Updated Daily  12/09/2017 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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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.

CheckerDaily CO2 Mauna Loa Observatory  |  Atmospheric CO2 Concentrations November 18, 2017 405.65 ppm NOAA-ESRL November 18, 2016 403.18 ppm NOAA-ESRL (from CO2-Earth)

 

This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter December 3 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, December 09, 2017

  • Report Calls for Increased Water Infrastructure Spending ALBANY, N.Y. – Reporting of sewage spills into New York waterways has improved, but a new report says substantial investment is needed to stem the flow.  The analysis of Department of Environmental Conservation data says from May 2013 to last July, there were more than 10,500 sewage overflows in New York, totaling more than $3.8 billion.  Liz Moran, the water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York, says in one important way, the large number of reported spills is a good thing. "Reporting has actually increased by 273 percent," she notes. "And we think that this is because DEC finalized the regulations implementing the sewage pollution right-to-know law." But she cautions the data also shows under-reporting is still a problem, and it underscores the need for state investment in water infrastructure. The Sewage Right-to-Know law went into effect in 2013 and requires reporting of untreated sewage discharges. (December 8, 2017) Public News Service [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • Local mayors oppose proposed Canadian nuclear waste plan Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Oregon Mayor Michael Seferian, Port Clinton Mayor Hugh Wheeler, Jr., and Sandusky, Mich. Mayor Thomas Lukshaitis are among 104 elected officials who signed a new letter imploring the Trudeau administration to stop Ontario Power Generation from burying low and intermediate-level nuclear waste a mile from Lake Huron. OBJECTOntario Power Generation — Canada’s largest utility — wants to build a deep underground bunker on the site of its massive eight-reactor Bruce nuclear power complex in Kincardine, Ont., about a four-hour drive north of Toledo. The radioactive waste, much of which is now being stored in above-ground vaults, would be sent down a half-mile shaft into a permanent structure called a Deep Geologic Repository, or DGR. The proposal has garnered controversy because of its proximity to the Great Lakes, the primary source of drinking water for 30 million Americans and 10 million Canadians. (December 8, 2017) The Blade [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 62. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. Homes were flattened. Power was knocked out. And all across Puerto Rico, bodies began showing up at morgues. Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico with great fury but the government there has reported an official death toll far lower than the devastation suggests. A review by The New York Times of daily mortality data from Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau indicates a significantly higher death toll after the hurricane than the government there has acknowledged. The Times’s analysis found that in the 42 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, 1,052 more people than usual died across the island. The analysis compared the number of deaths for each day in 2017 with the average of the number of deaths for the same days in 2015 and 2016. (December 8, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • How Smoke From California’s Fires is Harming the Most Vulnerable David Ewing wore a bright white dust mask, his face behind it puffy and red, as he sat on a stone bench in downtown Santa Barbara, California. A fine layer of ash covered the pavement at his feet, dirty residue from wildfires ravaging the region. “When I woke up yesterday I couldn't breathe,” said Ewing, who is homeless and has been diagnosed with cancer. He spent the previous night sleeping behind a Saks department store. “This stuff is just wiping me out.” Ewing is among the tens of thousands of homeless in Southern California who are struggling to escape the smoke as wildfires tear through the region. Experts caution against spending time outdoors when it’s smoky, but for many, staying inside isn't an option. (December 8, 2017) Cimate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Rethinking the ‘Infrastructure’ Discussion Amid a Blitz of Hurricanes Several experts on climate and resilience talk about the role of government. “Viewed correctly, sensible safeguards are part of freedom, not a retreat from it.” The wonky words infrastructure and resilience have circulated widely of late, particularly since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck paralyzing, costly blows in two of America’s fastest-growing states. Resilience is a property traditionally defined as the ability to bounce back. A host of engineers and urban planners have long warned this trait is sorely lacking in America’s brittle infrastructure. Many such experts say the disasters in the sprawling suburban and petro-industrial landscape around Houston and along the crowded coasts of Florida reinforce the urgent idea that resilient infrastructure is needed more than ever, particularly as human-driven climate change helps drive extreme weather. (September 13, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]


News Highlight

Does Climate Change matter to you?        

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

As climate scientist Katharine Hayhoe points out in this recent webinar by The Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF)*, most people don’t have a problem with the science behind Climate Change. That science is the same science we use every day in the products we use and way we understand the workings of our world.

Astonishingly, the reason most people don’t think global warming** matters to them is because they don’t think it will harm them personally. See: “Estimated % of adults who think global warming will harm them personally 2016“ graph from Yale Climate Opinion Maps – U.S. 2016.

But it does, and it will. Hayhoe says in the webinar “We care about a changing climate because it exacerbates the risks we already face today.”

One of the ways we know that Climate Change is already happening here in the USA is through the official National Climate Assessment (NCA). Since 1990, our country has been required by law to provide this information about our changing climate to the public every four years. (I know, the math doesn’t work out here, we’ve been tardy sometimes.)

