Updated Daily  2/11/2016 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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SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.

Rochester area NewsLinks.

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


Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

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

Posted Today - Thursday, February 11, 2016

  • 165 Million Plastic Particles Are Floating in Waters Surrounding New York City | NY/NJ Baykeeper has released the results from a plastic collection study detailing the sizes, types and concentrations of plastic pollution within New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary waters. The Harbor Estuary encompasses the Ports of New York and New Jersey, as far north as the Tappan Zee Bridge and as far south as Sandy Hook Bay. NY/NJ Baykeeper’s results represent one of the first examinations of plastic pollution within waters surrounding New York City. Based on NY/NJ Baykeeper’s estimates, at least 165 million plastic particles are floating within New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary waters at any given time. The average abundance of plastic particles is 256,322 per square kilometer. (February 10, 2016) EcoWatch [more on Recycling in our area]

  • An illustrated history of Arctic oil exploration Shell’s recent aborted venture grabbed headlines, but it wasn’t the first foray into the polar region and may not be the last Oil exploration began in the Arctic almost a century ago, long before the words “climate” and “change” were paired with “human induced” and the ushering in of a new geological epoch, the Anthropocene. Paradoxically, even as the science emerged, the world’s reliance on oil grew – globally, we use about 35 billion barrels of oil each year. (February 9, 2016) Climate Home [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • Obama Confident in Climate Plan Despite Court Setback The Obama administration is expressing confidence in its most sweeping climate change policy, despite the Supreme Court’s decision on Tuesday to block its enforcement while a major legal challenge works its way through the courts. The Clean Power Plan, which aims to cut power plant emissions by 32 percent by 2030 compared to 2005 levels, was a critical part of U.S. negotiations at the Paris climate talks in December. The agreement struck there was bolstered by America’s promise to carry out its pledge to cut overall U.S. greenhouse gas emissions by 26 percent by 2025. (February 10, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • Supreme Court Halts Clean Power Plan, with Implications Far Beyond the U.S. The surprise decision threatens the credibility of the Paris climate change treaty that was reached by the world's nations in December. The Supreme Court put on hold the linchpin of President Obama's climate policy, barring the Environmental Protection Agency on Tuesday from carrying out the administration's new Clean Power Plan to reduce greenhouse gas emissions from electric power plants. It was a surprising decision of staggering proportions, with repercussions that go far beyond the U.S. electrical grid, threatening the credibility of the Paris Agreement on climate change reached by the world’s nations in December. The Clean Power Plan, designed to reduce by nearly a third emissions from fossil fuel-burning electricity plants, is the central element of the pledge by the United States to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by at least 26 percent by 2025. (February 10, 2016) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]


News Highlight

The COP21 Paris Climate summit remembered in Ithaca      

by Frank J. Regan

“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

For all of Homo sapiens’ braininess perhaps our short attention span will be remembered as our most defining characteristic. It’s not just that our minds often wander during boring speeches; collectively we tend to lose focus on really important stuff before that stuff has time enough to play out. The historic COP21 Paris Summit is barely two months old and is already fading from the public’s attention. It has certainly vanished from local media’s awareness. However, in Ithaca the other day, Climate Change came to the forefront when six panelists spoke about their experiences at the Paris summit to an overflow audience earnestly attentive to what these experts had to say. 

Panelists review Paris climate summit at Ithaca event Six panelists, including Cornell faculty members, who attended the 21st United Nations Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris last fall recalled the historic proceedings for a spirited audience that spilled into the hallway of the Tompkins County Public Library’s BorgWarner Room Feb. 3. The panel, “COP21: Reflections on the Historic Climate Agreement,” was co-sponsored by Cornell’s Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future, local government agencies and community groups. Topics discussed ranged from methane emissions to agriculture to civil disobedience, but panelists agreed that the COP21 made history by producing a 195-nation commitment to combat climate change that, while not nearly strong enough, they said, was a remarkable achievement nonetheless. (February 4, 2016) Cornell Chronicle 

The article above and these short videos from two of the panelists-- Colleen Boland and Sandra Steingraber-- capture some of the tone and content of the event in Ithaca. I’m not going to go over all that they said, except to say Climate Change has not faded from their attention. Not in the least.

I sensed that if every community around the world responded to the Paris talks the way Ithaca did that evening, Climate Change would remain fixed in all our minds as a top priority. For as long as it takes for us to address this crisis. Even when our media does cover the Paris talks, they cannot reproduce the town-meeting effect that allows for give-and--take discussions between members of a community on issues crucial to their lives.

In fact, many of the advances in our communications technologies seem to detract from the town-meeting experience, reinforcing our inclination to silo our conversations, where like-minded people talk to each other and the rest get ignored. I suspect that even when we climate activists march in the streets to focus media and leadership attention on Climate Change, we tend to alienate the rest who view such actions as extreme. 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:

  • Waste Management-owned site receives conservation award High Acres Nature Area, owned by Waste Management Inc. in Perinton, has been honored with the 2015 International Conservation Award by the Wildlife Habitat Council, an international non-profit that accredits programs that create wildlife habitat on corporate lands. It has recognized 600 sites around the world.  The High Acres Nature Area comprises 250 acres with four miles of nature trails adjacent to the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center in Fairport. Employees and community volunteers invest in conservation and education efforts through the nature area, officials said. (November 24, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

  • Energy storage looks promising for Rochester At first glance, they do not look like much: cylinders the size of commercially available watch batteries and foil-wrapped packets the size of cell phone batteries. From small packages, however, the staff of NOHMs Technologies Inc. are working to produce big results.  “We’re a cell manufacturer only to make prototypes,” explains Richard Delmerico, CEO and chief operating officer of the 17-person startup, which is based out of 6,000 feet of laboratory and industrial space within Eastman Business Park. (October 2, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

  • SolarCity seeking suppliers Rochester Business Alliance President and CEO Bob Duffy is encouraging Rochester-area businesses to check into opportunities for suppliers of SolarCity, the solar-panel maker expected to open in 2016 in Buffalo. SolarCity is looking for suppliers for gases, chemicals, aluminum, copper, extrusion, stamping, anodizing, solar glass, junction boxes, tapes, pastes, labels, logistics, semiconductor manufacturing equipment, compressed dry air, professional services, and more. (June 24, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Solar Power and Green Business in our area]

  • Irondequoit development project goes green A major development project in Irondequoit is focused on going green. The Market at I-Square is now complete with a rooftop garden. The garden is just one part of the project's goal to be eco-friendly. "It's a sustainable measure to eliminate storm water runoff from reaching Lake Ontario which is the goal for everyone in Irondequoit," Owner Mike Nolan said. Whatever water isn't absorbed by the garden is filtered through the tiling and even the sidewalk outside into a tank underground. The water is then re-used for irrigation and landscaping. (May 29, 2015) WHAM [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight




May 2016: We’re mobilising to shut down the world’s most dangerous fossil fuel projects and support the most ambitious climate solutions.  

