choice. As Attorney General, Scott Pruitt consistently failed to uphold his responsibility to protect our nation’s air and water, instead acting as an agent of the oil and gas industry – at the expense of the American people – every time. (December 7, 2016) NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

  • Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying The Gulf HURRICANE IVAN WOULD not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking. (December 9, 2016) Wired [more on Energy in our area]

 

News Highlight

Some notes on our transportation future                    

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Transportation (26 percent of 2014 greenhouse gas emissions) – Greenhouse gas emissions from transportation primarily come from burning fossil fuel for our cars, trucks, ships, trains, and planes. Over 90 percent of the fuel used for transportation is petroleum based, which includes gasoline and diesel. (EPA, Sources of Greenhouse Gas Emissions)

At a recent public meeting about our transportation future in the Rochester region, I arrived expecting that there wouldn’t be much discussion about Climate Change. My expectations were confirmed, except that I brought up the specter of the link between Climate Change and transportation issues. It only got a respectful but gloomy nod of recognition.

The meeting was the Community Symposium on the Future of Transportation Technology, sponsored by the Genesee Transportation Council. Though I’ve tried to connect the dots between transportation and Climate Change in a couple of leadership capacities (chair of the local Sierra Club’s transportation committee and the Center of Initiatives’ alternative transportation group), I haven’t had much luck. The prevailing zeitgeist about transportation among local officials seems to be: there isn’t much money around to address transportation issues and what money there is has to go for road or bridge repair. As for the need to change attitudes about connecting transportation and Climate Change, fuhgeddaboudit.

To be fair, there has been a lot help getting active transportation (walking and bicycling) moving from local officials. It’s about as much that one would expect from our public servants with little money to leverage and little interest demonstrated by the public for anything other than cars. It’s no secret we really, really like cars and our eyes grow dim when someone mentions alternative transportation. Those eyes grow even dimmer if you mention the most boring word in the English language: infrastructure. (Which reminds me, we did not talk about trolleys, public transportation, or electric buses, or bus mass transit, though someone (in jest) mentioned drones.)

Anyway, I’ve written about local transportation and Climate Change before—Viewing local transportation plans through the lens of Climate Change, Rochester’s transportation system light-years away from Climate Change solutions, Connecting the Climate Change dots on Rochester’s transportation, Active Transportation attitudes in Rochester, NY, We need you on a bike to Greentopia September 17th, Will salmon-cyclists destroy Rochester’s chances for greatness?, Wanna do something about Climate Change in Rochester, NY? (Hint: bike.)--and though this vital link is of critical concern, this particular essay only touches on all that tangentially. The Mathew Effect (where the rich get richer and the poor get poorer) predominated the meeting about our future transportation concerns. This means the rich or well-off will like what the movers and shakers are thinking about our transportation future, while the rest, not so much.

We mostly talked about sensors, connectivity, and Big Data. Sensors are those little electronic gadgets that ‘sense’ a variety of concerns transportation experts use to monitor traffic density, infrastructural integrity, and a lot of other things traffic engineers would tend to care about. ‘Connectivity’ was not used in the touchy-feely sense that drivers may or should have with each other as they barrel down the highway; it is literally how vehicles communicate with each other and transportation infrastructures. Big Data is about the incredible amount of information transportation encompasses—traffic density, road and bridge data, bumps in the road, and that kind of stuff.  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:

  • 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]

  • Energy storage looks promising for Rochester At first glance, they do not look like much: cylinders the size of commercially available watch batteries and foil-wrapped packets the size of cell phone batteries. From small packages, however, the staff of NOHMs Technologies Inc. are working to produce big results.  “We’re a cell manufacturer only to make prototypes,” explains Richard Delmerico, CEO and chief operating officer of the 17-person startup, which is based out of 6,000 feet of laboratory and industrial space within Eastman Business Park. (October 2, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight:

  Community-Wide Climate Action Plan Rochester, NY       

   

The comment period for public comment on Rochester, NY Climate Action Plan (CAP) draft ends on Friday, December 2, 2016. Comments on the draft plan may be emailed to Anne Spaulding at anne.spaulding@cityofrochester.gov.

To the best of my knowledge only two media in Rochester have given press coverage to the CAP, or the draft, or what the draft covers, why our city is producing a CAP, and why it’s important that the public weigh in. What could be more important to city residents than planning properly for the future in such a way where we and our children will survive our warmer future?

This statement from Mayor Warren in the D&C really gets to the heart of the matter (and I wish the rest of Rochester’s media would wake up!)

"Cities must take a leading role in confronting climate change regardless of federal policy," Warren said. "I have no doubt this is what our citizens expect of us and will allow us to lead by example on this critical issue." (from City aims to fight climate change, November 21, 2016, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

Also, this from the City’s web site: “As the City continues to develop the CAP, please stay tuned for the release of the final CAP scheduled for early 2017.”

Climate Action Plans (CAP) are comprehensive road maps that outline efforts that will be undertaken by municipalities and/or communities as a whole to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CAPs build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and generally focus on those activities that can achieve the greatest emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.  

CAPs typically focus on quantifying existing and projected greenhouse gas emissions; establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; identifying and analyzing future greenhouse gas emissions; identifying specific measures that will achieve the emissions targets; and establishing a mechanism to implement the plan and monitor the plan's progress.  

Learn more about the City's CAP and help shape the results.  

