Updated Daily  2/28/2015 RochesterEnvironment.com

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


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

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

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

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

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

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

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

All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians.  So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings.  Push back on misinformation.  Speak up for the facts.  Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution.  Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices.  Invest.  Divest.  Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.  Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013)  The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk?  Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.-- Carl Sagan

 

Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award

 

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Rochester area NewsLinks.

NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily.  Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.

 

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. 

To be sure you have the latest News, refresh your browser, or Ctrl +R.  

News Highlight

Political leaders, including Rochester’s, must lead on Climate Change                                                                                                     

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "



Ultimately, it is our political leaders and their parties who decide if and how we will address Climate Change. Much can and is being done to adapt to and mitigate this worldwide crisis from the bottom-up—individuals, faith organizations, educational institutions, and businesses—but their efforts are doomed to ad hoc, insufficient, and contradictory solutions if our leaders are not leading the way. A worldwide crisis requires a worldwide top-down framework. President Obama is just now starting to lead. His leadership will encourage billions to act. And just recently, New York State Assembly Speaker Heastie “created a working group to review NYS’s response to Climate Change.”

Assembly Speaker Heastie Creates Group To Review NYS Response To Climate Change The speaker of the New York state Assembly has created a working group to review the state's response to climate change. Speaker Carl Heastie announced the formation of the panel on Thursday. It will consist of 10 lawmakers charged with examining possible ways to reduce greenhouse emissions as well as measures that could help the state prepare for future extreme weather. (February 20, 2015) WXXI News

That’s leadership, taking charge of finding out whether our state’s current response to Climate Change is adequate. I submit that our state’s efforts are woefully lacking in many areas and I hope the findings of the working group will reflect that. Our state’s environmental agency (The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) established in 1970, understands its mission as:

"To conserve, improve and protect New York's natural resources and environment and to prevent, abate and control water, land and air pollution, in order to enhance the health, safety and welfare of the people of the state and their overall economic and social well-being." (About DEC)

But the DEC’s mission, which was written about the time greenhouse gases (GHGs) began to seriously affect our climate, should be updated. The DEC, which was far too interested in regulating Fracking and now regulating oil trains, should change their mission to focus entirely on protecting our life support system. Instead of making fossil fuel use safer, they should discourage it. Instead of making wildlife more plentiful for harvesting, the DEC should be planning and educating the public on how to help our wildlife and native plants adjust to a climate that is warming far faster than our endemic species’ ability to adapt. The DEC’s Climate Smart Communities voluntary program to address Climate Change should be mandatory and more robust. The DEC should orchestrate all their public information sessions through the lens of Climate Change. And, most notably the DEC should not be worrying their pretty little heads about our ‘overall economic well-being,’ as that’s why we created economists. The DEC should keep our life support system sustainable; which is the only way to ensure economic health in the future anyway.

These kind of holistic changes can only be changed at the top—our political leaders.

I’m not tilting at windmills here. Rather than a dreamy idealistic hunger for change, many political leaders are coming to terms with the core problem of this issue—it’s physics stupid. Taking time out from going at each other’s jugular, some of UK’s political leaders have agreed to agree that Climate Change is happening and it must be addressed. 

Cameron, Clegg, and Miliband Sign Joint Climate Pledge | David Cameron, Nick Clegg and Ed Miliband have signed a joint pledge to tackle climate change, which they say will protect the UK’s national security and economic prosperity. The agreement of the three party leaders is highly unusual and comes amid a general election campaign that is becoming increasingly bitter. The prime minister, deputy prime minister and leader of the opposition have all clashed over green issues, but the joint declaration states: “Climate change is one of the most serious threats facing the world today. It is not just a threat to the environment, but also to our national and global security, to poverty eradication and economic prosperity.” February 17, 2015) Climate Central 

Can you imagine our US political leaders walking boldly across the aisle, shaking hands, then speaking jointly to the media, “My worthy opponent and me agree that Climate Change is happening and it is doing so as a result of mankind’s GHG emissions.” It’s not a dream. It must happen. It must happen at all levels of government. It must start happening in the Rochester region too.     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:

  • EPA Funding Helps Businesses in Upstate New York Prevent Pollution; $268,000 Will Help Small and Medium-Sized Companies The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $268,383 to organizations in New York to fund projects that will help small and medium-sized businesses reduce pollution. These grants were awarded to the New York State Pollution Prevention Institute and Empire State Development. “EPA helps businesses reduce the use of toxic materials, save energy, protect human health and save money,” said Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “The strategy is simple: it’s always better not to generate waste in the first place. It’s better for the environment and it’s better for a company’s bottom line.”  (November 10, 2014) EPA News Releases from Region 2 [ more on Green Business in our area]

  • You’re a student wanting a career in Sustainability or you’re and industry that wants to be more sustainable- meet at Climate Corps. “EDF Climate Corps is the premier fellowship program from Environmental Defense Fund. We recruit and train top graduate students and embed them in leading organizations to provide expert hands-on support for your energy management initiatives.”

  • NY reports 7 deals for clean energy projects ALBANY, N.Y. (AP) New York officials say they have reached agreements in principle to finance seven clean energy projects with a dozen banks and investment firms and the state's new NY Green Bank. They hope to close deals this year that would lead to more than $800 million invested in solar energy, cogeneration and energy-efficiency. The goal is a 575,000-ton annual reduction in carbon dioxide by generating and using energy in ways that reduce pollution and burning fossil fuels. (October 23, 2014) North Country Public Radio [more on Green Business in our area]
  • Rochester company awarded funding to develop solar technology A Rochester company has been awarded hundreds of thousands of dollars to go towards solar energy development, according to officials. Congresswoman Louise Slaughter's office says Intrinsiq Materials Incorporated, a nanotechnology leader in printable electronic ink, has been awarded $450,000. (October 22, 2014) WHEC [more on Solar Power and Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight

  Fast Forward Film Festival




Submission deadline is February 27, 2015. Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org"  

WATCH VIDEO  

Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives 

Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT, and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute.

Its Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment.

As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness.

An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015.

Read more at: www.fastforwardroc.org

Please spread the word! Send the links around.    

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...    

February 2015

  • Thursday, February 24; 8:15 PM Kolker Lecture Hall Elmira College
    • Free screening of the film GMO OMG and an update on the campaign to label GMO foods in New York State Thursday, February 24; 8:15 PM Kolker Lecture Hall Elmira College GMO OMG director and concerned father Jeremy Seifert is in search of answers. How do GMOs affect our children, the health of our planet, and our freedom of choice? And perhaps the ultimate question, which Seifert tests himself: is it even possible to reject the food system currently in place, or have we lost something we can’t gain back? These and other questions take Seifert on a journey from his family’s table to Haiti, Paris, Norway, and the lobby of agra-giant Monsanto, from which he is unceremoniously ejected. Along the way we gain insight into a question that is of growing concern to citizens the world over: what's on your plate?   Free and open to all! See more at: http://www.gmofilm.com. For more information about this event, contact: Alexandra Hood, 207-577-9690, ahood16@elmira.edu Co-sponsored by the Elmira College Environmental Club, Food & Water Watch, and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter     Elmira College campus map:    Facebook event to share: 
  • Wednesday, February 25, 2015 7:00-8:30 p.m. Brighton Town Hall 2300 Elmwood Avenue Rochester, NY 14618
    • Citizen Science for Air Quality: Community-Academic Partnerships to Address Industrial and Hydrofracking Emissions in Ohio On Wednesday, February 25th, Dr Haynes will present an overview of research conducted by a team of community members and academic scientists in eastern Ohio. This event is free and open to the public. This talk will provide an overview of research conducted by a team of community members and academic scientists in eastern Ohio. Residents partnered with University of Cincinnati researchers to address concerns about manganese exposure from a ferromanganese refinery. The research partnership expanded to include potential exposures from the rapidly growing oil and gas industry. Residents and scientists are using simple wristbands to measure exposure to airborne chemicals. Dr. Haynes will discuss how the partnership started, community engagement in the research, expansion to include other environmental exposures, and novel approaches to air quality monitoring. Sponsored by the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core. If you have any questions about this event, please contact: valerie_garrison@urmc.rochester.edu 
  • Thursday, February 26, 2015, from 7 – 9 pm, First Baptist Church, 309 North Cayuga Street, Ithaca, NY.
  • Saturday, February 28, 2015, all day, Montour Falls, NY
    •  "The Seneca Lake Academy is a free, day-long, public event that will take place in Montour Falls, NY on February 28, 2015."  Save the Date! The Seneca Lake Academy is a free, day-long, public event that will take place in Montour Falls, NY on February 28, 2015. Classes (like none you ever took in school) will be offered by a dynamic group of knowledgeable and passionate teachers on a variety of subjects relevant to better understanding Seneca Lake and its unique natural and cultural history. Pre-registration will likely be required for the event. Stay-tuned for details. E-mail adriannalouise@gmail.com  to get notification of when pre-registration opens. Saturday, February 28, 2015 Free Admission (scholarships for everyone!) Mind-bogglingly Interesting Classes with Parallel Programming Especially for Kids 9 am-5 pm Special Community Dinner (with live music) (a fundraiser for Schuyler County 4-H groups) Open-mic Cabaret to share stories, songs, poems, skits, etc.  related to our love of Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region Let's go back to the basics. The Seneca Lake Academy is an exploration of things that make Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes region a place that inspires us and a place that people want to live and visit. The Seneca Lake Academy is a one-day "interpretive" event where dynamic and passionate speakers will teach short classes near the south end of Seneca Lake on a variety of subjects that pertain to the natural and cultural history of the lake and its surroundings. Earth Arts will be providing parallel programming for younger children. So bring the whole family! Pre-registration will likely be required. This should happen through this website so be sure to check back or send an e-mail to adriannalouise@gmail.com  to be put on our update e-mail list so that you can know when registration opens up.

