Updated Daily  7/27/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

Watch this short video about addressing Climate Change from friend and dedicated advocate for strong action on Climate Change. Paul’s message, the importance of showing up and demonstrating that you care about our people and our planet, will get you moving. Imagine if we all felt and ACTED towards our life support system as Paul. RT. Please make Paul’s message go viral. #StandUpForScience  #climatechangeshealth  ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange

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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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.

CheckerRecent Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2: July 23:   407.22 ppm (from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter July 23, 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 - Thursday, July 27, 2017

  • Has the Moment for Environmental Justice Been Lost? Facing Trump’s proposals for cutting programs that help minorities and the poor, Democrats scramble to make up for missed opportunities to protect them. Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. This tiny corner of the EPA was established 24 years ago to advocate for minorities and the poor, populations most likely to face the consequences of pollution and least able to advocate for themselves. It does so by acting as a middleman, connecting vulnerable communities with those who can help them. It heads a group that advises EPA officials about injustices and another that brings together representatives from other federal agencies and the White House to swap proposals. When it works, all the talk leads to grants, policies and programs that change lives. (July 24, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change and Environmental health in our area]

  • AAA offering road side service to bicyclists Starting soon, AAA won’t just be helping you behind the wheel; it will be lending a hand to those behind the handlebars as well. It is every bike rider’s biggest fear. You’re out riding your bike and you look down to see you have a flat tire. What do you do? Who doesn’t love a good bike ride when the sun is shining? “I try to go three of four times a week.” Bonnie Germain says it’s a great way to stay active and take in some nature. On Wednesday, she’s riding at the Corning Preserve – one of her favorite spots. (JUly 26, 2017) RochesterFirst.com [more on Trasnportation in our area]

  • Cities set the pace on fighting poverty, climate change but who will pay? NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Fast-growing cities will determine how the world manages to fight poverty, disease and climate change in coming decades but increased resilience is likely to come with a hefty price tag, said urban development experts. While cities are poised to benefit from technological innovation, tackling crippling inequality is crucial to help cope with shocks and stresses which are set to rise alongside urban populations, said experts at a New York summit organized by the Rockefeller Foundation-backed 100 Resilient Cities. "The way we design food systems, community health systems, economies that create opportunities across the socio-economic spectrum and public infrastructure... will very much define how the world performs in the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, inequality and against climate change," said Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. (July 25, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Great Lakes waters threaten Beluga whales Great Lakes pollutants threaten a special population of beluga whales. Their chemical structures figure prominently in a picture artist Eric Gajewski recently drew to illustrate the plight of the mammals living in the St. Lawrence River. “Water is such a sacred thing—that it can also be so toxic and poisonous seems to go against a life law,” said Gajewski, an environmental studies doctoral student at York University in Toronto, Ontario. The water draining from the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence and into the ocean contain a toxic stew that may contribute to a recent rise in the number of whales that die shortly after giving birth, scientists say. (July 26, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • Is Extreme Heat the New Normal? The Real News team spoke with first responders and science and medial experts in Arizona, where high temperatures have grounded planes and significantly increased health emergencies (july 26, 2016) The Real News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

News Highlight

Just how urgent is addressing Climate Change?           

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Some say Climate Change is all a hoax; some say it’s too late; some say it’s very urgent but not hopeless.

Carbon dioxide must be removed from the atmosphere to avoid extreme climate change, say scientists One of the first scientists to warn of the dangers of climate change, Professor Jim Hansen, warns the 's*** is hitting the fan' Humans must start removing carbon dioxide from the atmosphere as soon as possible to avoid saddling future generations with a choice between extreme climate change or spending hundreds of trillions of dollars to avoid it, according to new research. An international team of researchers – led by Professor Jim Hansen, Nasa’s former climate science chief – said their conclusion that the world had already overshot targets to limit global warming to within acceptable levels was “sufficiently grim” to force them to urge “rapid emission reductions”. But they warned this would not be enough and efforts would need to be made to reduce the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere by about 12.5 per cent. (July 19, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

I suspect communicating Climate Change is going to change as it becomes warmer and one’s audience changes. (You probably don’t want to tell a class of 6th graders that “the 's*** is hitting the fan'”.) 

Four recent articles suggest where communicating this crisis messaging might be going:

1.       Short Answers to Hard Questions About Climate Change (July 6, 2017) New York Times

2.       The Uninhabitable Earth, Annotated Edition The facts, research, and science behind the climate-change article that explored our planet’s worst-case scenarios. By David Wallace-Wells (July 14, 2017) New York Magazine.

3.       Don’t Panic, Do Act: A Climate Resource With Real Solutions By Mark Tercek, President & CEO, The Nature Conservancy (July 14, 2017) The Huffington Post

4.       Doomsday scenarios are as harmful as climate change denial By Michael E. Mann, Susan Joy Hassol and Tom Toles (July 12, 2017) The Washington Post

Climate Change isn’t an issue, it’s our reality

I don’t think anyone has a real handle on the best way to communicate Climate Change because it’s so complicated and divisive. Predictions (educated guesses) are necessary because we need to plan, but they can be very bleak. And, with the election of Trump, climate denial has been given a new (monstrous) life that must be resisted at every unsustainable twist.

Climate Change communicators should bake indicators (like the amount of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere) and other climate gages into their messaging. Keeping the public on track that Climate Change isn’t an issue, but our new reality, can be consistently validated with the latest objective information on where we are at any given point in this crisis.  

The EPA in 2016, just before Pruitt arrived on the scene, published their most recent report “Climate Change Indicators in the United States”. (It still looks valid.) Other governments and organizations are probably publishing their Climate Change indicators too. We need all the environmental feedback we can get.

Rather than prioritizing optimism or pessimism, it would be more useful for communicators to keep humanity informed on how our planet is actually responding to the warming.

