Updated Daily 1/21/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com
Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."
If it deals with the environment, Rochester, New York, and the Internet, it's here.
Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time. How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature.
Since 1998, RochesterEnvironment.com has been an ongoing experiment to completely inform one community [Rochester, NY] of all its environmental Newslinks, Events, Daily Updates, Resources, Environmental Education, regional Climate Change, and Environmental Issues. Green Apps, and more... * Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada
(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive) [Website best viewed on your tablet device.]
RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology. Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules. Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.
The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose. How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to save ourselves? Bookmark This Site
All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians. So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends. Tell them what’s at stake. Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings. Push back on misinformation. Speak up for the facts. Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution. Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices. Invest. Divest. Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth. And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote. Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013) The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk? Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "
Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.-- Carl Sagan
Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award
SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.
Rochester area NewsLinks.
NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily. Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.
This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter January 15, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free. Click Subscribe
Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:
My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change. Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word. Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change.
Posted Today - Saturday, January 21, 2017
It’s happening: Climate change starts disappearing from government websites. Before the inauguration was even over, the Trump administration was already purging whitehouse.gov, as Climate Central’s Brian Kahn discovered: Instead, we have An America First Energy Plan, which only refers to climate change in the context of rolling back the “burdensome regulations on our energy industry”: (January 20, 2017) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]
Why Toronto Should Become More Climate Change Resilient Climate change is already well underway, but with some smart choices Toronto can mitigate the impact. The future could get a whole lot hotter. Imagine it’s 2040, and the daily temperature reaches a high of 44°C. This isn’t idle speculation—it’s what is projected for Toronto, according to a staff report [PDF]. But climate change isn’t just a threat that exists in the distant future. In reality, the effects of global warming are already plainly apparent across the Greater Toronto Area, and call for immediate action. We need only look back to 2013 as a reminder that our typically moderate climate is not immune to the extreme weather associated with climate change: On July 8 of that year, a month’s worth of rain fell on the city in a matter of hours. Five months later, an ice storm rocked Toronto, leaving some residents without power for 12 days, and cost $106 million to clean up. (January 19, 2017) TorontoIST [more on Climate Change in our area]
Rochester Climate Coalition unbowed by Trump's planned changes This was not a good week for the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition. On Wednesday scientists reported that the Earth had hit its highest recorded temperature for the third year in a row. On Friday the United States inaugurated a president who calls climate change a hoax and has vowed to roll back federal efforts to limit greenhouse gas. RPCC leaders who met on Thursday morning were trying to stay upbeat. (January 20, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]
The last time the oceans got this warm, sea levels were 20 to 30 feet higher than they are today Ocean temperatures today are about the same as they were more than 100,000 years ago — at a time when sea levels were 20 to 30 feet higher. The findings, published in the journal Science, highlight the key role that human activity has played in global warming and underscore concerns about the future impact of rising sea levels. (January 20, 2017) Los Angeles Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
The Scramble to Protect Climate Data Under Trump Fearing what might happen to the data that catalogues the details of climate change in an administration with so many climate deniers, researchers rush to save it. More than 250 people gathered at the University of Pennsylvania last week for Data Rescue Philly, one of the latest examples of a grassroots effort to save environmental and climate change data that scientists fear could vanish under the Trump administration's many climate deniers. Over two days, volunteers from academia, nonprofits and the tech industry were trained and then preserved data from more than 3,000 websites hosted by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (January 20, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
by Frank J. Regan
“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "
In one fashion or another I’ve been promoting Earth Day events for almost twenty years in Rochester. In that time, local environmentalist have tried to capture the public’s attention on the one day of the year held sacrosanct for environmental concerns. Even our media, always looking for news opportunities, turns their attention towards our life support system on Earth Day.
Some of the environmental issues we highlighted to capture the public’s attention were:
· “Biotechnology: An Organic Farmer’s Perspective” Keynote speech by Mary-Howell Martens
· “The cost of sprawl to the environment, the economy, and people of the region” Keynote Speaker: Rochester Mayor William A. Johnson, Jr. · “From Crisis To Opportunity” A Forum on National, State, & Local Environmental Issues Keynote Speakers: Elizabeth Thorndike, David Higby, Jack Bradigan Spula
· “Protecting and Policing New York’s Environment” Keynote Speaker: Peter Lehner, JD Chief of the Environmental Protection Bureau of the NY Attorney General’s Office
· “Hemlock/Canadice: the Future of Our ‘Little’ Lakes” Keynote Speakers: Andy Beers and Jim Howe
· “Transportation Alternatives for Rochester A Vision for the Future” Keynote Speakers: Richard Perrin, David Keefe and John Thomas.
· “Local and Sustainable Food – Local Food Choices” Keynote Speakers: Michael Warren Thomas, Elizabeth Henderson, and Peter McDonald · “Transitioning to Sustainable Communities” Keynote Speaker: Tina Clarke from the Sustainability Institute
· “Sustainable Production, Rochester’s Cutting Edge” Keynote Speakers Dr. Nabil Nasr, RIT’s Assistant Provost and Director of the Golisano Institute for Sustainability; Catherine Reeves, the Director of Sustainable Operations at Xerox Corporation
· “Our Water’s Fragile Future: Hydrofracking, Climate Change, & Privatization” Keynote Speaker: Jim Olson, a Michigan environmental attorney · “Protecting Our Great Lakes Forever” Keynote Speaker: author Maude Barlow
· “Climate Smart Communities: Let’s Get With the Program” Keynote Speaker: Mark Lowery, Climate Policy Analyst, Office of Climate Change, New York State Dept. of Environmental Conservation
· “Climate, Energy, and Intergenerational Justice”: Keynote Speaker: Dr. James Hansen
· “Agriculture and Climate Change: Formulating Sustainable Choices”
We covered many specific environmental concerns back in the day. But even within this short span of time, the themes have gravitated quickly towards Climate Change. In other words, we used to have a lot of separate environmental problems but now we have one. Climate Change is becoming a singularity at which many environmental issues, including public health and climate justice, are now swirling because it is an existential threat.