March 2015

  • March 01, 2015 at 12pm - 2pm | SUNY Geneseo, Newton Lecture Hall 202 1 College Cir Geneseo, NY 14454 | Make reservatons
    • THE SOLUTIONS GRASSROOTS TOUR: "A SOLAR HOME COMPANION" GENESEO WITH JOSH FOX AND ZEPHYR TEACHOUT Conceived and directed by Oscar-Nominated and Emmy-Winning filmmaker and activist Josh Fox, The Solutions Grassroots Tour:  “A Solar Home Companion” combines classic storytelling and great music with roll-up-your sleeves organizing to look at the impacts of fossil fuel development and provide a vision for developing renewable energy like no other event on the planet.   Lightly parodying NPR/Garrison Keillor’s popular “A Prairie Home Companion” the show is like an old fashioned variety show, with music, stories, film sequences, and Americana but with a new twist:  this show teaches it’s audience how to go renewable and how to organize for a sustainable future.   With Zephyr Teachout and special musical guest Dustin Hamman of Run on Sentence.
  • March 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm, The Buffalo History Museum, One Museum Court, Buffalo, NY 14216 | Make reservations
    • “Zephyr Teachout and Josh Fox in person presenting: “A SOLAR HOME COMPANION”  March 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm, The Buffalo History Museum, Lightly parodying NPR/Garrison Keillor’s popular “A Prairie Home Companion”, the show is like an old fashioned variety show, with music, stories, film sequences, and Americana, but with a new twist:  this show teaches its audience how to go renewable and how to organize for a sustainable future. Free and Open to the Public Seating is limited. Make your reservation here:” This program is being sponsored in Buffalo by: Sierra Club Niagara Group; UB School of Architecture and Planning, WNY Environmental Alliance; and others."
  • Sunday, March 1, 2015 Time: 1:00pm - 5:30pm Place: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618
    • Calling on all Rochester-area women to take action on Climate Change. Check our Rochester’s ‘Mothers Out Front’. "Public narrative is the art of sharing stories that communicate lived experience and values through emotions to inspire others to take action.  Attendees develop their stories about why they are involved, or why they want to be involved, with Mothers Out Front.  We will then develop the story of what we are called to do together to protect our children's future in the face of climate change. Sharing stories is an essential practice of organizing and movement building.  Stories are the fuel that inspire us and others to act. Date: Sunday, March 1, 2015 Time: 1:00pm - 5:30pm Place: St. Thomas Episcopal Church, 2000 Highland Avenue, Rochester, NY 14618 Who: mothers, grandmothers, caregivers, and their friends concerned about climate change Contact person: Neely Kelley. neely.kelley@mothersoutfront.org"
  • Tues, Mar 3: 7pm, King's Bend Park Lodge, 170 W. Jefferson Rd, Pittsford, NY
    • Our Daily Personal Care Routine: How it Affects Your Home, Family & the Environment Tues, Mar 3: 7pm, King's Bend Park Lodge, 170 W. Jefferson Rd, Pittsford, NY
  • Monday, March 3, 2014: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, Monroe County.
    • Is our DEC merely the lapdog of hunters and fishermen, or is their first priority our Wildlife? I know, this is very inconvenient… but it is really the DEC’s job to make fishing & hunting better? Or protect our Wildlife. Climate Change is going to seriously impact our Wildlife, but unless you speak up at these meetings about what our environmental protection agency is doing on that front, I suspect these meetings will not even mention Climate Change. What is the state of New York doing to protect and preserve our Wildlife, which play a vital role in our life support system, during Climate Change? Are we ready to install environmental corridors so that wildlife can relocate to cooler areas that they evolved with? What are we doing to reduce GHGs concentrations so that our fish, which evolved in frigid lake water can adapt to warmer lake and stream waters? These are questions that should have been asked and addressed decades ago. Will we have to continually restock our fish in our lakes because our fish cannot keep up with fishing and Climate Change? DEC Announces State of Lake Ontario Meetings Biologists to Update Status of Lake's Fisheries  Monday, March 3, 2014: 7:00 p.m. - 9:30 p.m. at the Carlson Auditorium, in the Chester F. Carlson Center for Imaging Science building (76-1125) on the Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) campus, Rochester, Monroe County. The meeting is co-hosted by RIT and the Monroe County Fishery Advisory Board. (February 10, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)   [more on Wildlife in our area]
  • Wednesday, March 4th, 6-8 PM | Tompkins County Public Library BorgWarner Room West, 101 E Green St, Ithaca, NY 14850
    • The Community Science Institute and Cayuga Lake Watershed Network are teaming up to present the 2015 "What's In Your Watershed?" Series  What: Post-Ban Stream Monitoring: What's In Your Watershed? Where: Tompkins County Public Library BorgWarner Room West When: Wednesday, March 4th, 6-8 PM Details: The possibility that water resources could become contaminated from hydrofracking is a major reason that many opposed the gas extraction method. While the recent announcement of a ban on fracking in New York comes as a relief to those concerned about water quality, it does not mean that New York’s water resources are immune to any impacts from the hydrofracking industry. Contamination from gas wells themselves may be off the table for now, but there are other steps of the hydrofracking process that are active and present in New York State that present risks to local water resources. Since hydrofracking is currently banned in New York, it presents an opportunity to refocus monitoring efforts on impacts from shale gas waste disposal and infrastructure development. The event, “Post-Ban Stream Monitoring: What’s In Your Watershed?” will highlight the ways in which the hydrofracking industry has the potential to, or is already, impacting waterways in New York.  The event will feature a presentation by Rachel Triechler, an attorney who has been providing legal services in the Finger Lakes and Southern Tier regions since 2002, and previously practiced law in New York City for 20 years. She represents clients in real estate, water law, riparian rights, and mineral rights. Rachel will discuss how drilling waste entering New York landfills presents risks to stream water quality. Stephen Penningroth, CSI’s Executive Director, will present on how natural gas infrastructure such as storage and pipelines have the potential to impact water quality.  This event is free and open to the public.  Contact: Becky Sims, Director of Outreach Community Science Institute 607-257-6606 becky@communityscience.org Hilary Lambert, Watershed Steward Cayuga Lake Watershed Network steward@cayugalake.org 
  • Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6 p.m. | Crane Branch Library - Upstairs, 633 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo, NY
    • Drilling Defense Community Meeting: Stop the Bomb Trains! Crane Branch Library - Upstairs, 633 Elmwood Ave, Buffalo Thursday, March 5, 2015 at 6 p.m. (Informative hand-out attached.)   RSVP on Facebook & Invite Friends:    Every week trains loaded with volatile crude oil fracked in North Dakota's Bakken shale travel through New York communities at 30 to 40 miles an hour. The DOT-111 tankers used to haul oil are defective and prone to explode in derailments. Bakken oil trains from North Dakota are traveling across New York State and through the City of Buffalo. With very little public awareness and no study of environmental impacts, the oil industry has made New York a dangerous pipeline for crude oil that snakes thousands of miles by rail, barge and ship from oil fields in North Dakota and elsewhere, to refineries on both coasts. Because they present an immediate danger to public health, we must work to halt the transport of oil trains. Join us in stopping the bomb trains! We will also be discussing next steps in the anti-fracking campaign in New York, including increased focus on renewable energy. These meetings are open to all! PLEASE NOTE THAT ATTACHED IS VERSION 2.0 OF A 1-PAGE HANDOUT ON "BOMB TRAINS" IN BUFFALO THAT CAN BE PRINTED & DISPERSED.
  • March 6th and 7th | Cinemapolis, Ithaca's Art Theatre on the Commons  120 East Green Street Ithaca, NY 14850 
    • Ithaca Native Landscape Symposium​ The Ithaca Native Landscape Symposium is based on a simple idea:  the use of native plants should remain an integral part of sustainable landscapes. We see many fields adapting rapidly to goals of sustainability, but horticulture in Central NY has been slow to embrace native plants,  which have been standard landscape tools in many other parts of the country for decades.  In Central NY, quality information on native plants remains elusive, with marketing standing in for ecology or substance.​ ​ ​The Symposium offers alternative ideas, knowledge and perspective presented by experts and professionals​ from our region and beyond.  It is for landscape architects, designers, educators, Master Gardeners, government employees, homeowners, gardeners, naturalists and anyone else eager to learn more about this growing movement.​ ​ Heading into our 7th year of INLS, we look forward to seeing you at this stimulating, enjoyable gathering.  Please use the menu tabs above to navigate our site.
  • Sunday, March 8th 1:00pm - 10:00pm Where: Lovin Cup Bistro & Brews 300 Park Point Drive Suite #101, Rochester, New York
    • Cool Blues For The Homeless VIII   Gently Used Clothing and Non-perishable Food collection drive and fundraiser to benefit Catholic Family Centers of Rochester and The Open Door Mission. Live Blues and Roots performances all day. Workshops in fingerstyle, open tunings, bottleneck slide, and blues harmonica. Raffles and prize give-a-ways all day!   Sponsored by The Son House Club of Rochester, Bernunzio Uptown Music, The Great House of Guitars, Bop Shop Records, The Record Archive, Roc City Roller Derby, and more...   Various artists including Joe Beard, Andrew Cohen, Fred Vine & Brian Williams, Steve Lyons, Table Top Three, Tommy T and The Gliders, Drew Gansz, Gordon Munding, Roger Kuhn, The Crawdiddies, Jeff Slutsky & Curtis Waterman, Ernie Lawrence, Busker Brown Band, and Genesee Johnny and The River Rats.   When: Sunday, March 8th 1:00pm - 10:00pm Where: Lovin Cup Bistro & Brews 300 Park Point Drive Suite #101, Rochester, New York handicap accessible free admission (donations suggested) info: 585-292-9940 Facebook event
  • Monday, March 9th at 7 p.m. |  Buffalo State College campus (1300 Elmwood Ave.) in the Bulger Communications Center, Room: North. You can find a campus map here:  Public parking area on campus T.B.A.
    • Sneak-Peek of the Upcoming Film "Dear President Obama: The Case Against Fracking" with Filmmaker Jon Bowermaster Facebook Events page.  Join us on Monday, March 9th at 7 p.m. for a sneak-peek at Jon Bowermaster's brand new film-in-the-works “Dear President Obama: The Case Against Fracking.” Building on the success of the locally-produced “Dear Governor Cuomo: New Yorkers Against Fracking In One Voice,” which played a role in convincing Governor Andrew Cuomo to ban fracking in New York State, this new film takes a national look at the issue, profiling the victims of fracking, giving the experts on the subject a forum and taking a hard look at the variety of alternative energy sources that are gaining traction around the globe. After the film will be a session with filmmaker Jon Bowermaster, as well as representatives from Food & Water Watch, Western NY Drilling Defense, New Yorkers Against Fracking, and Frack Action bringing Western New Yorkers up to speed on what's transpired in the state since the December 17th decision to ban fracking. For more information on the film, visit: This event is free & open to the public. It will take place on Buffalo State College campus (1300 Elmwood Ave.) in the Bulger Communications Center, Room: North. You can find a campus map here:  Public parking area on campus T.B.A.
  • March 9th, 7:00 pm | Wood Library 134 N. Main Street, Canandaigua
    • Bag It Film At Wood Library 134 N. Main Street, Canandaigua Monday, March 9th, 7:00 pm See this inspiring, funny, informative film! Re-usable bags available for you there   BRING A MUG FOR A HOT DRINK AND COOKIE
  • Thursday, March 12, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – Noon | Webinar online detail in article.
    • Climate Smart Community Webinar: Mobilizing Regional Climate Action Thursday, March 12, 2015, 10:30 a.m. – Noon  The evidence of significant climate change in New York State is mounting. How can communities work with place-based institutions such as colleges and universities as well as local governments to meet this growing challenge? This webinar "Mobilizing Regional Climate Action" will demonstrate two such examples.   Tompkins County Climate Protection Initiative (www.tccpi.org) is an award-winning coalition of community leaders from the education, business, local government, youth, and nonprofit sectors that provides a place to meet and network around climate and energy issues. Webinar participants will learn about the development of TCCPI and how, building on the climate action commitments made by Cornell University, Ithaca College, Tompkins Cortland Community College, Tompkins County, the City of Ithaca, and other local municipalities, it seeks to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, foster a more climate resilient community, and accelerate the transition to a clean energy economy. TCCPI’s flagship program, the Ithaca 2030 District will be examined, as will be the goals and benefits of this new effort to increase the energy and water performance of commercial buildings in the City of Ithaca. February 19, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) [more on Climate Change in our area]
  • {due to an unforeseen scheduling conflict, our Genesee River Basin Summit 2015 (which was scheduled to be held 3/13/15 at the Mt. Morris Dam and Conference Center) will be rescheduled to another location at a later date. We are currently looking at a University setting and possibly the first week of May. We will get back to everyone as soon as we have a date/location confirmed. We WILL be holding a 2015 Summit.] Friday March 13, 2014 - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM | Mt. Morris Dam Visitor's Center, 6103 Visitor Center Road, Mount Morris, NY 14510 (585) 658-4790
    • Genesee River Basin Summit Mt. Morris Dam Visitor's Center  Friday March 13, 2014 - 8:00 AM to 5:00 PM Agenda includes: 2014 Summit Recap Soil Health Panel Trees for Tribs Tile Drain DEC's 9-Element Plan Genesee River Basin Data Streambank Stabilization Nutrient Recovery Panel from The Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI)
  • Spanning five days, from Tuesday through Saturday, March 17 – 21, 2015,
    • Greentopia I FILM is now open for submissions of non-fiction features, shorts, and children’s films *The deadline to submit is December 22, 2014.  In its fourth year, innovative documentary film festival, Greentopia | FILM, brings inspiring and award-winning non-fiction films and events to Rochester area moviegoers. Spanning five days, from Tuesday through Saturday, March 17 – 21, 2015, Greentopia | FILM has become known for its lively cross-pollination of art, ideas, community engagement and fun. Greentopia I FILM "Greentopia | FILM believes in our community and in showcasing the positive changes, projects and people that are often not covered in more mainstream news and media channels. Through the incredible generosity of local film makers, Greentopia | FILM has been able to produce 3 short documentaries a year for the past 2 years. In 2014, we received funding from NYSCA (New York State Council on the Arts) to actually commission the films, offering a $1,000 stipend and festival film passes to each of the 3 selected film makers. All Community Supported Films (CSFs) tell a story of something happening in the Greater Rochester area that embraces the concept of sustainability or community building in some way. We look for positive success stories – no docs trying to expose some injustice. Here are examples of films produced over the past two festivals. " Greentopia
  • Sat. Mar 28, 2015 1:00 pm to Sat. Mar 28, 2015 5:00 pm | 929 South Plymouth Avenue, Rochester, NY 14608, USA
    • Awakening the Dreamer Symposium Where on Earth are we going? And what CAN we do about it? · Join us in exploring a bold, empowering vision to create an · environmentally sustainable, socially just, and spiritually fulfilling society · Experience an inspiring interactive multimedia event acclaimed in 82 countries: The Pachamama Alliance’s Awakening the Dreamer, Changing the Dream Symposium Location: M.K. Gandhi Institute for Nonviolence 929 South Plymouth Ave. Rochester, NY Saturday, March 28th 1-5 PM. (12:45 check-in so we may start promptly) Light refreshments will be provided. FREE, but pre-registration required here.  Learn more see flyer