We are now coming up on the fourth iteration of this report: Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4). Part I of the NCA4 (Climate Science Special Report) was recently released to the public. The Trump administration released this part to the media and the public, but presumably didn’t read it themselves. (Or, the Trump administration thinks just quietly letting the NCA process continue, while continually putting on a fireworks show at the White House, is the best strategy for tamping down public attention on this crisis that Trump doesn’t believe in.)   

Read NCA4 Vol. I

This quip by The Guardian admonishes the Trump administration for not acting on our nation’s own information about how Climate Change is affecting US, while at the same time noting that the world has access to this important document. The world must be dumbfounded by the spectacular divide that exists between our present federal government and 13 of the agencies it comprises.  

American leaders should read their official climate science report The United States Global Change Research Program report paints a bleak picture of the consequences of climate denial The United States Global Change Research Program recently released a report on the science of climate change and its causes. The report is available for anyone to read; it was prepared by top scientists, and it gives an overview of the most up to date science.  If you want to understand climate change and a single document that summarizes what we know, this is your chance. This report is complete, readily understandable, and accessible. It discusses what we know, how we know it, how confident we are, and how likely certain events are to happen if we continue on our business-as-usual path.  To summarize, our Earth has warmed nearly 2°F (1°C) since the beginning of the 20th century. Today’s Earth is the warmest it has ever been in the history of modern civilization. (November 27, 2017) The Guardian 

Comment on NCA4 Vol. II

The NCA4 Vol. II has not been released yet, but you can read and comment on the draft.

“NCA4 Vol. II is a technical, scientific assessment of climate change impacts, risks, and adaptation across the United States. The assessment uses a risk-based framework in placing a strong emphasis on regional information, while also evaluating climate change impacts, risks, and adaptation on 17 national-level topics. Case studies are used to provide additional context and showcase community success stories. Like all USGCRP assessments, NCA4 Vol. II does not evaluate policy or make policy recommendations.” Call for Public Comment on the Draft Fourth National Climate Assessment (Vol. II)

To read and comment on NCA4 Vol. II go here; on the left side-bar click on “create new account”, create a user name, your own password, accept the conditions for commenting on the draft, then you can gain access to the draft. You can make comments on each section of the draft (until January 8, 2018) online. Easy-peasy.

Please consider (as a group, or as an individual) reading the NCA4 Vol. II draft and commenting. Those of us who do understand that Climate Change “exacerbates the risks we already face today” need to bring that message home to everyone. That’s what volume two does: “… placing a strong emphasis on regional information”.

The journey to reach the public on the science behind this crisis has been long and tortuous. We have written, educated, demonstrated, and some have even been jailed in an attempt to instill in the public a sense of urgency. Time to act on a scale and time frame that will matter is running out.

Sadly, we are finding that science isn’t enough to compel the public to act.  We need to bring our knowledge and concerns of a changing climate to where the public lives. Reading and making comment on how your region is and will be affected by Climate Change in the NCA4 II is another important step towards communicating this crisis effectively.

The NCA is an incredibly detailed and expert series of documents by our government about Climate Change. Consider doing everything you can to demonstrate that this scientific legacy of ours reflects our country’s position on Climate Change. It really does matter to us. 

Time passes. 

* “The Security and Sustainability Forum (SSF) convenes global experts to address the impacts to society from climate and other disruptions to natural systems.  Our main products are free webinars on energy, food and water security, public health, urban resilience, economic vitality, infrastructure, governance and other impacts that must be solved in meeting climate security challenges.”

** Sometimes it looks as though I am using ‘Climate Change’ and ‘global warming’ interchangeably but hopefully I’m not. This from NOAA: “Global warming refers only to the Earth’s rising surface temperature, while climate change includes warming and the “side effects” of warming—like melting glaciers, heavier rainstorms, or more frequent drought. Said another way, global warming is one symptom of the much larger problem of human-caused climate change.” (NOAA Climate.govmore...

(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:

  • Rochester Regional Health announces green energy initiative Rochester Regional Health says it intends to source 100 percent of the electricity it uses from renewable energy sources and carbon free production by the year 2025. President and CEO Eric Bieber says that's a big deal, and the organization will have to things differently as they go forward.  But he maintains it's the right thing to do, and it equates to taking scores of cars off the road and burning many tons less coal. (October 20, 2017) WXXI News [more on Green Business and Energy in our 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]

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...      

