Updated Daily  10/16/2017 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 29:   406.04 ppm  (from NOAA Earth System Research Laboratory Global Monitoring Division

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter October 15, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

 

Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

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

Posted Today - Monday, October 16, 2017

  • Upkeep of Monroe County local bridges better than most of state Bridges owned by New York’s local governments need over $27 billion in repairs, according to a recent report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But Monroe County isn’t in as bad a shape as other parts of the state. Terrance Rice, Monroe County Director of Transportation says according to the report there are 10 bridges out of 170 in Monroe County that need repairs, but that also includes bridges run by local towns or the city of Rochester. He noted a couple bridges that he knew could use some work. "Bowerman Road I’m sure is close to being on that list if it isn’t on the list, and we are just finishing up a rehabilitation project there this year with federal money. As well as Coldwater Road, that is a replacement, the road is closed." (October 15, 2017) WXXI News [more on Transportation in our area]

  • Amid wreckage of hurricane-devastated Caribbean, leaders see a climate change opening SALYBIA, DOMINICA  In the ruins of his hurricane-ravaged nation, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sees the homes that have to be razed, the hospital and clinics that collapsed and the power lines that failed. But amid the overwhelming destruction wrought by a powerful Hurricane Maria last month, Skerrit also sees opportunity. On Sunday, as U.N. Secretary General António Guterres wrapped up a 24-hour visit here and to Antigua and Barbuda, Skerrit presented a bold rebuilding plan for a tiny country that today can barely provide food and water for its people but wants to be a model for the Caribbean. He wants to transform Dominica, he said, into the “world’s first climate-resistant nation in the climate change era.” And he wants the United Nations — and Guterres — at his side on the front lines. (October 10, 2017) Miami Herald [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • In Puerto Rico, a Daily Struggle for Water and Food People in poor communities hit hard by the hurricane are rationing their food, water and propane, and hospitals are trying to operate on shaky power supplies. In rural and impoverished areas of Puerto Rico, a new day means a new search for food and safe water as the humanitarian crisis there continues to escalate. More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria, 36 percent of homes in the U.S. territory lack clean water, 85 percent are without electricity, and President Trump is raising anxieties further as he tweets threats to end federal assistance that aid workers on the ground say has been slow to reach hard-hit areas if it has reached them at all. (October 15, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]


News Highlight

Optimism vs. pessimism on addressing Climate Change: does it matter?   

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Is it possible that much of the Climate Change news that optimists characterize as pessimism is simply realism? Independent of human sentiment, the Arctic is melting, the parts-per-million of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere is steadily going up, and our oceans are absorbing much of the human-caused heat buildup —causing rising seas and more acidity. As scientists monitor and study the effects of greenhouse gas emissions being pumped into our climate system, the experts are finding that it is increasingly likely that our everyday weather, extreme weather events, our ecosystems, wildlife, and humanity itself are being negatively influenced by Climate Change. Scientists aren’t being pessimistic when they seek to unravel the consequences of Climate Change; they are reporting to humanity about a vital issue.

According to Google, optimism is “hopefulness and confidence about the future or the successful outcome of something” and pessimism is its antonym. That is to say, both optimism and pessimism are human emotions. They are important, but they are not facts.  It is with this observation that I mention this article on how humanity feels about addressing Climate Change at this point in time:  

NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE GLOBALLY ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Week NYC 2017 Opening Ceremony, New York, September 18: A new survey finds that a majority of people globally are optimistic about our ability to address climate change, with 64% of global citizens believing we can address climate change if we take action now. Overall, 33% strongly agree this is the case, and 32% tend to agree. Only 11% disagree that we can address climate change if we take action now. The survey, conducted by global market research firm Ipsos on behalf of non-profit organization The Climate Group and change agency Futerra, polled online adults aged 16-64 in 26 countries and is at the heart of a new campaign, #ClimateOptimist, launched today to change the dominant narrative on climate change. The campaign’s partners include Mars, VF Corp, Interface, Ashden and the DivestInvest movement. The survey found that people in emerging economies are especially likely to feel positive about solving climate change, with 71% of these respondents believing we can address it if we take action now, compared to only 59% in established economies. Countries with high numbers of optimists include Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico, India, Peru and South Africa. (September 18, 2017) Climate Week NYC [more on Climate Change in our area]

It's problematic as to whether humanity is actually optimistic or pessimistic about addressing Climate Change because these kinds of studies are limited and even the people questioned may change their minds from day to day. So instead of trying to nail down whether the study above accurately sums up humanity’s opinion, I want to address a more interesting statement in the article:

“Solving climate change starts with the belief that we can, so on the one hand it is thrilling to learn that Climate Optimists already far outweigh Pessimists globally,” said Solitaire Townsend, Co-founder of Futerra, speaking at the launch.

It seems self-evident that to solve Climate Change we must believe that we can. But is it? Further, is it even possible to solve Climate Change and if so what does that mean?

I’ll comment on the second question first. If by ‘solving Climate Change’ we mean that we’ll be able to cut greenhouse gases so we can return to our way of life soon, that is unlikely. That’s not being pessimistic, it’s being realistic about the nature of Climate Change. This Climate Change, unlike those climatic changes before, involves over seven billion people together with the critical infrastructure necessary to their (our) survival. And it involves the accumulated environmental abuses—species extinctions, the proliferation of invasive species, pollution, and much more—that must be addressed even if we stop emitting more greenhouse gases right now. Of course, in my opinion, we aren’t going to stop emitting greenhouse gases right now, and we’re probably not going to bring them down to a safe level for a long time. This means we’ll have to adapt to a lot more extremes emanating from what we have stored in our atmosphere and oceans.