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...    

December

  • Saturday December 10, 2016, 9AM - 6:30PM | FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF ROCHESTER, 150 SOUTH CLINTON AVE., ROCHESTER, NY 14604.
    • The REAL Political Revolution Comes to Rochester - Please distribute widely! "Are you frustrated by the current state of American politics?  Angry?  Scared?  Feeling powerless?  Well, prepare for a bold alternative to complaining to your friends over drinks or speeding up the QEW towards Toronto.    Soon you'll have an opportunity to channel your emotional energy towards major political reform. On Saturday December 10, 2016, Democracy Spring, an organization embracing the non-violent methods of MLK and Gandhi, will offer a one-day training session for those motivated to join the democracy revolution.  The immediate organizational goal is to achieve enactment of this suite of democracy enhancing legislation. DEMOCRACY SPRING TRAINING, DECEMBER 10, 2016, 9 AM - 6:30 PM, FIRST UNIVERSALIST CHURCH OF ROCHESTER, 150 SOUTH CLINTON AVE., ROCHESTER, NY 14604. | Excited?  Hopeful?  Please register online here.  Now. The training will be free of charge. Those who can are asked to make a small donation to help defray the facility charge and cost of refreshments (lunch will be served). One-Day Training Agenda: 8:00 am Trainer Setup, 9:00 am Registration, 9:25 am Welcome, Facing the Problem, Break, Story-sharing & Resonating, The Theory of Change, 1:00 pm Lunch, Our Strategy, Democracy Spring Principles, Decision Point, Break, Act, Recruit, Train Cycle, Action Planning, Break, Nonviolent Discipline, Building Local Teams, 6:30 pm Closing. Post training we will come together as a group to get to know each other better and begin to build the mutual trust necessary to successfully employ tactics that will likely result in some of us being arrested.  Please do not be discouraged if your current responsibilities do not allow you to be arrested.  There will be roles for everyone who feels the urgency to act.  Register now.”
  • Tuesday, December 12th 5-8:30PM | Downtown United Presbyterian Church 121 N. Fitzhugh Street, Rochester NY
    • The 17th Annual Celebration of UN International Human Rights Day | Water: RightorCommodity? Rochester’s Future Water & Around the Globe | Our featured panelists will speak to issues on the quality of water for our school children, the impact on poverty and living conditions and international programs teaching the building of sanitation systems in countries without the right to clean water. Potluck Dinner 5:30 to 6:30 Panel & Community Discussion 6:30 to 8:30 PM* *For more information call (585) 271-4796
  • Monday, December 12, 2016 12:00 - 02:30 PM | 259 Monroe Avenue  Rochester, New York 14607
    • Grappling with the Challenging Issues of our Times Mondays, November 28—December 12, 2016 12:00 - 02:30 PM 123 . Where on earth are we going?  And what can we do about it?  What kind of world are we creating? -  and will it work for everyone?  Our world is facing challenges beyond anything we’ve ever experienced in our history.  We face environmental degradation and social injustice, with a cultural sense of emptiness and lack of purpose.  Many are feeling hopeless and powerless to make changes, yet we all agree that we want to create a world that is environmentally sustainable, socially just, and fulfilling for all.  This is a bold vision and it is up to us to help make it happen!  How can we each become an agent of change to heal our world?  This course will use inspiring multimedia, leading edge information, and dynamic group interactions to explore the current state of our lives on this planet from a new perspective and connect with a powerful global movement to reclaim our future. Instructors: Sue Staropoli and Tony Perri; $ 45.00; 3 Sessions; To register see www.oasisnet.org/Rochester  (course #123)
  • Wednesday, December 14 at 6:30 PM - 8:30 PM  400 East Ave, Rochester, New York 14607
    • Years of Living Dangerously Holiday Watch Party This December, an episode of the acclaimed National Geographic Series Years of Living Dangerously will feature the incredible work of Citizens’ Climate Lobby volunteers. Please join CCL and the Rochester People's Climate Coalition for a Watch Party, where we will enjoy the episode and celebrate CCL’s successes! The episode will be preceded by a special introduction from Years cast members Bradley Whitford, Don Cheadle, and climatologist Katherine Hayhoe. This Watch Party will also be a Holiday Party.... Dessert! Discussion! Climate Solutions!  All are welcome... bring a friend! Parking Info: - Parking is in the rear of the building, accessed from Prince Street. See map - Coming from East Ave, turn onto Prince and take the first left into the Pathstone parking lot - Walk up the long brick sidewalk to 400 East Ave (not 404!) , Mary Hanson Room entrance

January 2017

  • evening of Inauguration Day, January 20 | Details of time and location will be available soon.
    • Save the date to help Inaugurate Hope in Rochester! We can no longer wait for Washington to be our source of hope.  These times compel us to unleash a powerful, positive grassroots movement of hope together right where we live.  On the evening of Inauguration Day, January 20, all of those who want to create positive change in our community and our world are being invited to come together to explore ways to embody contagious hope wherever we work, live, volunteer, and interact.  When we come together to inspire, energize, support, and empower each other, we can create the world that needs to emerge, from the ground up.  Details of time and location will be available soon.  This event is being co-sponsored by the Rochester Pachamama Alliance, the Social Justice Committee of the First Unitarian Church and the Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition.  We invite other organizations to join us in co-sponsoring and spreading the word about this “Inaugurating Hope” event! (Contact Sue Staropoli suestar1@rochester.rr.com or 585-734-2816 to co-sponsor or for more information).