This year’s Earth Day is special because our environment needs as much attention by the public as it did on the first Earth Day in 1970, where millions took to the streets.
“On April 22, 1970, 20 million Americans took to the streets, parks, and auditoriums to demonstrate for a healthy, sustainable environment in massive coast-to-coast rallies. Thousands of colleges and universities organized protests against the deterioration of the environment. Groups that had been fighting against oil spills, polluting factories and power plants, raw sewage, toxic dumps, pesticides, freeways, the loss of wilderness, and the extinction of wildlife suddenly realized they shared common values.” (The History of Earth Day, Earth Day Network)
Now, a couple of groups in Rochester are making plans for Earth Day 2017. The Rochester Sierra Club is inviting the “man who was elected as the first African American President of the Sierra Club, Aaron Mair.” (December eco-logue). At the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, we are working on a large parade downtown. Inclusiveness, joining together, and accepting everyone from every walk of life are key to any kind of solution that will matter.
In every way possible, we have tried over the years to engage the public and get them to demonstrate their concern for their life support system. As Climate Change becomes more of a threat to our existence, so are the efforts of environmental activists, even as a great cancer of climate denial metastasizes throughout our land.
Just after this Earth Day, the People’s Climate Mobilization begins in Washington, DC.
“New year, new resolve. Time to mark your calendars for April 29th, 2017. That’s the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., when we will come together with hundreds of thousands of people to reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate, and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. Sign up to be part of it here, and connect with others near you who will be taking action in the run-up to April. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it's important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects. If we don't put forward our own vision -- of an economy built on justice and powered by clean, renewable energy -- then we let fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred win. We need to show that more people still believe in our shared vision for the future than in Donald Trump's. That's where you come in: The only way this mobilization will work is if it’s driven from the bottom up by people like you. That's why we want to get you involved with the People's Climate Mobilization starting today -- whether you've helped organize a dozen marches before, or if you're a first-time participant.” (People’s Climate Movement)
Don’t sit this one out. more...
(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)
Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area. As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.
Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:
RIT-led consortium wins $70M in funding for clean energy institute A Rochester Institute of Technology-led consortium has won a nationwide competition and secured $70 million in federal funding to bring a public-private clean energy manufacturing institute here, officials announced Tuesday. The competition was held by the U.S. Department of Energy. The consortium will match the federal award of $70 million for a total investment of $140 million, officials said. The RIT-led consortium includes Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. (January 3, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]
SED launches Community Solar Array in Greater Rochester Area Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., a clean energy company, will launch the first Community Solar Array project in the Greater Rochester Area in partnership with SunCommon. This offer allows all Rochester Gas & Electric customers to power their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy, with no upfront cost and anticipated savings on their electric bill. SunCommon is a Vermont-based solar company that has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar through home and Community Solar Installations. (June 14, 2016) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Green Business and Solar Power in our area]
Investors' Circle hopes to fund Rochester's clean energy scene People in Rochester's startup scene already know about the popular venture capital firms Excell Partners and Cranberry Capital. However, a North Carolina-based firm is joining the mix and looking to pass out money. Investors' Circle of Durham, North Carolina, has been funding startups for 24 years, but now wants to fund companies across New York state. The firm invests in different types of companies, such as software and education. However, the firm's biggest emphasis is on clean energy companies. (February 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]
Waste Management-owned site receives conservation award High Acres Nature Area, owned by Waste Management Inc. in Perinton, has been honored with the 2015 International Conservation Award by the Wildlife Habitat Council, an international non-profit that accredits programs that create wildlife habitat on corporate lands. It has recognized 600 sites around the world. The High Acres Nature Area comprises 250 acres with four miles of nature trails adjacent to the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center in Fairport. Employees and community volunteers invest in conservation and education efforts through the nature area, officials said. (November 24, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]
Celebrate Earth Day
Earth Day is Saturday, April 22, 2017-- right around the corner! We're planning a massive and massively fun parade in downtown Rochester, seeking to engage 1000+ participants.
What does it take to participate? ANY climate change action, large or small! Between now and April 22, you, your organization, and your family are encouraged to do SOMETHING to reduce emissions. From switching to LED lightbulbs, to planting a tree, to having that difficult climate change conversation with weird Uncle Harold, to leasing an electric car, to having your organization join RPCC.... each one counts! Then join our parade on Earth Day and share your participation with our entire community.
Stay tuned for more info. For now, decide on what you'll do to be a climate change warrior, and get rolling!
Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .
This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history. And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens. Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too. In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:
- Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
- When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
- When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle.
- Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
- Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
- Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
- Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
- Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment. Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
- Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
- Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly. Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.
350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.
RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.
Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...
- Wednesday, January 25, 2017:
6:30PM, Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends
Learning Center, Brighton, NY.