At best we might be able to manage the environmental problems ahead and adapt. But our way of life will have to be different. It’s quite a leap of faith to believe that we can or must remain optimistic about preserving a way of life that brought us to this crisis—especially in the face of a Trump administration back-peddling on all our environmental protections and a world distracted by everything else. Humanity is far from setting Climate Change as its top priority, which is what it will take to manage our warming world.  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:

  • Organic farming operation to bring 50 jobs to Brockport Organic farming is bringing 50 jobs to the Brockport area. That according to Governor Cuomo who says that Duncan Family Farms, a leading organic grower based in Arizona, has expanded into Monroe County. Duncan is partnering with Newstead Ranch on an $11.8 million dollar project. The company will be growing baby leaf items including spinach and romaine for customers throughout the region and along the East Coast. They eventually expect to expand into other specialty vegetable crops. (September 6, 2017) WXXI News [more on Food and Green Business in our 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]

Event Highlight:

Join us on October 28th in Rochester, NY!      

Saturday Evening  October 28th, 2017 8AM – 5PM   

Harley School, 1981 Clover St. Rochester, NY  

The Rochester People's Climate Coalition has been working with a number of other organizations from around the state to put together a "NY Climate Solutions Summit" that will take place on October 28 here in Rochester.  

 

The summit aims to build a larger movement across NYS that is prepared to take action to implement effective climate solutions.  We will provide an opportunity for clean energy and climate organizers from communities across the region to come together to share projects, resources, experiences and skills to tackle climate change and implement solutions.

 

The Climate Solutions Summit will offer:  Case studies and workshops in renewable energy (solar, wind, renewable heating and cooling), energy efficiency, green transportation, sustainable land use, environmental justice, technical skills, movement building skills and networking with members of the climate movement.

 

Please consider joining us for this event, and don't hesitate to invite others in your network!  You must register here:  For more information, go to NYClimateSummit.org or visit our FB event page. Let me know if you have any comments or questions.  To add your group as a supporter of the Summit, contact info@nyclimatesummit.org.

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...      

October 2017

  • Tuesday, October 17, 2017  from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at 425 Paul Road in Chili.
    • Free Community Shred Day: Celebrate National Disability Employment Awareness Month! Classified Scanning & Shredding, a division of Lifetime Assistance, in partnership with Crime Stoppers and Senator Joe Robach, will be hosting a free community shred day on Tuesday, October 17, from 10:00 am - 2:00 pm at 425 Paul Road in Chili. Local residents will have the opportunity to dispose of confidential documents in a safe and secure manner. Limit 3 file boxes per person. The first 300 attendees will receive a free RFID credit card protection sleeve.For more information, contact Lou Ann Owens at 756-2233 or info@classifiedshredding.com.
  • October 17, 2017 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET | Webinar
    • EPA Tools and Resources Webinar: EnviroAtlas October 17, 2017 3:00 to 4:00 PM ET   EnviroAtlas is a web-based decision support tool that combines maps, analysis tools, downloadable data and informational resources that states, tribes, communities and individuals can use to help inform policy and planning decisions that impact the places where people live, learn, work and play. EnviroAtlas contains two primary tools: An Interactive Map, which provides access to 300+ ecosystem-related maps developed by EPA researchers and an Eco-Health Relationship Browser, which displays evidence from hundreds of scientific publications on the linkages between ecosystems, the services they provide, and human health.   The EnviroAtlas Interactive Map provides data for multiple extents for the U.S. and was created to help inform decisions, research and education. EnviroAtlas has been used in a range of research and planning projects, including community Health Impact Assessments, green infrastructure projects, restoration planning, brownfield redevelopment and others. EnviroAtlas resources are also being used in K-12 to undergraduate classrooms: a provided EnviroAtlas educational curriculum helps guide educators on potential uses. EnviroAtlas has been publicly available since May 2014 and was updated in June 2017 to include a new, more user-friendly version of the Interactive Map.   Who should attend? Local governments, communities, planners, researchers, educators, state environmental and health agencies, tribes, stakeholders and others interested in learning about how to use EnviroAtlas in real-world contexts   To join the webinar, please register: If you are unable to listen through your computer speakers, please dial: 1-866-299-3188. Access Code: 202-564-6669. Please note telephone lines are muted during the webinar.
  • Saturday, October 21 at 8:45 AM | 1 Lomb Memorial Dr, Rochester, NY 14623-5603, United States
    • 2-Day Hands-on Passive House Workshop Join us for this unique opportunity in western NY to get in-depth, hands-on training in the exciting field of Passive House Design and Construction! This intensive 2-day course will provide participants with: • a strong foundation in Passive House Principles,  • an understanding of common construction materials used, and  • hands-on experience with airtight, thermal-bridge-free construction.  Participants will leave with an understanding of what unique aspects make a building a Passive House and will have contributed to the building of an actual Passive House structure on campus! Presenter: Bill LaBine is a certified PH designer/consultant/tradesman (US and International) and has extensive experience lecturing and designing low energy homes in western NY. Class Size: The class size will be limited to 12 participants, 6 students and 6 community members Cost: Students: $25, Community members: $295, $195 for early registration by Oct. 10. Registration: Due to the limited class size, please email bill@airtightservicesinc.com to insure that there are still slots available before sending payment. AIA Continuing Ed Credits pending...
  • Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6 to 8 PM, St. Monica Church, 831 Genesee Street, Rochester, NY 14611. RSVP at Event Website  More Info: Contact Sue Starpoli via email at suestar1@rochester.rr.com or by phone at 585-586-4007. 
    • Introduction to Draw Down Ever wondered how you can play a role in the reversal of global warming? This informal introductory course presented via video by Paul Hawken will uncover the latest research on how global warming can be reversed by 2050. This is based on the book "Drawdown: the most comprehensive plan ever proposed to reverse global warming" which is edited by Paul Hawken. In this event you will learn 80 solutions that can be worked toward, explore those solutions that call to you the most, and work with others to combine those solutions. Along with solutions, the Drawdown approach teaches how to shift one’s view to one focused on optimism and agency. Yes, we can all make a difference in the fight to reverse global warming! Sponsored by Pachamama Alliance.     When and Where #1: Sunday, October 15, 2017, 6:30 to 8:30 PM at First Unitarian Church, 220 Winton Road South, Rochester, NY. RSVP at Event Website When and Where #2: Sunday, October 22, 2017, 6 to 8 PM, St. Monica Church, 831 Genesee Street, Rochester, NY 14611. RSVP at Event Website  More Info: Contact Sue Starpoli via email at suestar1@rochester.rr.com or by phone at 585-586-4007. 
  • Wednesday, October 25, 6 - 7:30pm, SUNY Brockport MetroCenter, 55 St. Paul St., Rochester - across the street from the RTS Transit Center”
    • ACTION: Considering the importance of public transportation during Climate Change, Rochester’s attempts to redesigning our bus system are welcomed. People in all walks of life, for all the reasons we must get around, it’s really important that we have a varied transportation system that suits all—and also be resilient and robust enough for the challenges the Climate Change brings. Transportation accounts for 27% of greenhouse gases and so taking public transportation, walking and bicycling must be real options for getting around and lower our carbon footprints. Get involved inReimagine RTS Information Session, Learn about the study and share your ideas on how we can improve public transit in Rochester—together. A formal presentation will be held followed by topic/activity stations. Wednesday, October 25, 6 - 7:30pm, SUNY Brockport MetroCenter, 55 St. Paul St., Rochester - across the street from the RTS Transit Center”
  • Saturday, October 28th at the Harley School in Rochester, NY!
    • We invite you to join us at the NY Climate Solutions Summit on Saturday, October 28th at the Harley School in Rochester, NY! The climate summit aims to build a larger movement across NYS that is prepared to take action to implement effective climate solutions. We seek to provide an opportunity for clean energy and climate organizers from communities across the region to come together to share projects, case studies, resources, experiences and skills to tackle climate change and implement solutions. The Climate Solutions Summit will offer:  Case studies and workshops in renewable energy (solar, wind, renewable heating and cooling- ground (geothermal) and air source heat pumps), energy efficiency, electric vehicles, clean mass transit, sustainable land use, environmental justice, technical skills, movement building skills and networking with members of the climate movement. Register here:  For more information, go to NYClimateSummit.org For comments, questions or to add your group as a supporter of the Summit, contact us at info@nyclimatesummit.org. The NY Climate Solutions Summit is brought to you by Rochester People's Climate Coalition, ACE NY, New Yorkers for Clean Power, Mothers Out Front, NY-GEO & the Alliance for a Green Economy. 