If we don’t keep exact track of the indicators of Climate Change, many of our efforts will be delusional—making our efforts to communicate this crisis delusional as well. Time passes.  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:

  • Company to open nation's largest hydroponic greenhouse in Rochester A company is set to open what Governor Cuomo's office says will be the biggest commercial hydroponic facility in the nation in Rochester. The governor says Clearwater Organic Farms  will build a 15 acre, 650,000 square-foot facility at Eastman Business Park, creating 137 new jobs. About half of those positions will be reserved for veterans and the unemployed, the state says. The project is expected to be completed by the end of the year. "The new Clearwater Organic Farms facility will drive innovation, create jobs for New Yorkers who need them most, and bolster economic growth throughout the region," Governor Cuomo said in a release. "Our economic strategy continues to generate new activity, attract high-growth industries to the region and build momentum to move the Finger Lakes forward." (May 10, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Plants and Food and Green Business in our 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]

Event Highlight:

Sierra Club President Gives Powerful Address on Environmentalism and Intersectionality    

July 11, 6:30 -8 PM.

Carlson Commons, 70 Corretta Scott Xing Rochester, NY 14608

Important public event in Rochester coming up on intersectionality of issues of social injustice with environmentalism "Sierra Club President Gives Powerful Address on Environmentalism and Intersectionality Carlson Commons, 70 Corretta Scott Xing Rochester, NY 14608, July 11, 6:30 -8 PM.

On April 20 this year, the first African American president of the Sierra Club. Aaron Mair came to Rochester to the New Bethel. CME church to talk about the history of the Sierra Club. People who attended were spell-bound by the depth and breadth of what Aaron shared in a short time, and many regretted that more people in our community did not have the chance to hear it.

Others who were there said they wanted a chance to hear it again as he packed so many ideas in so quickly. Come watch the video and experience his powerful address! Learn some astonishing details about how the largest environmental organization began, its history of racism, and his amazing courage and activism that is helping to change the organization.

In his words, he wants to help the Sierra Club to be "a more welcoming environment for all people, regardless of their race or socio-economic status." He makes it clear that environmental organizations must understand the intersectionality of issues of social injustice with environmentalism to ensure success in the future. After the video, there will be time for questions and discussion on how to move forward with intersectionality to address problems in Rochester.

(This event is brought to you by collaboration of the Sierra Club, PLEX (Plymouth Exchange Neighborhood Assoc., BHEIRS (Building Healthy External/Internal Relationships Steadfastly), and the Pachamama Alliance of Rochestser) FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC. Questions? Call 585-820-2018 or sierraclub.rrg@gmail.com  

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...    

August 2017

  • August 4, 6-8 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564
    • "Forest Health in New York" and Potluck Supper  August 4, 6-8 PM, Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor 14564 (near Powder Mills Park)   Many insects are adversely affecting native trees and shrubs around the state. Kevin Farrell of the Genesee Land Trust will talk about the impact of these pests and other threats to forest health, as well as what we can do to help. A potluck supper will proceed the program. Bring a table setting and a dish to pass.  facebook.com/pg/banc.roc/events
  • August 7-11, 2017 Nazareth College, Golisano Academic Center, Room 233 from 1:00PM-8:00PM
    • Global Citizenship Immersion: Building Skills and Knowledge for a Diverse World (For high school students) August 7-11, 2017 Nazareth College, Golisano Academic Center, Room 233 from 1:00PM-8:00PM This week-long academic immersion program is designed for students in grades 9 through 12 but open to college freshman also.For details, please go to our website: The last date for registration is July 20, 2017, registration fee is $95.00 includes refreshments and suppers. To register, email: cisd@naz.edu or call:(585) 389-2963 Contact Nora Bradbury Haehl" <norabradbury@gmail.com>  the program coordinator for any question. Please circulate it to your friends and students.
  • Monday Aug 7th to Friday Aug 11, 2017, 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm Nazareth College Golisano Academic Center Room #  235 Registration Information (Deadline July 20, 2017)
    • Interfaith Immersion with concentration on leadership Skills and Conflict Management. A week-long non-credit certificate course with spiritual journeys to places of worship. Monday Aug 7th to Friday Aug 11, 2017, 1:30 pm to 8:30 pm Nazareth College Golisano Academic Center Room #  235 Registration Information (Deadline July 20, 2017): Program Fee: $179.00 which includes suppers and visits to places of worship. This week long interfaith course is designed for professionals, business managers, teachers, religious leaders, and social workers for cultural and religious diversity training. Please email Rev. Gordon Webster: revgvw@gmail.com  is the program coordinator for any question. Register by email: interfaith@naz.edu or call: (585) 389-2963. for program details, see: here Limited number of scholarships are available. Please write  a check to Nazareth College, Hickey Center and mail it to my attention on the College address.

September 2017

  • September 16th 10am to 6pm | 353 Court St, Rochester, NY 14607
    • The first annual Rochester VegFest is coming September 16th, 2017, to downtown Rochester at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park. Featuring: Lots of great food! Kids Activities! Speakers! Films! Yoga! Cooking Demos! Beauty Products! Nonprofits! Free street parking on Saturdays! All events and speakers are subject to change. Suggested donation $3 per adult 18 and over. Free gift bags to the first 100 people who donate $3 or more! Hours: 10am to 6pm Address: 353 Court St, Rochester, NY 14607 Don’t miss anything!  Sign up for email updates.  Follow us on Facebook and Twitter. Want to help support the VegFest?  You can be an Individual Sponsor or a Volunteer.

 

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

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

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

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



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

Green Action.

