Updated Daily  5/28/2015 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

Running Bomb Trains through Rochester, NY                                                                                                                

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

Mothers Out Front and People of Albany United for Safe Energy (PAUSE) hosted an informative meeting Sunday (5/16/2015) on the dangers of Bomb Trains (railroad’s term not ours) that included a litany of explosive oil train derailments (9 since July of 2013) that have already caused much damage and some loss of life. One of the things we learned about the oil trains passing through Rochester is that we are going to need evacuation plans here and elsewhere. 

These trains detonate (they truly explode in a spectacular fire ball) because in order to get this thick crude oil into the trains the goo is pressurized with volatile gases. It doesn’t take much to set them off. When they do explode into massive fireballs that rise spectacularly into the sky, emergency crews’ attempts to rescue folks and decouple the cars to prevent even greater explosions is severely hampered by scorching heat and deadly fumes. And because our railroads are riddled with old rails and deteriorating bridges that are not equipped to hold these heavy loads, these Bomb Trains are more prone to derailments.  

Actually, considering that travel loads of liquid fuels have increased dramatically, and that our roads, highways, rails, and bridges are getting worse, it’s only a matter of time before this transportation system breaks down altogether. No one wants to pay the cost for maintaining this old infrastructure and so it deteriorates. Exploding Bomb Trains are simply the most remarkably insane component of this continual descent into a hole of negligence caused by our addiction to a fossil fuels. We have a problem. 

Report: Rural bridges in NY among worst in U.S. A new report finds rural bridges in New York State are the 15th worst in the country. This comes from TRIP, a national transportation research group. (May 20, 2015) WHEC Rochester

This is all to say that these trains carrying Bakken crude from North Dakota through Buffalo and Rochester and Syracuse to Albany (where a great big fossil fuel hub is being created) are a clear and present danger to our communities. When these trains detonate, our communities are going to have to be able to evacuate immediately. Not only can these explosions keep burning through these unit trains (bomb trains all hitched together) where more and more of them explode, the toxic air from the explosions is too lethal to breathe.  

Even if the proposed regulations for more robust train cars and more safety regulations were implemented, it probably won’t do much good because some past derailments already had these retrofits:

“Tougher tankers, though, are not a cure-all either. The tankers involved in Monday’s derailment in West Virginia were not DOT-111s but the more modern CPC-1232 model. The supposedly more robust tankers still ruptured and exploded.” onEarth

What are area plans to quickly remove a lot of folks (could be in the thousands) in our communities when these explosions occur? For, they are going to occur. You can bet your bottom dollar. Federal Rail Administration official Karl Alexy has noted publicly that “[a]t train speeds of 30 to 40 mph, you cannot build a tank car robust enough to withstand puncture in unit train derailments.” (“Department of Transportation Pipeline and Hazardous Materials Safety Administration”, September 30, 2014)  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

  2015 Genesee River Basin Summit

    

Wednesday, June 17, 2015, 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM SUNY Geneseo, College Union Ballroom Geneseo, NY

Help us build on the success of last year’s first ever Genesee River Basin Summit by creating an annual Basin Report Card that will be used to:

 •   Raise awareness of the Genesee and the condition of its waters

•   Provide a basis for conversation about what needs to be done to improve water quality in, and access to, the Genesee River

•   Establish visible targets for the work of stakeholders Give us all a way to measure progress on those targets Help attract more funding to execute critical projects

Who Should Attend: County/town and city planners, Soil & Water Conservation District personnel, municipal officials, economic development officials, engineers, interested citizens, conservation groups.

How to Register: Click on this link. Even though there is no admission fee we need a headcount for breakfast and planning purposes.   Admission - Free (CEI is sponsoring the room, technical support staff, and breakfast). Donations are appreciated. --from Genesee RiverWatch

* For more background read:

Who's worrying about the water?  Much of California is coping with a severe, multi-year drought. The state's water supplies and reservoirs are depleted, urban residents are now required to limit their water use, and many farms in the state are losing their crops. By comparison, the Rochester region is hydrologically gifted. Lake Ontario provides people, farms, and businesses with massive quantities of water for drinking, irrigation, food production, manufacturing, and more. The lake supports a commercial shipping industry and is a valuable asset for recreational activities such as boating, fishing, and swimming. The Genesee River, which cuts northbound through the area before emptying into the lake, bolsters agriculture and industry. And it, too, has vast recreational potential. (May 13, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Water Quality and Genesee River in our area]

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...    