November 2017

  • Saturday, Nov. 4  9 AM- 12 noon. Meet at the Nunda entrance off of Cobbs Hill Drive. 
    • Friends of Washington Grove Volunteer Request: Spread the word and Help them Spread the Chips!    Saturday, Nov. 4  9 AM- 12 noon.  Friends, volunteers and those you might be first time volunteers in the Grove:   We need your help for our last volunteer day in the Grove- a very important one.  This is one of our most important workdays, protecting the trails.  People love the Grove and are using it more every year, and the trails take a beating.  Wood chips go a long way to helping stabilize trails against erosion.  Your help will make a big difference over the next year.  We will have wheel barrows to move the chips to the most needy trails, shovels to get them into the wheelbarrows, and rakes to spread them out.  You can choose any task, or switch from time to time. We will also have donuts, and cider to fuel you up.   It is good healthy exercise with great folks.  So please mark your calendar and plan to join us. Wear layers you can shed as you warm up.  Long pants you can tuck into your socks.  Gloves if you have them, otherwise we have extras.   Meet at the Nunda entrance off of Cobbs Hill Drive. 
  • Tuesday, November 14 7:00 PM–8:00 PM Wood Library — Mary Parmele Hamlin Meeting Room 134 N. Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424
    • Finger Lakes Land Trust Information Session Tuesday, November 14 7:00 PM–8:00 PM Wood Library — Mary Parmele Hamlin Meeting Room 134 N. Main St., Canandaigua, NY 14424   Learn about the Land Trust’s conservation plans for 2018 in Canandaigua and across the region. Director of Land Protection Zack Odell will provide a brief overview of the non-profit organization and discuss upcoming conservation projects, including efforts to protect water quality. There will be light refreshments and plenty of time for questions.   No registration required – free and open to the public. Questions? Call (607) 275-9487 or visit fllt.org/events

 

 

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 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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  • My COMMENTS are in Bold text:

  • 10/16/2017 - It will be comforting to know that our bridges are in a little better shape than surrounding infrastructures during extreme weather events. But on the other hand, our infrastructures will collapse at the weakest link. Our infrastructures are critical to our collective existence; so, every region’s roads and bridges and water pipes and gas pipes, and wastewater systems, telecommunications, and more must be ready for a hotter more disruptive climate. Time passes. Upkeep of Monroe County local bridges better than most of state Bridges owned by New York’s local governments need over $27 billion in repairs, according to a recent report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But Monroe County isn’t in as bad a shape as other parts of the state. Terrance Rice, Monroe County Director of Transportation says according to the report there are 10 bridges out of 170 in Monroe County that need repairs, but that also includes bridges run by local towns or the city of Rochester. He noted a couple bridges that he knew could use some work. "Bowerman Road I’m sure is close to being on that list if it isn’t on the list, and we are just finishing up a rehabilitation project there this year with federal money. As well as Coldwater Road, that is a replacement, the road is closed." (October 15, 2017) WXXI News [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - Can Dominica’s efforts to be the “world’s first climate-resistant nation in the climate change era…” after hurricanes’ complete devastation convince developed nations (like the USA) of the need to address and prepare for Climate Change? Time passes. Amid wreckage of hurricane-devastated Caribbean, leaders see a climate change opening SALYBIA, DOMINICA  In the ruins of his hurricane-ravaged nation, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sees the homes that have to be razed, the hospital and clinics that collapsed and the power lines that failed. But amid the overwhelming destruction wrought by a powerful Hurricane Maria last month, Skerrit also sees opportunity. On Sunday, as U.N. Secretary General António Guterres wrapped up a 24-hour visit here and to Antigua and Barbuda, Skerrit presented a bold rebuilding plan for a tiny country that today can barely provide food and water for its people but wants to be a model for the Caribbean. He wants to transform Dominica, he said, into the “world’s first climate-resistant nation in the climate change era.” And he wants the United Nations — and Guterres — at his side on the front lines. (October 10, 2017) Miami Herald [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - How a nation responds to climate disasters and prepares for the next is an indicator of how much hope we might place in addressing Climate Change. Puerto Rico’s “Frustration with the Federal Response” is not a good sign. Time passes. In Puerto Rico, a Daily Struggle for Water and Food People in poor communities hit hard by the hurricane are rationing their food, water and propane, and hospitals are trying to operate on shaky power supplies. In rural and impoverished areas of Puerto Rico, a new day means a new search for food and safe water as the humanitarian crisis there continues to escalate. More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria, 36 percent of homes in the U.S. territory lack clean water, 85 percent are without electricity, and President Trump is raising anxieties further as he tweets threats to end federal assistance that aid workers on the ground say has been slow to reach hard-hit areas if it has reached them at all. (October 15, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - Excellent discussion on Climate One podcast with top environmental reporters how they view communicating Climate Change. Great insights into the challenges of how to articulate the greatest challenge of our times and engage the public. ELIZABETH KOBERT AND DAVID ROBERTS: COVERING CATASTROPHE "Communicating about climate change and convincing the public that something needs to be done about it is a complicated proposition, one that reporters Elizabeth Kolbert and David Roberts face daily in their jobs of covering the looming catastrophe. " (September 22, 2017) Climate One [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - EPA’s 4-year plan that says nothing about climate change probably ain’t that popular around the world, especially in developing nations. Sad. We in one of the developed nations, who contributed greatly to Climate Change, are saying ‘tough luck’ to those nations being devastated by Climate Change. When will we re-join the world with a responsible attitude towards the crisis of our time—which we had a lot to do with? Time passes. EPA’s 4-year plan says nothing about climate change Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon dioxide are nowhere to be found in the Environmental Protection Agency’s four-year strategic plan. The recently released 38-page draft of the EPA plan instead focuses on cleaning up the environment, and it proposes redistributing certain federal responsibilities to the states.  (October 12, 2017) Vice News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - OK, we’ll just take everything we learned about our environment and Climate Change and throw it out the window. NOT! Hard to believe we’ve allowed SCIENCE to sink so low in the US. How long will it take us to recover (if at all) from this yet another disastrous environment appointment by the anti-environment Trump administration? Time passes. Trump Pick for Top Environment Post: Carbon Dioxide Is 'The Gas of Life' Kathleen Hartnett White is an unabashed defender of fossil fuels who has argued against the endangerment finding and the Endangered Species Act. President Donald Trump has picked Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator and unapologetic advocate of expanding U.S. fossil fuel production regardless of carbon dioxide emissions, for the top White House environment post. Putting her in charge of the Council on Environmental Quality, which has been rudderless since Trump took office, would place an extreme denier of mainstream climate science, a hero of those who oppose urgent action on global warming, at the fulcrum of federal interagency policy discussions on energy and environmental matters. White has argued against the federal government's "endangerment finding" that carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas feeding worldwide climate change, is a danger to human health and the environment. If confirmed to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, she would be coordinating environmental efforts across the federal agencies. (October 13, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - Warmer waters (aka Climate Change) in our Western NY region allows southern invasive species to set up here. We need citizen scientists to help identify and take out these invasive species and we need the public to understand that Climate Change is seriously changing the ecology of our waters, including more harmful algae blooms occurring each year. There are many consequences of Climate Change already occurring in our region. Warm Lake Erie Helping Invasive Species Buffalo, NY — It's mid-October and the Lake Erie water temperature is still at a near record warmth of 67 degrees on Thursday. The average is just 60 degrees. The very warm lake water can pose some issues, such as allowing invasive species to set up.  "We see trends in regards to warmer water temperatures," Andrea Locke, with WNY PRSIM and Buffalo State Great Lakes Center, said.  "A lot of invasive species that are moving up from the south as the waters are getting warmer, and the introductions of a lot of new invasive species that are now able to establish here in Western New York." (October 12, 2017) WGRZ.com [more on Water Quality, Great Lakes, and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - The whole point of planning adequately for Climate Change is so you don’t get ‘disaster fatigue’, or ‘spending fatigue.’ When nations work together during major disasters that are more likely to increase as we go further into Climate Change and when we plan for more resiliency in our infrastructures and when we plan so that all are prepared, even for the poorest who didn’t cause Climate Change, we are more likely to adapt to Climate Change and do so justly. Time passes. U.S. House approves disaster funds as Trump criticizes Puerto Rico WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new package of U.S. disaster assistance sailed through the House of Representatives on Thursday, despite President Donald Trump expressing impatience with having to devote federal resources for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico’s recovery. The Republican-controlled House voted 353-69 to approve $36.5 billion in emergency relief for Puerto Rico and other areas hit by recent disasters. Senate approval is expected in coming weeks. Trump and his aides on Thursday suggested that there would be a limit to how much help Puerto Rico could expect from Washington to solve some of its longer-term problems, although Trump is expected to sign the latest emergency package. (October 12, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - ACTION: Making our streets safe for children and pedestrians and bicyclists are critical for our communities to thrive.Write City Council to Lower the Residential Speed Limit Join the effort led by HealthiKids to reduce the City speed limit from 30 to 25 mph on residential streets. Every year in Rochester, hundreds of people are struck by vehicles while out walking and biking on our community streets. The top two factors in traffic fatalities in this country are alcohol and speed. Send a Message to City Council Now  What else can you do? Attend this month’s City Council meeting and “Speak to Council” to show your support for safer streets:  Tuesday, October 17th at 6:30PM (Call before 5:30 PM or email before 2PM the day of the meeting to sign up to speak)” This message from our friends over at ReConnect Rochester.  

