Updated Daily 3/24/2017 RochesterEnvironment.com
Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."
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.
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.
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
This short video about addressing Climate Change from friend and dedicated advocate for strong action on Climate Change. Paul’s message, the importance of showing up and demonstrating that you care about our people and our planet, will get you moving. Imagine if we all felt and ACTED towards our life support system as Paul. RT. Please make Paul’s message go viral. #StandUpForScience #climatechangeshealth ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange
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
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.
This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter March 19, 2017 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free. Click Subscribe
Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:
My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change. Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word. Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change.
Posted Today - Friday, March 24, 2017
Trump State Department to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline Permit by Monday Nearly a decade after it first applied for a presidential permit, TransCanada is getting the green light from the Trump administration for its $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. POLITICO reported that the U.S. State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, Tom Shannon, will approve by Monday the cross-border permit needed for the project to proceed. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO, recused himself from the Keystone decision since Exxon stands to profit from the pipeline. The Keystone XL was blocked by President Obama two years ago because the pipeline would "not serve the national interests" of the United States. (March 23, 2017) EcoWatch [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]
White House: Trump isn’t considering a carbon tax The Trump administration isn’t considering advocating for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, a White House official said Wednesday. The official sought to clarify the administration’s position after White House press secretary Sean Spicer seemed to be unclear on the matter at a Tuesday press briefing. “I think there's a robust debate going on with respect to comprehensive tax reform,” Spicer said in response to a reporter’s question on whether a carbon tax is under consideration by President Trump. (March 22, 2017) The Hill [more on Climate Change in our area]
Local governments voice solutions on toxic algae threat Lake Erie is the heart of Northern Ohio communities, and with warm weather approaching, the need to protect the waterway becomes a necessity, Elyria Fifth Ward Councilman Marcus Madison said. The Ohio Environmental Council’s Director of Clean Water Adam Rissien, Madison and Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer gathered together on World Water Day, March 22, at the Lorain Port Authority, 319 Black River Lane, to discuss solutions on toxic algae. (3/22/2017) The Morning Journal News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]
Without Naming Trump, UN Acknowledges Retreat on Climate Secretary-general says businesses will take up the task Trump is pushing to dismantle federal environmental programs The United Nations is acknowledging that some countries may be retreating in the effort to fight climate change, recognizing an emerging fissure in the landmark Paris Agreement as U.S. President Donald Trump moves forward with plans to gut environmental programs. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who assumed leadership of the international body this year, told delegates at UN headquarters in New York that he remained optimistic that any withdrawal by national leaders will be offset by businesses and local governments that have pledged to continue cutting emissions. (March 23, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]
Gulf of Mexico waters are freakishly warm, which could mean explosive springtime storms Water temperatures at the surface of the Gulf of Mexico and near South Florida are on fire. They spurred a historically warm winter from Houston to Miami and could fuel intense thunderstorms in the spring from the South to the Plains. In the Gulf, the average sea surface temperature never fell below 73 degrees over the winter for the first time on record, reported Eric Berger of Ars Technica. Galveston, Tex., has tied or broken an astonishing 33 record highs since Nov. 1, while neighboring Houston had its warmest winter on record. Both cities have witnessed precious few days with below-normal temperatures since late fall. (March 22, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]
Global warming is increasing rainfall rates A new study looks at the complex relationship between global warming and increased precipitation The world is warming because humans are emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases. We know this for certain; the science on this question is settled. Humans emit greenhouse gases, those gases should warm the planet, and we know the planet is warming. All of those statements are settled science. Okay so what? Well, we would like to know what the implications are. Should we do something about it or not? How should we respond? How fast will changes occur? What are the costs of action compared to inaction? These are all areas of active research. (March 22, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
The State Dept. Rewrote Its Climate Change Page Within a day of Rex Tillerson’s swearing in as secretary of state, the State Department’s climate change website began to change. The changes signal a shift away from leading international climate actions that the Obama administration pursued and a pivot toward a more passive role. The Environmental Data Governance Initiative tracked the changes to the Office of Global Change web page and shared them with Climate Central. They are the first changes to the State Department site documented by EDGI after Tillerson took over on Feb. 1, according to Toly Rinberg, a researcher at EDGI who caught the change. (March 23, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
by Frank J. Regan
“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "
Our recent spate of hard storms and the public’s reaction to the government and power company response provides an interesting learning moment about the public’s expectation of preparedness in a time of Climate Change.