April 2015

  • Selected entries will be screened at the Little Theatre to kick off Earth Week on April 17, 2015. Category winners will be screened at the Dryden Theatre at the George Eastman House on April 18, 2015.
    • Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT,  and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "" Click here to down load the flyer and help distribute Fast Forward Film Festival
  • April 17, 2015 "The Links" E. Syracuse, New York
  • Tuesday April 21st, 2015 | Monroe County Community College
    • What we are hearing: World renowned climate scientist and activist and author, Dr. Hansen has agreed to speak the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club’s Earth Day forum for 2015, Tuesday April 21st, 2015. If it's anywhere near Rochester, NY, you could have the privilege of hearing former NASA scientist and Climate Change expert Dr. James Hansen speak at our local Sierra Club's annual environmental forum, to be held at Monroe Community College. Various other events at other local venues will be included that day, and also Monday April 20th. See his TED talk here: https://lnkd.in/dgSc2Uq . More details to come as I learn more.
  • Saturday, April 25th, 2015 9am-noon
    • Great opportunity to join your friends and groups and neighbors to help clean up our parks at the annual event. "The 6th annual Pick Up the Parks Event  is scheduled for Saturday, April 25th, 2015 9am-noon (Cleanup in all Monroe County-managed Parks) noon-2pm (Thank You Picnic in Olmsted Lodge at Highland Park) Join Cascades Recovery and the Monroe County Department of Parks, along with many local recreation and environmental groups for “Pick Up the Parks.”  This event is designed to foster stewardship of our *21 parks and 12,000 acres within.  We are all stewards of the great outdoors, so we encourage you to do your part to keep our parks, our waterways, and watersheds clean and green."

 

Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) is working for environmental protection and enhanced quality of life in the Greater Rochester and Finger Lakes region through education, collaboration and informed action.

 

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: February 13-16
    • Help monitor changes in our environment with one of the best monitors ever—birds.  Join the Great Backyard Bird Count February 13-16, 2015 The Great Backyard Bird Count "Launched in 1998 by the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and National Audubon Society, the Great Backyard Bird Count was the first online citizen-science project to collect data on wild birds and to display results in near real-time. Since then, more than 100,000 people of all ages and walks of life have joined the four-day count each February to create an annual snapshot of the distribution and abundance of birds. We invite you to participate! Simply tally the numbers and kinds of birds you see for at least 15 minutes on one or more days of the count, February 13-16, 2015.You can count from any location, anywhere in the world! If you’re new to the count, first register online then enter your checklist. If you have already participated in another Cornell Lab citizen-science project, you can use your existing login. "
  • ACTION: Due date: February 27, 2015
    • Tap your inner Spielberg. Deadline for your 5-min chance to Become the Media! on Rochester’s environment at FFFF on 2/27, 2015 Final Call for Entries! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to frame our local environmental issues, like how Climate Change will affect us, by making a short film, which is easy-peasy but the deadline is almost here. Lean more: Fast Forward Film Festival | Getting Ready for the Fast Forward Film Festival  Rochester's newest film festival is almost here. We speak with the project director of the Fast Forward Film Festival about how you can get your work on the big screen. (February 10, 2015) FOX Rochester
  • ACTION: Due Date: March 9, 2015
    • What astounds me about our collective reaction to Climate Change is what we know and what little we are doing to respond to it. One of the things we are not doing is preparing all wildlife (and plants for that matter, and well, us too) for the rapid warming of our climate. Our state’s wildlife took eons to adapt to the conditions that existed, mostly stable, for the last 10,000 years and now that stability is over. If Climate Change is not heavy baked into the DEC’s plans to save our wildlife, it is delusional because wildlife is not going to be able to move though our infrastructures (think highways) to adapt unless we plan. And this plan by the DEC doesn’t even mention Climate Change. Make comment on this draft and mention Climate Change. DEC Extends Public Comment Period on Revisions to List of Species of Greatest Conservation Need until March 9 The public comment period for the draft Species of Greatest Conservation Need (SGCN) list is extended for an additional 30 days until March 9, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today. DEC collaborated with numerous species experts and conservation partners to develop revisions to the Species of Greatest Conservation Need list, as part of an update to the State Wildlife Action Plan (SWAP). The SWAP identifies species that need conservation action to maintain their abundance and distribution in New York, threats to these species and management actions that will be undertaken in the next 10 years to conserve these designated species and their habitats. The draft final list contains 372 SGCN, half of which are considered high priority for conservation action in the near term. SGCN are species that are declining or are at risk due to identified threats, such as loss of habitat, and conservation actions are appropriate to stabilize their populations in New York. An additional 111 species were categorized as Species of Potential Conservation Need (SPCN). SPCN are species that have poorly-known population status and trends in New York and will need further research or surveys to determine their conservation status. (February 4, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) (
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Been wondering how your group can help our environment? Help monitor our Water Quality by being Citizen Scientists. “Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.” Learn more, get training, get equipment, get started. EPA Region 2 Citizen Science |  Equipment Loan Program [PDF 437 KB, 5 pp] Apply for the Region 2 Citizen Science equipment Loan Program [PDF 318 KB, 2 pp] Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.  Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern to them.  Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of citizen science projects as tools have advanced and people have become more empowered.  These projects have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people’s awareness of their environment, and leveraging change. EPA Region 2
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • President Obama, please stop 'game over' dirty tars sands fossil fuel so we can get going on adapting to and mitigating Climate Change. Everyone, please sign this petition. Sign the petition to President Obama
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • SIGN THE PETITION: Voice your opposition to the Trans-Pacific Partnership. The Trans-Pacific Partnership is a disastrous trade agreement designed to protect the interests of the largest multi-national corporations at the expense of workers, consumers, the environment and the foundations of American democracy. It will also negatively impact some of the poorest people in the world. The TPP is a treaty that has been written behind closed doors by the corporate world. Incredibly, while Wall Street, the pharmaceutical industry and major media companies have full knowledge as to what is in this treaty, the American people and members of Congress do not. They have been locked out of the process. Further, all Americans, regardless of political ideology, should be opposed to the “fast track” process which would deny Congress the right to amend the treaty and represent their constituents’ interests. (December 30, 2014) Senator Bernie Sanders
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Got thoughts on how our local transportation infrastructure should adapt to Climate Change—more flooding and heat? Consider filling out this latest survey by our local transportation authority on transportation in our future with Climate Change in mind.   "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) conducted an initial survey in Summer/Fall 2014 on transportation opportunities and issues facing the nine-county Genesee-Finger Lakes Region and received a significant amount of input. Thank you!   A second survey is now being conducted that will provide GTC with additional information on preferred transportation alternatives. Please take a few minutes and complete LRTP 2040 Survey #2. "
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Please sign this petition: Sign the petition: Stop NPR from gutting its climate coverageAs tax-paying citizens of the USA, whose government supplies 4.6% of NPR’s income (and 39% from individual contributors), we insist that you restore your climate reporting team—or rather, actually increase it. At this critical juncture, with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is coming up where our leaders need to act on Climate Change, our public needs more day-to-day, accessible, and thorough coverage. NPR’s reasoning that “because so many other staffers cover the subject, along with their other beats”, it’s OK to gut your climate reporting teams ignores the fact that so many Americans are uninformed about an issue that requires long-term planning and public support for long-term adaptation strategies as noted in most climate plans and studies. more...
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New York State needs a clear and enforceable climate action plan so we can prepare our state for damage to our public health, our water, waste, transportation, telecommunications infrastructures and agriculture.  This cannot be done ad hoc, or just with grants, or just using the market forces.  Properly planning for something as pervasive as Climate Change needs top-down direction from our leaders.  Urge Governor Cuomo to Develop a Climate Action Plan "Governor Cuomo,  The world is changing. New York communities have been caught devastated by the growing climate crisis, suffering through hurricanes and other extreme weather events. World leaders, assembled by the United Nations for a summit on the climate crisis, have recognized the need to act now to protect communities worldwide from the ravages of climate change, and to create an economy that works for the people and the planet.  Governor, you’ve already made a commitment to an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2050. We applaud you for this. We ask that you articulate your plan for getting us there. It is time for you to take the bold step to pull our state out of the dirty energy ways of the past and to move us forward with energy sources that are clean, healthy and beneficial for all New Yorkers.  We, the undersigned are asking your administration to seize the moment by creating a climate action plan for New York. We believe that without such a plan, piecemeal efforts to offset or mitigate the hazards of climate change will too little and too late. New York should be a clean energy leader, and a leader in cutting climate-altering pollution. We are calling on you to prepare a plan to fight climate change, keep our communities safe, and move New York away from the dirty fossil fuels of the past.  Sincerely, " from Environmental Advocates of New York
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Support cleaning up the Genesee River. CEI has entered the Genesee RiverWatch into the Ready to Roc video contest. You can support our efforts and help us win by going to this page and voting for our video.  Learn more about the Genesee RiverWatch here.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • No Ginna Bailout “Ginna, Looking for a Handout”  “In June, 2014, nuclear company Exelon announced that its Ginna nuclear reactor in Wayne County is losing millions of dollars and will close unless the Public Service Commission forces ratepayers to pay more money to keep the plant open. If Exelon gets its way, Rochester-area ratepayers would be on the hook to help Ginna become profitable again by digging into their own pockets! Sound outrageous? We think so, too, and we are organizing to keep Ginna from getting this bailout. The Public Service Commission needs to hear from you. Submit a comment here: --from Alliance for a Green Economy (AGREE)
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Say no to the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP). Take home message: “Legislation designed to address climate change, curb fossil fuel expansion and reduce air pollution could all be subject to attack by corporations as a result of TPP.” SAY NO TO CORPORATE POWER GRABS - REJECT THE TRANS-PACIFIC PARTNERSHIP TO: GOVERNMENTS OF BRUNEI DARUSSALAM, CHILE, NEW ZEALAND, SINGAPORE, AUSTRALIA, CANADA, JAPAN, MALAYSIA, MEXICO, PERU, THE USA AND VIETNAM The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) will massively boost corporate power at the expense of our climate and environment, human and workers’ rights, sovereignty and democracy. We strongly urge you to publish the text of the TPP as it stands now, reject proposals that would undermine your regulatory power and oppose this corporate power-grab
  • 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 (with your friends and group)  
    • What if in the Rochester, NY area we channeled this idea of the street librarian to educate locals on Climate Change.  So, we put together materials and get a neat bike (see photo) made so we casually ride around all the neighborhoods of Rochester and answer anyone’s questions about Climate Change in our area, hand out literature, engage the public at the very street level in a very low carbon emissions footprint way on this worldwide crisis. This wouldn’t be a charity project at all. This would be a crucial link in the Climate Change issue that is missing in the Rochester area—outreach.  If we hope to have a chance that the public will support the long-term actions we must make to upgrade and refit our infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, water, etc.) we are going to need the public to understand an support these efforts year after year, elections after elections.  This outreach program would be inexpensive, effective, and probably a lot of freaking fun. Homeless Outreach in Volumes: Books by Bike for ‘Outside’ People in Oregon (October 9, 2014) New York Times
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey  and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "
  • 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!  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • 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!
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • ACTION : Due Date NOW!:
    • Join the New York Water Sentinels stream team! Training provided periodically. Sentinels test and document stream quality now, so future effects from gas drilling are more easily identified. Water Sentinels has trained over 100 citizens to use simple scientific methods to evaluate stream quality. With stream information (such as stream depth and conductivity), we can help regulators recognize trends and address problems.  For more information:  NYWaterSentinels@gmail.com | or FaceBook
  • 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!
    • Don’t need those massive phone books?  Just throw them away because you’re a digital kind of person? Opt out of getting those phone books, easy peasy, and save trees .  Phone Book Opt-Out Program Gives Choice to Consumers Did you know you can control how many phone books you get every year, or whether you get one at all? In the age of smart phones and Wi-Fi, the way people search for information is changing. For many, online search options are the new go-to for finding contact information to local residences or businesses. That means when a printed phone book arrives on your doorstep, it might go to waste. Find your local recycle  solution for Phone Books So why do phone books continue to show up? According to the Local Search Association, 70 percent of consumers still prefer to receive a printed phone book every year.  (November 20, 2012) Earth 911 [more on Recycling in our area]
  • 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
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • As Climate Change increase the changes of combined sewer overflows due to increase frequency of heavy rain fall in the spring, this issue will become more critical.  We must plan for this and it will be expensive, but more so if we wait.  Take action here: Help Keep Sewage Out of the Great Lakes Billions of gallons of combined raw sewage and storm runoff are dumped into the Great Lakes each year. Raw sewage, trash and personal hygiene products — along with industrial wastewater, household chemicals, urban runoff, herbicides and pesticides — often flow into the lakes after heavy rains. Urge Congress and the president to support sustained and increased investment in the Clean Water State Revolving Fund. Help keep untreated sewage out of the Great Lakes! --from Alliance for the Great Lakes
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Sign this online petition against Fracking in Monroe County: Prohibit All Fracking Related Activities on Monroe County Properties, NY Last Tuesday, over 4, 000 petition signatures to ban all Fracking and related activities were delivered to Monroe County Executive Maggie Brooks and members of the Monroe County Legislature.  But presumably that wasn’t enough because the press didn’t even show up.  Here’s the news that the local news media couldn’t bother themselves to print: Thousands Sign Petition to Ban Fracking and Related Activities On Monroe County Properties. Don't let New York State become a Resource Curse.  It would be great if we could march into the Monroe County Legislature next time and fork over 20,000 signatures.  Maybe that will wake our local government up to the fact that Fracking must be stopped here and in New York State.  Find out more about this petition and download hard copies for your church group or other organization here.  Numbers count. Don't be sorry after the fact, act now. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Tired of meteorologists failing to connect the dots between Climate Change and our daily weather?  Do something about it. Take action: Forecast the Facts WE NEED OUR TV METEOROLOGISTS TO REPORT THE FACTS ABOUT CLIMATE CHANGE. According to a recent national survey, more than half of TV weather reporters don’t believe in human-induced climate change. Meanwhile, their viewers are facing unprecedented climate-change induced heat waves, droughts, and flooding.