 

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: December 2, 2016
    • The comment period for public comment on Rochester, NY Climate Action Plan (CAP) draft ends on Friday, December 2, 2016. Comments on the draft plan may be emailed to Anne Spaulding at anne.spaulding@cityofrochester.gov. To the best of my knowledge only two media in Rochester have given press coverage to the CAP, or the draft, or what the draft covers, why our city is producing a CAP, and why it’s important that the public weigh in. What could be more important to city residents than planning properly for the future in such a way where we and our children will survive our warmer future? This statement from Mayor Warren in the D&C really gets to the heart of the matter (and I wish the rest of Rochester’s media would wake up!) "Cities must take a leading role in confronting climate change regardless of federal policy," Warren said. "I have no doubt this is what our citizens expect of us and will allow us to lead by example on this critical issue." (from City aims to fight climate change, November 21, 2016, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle) Also, this from the City’s web site: “As the City continues to develop the CAP, please stay tuned for the release of the final CAP scheduled for early 2017.”
  • ACTION: December 6, 2016
    • Help Riverkeeper Defeat a Proposal for Increased Crude Transport & Storage on the Hudson River | This from Riverkeeper "I'd like to share this powerful 7-minute film produced by acclaimed filmmaker Jon Bowermaster and ask you for help in elevating this campaign to a national audience.   The maritime industry has requested the Coast Guard establish a significant increase in anchorage grounds on the Hudson River to facilitate an expected increase in transport and storage of crude oil on the Hudson River transloaded from oil trains at Albany and possibly other Hudson River facilities.   The Coast Guard has moved forward with considering the proposal with an Advanced Notice of Proposed Rulemaking. The comment period on the ANPRM ends on December 6th and we are advocating to (1) stop the proposal from moving forward to a Notice of Proposed Rulemaking but if we can't succeed there, (2) require the Coast Guard to conduct a comprehensive environmental impact statement. You can learn more by watching the video or by visiting here.   Assistance from national, regional and local groups sending an e-blast and sharing on social media would give a major boost to our efforts, as this is another major proposal to facilitate the movement of Bakken and tar sands to refineries and for international export. Below I’ve included a sample comment letter your members could submit. "
  • ACTION: Due Date: Dec 30, 2016
    • You have until December 30, 2016 to make public comment on reclassification on areas in Adirondack Park. Think Climate Change. "2016 - 2017 Amendments to the Adirondack Park State Land Master Plan involving the Classification and Reclassification of 54,418 acres of State Lands in the Adirondack Park which include the Boreas Ponds Tract, 32 Additional Classification Proposals, 13 Reclassification Proposals, and 56 Classifications involving map corrections. Public comments will be accepted unitl December 30, 2016.  Email comments to: ClassificationComments@apa.ny.gov Mail comments to: Kathleen Regan, Deputy Route 86, Ray Brook, NY 12977" More on State Land Classification: http://www.apa.ny.gov/
  • ACTION: Due Date: Dec 31, 2016
    • Your postcard today is needed to save New York's geothermal industry!   Ask Governor Cuomo to sign the geothermal tax credit bill (Bill A9925) to keep NY's geothermal jobs from disappearing.   After December 31, 2016, the federal tax credit for geothermal heating and cooling installations will expire, and many of NY's geothermal jobs could disappear. Without a tax credit, most homeowners considering geothermal installations would not make the investment in this renewable home heating and cooling technology. Without a NY tax credit to count on after the federal credit ends, the homebuilders who up to now have been installing geothermal systems as standard building procedure would go back to installing fossil fuel systems, and layoffs in the geothermal industry are already starting. With over 30% of NY's greenhouse gas emissions coming from heating homes and buildings, we have to accelerate the transition to geothermal systems to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and meet NY's climate goals. 
  • 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!
  • 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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  • 12/10/2016 - Rochester is moving quickly towards making Active Transportation (walking and bicycling) a real alternative mode of transportation in our region but we still have a long way to go. Two pedestrian deaths recently highlight how precarious it still is to get around safely. In order to reach our goal to have a walking and bicycle friendly community that will dramatically bring down our greenhouse gases, we need massive public education on reintroducing basic transportation modes into our still dangerous car culture. See: Hit-and-run kills man near Monroe Ave. in Rochester and Pedestrian struck in Greece dies

  • 12/10/2016 - Do we wait until an aging nuclear power plant proves it’s too old and dangerous before we dismantle it? Or do we switch to safe renewable energy now that is in the best interest for the public and our future. Nuclear Plant on Lake Michigan Plans to Permanently Shut Down A nuclear power plant with a recent history of reported leaks and shutdowns is expected to power down permanently in late 2018. Entergy Corporation announced it has agreed to an early termination of its power purchase agreement with Consumers Energy for the Palisades Power Plant in Covert Township, Michigan. The power plant sits on the shore of Lake Michigan, the primary source of drinking water for Chicago area residents. The agreement is subject to regulatory approvals. (December 8, 2016) NBC Chicago [more on Energy in our area]