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

  • ACTION: Due Date: 5:00 p.m. on July 21, 2017
    • Think Fracking (which NYS banned on June 29, 2015) waste should be allowed in our NYS landfills? Make comment by 5:00 p.m. on July 21, 2017. We banned Fracking for good reasons, including the threats to our water and land and public health. So, why would we accept Fracking waste from other states? Seems kinda counterproductive. NYS Exposed: Fracking waste dumped in Finger Lakes landfill Hundreds of trucks roll into the Seneca Meadows landfill in Seneca Falls every day, dumping your garbage. But environmental advocates say, for years, trucks carried construction debris straight from Pennsylvania fracking sites. "The concerns are that they can contain the hundreds of chemicals that are used during the process, some of these chemicals are known or suspected carcinogens," says Liz Moran, Environmental Advocates of New York. (June 27, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: July 24, 2017
    • With this extension to July 24, 2017 to make public comment you can make sure the cleanup at one of Rochester’s most industrially polluted sites gets done so to the highest standard—not just what can be squeezed out of other parties. Please make comment on this issue so that this local polluted Brownfield gets best and most thorough cleanup possible to make our neighborhoods and environment safe. For some background on this issue, check out the City of Rochester’s website VACUUM OIL BROWNFIELD CLEANUP PROGRAM | Public Comment Period Extended About Proposed Cleanup of Contamination at Site on Flint St., Rochester Note: the public comment period has been extended through July 24, 2017. The following link opens a fact sheet that invites the public to comment on a proposed remedy to address contamination related to the 5 & 15 Flint Street Site #C828162 (Rochester, Monroe Co.) within New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program: here. NYSDEC is now accepting public comments about the proposal through July 24, 2017.Please see fact sheet to learn about the proposal and how to comment. (July 11, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • If you've been reading all the reports coming in about plastics in our oceans, you must be looking for a way to stop this kind of pollution. Take Action: Save our Oceans - End plastic pollution now! "By 2050, our oceans will have more plastic trash than fish.  It’s shameful. Half of the plastic made we use just once and throw out, choking our seas and all the animals in it.  But in days, our governments can stem this tide when they meet at a historic summit to outline their clean ocean commitments. Public pressure just got #2 polluter Indonesia to commit to a 70% reduction in plastic waste! Now we need to go after the other top polluters. If one million of us get behind a global call the Head of the UN Environment Programme will announce our petition from the summit podium and work with us to push countries to ban single-use plastics and let our oceans breathe again. Add your name. " (Avaaz )
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Don’t let all the work we have put into environmental protections since the 1970’s be gutted. Stand up for our absolute right to have a healthy, thriving life support system—our environment. There is no ‘balance’ between industrial rights and humanity’s fundamental right to clean water, air, and land. The silent majority must awake from what is being done to our EPA. Stop the Attacks on Our Environment and Health: Save The EPA! To be delivered to: New York and Connecticut Congressional Delegation The President has proposed to slash the EPA budget, eliminate funding for programs to restore the Great Lakes and Long Island Sound, and cut programs to fight climate change. This would decimate EPA's ability to address a broad range of its responsibilities and put our environment, health, and economy at an unacceptable risk! I urge Congress to provide full funding for the EPA and critical programs that it administers, including the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, Long Island Sound restoration, and efforts to fight climate change. (from Citizens Campaign for the Environment)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Got bike? Got an old bike not being used? Why not donate that bike to R Community Bikes (RCB) and help others get around—without carbon emissions. Action Transportation (walking and bicycling) is increasing in Rochester and you can help get our city more climate friendly. Find out more about BikeRochester and our city’s draft Climate Action Plan that we are still waiting for passage.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • I think it proper to now distinguish Pruitt’s epa from the former U.S. EPA, which used to be a respectable federal agency  CONDEMN TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON THE EPA Trump and his Republicans want to weaken the EPA. Say you won't stand for it: here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply.  We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December.  Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Consider stopping wasteful phone books that littler our neighborhoods and no longer provide a useful service by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. Back in the day, our Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee tried to halt the delivery of these phone books with little effect. That now the phone company admits that this is a 12-tons-of-waste each year that can be avoided is interesting. Our group noticed over the years how phone books were tossed on to apartment complex porches’ and left for months there while folks just walked over them, avoiding them completely. And for many, many people the phone books would go immediately into the recycling bin—at best. At worst, folks threw them into the trash or let them scattered throughout the neighborhoods. We were told by the powers that be that although many people don’t use these books the advertising dollars that came from the phone books were too important. Now, finally, after long last, phone books are on the way out because they waste paper and aren’t needed. Which has been the case for years. Consider putting the nail this this wasteful coffin by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. More: Phone books to disappear for good The phone book, a one-time necessity that many now consider a wasteful nuisance, is about to disappear from your life forever. Frontier Communications, which provides landline phone service in the Rochester area and some other areas in New York, has asked state regulators for permission to end mass delivery of phone books to its customers. The books contain business listings, government contact information and consumer information. (February 1, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
  • ACTION due date: NOW!
    • Winds of Change by @revkin on Twitter, on Facebook  , or by email on ProPublica is a great way to “to keep track of subsequent changes on federal websites as the Trump administration settles in.” We must remain vigilant on making use our climate science is not being hijacked by ideology in these troublesome times. Much of the public’s and the media’s information on Climate Change comes from federal websites so you’re help is needed in tracking any wavering from the climate facts we need in order to have a sustainable life support system. Help Us Track Winds of Change as Trump Confronts Climate Issues If you see something, say something. ProPublica is eager to get tips on shifts in available government information related to climate change. Until late morning on Friday, the White House homepage had an “issues” link to a page on the environment touting former President Obama’s efforts to build a “clean-energy economy” and tackle climate change. It’s still viewable via archive.org, but almost as soon as President Donald J. Trump’s hand was off the Bible, White House websites flipped to content consistent with Trump’s campaign pledges to roll back such programs. The live White House homepage now reflects President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, including a link to his energy plan, which includes “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan” of his predecessor. (January 20, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • 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!
    • 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!
    • 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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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 COMMENTS are in Bold text:

  • 7/27/2017 - Dear Mr. Trump, the consequences of gutting our health care and our environmental protections are real, not fake. When the poor cannot survive in your dystopian world, the rich will be close behind. Has the Moment for Environmental Justice Been Lost? Facing Trump’s proposals for cutting programs that help minorities and the poor, Democrats scramble to make up for missed opportunities to protect them. Given how President Donald Trump has taken aim at the Environmental Protection Agency with regulatory rollbacks and deep proposed budget cuts, it may come as no surprise that the Office of Environmental Justice is on the chopping block. This tiny corner of the EPA was established 24 years ago to advocate for minorities and the poor, populations most likely to face the consequences of pollution and least able to advocate for themselves. It does so by acting as a middleman, connecting vulnerable communities with those who can help them. It heads a group that advises EPA officials about injustices and another that brings together representatives from other federal agencies and the White House to swap proposals. When it works, all the talk leads to grants, policies and programs that change lives. (July 24, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change and Environmental health in our area]

  • 7/27/2017 - Actually, a bicyclist’s greatest fear is getting whacked by a car from a driver who won’t share the freaking road. More precaution, more education, more being predictable, and more accommodation on our streets for all kinds of transportation modes is better than more insurance. Active transportation (walking and bicycling) are real modes of future transportation that will reduce greenhouse gas emission and keep us healthy—if everyone abides by the rules of the road. We will need to change our attitudes and behavior to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter—active transportation can help a lot. According to the EPA, transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gas emissions in the US. AAA offering road side service to bicyclists Starting soon, AAA won’t just be helping you behind the wheel; it will be lending a hand to those behind the handlebars as well. It is every bike rider’s biggest fear. You’re out riding your bike and you look down to see you have a flat tire. What do you do? Who doesn’t love a good bike ride when the sun is shining? “I try to go three of four times a week.” Bonnie Germain says it’s a great way to stay active and take in some nature. On Wednesday, she’s riding at the Corning Preserve – one of her favorite spots. (JUly 26, 2017) RochesterFirst.com [more on Trasnportation in our area]