- ColorBrightonGreen.org presents The 2017 Winter Film/Speaker Series at the Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends Learning Center. All presentations begin at 6:30pm. Wednesday, January 25, 2017: “Climate Action at the Local, State, and Federal Levels: We Can Do It!” There are currently actions that can be taken at the local and State level to fight climate change, and there is a need to coalesce people to lobby for carbon fee and dividend at the federal level. Representatives of the Rochester People's Climate Coalition will be presenting information on Community Choice Aggregation, the New York State Climate and Community Protection Act, and the Citizen's Climate Lobby proposal for carbon fee and dividend. There will be a presentation and discussion on each of these topics. Efforts are already under way to create a Community Choice Aggregation program in the Rochester metropolitan area. This is very exciting because it would result in a lower fixed-rate for electricity for residents and small business in participating municipalities, and a mechanism to grow our local renewable energy supply. (ColorBrightonGreen.org )
- Thursday, February 9, 2017 at
10:30 AM - 12:00 PM - webinar, instructions on link
- Residential Energy Score Project – A Model for Advancing Energy Efficiency – A Climate Smart Communities Webinar Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Wouldn’t it be great to understand a home’s energy efficiency like a car’s miles per gallon? This Climate Smart Communities (CSC) webinar will describe a voluntary program in Tompkins County where homeowners would get an “energy score” for their home that could be shared with prospective buyers, tenants, or other interested parties. A home energy score is a succinct summary of the energy efficiency and physical structure of a residential building. (New York State Department of Environmental Conservation )
- Thursday, February 9th, 7:00 PM @
First Unitarian Church, 220 Winton
- DO YOU FIND GLOBAL WARMING TOO DEPRESSING TO DO ANYTHING ABOUT IT? Come to our book discussion on Thursday, February 9th, 7:00 PM to participate in a discussion of Joanna Macy & Chris Johnstone’s ACTIVE HOPE: How to Face the Mess We’re in without Going Crazy Ecophilosopher Joana Macy, PhD, is a scholar of Buddhism, general systems theory, and deep ecology. A respected voice in movements for peace, justice and the environment, she interweaves her scholarship with five decades of activisim. Physician and coach Dr. Chris Johnstone is a specialist in the psychology of resilience, happiness, and positive change. Copies of the above books are available at discount at the First Unitarian bookstore open most Sundays after services, or by using the link to Amazon that benefits the church here. Free, and the public is invited to participate. RSVP to firstname.lastname@example.org is encouraged but not required.
- 6:00 pm on Thursday, February
16, 2017 at Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park, 171
Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620
- The February 2017 Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday, February 16, 2017 at Olmsted Lodge in Highland Park, 171 Reservoir Avenue, Rochester, NY 14620 (across the street from the Lamberton Conservatory). The PAC will review and receive public comment on the Draft Highland Park South Master Plan. A full copy of the draft plan will be available to the public beginning February 1, 2017 here.
- 6:00 pm on Thursday,
March 16, 2017 at The Clubhouse at Durand Eastman Park
Golf Course, 1200 Kings Highway North, Rochester, NY,
- The March 2017 Monroe County Parks Advisory Committee (PAC) Meeting will be held at 6:00 pm on Thursday, March 16, 2017 at The Clubhouse at Durand Eastman Park Golf Course, 1200 Kings Highway North, Rochester, NY, 14617. A Public Workshop on Shared Use Trails in Tryon Park will be held at the March meeting, which will include a presentation by Genesee Regional Off-Road Cyclists (GROC) and opportunity for public input/discussion.
- Wednesday, March 22,
2017:6:30pm.| Brighton Memorial Library in the Friends
Learning Center, Brighton, NY.
- Wednesday, March 22, 2017: “Merchants of Doubt” Merchants of Doubt is a 2014 American documentary film directed by Robert Kenner and inspired by the 2010 book of the same name by Naomi Oreskes and Erik M. Conway. The film traces the use of public relations tactics that were originally developed by the tobacco industry to protect their business from research indicating health risks from smoking. The most prominent of these tactics is the cultivation of scientists and others who successfully cast doubt on the scientific results. Using a professional magician, the film explores the analogy between these tactics and the methods used by magicians to distract their audiences from observing how illusions are performed. For the tobacco industry, the tactics successfully delayed government regulation until long after the establishment of scientific consensus about the health risks from smoking. As its second example, the film describes how manufacturers of flame retardants worked to protect their sales after toxic effects of the retardants were discovered. The central concern of the film is the ongoing use of these tactics to forestall governmental action to regulate greenhouse gas emissions in response to the risk of global climate change.
- April 21, 2017
The Links, East Syracuse, New York
- Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century Thirteenth Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century CAN WE STILL REACH OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS *New York State 50% by 2030 *United States 30% by 2025 Hear from National & NYS experts. April 21, 2017 The Links, East Syracuse, New York 7:30am - 2:00pm Optional Tours following ****REGISTER NOW ****
- April 29th, 2017 | Where:
"hundreds of actions around the country. In every corner
of the nation "
- New year, new resolve. Time to mark your calendars for April 29th, 2017. That’s the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., when we will come together with hundreds of thousands of people to reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate, and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. Sign up to be part of it here, and connect with others near you who will be taking action in the run-up to April. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it's important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects. If we don't put forward our own vision -- of an economy built on justice and powered by clean, renewable energy -- then we let fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred win. We need to show that more people still believe in our shared vision for the future than in Donald Trump's. That's where you come in: The only way this mobilization will work is if it’s driven from the bottom up by people like you. That's why we want to get you involved with the People's Climate Mobilization starting today -- whether you've helped organize a dozen marches before, or if you're a first-time participant.
Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.
ACTION highlightClimate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:
Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':
New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.
ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.
ACTION: Due Date: January 24, 2017
- Got three days of your time? Been thinking that now, really now, our Rochester region needs someone from Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet? And that someone could be you? Then, sign up here. The dates for this training are March 2-4, 2017 in Denver, Colorado. APPLICATION DEADLINE IS JANUARY 24, 2017. More: “You know our climate is changing. You want to make a difference. We’ll show you how. Join us for a Climate Reality Leadership Corps training and work with former US Vice President Al Gore and renowned climate scientists and communicators to learn about what’s happening to our planet and how you can use social media, powerful storytelling, and personal outreach to inspire audiences to take action. Give us three days. We’ll give you the tools to change the world.”
ACTION: Due Date: Short film
submissions due by February 27th, 2017
- From our friends over @FastForwardRoc "The Fast Forward Film Festival Call for Entries is now OPEN! "Accepting submissions from novice and veteran filmmakers who live in the Greater Rochester region NOW through February 27th, 2017! If you already have your film ready, please submit. If you haven't yet started filming, get your gear ready, and don't miss out on making the most of Rochester's beautiful summer weather!" Find out more here.
ACTION: Due Date Now!
- stop the Cuomo tax.Governor Cuomo wants to increase our electric bills to bail out old, unprofitable nuclear power plants It will cost hard working New Yorkers nearly $8 billion dollars. Your money will go to plant owner Exelon, a Chicago-based Fortune 100 company with annual revenues over $34 billion. The Governor says it’s about preserving jobs and fighting climate change, but we know better. Energy efficiency and wind and solar cost less, lower your energy bills, create more jobs and give us cleaner air and healthier communities. ⇢ New Yorkers deserve better. Join us, and stop the Cuomo tax.