May

June

  • Weds, June 3rd, 10am - 12:30pm Port of Rochester, Waterside Room 1000 North River Street Rochester, NY 14614  
    • Save the Date! Great Lakes Action Agenda Work Group Meetings June 2nd, 3rd, 8th & 9th NYSDEC invites you to join other regional stakeholders in a first-of-its-kind basinwide partnership to advance key priorities for New York's Great Lakes basin, as identified in the state's interim Great Lakes Action Agenda (GLAA). The focus of these interactive work group meetings will be to identify watershed challenges and specific opportunities to collaboratively accomplish GLAA projects. All NYS Great Lakes stakeholders are invited to participate -- including environmental orgs, academic institutions, state and federal agencies, local government, individuals and other diverse stakeholder groups (business, health, recreation, planning, etc). Four sub basin work groups will provide a unique opportunity to connect, coordinate and collaborate with other groups and agencies working locally and basinwide. SW Lake Ontario Work Group -- Weds, June 3rd, 10am - 12:30pm Port of Rochester, Waterside Room 1000 North River Street Rochester, NY 14614  (May 6, 2015) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
  • June 6, 2015  Mendon Ponds Park, Pittsford  8 am
    • "Morning in the Park" June 6, 2015  Mendon Ponds Park, Pittsford  8 am | Learn about the nesting summer resident birds of Mendon Ponds Park with a guided walk through a mixed grassland, woodland and wetland setting. Expert birder, Richard Ashworth, will help you look and listen for birds. Wear long pants and a hat. Bring binoculars, water, and insect repellent. Approach the park on Pittsford-Mendon Center Rd., heading south. Turn right onto Pond Rd. Pass the Add-En-On Kennels on the right and immediately pull into the field. If you reach the T- junction at Douglas Rd., you’ve gone too far. Leader: Richard Ashworth, 381-2189. Burroughs Audubon Nature Club bancny.org   www.facebook.com/BANC.roc
  • June 12, 2015  6-8 pm BANC Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor
    • "Birds of Prey" and Potluck Supper  June 12, 2015  6-8 pm BANC Sanctuary, 301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor | Burroughs Audubon Nature Club bancny.org   www.facebook.com/BANC.roc | There are about twenty species of birds of prey that are indigenous to New York State. Ron Walker, who retired after 30 years of teaching and sharing his love of nature through Friends With Feathers, will present a program about these majestic birds. Bring your place setting and a dish to pass for the potluck supper. Hosts: Chris, 924-4979 and Kathie, 244-2639.
  • Saturday June 13th 2015 from 9:00 - 4:00 on the beach at Mendon Ponds Park.
    • he Genesee Valley Chapter of the Adirondack Mountain Club is hosting the 18th Annual Outdoor Expo on Saturday June 13th 2015 from 9:00 - 4:00 on the beach at Mendon Ponds Park. The Genesee Valley Chapter has organized this event with YOU in mind! Just come see what you can do in the Rochester area! Demonstrations, discussions and activities will be offered all day on a wide variety of outdoor related topics. This is the perfect opportunity to connect with people that share the same interests as you all in one location! The annual Expo attracts hundreds of people who attend more than 70 workshops on various aspects of outdoor activities. Attendees also view and inspect outdoor gear and try out canoes and kayaks on the Hundred Acre Pond. ADK, other local outdoor clubs, and local outdoor retailers present all of the events.
  • Sunday, June 14, 2015   9:00am to 1:00pm   Brighton High School front lawn on S. Winton Road. 
    • The Brighton Eco-Fair (formerly Brighton Green Energy Fair) alongside the Brighton Farmer's Market   Sunday, June 14, 2015   9:00am to 1:00pm   Brighton High School front lawn on S. Winton Road.  This popular event draws 300-400 people each year.   Come enjoy Green Vendors, Non-profits, Student Projects, Childrens' Activities, and a Silent Auction to benefit ColorBrightonGreen.org. Learn about green home energy, recycling, green products, water conservation, and more!   ColorBrightonGreen.org
  • June 15, 2015 All day trip. Wesley Hill Preserve , Naples
    • "Early Meadow Butterflies"  Wesley Hill Preserve , Naples  June 15, 2015 All day trip.  Meet at the Bushnell's Basin Park and Ride lot at 9 am to carpool.  Directions:  Take I-490 east to Bushnell's Basin/Rt. 96 exit.  At exit light, turn left and parking lot is on the left.  Wear a hat and long pants.  Bring water, lunch, and a folding chair.  Contact:  425-2380       http://rochesterbutterflyclub.org/
  • Wednesday, June 17, 2015 7:30 AM to 5:00 PM SUNY Geneseo Geneseo, NY
    • 2015 Genesee River Basin Summit - AGENDA Water Quality Use and Access Protections in Place Restoration Admission - $0 (CEI is sponsoring the room and technical support staff) Food & Beverage – On your own, either SUNY cafeteria or bring your own. Learn more here.  From Genesee River Watch
  • Saturday, June 20,  11 AM – 2 PM | Taughannock State Park, Central Pavillion, Ulysses, NY 14886
    • FINGER LAKES AREA EVENT: Saturday, June 20,  11 AM – 2 PM A PRAYER FOR THE FINGER LAKES 108 Sun Salutations on the Summer Solstice  to benefit Gas Free Seneca Taughannock State Park, Central Pavillion, Ulysses, NY 14886 Vegetarian potluck picnic to follow, 2-4 PM, or later
  • June 23, 2015     9 am carpool from Rush area   All day trip.
    • "Higher Elevation Butterflies"  Mt. Morris Dam area and Rattlesnake Hill WMA June 23, 2015     9 am carpool from Rush area   All day trip.  Meet at the Park and Ride lot off I-390 S.,  Exit 11 (Rush).  This lot is at the intersection of Rt. 15 and Rt. 251.   Wear a hat and long pants.  Bring water, lunch, and a folding chair.  Contact:  425-2380 http://rochesterbutterflyclub.org/
  • June 24, 2015  4-8 pm BANC Sanctuary,  301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor
    • "Nature Projects to do at Home" and Open House  June 24, 2015  4-8 pm BANC Sanctuary,  301 Railroad Mills Rd., Victor | Simple hands-on nature projects to do at home. Materials to make a bird feeder, suggestions for raising caterpillars, and crafts involving plants will be some of the hands-on activities.  Contact: Shirley, 385-3907 Burroughs Audubon Nature Club bancny.org   www.facebook.com/BANC.roc

September

  • Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm) and Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm)
    • Two important meetings on local environmental and health issues: Environmental Health Sciences Research Day Celebrating 50 Years of Environmental Health Sciences Research at The University of Rochester Please note the upcoming speaker (June 11) and our Research Day (Sept 24).  Both are open to the public – please come and invite your colleagues!*Save the Dates * Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm), Science Café Series, Featuring a University of Rochester, Environmental Health Science Center Faculty Speaker, Barnes & Noble (Pittsford) AND Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm), Seminars, panel discussions, and a poster session, Flaum Atrium/ Class of ’62 Read more here.