 

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Daily Updates: Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care.  Get Daily Updates since 1998...

  • My companion book to RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books
  • 2/28/2015 - The NYS Dept. of Health updates website but still doesn’t list Climate Change, you still have to do a search to Learn About Climate Change. The DOH’s website should have the public health issues of Climate Change front and center on their website so that the public knows that the DOH knows that Climate Change is a critical public health issue and that to address it properly plans must be made and to do this the public must be engaged. But the public won’t get engaged if the DOH continues to bury the links between the state health department and Climate Change. When will our state’s health department (not to mention Monroe County Public Health Department) take a leadership role in protecting public health by planning for Climate Change.
  • 2/28/2015 - On the other hand, I think we CAN rush to judgment on the success or failure of Paris Climate Change treaty if everyone comes to the table empty handed. Any way you slice it, if we don’t start taking dramatic actions to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, we can not only say that the Paris talks were a failure, but that humanity has failed itself. As we get closer and close to the December Paris talks, there will be a lot of downplaying on the importance of this treaty. But the proof will be in the pudding. Time passes. Todd Stern: Don’t rush to judge Paris climate change deal   (February 27, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC
  • 2/28/2015 - Before, when we were oblivious of our CO2 emissions, Antarctica was just a great big cold spot on Earth. Now’s it’s scary. Many have thought (and many still do) think that humanity is too puny to affect something as incredibly large as our planet and yet we are shrinking both polar regions of our planet—while we watch. Time passes. The big melt: Antarctica's retreating ice may re-shape Earth  (February 27, 2015) AP The Big Story
  • 2/28/2015 - I know, for some reason or other we’re not supposed to connect the dots between plants moving around and Climate Change. Yet, the ‘New plant hardiness zone’ released in 2012 by the USDA is a rather compelling…, or should I say plants moving northward or southward because of rising climate temperatures.., maybe I cans say this: “If you continue to plant seeds according to historical data, a lot of your plants ain’t gonna grow because the growing seasons have changed.” Which of course, is what Climate Change predicts.  USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map The 2012 USDA Plant Hardiness Zone Map is the standard by which gardeners and growers can determine which plants are most likely to thrive at a location. The map is based on the average annual minimum winter temperature, divided into 10-degree F zones. For the first time, the map is available as an interactive GIS-based map, for which a broadband Internet connection is recommended, and as static images for those with slower Internet access. Users may also simply type in a ZIP Code and find the hardiness zone for that area. United States Department of Agriculture USDA
  • 2/27/2015 - The March 2015 newsletter of the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club “The eco-logue” has been posted online and it is full of great local environmental stuff. The first article describes the major Rochester Earth Day event, a visit by Dr. James Hansen: "17th Annual Environmental Forum, Dr. James Hansen: Climate, Energy, and Intergenerational Justice, Tuesday, April 21, 6:30-8:30pm. The Theater (Building 4) at Monroe Community College, 1000 East Henrietta Road (Route 15A) Rochester, NY 14623.”
  • 2/27/2015 - Several years an author writing about Global Warming said carbon dioxide (Co2) is the fuse and methane (CH4) is the bomb. Is the bomb going off? One of the things that characterizes Climate Change is that however humanity characterizes it, Climate Change is mostly physics. We, humanity that is, can ignore it, we can dismiss it, we can deny it, and we can put it off until we’re ready to deal with it, but unless we address it we will not stop it. If we have already waited so long that the CO2 has warmed up the permafrost to the point where the methane is going to be released in vast quantities, we won’t just have to put out a fire, we’ll have to put out a bomb. That will be hard to do indeed. The Siberian crater saga is more widespread — and scarier — than anyone thought  (February 26, 2015) The Washington Post
  • 2/26/2015 - Since it hasn’t been this cold in Rochester, NY since 1871, shouldn’t our media mention extreme weather and Climate Change? If our media doesn’t suggest that there’re might even be a teeny-weeny scintilla of a chance that our extreme cold might be related to Climate Change (maybe perhaps a warmer Arctic pushing colder weather our way) the public is going to think that the great big debate over Climate Change and denial is over and the denialist have won. Which would be odd since 2014 was the warmest year in human history and the trajectory for worldwide warming is to get catastrophically warmer.  Our media, including our local media, is agog over this extreme cold and never mentions Climate Change—not even the hint that a worldwide climate crisis is going on. What’s wrong with this picture? The COP21 Paris Treaty is coming up in December and it may be humanity’s last change to bring down greenhouse gas emissions to a safe level and nary a word about all this in the local media. Bitter cold morning breaks long-standing records in Northeast, Midwest With just a few days left in meteorological winter, bitter cold continues in the eastern United States, where Tuesday morning lows were running 30 to 40 degrees below average from Indiana to New England. For some, it was the coldest morning on record so late in the season. Dozens of daily record lows fell Tuesday morning, by as much as 20 degrees. A few readings have broken century-old records, including those in Pittsburgh; Akron-Canton, Ohio; Hartford, Conn.; and Indianapolis. In Rochester, N.Y., the low of minus-9 degrees tied the record set in 1889. Records in Rochester go back to 1871. (February 24, 2015) Washington Post
  • 2/26/2015 - Shouldn’t we be bringing Native perspectives and knowledge into addressing Climate Change in the Great Lakes region? There is much missing from the Climate Change discussion in our region (including the discussion itself) about how our region in the Great Lakes should adapt to and mitigate Climate Change. It is imperative that the use the knowledge and wisdom of the peoples who lived here for many millennia (without warming the place up and bringing it to environmental collapse) be brought into the discussion.“Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Changing Climate, Changing Culture "The “Gikinoo’wizhiwe Onji Waaban” (Guiding for Tomorrow) or “G-WOW” Initiative is a unique approach to increasing awareness of how climate change is affecting Lake Superior’s coastal environment, people, cultures, and economies by: Integrating scientific climate change research with place-based evidence of how climate change is affecting traditional Ojibwe lifeways and people of all cultures. Bringing Native perspectives and involvement to addressing issues of climate change by directly engaging Native communities, educators, and students. Providing learners with knowledge about what they can do to mitigate or adapt to a changing climate. "
  • 2/26/2015 - Actually, food waste has been a serious problem for a long time—despite economists just ‘getting it.’ It’s nice that economists are just starting to get around to the idea that dumping food into our landfills, instead of composting that food and making our soils rich and health again, is a really bad practice. There should be no food waste while people are going hungry, no food waste to increase greenhouse gases in a time of Climate Change, no food waste being burned for fuel, no food waste at all on a finite planet. Had we been paying attention to the environmental and public health issues on food waste, instead of the present loony economic issues, we wouldn’t be at this desperate stage. Food Waste Is Becoming Serious Economic and Environmental Issue, Report Says  (February 25, 2015) New York Times
  • 2/26/2015 - The IPCC under Rajendra Pachauri’s leadership has grown to be a reliable monitoring body for critical Climate Change feedback. Humanity has a tendency to ‘kill the messenger’ when we are being given news we do not like, news that cannot be bought off for a pleasanter sort of message. In order to address Climate Change we need dedicated leaders like Rajendra Pachauri who have only our environment’s sustainability as their goal. Indian scientist Rajendra Pachauri, who resigned from the world's foremost body on climate science, oversaw an international effort to highlight the strength of scientists' conclusions.  (February 24, 2015) The Daily Climate
  • 2/25/2015 - Yeah, if you are planning our infrastructure through the lens of Climate Change, you can plan for widespread freezing pipes. The whacky weather—including extreme cold and snowfall and heat and back and forth—is part and parcel of Climate Change predictions in our region. This means it will wreak havoc on our various infrastructures—water, waste, transportation, telecommunications—if we don’t make them more robust and resilient. So saying that there is no way we can plan for this is Climate Change denial. If the public was more aware of what is coming (and is already here) because of Climate Change, they would support the measures needed to retrofit our infrastructures—which will be very expensive. Water Authority pipes freezing in extreme cold  (February 24, 2015) WHAM
  • 2/25/2015 - Considering how much damage the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid will cause on our local trees and lakes, we should connect the dots with Climate Change. According to the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service (and many other official studies for that matter), the rise in this invasive species in our area is caused in-part by Climate Change. Read the service’s web page: Climate Change Invites Invasive Insect North Ignoring and not informing the public that Climate Change is one of the main culprits of this major invasive species problem in our area is a lost opportunity for the media to educate the public on how pervasive and critical addressing Climate Change is for our region. We’ll never irradiate the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid until we slow down Climate Change, which by the way will also make keeping our Hemlock tree problematic as they like cold temperatures. A woolly bully threatens hemlock trees in hills surrounding Canandaigua Lake  (February 25, 2015) Penfield Post
  • 2/25/2015 - This sounds interesting. From the comfort of your home take a FREE crash course ‘Who’s Doing What in Canada About Algal Blooms’. ( a webinar on Wednesday, March 4th from 12:00pm - 1:30pm EST)  I know, I’m not a Canadian citizen and maybe you’re not either but the US and Canada share responsibility for protecting and preserving the environment of the Great Lakes. Efforts to do this means we all need to be singing from the same playbook—as it were. Keeping Lake Erie Alive: A Crash Course in Who’s Doing What in Canada About Algal Blooms and Your Water We’ve all seen pictures of the slimy green algal blooms in Lake Erie, and we know it’s affecting our drinking water.  We know nutrient pollution is a contributing factor and is threatening many of our precious Great Lakes. What is perhaps more confusing is what’s being done about it.  Lots of work is going on at the federal, provincial and municipal level, but it can be hard to keep track of it all!  If you share our curiosity, join us for a webinar on Wednesday, March 4th from 12:00pm - 1:30pm EST.  A series of presentations will provide a bird’s eye view of who is doing what on the Lake Erie algae issue. Speakers will include Susan Humphrey from Environment Canada (representing the Great Lakes Executive Committee Nutrients Annex Subcommittee); Cale Selby from the Ontario Ministry of Agriculture, Food and Rural Affairs;  Kevin Money from the Essex Region Conservation Authority, and Jill Ryan from Freshwater Future (US).  Each presenter will share what their organization is doing about algae and nutrients in Lake Erie, as well as their thoughts about the role for community groups in addressing algae blooms and water quality.   Learn what these organizations are doing to reach out to communities, and join in a discussion about how your group could be part of the solution.  Register today to reserve your spot!
  • 2/25/2015 - Climate Change will make the algae problems on the Great Lakes worse. Be nice is local media highlighted this so public gets it. Because of warmer lake water over time, the accumulated harmful effects of dumping more nutrients into our lakes will be accelerated by Climate Change. This is to say we will never get a handle on our local lake algae problems if we don’t’ continually inform the public that bad algae blooms that make our drinking water unsafe and force us to close our beaches are part of the Climate Change issue. These dots are rarely, if ever, connected in local mainstream media. Groups Call for Healthy Lake Erie Free from Harmful Algal Blooms (February 24, 2015) Sierra Club Michigan Chapter