ACTION: Due Date Now!
- Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
- ACTION: Due Date: Now!
- Save Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region from LPG Gas Storage! New York has banned fracking, but related infrastructure for transporting and storage of fracked gas continues to threaten our communities. In the Finger Lakes region of New York, we are fighting plans to store dangerous, explosive liquefied petroleum gases (“LPG” – propane and butane) in abandoned salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, the heart of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The facility poses unacceptable risks of catastrophic accidents, injuries, air pollution, and contamination of Seneca Lake, which is the largest body of freshwater within New York State and the drinking water source for 100,000 people. It would also undermine the economy of the entire Finger Lakes, which is built on the region's beauty, tourism, and wineries. Transportation of the LPG via rail to the facility puts the 750,000 annual visitors in Watkins Glen State Park at risk.
ACTION: Due Date:
- Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
- New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now: "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York. And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix. You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too! Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader. Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy. Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
- Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Sign the petition to Get Exploding Oil Trains Off the Tracks: http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/
- ACTION: Due Date Now!
- Considering signing a petition or donating to help this cause to reject Inergy Midstream‘s (now Crestwood) proposal to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas and expand natural gas storage at facilities on the shore of Seneca Lake in Reading, NY. More at Gas Free Seneca Even folks in the Rochester area should care about the health of our Finger Lakes. Airman-turned-activist arrested for 'civil disobedience'
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them? "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom. In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session. WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year. Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
ACTION: Due Date:
- Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation. The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail email@example.com for more information or to sign up today! "
Due Date: NOW!
- Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change? Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby. Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: firstname.lastname@example.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
ACTION: Due Date:
- Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post
Daily Updates: Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care. Get Daily Updates since 1998...
- My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books
My Comments are in Bold text.
1/21/2017 - Humanity seems particularly vulnerable to the shifting baseline syndrome (a sort of environmental amnesia) where many folks tend to think Climate Change is true every time it gets warm and false every time it gets cold. If this is true, how many people will forget that the US federal government backed the scientific findings behind Climate Change now that the new administration seems hell bent on sowing climate denial? Can we really begin to believe that Climate Change isn’t urgent, true, and not worth bothering our pretty little heads about? Time passes. It’s happening: Climate change starts disappearing from government websites. Before the inauguration was even over, the Trump administration was already purging whitehouse.gov, as Climate Central’s Brian Kahn discovered: Instead, we have An America First Energy Plan, which only refers to climate change in the context of rolling back the “burdensome regulations on our energy industry”: (January 20, 2017) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/21/2017 - Not just Toronto, which is just across Lake Ontario from Rochester, but all communities must prepare for Climate Change. In order for communities to become more resilient to the extreme changes coming with Climate Change, each should have a particular plan tailored to the challenges coming their way. Rochester is completing its Climate Action Plan soon. | Why Toronto Should Become More Climate Change Resilient Climate change is already well underway, but with some smart choices Toronto can mitigate the impact. The future could get a whole lot hotter. Imagine it’s 2040, and the daily temperature reaches a high of 44°C. This isn’t idle speculation—it’s what is projected for Toronto, according to a staff report [PDF]. But climate change isn’t just a threat that exists in the distant future. In reality, the effects of global warming are already plainly apparent across the Greater Toronto Area, and call for immediate action. We need only look back to 2013 as a reminder that our typically moderate climate is not immune to the extreme weather associated with climate change: On July 8 of that year, a month’s worth of rain fell on the city in a matter of hours. Five months later, an ice storm rocked Toronto, leaving some residents without power for 12 days, and cost $106 million to clean up. (January 19, 2017) TorontoIST [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/21/2017 - Our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) remain steadfast on addressing Climate Change in Rochester, NY. Good article at a critical moment on how the RPCC, an umbrella organization for over 100 groups, intends on taking action to address Climate Change at the local level. Rochester Climate Coalition unbowed by Trump's planned changes This was not a good week for the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition. On Wednesday scientists reported that the Earth had hit its highest recorded temperature for the third year in a row. On Friday the United States inaugurated a president who calls climate change a hoax and has vowed to roll back federal efforts to limit greenhouse gas. RPCC leaders who met on Thursday morning were trying to stay upbeat. (January 20, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/20/2017 - 2016 was the #HottestYear on record. 2017 is the year to really, really #ActOnClimate. 2016: The Hottest Year on Record Published on Jan 18, 2017 NASA and NOAA have declared 2016 the hottest year on record. There was some positive climate news in 2016, but it was also a year of dangerous climate impacts. (January 18, 2017) Nexus Media Studios [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/20/2017 - The reality is that Climate Change is happening now and we need to address it on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes. Global Warning: 24 hours on the climate change frontline as Trump becomes president – as it happened With climate change deniers moving into the White House, the Guardian is spending 24 hours focusing climate change happening now. After reporting from Europe, Africa, the Middle East and the Americas, we’re now focusing on how warming temperatures will affect the Asia-Pacific region • Our partner, Univision News, is hosting a parallel event in Spanish today. Follow it here • The Tumblr community is joining us with personal posts about climate change. See them here We’re just a few hours from Donald Trump being inaugurated as the president of the United States, and we’re signing off from our 24-hour Global Warning live blog: a marathon effort from our Guardian offices in London, New York and Sydney, as well as our correspondents dotted around the globe. What we’ve seen, as we’ve travelled around the world, is that regardless of what climate deniers (yes, deniers) like Trump may say about the science, the stark reality is that it is happening now. (January 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/20/2017 - Friends don’t let friends go extinct. Our fellow primate species, as are thousands of species, are threatened by our way of life and our Climate Change. “The Sixth Great Extinction Is Underway—and We’re to Blame” (July 25, 2014 – Time) Most Primate Species Threatened With Extinction, Scientists Find Our fellow primates are in trouble. In a study of unprecedented scope, a team of 31 primatologists has analyzed every known species of primate to judge how they are faring. The news for man’s closest animal relatives is not good. Three-quarters of primate species are in decline, the researchers found, and about 60 percent are now threatened with extinction. From gorillas to gibbons, primates are in significantly worse shape now than in recent decades because of the devastation from agriculture, hunting and mining. (January 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Wildlife in our area]