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, NOW!
    • Do this! DEMAND WORLD LEADERS SIGN A STRONG AGREEMENT AT THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS IN DECEMBER. TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW Climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather for the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December, now is the moment for the world to speak as one: A strong emissions reductions agreement is the key to our collective prosperity, and well-being for all. --from The Climate Reality Project
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
  • 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!
    • 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!
    • 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!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!  
    • 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!
    • 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

 

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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
  • 5/28/2015 - Of course, if we hadn’t treated “every stream, ditch and puddle” as our toxic toilets we wouldn’t need these regulations. The problem with our way of life, if an environmental feature doesn’t have an immediate financial benefit it gets trashed with our waste, which then becomes conduits for our waste into our rivers and lakes. Not to mention toxic stews that nobody is checking for diseases and contamination of our soil and underground water. The invisible hand, the market place, has excluded the health of our environment for a very long time, and now regulations are required because our environment is not an externality, it is our life support system.  It’s is unrealistic to expect that regulations required to hold back the onslaught from our way of life not to be burdensome. I suspect that regulations will become more and more burdensome to those practices that are not sustainable—and hopefully this will help us move towards practices that don’t need to be regulated because they are in tune with our environment. Regulations are a sign that humanity is alarmed at the threats to our life support system—not conspiracies by power-hungry liberals to put their noses into everyone’s business. Feds stamp hotly debated water rules Farm Bureau and lawmakers for Ontario, Wayne and Yates counties are among those opposed to the new regulations New federal rules aimed at protecting drinking water nationwide got the green light Wednesday.  (May 27, 2015) Brighton-Pittsford Post
  • 5/28/2015 - Which is to say, a corporation is not a person but a mindless program that only considers immediate profits to their shareholders regardless. With corporations we have created monsters that are indifferent to science, popular will, and now life itself. Corporation are not simply a metaphor for those sci-fi horror films where the robots we create turn against us—they are the robots we have created that have turned against us. This situation needs to be fixed. Time passes. Chevron and Exxon Mobil reject climate warnings US oil majors face down shareholder proposals to appoint climate expert to board and scrap high carbon projects (May 28, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
  • 5/28/2015 - This is awkward, getting countries around the world to agree to the 2C goal in Paris will be very hard, but 2C is TOO HIGH! Please consider reality and agreeing to a much more realistic threshold for greenhouse gas emissions. A matter of degrees: why 2C warming is officially unsafe The goal of international climate negotiations is “to avoid dangerous atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases”. In 2010, Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change formally recognised the “long term goal” of the convention was to hold the increase in global average warming to below 2C above pre-industrial levels.  (May 26, 2015) The Conversation
  • 5/28/2015 - The large death count and infrastructure damage in India remind us (again) that heat waves present humanity with a major challenge. Whether or not the intensity of this heat wave in India is found out to be directly related to Climate Change or not, the tragedy in India should give us a glimpse of what happens to society and even our roads when heat waves, which are predicted with Climate Change, become the new normal. Climate Change means planning and much can be done to prepare for heat waves. Indians Urged to Stay Indoors as Sweltering Heat Kills More Than 1,300 Large swaths of India were baking again on Wednesday under intense heat that has killed more than 1,300 people and left the government scrambling to warn an often unheeding population about the dangers of stepping outside in the blazing midday sun.  (May 27, 2015) New York Times
  • 5/27/2015 - E-Waste Limbo in Rochester. The church scraped the notion of Limbo a while ago, but not our E-waste laws. So here is a photo of a TV thrown to the curb near my house in Rochester. According to New York State law, as of January 1st it is illegal for homeowners to curb their old TV for which they would get a fine. (See “New E-Waste Ban Prohibits You From Tossing That Old Computer to the Curb” or “New NY law requires electronic recycling” or “Electronics recycling law to go into effect January 1” , or” Don't throw away that flatscreen: Electronics recycling law to take effect Jan. 1”, or “No electronics in trash Jan. 1.”) You get the picture, this was big news back in January.  But here’s the problem—or problems--with actually fining those who put their TV’s out to the curb and thus reducing the problem of these toxics materials getting strewn around our neighborhood by scrappers who come before the weekly City picks up and smash those that old TVs for valuable metals—making these old electronics useless for recycling and continuing their toxic path to our landfills.  