December 2017

  • Sun December 10th 12 PM · Erie Canal Boat Launch Ayrault Road Perinton NY 14450
    • Event coming up on Sunday about clearing trees along Erie Canal “Rally for the Canal Trees | Stop the Canal Clear Cut Sun December 10th 12 PM · Erie Canal Boat Launch Ayrault Road Perinton NY 14450 Group: STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT here Event: here “STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT is holding a rally to bring attention to the clear cutting that is taking place along the Erie Canal by the Canal Corporation / Power Authority. This canal path is loved by walkers, runners, bikers dog walkers and boaters for it's shady and tranquil beauty. We believe that there are less environmentally invasive ways of ensuring the safety of this waterway, and we want time to have a dialog with elected officials, experts not hired by the Power Authority, environmentalists and the public. Speakers will include Mike Barker Perinton Town Supervisor, Bill Smith Pittsford Town Supervisor and Sandra Frankel former Brighton Town Supervisor. Park at the Boat Launch and rally across the bridge on the canal.” 145 acres to be cleared along the Erie Canal BROCKPORT, NY (WROC) - By next year the Erie Canal will look a lot different in many places around Rochester. The New York State Canal Corporation is out and cutting back trees and shrubs to return the shoreline to the way it looked years ago. The area spans along 145 acres of the Erie Canal, intended to help drainage; one thing that has Janet Fleisher concerned. "In the spring it's like a lake back here," said Fleisher. (October 31, 2017) RochesterFirst.com
  • Monday, December 11 at 7 PM - 10 PM |Wood Library, 134 N Main St, Canandaigua (city), New York 14424
    • Community Choice Aggregation Presentation Public · Hosted by Rochester People's Climate Coalition |Monday, December 11 at 7 PM - 10 PM |Wood Library, 134 N Main St, Canandaigua (city), New York 14424 Rochester People's Climate Coalition will be presenting about Community Choice Aggregation as we try to educate Canandaigua (city), New York residents and government officials about its benefits. Please join us! If you have any questions about it, please feel free to contact CCA@rocpcc.org You may also go here to learn about CCA: 
  • WHEN: THURS, DEC 14, 2017 WEBINAR 1: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET WEBINAR 2: 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET REGISTER FOR EITHER WEBINAR HERE
    • AchiEVe Model Policies: Advancing Electric Vehicles - WEBINAR | As the electric vehicle (EV) market moves from the early adopter phase to the mass market stage, smart and supportive policies help to accelerate the widespread adoption of EVs. Sierra Club and Plug In America would like to invite you to attend one of two webinars we're holding to discuss the most effective policies driving EV adoption today, which are included in our collaborative project, AchiEVe: Transition to EVs Policy Toolkit. WHEN: THURS, DEC 14, 2017 WEBINAR 1: 9 am PT / 12 pm ET WEBINAR 2: 5 pm PT / 8 pm ET REGISTER FOR EITHER WEBINAR HERE (see drop-down menu to select time) This webinar will review model policies that advance EV adoption at the local and state level, and will feature community leaders to share their advocacy stories and answer your questions. This webinar is open to the public, so please feel free to forward to your contacts.

 

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!
    • Are we helpless in the face of the Trump administration’s attacks on our environmental protections? No, says the NRDC. Find out more: "FIGHTING THE TRUMP AGENDA, A step-b-by-step guide to Trump's attacks on the environment and how you can help NRDC stop him | President Trump faces many hurdles in his quest to dismantle our system of environmental protections. Here, we document those steps, alongside NRDC’s actions to thwart Trump policies that attack our air, water, and wild spaces. We will also continuously update the page with steps you can take—because the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda is you. "Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)
  • 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!
  • 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!
    • 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!
    • 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!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

 