  • 10/13/2017 - To get our Great Lakes clean we must monitor our water quality often and prepare our infrastructures for more heavy flooding that will come with Climate Change in our region. Waterkeeper urges city to test Toronto inner harbour water quality Group’s summer sampling program found water quality varies within harbour The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper wants the city to conduct regular water testing in Toronto’s inner harbour, after its own sampling program revealed variable water quality that in one location failed to meet provincial E. coli standards almost 80 per cent of the time. Samples from the busiest sampling location, meanwhile, met the provincial safety standard 85 per cent of the time. “It shows the importance of sampling on a regular basis,” said Krystyn Tully, the vice president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. On poor water quality days people shouldn’t let water splash into their eyes, ears, nose or mouth and should wash their hands when they leave the water, she said. (October 11, 2017) TheStar.com [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes 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.

  • 10/13/2017 - Listen to an expert conversation in Rochester, NY about the local effects of Climate Change on threats to human health and nutrition. Climate Change isn’t just about dramatic hurricanes and floods. The subtler consequences of Climate Change are just as profound. Connections: The impact of climate change on human health and nutrition When you think about the effects of climate change, perhaps your mind goes to drastic weather events, air pollution, or rising sea levels, but what about threats to human health and nutrition? Research shows that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are decreasing the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. This research isn't new. In fact, a small, but growing group of scientists has been stressing how CO2 can significantly impact plant growth and nutrition since the 1990s, but no one seemed to be listening. That’s all changing as more evidence becomes available. We dive into some of the research, and discuss how climate change can affect our food supply and our health, both in the short and long term. (October 12, 2017) Connections [more on Climate Change, Food, and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - There are consequences to heating an entire planet and everyone is going to feel it. Time passes. Climate change is a threat to rich and poor alike Is this year's string of hurricanes a sign of things to come? From Miami and Puerto Rico to Barbuda and Havana, the devastation of this year’s hurricane season across Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a reminder that the impacts of climate change know no borders. In recent weeks, Category 5 hurricanes have brought normal life to a standstill for millions in the Caribbean and on the American mainland. Harvey, Irma and Maria have been particularly damaging. The 3.4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico have been scrambling for basic necessities including food and water, the island of Barbuda has been rendered uninhabitable, and dozens of people are missing or dead on the UNESCO world heritage island of Dominica. (October 11, 2017) THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION  News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - As we go further into Climate Change, a wormhole of environmental impacts from which we may not emerge, we need to ready our infrastructures. And we shouldn’t be building where the extreme weathers of Climate Change will quickly inundate our best laid plans. Time passes. Everyone Knew Houston’s Reservoirs Would Flood — Except for the People Who Bought Homes Inside Them When Jeremy Boutor moved to a master-planned community in Houston’s booming energy corridor, he saw it as idyllic. Lakes on Eldridge boasted waterfalls, jogging trails and a clubhouse. It was upscale, secure and close to the office. A bus even picked up his two young sons in front of their house and took them to a nearby international school. “This neighborhood was a paradise,” said Boutor, who moved to Houston from Paris two years ago after his employer, a French-based energy company, asked him to relocate. Then, Hurricane Harvey changed everything. (October 12, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - Their September 2017 newsletter from our friends over at the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club. Our local environmental groups put out publications that help our collective understanding of our environment.