The law has no teeth, meaning the DEC who made the law has no agents who would go around to each community and fine those who curb their TVs. So, it would be the community’s job to fine these folks. But the communities cannot do that because their codes do not include fining folks for doing that. I am waiting for a DEC enforcement response as to how our City code can include fining those who curb their E-Waste but that was months ago. Limbo. But, it’s more complicated than that. Because the City has decided to go around and pick up TVs and take them to the recycling centers so the haulers wouldn’t get fines at the earlier stages of this NYS E-waste law (these E-waste laws were five years in the making with another stage kicked in each January), it wouldn’t actually be illegal for homeowners to curb their old TVs because (and you got to love this) the City picks up these TVs for recycling the homeowner cannot be fined for throwing out an old TV with the intention of landfilling it because it isn’t being landfilled. Some communities have services that do pick up E-waste regularly by independent recyclers (not Rochester) and so the law’s language was shaped for this option. So, technically you cannot get fined for curbing your old TV because it’s being recycled—even though the problem with scrappers coming and making recycling impossible is a reality as it always has been.  To compound this issue all the more is that our media and our authorities are very squeamish about enforcing this law because it is most likely that enforcing it would put an unfair burden on the poor who are more likely to curb their old E-waste because they perceive the proper disposal of E-waste as too expensive. (It’s not really, there are a lot of options.) Which is all to say that this part of our E-waste law that fines folks for curbing their TV that was five years coming is now in Limbo—a mythical place where ‘problems’ come to rest without a solution because the creators couldn’t figure out a convenient way for the laws to work.  There can and is much that can be done about this situation, remove this law from Limbo, but it is unlikely given how inconvenient it is to everyone. Much of our environmental regulations and issues languish in Limbo because they are so far down on our priority list—until, of course, they rear up and bite our heads off.
  • 5/27/2015 - I know, most folks (and certainly the free market fundamentalists) hate regulations, but the Invisible Hand won’t make clean energy (wind and solar) happen on a time and scale that will matter without a strong resolve from a fair minded head. Without some serious guidance, the invisible hand will only double-down on fossil fuels. WHO calls for clean energy to tackle air pollution UN health body adopts “landmark resolution” to tackle toxic particles from sources like coal plants and diesel engines The UN health body is calling for energy efficiency and clean energy to tackle air pollution in a “landmark resolution” agreed this week. Some 3.7 million people die each year from exposure to outdoor air pollution and 4.3 million from indoor pollution, the World Health Organization estimates. Coal power stations and diesel vehicles are major sources of harmful fumes, as well as being significant drivers of climate change. (May 27, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
  • 5/27/2015 - Negotiations between nations are important to avoid “the point at which climate change may become unacceptably dangerous”.  However difficult these negotiation are between nations, if the result isn’t keeping greenhouse gases to a sustainable level all the negotiations in the world won’t matter. U.S., Mexico, Canada to Collaborate on Climate Adaptation Upgrading power grids, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change are on the agenda for a new international working group composed of the three national energy ministers in the U.S., Canada and Mexico.  (May 26, 2015) Climate Central
  • 5/26/2015 - Wind Power just fixed all the things folks have been carping about. How about nuclear, coal, oil, and gas doing the same? This wind turbine has no blades — and that’s why it’s better What do you get if you take the blades off a wind turbine? A better wind turbine. That sounds like a joke, but that’s actually more or less the model of a new wind turbine prototype. Instead of blades that turn in the breeze, the turbine is just a hollow straw that sticks up 40 feet from the ground and vibrates like a guitar string when the wind thrums by. The Spanish engineers who founded Vortex Bladeless in 2010 said they were inspired by the Tacoma Narrows Bridge disaster (maybe not the best pitch for clean energy to a disaster-wary public, but I’ll leave that to their marketing department). Here’s how it actually works, from Wired: (May 20, 2015) Grist
  • 5/26/2015 - What could be more compelling than the inevitability of a Bomb Train exploding in your community? Find out more about this looming threat from this comprehensive webpage put together by R-Cause. Infrastructure: TRANSPORTING FOSSIL FUELS BY RAIL. You might also read my essay from my newsletter last week: “Running Bomb Trains through Rochester, NY” Don’t sit this one out.
  • 5/26/2015 - Whose planet? Well…, it looks like it’s the Expendable for the richest of the richest. Sorry, humanity and all other life. Our individual actions, even though we number in the billions and wish very much to address Climate Change, are unlikely to counteract the actions of the very rich oil barons, who seem to have acquired much more wealth and power that would have seemed possible on a rational and just planet. Oil company bosses' bonuses linked to $1tn spending on extracting fossil fuels ExxonMobil, Shell, Chevron, Total and BP pour funding into projects to unlock oil reserves – despite scientists warning they will lead to climate change disaster  (May 25, 2015) The Guardian
  • 5/26/2015 - The invisible hand’s indifference to wetlands and streams, treating them as waste conduits, highlights the need for regulations. Not only should smaller waters that run into larger waters be protected, but small waters that don’t run anywhere. All water that collects, collects life. Even ditches, taken as a whole, are a part of our environment and should not continue to be litter collection sites that spawn diseases. Industry and agriculture should have never used our waters for their drains, they have overreached their use of our commons. EPA pushes to solidify federal power to protect streams, wetlands EPA tries to clear doubts on Clean Water Act powers to protect wetlands and streams that run into larger bodies of water  (May 22, 2015) Aljazeera America
  • 5/26/2015 - The so called ‘Copenhagen Syndrome’ is an expression of a fatal flaw in humanity’s ability to grow sustainably. Paris must not fail. Fabius hopes Paris climate talks can reverse Copenhagen failure  (May 26, 2015) Reuters