  • 7/27/2017 - Of course, if we don’t transform our economy so that our communities can address Climate Change (and do so fairly), we will all pay a very dear cost—a cost we may not recover from. Time passes. Cities set the pace on fighting poverty, climate change but who will pay? NEW YORK (Thomson Reuters Foundation) - Fast-growing cities will determine how the world manages to fight poverty, disease and climate change in coming decades but increased resilience is likely to come with a hefty price tag, said urban development experts. While cities are poised to benefit from technological innovation, tackling crippling inequality is crucial to help cope with shocks and stresses which are set to rise alongside urban populations, said experts at a New York summit organized by the Rockefeller Foundation-backed 100 Resilient Cities. "The way we design food systems, community health systems, economies that create opportunities across the socio-economic spectrum and public infrastructure... will very much define how the world performs in the fight against poverty, hunger, disease, inequality and against climate change," said Rajiv Shah, president of the Rockefeller Foundation. (July 25, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/27/2017 - Seems like what went on the Great Lakes didn’t stay in the Great Lakes. Pollution doesn’t disappear, it radiates out into our environment. Pollution has a way of ratcheting up if we don’t aggressively look for it and deal with it. The best way to clean up pollution is not to be wasteful and NOT use our life support system as a sewer. We are finding more and more that our Great Lakes, the largest fresh water system in the world, is heavily polluted with plastics (of all kinds) sewage (from sewer systems that haven’t been updated to deal with the Climate Change consequence of more heavy precipitation) and old industrial waste. We need this ecosystem to be healthy for us to be healthy (we drink this water) and for this critical ecosystem to go into Climate Change as robust and resilient as possible. Time passes. Great Lakes waters threaten Beluga whales Great Lakes pollutants threaten a special population of beluga whales. Their chemical structures figure prominently in a picture artist Eric Gajewski recently drew to illustrate the plight of the mammals living in the St. Lawrence River. “Water is such a sacred thing—that it can also be so toxic and poisonous seems to go against a life law,” said Gajewski, an environmental studies doctoral student at York University in Toronto, Ontario. The water draining from the Great Lakes through the St. Lawrence and into the ocean contain a toxic stew that may contribute to a recent rise in the number of whales that die shortly after giving birth, scientists say. (July 26, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 7/27/2017 - If extreme heat is going to be the new normal, we need to be prepared: gloves for pushing shopping cart, cars like ovens, and little relief at night. Of course, Earth is going to cook unevenly. While some places that are already hot will get hotter, some place may get colder: “New research suggests that warm spells at the top of the world can, surprisingly, cause unusually cold weather in parts of North America — and that could be hurting plants, damaging agriculture and even affecting the amount of carbon dioxide that goes into our atmosphere.” (July 10, 2017, The stubborn worry about climate change that just won’t go away, The Washington Post) Is Extreme Heat the New Normal? The Real News team spoke with first responders and science and medial experts in Arizona, where high temperatures have grounded planes and significantly increased health emergencies (july 26, 2016) The Real News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/26/2017 - Rochester, NY getting five electric buses. Stop. “puts Rochester in the lead on electric buses in New York” Stop. Helps address Climate Change in our region. Stop. Will Stop more greenhouse gas emissions when our grid goes green. Stop. RTS adding electric buses to its fleet The half-rumbling, half-whirring grind of a diesel bus is unmistakable. For a lot of Rochesterians, it’s the sound of public transit. But the next era of RTS buses could be much quieter and cleaner. The transit agency plans to begin a process for buying five electric buses in the late summer or early fall, says spokesperson Tom Brede. RTS received a $5 million award from the state in April to help pay for the vehicles, which would could be in service by the end of 2019 and would replace diesel buses. RTS will also have to install charging stations to serve the buses. (July 26, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 7/26/2017 - ACTION: Got a swimming pool? Help monitor Asian Longhorned Beetle and stop invasive forest pest infestations DEC Announces Statewide Asian Longhorned Beetle Outreach and Survey DEC and Partners Conduct Annual Swimming Pool Survey and Tree Tagging Flag to Raise Awareness of Invasive Pest ALB The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced that the annual Asian longhorned beetle (ALB) Swimming Pool Survey is underway, marking the program's sixth summer of research work. DEC invites pool owners, now through August 30, to check their pool filters and help keep watch for these invasive beetles before they cause serious damage to the State's forests and street trees. DEC and partners will also be hanging tags on host trees to encourage people to learn more about ALB and to demonstrate the potential impacts in neighborhoods and parks. The majority of invasive forest pest infestations are found and reported by members of the public, making citizen science a vital component for protecting urban and rural forests. August is National Tree Check Month when the U.S. Department of Agriculture's Animal and Plant Health Inspection Service (APHIS) encourages the public to look for evidence of ALB attack on trees in their area. The timing of these survey activities is important as ALB do not emerge from infested trees until the end of July and are most active in late summer. DEC is asking people with swimming pools to periodically check their pool filters for insects that resemble ALB and either email photos to the Forest Health Program at foresthealth@dec.ny.gov or mail insects to DEC's Forest Health Diagnostics Lab for identification, Attn: Jessica Cancelliere, 108 Game Farm Road, Delmar, NY 12054. (July 25, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Plants and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 7/26/2017 - The rise in Lyme Disease is a Climate Change Indicator, according to the EPA, because ticks can survive longer in a warmer climate. There are other causes as to why ticks are spreading and other diseases caused by the spread of ticks, according to this article, but Climate Change should be baked into an article on the increase in Lyme disease and other Climate Change indicators so the public gets used to the consequences of a warmer world. Time passes. It’s High Time for Ticks, Which Are Spreading Diseases Farther SOUTHAMPTON, N.Y. — This town is under siege from tiny invaders. A doctor at Southampton Hospital recently pulled a tick off a woman’s eyeball. After a 10-minute walk outside, a mother reported finding a tick affixed to her 7-year-old daughter’s buttocks. Another mother called the hospital in a “hysterical state,” according to the nurse who answered, because a tick had attached itself to her son’s penis. Like many towns across the country, Southampton is seeing a tick population that is growing both in numbers and variety — at a time when ticks are emerging as a significant public health danger. “Tick-borne diseases are a very serious problem, and they’re on the rise,” said Rebecca Eisen, a research biologist at the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention. (July 24, 2017) New York Times [more on Lyme disease and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 7/26/2017 - We waste 40% of our Food in the US. That’s inefficient and immoral and the tragedy is compounded exponentially when we landfill it. We know how to compost; we know how to get food not needed by some and give it to others; we know how to live sustainably and yet we produce so much waste. Time passes. New Jersey Is Cutting Food Waste to Help the Climatenew law in New Jersey aims to shrink the state’s climate footprint and feed the hungry by drastically reducing the amount of wasted food that ends up in landfills. The law requires the state to develop a plan over the next year to cut the state’s food waste by half by 2030. The bipartisan measure, which passed the state legislature without a single dissenting vote and was signed last week by Gov. Chris Christie, mirrors an Environmental Protection Agency goal for the entire country set under the Obama administration in 2015. (June 25, 2017) Climate Central [more on Food, Climate Change, and Recycling in our area]

  • 7/26/2017 - If you become complacent about the role of Science in our lives, it’s more likely you won’t understand the urgency of our environmental issues.  It’s hard to believe that we are in a time where this occurs: “Similarly, for the past many decades, global agribusiness agents in Iowa have been working hard to make sure Iowa’s public officials and residents do not perceive and do not act on the urgency of polluted streams, the urgency of soil erosion and contaminated drinking water, or the urgency of Iowans' well-being compromised by massive animal confinement operations, or by annual spraying of 35 million pounds of corn and bean pesticides.” Use science and facts to shape future of state's land and water quality Urgency is a matter of perception. After massive rainfall in 2008, one early June morning our fire chief updated Cedar Falls city staff and council members on the latest flood conditions; parts of the city were already flooded badly. “The peak flood elevation is forecast to reach 6 feet higher than the previous highest in city’s history.” We also learned that we had 24 hours to act to save downtown Cedar Falls. An emergency was declared immediately. A command post was set up to coordinate an all-city response, school buses lined up to transport hundreds of volunteer residents for sand-bagging, businesses helped with dump trucks carrying sand, major rescue operations began in areas where residents were stranded, certain roads were closed to public. All other plans were put on hold. A massive mobilization effort saved our downtown during that flood. Urgency is a matter of perception. (July 24, 2017) The Des Moines Register