  • 10/12/2017 - Of course, it’s always great to do well on an environmental scorecard. And, it’s great to make some headway in a time of the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks. But, at the end of the day it’s how well we are addressing Climate Change that will ultimately matter. And by ‘we’ I mean humanity. We need to know our collective—meaning Rochester, Monroe County, New York State, the USA, and the world—progress on addressing Climate Change on a scale and timeframe that will matter. We must be careful about deluding ourselves that just some good towards sustainability in a time of warming is enough. We must remain optimistic and realistic. We either get it right, or we don’t. Time passes. Rochester ranks well in 2017 environmental scorecard Rochester legislators have shown notable improvement in environmental voting, with perfect and high scores across the board, according to the 2017 New York State Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard, an annual release from New York’s EPL/Environmental Advocates, ranks scores for environmental consciousness among legislators on a scale of 0-100. Using 1-3 point “tree,” or environmentally friendly bills, and 1-3 point “smokestack” bills, or environmentally hazardous legislation, legislators are granted points for voting in favor of or sponsoring tree bills, as well as voting against smokestack bills. Legislators who missed 20 percent of the votes are given a score of “incomplete,” marked as INC in the report card. The scorecard ranks legislators’ votes during the 2017 New York State legislative session, which ended June 21. In 2017, this year’s markings are more valuable than ever, said EPL executive director Peter Iwanowicz, with a federal administration seemingly in a battle against progressive environmental policy. (October 11, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/12/2017 - Teaching kids and showing them how our life support systems works are vital to having an informed public. If our environment isn’t healthy, we won’t be either. A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor Thursday October 12, 2017 On one day each autumn, thousands of students from New York City to Troy participate in the annual "A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor" event. Students collect scientific information to create snapshots of the river at dozens of locations, then share their data via the web so they can better understand how their piece of the river fits into the larger Hudson estuary ecosystem. "A Day in the Life" is sponsored by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program and produced with assistance from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. At each location, teams of students and environmental educators use seine nets, water testing kits, and measuring tools to investigate aquatic life, water chemistry, tides and weather. Many groups also collect core samples of river bottom mud for analysis. (October 12, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/12/2017 - Both ramping up and ramping down coal for Energy seem arduous. Can humanity transition to a clean energy in time? Time passes. UK and Canada announce global alliance to end coal power UK and Canada challenge other nations to join them in committing to end coal power generation, saying “we are doing our part” The UK and Canada on Wednesday called on other nations to join them in ridding their energy sectors of coal power. The two nations have committed to phase coal out of their electricity generation – by 2025 in the UK and 2030 in Canada. Canada’s minister for the environment Catherine McKenna and UK climate minister Claire Perry met at the Houses of Parliament in London. Afterwards, they released a joint statement calling for an end to the use of the fuel that creates more carbon emissions than any other. (October 11, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - The problem with climate denial—besides being Wrong and Immoral—is that it’s going to be very Expensive. Time passes Nate heralds latest US destruction as 2017 poised for record clean-up bill As Hurricane Nate crossed the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, it brought with it the prospect of yet more destruction in a storm-battered year that is shaping up to be the most costly on US record. Nate was set to be the fourth major hurricane to hit in quick succession, after HarveyIrma and Maria devastated southern Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. According to statistics issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) on Friday, the clean-up bill could be without precedent. The US government can also expect more unwelcome news about how climate change is intensifying such natural disasters. (October 7, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - As we go further into Climate Change in our region it will be more likely that more sewage will spill into our waters if we don’t get our infrastructure ready. Heavy rains have increased flooding and are going to overwhelm outdated wastewater treatment plants around the entire Great Lakes basin. If the communities worked together on addressing this issue as a Climate Change action plan, it would be more likely we could keep more sewage out of the largest freshwater system in the world as the consequences of Climate Change hit our Northeast region. Time passes. DEC looking into latest discharge into Niagara River The state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking into the latest Niagara Falls Water Board discharge into the Niagara River. The Niagara Falls Water Board reported that the discharge was caused by "heavy and prolonged rainfall" on Monday morning. “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is responding to a report from the Niagara Falls Water Board of overflows and discharges associated with the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant and sewage system," said a statement released Monday night. "While the discharge occurred at a time of heavy rain in the area, DEC’s investigation is ongoing at this time. DEC will provide additional information as it becomes available." (October 10, 2017) Niagara Gazette [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - What’s the difference between engineered Bt pesticides and the naturally occurring ones and why does it matter? Have Monsanto and the Biotech Industry Turned Natural Bt Pesticides into GMO “Super toxins”? Is the supposed safety advantage of GMO crops over conventional chemical pesticides a mirage? According to biotech lore, the Bt pesticides introduced into many GMO food crops are natural proteins whose toxic activity extends only to narrow groups of insect species. Therefore, says the industry, these pesticides can all be safely eaten, e.g. by humans. This is not the interpretation we arrived at after our analysis of the documents accompanying the commercial approval of 23 typical Bt-containing GMO crops, however (see Latham et al., 2017, just published in the journal Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews). In our publication, authored along with Madeleine Love and Angelika Hilbeck, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), we show that commercial GMO Bt toxins differ greatly from their natural precursors. These differences are important. They typically cause GMO Bt proteins to be more toxic. Worse, they also cause them to be active against many more species than natural forms of Bt toxins. (October 9, 2017) Independent Science News [more on Plants and Food in our area]