Actions are being planned at locations all over the world, and plans are coming together quickly — be a part of it from the very beginning.

Sign up here.

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.


350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  


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...    


  • Friday, February 12, 7:30 pm  Briarwood Building, St. John's Meadows, 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (off Elmwood Ave.), Rochester 14620
    • "Damselflies"  Talk and Slideshow, Friday, February 12, 7:30 pm  Briarwood Building, St. John's Meadows, 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (off Elmwood Ave.), Rochester 14620  Sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Damselflies are often confused with dragonflies.  Jon Dombrowski will share the interesting natural history of this overlooked species, as well as stunning close-up pictures of damselflies found in this area.
  • Monday February 15, 2016, 7:00 -9:00 pm | First Unitarian Church (Room 228), 220 S Winton Road, 14610  
  • Friday, February 19, 2016 at 6pm at Cinemapolis in Ithaca, NY. 
    • The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid – A Film About The Loss Of An Ecosystem  It’s an insect few people have heard of - yet it is devastating our hemlock trees and the delicate forest ecosystems that depend upon them.  The hemlock woolly adelgid is infesting our own backyards in upstate New York, and has already spread throughout the east coast of North America from the Carolinas up into Canada.  The Hemlock Woolly Adelgid, aims to engage and educate the viewer on this all too often overlooked invasive species by explaining its past, present, and what could easily be the future if significant action is not taken. Through the use of archival footage of other invasive forest pests, specifically the Emerald Ash Borer, and cinematic visuals, the film illustrates the vital importance of the eastern hemlock tree as a foundation species in North American forests, and raises the questions of what should be done to prevent the spread of the hemlock woolly adelgid and the growing phenomena of invasive species as a whole.  There will be a premiere screening on Friday, February 19, 2016 at 6pm at Cinemapolis in Ithaca, NY.  The film will be followed by a panel discussion on the local impacts of the hemlock woolly adelgid.  The panel will include experts in the field such as, Mark Whitmore, Cornell University Entomologist - Hilary Lambert, Cayuga Watershed Network, Executive Director.
  • Monday, February 22, 2016, 7:00 PM, Brighton Town Hall Auditorium; 2300 Elmwood Avenue, Rochester NY 14618
    • New York State Legislative Approaches to Fight Climate Change; Carole Camp, member of the Citizens Climate Lobby, will discuss A8372, the bill proposing a carbon tax in NYS. Sue Hughes-Smith, lecturer at RIT, will discuss A7497, the bill to require 100% clean energy by 2030. Barbara Grosh, member of LWV-RMA and ‘Mothers Out Front’ will discuss A7625, the bill relating to financial surety for major facilities, vessels, and railroads (Bakken oil). Melissa Carlson, member of ‘Mothers Out Front’, will discuss A8011, the bill to require divesting the State’s public pension funds from fossil fuels companies. Following the presentation, there will be Q & A
  • Sunday, February 28, 2016 9:00 am to 1:00 pm, EcoPark, 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, NY 14624
    • Free Electronics Recycling Event, Monroe County EcoPark, 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, NY 14624. Sponsored by Sen. Joe Robach and in conjunction with Time Warner Cable, Waste Management, Sunnking


  • Tuesday, March 1, 2016 Irondequoit Public Library 1290 Titus Ave, Rochester, NY 14617 5:30p.m.—7:00p.m.
    • Join your neighbors in saving energy | Come to our Solar and Home Energy Workshop  | Please join us to learn about this exciting opportunity to get a free home energy audit and to install solar energy on your home for less. NYSERDA incentives are for both Federal & State tax credits to help support investments in solar. Registration required: Please call 585-442-2030 ext. 213 or email cklee@pathstone.org  They will provide information to the public on the benefits of both solar energy and energy-efficiency, as these are topics that go hand-in-hand in presenting opportunities for saving energy (and money) in people’s homes.  They are free and are sponsored by each of the municipalities hosting the workshops, in addition to the 2 companies providing the presentations.   Food & Drinks will be provided at the Irondequoit workshop only.
  • Wednesday, March 2, 2016, 6:30 PM Where:  Brighton Memorial Library, Friends Learning Center, 2300 Elmwood Avenue
    • FILM PRESENTATION:TRIPLE DIVIDE ColorBrightonGreen.org will finish up its 2016 Film Festival with the movie “Triple Divide”.  This movie is said to be the only documentary of its kind on the controversial subject of fracking capable of speaking to all sides, with exclusive interviews from the industry, experts, and Americans suffering in the wake of shale gas development.  “Its the best movie on fracking to date [using] facts, not fiction or spin” wrote Pennsylvania resident, Robert Donnan.  Academy Award nominated actor Mark Ruffalo co-narrates the film, taking part in the project after being shown an online screener a few weeks before the final release.  The film is co-directed by journalists Joshua Pribanic and Melissa Troutman. --from Color Brighton Green
  • Thursday evening 7 pm March 3, 2016 at the M. K. Gandhi Institute for Non-Violence, 929 S. Plymouth, Rochester
    • Rural Regeneration: Report from the 6th Urgenci International CSA Conference in Beijing Elizabeth Henderson, organic farmer, Peacework Organic CSA, on the board of NOFA-NY I will share the excitement of the 6th International CSA Conference in Beijing where CSA farmers/organizers from all continents exchanged experiences of agroecological projects based on family-scale farms that connect directly with people who want food they can trust. I will highlight outstanding examples of solidarity economics gleaned from many countries and cultures, focusing on what we can learn to improve CSA in the US. I will show photos Erin Bullock and I took of the CSAs and other farms we visited in China, and reflect on the rapid spread of CSAs facilitated by the New Rural Regeneration movement. I will also talk about the role of Urgenci in advocating for family-scale agroecological farming through the civil society mechanism of the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations. Free of charge - all welcome!
  • Friday, March 11, 7:30 pm  Briarwood Building, St. John's Meadows, 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (off Elmwood Ave.), Rochester 14620
    • "The History of Ward's Science"  Presentation  Friday, March 11, 7:30 pm  Briarwood Building, St. John's Meadows, 1 Johnsarbor Dr. (off Elmwood Ave.), Rochester 14620  Sponsored by Burroughs Audubon Nature Club Kelly Smith will share the amazing story of Augustus Ward, founder of Ward's Science, and his travels (seven trips around the world!), as well as his connections with other Rochester notables like Buffalo Bill and P.T. Barnum.
  • Sunday, March 20th, 1:00 to 4:30 PM.    Where: Lake Riley Lodge at Cobbs Hill Park, 100 Norris Drive, Rochester. (Take I-490 to the Culver Rd. exit, and look for the duck pond!)
    • FriendShare 3 - March 20th - Can you come? You are invited to a party, and it will be fun!  Here’s hoping you can come!   The idea is to gather together friends interested in helping create a positive future: “FriendShare.”.  Eat and drink and be merry! But also, talk to people interested in some of the same subjects as yourself- meet kindred spirits.   March 20th is also the first day of spring, which we will celebrate!   What:  FriendShare 3 - A party to give people interested in helping create a positive future an opportunity to meet one another.   When: Sunday, March 20th, 1:00 to 4:30 PM.    Where: Lake Riley Lodge at Cobbs Hill Park, 100 Norris Drive, Rochester. (Take I-490 to the Culver Rd. exit, and look for the duck pond!)   What to bring:  1) Either food or drink (non-alcoholic) to share.  2) Friends to share - people you know who are interested in helping create a positive future.  3) A warm sunny day (if possible!).   Why:  1) Welcome the spring!  2) Meet kindred spirits!  3) Have fun!   Please RSVP to Hank at hstone@rochester.rr.com, and ask friends you invite to let Hank know if they can come.   Who we are: Jaci Ayorinde, Mary Boite, Nanci Deleo, Ina DeSoto, Gloria Osborne, Mike Rudnick, Hank Stone
  • March 30, 2016 Greece Town Hall 1 Vince Tofany Blvd, Rochester, NY 14612 5:30p.m.—7:00p.m.
    • Join your neighbors in saving energy | Come to our Solar and Home Energy Workshop  | Please join us to learn about this exciting opportunity to get a free home energy audit and to install solar energy on your home for less. NYSERDA incentives are for both Federal & State tax credits to help support investments in solar. Registration required: Please call 585-442-2030 ext. 213 or email cklee@pathstone.org  They will provide information to the public on the benefits of both solar energy and energy-efficiency, as these are topics that go hand-in-hand in presenting opportunities for saving energy (and money) in people’s homes.  They are free and are sponsored by each of the municipalities hosting the workshops, in addition to the 2 companies providing the presentations.   Food & Drinks will be provided at the Irondequoit workshop only.



Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.



ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.  

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: Due Date: Before Earth Day, April 22, 2016

    • In just 30 seconds, tell the world what the ‪#‎ParisAgreement‬ means for you http://bit.ly/Means4You ‪#‎Means4Me‬ UN asks: What does Paris climate agreement mean for you? Climate body launches social media campaign to raise profile of global deal ahead of April ceremony The UN is launching a social media blitz to drum up support for last December’s Paris agreement. It calls on politicians, business leaders and citizens to upload a 30-second video on channels like Twitter or Facebook under the hashtags #ParisAgreement and #Means4Me. Almost 200 countries agreed for the first time in 2015 on a global framework to curb carbon emissions. This April, they are invited to sign the document at the UN’s base in New York. For renewable energy companies it might mean new jobs. Health bodies might highlight the benefits of better air quality. Faith leaders might pick up on the moral message. To kick it off, here’s the UN’s top climate official, Christiana Figueres. The campaign runs to 28 February. (February 2, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • ACTION: Due Date:  deadline for submissions for the 2016 Fast Forward Film Festival to February 29th.  

    • From our friends over at the Fast Forward Film Festival:" As you know, this festival is about Rochester’s environmental voice and our first year was this past April. We had great success and the community reaction was very positive! We are now planning this second year, to take place Earth Week in April of 2016, and have made some changes to improve the festival.   One of those changes is the call for films earlier than last year. This year, we are OPENING for film submissions beginning AUGUST 10, 2015 - FEBRUARY 29, 2016. Films can be uploaded via our website at fastforwardroc.org. They are to to be 5 min. short films. More information can be found on the website.   Would you be able to put this in your newsletter beginning the week before August 10 and thereafter? Thank you so very much!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • "The 100% Renewable Now NYS Campaign is beginning to organize! This Campaign is aimed at getting the 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 bill passed by the NYS legislature. This project is anchored in sound science: Read this critical study: “Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight” If your organization wants to be more involved that is welcome.  Also, please call your legislators to ask them to co-sponsor (Assembly - A. 7497 or Senate - S. 5527). And see:  The Solutions Project (especially New York) to sign your organization up as a supporter.  Please help in this way!" (If someone in your group wants to attend some meetings in October to hammer out strategy and organizational details, contact me and I’ll get you in touch with the group organizing this issue in our region.) 
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Just about the last thing Henrietta needs is to chew up a wildlife area for more development. Sign a petition to Save Beckwith Park. "Save Beckwith Park Neighbors working together to save 12.8 acres of wild land in Henrietta, New York Since 1965, this scenic wildlife area has been a treasure for many families in Henrietta, New York. The Catholic Diocese of Rochester is in the process of selling this beautiful land to a developer, who intends to put single-family houses on the property. In a grassroots effort to save the land, neighbors and friends have banded together to stop the development of the land that makes our neighborhood our home.  "Consider signing this petition to save undeveloped land in Henrietta, NY. To find out more watch this short TV coverage on Channel 10.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Our home environments can be healthy. Help get the word out. This from Elizabeth McDade, Program Manager Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning c/o Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency 1150 University Ave. Rochester, NY 14609 (585) 224-3125 www.letsmakeleadhistory.org "The newly revised Healthy Homes Guides have arrived and I need YOUR help to get this cubical emptied by Labor Day. HELP! If you need some resource guide books or can help distribute Healthy Homes, Healthy Families POSTERS, please contact Elizabeth McDade elizabethmcdade@flhsa.org  (585) 224-3125 Also, feel free to share this link to the Resource Guide book
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
  • 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!
    • 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!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post



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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...