  • 5/25/2015 - Rochester too could vastly decrease GHG emissions cheaply if bicycling were baked into its climate action plan. For the public to get onboard with this inexpensive component for locally addressing Climate Change, there would need to be a dramatic increase in public education on the connection between Climate Change and transportation, more education about safety to encourage more bicyclists to bike in our streets to their short distance (under six miles) destinations. This could be done via free and continual Public Service Announcements (PSA) reminding folks to share the road. Also, a great increase in bike racks so bike can be secured at every destination, and leadership by our leaders that not only do we want Rochester to be a Bike Friendly Community, we want to demonstrate that bicycling is a major way our region can address Climate Change. 19 cities report documented reductions in greenhouse-gas emissions  More than 200 cities around the world have pledged to cut, or even eliminate, their greenhouse-gas emissions.  (May 21, 20150 Citiscope
  • 5/25/2015 - Today’s question boys and girls: How can President Obama address Climate Change if he won’t stand up to fossil fuel industry? Ans: It’s impossible. Saying that addressing Climate Change is a clear and present danger and then allowing oil drilling to go on in the Arctic, where an oil spill will ravage the warming Arctic and the oil drilled from that region will warm up the planet to the danger point, cannot (in the science sense) work. Obama’s Catastrophic Climate-Change Denial THE Obama administration’s decision to give Shell Oil the go-ahead to drill in the Arctic shows why we may never win the fight against climate change.  (May 12, 2015) New York Times
  • 5/25/2015 - Important film and talk this week: Community Saves Urban Farmland - film and discussion, May 28, 7 pm Community Saves Urban Farmland!  See the film, Thursday, May 28 at 7 pm at the Little Theatre (240 East Ave) with short panel and discussion - Elizabeth Henderson, Peacework Organic CSA, Lisa Barker, Seed Folks, and Josiah Krause, Take Back the Land Rochester. Occupy the Farm Film tells the story of 200 urban farmers who walk onto a publicly-owned research farm and plant 2 acres of crops in order to save the land from becoming a real-estate development. The Village Voice calls this tale of outlaw farmers, "Riveting from the start."  - hosted by Genesee Valley Organic Community Supported Agriculture (GVOCSA), Rochester NY See their short description video)
  • 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.
  • 5/25/2015 - President Obama could seriously alleviate Climate Change stress by not allowing drilling for oil in the Arctic. Restarting drilling for oil in the Arctic will produce an inevitable oil spill that will be impossible to clean up in one of the most pristine, fragile environments in the world. Whatever legacy President Obama might achieve by acknowledging and bringing to the bully pulpit the clear and present danger of Climate Change, this legacy will be dramatically reduced when there is a major oil spill in the Arctic on his watch. Obama Recasts Climate Change as a Peril With Far-Reaching Effects (May 20, 2015), New York Times
  • 5/24/2015 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter May 24, 2015 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe
  • 5/23/2015 - Actually, I cannot think of a place that wouldn’t be the worst possible place for an oil spill. Why don’t we stop with fossil fuel altogether, for clearly we cannot use this form of energy safely? One has to wonder at what point (see: “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century”) will oil spills become so intolerable that we’ll move quickly to renewable energy. So many folks think that we have to have fossil fuels, that we can eventually stop oil spills from happening, or that oil spills are just one of those things we have to put up with in order to grow, but don’t give a moment of thought to Climate Change and the destruction of vital ecosystems we need to survive. For example, in the recent article “Thirty Million Gallons under the Sea”, a report about the continued damage from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf in Harper’s Magazine, we find out that a large area of the ocean bottom has smothered critical biological components that help produce oxygen and there’s no recovery in sight. We are bound and determined to continue business as usual no matter how much evidence there is to convince us that this behavior will crash our planet’s environment. Time passes. This Aging Oil Pipeline Is In Great Lakes' 'Worst Possible Place' For A Spill  (May 20, 2015) The Huffington Post
  • 5/23/2015 - If “Extreme heat kills more people in the United States than any other weather-related event”, why move to a hot state in Climate Change? It’s interesting to read recently that the populations of northern cities, like Rochester, are dropping presumably to regions that are warmer and close to the water. Which is crazy because the hot states are going to be dangerously hot, soon out of water, and shoreline properties are going to disappear because of sea level rise. More likely is that cities like Rochester will start increasing from Climate Change refugees who will be trying to avoid the heat, to always have fresh water, and to farm our un-Fracked soil.  Rochester should bake climate refugees into their climate action plans. Study Finds Sun Belt Population Growth and Warming Climate Could Quadruple Exposure to Extreme Heat A valuable study published this week in Nature Climate Change projects that exposure to extreme heat in the United States is likely to rise enormously by mid century, driven equally by demographic shifts boosting Sun Belt populations and projected changes in heat waves in a warming climate. Seth Borenstein at the Associated Press has written a nice summary of the research, undertaken by a multi-disciplinary team at the National Center for Atmospheric Research in Boulder, Colo., and the City University of New York. (May 18, 2015) Dot Earth, NYT
  • 5/23/2015 - Today’s question boys and girls: How many oil pipeline breaks have there been the US in the 21st century? Ans: A lot, really a lot. For the complete list go here: “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century” For those who continually say that fossil fuels are safe and even if they are not we must stay addicted to them because we cannot do without them, really ought to think about the number of accidents (including the rising number of Bomb Train ‘accidents’ from moving crude oil over our decrepit rails) that are occurring in just the US alone. Not to mention fossil fuels are driving up the greenhouse gas emissions to where our way of life (and maybe all life) is not sustainable. I’m thinking that business as usual or just waiting until things get better is not going to work. Time passes. Pipeline Operator: Possibly Months To Determine Cause Of Calif. Spill It could be months before investigators can determine what caused a pipeline leak that has fouled a stretch of coast in Southern California, the company that operates the oil conduit says.  (May 22, 2015) NPR