  • 10/10/2017 - What is more important is whether those who feel optimist or fatalistic towards humanity’s ability to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is whether their opinions match reality or not. Climate Change has built-in indicators and benchmarks that give us objective feedback as to whether we are actually addressing this issue or not. If we don’t find ways to give ourselves (meaning all of humanity) accurate feedback (climate monitoring) capabilities, our optimism or fatalism will be delusional. Which is to say, humanity should be going full force towards addressing Climate Change at this point and make doing what is necessary the priority, not navel-gazing over whether we are optimistic or fatalistic about our chances. When you are in the heat of a battle for your life, you don’t continual to sit around and ponder whether you are winning or losing. You don’t have the luxury; the innate need to survive kicks in.  We should be funding scientific effort to monitor Climate Change consequences around the world so our decisions and attitudes are driven by reality, not bullshit. Time passes. NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE GLOBALLY ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Week NYC 2017 Opening Ceremony, New York, September 18: A new survey finds that a majority of people globally are optimistic about our ability to address climate change, with 64% of global citizens believing we can address climate change if we take action now. Overall, 33% strongly agree this is the case, and 32% tend to agree. Only 11% disagree that we can address climate change if we take action now. The survey, conducted by global market research firm Ipsos on behalf of non-profit organization The Climate Group and change agency Futerra, polled online adults aged 16-64 in 26 countries and is at the heart of a new campaign, #ClimateOptimist, launched today to change the dominant narrative on climate change. The campaign’s partners include Mars, VF Corp, Interface, Ashden and the DivestInvest movement. The survey found that people in emerging economies are especially likely to feel positive about solving climate change, with 71% of these respondents believing we can address it if we take action now, compared to only 59% in established economies. Countries with high numbers of optimists include Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico, India, Peru and South Africa. (September 18, 2017) Climate Week NYC [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 10/10/2017 - I can see how the failing coal industry will benefit in the short term from Pruitt’s EPA gutting the Clean Power Plan, but anyone else? Doesn’t make sense (except in a mad way) to try and revive a polluting, climate warming fossil fuel at the expense of a future for all of us. Did the majority of the US public really vote to run away from our Climate Change responsibilities—and leave the rest of the world to deal with Pruitt’s and Trump’s crazy ideology? How long will it take us to recover from Pruitt’s mad attack on science and environmental protections after he’s out of office—or will we be able to recover at all. Time passes. Pruitt announces withdrawal of Clean Power Plan Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency's plans to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions. While speaking in Kentucky at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said he will sign the proposed rule repealing Obama's plan Tuesday. "When you think about what that rule meant, it was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers," he said at the event. "The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. That's wrong." CNN obtained a copy of the leaked proposal to repeal the milestone Clean Power Plan, the outcome of President Donald Trump's executive orders calling for the review of the plan and questions the legality of the original rule. (October 9, 2017) CNN [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/10/2017 - Record-breaking Climate Change induced extreme weather events will force insurance out of their business-as-usual routine. The one money market force that will force Capitalism to treat our environment less as an externality is the insurance industry. At some point, if we don’t address Climate Change, no one will be able to afford flood insurance—not even our government. The insurance industry is going to have to raise premiums, limit the damage they cover, and encourage more resiliency to be built into our future planning. Which is to say, Climate Change planning is a must. Time passes. After hurricanes, Congress ponders future of flood insurance program Congress is beginning to consider how to overhaul the flood insurance plan that many Texans are relying on to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. WASHINGTON - The devastating hit Houston took from Hurricane Harvey has exacerbated — and highlighted — the enormous financial jam facing the National Flood Insurance Program. Thanks to the recent onslaught of hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, there has never been a greater need for the program. But that need has also set off a new round of calls to dramatically overhaul a program that hasn't been able to sustain itself without major subsidies from the U.S. Treasury.  Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson's Sugar Land-based district suffered some of the most intensive flooding in the state. He said he is open to some changes, but not if it risks payouts on Harvey claims his constituents are filing. He is quick to underscore the desperation in his suburban Houston district and doesn't want changes to make things worse. "It should be part of the package but not a do-all, end-all," Olson said of any potential overhaul. (October 9, 2017) The Texas Tribue [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/09/2017 - Keeping our transportation infrastructure, like bridges, in good repair and Climate-Change resilient is critical for our adapting to a warmer future. As we have seen recently in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, when extreme weather (heavy flooding) tears apart our transportation infrastructure, we are crippled. If we continue to leave our bridges in bad repair, they could fail us at the worst time possible. Not only are we not preparing adequately to adapt to Climate Change, we aren’t even doing regular maintenance on our bridges. If you are trying to get to emergency care, or if you are trucking in food, and a critical bridge is out, you are out of luck.  Best to get all our infrastructures—water, waste, transportation, communications, gas, etc.—updated and properly repaired for a Climate Change future. Time passes. Report: New York needs $27B to fix local bridges ALBANY — New York state needs $27 billion to repair hundreds of aging, locally owned bridges, according to a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. About half of the state's 17,000 bridges are owned by local governments. Nearly 13 percent of these locally owned spans are considered structurally deficient. Some need repairs to allow them to carry heavier loads; others are prone to floods. Many are more than half a century old; the average age of the 823 locally owned bridges in New York City is 75 years. Failure to keep the bridges in good working order will jeopardize public safety and hamper efforts to boost the upstate economy, said DiNapoli, a Democrat. He said local, federal and state officials would have to work together to find the money for vital repairs. "We have a long way to go and it's very clear that our local governments, given the hefty price tag, cannot do the job on their own," he said. (October 9, 2017) Niagara Gazette [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - With Climate Change soil may turn on us. For those who think warming things up is a good thing, they haven’t thought it through. Our planet’s systems, like soil (which took billions of years to evolve), are complex and they will react to a quickly warming climate. Probably not in a good way. Time passes.  Carbon emissions from warming soils could trigger disastrous feedback loop 26-year study reveals natural biological factors kick in once warming reaches certain point, leading to potentially unstoppable increase in temperatures Warming soils are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought, suggesting a potentially disastrous feedback mechanism whereby increases in global temperatures will trigger massive new carbon releases in a cycle that may be impossible to break. The increased production of carbon comes from the microbes within soils, according to a report in the peer-review journal Science, published on Friday. The 26-year study is one of the biggest of its kind, and is a groundbreaking addition to our scant knowledge of exactly how warming will affect natural systems. (October 5, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - Invasive species invading our environment via our trash and plastics floating across our oceans makes it clear we don’t really throw anything away—or have sealed borders from far-off lands. On a finite planet things--invasive species, pollutants, our waste—go somewhere. As we go further into Climate Change we must track and prevent the movement of things that will affect our ecosystems and compromise them. The more we learn about Climate Change, the more we learn how complex it is when our way of life has so changed the environment from the one we thrived on for 10,000 years. We are living in a very dynamic environment that we influenced greatly and we must factor all this into how we adapt to Climate Change. Using past data about past climate changes will produce valuable information about how climate changes disrupt, but this Climate Change is going to be entirely different from past climate changes. We must prepare for this Climate Change. Time passes. TONS OF LIVING ANIMALS HAVE FLOATED FROM JAPAN TO OREGON ON PLASTIC JUNK TRASH IS THE NEW TITANIC. The morning of June 5, 2012, invasive species researcher John Chapman’s wife, who works for the health department in Newport, Oregon, told him he had to go with her to see a mysterious object that had washed onto the town’s beach. Chapman was initially skeptical that the beached mass would be of any interest to him, scientifically speaking. The Oregon police and parks service were already at the scene, checking the large concrete slab for radiation. A plaque said the object was a fisheries dock from Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, but Chapman only had to glance at the creatures stuck to the plastic to know the source. “I was completely shocked to see all these Asian species on this dock,” he says. That object was a small chunk of many tons of plastic garbage launched into the sea in 2011, after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, according to a new study in Science. Invertebrates like the Japanese shipworm and the Asian shore crab — and even a few species of fish—colonized the debris, forming floating islands of garbage and sea creatures. (Spetember 28, 2017) Popular Science [more on Invasive Spcies in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - We go into Climate Change with the environment we have—and that has been seriously polluted by plastics. How has plastic pollution compromised our ability to adapt to Climate Change, which is to say have we compromised our environment’s resiliency by polluting our environment with so much plastics? If so, how? We not only have to know more about how we and our environment respond to climate change, we must know how 7 billion of us with our infrastructures and development respond to this Climate Change, the one happening now caused and accelerated by us. You would think, given all the complexities we are encountering with Climate Change, we’d be thinking and discussing this crisis in a responsible way. Instead, we voted in climate-denier Trump. What’s wrong with this picture? Time passes. How plastic is damaging planet Earth There are 500 times more pieces of microplastic in the sea than there are stars in our galaxy and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more plastic than fish Cheap, capable of being made into any conceivable shape, strong and durable, plastic is something of a wonder material. It has proved so useful to humans that since the 1950s we have produced an estimated 8.3 billion metric tonnes of the stuff. However, the victim of this success appears to be much of life on Earth. And humans, one day, could find themselves among them. For some 79 per cent of the plastic produced over the last 70 years has been thrown away, either into landfill sites or into the general environment. Just nine per cent is recycled with the rest incinerated. This has been described as "an uncontrolled experiment on a global scale" by scientists. (September 28, 2017) Independant [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - The Amazon forest is a major ecosystem of the world. How much is it being affected by and affecting Climate Change? Amazon forest fires pushing climate change ‘beyond human control’ Leading Amazon scientist highlights ‘grave problems’ in Brazil’s management of the world’s most important forest as climate-driven fires eat it away As in many parts of the world, the climate of the Amazon is undergoing dramatic changes. Droughts and floods happen more often, as well as forest fires. But in recent years, Brazil’s government, which holds the largest swathe of the biggest tropical forest in the world, has privileged economic interests over preservation, according to one of the world’s leading experts on the region and its environment. Philip Fearnside, a US-born professor at Brazil’s National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA), has researched the Amazon for three decades. In an interview with Climate Home in his office in Manaus, he explains how climate change is driving forest fires through the most important forest on earth, creating a cycle of carbon emissions that threatens to push beyond human’s capacity to control it. He also criticises Brazil’s government for their favouring of industry and explains the country’s peculiar relationship to its own laws. (October 5, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/06/2017 - Climate Change is scheduled to make harmful algal blooms in our lakes more plentiful because it adds ‘warmer waters’ to the toxic mix. Climate Change brings more heavy rainfall, which brings more flooding, which washes more nutrients, into our lakes that are warming because of Climate Change. Our state and our country need to focus on Climate Change because many of the local consequences of this crisis are showing up without the media connecting the dots. The rapid increase of harmful algal blooms in over sixty of our NYS lakes should be setting off alarm bells. Climate denial thrives in a climate of doubt and omission and threatens our future. 'Serious wake up call': Panel dissects harmful algae problem in Skaneateles Lake SKANEATELES — A crowd of a couple of hundred people filled the Skaneateles High School auditorium Wednesday night to learn more about a 3 billion-year-old enemy that has surfaced in their lake — harmful algal blooms. This summer microcystin toxins from the blooms, were detected in the water intake, potentially threatening the drinking water for thousands served by the city of Syracuse's department of water. Drinking water test results continue to show no toxins, but with some residents drawing directly from the lake and many wondering when they can swim or fish or take out the kayak, the blooms this summer have created panic. (October 4, 2017) AuburnPUb.com [more on Water Quality in our area]   