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  • 2/11/2016 - Overturning smoking restrictions in state parks is stupid. Most of what we pick up at park pickups is cigarette butts. And that’s with restrictions in place. Our environment, our life support system, is not your ashtray. Court Battle Over Smoking Restrictions In State Parks New York's highest court is considering whether to overturn smoking restrictions in state parks, including an outright ban at several smaller parks in New York City.  Attorney Edward Paltzik, representing a smokers' rights group, argues that parks officials exceeded their authority, and the decision should be left to the Legislature, which has enacted outdoor smoking bans at playgrounds and train platforms. (February 11, 2016) WXXI News

  • 2/11/2016 - Plastic microbeads are being phased out, but microplastics (tiny plastics that aren’t microbeads) may be a worse problem. 165 Million Plastic Particles Are Floating in Waters Surrounding New York City | NY/NJ Baykeeper has released the results from a plastic collection study detailing the sizes, types and concentrations of plastic pollution within New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary waters. The Harbor Estuary encompasses the Ports of New York and New Jersey, as far north as the Tappan Zee Bridge and as far south as Sandy Hook Bay. NY/NJ Baykeeper’s results represent one of the first examinations of plastic pollution within waters surrounding New York City. Based on NY/NJ Baykeeper’s estimates, at least 165 million plastic particles are floating within New York-New Jersey Harbor Estuary waters at any given time. The average abundance of plastic particles is 256,322 per square kilometer. (February 10, 2016) EcoWatch

  • 2/11/2016 - This is an updated report from our government to the world on what the US knows about Climate Change and how its agencies view the role of Climate Change in their departments. Like it or not, the US is preparing for Climate Change because it freaking has to. Why doesn’t our US politics reflect what’s in this report? Our Changing Planet: The U.S. Global Change Research Program for Fiscal Year 2016 This FY 2016 edition of Our Changing Planet, USGCRP's annual report, summarizes the Program's significant advancements toward achieving its scientific goals, delivering on its Congressional mandate, supporting the President’s Climate Action Plan, and building a knowledge base that effectively informs human responses to global change. It includes an overview of the USGCRP research enterprise and recent highlights that demonstrate progress on the 2012–2021 Strategic Plan. The report also spotlights progress in interagency research priority areas that intersect with the Climate Action Plan, such as climate predictions, drought and other hydrologic extremes, and actionable science. The highlights in this Our Changing Planet report represent the broad spectrum of USGCRP activities that extend from Earth system observations, modeling, and fundamental research through synthesis and assessment, decision support, education, and public engagement.  The U.S. Global Change Research Program (USGCRP)

  • 2/11/2016 - There’s an historical battle still going on as to whether humanity can solve Climate Change. That battle is amongst ourselves, instead of the battle to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change. Win or lose that battle amongst ourselves, at this late date it may not matter because the window of opportunity is running out. Supreme Court Halts Clean Power Plan, with Implications Far Beyond the U.S. The surprise decision threatens the credibility of the Paris climate change treaty that was reached by the world's nations in December. (February 10, 2016) Inside Climate News

  • 2/10/2016 - ACTION: In just 30 seconds, tell the world what the ‪#‎ParisAgreement‬ means for you http://bit.ly/Means4You  ‪#‎Means4Me‬ UN asks: What does Paris climate agreement mean for you? Climate body launches social media campaign to raise profile of global deal ahead of April ceremony The UN is launching a social media blitz to drum up support for last December’s Paris agreement. It calls on politicians, business leaders and citizens to upload a 30-second video on channels like Twitter or Facebook under the hashtags #ParisAgreement and #Means4Me. Almost 200 countries agreed for the first time in 2015 on a global framework to curb carbon emissions. This April, they are invited to sign the document at the UN’s base in New York. For renewable energy companies it might mean new jobs. Health bodies might highlight the benefits of better air quality. Faith leaders might pick up on the moral message. To kick it off, here’s the UN’s top climate official, Christiana Figueres. The campaign runs to 28 February. (February 2, 2016) Climate Home

  • 2/10/2016 - We throw out far too much food because we think it is not pretty and the result ain’t pretty. Food and Field Notes: Buy Me, I’m Ugly- Restoring Healthy Beauty Standards to Fruits and Veggies They’re flawless — with perfect, blemish-free skin. If they’re too big or too small, they won’t make the cut. We nitpick their flaws, and scrutinize their appearance in spite of what might be hiding beneath their skin. I’m not talking about supermodels – I’m talking about the produce we buy in supermarkets.Beyonce has it right —“Perfection is the disease of a nation,” and it runs rampant in many, often unexamined, facets of our personal choices, including the foods we cherry pick at the grocery store. In recent years, unhealthy and unrealistic body standards depicted in the media have come under much scrutiny. The message is simple: beauty extends far beyond the molds of what we see on magazine covers and in movies. But we rarely stop to apply the same notion to the foods we eat. Although the unrealistic cosmetic standards we expect from produce may not result in low veggie self-esteem, it does have severe negative impacts on our food system. (February 2, 2016) Happenings the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute

  • 2/10/2016 - As we attempt to address Climate Change we have to consider whether some of our native plants and animals have a chance anyway. If our region is warming up faster than our historical plants and wildlife can adapt, should we be trying to save them? A preservationist’s attitude towards our environment may have to give way to new practicality: We might not be able to preserve some native species no matter what we do because our warmer climate is inhospitable to them.  As our resources and our time becomes more dire, we may have to choose which species we have to say goodbye to because we waited too long to save them. As we move further into Climate Change, saving the integrity of vital ecosystems will become much more urgent than saving individual species. We may pay a high penalty for procrastination. Climate Change Is Leaving Native Plants Behind Willis Linn Jepson encountered a squat shrub while he was collecting botanical specimens on California’s Mount Tamalpais in the fall of 1936. He trimmed off a few branches and jotted down the location along the ridge trail where the manzanita grew, 2,255 feet above sea level. The desiccated specimen is now part of an herbarium here that’s named for the famed botanist. It was among hundreds of thousands of specimens of thousands of different species that were used recently to track the movement of plant species up the state’s many hills. The results of the analysis warn that native plants are struggling to keep up with changes around them as pollution from fuel burning and deforestation continues to warm the planet. Earlier research into the movement of Californian animals shows they’re shifting more quickly than the native plants. (February 8, 2016) Climate Central

  • 2/10/2016 - Trying to put a price on Nature is not only impossible it’s absurd though the hubris of an economists is infinite. What does an economist know about the value of an ecosystem? Of our future? What can an institution that has treated our life support systems as an externality tell us about the value of any part of that life support system?  Asking an economist about the price we should be placing on Nature would be like asking a sheep farmer how to save wolves.  Please.  Economists keep saying we should put a price on nature. Now they’ve finally done it Putting a price on nature may seem like an impossible task, but economists believe that finding a way to calculate the value of natural resources is crucial when it comes to deciding whether our use of a resource is sustainable. Natural resources are capital assets, economists have argued, in the same way that land, buildings and stocks are considered assets — and spending money to protect these resources should be viewed as an investment in the future rather than just another cost. (February 8, 2016) The Washington Post