1/20/2017 - At 1.1C of warming now, where 1.5C will be hell for developing nations, it’s time for the developed nations to step off the gas and step up the Green Climate Fund. World’s poorest urge G20 to make long-term climate plans Chair of Climate Vulnerable Forum looks to Merkel for leadership as developing countries try to ratchet up pressure on wealthy nations That’s the demand from a coalition of 43 of the poorest and most climate vulnerable countries ahead of July’s G20 summit in Hamburg. They want governments from the wealthy Group of 20 to start work on long term plans to ditch fossil fuels ahead of a UN climate policy review in 2018. “Chancellor Merkel now should convince as many of her G20 partners as possible to develop and submit their national 2050 strategies by 2018, in order to inform the global stock take and enable a lifting up of ambitions,” says the open letter to the German leader. (January 19, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/20/2017 - Remember when we never heard about the goings on at the Arctic in our media? Now, because of Climate Change, the amount of ice and heat at this major part of our planet makes continual news. It’s critical that we keep our eye on the Arctic and we probably should have been doing so decades ago. Warm Air Invades Arctic Again, Slowing Sea Ice Growth A surge of warm air and stormy weather has once again invaded the Arctic, sending temperatures soaring and stagnating winter sea ice growth. These repeated incursions have helped keep sea ice area at record low levels for much of the freeze season, and have even contributed to an exceptional cold season retreat. These recent record lows are part of a clear downward spiral of Arctic sea ice caused by regional temperature rise that is happening at twice the global pace, fueled by continued greenhouse gas emissions. 2016, the hottest year on record for the planet, was something of an exclamation point on that Arctic trend, with seven months of record low sea ice levels, as well as record high air temperatures in the region. (January 19, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/19/2017 - And now a word on “Global Temperature in 2016” from climate expert, author, and activist Dr. James Hansen Missed Dr. Hansen’s talk in Rochester, NY on April 21st at Monroe County Community College during Earth Week 2015? Watch the entire speech, with introduction by Dr. Susan Spencer. Very high quality video. Global Temperature in 2016 Abstract. Global surface temperature in 2016 was the highest in the period of instrumental measurements. Relative to average temperature for 1880-1920, which we take as an appropriate estimate of “pre-industrial” temperature, 2016 was +1.26°C (~2.3°F) warmer than in the base period. The 2016 temperature was partially boosted by a 2015-16 El Niño, which was almost as strong as the 1997-98 “El Niño of the century”. We estimate current global temperature excluding short-term variability as +1.07°C relative to 1880-1920, based on linear fit to post-1970 global temperatures. Update of the GISS (Goddard Institute for Space Studies) global temperature analysis (GISTEMP)[i],[ii] (Fig. 1a), finds 2016 to be the warmest year in the instrumental record. (More detail is available at here; figures in this summary are available from Makiko Sato on the latter web site.) For the second year in a row the prior record was broken by a substantial margin. 2015 and 2016 annual temperatures were, in part, boosted by the 2015-16 El Niño. Because of the delayed global response to the natural El Niño/La Niña variability,[iii] it is likely that the 2017 global temperature will fall below that of 2016, as discussed below. (January 18, 2017) Climate Science, Awareness and Solutions, Earth Institute Columbia University (more on Climate Change in our area]
1/19/2017 - Important newsletter from our friends over at the Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) RPCC News, vol. 8: Now's the Time to Get Involved! "This volume contains information on upcoming local climate events,#DayAgainstDenial, New York's Pilgrim Pipeline, Rochester's Climate Action Plan, Earth Day 2017 and People's Climate March in Washington DC. "
“Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.
1/19/2017 - That humanity started seriously warming up Earth’s atmosphere around the mid-1800’s is being verified and verified around the world. Most of the human-caused greenhouse gasses that have already warmed our atmosphere to 1C was put there by US, the developed nations, which means we have a moral obligation to help the developing nations with a planetary problem we caused. Tibetan Tree Rings Trace Climate Change to 1870s A new study shows that temperatures have been rising since the industrial revolution. Climate change has made the Tibetan Plateau warmer than ever, according to meteorological records from as early as the 1950s. Now, researchers have found evidence that the rise in temperatures may have actually been underway since the industrial revolution. In a report published Wednesday in the science journal Nature Communications, researchers studied tree rings and found that climate change affected the sparsely populated plateau as early as the 1870s. Scientists from China and Europe analyzed samples taken from 153 Picea balfouriana trees, a type of spruce, which grow at altitudes of more than 4,000 meters above sea level and can live for more than 300 years. The researchers studied the width and density of the trees’ rings to calculate the seasonal temperature during the formation of each ring. (January 18, 2017) Sixth Tone [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/19/2017 - Oftentimes, writers, reporters, educators, and scientists refer to Climate Change as an existential problem. Here’s what they mean by that “In reality, the Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization.” Time passes. Earth Sets a Temperature Record for the Third Straight Year Marking another milestone for a changing planet, scientists reported on Wednesday that the Earth reached its highest temperature on record in 2016, trouncing a record set only a year earlier, which beat one set in 2014. It is the first time in the modern era of global warming data that temperatures have blown past the previous record three years in a row. The findings come two days before the inauguration of an American president who has called global warming a Chinese plot and vowed to roll back his predecessor’s efforts to cut emissions of heat-trapping gases. In reality, the Earth is heating up, a point long beyond serious scientific dispute, but one becoming more evident as the records keep falling. Temperatures are heading toward levels that many experts believe will