  • 10/06/2017 - Remember, those ‘burdensome environmental rules’ are only burdensome to polluters, but they’re your lifeline. Many, if not all, environmental protects came at a great cost to people’s lives and livelihood. And now your protections are being stripped away with amazing tenacity. I don’t think anyone voted to have their environmental protections removed—but that’s all our reality now. Are we now at the mercy of a lot of angry voters who just want things to change—regardless of what change? If so, what if we aren’t able to undo the damage to our life support system in time to address Climate Change? Time passes. 48 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the the Trump administration has sought to reverse nearly 50 environmental rules, according to an analysis by The New York Times. (October 5, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]  

  • In order for the world to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter, the United States must stay in the Paris Accord. There’s not a realistic workaround for cities, states, businesses, and environmental groups because of the US’s responsibilities and the scope of our power. #IAmStillIn Time passes. International concern as US moves to end clean power plan The Trump administration plans to repeal and replace landmark policy that underpinned US commitment to Paris Agreement and a key climate deal with China News that the Trump administration will move to repeal and replace the clean power plan (CPP) – a major initiative to cut emissions from the US electricity sector – has been met with concern overseas. On Wednesday, the Reuters news agency reported on a document leaked from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) outlining a plan to scrap the Obama-era measure. It also called for input on a replacement policy that would reduce carbon emissions in fossil fuel power plants. Industry is reportedly lobbying for a weaker rule. (October 4, 2017) Climate Home

  • 10/06/2017 - Lyme disease and Climate Change; “More recently, climate change has been warming our winters, accelerating ticks’ life cycles and extending their range eight miles farther north each year.” What We Get Wrong About Lyme Disease The stories we tell about the epidemic get things backward. (October 5, 2017) Nautilus [more on Lyme disease and Climate Change in our area]

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