  • 5/23/2015 - With Climate Change, if you are a topical bird and you can’t or won’t move to avoid danger, the danger will come to you. As Andes Warm, Deciphering  The Future for Tropical Birds Scientists have theorized that tropical birds in mountainous regions will move uphill as the climate warms. But new research in the Peruvian Andes suggests that the birds will stay put and face a new threat — predator snakes that will climb into their territory to escape the heat. (May 12, 2014) Yale Environment 360
  • 5/22/2015 - So the reason why our transportation system is falling apart is because so many folks are driving alternative fuel and electric vehicles and paying no taxes. Really? If this is so, then a lot of folks have gone to a lot of trouble and money to conceal their vehicle from looking as if they are gas guzzlers. Our transportation system is falling apart and we haven’t even started addressing the fixes needed to get ready for more extreme weather (more heat, more floods, and more shoreline highways threatened by sea level rise). But instead of fixing this problem, we’re going to blame the lack of funds on too many vehicles that don’t have to pay a gas tax? Really? How can anyone say such an amazingly loony, fossil fuel addicted thing? Cost of fixing bridges: Could a gas tax hike be in the near future? (May 22, 2015) WHEC Rochester
  • 5/22/2015 - I don’t tend to get political, but who becomes MC Executive is absolutely critical for addressing Climate Change. Frankel will lead. Much of the climate silence and lack of action in the Monroe County and Rochester region is due to a failure of leadership. The public isn’t talking about the worldwide crisis of Climate Change because our local leaders aren’t doing anything but trying to lead by secretly making their buildings more energy efficient and trying to make Rochester a Bicycle Friendly City without explaining to the public why this approach is a major way to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from our transportation sector. Without leadership on Climate Change the media doesn’t connect the dots between growing public health issues and fortifying our water, waste, telecommunications, and transportation infrastructures for more extreme weather—including more intense heat waves which will affect the poor in our region disproportionally—even though the poor did not cause the warming. Frankel has demonstrated her concern about Climate Change and is most ready to take leadership on this worldwide crisis locally. Climate Change is not a special interest issue; it is the mother of all issues of which all our other concerns—taxes, infrastructures, poverty, schooling, fairness—are a part of.  Let this political race in Monroe County be about Climate Change (so the public will understand the comprehensiveness and the enormity of this issue) and let Frankel win. Sandy Frankel Officially Kicks Off Campaign for MC Executive Former Brighton Town Supervisor Sandy Frankel began her launch party with a few words in honor of the approaching Memorial Day. "The men and women who protect our freedoms, our liberties, our democratic way of life, we owe them an enormous debt of gratitude." This is not Frankel's first launch. After her failed campaign in 2011 against Maggie Brooks, Frankel is confident she knows what it takes to win the electorate this time around. (May 21, 2015) WXXI News
  • 5/22/2015 - ACTION: Do this! DEMAND WORLD LEADERS SIGN A STRONG AGREEMENT AT THE PARIS CLIMATE NEGOTIATIONS IN DECEMBER. TAKE CLIMATE ACTION NOW Climate change threatens our lives and livelihoods. As the world’s leaders prepare to gather for the UN climate negotiations in Paris this December, now is the moment for the world to speak as one: A strong emissions reductions agreement is the key to our collective prosperity, and well-being for all. --from The Climate Reality Project
  • 5/22/2015 - This proposal to dim NYC’s lights to cut energy costs, help migratory birds and relieve light pollution could make a difference, unlike the state’s proposal to just dim their official buildings around the state—which would have demonstrated the state’s commitment to conserving energy, but not much else. Proposal to dim New York’s city lights at night to save energy  (May 21, 2015) tcktcktck
  • 5/22/2015 - The recent oil pipeline ruptured in Santa Barbara County in Central California was very bad; an oil spill in the Arctic will be criminal. Accidents are what happen when you don’t plan. Continuing to drill and rail and pipe fossil fuels and then burn them that raises global greenhouse gas concentrations is no accident, they are deliberate acts of ecocide. WILL THIS SPILL CHANGE ANYTHING?  As of yesterday evening, officials claimed that an estimated 21,000 gallons had spilled into the ocean in an oil slick that was four miles wide. Unfortunately, as of this morning, the slick had spread to at least nine miles wide, as the winds and tides did what they do.  (May 20, 2015) GreenPeace
  • 5/22/2015 - Those expecting benefits from Climate Change fail to realize that with an increase in CO2 comes a lot of other detriments. Climate Change brings with it extreme weather and drought and social disruption and the bottle-necking of centuries of environmental abuse. I suspect the only good that will come of Climate Change is the opportunity of humanity to mature into fair-minded stewards of their planet. We have a long time to grow in a short amount of time. Findings cast doubt on plant benefits from rising CO2  (May 22, 2015) The Daily Climate
  • 5/21/2015 - The faith community in Rochester, which has embodied most of the worker bees on environmental issues and Climate Change in our area, has demonstrated their commitment to a healthy and just environmental future. The role of Pope Francis on leading on Climate Change is a game changer on climate silence. Added to those alarmed and committed to addressing Climate Change should include atheists—though strictly speaking we are not religious. While it is oftentimes difficult for atheists to speak as one (as getting them to do so is like herding cats), I do think that ‘none of the above’, free thinkers, atheists (whatever one call us) constitute a large part of our public and our voices should be heard on the moral issues of Climate Change. Because there’s nowhere else to go, atheists tend to care a lot about Climate Change, knowing that all of our past, present, and futures are inexorably bound up in our ability to keep our environment, our life support system, thriving. Faith and environmentalism: common goals   (May 20, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper
  • 5/21/2015 - Breaking: Feds bless storing massive gas in salt mines near the shores of Seneca Lake even though locals hate it. It’s like a great big slap in the face to hear the Feds dismiss local citizens and business groups (think tourism and wine growers) concerns that this massive increase in fossil fuel infrastructure in the Finger Lakes regions (one of the most environmentally sensitive region anywhere) is now going to be threatened. Not to mention a massive buildup in the fossil fuel infrastructure during a time of Climate Change, when we absolutely need to get off our addiction to fossil fuels. It’s especially galling to read this Fed decision right after the oil spill on the shores of California yesterday, an event which is continually promised to the public that it would never happen. Even though Climate Change looms, we are continually having fossil fuels shoved down our throats. Hundreds of folks are willing to get arrested over this Seneca Lake gas storage issue and I doubt the Fed’s ruling will quell that. Seneca Lake gas storage foes rebuffed by regulators A proposal to store gas in salt mines near the shores of Seneca Lake received an emphatic blessing from federal regulators Wednesday who dismissed claims that it’s an accident waiting to happen. In an “Order Denying Rehearing” issued Wednesday afternoon, the Federal Regulatory Energy Commission notified Gas Free Seneca that the commission has done due diligence in granting a permit for the project, and it would not be revisiting the issue. The decision, while not unexpected, was a blow to opponents of expansion of the fossil fuel industry in the popular Finger Lakes tourism destination. (May 20, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle
  • 5/21/2015 - Two important meetings on local environmental and health issues: Environmental Health Sciences Research Day Celebrating 50 Years of Environmental Health Sciences Research at The University of Rochester Please note the upcoming speaker (June 11) and our Research Day (Sept 24).  Both are open to the public – please come and invite your colleagues!*Save the Dates * Wednesday, September 23, 2015 (7pm), Science Café Series, Featuring a University of Rochester, Environmental Health Science Center Faculty Speaker, Barnes & Noble (Pittsford) AND Thursday, September 24, 2015 (9am-4:30pm), Seminars, panel discussions, and a poster session, Flaum Atrium/ Class of ’62 Read more here.
  • 5/21/2015 - Breaking the climate silence in Rochester, NY, actually talking about Climate Change and community involvement. Check out this interesting (but rare) discussion where the public gets to ask what the Rochester region actually doing about this worldwide crisis. (Unless you haven’t noticed, it’s meager.) Climate silence, where you know about Climate Change, but aren’t inclined to talk about it at all or in any meaningful way, has been a staple in Rochester. But this discussion, one you can listen to online (or as a podcast) and then respond in the comment section, is a dialogue about what our city and the public can and should be doing on addressing this issue. Lots of folks are talking about ad hoc things folks are doing but few are asking if these actions are on a level and speed that will matter. Are our efforts being coordinated with state and federal and ultimately worldwide efforts? While other communities like Portland, Oregon have been working on climate actions plans for two decades, Rochester has been sleeping. Does this mean that now that Rochester is coming up with a climate action plan we should only expect baby steps? Or, should Rochester be trying to catchup as quickly as possible to what other cities are doing to address this worldwide crisis? Don’t be silent, speak up. Be critical. Read climate studies. Get involved. Make some noise. Connections: Climate Change NASA says the last remaining section of a huge Antarctic ice shelf will be gone by 2020 -- faster than scientists initially expected. The shelf is known as Larsen B, and it's existed for 10,000 years. We'll take a look at the data and talk about how this event fits into the broader context of climate change with our panel: Eric Hittinger, RIT professor of public policy with a focus on energy policy Enid Cardinal, senior sustainability advisor for RIT Abigail McHugh-Grifa, Rochester People's Climate Coalition Susan Spencer, ROCSPOT (May 20, 2015) Connections
  • 5/21/2015 - Whatever your position on the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP), we ‘the people’ should at least know what’s in it. We don’t want to keep hearing that our environmental protections are being upheld by the TPP and don’t worry your pretty little heads, we want to read the agreement and even the fine script. Just as if we were adults. Let the Public Read the Completed Parts of the Trans-Pacific Partnership Basic facts about the Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) are under public dispute. Fast track must not be approved until this is cleared up. We the People deserve to know what is being voted on with fast track. (May 19, 2015) Bill Moyers and Company
  • 5/21/2015 - The new California oil spill highlights the new normal: no matter how dire Climate Change we won’t change. The only way to stop oil spills is to shift to renewable energy, but we have a zillion excuses why we won’t do that so… get your plastic bag and start picking up the oily stuff. Wildlife, pristine beaches focus of 'aggressive' oil spill cleanup Oil pipeline company officials said Wednesday that as many as 105,000 gallons of crude oil may have spilled from a ruptured pipeline on the California coast.  (May 20, 2015) CNN
  • 5/21/2015 - Note: New web address for: Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) was formed in September 2014 to mobilize our community to attend the People’s Climate March in New York City.  Within a few weeks, 30+ member organizations joined the coalition, including businesses, churches, political offices, environmental groups, and other nonprofits.  The RPCC continues to grow, collaborate, and build political power.  For a full list of member organizations and information on how to join, see here.