  • 2/25/2015 - Another reason—no drop in propane costs for locals—why storing massive amounts of gas at Seneca Lake is wrongheaded. When you connect the dots with gas storage and our environment and fossil fuel and Climate Change and the wine industry and keeping our water safe, storing a lot (really a lot) of gas at Seneca Lake shorelines is a really, really bad idea. Seneca Lake’s Propane Export Scheme (February 20, 2015) NoFrackingWay
  • 2/25/2015 - President Obama kills zombie XL pipeline again, GOP vows to bring it back to life, meanwhile Climate Change worsens. With a Climate Change denial GOP lead Congress thwarting our (meaning the world too) efforts to adapt and mitigate Climate Change and so at this critical year of 2015 we are diverted from actual addressing this worldwide crisis because of a US political pissing contest. Obama Vetoes Keystone XL Pipeline Bill, Defying GOP  (February 24, 2015) ABC News
  • 2/25/2015 - ACTION: Sign the letter to President Obama and send him a final message to reject the pipeline once and for all: http://350.org/unityletter/
  • 2/25/2015 - UN’s IPCC climate science panel provides humanity with critical Climate Change feedback. Let’s not screw that up and blind us to this worldwide crisis. Big questions loom for UN’s IPCC climate science panel  (February 24, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC
  • 2/24/2015 - Are Bomb Trains, pipeline leaks, radiation leaks, oil spills, and more warming our future? Or are we going to address Climate Change. Time passes. West Virginia Begins Investigating Massive Train Derailment  (February 20, 2015) Newsweek
  • 2/24/2015 - Is our DEC merely the lapdog of hunters and fishermen, or is their first priority our Wildlife? I know, this is very inconvenient… but it is really the DEC’s job to make fishing & hunting better? Or protect our Wildlife. Climate Change is going to seriously impact our Wildlife, but unless you speak up at these meetings about what our environmental protection agency is doing on that front, I suspect these meetings will not even mention Climate Change. What is the state of New York doing to protect and preserve our Wildlife, which play a vital role in our life support system, during Climate Change? Are we ready to install environmental corridors so that wildlife can relocate to cooler areas that they evolved with? What are we doing to reduce GHGs concentrations so that our fish, which evolved in frigid lake water can adapt to warmer lake and stream waters? These are questions that should have been asked and addressed decades ago. Will we have to continually restock our fish in our lakes because our fish cannot keep up with fishing and Climate Change? DEC Announces State of Lake Ontario Meetings Biologists to Update Status of Lake's Fisheries  (February 10, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)   [more on Wildlife in our area]
  • 2/24/2015 - One of the best ways to find out about a warming Arctic that is pushing cold temps to Rochester is to get your ship stuck in the ice—and stay there.  Of course, don’t try this unless you know what you’re doing. It is amazing the lengths that scientists will go to find out what happens when our greenhouse gas emissions go up on a life support system that is billions of years old. Sure, the Arctic has melted before, but we weren’t around. 'This Is Really Extreme Science': Adrift in the Arctic Ice With a Shipload of Norwegians A Norwegian research vessel has locked itself in the shrinking ice cap to gather data needed to predict the cap's future—and that of the planet. (February 23, 2015) National Geographic
  • 2/24/2015 - Except issues surrounding the Seneca Lake gas storage is not simply wind industry vs. fossil fuel industry. There are many issues—public health, water safety, public safety, farming, tourism, roads—and, oh yeah, the mother of all issues—Climate Change. Building a major infrastructure for massive storage of fossil fuels, when we should be building massive infrastructure for more renewable energy, means renewable energy will get screwed—which is to say we and our environment will get screwed. Be nice if our local media could capture the full implications of this issues instead of two industries duking it out that seem only remotely connected to our lives and future. New York State Exposed: Project under review could impact Finger Lakes wine industry . (February 23, 2015) WHEC Rochester
  • 2/24/2015 - I’ve been watching PBS’s and National Geographic’s program: “EARTH A New Wild takes a fresh look at humankind’s relationship to the planet.” (#EarthWildPBS) For me this series highlights the critical role that wildlife plays in our environment, our life support system, and how we had better learn how to live with wildlife better than we have recently. Wildlife ain’t just road kill and for harvesting. Wildlife are not pets; while they may seem indifferent to us and us to them, they make our environment work. A major part of adapting to Climate Change, which is rarely discussed at the local level is the need to help our wildlife adapt to a warming that is occurring far faster than our wildlife can adapt. They are going to need our help. In order to folks to appreciate the role of wildlife in our environment, we need to understand the role the play because as things become more dear, we are going to be asked to fork over a lot of resources (money and land and water) to preserving these vital parts of our environment. Because we haven’t been focusing on Wildlife, many creatures fate may already be in deep trouble.
  • 2/23/2015 - Rochester, or any other community for that matter, will not ‘lose’ on harsh winters if they plan for Climate Change properly. One of the consequence of Climate Change is that it is going to be hard to predict how our region’s weather is going to change year-to-year, though on the whole it will get warmer. Some years may get little snow and little cold (like the average since 1970) and others will get an extraordinary amount of snow and cold like this year. Our Climate is getting whacky because of Climate Change. If we begin messaging Climate Change in the media and government, the public will be more prepared and more likely to support more measures to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change. If not, we will cope as best we can, until we can’t. Rochester faces subzero temperatures, and loses (February 15, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/23/2015 - Climate Change and transportation: At what point does humanity cut its losses on our present transportation system? Climate Change will produce more frequent weather extremes—freezing and thawing, floods, sea level rise, and heat—which will wreak bloody havoc on our present transportation system. It boggles one’s mind why any state would not be dramatically increasing the repair of their roads and bridges to not only maintain this system, but get it ready for what a warmer world would bring. So, those places that are mindlessly NOT maintaining our aging transportation structure are going to find themselves in major dilemma: Should they suddenly pour billions of dollars into a system that is going to be increasingly ravaged by Climate Change, or should they cut their losses and move to a system—active transportation, high speed rail, public transportation—that can better adapt to Climate Change? Here’s the dilemma: in order for the present transportation system to work it all has to work at the same time, where all our roads and bridges have to be maintained constantly to handle increasing traffic—even if much of that traffic is fuel efficient and electric vehicles. For those critics, who don’t want to spend public monies (their tax dollars) on maintaining our present transportation system, which already gobbles a lot of public money--that is absurd. We have a tiger by the tail with our transportation system. It either all works or it doesn’t and nobody but our government can keep this system in repair. If the public doesn’t want to spend their tax dollars on maintaining and adapting our present system, then they should tell their representative they want a different, better system that will adapt to Climate Change better. Choosing not to choose will be a freaking disaster. NY keeps spending more on ailing roads, bridges  (February 21, 2014) Greece Post
  • 2/23/2015 - Rochester, NY like much of the world will see an increase in tropical diseases due to Climate Change. Be nice if local governments prepared the public for that. Except that at the city, county, and state levels our local governments don’t connect the dots with public health and Climate Change, unless you know to search for it on the state Department of Health--Climate, Weather & Health —as it is not listed on the front page. We are so not leading on Climate Change in New York State government level. WHO warns of climate impact on tropical disease spread   (February 20, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
  • 2/23/2015 - ‘Lie to me’. With a public who finds Climate Change inconvenient, a doubt-mongering strategy is very effective for deniers—and the public loses. At 2015, we have lost a lot of time of time for adapting and mitigating Climate Change because of those who will use every tactic they can to keep the rest from acting are preying on our need for stability and a way of life we are used to. ‘Lie to me’ is a Climate Change option for far too many citizens and they are using to this excuse for their not understanding the gravity of this crisis and not having to take action. But, unlike all other social problems, Climate Change is based on physics and if we continually to put more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere the place warms up—no matter how much we are lied to. Deeper Ties to Corporate Cash for Doubtful Climate Researcher  (February 21, 2015) New York Times
  • 2/15/2015 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter February 15, 2015 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe
  • 2/21/2015 - Our future in New York could be bright if we made a major shift to renewable energy now and ditched Climate Change aggravators, like fossil fuels. Technically, it’s doable, but are we ready? Renewable-energy roadshow headed for Geneseo "A Solar Home Companion," a renewable-energy roadshow conceived by award-winning filmmaker Josh Fox, comes to the State University College at Geneseo on Sunday, March 1. The Solutions Grassroots Tour "combines classic storytelling and great music with roll-up-your sleeves organizing to look at the impacts of fossil fuel development and provide a vision for developing renewable energy like no other event on the planet," according to promotional material. It is free and open to all, though reservations are recommended. As its name implies, the two-hour presentation is loosely modeled on the long-running public radio programA Prairie Home Companion. Zephyr Teachout, the Fordham University law professor who ran in New York's Democratic gubernatorial primary last year, will appear at the event. She was a strong advocate of renewable energy in her campaign. (February 20, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/21/2015 - NYS is banning Fracking but it ain’t over. There’s road spreading, wastewater treatment, landfill disposal and more. The Facts about New York and Fracking Waste The extraction of natural gas using hydraulic fracturing (fracking) produces large amounts of liquid and solid waste that can contain a number of harmful pollutants, including salts (sometimes expressed as total dissolved solids or TDS); chemical additives, such as ethylene glycol, naphthalene, and sulfuric acid; metals; organic compounds; and other contaminants. These pollutants include chemical additives in fracking fluid, as well as naturally-occurring contaminants that exist thousands of feet below the surface and are mobilized by the extraction process and come up the well along with drilling muds (used as a lubricant during the drilling process), fracking fluids, and the gas itself. Fracking waste from extraction activities in the Marcellus Shale can also contain naturally-occurring radioactive materials (NORMs) such as radium-226 and radium-228. Riverkeeper
  • 2/21/2015 - Learn about how our weather and climate are changing in the Great Lake’s region due to Climate Change. "Free Course on Climate and Great Lakes Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region, a free 4-week MOOC (Massive Open On-line Course) starts Monday, February 23! Guest speakers include U.S. National Weather Service (NWS) Director Louis Uccellini, WX Geeks host Marshall Shepherd, and University of Wisconsin-Madison Professors Cathy Middlecamp and Tracy Holloway. We'll also conduct expert interviews with NWS meteorologist Marcia Cronce, MMSD Executive Director Kevin Shafer, and UW researchers Maggie Grabow and Chris Kucharik. For more information and to register go to:  Changing Weather and Climate in the Great Lakes Region This 4-week course will feature a new season each week through short lectures and activities covering Great Lakes weather, observed changes in the climate, and societal impacts of climate change. University of Wisconsin-Madison, Massive Open Online Cources (MOOCs) 