  • 12/10/2016 - It seems quite likely that increasingly shoreline property owners on lakes and oceans are going to be at odds with the rest of the public when it comes to protecting our environment and addressing Climate Change. This lake level plan for Lake Ontario highlights one aspect of the problem, but we also have very expensive shoreline private properties along the Eastern US shoreline that are going to be inundated with sea level rise and the storms that go with that. Protecting and replacing homes in new danger zones as our climate changes is going to be an increasing burden on us all. Shoreline property owners also tend to push back against the placing of on-and-off shore wind farms—which the rest of the public needs for sufficient renewable energy. If we could go back in time, we probably should not have allowed so much of our shorelines to be bought up by private property because of these critical environmental regions. But we did. Going forward, the most just and fair outcome is to somehow compensate these shoreline property owners for the public’s need to compromise their private ownership near critical battle lines in our efforts to address Climate Change. This is a problem that is not going to go away until the public at large adopts a fair and proper Climate Action Plan that addresses Climate Change at a top level. 16 years in the making: Water level plan for Lake Ontario, St. Lawrence River approved Green groups and boaters along the St. Lawrence River and eastern Lake Ontario won a huge victory Thursday. The U.S. and Canada approved a new, more natural plan for managing water levels after 16 years of study that cost more than $20 million. It's the first time a new method for managing outflows at the Moses-Saunders hydroelectric dam has been enacted since the dam was built in the 1950s. The new regime, known as "Plan 2014," more closely mimics the natural ebbs and flows of the water, and is expected to improve northern pike populations and help revive 64,000 acres of wetlands. (WRVO Public Radio {more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/10/2016 - Look Climate Change is going to affect more than just Boston, which already acknowledges: “The number of very hot days will increase. Sea levels in Boston will continue to rise. Rainfall from storms will increase. The number of heat-related deaths each year in Boston will triple. Stormwater flooding will inundate thousands of structures. Increasingly large sums of money will be lost each year due to flooding damage, interruption of business activity, and other climate change impacts. Thousands of city residents will be affected. Some city neighborhoods will be hit harder than others.” 8 charts that show the toll climate change will take on Boston City officials this week released a report that included updated projections of how climate change is expected to impact Boston and outlined ways the city can prevent and brace for the potentially devastating effects. “Boston residents are already impacted by extreme heat, rain, snow and flooding,” Austin Blackmon, the city’s chief of environment, energy and open space said in a statement. The report “shows that these trends are expected to continue, and now we have a better understanding of what we need to do to prepare.” (December 8, 2016) Boston Globe [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/10/2016 - I stand behind NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman's statement on Trump's choice for EPA new administrator. Statement By A.G. Schneiderman On The Reported Nomination Of Scott Pruitt As Administrator Of The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman issued the following statement on President-elect Trump’s reported intention to nominate Attorney General Scott Pruitt as Administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency:   “President-elect Trump’s reported nominee to lead the EPA is a dangerous and unqualified choice. As Attorney General, Scott Pruitt consistently failed to uphold his responsibility to protect our nation’s air and water, instead acting as an agent of the oil and gas industry – at the expense of the American people – every time. (December 7, 2016) NEW YORK – Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman

  • 12/10/2016 - Looks like our assumptions about the safety of conventional offshore drilling has been wrong too. We need to stop drilling and burning liquid dinosaurs or we’ll end up just like them. Thousands of Invisible Oil Spills Are Destroying The Gulf HURRICANE IVAN WOULD not die. After traveling across the Atlantic Ocean, it stewed for more than a week in the Caribbean, fluctuating between a Category 3 and 5 storm while battering Jamaica, Cuba, and other vulnerable islands. And as it approached the US Gulf Coast, it stirred up a massive mud slide on the sea floor. The mudslide created leaks in 25 undersea oil wells, snarled the pipelines leading from the wells to a nearby oil platform, and brought the platform down on top of all of it. And a bunch of the mess—owned by Taylor Energy—is still down there, covered by tons of silty sediment. Also, twelve years later, the mess is still leaking. (December 9, 2016) Wired [more on Energy in our area]