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  • 12/09/2017 - We are unlikely to adapt to Climate Change if do not stop sewage spills into New York waterways. Clean, potable water, is our region’s most valuable natural resource as we go farther into Climate Change and we must make it so our wastewater infrastructure is updated to be resilient for more heavy rainfalls (which has increased 71% since 1958 in our region, causing more sewer overflows). Increasing the ability and reliability of reporting on sewage spills is important feedback to make sure we are accomplishing this goal. Report Calls for Increased Water Infrastructure Spending ALBANY, N.Y. – Reporting of sewage spills into New York waterways has improved, but a new report says substantial investment is needed to stem the flow.  The analysis of Department of Environmental Conservation data says from May 2013 to last July, there were more than 10,500 sewage overflows in New York, totaling more than $3.8 billion.  Liz Moran, the water and natural resources director for Environmental Advocates of New York, says in one important way, the large number of reported spills is a good thing. "Reporting has actually increased by 273 percent," she notes. "And we think that this is because DEC finalized the regulations implementing the sewage pollution right-to-know law." But she cautions the data also shows under-reporting is still a problem, and it underscores the need for state investment in water infrastructure. The Sewage Right-to-Know law went into effect in 2013 and requires reporting of untreated sewage discharges. (December 8, 2017) Public News Service [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/09/2017 -   Permanently storing low-and intermediate-level radioactive waste in an underground chamber anywhere near the Great Lakes is insane. Suggesting something so reckless as doing something that could even remotely contaminate the largest freshwater system in the world must give anyone who thinks nuclear power is the way for our future pause. Obviously, we have not figured out the most salient problem with nuclear power: nuclear waste. Suggesting this project is not going to help the pro-nuclear power cause. Local mayors oppose proposed Canadian nuclear waste plan Toledo Mayor Paula Hicks-Hudson, Oregon Mayor Michael Seferian, Port Clinton Mayor Hugh Wheeler, Jr., and Sandusky, Mich. Mayor Thomas Lukshaitis are among 104 elected officials who signed a new letter imploring the Trudeau administration to stop Ontario Power Generation from burying low and intermediate-level nuclear waste a mile from Lake Huron. OBJECTOntario Power Generation — Canada’s largest utility — wants to build a deep underground bunker on the site of its massive eight-reactor Bruce nuclear power complex in Kincardine, Ont., about a four-hour drive north of Toledo. The radioactive waste, much of which is now being stored in above-ground vaults, would be sent down a half-mile shaft into a permanent structure called a Deep Geologic Repository, or DGR. The proposal has garnered controversy because of its proximity to the Great Lakes, the primary source of drinking water for 30 million Americans and 10 million Canadians. (December 8, 2017) The Blade [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/09/2017 - This article by the NYT is not only interesting because it reveals that mainstream media is filling in where our government is failing on assessing the damage from a Climate-Change related record-breaking extreme weather event, but that unless we make reasonable assumptions based on the reality of Climate Change we are going to miss critical information like the real mortality count from Hurricane Maria in Puerto Rico. If we don’t get correct mortality counts and accurately assess the full extent of the damage these record-breaking storms cause, we are unlikely to prepare adequately for the next storm, which could be more damaging. We need to assume that Climate Change is happening and view our present reality through this lens—which our federal government is not doing. Deluding ourselves about Climate Change will not help us address it. Time passes. Official Toll in Puerto Rico: 62. Actual Deaths May Be 1,052. Homes were flattened. Power was knocked out. And all across Puerto Rico, bodies began showing up at morgues. Hurricane Maria pummeled Puerto Rico with great fury but the government there has reported an official death toll far lower than the devastation suggests. A review by The New York Times of daily mortality data from Puerto Rico’s vital statistics bureau indicates a significantly higher death toll after the hurricane than the government there has acknowledged. The Times’s analysis found that in the 42 days after Hurricane Maria made landfall on Sept. 20 as a Category 4 storm, 1,052 more people than usual died across the island. The analysis compared the number of deaths for each day in 2017 with the average of the number of deaths for the same days in 2015 and 2016. (December 8, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 12/09/2017 - The consequences of Climate Change are probably going to be visited on the most vulnerable first, but maybe not. One America’s most persistent myths is that global warming won’t harm them personally. Many of us are thinking we won’t get nailed by this worldwide crisis because global warming moves too slow, or it only hits poor island nations and we don’t live there, or we have nice homes and great health policies and great home insurances that will cover us in any event in the near future. But this myth is being challenged every day by the growing evidence that this crisis is spreading quickly and comprehensively throughout the planet. We’ve come a long way in a couple of decades where most American didn’t even believe in Climate Change. But now most of us do, but we just don’t think we, ourselves, will get nailed. Which is kind of wrong and immoral when you think about it. Time passes. How Smoke From California’s Fires is Harming the Most Vulnerable David Ewing wore a bright white dust mask, his face behind it puffy and red, as he sat on a stone bench in downtown Santa Barbara, California. A fine layer of ash covered the pavement at his feet, dirty residue from wildfires ravaging the region. “When I woke up yesterday I couldn't breathe,” said Ewing, who is homeless and has been diagnosed with cancer. He spent the previous night sleeping behind a Saks department store. “This stuff is just wiping me out.” Ewing is among the tens of thousands of homeless in Southern California who are struggling to escape the smoke as wildfires tear through the region. Experts caution against spending time outdoors when it’s smoky, but for many, staying inside isn't an option. (December 8, 2017) Cimate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/09/2017 - Our infrastructures are humanity’s arteries and veins and we shouldn’t wait until they’re severely stressed by record-breaking storms until we doctor them. The conduits, the structures that make our collective life possible—roads and bridges, water and wastewater and gas pipes—must be healthy and resilient enough so while we’re adapting to Climate Change these external parts of ourselves evolve and adapt with us. It is unlikely that our infrastructures can be repaired and restructured for the future without our governments orchestrating their operations. With 7+ billion of us growing into a warmer future than humanity has ever experienced, we must act and think collectively to act on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes. Rethinking the ‘Infrastructure’ Discussion Amid a Blitz of Hurricanes Several experts on climate and resilience talk about the role of government. “Viewed correctly, sensible safeguards are part of freedom, not a retreat from it.” The wonky words infrastructure and resilience have circulated widely of late, particularly since Hurricanes Harvey and Irma struck paralyzing, costly blows in two of America’s fastest-growing states. Resilience is a property traditionally defined as the ability to bounce back. A host of engineers and urban planners have long warned this trait is sorely lacking in America’s brittle infrastructure. Many such experts say the disasters in the sprawling suburban and petro-industrial landscape around Houston and along the crowded coasts of Florida reinforce the urgent idea that resilient infrastructure is needed more than ever, particularly as human-driven climate change helps drive extreme weather. (September 13, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/08/2017 - Odd, even our US government’s National Climate Assessment clearly understands the public health risks of Climate Change. But, maybe Pruitt knows more than 13 agencies of our government and 97% of climate scientists. Or, maybe just sowing doubt will achieve Pruitt’s agenda. Read our government’s “The Impacts of Climate Change on Human Health in the United States: A Scientific Assessment” Time passes. Pruitt Questions EPA Finding That Climate Change Is Health Risk The Obama administration rushed an analysis that found climate change is a risk to human health and welfare, Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt said, offering a justification that he could use to reverse that determination. The key concern, Pruitt told a congressional panel, was that the EPA in 2009 relied on scientific reports written by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, the world’s authoritative network of climate scientists. Pruitt called it a “unique situation” in which a regulatory procedure relied on outsiders’ scientific work. "There was a breach of process that occurred in 2009 that many believe was not handled the proper way," Pruitt told a panel of the House Energy and Commerce Committee Thursday. "That process in 2009 was short-shrifted.” (December 7, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 12/08/2017 - Rochester, NY too loves electric buses and we are adding 5 to our fleet. If we eventually power those buses with renewable energy and make all buses electric, our public transportation will be very green. 12 Major Cities, With 80 Million Citizens, Agree To Only Buy Electric Buses Mayors of 12 major cities around the world, with a total population of nearly 80 million citizens, have announced a move towards zero emission fleets under the C40 Fossil-Fuel-Free Streets Declaration – to make their cities greener, healthier and more prosperous. The plan envisions the procurement of only zero-emission buses from 2025. The total number of buses in the 12 engaged cities stands at roughly 59,000 – so its kinda a big deal! The second part of the new plan is the creation of major zero-emission areas in those cities by 2030. (December 8, 2017) Inside EVs [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 12/08/2017 - Humanity’s efforts to address the existential problem of Climate Change are going to be seriously challenged by the existential threat of nuclear war. For those of us environmentalists who think nuclear war is outside our bailiwick, we’ve got to think again. A sustainable future doesn’t include a nuclear war. Addressing Climate Change--besides the planning and environmental justice—must include avoiding war on scale humanity is now capable of. We cannot live this way. Time passes.   