pose a profound threat to both the natural world and to human civilization. (January 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/18/2017 - Dream Bikes in Rochester sounds like a wonderful program because bicycling, instead of using gas-guzzling vehicles, really does help our environment, promote good health, and in this case helps the lives of our Rochesterians. Transportation is responsible for 27% of our greenhouse gas emissions, so the more we can get folks to use active transportation (walking and bicycling) the better we can address Climate Change. Rochester steps up to the plate on addressing Climate Change with Dream Bikes”. Bike shop peddles opportunity BIcycles are a socially conscious form of transportation. They aren't as personally isolating as cars, they're better for the environment, and they're accessible to a broader range of people. Bicycles can also improve lives. That's the idea behind Dream Bikes, a nonprofit shop that opened this month at 1060 University Avenue. The shop's inventory of bikes, bike components, tires, cycling clothing, and gear is largely used, but there's more to the operation than what it sells. (January 18, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Transportation in our area]
1/18/2017 - In order to address Climate Change, developed nations must contribute to the Green Climate Fund so that developing nations don’t trash our climate by developing the way we did. Most of the human-emitted greenhouse gasses that warmed our planet to 1C since the mid-1800’s, where we are already experiencing extreme weather and more, came from the developed nations like ours. We developed nations not only have a moral responsibility to contribute to the Green Climate Fund, we must do so in our own interests so that the developing nations use renewable energy and quickly use the best agricultural and technology to live sustainably—so that our planet doesn’t warm more. Time passes. U.S. makes $500 million grant to climate change fund: State Department The United States has made a $500 million grant to the Green Climate Fund, meant to help developing nations combat climate change, the State Department said on Tuesday. (January 17, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/18/2017 - When our region’s major e-waste recycler is able to recycle more e-waste that is good for all of us. E-waste is a major source of pollution and it is now illegal in New York State for even homeowners to curb their e-waste where it goes into landfills. Check out “Electronic Waste Recycling” from the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation. | Sunnking's new equipment to boost profitability Brockport-based Sunnking Inc. has purchased new equipment to help the firm become more efficient in dealing in end-of-life electronic equipment, officials said. The company moved to a new 204,000 square-foot facility in November. “End-of-life electronics and equipment are a growing global concern,” CEO Duane Beckett said. “We are excited about our new equipment because it helps us accomplish our mission to provide superior asset management and recovery services. We use proven reuse and recycling techniques that maximize asset value and promote environmental sustainability, while meeting data sanitation requirements of our clients.” (January 17, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Recycling in our area]
1/18/2017 - In order to address Climate Change, it’s important that we be able to monitor our own greenhouse gasses emission—even in our homes. Feedback, in this case, information about how our behavior is affecting our planet, is crucial so we can live sustainably in a time of warming. Check out this great webinar and find out how our homes can be a part of the worldwide effort to get our greenhouse gas emissions down. “Wouldn’t it be great to understand a home’s energy efficiency like a car’s miles per gallon? This Climate Smart Communities (CSC) webinar will describe a voluntary program in Tompkins County where homeowners would get an “energy score” for their home that could be shared with prospective buyers, tenants, or other interested parties. A home energy score is a succinct summary of the energy efficiency and physical structure of a residential building.” Residential Energy Score Project – A Model for Advancing Energy Efficiency – A Climate Smart Communities Webinar Thursday, February 9, 2017 at 10:30 AM - 12:00 PM Wouldn’t it be great to understand a home’s energy efficiency like a car’s miles per gallon? This Climate Smart Communities (CSC) webinar will describe a voluntary program in Tompkins County where homeowners would get an “energy score” for their home that could be shared with prospective buyers, tenants, or other interested parties. A home energy score is a succinct summary of the energy efficiency and physical structure of a residential building. The Residential Energy Score Project seeks to create strong market demand for energy efficiency in existing houses and, by extension, to reduce utility costs for homeowners, to increase energy literacy, and to help promote sustainability goals. Please provide us with your name and community affiliation, either via email or telephone to the Office of Climate Change at email@example.com or 518-402-8448. In the event that we cancel or postpone this webinar, respondents will be notified. (January 17, 2017) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/18/2017 - In order to address Climate Change, we must grow many more trees, not cut them down. We should especially be setting aside large areas of pristine forests, which have not been disturbed by human development and severed by trails and roads. Forest are carbon sinks and the keepers of biodiversity. Forests are an ecosystem whose entire nature we do not yet know about, though there are studies that suggest forest are like a large communicating hive of life, far more sensitive to disturbances than we ever thought. Check out this great book: “The Hidden Life of Trees: What They Feel, How They Communicate-Discoveries from a Secret World” by Peter Wohlleben and a review of this book in the NYT: German Forest Ranger Finds That Trees Have Social Networks, Too (NYT, January 2016). Humans have destroyed 7% of Earth’s pristine forest landscapes just since 2000 The world’s natural places are disappearing at a galloping clip, says a new study, released Friday in the journal Science Advances. It suggests that more than 7 percent of Earth’s natural, intact forest landscapes have been lost since 2000 — and these ecosystems may be in danger of disappearing entirely from at least 19 countries in the next 60 years. These landscapes represent some of “the last portions of the Earth that are not significantly affected by human influence,” said Lars Laestadius, a forest expert, consultant on natural resources policy and co-author of the new study. “As we lose these, we lose something that is bigger than ourselves.” (January 13, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Plants in our area]