  • 12/09/2016  - Rather than viewing this new plan to regulate water levels in Lake Ontario as a win or a loss, it would be more helpful as viewing it as a wise movement towards addressing Climate Change. The Great Lakes (which, of course, includes Lake Ontario) is going to be profoundly affected by Climate Change, eventually losing a lot of water because of evaporation. In the meantime, we should be prioritizing the needs of the public at large (not just shoreline property owners, who could be compensated in some way or another) to address Climate Change by adopting plans like this so that our natural environment—wetlands and shorelines—can help buffer the local consequences of a changing environment. Controversial plan for Lake Ontario approved A bi-national agency has adopted a controversial new plan to regulate water levels in Lake Ontario and the St. Lawrence River: 16 years after it started developing it. And one federal representative is already vowing to fight it.  The International Joint Commission announced this afternoon that it approved Plan 2014, albeit an amended version.  The plan first needed approval from the executive branches of the US and Canadian governments, which it recently received. It lays out criteria for determining how much water passes through Moses-Saunders Dam, which bridges Cornwall, Ontario, and Massena, New York, between the lake and the river. The plan allows for more variation in Lake Ontario water levels, which scientists as well as environmental, conservation, and sportsmen's groups say is crucial to restore degraded shoreline ecosystems and habitat. Coastal wetlands in particular will benefit, since the current plan, which was adopted in 1958, led to artificially high water levels. The high levels exacerbated erosion and encouraged the overgrowth of cattails in wetlands. (December 8, 2016) Rochester City Newspaper [more on the Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/09/2016 - The Washington Post article on the relationship between Climate Change and diseases is spot on. Our media needs to do much more to spread the message from scientists that Climate Change is going to have a profound effect on public health—especially in the spreading of diseases. Our local public health officials also need to do much more in helping the public to understand how Climate Change and our public health our related. Too much of the public’s view of Climate Change is based on opinion and not on science. Our recent election results prove this point. Science just gave us more proof that destroying the environment can spread diseases to humans In a new study, scientists have demonstrated — yet again — the alarming effects of environmental change on the spread of infectious disease. It’s the latest link in a long chain of research suggesting that deforestation and other land-use changes can be major drivers of everything from malaria to the Zika virus, which the World Health Organization recently noted is a public health threat that’s “here to stay.” Many previous studies have focused on how changes to the environment can create landscapes that are more suitable for disease-carrying organisms, like mosquitoes, or bring them into closer contact with humans. For instance, research suggests that deforestation in Malaysia has brought human communities closer to forest-dwelling macaques — and now, people in these communities are starting to come down with a form of malaria usually found only in monkeys. And another study found that dams in South Africa, which can create standing water for mosquitoes to breed in, have caused a spike in malaria rates. (December 8, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 12/09/2016 - Important event coming up which needs co-sponsors: Inaugurating Hope event - Jan 20 “These times compel us to unleash a powerful, positive grassroots movement of hope right where we live.  On the evening of Inauguration Day, January 20, all of those who want to create positive change in our community and our world are invited to gather from 7 to 9 PM at the First Unitarian Church at 220 Winton Rd. South. It is our plan to explore ways to embody contagious hope wherever we are.  When we inspire, energize, support, and empower each other, we can create the world that needs to emerge, from the ground up.  We hope that you are able to respond positively to this proposal.  Please send back the form below to Sue Staropoli either by mail before December 16.  Make checks out to "Sue Staropoli", with "Inaugurating Hope" on the memo line.  Contact Sue Staropoli suestar1@rochester.rr.com or 585-734-2816 for more information).” Click here for the co-sponsor form.

  • 12/09/2016 - From our friends in Australia, this is an important message about the Paris Agreement: “Pull your weight, the world will be watching.” Yes, the recently ratified Paris Agreement by almost 200 nations doesn’t have the force of law, but it does have tattletale rights. Peer pressure among nations could have a lot of clout in bringing down our planet’s temperature. The Paris Agreement explained You have no doubt been hearing a lot about the Paris Agreement and know that it pertains to climate change, but are too embarrassed at this stage to ask for an simple explanation of what it's all about. That's where we come in. Here's an simple explanation of what it's all about. First, you need to know what came before the Paris Agreement. (December 9, 2016) ABC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/08/2016 - Even meteorologists are now getting pissed about misrepresenting Climate Change. Great freaking video on getting weather science right. Note to Breitbart: Earth Is Not Cooling, Climate Change Is Real and Please Stop Using Our Video to Mislead Americans Global warming is not expected to end anytime soon, despite what Breitbart.com wrote in an article published last week. Though we would prefer to focus on our usual coverage of weather and climate science, in this case we felt it important to add our two cents — especially because a video clip from weather.com (La Niña in Pacific Affects Weather in New England) was prominently featured at the top of the Breitbart article. Breitbart had the legal right to use this clip as part of a content-sharing agreement with another company, but there should be no assumption that The Weather Company endorses the article associated with it. (December 6, 2016) The Weather Channel [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/08/2016 - Trump decides to put a very hungry fox in charge of the henhouse and we hens are very nervous. There’s a profound conflict between foxes and hens whose world outlook is fundamentally different. So much so that any chance of living together in harmony is vanishingly small. Trump Picks Scott Pruitt, Climate Change Denialist, to Lead E.P.A. President-elect Donald J. Trump has selected Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general and a close ally of the fossil fuel industry, to run the Environmental Protection Agency, signaling Mr. Trump’s determination to dismantle President Obama’s efforts to counter climate change — and much of the E.P.A. itself. Mr. Pruitt, a Republican, has been a key architect of the legal battle against Mr. Obama’s climate change policies, actions that fit with the president-elect’s comments during the campaign. Mr. Trump has criticized the established science of human-caused global warming as ahoax, vowed to “cancel” the Paris accord committing nearly every nation to taking action to fight climate change, and attacked Mr. Obama’s signature global warming policy, the Clean Power Plan, as a “war on coal.” Mr. Pruitt has been in lock step with those views. (December 7, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 12/08/2016 - As Climate Change worsens the 'protection gap' widens. Insurance companies will be overwhelmed by payouts from increasing weather-related disasters caused by Climate Change forcing them to keep raising insurance premiums or dropping customers altogether. It’s not hopeless if the world begins adapting quickly to the storm ahead.     "Mark Carney, the governor of the Bank of England, warns in the new report that: “Over time, the adverse effects of climate change could threaten economic resilience and financial stability [and] insurers are currently at the forefront.”" Climate change threatens ability of insurers to manage risk Extreme weather is driving up uninsured losses and insurers must use investments to fund global warming resilience, says study The ability of the global insurance industry to manage society’s risks is being threatened by climate change, according to a new report. The report finds that more frequent extreme weather events are driving up uninsured losses and making some assets uninsurable. The analysis, by a coalition of the world’s biggest insurers, concluded that the “protection gap” – the difference between the costs of natural disasters and the amount insured – has quadrupled to $100bn (£79bn) a year since the 1980s. (December 7, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/07/2016 - Besides a quickly melting Arctic, the Amazon rainforest (another major ecosystem and feature of our planet) is both changing and being changed by Climate Change. Both the Arctic and Amazon rainforests have important feedback effects on our climate and both host invaluable biota within their boundaries. If both these features of our planet fail it will be more than sad; it will be like the two front tires on your car falling away as you are barreling down the highway. Destruction of the Amazon is speeding up — just when the planet can least afford it Brazil’s National Institute for Space Research, or INPE, released new data on the ongoing deforestation of the country’s portion of the Amazon rainforest this week, based on satellite measurements. And the news is very bad. From August of 2015 through July of this year, the enormous forest lost nearly 8,000 square kilometers of area to clear cutting, representing a 29 percent increase over a year earlier (when 6,207 square kilometers were lost). That’s an area considerably larger than the state of Delaware. This means that since 2012, when deforestation hit a historic low after many years at high rates, it is now bouncing back again — and doing so at a time when researchers say protecting tropical forests, and allowing them to regrow, is one of the most effective short-term ways of fighting climate change. (December 2, 2016) 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.