  • 2/21/2015 - As the public is increasingly able to monitor the health of our environment, it’s going to be harder to lie to them and say that everything is OK. Everything is not OK. Take waste for example: Plastics and other wastes (like pharmaceuticals) don’t disappear down our drains. They accumulate in our life support system and create many problems. As we develop more ways of detecting our water, air, and land pollution and see for ourselves that everything is not well with our environment, the public is going to demand an accurate accounting. Previously, before the Internet and satellites, and the worldwide monitoring of changes due to Climate Change, we could fool ourselves that Nature was just taking care of us no matter what we did. That, of course, was absurd. Keep an eye on your city's pollution in real time  (February 19, 2015) New Scientist [more on Air Quality
  • 2/21/2015 - When you have to test water in Oregon for possible water radiation from Japan’s Fukushima disaster, it’s time to really consider solar and wind. Those who still think that our use of dangerous energy—oil train bombs, oil spills, nuclear power radiation leaks—are just the price of progress, have not really thought this out. Continuing on a trajectory for dangerous energy options, when there are many alternatives that aren’t so dangerous—is a sign of maladaptation. Species that don’t adapt to change don’t get to live another day. Our environment comes first because it is our life support system and thinking that our environment should find a balance between our energy wants and the workings of our life support system is a view of the world with upside-down priorities. Regulators: Treat, release Fukushima water to sea International nuclear regulators warned this week that the growing amount of radioactive water at Japan's crippled Fukushima Daiichi nuclear plant remains a threat.  (February 19, 2015) Statesman Journal
  • 2/21/2015 - Considering the effects of what we eat on our environment (our life support system) will have to be the new normal if we are to feed 9 billion by 2050—or maybe even 12 billion by 2100. Think of Earth, not just your stomach, panel advises The nation’s top nutritional panel is recommending for the first time that Americans consider the impact on the environment when they are choosing what to eat, a move that defied a warning from Congress and, if enacted, could discourage people from eating red meat.  (February 19, 2015) Washington Post
  • 2/20/2015 - OK, Assembly Speaker Heastie, who created a working group to review NYS’s response to Climate Change, is a LEADER!  I submit that one of the ways to make sure that New York responds adequately to Climate Change is to dramatically increase public awareness of all aspects of our state’s attempts to mitigate and adapt to this worldwide crisis. Assembly Speaker Heastie Creates Group To Review NYS Response To Climate Change The speaker of the New York state Assembly has created a working group to review the state's response to climate change. Speaker Carl Heastie announced the formation of the panel on Thursday. It will consist of 10 lawmakers charged with examining possible ways to reduce greenhouse emissions as well as measures that could help the state prepare for future extreme weather. (February 20, 2015) WXXI News
  • 2/20/2015 - The City of Rochester, NY’s “Single Stream Recycling Pilot Program”: the nitty gritties. Looks like I’m part of this new pilot program and I’ll be very interested in how it turns out. How do I know, I got a flyer from the City. Who is a part of this test program? There’s a document out there that covers this, but I cannot get a hold of it. And, I have my concerns: will the test subject actually do the right thing; will those who look for recyclable containers upset the carts and not put the other stuff back in; what will happen to the plan if we fail, even though the county has spent millions of sorting equipment? I know, I worry too much. [more on Recycling in our area]
  • 2/20/2015 - The slow progress deciding on Ontario Lake levels highlights the political difficulty of adapting to Climate Change locally. Clearly, allowing the lake’s level to be restored to healthier ecosystem level where wetlands flourish is more adaptive to more frequent extreme weather. But a relatively small number reject this because it potentially harms their shoreline property. The answer is not to allow the entire lake ecosystem to fail because of the few, but to help compensate the few who might feel the sting of the majority needs for a sustainable environment. Climate Change is going to require some very inconvenient and tough decisions, but not to make these decisions will be catastrophic. This issue also highlights that Climate Change discussions should not take part ‘behind closed doors’ but in public so everyone understands the ramifications of acting and not acting on Climate Change. Lake-level plan lacks top-level endorsements  (February 19, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/20/2015 - Friends don’t let their Friends get Fracked. New York State has banned Fracking, so should our friends in Michigan. Not only would Michigan end the endless fighting over environmental and public health, banning Fracking, a dangerous way of extracting fossil fuels, causes more extreme weather (like extreme cold waves from the warming Arctic) due to Climate Change. Michigan activists, local governments battle to regulate fracking  (February 19, 2015) Great Lakes Echo
  • 2/20/2015 - Everybody likes to talk about the weather, but not connect the dots with extreme weather and Climate Change.  This means we dither and don’t plan for more extreme weather and so allow our climate to warm beyond our ability to adapt to it. Melting Arctic And Weird Weather: Is Climate Change At Work Here?  (February 18, 2015) Science 2.0
  • 2/20/2015 - Increase in extreme cold and oil bomb trains are results of using ‘all of the above’ to solve Climate Change despite lack of connection with mainstream media. The colder it gets, the more fossil fuel we use, the more the fossil fuel industry drills, produces, and ships, then the more explosions, and the more the planet warms the Arctic, the more the extreme cold gets pushed our way, so the colder it gets… But mainstream media only focuses on the extreme weather and the explosions without connecting the dots. Mainstream media needs to adapt to Climate Change.  As Extreme Cold Engulfs Eastern U.S., Fossil Fuel Mishaps Leave Disaster Areas on Fire As extreme cold temperatures blast the eastern third of the United States, the fossil fuel industry has seen a series of disasters in less than a week.  (February 19, 2015) Democracy Now!
  • 2/19/2015 - New normal of extreme weather caused by Climate Change is accompanied by new normal of increased extreme fossil fuels explosions caused by a craven desire to continue business as usual. Actually, fossil fuels explosions near energy sources don’t “come with the territory”, they only come when we continue to rely on fossil fuels in a time of warming. Wind farms and solar panels don’t blow up. We should be dramatically increasing renewable energy instead of having to get used to more violent fossil fuel explosions. What are we thinking? Time passes. Explosion Rips Through Torrance Refinery, Shakes South Bay  (February 19, 2015) NBGLosAngelescom
  • 2/19/2015 - "Squirrel Slam" killing huge amounts of squirrels for fun is not only pathetic but environmentally immoral, meaning immoral. Squirrels are Nature’s way of making leaves. Squirrels, even in our urban areas, bury and disperse tree seeds, trees produce leaves, leaves produce oxygen through photosynthesis, and we really need oxygen. We need trees. It’s hard to believe that at this point in our human evolution, that killing off large amounts of creatures that make our life support system work is considered not only a good idea, but fun. This says something about our specie’s development—not something good. At this point in time, Climate Change, which is warming our environment far faster than our wildlife can adapt, we should be planning for the future health of our wildlife, not finding fun ways to eliminate them. Judge to decide fate of "Squirrel Slam" Protesters are going to court to stop a fundraiser that involved hunting and killing hundreds of squirrels.  (February 18, 2015) WHAM Rochester
  • 2/19/2015 - Of course, you don’t have to be Catholic, or an Atheist, to understand not acting on Climate Change is immoral. Continuing on a business-as-usual trajectory that will cook future generations is immoral no matter what you believe. Catholics highlight moral imperative of climate action in 40 day fast   (February 18, 2015) tcktcktck
  • 2/19/2015 - Watched GARBAGE WARRIOR A Film about Eco Architecture, sponsored by ColorBrightonGreen last evening. The film shows how we can build homes that don’t need energy, roads, waste removal, and fresh water infrastructure (at least in some places) but you’re going to have to fight city hall in order to have the freedom to experiment, the freedom to fail. Film series, like ColorBrightonGreen’s  SPEAKER/FILM SERIES, are an excellent way for local Environmentalists to educate the public. Bringing in local experts and documentary films that mainstream media and theater’s don’t or won’t make available to the public are vital to learning about Climate Change and other crucial environmental issues that don’t get the attention they deserve.
  • 2/19/2015 - No doubt about it, our oceans have been sucking up too much Global Warming and now they are sick. When they throw up that heat into our atmosphere, our atmosphere will make us sick of the heat. Ocean Acidification, Now Watchable in Real Time The depressing task of monitoring ocean acidification just got a little easier.  (February 17, 2015) Climate Central
  • 2/18/2015 - Although Rochester’s efforts under the New Energy Plan “to encourage community-wide energy savings by promoting more efficient buildings, less driving and more solar panels.” These measures are not enough. Rochester must lead on Climate Change. The energy plan also says this: “These include reduced operating costs, a healthier, safer and more livable community, natural resource conservation and restoration, and mitigating and adapting to climate change.” It’s hard to be a leader on mitigating and adapting to Climate Change if you don’t mention it. And why isn’t local media connecting the dots between our use of energy and the worldwide crisis of Climate Change?  The Plan: Rochester’s Energy Plan | Rochester energy plan pushes community-wide efficiency  (February 17, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/18/2015 - One of the more craven talking points by pro-fossil fuel folks is blaming Environmentalists for these fiery oil train explosions. The reasoning goes something like, “Because environmentalists are blocking building pipe lines for moving fossil fuels, the fossil fuels industry has to resort to moving this dangerous stuff by rail, though your towns, with a great risk to life for a long time coming. They say, ‘Don’t blame the fossil fuel industry for blocking renewable energy efforts, instead blame the environmentalist who try and shift our energy options to sustainable options.’ The worldwide crisis of Climate Change requires that the public educate themselves on the issues involved in energy and warming, so that they are not swayed by craven, ruthless, and downright incorrect talking points to further the fossil fuel industry’s agenda, and no regard for our future. Fiery Oil Train Derailment in West Virginia Involves Newer Tank Cars Another train carrying crude oil has derailed in the United States—this one erupting in flames in West Virginia.  (February 17, 2015) National Geographic
  • 2/18/2015 - Mayor of Rochester should mention “Climate Change” when publicizing Rochester’s Energy Plan, as the plan includes, “These include reduced operating costs, a healthier, safer and more livable community, natural resource conservation and restoration, and mitigating and adapting to climate change.” It’s hard to be a leader on mitigating and adapting to Climate Change if you don’t mention it. And why isn’t local media connecting the dots between our use of energy and the worldwide crisis of Climate Change?  Rochester Competes For State Funding For Energy Projects  (February 17, 2015) WXXI News
  • 2/18/2015 - What can we do about Climate Change? From Bill Nye, “… just talk about it.” It is strange that in 2015 and COP21 coming up, we won’t even say it here in Rochester. Not talking about Climate Change won’t make it go away; it will just become impossible to deal with. Bill Nye to MSNBC: Please Just Say the Words ‘Climate Change’ Now and Then  (February 16, 2015) Mediaite
  • 2/17/2015 - There’s a hole in governmental funding big enough for a flood of Asian Carp to swim into our Great Lakes. We don’t know entirely how this rapidly multiplying invasive species will affect the Great Lakes ecology, but it looks like we are going to find out. Big budget for fighting Asian carp is downsized  (February 16, 2015) Detroit Free Press