  • 12/08/2017 - Trying to recover from more extreme weather caused by Climate Change is going to increase the human misery index. We can do a lot to avoid what we know is coming with Climate Change if we plan. What Climate Change brings to our future is an understanding that humanity isn’t simply at the mercy of Nature; we understand much of the science behind extreme weather and we know how to fortify our communities so that disasters aren’t so disastrous. But we must understand the nature of Climate Change and plan ahead. Time passes. Harvey's health toll only now starting to be realized Upswing seen in mental problems, other ailments Three months after Hurricane Harvey, local health officials now are beginning to see the storm after the storm. In Harris County and the other hardest-hit regions of Texas, 17 percent of those who had houses damaged or suffered income loss report that someone in their household has a new or worsening health condition. A sweeping new survey by the Kaiser Family Foundation and Houston-based Episcopal Health Foundation shows a similar proportion feels their own mental health has worsened. "We're not anywhere near the end yet," cautioned Dr. Cindy Ripsin, a family physician with the Memorial Hermann Medical Group in League City. (December 5, 2017) Chron News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 12/08/2017 - Another important way to ‘see’ Climate Change is via climate models. Predicting future climate through models has come a long way with a high degree of accuracy. The more scientists learn about global warming, the better the models. [Check out my essay from August 2016 "Modeling Climate Change"]  The Most Accurate Climate Models Predict Greater Warming, Study Shows In the range of climate models, those that most successfully simulate the past predict some of the worst-case scenarios for the future, researchers found. New research says we should pay more attention to climate models that point to a hotter future and toss out projections that point to less warming.   The findings, published Wednesday in the journal Nature, suggest that international policy makers and authorities are relying on projections that underestimate how much the planet will warm—and, by extension, underestimate the cuts in greenhouse gas emissions needed to stave off catastrophic impacts of climate change. (December 6, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/08/2017 - What’s the connection between the wildfires in California and Climate Change? As 'Epic Winds' Drive California Fires, Climate Change Fuels the Risk Santa Ana winds are whipping up wildfires in Southern California after a devastating season in wine country. Rising temps can make the West dangerously combustible. Fires driven by fierce Santa Ana winds are threatening the Los Angeles area this week on the heels of the deadly blazes that swept through California's wine country this fall. California Department of Forestry and Fire Protection spokesman Scott McLean warned on Wednesday that "epic winds" with gusts near hurricane strength, dry brush and humidity in the single digits meant any new ember could quickly blow into a dangerous blaze. Wildfires are hugely complex events, complicated by human activity, including rampant development and decades of fire suppression strategies that left too much dry timber and underbrush for fires to burn.   Add the effects of climate change to the mix, and California's already fire-prone landscape grows increasingly combustible. (December 7, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our areaa]

  • 12/07/2017 - Who and who doesn’t get affected by industrial waste in the form of Brownfields and “airborne pollutants from oil and natural gas developments” should NOT fall to race, but it too often does. Environmental justice, where everyone has a right to a clean and healthy environment, is a fundamental right. Gas Industries Are Poisoning African-Americans The NAACP and the Clean Air Task Force (CATF) have co-authored a landmark report that, for the first time, demonstrates the specific health risks that airborne pollutants from oil and natural gas developments cause in African-American communities. The study, “Fumes Across the Fence-Line: The Health Impacts of Air Pollution from Oil and Gas Facilities on African American Communities” was recently released at the National Press Club by CATF and NAACP and supported by the National Medical Association. “We’ve found that fence-line communities, including many African Americans, are suffering especially serious health consequences as a result of these emissions,” says Lesley Fleischman, Research Analyst for Clean Air Task Force and co-author of the study. (November 28, 2017) Minornity Reporter [more on Brownfields, Energy, Environmental Health in our area]