  • 7/25/2017 - In a warming Arctic that allows for more shipping (and drilling) a catastrophe in this major ecosystem is more likely. Are we prepared for something going wrong, something going wrong, something… With More Ships in the Arctic, Fears of Disaster Rise When the Crystal Serenity, a 1,000-passenger luxury liner, sails in August on a monthlong Arctic cruise through the Northwest Passage, it will have a far more utilitarian escort: a British supply ship. The Ernest Shackleton, which normally resupplies scientific bases in Antarctica, will help with the logistics of shore excursions along the route from Alaska to New York through Canada’s Arctic Archipelago. But the escort ship will also be there should the Serenity become stuck in ice or if something else goes wrong. The Shackleton can maneuver through ice and will be carrying emergency water and rations for the liner’s passengers and 600 crew members, gear for containing oil spills and a couple of helicopters. As global warming reduces the extent of sea ice in the Arctic, more ships — cargo carriers as well as liners like the Serenity taking tourists to see the region’s natural beauty — will be plying far-northern waters. Experts in maritime safety say that raises concerns about what will happen when something goes wrong. (July 23, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/25/2017 - “…with about 340 bikes at 46 stations” Rochester, NY’s bike-sharing is a great start. Help make it awesome. Reduce GHGs. Be sustainable. Curious about Rochester bike-sharing? Here's our review It's been less than a week since Rochester's bicycle-sharing program, via a partnership with the company Zagster, was opened to the public. It works basically the same here as similar programsin dozens of other cities: bikes are stored at pick-up stations around town. Once you're there, you go through the check-out procedure and have a simple but reliable bicycle at your disposal. I do a lot of cycling, both recreationally and commuting to work, and I've used bike-share programs elsewhere, so I was interested to see how it worked here. Videographer Olivia Lopez and I spent Monday morning on the roads, testing the bikes, the Zagster app and the city's biking infrastructure. (July 24, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 7/25/2017 - Important essay on recent heavy rainfall, flooding on Lake Ontario’s shorelines, and Climate Change. If we don’t understand the big picture (Climate Change), we ain’t going to address the right cause. Essay: Gov. Cuomo, do you remember climate change? It has been frustrating that Governor Cuomo has been ignoring the connection between Lake Ontario flooding and climate change. As it turns out, climate change is not just impacting Long Island and NYC. Climate change does not just raise sea level and worsen hurricanes, but is creating more variability and more extreme weather events everywhere in New York. As Meagan McDermott and Steve Orr’s July 5th article, “Lake Ontario flooding: Your Plan 2014 questions answered” points out, extreme rainfall is becoming more common due to the warming climate. Warmer air holds more water vapor so more water falls down as rain. Although they also note that it is not clear how much of the current problem is attributable to climate change, it is the second-wettest spring season on record and climate models predict that the northeastern US will continue to be impacted in this way as warming continues. (July 21, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 7/24/2017 - Rochester, NY acknowledged as “a trailblazing community in the fight against the lead poisoning of children” In protecting children from lead, Toledo needs to follow in Rochester's footsteps In 2005, Rochester, N.Y., became a trailblazing community in the fight against the lead poisoning of children. More than a decade later, not nearly enough cities have followed in Rochester’s footsteps, but Toledo is thankfully one of the few. As Toledo followed Rochester’s lead in crafting and approving an ordinance to protect vulnerable children from the lead that lurks in older housing stock, Toledo must now follow Rochester’s lead in following through. There are inevitable bumps in the road ahead, and, like Rochester, Toledo must stay the course because the payoff is worth it. Rochester has seen the number of children testing positive for lead poisoning drop by more than two-thirds. (July 23, 2017) The Blade [more on Lead Poisoning in our area]

  • 7/24/2017 - It’s July 2017. Do you know what the Daily Average Mauna Loa CO2 is? Hint: It’s not under 400ppm and unlikely to ever be again. What we do to address Climate Change should be measured against the concentrations of greenhouse gases (especially carbon dioxide) to keep us honest. Time passes. Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division | Trends in Atmospheric Carbon Dioxide

  • 7/23/2017 - Don’t all countries have a responsibility to humanity (and all other life, for that matter) to keep vital ecosystems within their sovereignties healthy? It is imperative that we keep major ecosystems--forests, coral reefs, wetlands, tundra, grasslands—thriving as Climate Change challenges these systems that make our existence possible. It may not be possible to hold countries legally accountable for keeping these systems within their boundaries healthy (that day may come), but there are moral reasons and the collective need for shared resources which we all depend on. However much we carve up our political boundaries, Earth is one system—with no extraneous parts. Climate Change demands that we act in our planet’s best interest, which is to say it is in all of our self-interest to keep our entire planet’s environment healthy. Time passes. Countries with coral reefs must do more on climate change – Unesco Custodians of world heritage-listed sites should aim to keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, UN agency says Countries with responsibility over world heritage-listed coral reefs should adopt ambitious climate change targets, aiming to cut greenhouse gas emissions to levels that would keep global temperature increases to just 1.5C, the UN agency responsible for overseeing world heritage sites has said. At a meeting of Unesco’s world heritage committee in Kraków, Poland, a decision was adopted that clarified and strengthened the responsibility of countries that have custodianship over world-heritage listed coral reefs. (July10, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]   