  • 2/17/2015 - One of the dirty little secrets about Climate Change is that major national security threats are baked into the worldwide warming. As Climate Change causes more Climate Disruption every nation’s military forces will not have the luxury of avoiding the consequences. Climate change looms large in national security forecasts  With the impacts of climate change hitting the world hard, leaders from around the globe are taking a second look at how global warming is contributing to national security threats.  (February 11, 2015) tcktcktck
  • 2/17/2015 - The COP21 Paris Climate treaty is an unprecedented opportunity to deal with the myriad issues inherent in Climate Change but too many will try to do too little. We must protect our food security, for example, in warmer world but the tendency for world leaders in the developed nations that caused Climate Change will be to do as little as possible at Paris. We still have time to change leader’s attitudes by December, attitudes that will make our environment more sustainable, not their business-as-usual attitudes. Unmissable opportunity to build food security and reduce GHGs at Paris COP  (February 12, 2015) International Institute for Environment and Development (iied)
  • 2/17/2015 - Why would any country, let alone the US, allow untested harmful chemicals into our products and ultimately into our environment?  Have we become so bullied by the ideology that what’s good for our corporations is good for our bodies and our environment that we cannot see the absurdity of this assumption? Untested chemicals are everywhere, thanks to a 39-year-old US law. Will the Senate finally act? Many chemicals that are restricted or banned in Europe remain in use – and in some cases, untested – in the US, thanks to federal regulations that haven’t been updated since 1976. A new bill to overhaul the law is expected this spring While the Keystone XL pipeline and power plant carbon regulations are grabbing headlines, another environmental battle is brewing in the month-old 114th US Congress over the future of the Toxic Substances Control Act.  (February 13, 2015) The Guardian
  • 2/16/2015 - Today’s question boys and girls: Why don’t NYs know about 2 major changes in energy infrastructure? Ans: Media sucks. In a time of Climate Change when our energy use has a dramatic effect on our ability to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change everyone in New York State should be aware of the Gas Storage issue on the shores of Seneca Lake and the new proposal to change our state’s energy grid-- Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV). Why aren’t these two energy issues in all our local mainstream media headlines? When is our media going to change so that it reflects the warming world we are not living on? Watch Bill Maher go after mainstream media: Maher Uses Williams Fiasco To Excoriate Broadcast Media For Not Doing Their Jobs | New York holds two meetings that sum up state's energy debate New York State is in the middle of dramatic changes to its energy system.  (February 11, 2015) Innovation Trail
  • 2/16/2015 - Must Go To Event: “Zephyr Teachout and Josh Fox in person presenting: “A SOLAR HOME COMPANION”  March 1, 2015 at 7:00 pm, The Buffalo History Museum, Lightly parodying NPR/Garrison Keillor’s popular “A Prairie Home Companion”, the show is like an old fashioned variety show, with music, stories, film sequences, and Americana, but with a new twist:  this show teaches its audience how to go renewable and how to organize for a sustainable future. Free and Open to the Public Seating is limited. Make your reservation here:” This program is being sponsored in Buffalo by: Sierra Club Niagara Group; UB School of Architecture and Planning, WNY Environmental Alliance; and others."
  • 2/16/2015 - ACTION: This is why submitting your environmental video to Fast Forward Film Festival by 2/27 matters. To enter your 5-minute video go here now. Mainstream media sucks. Become the media. Watch Bill go after mainstream media: Maher Uses Williams Fiasco To Excoriate Broadcast Media For Not Doing Their Jobs (February 14, 2015) Crooks and Liars.
  • 2/16/2015 - You live in or around Rochester NY and you want to act on Climate Change, like Citizens' Climate Lobby - Rochester, NY Facebook. Citizens’ Climate Lobby (CCL) is a non-profit, non-partisan, grassroots advocacy organization focused on national policies to address climate change.
  • 2/16/2015 - There’s no Fracking good reason to Frack because it is a fossil fuel and it will always present a threat to our climate and our public health, but that will never stop efforts to resume Fracking as long as many see it as the salvation of our absurd economic system.  Our addiction to fossil fuel is killing us and yet we still cannot stop. Though we have banned Fracking in New York, we must be forever vigilant. Germany moves to legalise fracking  (February 14, 2015) The Guardian
  • 2/14/2015 - My area of Rochester, NY is part of the New Single Stream Pilot Recycling Program and I await my big totes. Because a single stream recycling system doesn’t really increase recycling without the big totes, I wonder what will happen at the end of the test period. Will the City and county just drop the program and not give out any more big totes, even though the county has spent millions in the machinery needed to sort and pick up the new totes? In other words, this new system needs to work. And ‘we the people’ need to make it work. This quote from the Mayor Warren should wake folks up “the city might save money in reduced landfill fees” This is code for ‘if you want to help keep taxes down, start mega recycling so your stuff doesn’t have to be landfilled’. But the larger issue is that we want to protect our environment and one of the best ways to do that and address Climate Change (read “Stop Trashing the Climate”) is to shift our waste stream so we don’t create any waste. From cradle-to-cradle, from the mining of resources, to making our products, to the energy used to make them, the delivery of them, our using of them, and how they are reused and recycling makes a big difference to our environment, which is to say our life support system. Having been chairperson of the Rochester Sierra Club’s Zero Waste Committee for several years, I can say that many, many folks in our region understand how important a role they can play in our region’s environment by recycling properly—something all resident and business in our area can and should do. City pilot program expected to boost recycling rate Four thousand Rochester residences will be given big wheeled toters into which occupants can toss all recyclable materials for curbside pickup under a city pilot program that should increase the recycling rate.  (February 13, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/14/2015 - NASA study: If we don’t bring down GHGs in a dramatic way, our droughts will get dramatic indeed. But, of course, Climate Change is more about droughts. One study and one aspect of Climate Change do not make a mother of all problems make. Some of the consequences of Climate Change, like mega droughts, can be predicted, but there are many consequences to Climate Change that we may never be able to predict with any clarity, not because warming has never occurred on Earth before, but because there has never been so many people, never so much of our infrastructure, and never so many other environmental pollution before. We are in new territory and we cannot respond in the same way. NASA Study Finds Carbon Emissions Could Dramatically Increase Risk of U.S. Megadroughts Droughts in the U.S. Southwest and Central Plains during the last half of this century could be drier and longer than drought conditions seen in those regions in the last 1,000 years, according to a new NASA study. (February 12, 2015) National Aeronautics and Space Administration (NASA)
  • 2/13/2015 - How does local media dismiss Climate Change? Here’s a perfect example: “You know that "heat wave" that overtook the Rochester area on Wednesday? Yeah, well, forget about it.” This is code for ‘How can there be Climate Change when it’s freaking freezing outside in Rochester, NY? Local media should be explaining how there can still be frigid weather in localized areas even as the global temperature are rising—making 2014 the hottest year ever in human history. It is irresponsible for mainstream local media not be to baking in Climate Change (as a warmer Arctic pushes its colder temperatures into our region) into every report. Climate Change is about planning. If the public is continually bombarded by bad local news coverage on Climate Change the public will not support the changes needed to our public health, our various infrastructures (from more frequent extreme weather events) and much more. This article at this point in time (where immediate planning ahead for our future is demanded) is negligent. Potentially dangerous wind chill coming, snow continues You know that "heat wave" that overtook the Rochester area on Wednesday? Yeah, well, forget about it. . (February 12, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 2/13/2015 - Today’s question boys and girls: What should we tackle first Climate Change or Plastic Bags? Ans: Both immediately! It’ hard to believe that before 1960 there wasn’t a single freaking plastic bag anywhere and now they’re an integral part of our life support system—but not in a good way. Plastic bags littering our life support system is like you shopping for food and eating both the contents and the packaging at the same time. It’s going to be very hard to prioritize our choices during Climate Change because we have to solve the warming problem, the consequences of that, and everything else we doing to trash our environment at the same time. Study: World dumps 8.8 million tons of plastics into oceans  (February 12, 2015) Washington Post
  • 2/13/2015 - DEC’s ‘Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs’ program should expand state-wide to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change. According to Climate Change studies our state is going to be severely challenged by warming waters and more frequent extreme flooding. This DEC program is a great way to keep our river ecology cool, keep our fish cool, lower the chances that our river banks will erode in floods, and help mitigate Climate Change—because more trees are always a good Climate Change strategy. Planting more trees everywhere, including your private property, which is part of our life support system, will cool streams down for fish life that evolved in our cold waters and trees do sequester carbon—as long as you leave them in the ground. So, I would encourage the DEC it expand this program statewide as one of the best ways New York address Climate Change.  Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs Replanting the Streams of the Hudson Valley Estuary Program staff and volunteers install a tree shelter Hudson Estuary Trees for Tribs (tribs as in tributaries) program engages volunteers in restioring thousands of feet of streamside buffer through native trees and shrubplanting. The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • 2/13/2015 - 2°C (or 3.6°F) goal for COP21 is very ambitious but even that it’s not enough: new goal would complement that. The battle to solve Climate Change politically (what we are willing to do) vs. science (what we have to do) cannot be achieved by consensus.  It would be like saying in order to get a plane off the ground we would need to balance the procedures of aeronautics with those who believe in telekinesis. That would be absurd. If the scientific characterization of Climate Change doesn’t prevail, we are screwed. New Global Warming Goal Is Goal of Talks For five years, United Nations climate negotiators and onlookers have been focused on one big-ticket objective: Preventing the planet from heating up by more than 2°C, or 3.6°F. (February 12, 2015) Climate Central
  • 2/13/2015 - Climate Change includes Global Warming but on a local level in our incredibly complex climate system risks will vary. In the Rochester, NY region, for example, there are many Real Changes going on in our region right now that are not what over regions are experiencing. And in the near future the Likely Changes are not what other places will be facing. But the trajectory for all of us is a warmer planet—that’s if we survive the local variations. Climate Change is about planning and we should be doing that on a massive scale. One way to do that is to shift our New York State present fossil fuel power grid to a greener power grid. You still can make comment on "Reforming the Energy Vision" (REV) and learn more here: What's REV Why Does It Matter IPCC scientists call for focus on regional climate risks   (February 13, 2015) Responding To Climate Change (RTCC) [more on Climate Change
  • 2/13/2014 - Nineteenth Amendment to the United States Constitution, giving women the right to vote, was a major step in acquiring all of the publics’ most cherished right. Here’s what happens when you don’t practice that right. Powerful folks who care more about their whacky ideology and self-interest rule over your rights, especially your right to be protected from clear and present danger. The Climate Change debate is over; inaction will be catastrophic. Senators Debate Whether Climate Change Is Real At EPA Carbon Rule Hearing   (February 11, 2015) Think Progress/Climate Progress