  • 12/07/2016 - I guess some may be comforted by the word “may” in this sentence “… a swiftly warming Arctic may have profound effects on global weather.” I see no comfort in the possibility, actually the probability, that one of the planet’s major ecosystems and features of our climate is soon to be wacked. As innocuous as a ‘wobbling jet stream’ may sound to some, this phenomenon could be the difference between mild winters here or major winters. Or winters we’ve never experienced before. Upsetting a giant, like our planet’s climate, is not likely to be good. An Unusually Warm Arctic Year:  Sign of Future Climate Turmoil? This year will almost certainly go down as the warmest on record in the Arctic, with autumn temperatures soaring 36 degrees F above normal. In a Yale e360 interview, climatologist Jennifer Francis explains why a swiftly warming Arctic may have profound effects on global weather. (December 5, 2016) Environment 360 [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 12/06/2016 - It’s interesting to note that the landscape just before Trump’s ascendency for addressing Climate Change by reducing fossil fuel infrastructures projects is hopeful. What comes after is not ‘anyone’s guess.’ What comes after depends on the stance of ideologies for the fossil fuel industry and the commitment of those behind science and a sustainable future. What is horrible is that battling for our future at this time is like fighting over the steering wheel on the Lusitania. We may wrestle away the steering from those intent on colliding with the iceberg. But, as it is with large ocean-going ships, a change in direction must occur long before avoiding the actual disaster. Time passes. It's Not Just Dakota Access. Many Other Fossil Fuel Projects Delayed or Canceled, Too A combination of market forces and strong public opposition has led to a wave of infrastructure projects being shelved altogether or delayed. Additional canceled projects have been added to the list of shelved fossil fuel infrastructure plans. These include Shell Puget Sound Refinery's expansion and Targa's oil terminal. The Oregon LNG project and pipeline, which had been rejected by local authorities, have also been canceled. The Dakota Access pipeline, which has been in flux, is currently delayed. The U.S. Army Corps of Engineers denied a permit for the pipeline to cross Lake Oahe near the Standing Rock Sioux Reservation, pending a review of possible new routes and a more thorough environmental impact review. (December 5, 2016) Inside Climate News [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area] 

  • 12/06/2016 - I suspect that it will be popular to chip away at climate science at every ill-perceived opportunity in the next several years in the media. If the public truly wishes to have a sustainable future and be informed accurately about Climate Change, they are going to have to focus on credible science sources and move away from politics as their facts base. Because of the recent elections we are going to have to revisit every climate denying misstatement scientists already have corrected. And while the truth will win, we will ultimately lose because the seed of doubt about the veracity of science continues to be sown during at time with massive action is needed most. News Report on Global Temperatures Is Wrong, Scientists Say Scientists on Friday debunked a widely circulated news media report suggesting that recent record-high global temperatures were unrelated to climate change. The report, which first appeared in The Mail on Sunday and was summarized in Breitbart News, the right-wing opinion and news site, cited incomplete data and drew incorrect conclusions, the scientists said. Federal and international agencies have said that 2016 will likely be the hottest year on record, eclipsing the record set last year. In its report, The Mail on Sunday cited a recent decline in temperatures over land since the weather phenomenon known as El Niño ended this year, and said that El Niño, and not climate change, was responsible for the record heat. (December 2, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/06/2016 - Despite the rise of renewable energy in New York State the life-threatening tentacles of dangerous fossil-fuel infrastructures still grows. Find out about some of these projects and how to shut them down. Fighting the Flow of Crude: New Opportunities in New York Over the past four years, the Sierra Club, along with our partners, has been fighting the mass transportation of crude oil through New York State via railcars, oil barges, tar-sands delivery infrastructure and pipelines. While the fight has largely centered on the Port of Albany, where North Dakota Bakken crude is transferred from railcars to river barges — the impact of this dangerous oil transport has been felt in almost every major city in upstate NY and along some of the state’s most important waterways. What has made this campaign especially difficult is the primacy that the petroleum industry and railroads have enjoyed over state and local laws, stymying public efforts to protect our communities from derailments, spills and catastrophic explosions — like the explosion and firestorm in Lac-Mégantic, Quebec, that killed forty-seven people and leveled an entire downtown area. [Sierra Atlantic Newsletter Volume 44, Fall 2016 Sierra Atlantic ]