  • 12/07/2017 - Landfills, where we dump our waste into a great big hole in the ground, is not a sustainable way to live. Reduce, recycle, donate, and compost are sustainable. We gotta change our behavior towards our life support system, especially in this time of Climate Change. Time passes. PERINTON LANDFILL'S STINK TOO MUCH FOR NEARBY RESIDENTS PERINTON, N.Y. — The High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center sits on 1,000 acres in the town of Perinton and began operating in the early 1970's. Although some neighbors living near the landfill say it's an eyesore, latel, it's been more about an odor. Town leaders began taking complaints about a persistent odor in the fall. "Sometimes it's a very chemical-type noxious gas, other times it's a garbage smell," said nearby resident John Reisinger. "And again, we're fairly lucky. I don't know if it's the wind currents or something, we get it maybe two three times a month, but I know that there's some houses to the north here and the winds seem to just take it and drop it right on them."  The town says its working closely with the operators of the landfill. Waste Management of New York has agreed to fix the problem, but the company says it first has to determine the source of the problem. (November 29, 2017) Spectrum News Rochester [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 12/07/2017 - In the American Civil War the Confederate strategy was to outlast the North’s willing to fight; with Climate Change, climate deniers just have to slow down our efforts to adapt to kill us all—even the deniers.  The window of opportunity where we can adapt to and mitigate Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is closing quickly. Anything that slows us down from adapting to Climate Change is a threat to our collective existence. Time passes. Bill McKibben: Winning Slowly Is the Same as Losing The technology exists to combat climate change – what will it take to get our leaders to act? If we don't win very quickly on climate change, then we will never win. That's the core truth about global warming. It's what makes it different from every other problem our political systems have faced. I wrote the first book for a general audience about climate change in 1989 – back when one had to search for examples to help people understand what the "greenhouse effect" would feel like. We knew it was coming, but not how fast or how hard. And because no one wanted to overestimate – because scientists by their nature are conservative – each of the changes we've observed has taken us somewhat by surprise. The surreal keeps becoming the commonplace: For instance, after Hurricane Harvey set a record for American rainstorms, and Hurricane Irma set a record for sustained wind speeds, and Hurricane Maria knocked Puerto Rico back a quarter-century, something even weirder happened. (December 1, 2017) Rolling Stone [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/07/2017 - Dangerous leftovers from industrial waste, or Brownfields, don’t tend to get noticed in Rochester or anywhere else until they do—from flooding, from tests, environmental problems and (especially) from people getting sick. Like Climate Change, Brownfields don’t get noticed until we do testing. The effect of uncleaned up Brownfields on our health may occur slowly so we don’t notice. Brownfields need to be cleaned up, so folks don’t get sick in the future—because an industry just up and left the public with their dangerous waste—and Brownfields need to get cleaned up because Climate Change in our region is going to unleash a lot more flooding events, which will cause more flooding, which will cause more leaching of dangerous industrial waste into our neighborhood, our soil, and into streams and lakes. We go into Climate Change with the environment we have and if that environment has Brownfields we are at risk from dangerous waste spreading. STUDENTS, PARENTS STAGE PROTEST OVER CHEMICALS DETECTED NEAR ROCHESTER PREP ROCHESTER, N.Y. -- A steady downpour of rain did not dampen the passion behind the voices of dozens of students who gathered for a demonstration outside of Rochester Prep Tuesday.  They were protesting over recent reports that traces of trichloroethylene (TCE), a carcinogenic chemical solvent from a former industrial site, remain near St. Paul Street and Martin Street. (December 5, 2017) Spectrum News Rochester [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 12/07/2017 - What is a pesticide? What are the rules for using them in New York State? Pesticides have allowed humanity to deal with a lot of pests, many of them dangerous to our health and crops. But pesticides are strong stuff and dangerous if not used correctly or overused. With Climate Change comes more heat and this means more ‘pests’ are going to have a more profound effect on our crops and health. Our inclination is to probably solve a lot of pest problems with more pesticides—but this could have profound environmental and health implications. There are alternatives to using pesticides and we should adopt them sooner rather than later, so we aren’t forced to use even more vast amounts of pesticides to sustain our existence. We should reexamine our dependence on pesticides before we are so addicted we cannot ever get off them. Thinking of using a pesticide? Did you know that any product that claims to kill, control, or repel pests is considered a pesticide? Every pesticide product used, distributed, sold or offered for sale in New York State must be registered by DEC - unless it is considered a Minimum Risk Pesticide. DEC, in cooperation with the New York State Department of Health, evaluates the risks of pesticides through scientific-based assessments to ensure that pesticides to be registered do not pose an unreasonable risk to human health and the environment when used as labeled. Pesticides containing certain active ingredients may not be registered, or may be required to list New York State specific language on the label. In addition, some pesticides may only be sold to Certified Pesticide Applicators (December 6, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Pesticiides in our area]