  • 7/23/2017 - If fossil fuel companies don’t find the science behind Climate Change compelling, perhaps they’ll find liability litigation more to their taste. One way or the other, an energy transition must occur if we are to have a future. Time passes. Rising Seas Spark Tobacco-Style Lawsuits in California Several flood-prone municipalities in California filed first-of-their-kind lawsuits against fossil fuel companies this week as they attempt to recoup the cost of coping with rising seas. The suits point to indisputable climate science and decades of industry efforts to mar that science. Experts likened the legal complaints to those brought against the tobacco industry in decades past, which succeeded by alleging the use of anti-science tactics to mask the dangers of their products. (July 19, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - Monitoring Climate Change is critical to our ability to address it. Our local universities are helping. More federal monies to help more monitoring like this would be good. Climate scientists create Caribbean drought atlas Cornell atmospheric scientists have developed the first-of-its-kind, high-resolution Caribbean drought atlas, with data going back to 1950. Concurrently, the researchers confirmed the region’s 2013-16 drought was the most severe in 66 years due to consistently higher temperatures – a hint that climate change is to blame. Because of its topographic complexity, the new atlas delivers critical research data by providing a historical climate backdrop. (July 28, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - How far back will the Trump administration send our environmental protections and put us in jeopardy? Might want to track that. White House details plan to roll back environmental regs The Trump administration provided details for its aggressive plan to roll back environmental regulations Thursday. In the first regulatory agenda of the Trump administration, the White House’s Office of Management and Budget detailed when and how agencies plan to repeal numerous Obama administration rules regarding air and water pollution, fossil fuel extraction and more. Many of the rollbacks had already been announced, though some new timelines or justifications were revealed. (July 20, 2017) The Hill [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - However economically sound “Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays”, our priorities are entirely backwards. Life first, not money. Humanity needs to keep trees and soil healthy to feed ourselves and address Climate Change. To these ends, our economic experts should shape economic policies to make this happen. Life comes before human invented economics. If life doesn’t pay, your economics is whacked. One of the major reasons why humanity is not addressing Climate Change on a scale and in a time frame that will matter is that we are still putting our economics before our own existence. We need to get our priorities straight. Time passes. Paying People to Not Cut Down Trees Pays Off, Study Finds A 'payment for ecosystem services' experiment in Uganda found the climate benefits of reducing deforestation outweighed the program’s cost by more than 2 to 1. Across dozens of villages in rural Uganda, researchers have explored what they believe could be an easy way to help tackle climate change: paying landowners to leave their trees standing. The concept is simple—and controversial, because critics say it can foist the burden of cutting emissions onto developing countries. But the researchers, led by an economist from Northwestern University, found that these financial incentives—or "payments for ecosystems services"—have both a climate and economic benefit, something that had not been firmly established in previous studies. "This idea of payments for ecosystem services is not new, but there's still a lot of debate over how well it works," said Seema Jayachandran, an associate professor of economics at Northwestern who focuses on developing countries. (July 20, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Plants in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - When and if the Asian Carp invasive species get into our Great Lakes and begin transforming this major ecosystem, who will be held accountable? Will, like Climate Change, it be a case where after-the-fact we our leaders just say, “We didn’t know for sure, it’s was somebody else’s problem, or the dog ate my homework?” Time passes. Senate bill forces release of Asian carp report Lansing — The U.S. Senate Appropriations Committee on Thursday approved a funding bill for energy and water that would require the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release a report on ways to keep Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. The Senate provision would force the stalled report’s release within 30 days after the budget is signed. The Trump administration delayed the scheduled release of the report in late February amid concerns from the commercial barge industry. (July 20, 2017) The Detroit News [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - One of the scientific predictions of Climate Change is the increased thawing of permafrost. Is that happening on a scale that should concern us? Or, are these tales just apocryphal, unrelated, and merely interesting? Imagine if the US wasn’t gutting its EPA and climate science how much better we would be able to monitor Climate Change indicators and inform the public accurately. Time passes. All hell breaks loose as the tundra thaws A recent heatwave in Siberia’s frozen wastes has resulted in outbreaks of deadly anthrax and a series of violent explosions Strange things have been happening in the frozen tundra of northern Siberia. Last August a boy died of anthrax in the remote Yamal Peninsula, and 20 other infected people were treated and survived. Anthrax hadn’t been seen in the region for 75 years, and it’s thought the recent outbreak followed an intense heatwave in Siberia, temperatures reaching over 30C that melted the frozen permafrost. Long dormant spores of the highly infectious anthrax bacteria frozen in the carcass of an infected reindeer rejuvenated themselves and infected herds of reindeer and eventually local people. Methane release from melting permafrost could trigger dangerous global warming   Read more More recently, a huge explosion was heard in June in the Yamal Peninsula. Reindeer herders camped nearby saw flames shooting up with pillars of smoke and found a large crater left in the ground. Melting permafrost was again suspected, thawing out dead vegetation and erupting in a blowout of highly flammable methane gas. (July 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/22/2017 - One of the most important (and quickly changing) Climate Change indicators is Arctic Ice melt, i.e., a reality check. Climate Change indicators are a necessary feedback to keep some of our wild opinions (climate denial, for example) about this phenomenon in check. Here’s How Much Arctic Sea Ice Has Melted Since the ‘80s Arctic sea ice has been melting at a steady clip this summer as it heads toward its annual low point. But a new chart shows that with nearly two months still left in the melt season, sea ice area is already below what would have been a yearly low in the 1980s. The comparison shows the clear long-term decline of Arctic sea ice fueled by the global rise in heat-trapping greenhouse gases. The dramatic shrinkage of sea ice over the past few decades is driving major changes, from the loss of crucial Arctic habitat to the potential influence of weather patterns around the world. (July 21, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/21/2017 - One of the unintentional consequences of the Climate Change experiments we are running: How much heat can humans tolerate? The answer is probably like a bell curve, where at the ends the young and old and sick get nailed by the heart first, with the majority, the healthy (who aren’t working or playing hard in the heat outside), being able to tolerate more heat. Of course, as the heat (and the humidity) go up there’s a point where even the healthiest cannot work outside without a spacesuit. Science is leaning towards the idea that the human body cannot work, air-condition itself after a certain point. Check my essay: “Remember, no matter how divisive Climate Change is… there’s the heat.” | Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits. Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits. Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found. (July 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/21/2017 - Even if you don’t believe methane releases from permafrost is a present concern for accelerating Climate Change, it would be foolhardy to ignore this. We know our climate is warming quickly; we know methane is a very potent greenhouse gas, we know some permafrost areas are releasing some methane because of warming; we don’t know how much or how fast methane will be released from permafrost in the future. We don’t know if there will be a tipping point, where a whole lot of thawed permafrost methane will be released in a short time. We need to monitor this closely and increase funds for scientists to do their freaking jobs so we can be informed so we can make plans for a warming world. Time passes. Methane Seeps Out as Arctic Permafrost Starts to Resemble Swiss Cheese Measurements over Canada's Mackenzie River Basin suggest that thawing permafrost is starting to free greenhouse gases long trapped in oil and gas deposits. Global warming may be unleashing new sources of heat-trapping methane from layers of oil and gas that have been buried deep beneath Arctic permafrost for millennia. As the Earth's frozen crust thaws, some of that gas appears to be finding new paths to the surface through permafrost that's starting to resemble Swiss cheese in some areas, scientists said. In a study released today, the scientists used aerial sampling of the atmosphere to locate methane sources from permafrost along a 10,000 square-kilometer swath of the Mackenzie River Delta in northwestern Canada, an area known to have oil and gas desposits. Deeply thawed pockets of permafrost, the research suggests, are releasing 17 percent of all the methane measured in the region, even though the emissions hotspots only make up 1 percent of the surface area, the scientists found. (July 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [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.