  • 12/06/2016 - Have recent studies confirmed “…the first detection of a biological impact from climate change on the Great Lakes ecosystem… ’’? Only some more studies will know for sure? If true, this means there’s already a change at the very base of the food web. Climate Change is complicated and its effect will be comprehensive. It’s been predicted by climate studies that the Great Lakes, the largest fresh water system in the world, will be affected but we still know how it will play out. Studies like this one show how critical it is for the public to push for more funding for scientists so they can monitor the effects of Climate Change on our environment. We know Climate Change is happening, we know we are causing this Climate Change, but we don’t know all the implications. This lack of knowledge is not a good thing. Algae growth is first documented biological impact of warmer Lake Superior Scientists have known for years that Lake Superior and other Great Lakes have warmed rapidly in recent decades and now, for the first time, they have documented the first physical impacts of that warming — an explosion of a tiny algae called cyclotella. That’s the finding of a new study published Friday in the journal Limnology and Oceanography. “This is the first detection of a biological impact from climate change on the Great Lakes ecosystem,’’ said Euan Reavie, paleolimnology specialist for UMD’s Natural Resources Research Institute, one of nine scientists from six states and provinces who collaborated on the project. (December 5, 2016) Duluth News Tribune [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/06/2016 - Although local officials predict a drop on Rochester’s population, I say otherwise. I see a dramatic increase in our city’s population due to Climate Change refugees. Rochester offers an oasis of sorts for Climate Change because the consequences of warming won’t be so dramatic as they will be in other regions; we have lots of old manufacturing infrastructures, like the Erie Canal, plenty of fresh water (that won’t be Fracked); we have plenty of farming regions to grow more food, and much more to offer a refuges from a world in crisis. If we plan properly and stoke down the inclination towards xenophobia towards others who are different from us, Rochester can be a beacon of hope. Climate Change Will Stir ‘Unimaginable’ Refugee Crisis | Climate change is set to cause a refugee crisis of “unimaginable scale,” according to senior military figures, who warn that global warming is the greatest security threat of the 21st century and that mass migration will become the “new normal”. The generals said the impacts of climate change were already factors in the conflicts driving a current crisis of migration into Europe, having been linked to the Arab Spring, the war in Syria and the Boko Haram terrorist insurgency. Military leaders have long warned that global warming could multiply and accelerate security threats around the world by provoking conflicts and migration. They are now warning that immediate action is required. (December 4, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/06/2016 - Media should be clarifying future risks from Climate Change so we can prepare properly. But it is the job of the media to “alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future”? For one, a single study cannot provide a proper case of what is to be expected from Climate Change—especially one that might lull the public into thinking that Climate Change won’t be so bad. There are so many variables associated with Climate Change, including how people will react to climate disturbance, ecosystem changes, and many more unknown unknowns, that the only rational response to this worldwide crisis is hope for the best but expect the worst. That is, plan as urgently and energetically as possible to a worldwide phenomenon that is fraught will insufficient information in the sense that we are only beginning to understand the implications of what it means to warm an entire planet very quickly.  There will be studies on Climate Change coming to public awareness daily and the job of the media shouldn’t be trying to bake in false hope each time a single study leans towards dismissing the urgency of this crisis. Climate change will drive stronger, smaller storms in US The effects of climate change will likely cause smaller but stronger storms in the United States, according to a new framework for modeling storm behavior developed at the University of Chicago and Argonne National Laboratory. Though storm intensity is expected to increase over today's levels, the predicted reduction in storm size may alleviate some fears of widespread severe flooding in the future. The new approach, published today in Journal of Climate, uses new statistical methods to identify and track storm features in both observational weather data and new high-resolution climate modeling simulations. When applied to one simulation of the future effects of elevated atmospheric carbon dioxide, the framework helped clarify a common discrepancy in model forecasts of precipitation changes. (December 5, 2016) PHYS.org [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/05/2016 - While it’s important to know how hot individual cities like Rochester get with Climate Change so we can plan and adapt responsibly, let’s not forget that Climate Change is not just about US. Climate Change is a worldwide phenomenon affecting us all. We lose both morally and physically when we allow others to succumb to the heat—for it will eventually be upon us all if we don’t act together. How Much Warmer Was Your City in 2015? Scientists declared that 2015 was Earth’s hottest year on record. In a database of 3,116 cities provided by AccuWeather, about 90 percent of them were warmer than normal. Enter your city in the field below to see how much warmer it was last year. (February 19, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/05/2016 - What can Rochester, NY learn about the US DOT’s Smart City Challenge to move our transportation system into the future? Sure, a city needs a lot of money to move ahead quickly with new transportation technologies and maybe Columbus is showing the way in that direction. We also can do much without a lot of money—building active transportation (walking and bicycling) infrastructure and education, and education, and education—to make our transportation more just, more convenient, more useful to everyone in Rochester—not just those lusting for autonomous vehicles. Smart City Challenge "About The Challenge The USDOT has pledged up to $40 million (funding subject to future appropriations) to one city to help it define what it means to be a “Smart City “and become the country’s first city to fully integrate innovative technologies – self-driving cars, connected vehicles, and smart sensors – into their transportation network."