  • 12/07/2017 - Just reviewing the basics. Climate Change is happening. How do we know? Without scientists and responsible media, it would just be our opinion. Climate change: How do we know?  The Earth's climate has changed throughout history. Just in the last 650,000 years there have been seven cycles of glacial advance and retreat, with the abrupt end of the last ice age about 7,000 years ago marking the beginning of the modern climate era — and of human civilization. Most of these climate changes are attributed to very small variations in Earth’s orbit that change the amount of solar energy our planet receives.  (December 7, 2017) NASA | Global Climate Change | Vital Signs of the Planet [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/06/2017 - If you’re not watching these benchmarks pass on Climate Change, you’re not paying attention to Climate Change. It’s getting hotter, regardless of your opinion on global warming. Time passes. October 2017 was the second warmest October on record October 2017 was the second warmest October in 137 years of modern record-keeping, according to a monthly analysis of global temperatures by scientists at NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) in New York. Last month was +0.90 degrees Celsius warmer than the mean October temperature from 1951-1980, just barely warmer than October 2016 (+0.89 °C). The warmest month of October according to the analysis happened in 2015 (+1.08 °C). (November 16, 2017) NASA | Global Climate Change | Vital Signs of the Planet [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/06/2017 - With our forests under threat from Climate Change how more resilient does biodiversity make them? It’s complicated. Mixed forests may not resist climate change Variety is not just life’s spice, but its support system. But it may not be so simple for mixed forests, researchers say. German researchers have confirmed once again that a good forest is a mixed forest, a natural one, with a diversity of species. The more diverse the forest, the better it becomes at doing what forests do. Forests with a greater number of species grow at a faster rate, store more carbon, and are more resistant to pests and diseases, according to a six-nation study of European woodlands. But this safety-in-species-numbers approach may not offer quite the protection against climate change and its consequences that such a finding should predict. A second study by European researchers suggests that when conditions become extremely wet, or extremely dry, diversity may not confer automatic resilience. The message is that healthy, diverse, natural forest systems remain important buffers against climate change – but also that climate extremes could diminish the capacity of the forest to absorb carbon and limit global warming. (December 4, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change and Plants in our area]

  • 12/05/2017 - Event coming up on Sunday about clearing trees along Erie Canal “Rally for the Canal Trees | Stop the Canal Clear Cut Sun December 10th 12 PM · Erie Canal Boat Launch Ayrault Road Perinton NY 14450 Group: STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT here Event: here “STOP the CANAL CLEAR CUT is holding a rally to bring attention to the clear cutting that is taking place along the Erie Canal by the Canal Corporation / Power Authority. This canal path is loved by walkers, runners, bikers dog walkers and boaters for it's shady and tranquil beauty. We believe that there are less environmentally invasive ways of ensuring the safety of this waterway, and we want time to have a dialog with elected officials, experts not hired by the Power Authority, environmentalists and the public. Speakers will include Mike Barker Perinton Town Supervisor, Bill Smith Pittsford Town Supervisor and Sandra Frankel former Brighton Town Supervisor. Park at the Boat Launch and rally across the bridge on the canal.” 145 acres to be cleared along the Erie Canal BROCKPORT, NY (WROC) - By next year the Erie Canal will look a lot different in many places around Rochester. The New York State Canal Corporation is out and cutting back trees and shrubs to return the shoreline to the way it looked years ago. The area spans along 145 acres of the Erie Canal, intended to help drainage; one thing that has Janet Fleisher concerned. "In the spring it's like a lake back here," said Fleisher. (October 31, 2017) RochesterFirst.com

  • 12/05/2017 - The U.S. Forest Service didn’t have a reason for pulling 85% of Bears Ears National Monument from their protection, so what would be Trump’s brilliant motive for gutting this valuable park of ours?  U.S. Forest Service didn’t call for pulling its land from Bears Ears, USDA nominee tells Senate Democrats Two senior Senate Democrats want President Trump to explain why he’s poised to remove protections for U.S. Forest Service land in the Bears Ears National Monument when the agency did not recommend any such change, according to a letter obtained by The Washington Post. Sen. Debbie Stabenow (Mich.), the top Democrat on the Senate Agriculture Committee, and Sen. Michael F. Bennet (Colo.), the ranking Democrat on the Agriculture subcommittee on conservation, forestry and natural resources, made the inquiry Friday after Trump’s nominee to serve as U.S. Department of Agriculture general counsel informed them that the department had not recommended the Interior Department remove any Forest Service acreage from existing national monuments. (December 1, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Parks in our area]