1/17/2017 - A sizeable part of our world’s ecosystem (Japan's biggest coral reef) is failing because of human-caused global warming. This event may be happening on the other side of the world, but your ox is being gored. When major ecosystems are failing because of Climate Change, we and all who might come after us will feel the pain. Time passes. Almost 75% of Japan's biggest coral reef has died from bleaching, says report Coral in the Sekisei lagoon in Okinawa has turned brown and is covered with algae, according to a government study Almost three-quarters of Japan’s biggest coral reef has died, according to a report that blames its demise on rising sea temperatures caused by global warming. The Japanese environment ministry said that 70% of the Sekisei lagoon in Okinawa had been killed by a phenomenon known as bleaching. Bleaching occurs when unusually warm water causes coral to expel the algae living in their tissues, causing the coral to turn completely white. Unless water temperatures quickly return to normal, the coral eventually dies from lack of nutrition. (January 11, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/17/2017 - It shouldn’t be “amazing!” when our leaders finally get around to addressing water quality issues that have gotten so bad they are unavoidable. If our leaders and our media were on the ball, things like this would not have happened in the first place: “Raw sewage in Scajaquada Creek near the Buffalo History Museum. Manure and pesticides in Chautauqua Lake. Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in schools and homes. Floatable debris polluting beaches and even Canalside.” Our expectations of our media and our leaders are so low when it comes to our environment, our life supports system, we are agog when they do their freaking job. Cuomo's $2 billion clean water push called 'amazing' Raw sewage in Scajaquada Creek near the Buffalo History Museum. Manure and pesticides in Chautauqua Lake. Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in schools and homes. Floatable debris polluting beaches and even Canalside. Raw sewage in Scajaquada Creek near the Buffalo History Museum. Manure and pesticides in Chautauqua Lake. Elevated levels of lead in drinking water in schools and homes. Floatable debris polluting beaches and even Canalside. ADVERTISEMENT Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo said he wants to address problems like these with a $2 billion proposal to improve water quality in the Buffalo Niagara region and the rest of New York State. Part of the money would be spent on projects beyond gray infrastructure – like replacing water and sewer lines and expanding wastewater plants – and instead pay for ways to prevent water pollution in the first place, proponents said. (January 17, 2017) The Buffalo News [more on Water Quality in our area]
1/17/2017 - Just when you think bees are OK because the media hasn’t been reporting on threats to their existence, bees end up on our endangered species list. What happened, how did we get to this state? Our present mainstream media likes big news, like the beginning and ending of environmental problems. It’s the middle, where environmental issues metastasize and become incurable, that our media fall down. The public needs constant monitoring of our environmental issues by our media so that our life support issues can be addressed. Only reporting on the collapse of environmental pieces isn’t all the helpful. Time passes. U.S. Lists First Bumble Bee Species as Endangered The rusty patched bumble bee, a prized but vanishing pollinator once familiar to much of North America, was listed on Tuesday as an endangered species, becoming the first wild bee in the continental United States to gain such federal protection. One of several species facing sharp declines, the bumble bee known to scientists as Bombus affinis has plunged nearly 90 percent in abundance and distribution since the late 1990s, according to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service. (January 14, 2017) Climate Central [more on Wildlife in our area]
1/17/2017 - From our friends over at Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) "Show support for the City of Rochester's Climate Action Plan (CAP): To read the plan, go to the City's CAP website to download it. Look for "To review the draft community-wide Climate Action Plan, click here" in the "What's Next?" section. From that website, you can also view the posters that were displayed during the Nov. 9 Open House. Thank you to our many members who attended! We are told that the City and their consultants were very impressed by the turnout and interest in the CAP. While the general comment period is closed, the CAP still needs to be passed by City Council. Let's continue to show the City that there is strong support for climate action in our community! Please send a note thanking the City for leading on climate change, and/or expressing support for officially passing the CAP. Send your personal note and/or one from your organization to: Anne Spaulding, Director of the Office of Energy and Sustainability: here
1/17/2017 - It’s time again for those amazing jumping fish photos. The invasive Asian Carp could potentially change the Great Lakes ecosystem. Are we doing enough to prevent this ecological threat, a threat that will do a lot more than “… disrupt food chains and compete with valuable native species.” Efforts Continue to Stop Spread of Asian Carp (AP) - Federal officials say they'll continue efforts to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes, despite uncertainty about what Donald Trump might propose. The Obama administration has spent over $388 million since 2010 to shield the lakes from the invasive fish, which could disrupt food chains and compete with valuable native species. (January 13, 2017) The Associated Press [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]
1/17/2017 - Heating buildings, especially in our Northeast, accounts for a lot of our greenhouse gas emissions. So, finding ways to reducing or conserve energy use can make a big difference in addressing Climate Change. State offers $4.2 million to fund energy training programs New York state is making available $4.2 million for training programs aimed at reducing energy use in buildings. The funding will be used for building operations and to instruct maintenance workers on best practices. It's part of a broader statewide effort under the Clean Energy Fund to offer customized technical assistance to increase energy efficiency. To be eligible for the funding, buildings, or groups of buildings, must have total annual energy expenditures of $1 million. (January 16, 2017) WXXI News [more on Energy in our area]
1/17/2017 - Times are a-changing. One thing we get with more online shopping is more cardboard. And that cardboard should be recycled. County reminds residents to recycle cardboard Monroe County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo and Waste Management of New York are reminding residents to recycle cardboard, especially after the holidays. Cardboard used for shipping has become one of the most disposed of household materials with the increasing popularity of online shopping. (January 11, 2017) Brighton-Pittsford Post [more on Recycling in our area]
1/16/2017 - Bicycles should be a viable transportation option in the Rochester region. Along with more bike share programs, we should have more media attention on bicycling safely pertaining to both cyclists and motorists so it is more likely that everyone will follow the rules of the road and keep all forms of transportation in our streets safe. Active transportation (walking and bicycling) can have a major effect on reducing greenhouse gasses in our region. Time passes. The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester The brakes aren't up on city-wide bikeshare program in Rochester. This bikeshare program would let you rent a bike around town. The city is on board with the program, but they aren't funding it. The map of plans for a bike share system only includes areas with corporate sponsors who can foot the bill. For areas with smaller businesses, Reconnect Rochester is asking you for your help to get the program into gear. (January 16, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Transportation in our area]