  • 2/08/2016 - Pretty neat: From our NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman on his commitment to address Climate Change. Nice to see our public officials get out in front of our issues, instead of waiting for them to overwhelm us. Combatting Climate Change "Whether you live in Monroe County, Manhattan, or Montauk, you’ve probably noticed the impact of climate change on your community. Major storms—along with the flooding and the damage they cause—cost taxpayers billions in rebuilding costs, while the pollutant emissions that give rise to climate change are presenting a clear and present danger to our health and environment and to our children and grandchildren. That’s why I am committed to leading the fight to combat climate change."  NYS Attorney General Eric Schneiderman

  • 2/08/2016 - And so, I suspect, is the dismal pace at which humanity is addressing this existential Climate Change threat unprecedented. Current pace of environmental change is unprecedented in Earth’s history University of Bristol Cabot Institute researchers and their colleagues today published research that further documents the unprecedented rate of environmental change occurring today, compared to that which occurred during natural events in Earth’s history. The research, published online on 4 January in Nature Geoscience reconstructs the changes in atmospheric carbon dioxide (pCO2) during a global environmental change event that occurred about 120 Million years ago. New geochemical data provide evidence thatpCO2 increased in response to volcanic outgassing and remained high for around 1.5-2 million years, until enhanced organic matter burial in an oxygen-poor ocean caused a return to original levels. (February 4, 2016) University of Bristol

  • 2/08/2016 - So if we install a climate denier to President’s office, do we call off war game climate change scenarios and leave ourselves unprepared? Or would a climate denier President keep the war games on and call them something else and just keep quiet about the “Climate Change” part? If we elect a climate denier President are we all going to have to keep wondering how our leader will address something the new President doesn’t believe in? Maybe the new climate denier President will just give up on denial altogether because it would be too impossible to do their job. However, we won’t have to worry about this if we elect a President who not only believes in the science behind Climate Change, but is ready to plan and get the public ready for those plans. US military to war game climate change threats New directive from Pentagon calls for climate focus at all levels of armed forces; urging commanders to prepare troops for operations in extreme conditions US military planners have been ordered to war game climate change scenarios, focusing on “geopolitical and socioeconomic instability” linked to extreme weather. A new directive says forces need to undertake joint training exercises with allies to “enhance capacity” and “improve tactics” for tackling impacts linked to global warming. (February 8, 2016) Climate Home

  • 2/08/2016 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter February 07, 2016 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

  • 2/08/2016 - True, “it would make little sense to tax oil companies with one hand while subsidizing them with the other…” So in order to fund our aging transportation systems and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, it would make sense to both take away the subsidies for oil companies and then “impose a $10 tax on every barrel of oil.” If we are actually looking for solutions to Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter, we need to make dramatic actions like what President Obama proposes. If we make only proposals that Congress will pass, we’re going to cook. Obama's Oil Tax: A Conversation Starter About Climate and Transportation, but a Non-Starter in Congress The proposal to rev up transportation investment and tap the brakes on emissions won't pass a Republican-led Congress, but it does ignite a discussion. resident Obama's proposal to impose a $10 tax on every barrel of oil and spend the money on advances in transportation is one of the most comprehensive attempts yet to address the climate impacts of moving people and freight from place to place. Linking climate policy and public works programs, however, is attempting to pave the way for a project not yet shovel-ready. (February 5, 2016) Inside Climate News

  • 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.

  • 2/06/2016 - Which makes me think, it would be nice to know how our recycling efforts are going in Rochester and Monroe County lately. How much of what residents should be recycling actually gets recycled? What percent of residential recycling goes to the right place—and not our landfills? How do our recycling rate figures compare with other cities, other countries? Is it even possible to compare recycling rates with other regions, meaning is every community using the same metrics?  In other words, is our recycling real or it is a fantasy? If our recycling is a fantasy, so are hopes for the future.  No — your recycling is not just going to the landfill. Well, most of it isn’t. Pittsburgh's Jana Thompson takes her recycling pretty seriously. She’s even been known to pry the unrecyclable spouts off otherwise recyclable dishwashing detergent bottles. And check out her recycling bin, and those clear plastic salad tubs are stacked as neatly as a set of Russian dolls. “Well, I do nest,” Thompson says, laughing. “But if you put two of those [in there], and you don’t nest, there’s no room left—even in a big garbage can.” Still, despite all the care she puts into it, when it finally comes time to lug her recycling bin out to the curb, she admits sometimes a certain nagging little doubt creeps into her mind. (February 4, 2016) Innovative Trail

  • 2/06/2016 - Check out Genesee RiverWatch's first newsletter of 2016 “In 2013, CEI launched the Genesee RiverWatch to provide a way for the citizens of the region to get involved, to increase use of and commitment to the river and to grow the sources and levels of funding available to address water quality issues. Our work is just getting started but we have made significant progress.” CEI’s Genesee RiverWatch.

  • 2/05/2016 - Spending billions to protect our drinking water may seem like a lot of money until you cannot drink the water. Climate Change brings more heavy precipitation events in the Great Lakes region and that means our drinking water will be threatened more by combined sewer overflows until sewer systems around the Great Lakes are updated. This will cost a lot of money and the more the public learns about this threat the more likely they are to support governmental efforts to address this looming crisis. Be nice if this article mentioned the Climate Change connection so the public could connect the dots. Billions Needed To Protect Drinking Water Federal regulators say nearly $80 billion is needed over the next 20 years to reduce sewage overflows and protect drinking water in the Great Lakes region. An organization that lobbies for increased Great Lakes funding says that number comes from a recent U.S. Environmental Protection Agency report on the nation's water infrastructure. (February 5, 2016) WXXI News

  • 2/05/2016 - Great opportunity to catch up on Climate Change: Cornell University Climate Change Seminar Series The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent this bulletin on 02/04/2016 09:00 AM EST Cornell University Climate Change Seminar Series: Perspectives on the Climate Change Challenge FREE AND OPEN TO THE PUBLIC Spring 2016 - Mondays 3:35-4:35 p.m. starting February 8th - May 9, 2016 (except for 2/15 and 3/28) On Campus: BEE 2000, in 233 Plant Science Building Webex Option available for Distance Participation:  This university-wide seminar provides important views on the critical issue of climate change, drawing from many perspectives and disciplines. Experts from both Cornell University and other institutions will present an overview of the science of climate change and climate change models, the implications for agriculture, ecosystems, and food systems, and provide important economic, ethical, and policy insights on the issue. The seminar is being organized and sponsored by the Department of Biological and Environmental Engineering, the Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, and the Atkinson Center for a Sustainable Future. The seminar is free and open to the Cornell and Ithaca Community at large, and will be videotaped. There is a live WebEx for distance participation, and the WebEx presentations will be recorded as well.  For More information, see: . (from The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) )