  • 5/20/2015 - The idea of allowing an air quality permit (a waiver) to permit the warming up of crude oil (which makes it volatile, i.e., explosive) so that thick oil can be removed from Bomb Trains coming through our neighborhoods then placed on barges in Albany (which will allow it to become a major fossil fuel hub) and sent down the Hudson River is so incredibly reckless and dangerous in a time of Climate Change and when we have an incredible NYS transportation infrastructure challenges as to be quite insane. Concerns Over Crude Oil Facility Near The Hudson River New York state regulators are expected to decide soon on a permit for a facility at the Port of Albany that critics say would make the port a hub for heavy Canadian tar sands crude oil.  Global Partners, based in Waltham, Massachusetts, needs the air quality permit to install boilers that would warm rail tanker cars to facilitate offloading of dense crude to storage tanks or Hudson River barges. (May 20, 2015) WXXI News
  • 5/20/2015 - Considering that travel loads of liquid fuels has increased dramatically and our roads, highways, rails and bridges are getting worse, it’s only a matter of time until this transportation system breaks down. It’s really tough to talk about Climate Change and Transportation when we don’t want to talk about Climate Change or connect the dots between transportation and Climate Change (27% of our GHGs come from the transportation sector) or even about the proper maintenance of our existing transportation infrastructure. (Not to mention the rising issue of exploding crude oil trains (or Bomb Trains)). We have a problem. Report: Rural bridges in NY among worst in U.S. A new report finds rural bridges in New York State are the 15th worst in the country. This comes from TRIP, a national transportation research group. (May 20, 2015) WHEC Rochester
  • 5/20/2015 - Oil spill bullshit over the truth. Remember the Deepwater Horizon oil spill? Think the gulf is all cleaned up and ready for more drilling? Think again. Looks like in order to find out the truth about the results of the BP Gulf Oil Spill five years ago one must take a sub about a mile down to a moonscape-like barren ocean floor and see for oneself. 80% of fossil fuels must stay in the ground in order to survive Climate Change, NOT drill for more in a place that has been destroyed by the largest oil spill in US history. 30 Million Gallons Under the Sea: Five Years After BP Disaster, New Drilling OK’d by Spill Site  (May 14, 2015) Democracy Now!
  • 5/20/2015 - Fossil fuels more important for governments than public health. What’s wrong with this picture? Coal, oil, gas subsidies higher than public health spending Around 1.6 million premature deaths would be prevented annually if the world's governments stopped subsidising fossil fuels, a study by four researchers from the International Monetary Fund found. (May 19, 2015) euobserver
  • 5/20/2015 - Our New York politicians need to take their climate action plan off the shelf and put it on their plate.  Hello, we have a climate action plan for New York called Climate Action Plan Interim Report and our leaders need to dust it off and freaking read it and then begin acting so our state will be prepared. This climate plan, began in the Governor Patterson days, has been around awhile and provides comprehensive evidence that Climate Change is affecting our state and the plan explains what needs to be done. So there’s no excuse for this critical document languishing away in obscurity when it needs to be acted on.  Be nice if our local media brought this up once in a while, maybe things get dull on the sports field—which they seem inordinately obsessed with. Time passes. New York Senators Call Out Their Colleagues For Denying Climate Change New York state senators who question the science of human-caused climate change got a public reprimanding from their colleagues during a town hall meeting on Tuesday to discuss how residents have been impacted by the phenomenon.  (May 19, 2015) Think Progress/Climate Progress
  • 5/19/2015 - There would be HOPE if 5.3 Trillion dollars went into renewables instead of fossil fuels. Otherwise hope is baseless. Fossil fuel subsidies to hit $5.3 trillion in 2015, says IMF study  Governments could cut 20% of carbon emissions at a stroke if they stopped subsidising oil, gas and coal Subsidies for fossil fuels that cause climate change have soared since 2013, a new study from the International Monetary Fund has revealed. Oil, gas and coal costs will be subsidised to the tune of US$5.3 trillion a year in 2015. The last time the IMF ran the data it calculated they were worth $1.9 trillion. Economists say the latest figures are more accurate as they represent the “true” cost of energy, which includes the environmental, health and climate impacts of burning fossil fuels. (May 19, 2015) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)
  • 5/19/2015 - Perhaps this video can help challenge the pervasiveness of Climate Change silence crippling Rochester, NY. There’s a reason why our media, our government, and our public are not talking about and acting actively on the worldwide crisis of Climate Change on a level and speed that will matter. Whatever the reason for climate silence, more of it will mean will we will entirely unprepared for the consequences. Challenge the pervasiveness of Climate Change silence. Burying this disaster under a shroud of silence and feel-good journalism that (if mentioned at all locally) downplays the inevitable effects of this crisis will make this disaster much worse—maybe impossible to adapt to. I was talking to a very well educated person who allowed Climate Change to be mentioned for a few moments and this person said that their region wasn’t experiencing hardly any warming. Even if this was true, which it is not, this admission means the signs of warming—a heat trapping process on a global level that is inevitable—are clear to this person. But still, the desire to follow though the implications of a process that is built into our future and becoming more dire was not in this person’s comfort zone. It was time for climate silence. We changed the subject. But the heat goes on. 'We have to challenge the pervasive silence on climate change' - video Leading climate change activist George Marshall and Guardian journalist George Monbiot talk about how our decision-making processes are driven by cues, signals and bias, why this is a problem for the climate change movement and how we can encourage a sense of collective purpose about the issue.  (May 19, 2015) The Guardian