  • 2/12/2015 - Thanks to NYS Senator Rich Funke for giving Rochester a chance to speak on New York State Public Service Commission (NYPSC) public hearing. Now that the specter of Fracking is over, with New York State ban, we need to shift quickly to what we should have been talking about six years ago—how to move to a more responsible energy system as Climate Change takes hold.  Lots of folks talked last night about Climate Change and the need for all kinds of renewable energy option for our state.  The NYPSC were going to pass us by, but Senator Funke (who spoke eloquently at the meeting) suggested that they make a pit stop here. If you couldn’t make it to last evenings meeting, you still can make comment on and learn more here: What's REV Why Does It Matter? FUNKE SECURES PUBLIC SERVICE COMMISSION HEARING FOR THE ROCHESTER AREA  (January 30, 2015) New York State Senator Rich Funke (R) 55th Senate District
  • 2/12/2015 - Ok NY, now that we have our attention back after its having been hijacked for 6 Fracking years, let’s talk microgrids. Let’s talk (and get lots of funding) for an energy system that is more resilient to power disruptions due to increase in frequent extreme weather events (code for Climate Change) and quickly pivot towards an energy system that doesn’t add to Climate Change woes. RFP 3044 NY Prize Community Grid Competition The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA), in partnership with the Governor’s Office of Storm Recovery (GOSR) announce the availability of up to $40,000,000, under the three-stage NY Prize Community Grid Competition (NY Prize), to support the development of community microgrids.  New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)
  • The Story of ChangeStory of Change « The Story of Stuff Project "Can shopping save the world? The Story of Change urges viewers to put down their credit cards and start exercising their citizen muscles to build a more sustainable, just and fulfilling world. "
  • 2/12/2015 - What did you do on the road to COP21 - United Nations Conference on Climate Change? Your grandchildren will ask.
  • 2/12/2015 - Rochester, NY local news headlines are consumed with sports so you probably don’t know about UN climate talks in Geneva.  It’s important to follow the route to COP21 Paris Climate Conference where the fate of humanity (and all other living beings for that matter) will be decided. Daily Tck: Day four of the UN climate talks in Geneva  (February 12, 2015) tcktcktck
  • 2/12/2015 - Valentine’s Day a day to breakup with our love of fossil fuels on Global Divestment Day. Breaking Up With Fossil Fuels is Easy to Do Yesterday, a Big Oil PR group released this cartoon video as an attack against Global Divestment Day. The Environmental Policy Alliance is a front group for Big Oil that pushes out specious and inaccurate opposition research on individuals and organizations who fight climate change. The group is led by Rick Berman, who was taped by the New York Times as saying in a talk to oil executives that “you have to play dirty to win.” After we watched it we laughed, then we laughed some more – then we had an idea. Aaron Packard, our Oceania Region Coordinator, used his own narration skills to do a remix of the video. *UPDATE* Looks like Big Oil didn’t like our parody and made YouTube take it down, but you can still listen to Aaron’s narration here – if Big Oil was honest, this is what they would actually say: 350.org
  • 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.
  • 2/12/2015 - Ready to ramp up your Actions to protect our life support system? Check out new Action Switchboard (@ASdotnet) ACTION SWITCHBOARD "THE ACTION SWITCHBOARD IS A PLATFORM THAT HELPS ACTIVISTS FIND EACH OTHER, COME UP WITH DIRECT ACTION IDEAS, AND GET THE RESOURCES THEY NEED TO PULL THEM OFF. Sometimes we need mass protests to make our point. We love that kind of activism, and it’s important. But we can’t all get out in the streets together every single day. Ongoing, sustained creative actions are vital for keeping movements strong in between the big moments when we take to the streets. That's exactly why we built the Action Switchboard."
  • 2/12/2015 - February 13 and 14 is Global Divestment Day where we stop our addiction to global threatening fossil fuels. Divestment Day Aims to Strengthen Global Reach of Fossil-Free Movement (February 9, 2015) Inside Climate News
  • 2/11/2015 - ACTION: Tap your inner Spielberg. Deadline for your 5-min chance to Become the Media! on Rochester’s environment at FFFF on 2/27, 2015 Final Call for Entries! Don’t miss this unique opportunity to frame our local environmental issues, like how Climate Change will affect us, by making a short film, which is easy-peasy but the deadline is almost here. Lean more: Fast Forward Film Festival | Getting Ready for the Fast Forward Film Festival  Rochester's newest film festival is almost here. We speak with the project director of the Fast Forward Film Festival about how you can get your work on the big screen. (February 10, 2015) FOX Rochester
  • 2/11/2015 - ACTION: Been wondering how your group can help our environment? Help monitor our Water Quality by being Citizen Scientists. “Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.” Learn more, get training, get equipment, get started. EPA Region 2 Citizen Science |  Equipment Loan Program [PDF 437 KB, 5 pp] Apply for the Region 2 Citizen Science equipment Loan Program [PDF 318 KB, 2 pp] Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.  Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern to them.  Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of citizen science projects as tools have advanced and people have become more empowered.  These projects have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people’s awareness of their environment, and leveraging change. EPA Region 2
  • 2/11/2015 - Curtailing COP21 treaty because it won’t achieve 2°C (3.6°F) is like not sending a rescue boat to a sinking ship because of room limitations. There will be a zillion excuses from individuals, communities, politicians, governments, corporations, and groups to NOT attempt to make the COP21 Paris Climate treaty a success because it would be very inconvenient. And now the realization that even with the great inconveniences that will be caused by shifting quickly to renewable energy, and building an adequate Climate Green Fund, and conservation efforts worldwide won’t keep us to the 2C of greenhouse gases rise since pre-industrial rates won’t be enough to avert future catastrophes is not a reason not to have a successful treaty. COP21 must be seen as a real start. Many will do anything to stop “to achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world” Wikpedia. But there’s nothing else besides a lot of promises. Only a binding treaty will get us moving on actions that will actually begin the process of bringing down our GHG emission levels and adapting to the quick warming already baked into our atmosphere from decades of inaction. We had better stop with the excuses and start with the actions. Time passes. Paris Talks Won’t Achieve 2°C Goal: Does That Matter?  (February 10, 2015) Climate Central
  • 2/11/2015 - Today’s questions boys and girls: How does soil respond to Climate Change? Ans: We better find out. Not only how plants grow in a soil affected by Climate Change is important, but we also need to know how soil itself (i.e., not just the stuff it breaks down and grows) is affected by worldwide rapid warming. Some of the those effects won’t just be simply warming, but having to endure more flooding and erosion, and less snowpack (which is a protective blanket during winter)  and more back-and-forth freezing, which is predicted by Climate Change. In other words, we know precious little about how one of the most important parts of our life support system is going to be affected by Climate Change and we haven’t a clue as to how to technically decompose deal material. Some ecosystem services (a horrible self-serving phrase that characterizes soil and other environmental processes as having nothing better to do than fulfill our whims) that our environment provides are not systems we can reproduce—probably ever. A 23-year experiment finds surprising global warming impacts already underway Some ecosystems are absorbing less carbon, which could amplify global warming  (February 9, 2015) The Guardian
  • 2/10/2015 - “Scientists are having trouble convincing the public that people are changing the climate.” Because the public is playing dumb. It’s not that the public (especially the developed nations’ public) don’t understand what the scientist are saying. The public is playing dumb because it’s more convenient to play dumb and pretend it isn’t happening. The public in the developed nations get to play dumb because they aren’t getting nailed with their island nation disappearing because of sea level rise. Playing dumb is what some adolescence due when they don’t want to take responsibility for their actions, so they shrug their shoulders and say, “I don’t know.” Earth's Dashboard Is Flashing Red—Are Enough People Listening?  (February 2, 2015) National Geographic
  • 2/10/2015 - Fracking industry is not allowed to shit in New York, but they can shit in Pennsylvania and then flush their shit in New York. When is a ban on Fracking only a half-assed ban? When you don’t stop the whole Fracking mess. New York Banned Fracking, but 460,000 Tons of Fracking Waste Have Been Dumped There  (February 7, 2015) Nation of Change
  • 2/10/2015 - The stop at Geneva this week is to create a "more streamlined, concise, manageable and negotiable text." for COP21. And clean up the mess they left in Lima at the COP20, not move the mess further. Climate Talks in Geneva Open to 'Urgency' Pleas, Muted Expectations  (February 9, 2015) Inside Climate News
  • 2/09/2015 - The issue is not about white deer; the issue is about land conservation and keeping our over-developed land sustainable.  White deer (and white tigers for that matter) are unique group of animals based on a recessive gene that would usually not survive in the wild because they stand out in the wild like a green thumb. White deer would be spotted easily by predators and hunters; while tigers (though great zoo attractions) find it hard to stalk their prey without being seen, which is how these top predators operate. We should save the former Seneca Army Depot land not because of the white deer, but because there is precious little left for our life support system to operate in such a way where we can thrive. We should not be putting a lot of our conservation efforts in saving colorful variations of animals, while attractive to us, spell doom for the species if this recessive trait were to become dominant. Our priorities on saving wildlife should be ranked according to their role in maintaining our life support system, not how fantastic they look to us.  As Climate Change makes protecting wildlife more dear, we are going to have to choose carefully those species that are critical to our life support system and those that are not, based on our increasingly limited resources. What will come of the Seneca Army Depot white deer? In the debate between preservation and development at the former Army depot, a notable herd of white deer is caught in the middle  Ghost deer.  (February 8, 2015) Henrietta Post
  • 2/09/2015 - Informative newsletter with lots of environmental info and events from our friends over at Pachamama Rochester: The Pachamama Alliance February 2015 Newsletter "Building a critical mass of committed global citizens… to create a human presence on the planet that is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just.” PACHAMAMA OF GREATER ROCHESTER
  • 2/09/2015 - By 2045, because of Climate Change and the present transportation trajectory, everyday will be Thanksgiving. But not in a good way. It is quite likely our present transportation system is unsustainable, which is to say it’s making Climate Change worse and the system itself (due to more frequent extreme weather and the lack of initiative to spend the money to update it and make it more resilient so it can accommodate different modes (think active transportation ((walking and bicycling)) we will have to cut our losses at some point and shift to something sustainable. This is a critical point about Climate Change: if we don’t plan for Climate Change we are going to continue to pour public dollars into systems that aren’t feasible on a quickly warming planet. DEPARTMENT OF TRANSPORTATION SAYS THE FUTURE OF TRANSIT LOOKS PRETTY BLEAK This week, the Department of Transportation released Beyond Traffic, a report the agency describes as a 'draft framework' for the future of transportation here in the United States. And as it stands, our future lookspretty bleak. In the forward to the report, the authors write: "Beyond Traffic reveals that, if we don’t change, in 2045, the transportation system that powered our rise as a nation will instead slow us down.  (February 5, 2015) Popular Science