  • 2/05/2016 - It’s hard to believe that there were no plastic packaging before 1950 and now it (plastics that we discard) may be suffocating our life support system. There May Soon Be More Plastic in the Oceans Than Fish Discarded plastic will outweigh fish in the world's oceans by 2050, according to a report from the Ellen MacArthur Foundation. That is, unless overfishing moves the date up sooner. The study, a collaboration with the World Economic Forum, found that 32 percent of plastic packaging escapes waste collection systems, gets into waterways, and is eventually deposited in the oceans. That percentage is expected to increase in coming years, given that the fastest growth in plastic production is expected to occur in "high leakage" markets—developing countries where sanitation systems are often unreliable. The data used in the report comes from a review of more than 200 studies and interviews with 180 experts. (January 29, 2016) Mother Jones

  • 2/03/2016 - We should not threaten the Great Lakes ecosystem with a nuclear waste site nearby. It’s crazy reckless. Group opposed to nuclear waste facility presents petition containing 92,000 signatures As a single individual, it's often hard to imagine that you can affect national events. But if you join together with 92,000 others, your impact can grow. That's the hope of Beverly Fernandez, founder of Stop the Great Lakes Nuclear Dump, the nonprofit organization dedicated to derailing the plans of Ontario Power Generation to bury 200,000 cubic yards of low- and intermediate-level nuclear waste in a 2,200-foot-deep repository in Kincardine, Ontario, within a mile of Lake Huron. (February 2, 2016) The Voice

  • 2/03/2016 - This is awkward: What if the US does install a Climate Change denier into office? What will the world think of us if we do? Will all the departments of government who helped write the National Climate Assessment have to disavow it? Will the US military that fully understands their role in addressing and planning for the consequences of Climate Change have to stand down? Will the worldwide leadership the US has provided to get Paris Agreement agreed upon dissolve in the face of American climate denial and send the world plummeting towards unsustainability? Our votes are really, really going to matter in the next US presidential election. Clashing climate visions in Iowa sets the tone for US leadership race  As US presidential candidates sought to win over Iowans Monday evening, voters were given a taste of what lies ahead for the race to the White House, as contenders landed miles apart on climate. Leading up to yesterday’s caucuses in Iowa – the first state to hold a vote – Democratic frontrunners flagged the urgency of acting on climate, with Hillary Clinton aiming to dismantle skepticism and Bernie Sanders placing emphasis on taxing carbon. Among Republican contenders, views ranged from acknowledging climate change but downplaying its priority to fully dismissing the science behind the notion. Some candidates have even pushed to pull the US out of the Paris Agreement. (February 3, 2016) tcktcktck

  • 2/03/2016 - One of the consequences of institutions like FEMA using climate data for preparedness is the realization that many of the costs of climate-related damages are preventable. This is to say that any institution that insures people and their property from damages caused in part by Climate Change are going to want people and government to do much more to prepare and prevent the consequences of Climate Change. If communities don’t plan for and address for Climate Change then institutions like FEMA and insurance companies can be quickly overwhelmed as extreme weather increases. Even if your leaders are climate deniers and don’t plan for Climate Change, they are going to have to accept help from bigger government—until bigger government, the insurer of last resort, cannot oblige. Climate Data Now Key to Disaster Preparedness, First Responders Say Emergency response organizations like FEMA are using climate forecasts to prepare for the increase in weather-related disasters. Climate change—and the extreme weather associated with it—is changing the way U.S. emergency response organizations operate, from how they spend their money to where they pre-position resources, a panel of military, emergency and climate science experts said Monday. "We pay a lot of money to have our military prepared to do something we really don't want them to have to do: go to war," said Joseph Nimmich, deputy administrator of the Federal Emergency Management Agency. "Well, we also need a FEMA and national infrastructure to deal with those catastrophic events we hope never happen… but are inevitable." (February 2, 2015) Inside Climate News

  • 2/03/2016 - We are paying a very high cost—Climate Change, money, and public health—for polluting our ocean of air. That delicate thin membrane of air that encases our planet with life has been too long used as our trash heap. The staggering economic cost of air pollution Air pollution caused by energy production in the U.S. caused at least $131 billion in damages in the year 2011 alone, a new analysis concludes — but while the number sounds grim, it’s also a sign of improvement.  (January 29, 2016) The Washington Post

  • 2/02/2016 - I suspect this disinclination to adjust our lifestyles to address Climate Change prevails among developed nations. It seems hypocritical to support the Paris Agreement and other goals to address Climate Change and yet refuse to make those changes ourselves, but it’s more complicated. Because of the wholesale nature of Climate Change, the changes that are needed to bring down the planet’s temperature and deal with the accumulated myriad environmental challenges require actions on a scale and speed that will actually matter. Sure we should all do our part—recycling, walk instead of drive a gas guzzler, use solar power instead of fossil fuel electric—and many of us do. But mostly these actions by a relatively few are not going to make the kind of changes needed. We need to get all of New York State, all of the US and the world to shift to renewable energy and the invisible hand just won’t do it. The invisible hand is being supported by billionaires and powerful groups who don’t want our economy and our energy structure to change—so it becomes a very hard burden to buy solar and drive electric for many.  It’s going to take stopping more fossil fuel pipelines, more bomb trains and set the table for renewable energy infrastructure not continually setting the table for a dirty infrastructure. We need to get everyone onboard with these enormous changes so that our way of life quickly shifts to a sustainable one from an unsustainable one. We need a change of politics, of economy, and of attitudes on a grand scale because old environmental ethics, where we just focus on the actions of a few to change their way of life, isn’t going to work in a time frame and scale that will matter. I suspect, humans being humans, when they see that our energy options are renewable across the board and our way of travel doesn’t pollute the atmosphere, folks will quickly shift to helping the planet. I don’t think so many folks in the developed world are hypocritical as they are interested in being part of a shift that everyone else is a part of that will actually make a change. If our media and leaders demonstrated that they are talking all of us on a journey to live a sustainable existence, a sizable proportion of society would get on board. If addressing Climate Change is going to be left to the few, as has been this history of environmental movements, while the rest of humanity doesn’t feel involved at all, things will go business as usual. Two-fifths of Britons 'unwilling to make any changes to tackle global warming' Despite widespread concern about climate change, many people are unwilling to do anything to help prevent it, survey finds Two-fifths of Britons are unwilling to make any changes to their lifestyle to help combat the threat of climate change, a survey has found. Despite more than 80 per cent of Britons saying they are concerned about the impacts global warming will have on the UK, 40 per cent said they were not willing to make any personal changes to help address the problem, research by solar panel manufacturer REC found. Previous studies have found widespread support for the UK signing up to international goals to curb carbon emissions, such as the Paris Agreement signed in December. (February 1, 2016) The Telegraph