  • 12/05/2017 - Winters in the Rochester, NY region won’t simply be warmer in the future, they already are: 3.9 degrees warmer since 1970. We should plan and prepare. See How Much Winters Have Been Warming in Your City Winters are warming across the U.S., and in some locations, the warming is dramatic. The Northern Plains, Great Lakes, and the Northeast are warming the fastest, while warming is taking place at a slower rate in the western U.S. In parts of Minnesota, Wisconsin, and northern New England winters have warmed at an average rate of more than 1°F per decade since 1970 — that’s more than 4°F total. (November 29, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 12/05/2017 - There’s no good reason to put a nuclear waste dump anywhere near the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world. Even a low risk to this priceless ecosystem (and our drinking water) is intolerable. Officials continue fight against nuclear waste dump on shores of Lake Huron Many local leaders sign opposition letter Just say no to a nuclear waste dump anywhere near the Great Lakes. Especially the one proposed for the shores of Lake Huron in Kincardine, Ontario, Canada, about 110 miles uplake from Port Huron. That’s the message delivered by more than 100 mayors, township supervisors and other elected officials in the region to Catherine McKenna, Canada’s minister of the Environment and Climate Change. Of the 104 signatories, 14 hail from St. Clair County or nearby communities (December 3, 2017) The Voice [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 12/05/2017 - Our media must report on our weather in the context of a warming planet, a longer view than day-to-day. The public needs to see Climate Change in the increase of record-breaking extreme weather. CNN shows the right way to report on hurricanes and climate change Climate scientist Michael Mann tells CNN climate change is "absolutely" making hurricanes worse  (December 4, 2017) MediaMatters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/05/2017 - It's going to be very hard to mitigate Climate Change with renewable energy if we don’t get our priorities straight, where renewable energy comes before aesthetic concerns of wind farms. The defeat of major wind power projects like Cape Wind is both a telling blow to how serious we take renewable energy and the loss of clean power in that area. Time passes. U.S. Offshore Wind Farm Is No More | Cape Wind, the offshore wind project off the coast of Massachusetts that drew the ire of the Kennedy and Koch families, is officially dead. Energy Management Inc. has ceased efforts to build what was once expected to become the first offshore wind farm in the U.S., according to an emailed statement from Chief Executive Officer Jim Gordon. The project’s Boston-based developer has already notified the U.S. Bureau of Ocean Energy Management that it has terminatsed the offshore wind development lease it received in 2010. (December 2, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Wiind Power in our area]

  • 12/04/2017 - If your community hasn’t prepared for Climate Change, it might be not only a climate risk but an insurance risk also. Neither Mother Nature or insurance companies are very tolerant of risk. Time passes. Credit Rating Agency Issues Warning On Climate Change To Cities One of the largest credit rating agencies in the country is warning U.S. cities and states to prepare for the effects of climate change or risk being downgraded. In a new report, Moody's Investor Services Inc. explains how it assesses the credit risks to a city or state that's being impacted by climate change — whether that impact be a short-term "climate shock" like a wildfire, hurricane or drought, or a longer-term "incremental climate trend" like rising sea levels or increased temperatures. Also taken into consideration: "[communities] preparedness for such shocks and their activities in respect of adapting to climate trends," the report says. (December 1, 2017) National Public Radio [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/01/2017 - Just because some places (like Alaska and the Arctic) are warming quicker than others doesn’t mean your region won’t cook also—maybe sooner than you think if your media isn’t connecting the dots. Time passes. In Alaska's Thawing Permafrost, Humanity's 'Library Is on Fire' Rising Arctic temperatures are destroying ancient artifacts once preserved in the frozen ground and taking a toll on native traditions that depend on the sea ice. (November 30, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.

  • 12/01/2017 - Of course, our oceans sucking up most of the heat from Climate Change comes at a great cost. Like our planet’s ecology, our oceans are much more sensitive to abuse that we thought. Time passes. If oceans stopped absorbing heat from climate change, life on land would average 122°F Since the 1970s, more than 93% of excess heat captured by greenhouse gases has been absorbed by the oceans. To understand how much heat that is, think of it this way: If the oceans weren’t absorbing it, average global temperatures on land would be far higher—around 122°F, according to researchers on the documentary Chasing Coral. The global average surface temperature right now is 59°F. A 122°F world, needless to say, would be unlivable. More than 93% of climate change is out of sight and out of mind for most of us land-dwelling humans, but as the oceans continue to onboard all that heat, they’re becoming unlivable themselves. (November 29, 2017) Quartz [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/01/2017 - Our world is getting warmer and dustier. What does it mean to our ecologies and our health? Climate Connection: Unraveling the Surprising Ecology of Dust As droughts intensify and development expands, the amount of dust blowing around the earth is increasing, affecting everything from mountain snowmelt to the spread of disease. Scientists are just beginning to understand the complex dynamics of dust in a warming world. (November 30, 2017) Yale Environment 360 [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 12/01/2017 - American opinions about global warming seem to depend on where they live, which is odd because we all live in the same place. What even more odd [this isn’t in the study] is that while most people in the US believe in Climate Change, most don’t think they personally are or will be affected—which is to say, they won’t be motived to do something. This last part may be our most difficult hurdle in getting the public to act on Climate Change. Somehow, we must convince the public they are being affected by Climate Change and that we have a responsibility to keep our environment sustainable for those who come next. Yale Climate Opinion Maps – U.S. 2016About Downscaling Climate Opinions | This version of the Yale Climate Opinion Maps is based on data through the year 2016. Public opinion about global warming is an important influence on decision making about policies to reduce global warming or prepare for the impacts, but American opinions vary widely depending on where people live.”

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