  • 7/21/2017 - Which one: “fewer regulations will boost business growth and lead to higher corporate profits” or fewer regulations will compromise our environment and public health? I suppose if you don’t believe in science or Climate Change or you believe corporations are more important than people then it does look like anyone opposing your views are pushing “unnecessary regulatory burdens”. Is there going to be any accountability when these environmental protections being gutted end up making people sick and putting our life support system at risk? We have entered a time of ‘extreme recklessness’. Time passes. White House deregulation push clears out hundreds of proposed rules WASHINGTON (Reuters) - The White House said Thursday it had withdrawn or removed from active consideration more than 800 proposed regulations that were never finalized during the Obama administration as it works to shrink the federal government's regulatory footprint. In a report, the Trump administration said it had withdrawn 469 planned actions that had been part of the Obama administration's regulatory agenda published last fall. Officials also reconsidered 391 active regulatory proceedings by reclassifying them as long-term or inactive "allowing for further careful review," the White House said. (July 20, 2017) Reuters

  • 7/20/2017 - Wanted: If you don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change, get a top job in #Trump administration. Great salary, lots of influence, and work very easy. SAD. Trump just nominated a climate skeptic to USDA’s top science post President Trump on Wednesday nominated Sam Clovis, a former college professor and talk radio host who has challenged the scientific consensus that human activity has been the primary driver of climate change, to serve in the Agriculture Department’s top scientific post. “Dr. Clovis was one of the first people through the door at USDA in January and has become a trusted advisor and steady hand as we continue to work for the people of agriculture,” Agriculture Secretary Sonny Perdue said in a statement Wednesday evening. “He looks at every problem with a critical eye, relying on sound science and data, and will be the facilitator and integrator we need. Dr. Clovis has served this nation proudly since he was a very young man, and I am happy he is continuing to serve.” Clovis, whose expected nomination has been previously reported by The Washington Post and several other outlets, is a former economics professor at Morningside College in Sioux City, Iowa, who served as one of Trump’s first campaign policy advisers. In a 2014 interview with Iowa Public Radio, he said he was “extremely skeptical” about climate change and added that “a lot of the science is junk science.” (July 19, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 7/20/2017 - Action from our friends over at Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) Help Wanted: Table Staffers Type of request: Volunteer service 7/18 update: We now have a Tabling Coordinator, who can help with planning and logistics, so YOU just need to show up and show your passion! Description: To raise awareness and climate change and let people know how they can make a difference on this issue, we often have a table at local festivals, farmers’ markets, and other events, where people can come talk to us, sign up for our newsletter, and take action by signing postcards or petitions. In order to do more of this, we need more volunteers to staff these tables. If you enjoy starting conversations with strangers and can remain respectful and pleasant even when they disagree with you, you would be a perfect fit for this job! It would require approximately 2 hours of your time per month (or more if you want). Requesting organization: RPCC Contact information: abby@rocpcc.com

  • 7/20/2017 - Had a meeting across town (Rochester, NY) last evening. Rode bike. Felt great. Left car in garage to charge. Saw lots of other folks bicycling too. Lots of people moving and not spewing greenhouse gases. Biking Rochester works. Don’t have a bike, could use one quick, try our City’s Bike Share. Bike-sharing program in Rochester to launch on Thursday The City of Rochester will launch its new bike-share program on Thursday, according city release. Mayor Warren will join the program's vendor, Zagster, for the launch Thursday morning. According to the release, the city will also announce new "bicycle-related community event series" that will begin this summer. (July 19, 2017) Rochester WHEC [more on Transportation in our area]  

  • 7/19/2017 - I don’t know exactly what brought the US to a climate-denier Trump administration, but climate facts are no less true. When you put a pot of water over a flame, the water eventually boils. Time passes. Surrendering to fear brought us climate change denial and President Trump I propose that people take indefensible positions like climate denial and Trump support simply out of fear This story picks up where an earlier post left off a few weeks ago. Then, I discussed some of the political realities associated with inaction on climate change. In that post, I said I would revisit the question of why so many people deny the evidence of a changing climate. Now is the time for that discussion. (July 17, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 7/19/2017 - And if the public wasn’t so complacent about our environment (life support system), they’d be decrying cuts to the EPA budget also. Environmental groups, employees decry cuts to EPA budget Environmental groups and federal employees on Monday battled back against congressional budget cuts proposed for the Environmental Protection Agency, saying human and environmental health are threatened. The House Appropriations Committee on Tuesday is expected to vote on a fiscal 2018 budget for the EPA that slashes the agency's budget nearly 8 percent across the board, or $528 million, to the lowest funding level since 2008. The groups said the House budget includes a 15 percent cut to science and technology programs and a 9 percent cut to environmental field work by the agency, saying Congress appears willing to stand aside as critical environmental issues remain unresolved or worsen — things like drinking water contamination and toxic algal blooms in lakes. (July 17, 2017) Deluth News Tribune [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

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