  • 2/02/2016 - Considering that Climate Change is the mother of all problems, we ought to get to know this existential phenomenon better. Maybe if we could put another Earth right beside our warming Earth and compare what Earth would look like without Climate Change, we might get a full appreciation of what baking a planet with 7 billion humans inside looks like. Until we get that kind of comparison, graphs will have to do. Climate change in charts: from record global temperatures to science denial The world’s hottest year on record has prompted much media coverage. But there haven’t been enough charts and graphs Much has been written about climate change in recent months, what with that record-breaking hot year we just had and the qualified success of the Paris climate talks. But if there’s one criticism I’d have of the media coverage, it’s this. Not enough graphs. (February 1, 2016) The Guardian

  • 2/01/2016 - From our friends over at Pachamama Rochester, their “2016 February 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

  • 2/01/2016 - Are biofuels, even third and fourth generation, the answer to Energy and Climate Change? The future of biofuels In the efforts to decarbonize the transportation industry, vehicles with varying degrees of electrification get most of the attention. But liquid fuels will predominate a while longer thanks to the delivery infrastructure circling the globe, dispensing fuels that contain significantly more energy per kg than batteries. That leaves a gap for a clean liquid fuel which is quietly being filled with biofuels. They are clearly controversial, but are they getting the respect they deserve? Given how much is at stake here, perhaps it’s time to take a closer look… eniday

  • 2/01/2016 - What happens if the developed nations renege on their promises to fund the Green Climate Fund? Nothing? Australia starves green fund, denting climate credibility The budget for Canberra’s main climate policy is set to run out this year, leaving emissions to rise Australia is choking off support for its main climate policy, casting doubt on Canberra’s green commitment. There are no plans to extend the A$2.55 billion (US$1.8bn) Emissions Reduction Fund after it runs out, expected to happen later this year. Finance minister Mathias Cormann told the Australian newspaper future budgets could support the scheme – which offers incentives for businesses to invest in energy efficiency. The government will review its green arsenal in 2017, potentially introducing new policies by 2018/19. Meanwhile, greenhouse gas emissions are forecast to grow. (February 1, 2016) Climate Home

  • 2/01/2016 - Not to be unappreciative of efforts to capture greenhouse gas emissions, but shouldn’t we be recycling trash not burning it? Our waste, our trash, is an excellent resource for new products. Organics, food waste, should be composted so that ‘waste’ gets put back into our soils and making keeping our ecosystems healthy. Oslo trash incinerator starts experiment to slow climate change Oslo's main waste incinerator began the world's first experiment to capture carbon dioxide from the fumes of burning rubbish on Monday, hoping to develop technology to enlist the world's trash in slowing global warming. The test at the Klemetsrud incinerator, which burns household and industrial waste, is a step beyond most efforts to capture and bury greenhouse gases at coal-fired power plants or factories using fossil fuels. "I hope Oslo can show other cities that it's possible" to capture emissions from trash, Oslo Mayor Marianne Borgen said at an opening ceremony at the Klemetsrud waste-to-energy incinerator which generates heat to warm buildings in the city. (January 25, 2016) Reuters

  • 2/01/2016 - A candidate that doesn’t believe in the science behind Climate Change is unfit for office.  With Climate Change all presidential candidates have constituents to answer to. SOUTH FLORIDA IS SINKING. WHERE IS MARCO RUBIO? Senator Marco Rubio, a Republican from Florida and 2016 Republican presidential candidate, is a climate change denier. His hometown of Miami is slowly being overtaken by the ocean eroding due to rising sea levels. (January 28, 2016) Newsweek

  • 1/29/2016 - One of the little horrors baked into most climate plans is the admission that lots more pesticides will be needed to protect our food in the future. Warmer climates bring more crop pests. The solution should be to change our farming practices so that they are organic and make our soil healthy. But the horror is that most folks are going to zero in on the panic to get more food and therefore using any ways available to create more food. And the pesticide industry is ready and willing to avalanche our soil with toxic pesticides, which get into our food, which is to say our bodies, and then wash off into our water and wreak havoc on our ecosystems. If we planned properly and responsibly for Climate Change, we would be doing everything to produce food with as little pesticides as possible—not ignore this issue and end up poisoning our future. Cumulative Risks From Pesticides Getting Look from EFSA Cumulative risks from pesticides that may affect the thyroid and nervous systems are the subject a new pilot study underway at the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA). With its European Union partners, EFSA has developed a software tool for carrying out exposure assessments on multiple pesticides. The results of these assessments will be published by the end of this year, and will be considered by EFSA when it produces two scientific reports on cumulative risk assessments for the thyroid and the nervous systems in 2017. (January 28, 2016) Food Safety News

  • 1/29/2015 - Study says we could get all our electricity by Wind and Solar by 2030 but study doesn’t say we’re screwed if we don’t. There are still many optimistic projections about for humanity if we move quickly, incredibly quickly, to renewable energy. But each day in the news we find that gas prices are dropping and folks are driving like crazy and the greenhouse gas levels keep going up. At some point we are going to see optimistic projections about what we can still do to bring down greenhouse gases to a safe level disappear because the ‘carrot’ didn’t work and only the ‘stick’ is left. US electricity could be powered mostly by the sun and wind by 2030: Rapid, affordable energy transformation possible The United States could slash greenhouse gas emissions from power production by up to 78 percent below 1990 levels within 15 years while meeting increased demand, according to a new study by NOAA and University of Colorado Boulder researchers. The study used a sophisticated mathematical model to evaluate future cost, demand, generation and transmission scenarios. It found that with improvements in transmission infrastructure, weather-driven renewable resources could supply most of the nation's electricity at costs similar to today's. (January 25, 2016) Science Daily

  • 1/28/2016 - Cases like Flint destroys the public’s trust in science when the media doesn’t do its job. Science should not be confused with science denial by the public or there will be no hope. The scientific method is one of the greatest tools humanity has ever developed for survival and the public cannot let that be taken from them by a few who have a vested interest in science denial. If our media were continually reporting and investigating on what science tells us then the public wouldn’t even be listening to climate deniers and science deniers. One of the major reasons why the public might be distrusting science is that media has given too much credence to science deniers and those trying to sway the public to act not in their own interests. The media needs to reset its priorities so that science and news in the public interest rules—not trying to pander to those funding our media with the most money. How cases like Flint destroy public trust in science As the investigation into the water crisis in Flint, Mich., continues to unfold, disturbing reports have arisen that raise questions about the integrity of government science agencies and their possible engagement in scientific misconduct or even outright science denial. It’s a component of the story that may represent the next major blow to public trust in science — a problem that is linked to everything from doubt over the existence of anthropogenic climate change to worries over the safety of vaccines.  (January 27, 2016) The Washington Post