  • 12/04/2016 - We need feedback in the form of scientific instruments (satellites) and scientists to interpret them so we can see and make informed plans about adapting to Climate Change.  We need good and accurate feedback, not bad, crazy feedback. 5 Fascinating Google Earth Time-Lapse Videos Show 32 Years of Climate Change | Google Earth has added four years of new data along with high-resolution satellite imagery to its time-lapse feature, which is available to anyone who wants to see how the planet has changed since 1984. You'll see glaciers receding, cities growing and lakes shrinking. Satellite data now ranges from 1984 to 2016 and includes more than 5 million satellite images from the past 32 years by five different satellites. Most of the images come from Landsat 8. Launched by NASA in 2013, it orbits 438 miles above the Earth, imaging the entire planet every 16 days. Additional images come from Sentinel-2, launched in 2015 by the European Space Agency to provide environmental monitoring. (December 4, 2016) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/03/2016 - Been feeling bewildered and confused and anxious about Trump’s anti addressing Climate Change win? Check this episode of Warm Regards. Climate anxiety in the Trump era It’s been a long week and a half. We’re still processing everything that’s happening, just like all of you. We might never understand it, but it’s clear the consequences for the climate are immediate and have already begun. This week’s episode will be a little bit different. We’ve recorded three separate interviews with leaders on the environment, and asked them what they’re doing in response to the election results. We’ve also asked them what we can do. (Warm Regards)

  • 12/03/2016 - As the US loses its way on addressing Climate Change, how will the world respond? Germany makes climate change G20 priority Agenda for Hamburg summit submitted by chancellor Angela Merkel to cabinet calls for global push on climate and development goals Securing the world against the challenges posed by climate change will be one of the central pillars of its G20 presidency1, the German government has said. On Wednesday it released its first policy guide to the Hamburg summit, which is scheduled for July 2017. That statement listed global warming among only a few headline issues it wants discussed. “One main concern is to make progress on realising the goals of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on climate change,” reads a line in the G20 agenda, which chancellor Angela Merkel presented to her cabinet. (December 1, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/03/2016 - Our infrastructures are our now our species life’s blood as we have come to depend on these services to keep our communities alive. Just imagine how Climate Change has and will continue to affect just some of our infrastructures--electric grid, bridges, pipelines, railroads, airports, ports and inland waterways—and how not maintaining them and not making them more robust for the consequences of Climate Change—more heat, more flooding, and more drought--will affect our lives and ability to survive. If we have more people (9 billion by 2050 and up to 12 billion by 2100) and they move to urban areas (most of humanity ((66%)) will live in urban areas by 2050), then we must gear up all our infrastructure (of which the ones that I mentioned above are but a sample) to withstand Climate Change. Maintaining and adapting our infrastructures are role of our government and cannot be replaced by the private sector or the free market. I know, this is just the argument that is present political heresy and is even more unlikely to attract people to address Climate Change—until their infrastructures break down. Time passes.  Six maps that show the anatomy of America’s vast infrastructure President-elect Donald Trump's plan to invest about $550 billion in new infrastructure projects across the country was a central theme in his campaign. “We’re going to rebuild our infrastructure, which will become, by the way, second to none. And we will put millions of our people to work as we rebuild it,” Trump said. Details are still murky, but it appears that the plan will rely on tax credits to spur private investment. The maps you are about to see show the massive scope of America’s infrastructure using data from OpenStreetMap and various government sources. They provide a glimpse into where that half-trillion dollars may be invested. (December 1, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/03/2016 - The health of our soils are critical during Climate Change for growing food and trees and also for holding carbon dioxide as a sink. But it’s appearing that more warming in the atmosphere stimulates soil to release more carbon. Instead of soils holding and sequestering more greenhouse gases they would be adding another positive feedback loop of warming. “O, what a tangled web we weave when first we practise to deceive ...” ourselves that we could put off addressing Climate Change for so long. Scientists have long feared this ‘feedback’ to the climate system. Now they say it’s happening At a time when a huge pulse of uncertainty has been injected into the global project to stop the planet’s warming, scientists have just raised the stakes even further. In a massive new study published Wednesday in the influential journal Nature, no less than 50 authors from around the world document a so-called climate system “feedback” that, they say, could make global warming considerably worse over the coming decades. That feedback involves the planet’s soils, which are a massive repository of carbon due to the plants and roots that have grown and died in them, in many cases over vast time periods (plants pull in carbon from the air through photosynthesis and use it to fuel their growth). It has long been feared that as warming increases, the microorganisms living in these soils would respond by very naturally upping their rate of respiration, a process that in turn releases carbon dioxide or methane, leading greenhouse gases. (November 30, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/02/2016 - From all apparent signs it looks like we are entering the climate danger zone very quickly. It’s looking less likely that we’ll be able to adapt to the consequences of Climate Change and it looks less likely that we’ll bring down the temperatures. The danger zone, where we lose the ability to address Climate Change, looms. Time passes. What You Should Know About Trump’s Cabinet & Climate As President-elect Donald Trump continues to round out his cabinet and White House staff, his policies and priorities are coming more into focus. All indications so far point to a bleak future for addressing climate change, or even recognizing it as one of the world’s largest challenges. A number of his cabinet nominees, political appointees and closest advisors are outright climate deniers while others have funded the denial of climate change or are lukewarm on accepting the science. (November 30, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]