1/16/2017 - Knowing whether weather conditions are caused by Climate Change is critical in convincing the public that Climate Change is happening and addressing the proper causes of extreme weather. If for example, a giant dust storm is caused by human conflict then that should be addressed. If a storm is caused by Climate Change, that’s a whole other kettle of fish. Human conflict can (in theory) be stopped immediately. Climate Change has a long lag time and cannot be stopped immediately. The warming we have already baked into our climate system since the mid 1800’s has already caused extreme weather and changes to our ecosystems and this will take time to play out. Time passes. Giant Middle East dust storm caused by a changing climate, not human conflict Researchers have concluded that the most likely cause of a giant dust storm that struck the Middle East in 2015 was climate and unusual weather rather than conflict. (January 13, 2017) Science Daily [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/14/2017 - Understanding the Big Picture of getting “North America’s unconventional oil reserves to market”: it’s a whack-a-mole game between activists and the fossil fuel industry that may end up threatening the Great Lakes. #keepItInTheGround is more complex and dangerous than we ever thought. “As pipeline protests have raged out West for the last decade, ever-growing volumes of North American oil have been discreetly flowing through the far more populous Great Lakes region, under its forests, rivers, ponds, wetlands, cities and towns and even, in one extreme case, across the bottom of the Great Lakes themselves. This is the story of what could be called the Great Lakes XXL — a swelling, invisible river of oil flowing through the world’s largest freshwater system at a time when other regions on the continent are rejecting the risk of new pipelines.” Path of least resistance As new pipelines stall on the Great Plains, oil pressure builds in the Great Lakes As pipeline protests have raged out West for the last decade, ever-growing volumes of North American oil have been discreetly flowing through the far more populous Great Lakes region, under its forests, rivers, ponds, wetlands, cities and towns and even, in one extreme case, across the bottom of the Great Lakes themselves. This is the story of what could be called the Great Lakes XXL — a swelling, invisible river of oil flowing through the world’s largest freshwater system at a time when other regions on the continent are rejecting the risk of new pipelines. (January 13, 2017) Journal Sentinel [more on Great Lakes and Energy in our area]
1/14/2017 - We know Climate Change will impact Wildlife. But how many wildlife species will impact Climate Change? Our environment, our life support system is extremely complex. It’s a system that has evolved for billions of years, everything finely tuned and in sync with all other life forms. An even slight change in climate causes ripples throughout our life support system. These changes don’t go just one way; these changes move according to biological patterns we are just beginning to find out about. Trying to find hope in these patterns will be fleeting and ephemeral because the complexity of our environment is still beyond our knowledge of it. Before we changed the climate on Earth, maybe we should have planned that out a little better. Time passes. How Reindeer Could Help Combat Climate Change Reindeer are climate change victims themselves, but they could also be a powerful weapon against it, a study suggests. Climate change poses a serious threat to reindeer. Over the past decade, at least 80,000 of them have starved to death in Siberia because of melting sea ice. In the North Pole, warmer temperatures have caused reindeers to shrink in size. But it turns out that reindeer may themselves be a useful weapon in the fight against global warming, a study published in the journal Environmental Research Letters last month finds. And their own appetites could help ensure their continued survival. Researchers visited the Arctic county of Troms, Norway, and discovered that reindeers’ grazing could help slow climate change by increasing albedo, or the amount of solar radiation reflected back into space, in the Arctic. (January 6, 2017) The Huffington Post [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]
1/14/2017 - What is the “social cost of carbon”; how much is it; and, why should we care? Will Trump’s Climate Team Accept Any ‘Social Cost of Carbon’? The nation’s top science panel has just sketched a clearer way to set a fair price today for cutting tomorrow’s climate risks. Some of Trump’s advisers say the price should be zero. President-elect Donald Trump and members of his proposed cabinet and transition team have taken aim at many of President Obama’s climate and clean-energy policies, programs and legacies — from the Paris Agreement to the Clean Power Plan. But there’s probably no more consequential and contentious a target for the incoming administration than an arcane metric called the “social cost of carbon.” (January 11. 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]
1/13/2017 - One of the predicted effects of Climate Change in our region is an increase in mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika and tick-borne Lyme disease because of a warmer temperatures. This study by “… Cornell will serve as the hub for a team of medical entomologists, virologists, epidemiologists, ecologists, modelers and molecular biologists, under the direction of entomology professor Laura Harrington.” Climate Change will affect public health and we must find out how that is going to happen. $10M CDC grant funds center to fight vector borne diseases Managing mosquito-borne viruses, such as West Nile, Dengue, Zika and tick-borne Lyme disease have been a challenge due to lack of resources, knowledge and trained expertise. To better understand, prevent and treat diseases passed from insects to people, the Cornell-led Northeast Regional Center for Excellence in Vector Borne Diseases will launch later this month, thanks to a $10 million grant from the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC). (January 9, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]
1/13/2017 - Carbon sinks can only be carbon sinks when we #KeepItInTheGround Some regions should be kept entirely free of human development. Carbon deposit in Congo swamp equal to 20 years of U.S. gas emissions: study Scientists say a recently discovered area of peatland straddling the two Congos contains 30 billion tonnes of carbon dioxide, equivalent to 20 years of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, and must be protected to prevent major environmental damage. The British and Congolese teams, who made the discovery in 2014, say it is the largest known tropical peatland - home to rare gorillas and forest elephants - and in Wednesday's edition of Nature they say development there would release the gas. Carbon dioxide is linked to climate change and peatlands, formed from the accumulation of dead plant material, act as "carbon sinks." Peat does not decompose in a water-logged state but when it dries, the organisms that break down plant material revive and the carbon seeps back into the atmosphere. (January 11, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
1/13/2017 - With Climate Change, development, our infrastructures, pollution, threats to our ecosystems, and the lives of seven billion people, scientists are crucial to humanity’s ability to have a sustainable existence. Protecting the integrity of science and our scientists is a must in a world so finely woven with humanity’s influence. On eve of Trump, Obama’s Energy Department announces new policy to protect scientists | Speaking at the National Press Club Wednesday, outgoing Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz announced a new “scientific integrity” policy for an agency recently wracked by concerns about how an administration led by President-elect Donald Trump will treat employees who worked on climate change and other sensitive energy-related issues. “It’s part of establishing the environment that allows scientist to do their work, to stay with us, and to recruit new people,” Moniz said in announcing the new policy. (January 11, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]