  • 1/28/2016 - Money for flood defense barrier may remain years away, but sea level rise from Climate Change isn’t years away. As it has been true for billions of years on this planet, you either adapt in time or you don’t live to see another day. If the public doesn’t feel a sense of urgency, a responsibility to adapt to Climate Change in a timely fashion, they can blame themselves and their media for not keeping them informed of important stuff when the shit hits the fan. Our media must prioritize Climate Change so the public and their officials can act to adapt on a scale and time frame that will matter. Flood defense barrier remains years away Despite $600M in support there's still not enough in pot After ocean waters poured into lower Manhattan during Superstorm Sandy, experts began dreaming up a solution: a U-shaped barrier of earthen berms, walls and gates that would keep floods out and the nation's financial capital dry. Now, more than three years later, a version of that idea has stacked up over $600 million in backing, including a $176 million shot in the arm from the federal government last week. But it is still hundreds of millions of dollars and several years away from being finished. (January 27, 2016) Albany Times Union

  • 1/28/2016 - The lead poisoning fiasco in Flint reverberates in Rochester—and everywhere else when public services go wrong. That our Rochester mayor has to answer to our community’s water issues is more of a media and political issue radiating out of Flint, Michigan than any specific water problems in our area. Rochester is a known leader in addressing lead poisoning. But the problem in Flint highlights how quickly the media and the public respond when their basic infrastructures are threatened. When you cannot get fresh clean water, or use our roads, or any of the public services we depend on, you will hold your public servants accountable. This is why adapting to Climate Chang is so important. It is why planning for Climate Change is so important. When things go wrong that we depend on, our officials will be held accountable. But on the other hand it is the public’s responsibility to make sure their public officials are continually protecting our public infrastructures—especially that they are now more vulnerable due to Climate Change. Much of the climate disruption due to Climate Change doesn’t have to happening if we plan and prepare properly. Gantt Seeks Assurances About Safety of Rochester's Tap Water When Mayor Lovely Warren testified at a joint legislative budget hearing in Albany Tuesday, her mind was on securing more state aid for Rochester. But Assemblyman David Gantt wanted assurances that the city's water supply is safe. Gantt said he is concerned after hearing recent reports about lead contamination in the tap water of Flint, Michigan.  Gantt asked Warren if there are still lead pipes distributing water throughout the city. The mayor’s budget director replied that some of the lead pipes had been replaced. Gantt then questioned whether that applied to the pipes running through the city’s poorest neighborhoods. (January 27, 2016) WXXI News

  • 1/28/2016 - We should be seriously ramping up our Climate Change adaptations actions because there will be major climate disruptions despite our best mitigation efforts. There will be a severe procrastination penalty as we continue business as usual—until the bill is so high we cannot ever pay it. Scientists Warn Against Economic Disruption from Climate Change Impacts Will Be With Us for Many Decades,Says WMO Head The trend for increasingly extreme and frequent weather matching climate change forecasts has been put into stark perspective by the latest data while the economic impact of one of the strongest El Nino's on record is acting as a red warning light of worse to come, if the world does not act fast enough to cut the concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Drawing on consolidated analysis of the world’s major meteorological agencies, the World Meteorological Organization (WMO) has confirmed that the global average surface temperature in 2015 broke all previous records by a wide margin. For the first time on record, temperatures in 2015 were about 1°C above the pre-industrial era. (January 25, 2016) UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

  • 1/27/2016 - Meetings in Albany, Long Island, Syracuse and Buffalo (but not Rochester) will discuss 3’ set back rule for rooftop solar panels NYS. Regardless of where you stand on this solar/safety issue this new rule could dramatically affect solar power in New York State. Discussions about this issue should include Rochester, NY also. Error clouds fire-safety regulations for solar The future of proposed rules limiting rooftop space for solar panels in New York will depend on whether the state accepts national standards that were published by mistake, the Poughkeepsie Journalhas learned. The state's Fire Prevention and Building Code Council is weighing new codes that would require a 3-foot setback from the edge of residential rooftops to allow safe access for firefighters. But the model rules were published in error in 2014 by the International Code Council, a group that develops building and fire-prevention codes for structures. The council's codes, more commonly known as the "I-Codes," serve as a template for states and federal agencies. All 50 states have adopted them at some level. An official for a statewide solar industry association that opposes the changes said the group only became aware of the publishing issue following an inquiry by the Journal. The group estimates the restrictions could reduce the available rooftop space in New York by 40 percent or more. (January 24, 2016) Poughkeepsie Journal

  • 1/27/2016 - Putting a climate denier into public office is like putting an antelope to watch the henhouse; they just don’t have a clue what to do. Florida Mayors Want To Give Bush And Rubio A Climate Science Lesson South Florida is one of the most vulnerable regions in the nation to the effects of climate change. But you wouldn’t know that listening to the two Republican presidential candidates who have held office in Florida, Jeb Bush and Marco Rubio. Now, a group of Florida mayors are taking Florida Senator Rubio and former Governor Bush to task on their climate denial. Fifteen mayors from cities in South Florida — including Miami, West Palm Beach, and Fort Lauderdale — sent letters to Rubio and Bush this week, calling on them to “acknowledge the reality and urgency of climate change and to address the upcoming crisis it presents our communities” and to meet with them within the next month to discuss climate change. “Ignoring climate science and doubling down on fossil fuels will only make the climate crisis more rapid and expensive,” the mayors write in their letter to Bush. “With the presidential election fast approaching, it is critical that your positions on these issues are well informed by the experience of our communities.” (January 26, 2016) Think Progress/Climate Progress

  • 1/27/2016 - If we are to adapt adequately for Climate Change, we need to repair and update our infrastructures and it will cost. EPA Survey Shows $271 Billion Needed for Nation’s Wastewater Infrastructure The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) today released a survey showing that $271 billion is needed to maintain and improve the nation’s wastewater infrastructure, including the pipes that carry wastewater to treatment plants, the technology that treats the water, and methods for managing stormwater runoff. The survey is a collaboration between EPA, states, the District of Columbia, Puerto Rico, and other U.S. territories. To be included in the survey, projects must include a description and location of a water quality-related public health problem, a site-specific solution, and detailed information on project cost. (January 13, 2016) US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)