Was Rochester Gas and Electric prepared for storms? Questions persist about whether the Rochester region's largest electric utility was prepared for the fury nature unleashed the past few weeks. Yet complete answers could be a long time coming for customers and citizens whose lives were upended by the storms and power outages. And while Rochester Gas and Electric's handling of the crisis is of immediate concern to many, more troubling may be questions about long-term preparation, including maintenance of the local electrical system. (March 17, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)
Many in the Rochester area were not happy with the response time or the infrastructure vulnerabilities revealed by these recent storms. Were our authorities ready? Were our infrastructures (telephone poles, etc.) ready for these assaults? Were our leaders prepared to protect us from these clear and present dangers—as their jobs require?
The blame game begins and judgment day looms, when everyone gets a chance to review all the details and decide whether everyone responsible planned properly and responded satisfactorily. Heads may roll, as they say.
This is all interesting because Climate Change presents itself as a unique disaster scenario, more drawn out with many extreme weather events, and a more biblical kind of Judgment Day.
Being entirely prepared for the recent storms, after a long and lulling warm spell in February, would have meant that the City and RG&E could check the integrity of all their telephone poles, immediately summon emergency crews and subcontractors, suspend vacations, and warn the public about dire winter conditions at the end of March. However, not only would the public have scoffed at such preparations, they would have been highly incensed that the City and RG&E had started throwing their money towards such an unlikely scenario.
This says something about preparedness.
Too often, after (let me repeat ‘after’) a calamity the public gets energized about preparation. Before last week’s wind and snow storms, the public probably assumed their local governments and power companies had prepared them for the worst. And, given the low probabilities of an 80-mile-an-hour windstorm and a mega-March snowstorm coming back to back at this time, our authorities were most likely prepared. They were prepared in the sense that they were probably prepared for the usual weather expectations for a late March, but not entirely ready for what actually happened.
Climate Change is going to require a lot of preparation and with the recent turn of political events they are unlikely to be adequate. more...
(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)
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:
RIT-led consortium wins $70M in funding for clean energy institute A Rochester Institute of Technology-led consortium has won a nationwide competition and secured $70 million in federal funding to bring a public-private clean energy manufacturing institute here, officials announced Tuesday. The competition was held by the U.S. Department of Energy. The consortium will match the federal award of $70 million for a total investment of $140 million, officials said. The RIT-led consortium includes Xerox Corp. and Caterpillar Inc. (January 3, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]
SED launches Community Solar Array in Greater Rochester Area Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., a clean energy company, will launch the first Community Solar Array project in the Greater Rochester Area in partnership with SunCommon. This offer allows all Rochester Gas & Electric customers to power their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy, with no upfront cost and anticipated savings on their electric bill. SunCommon is a Vermont-based solar company that has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar through home and Community Solar Installations. (June 14, 2016) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Green Business and Solar Power in our area]
Investors' Circle hopes to fund Rochester's clean energy scene People in Rochester's startup scene already know about the popular venture capital firms Excell Partners and Cranberry Capital. However, a North Carolina-based firm is joining the mix and looking to pass out money. Investors' Circle of Durham, North Carolina, has been funding startups for 24 years, but now wants to fund companies across New York state. The firm invests in different types of companies, such as software and education. However, the firm's biggest emphasis is on clean energy companies. (February 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our 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]
Join the People’s Climate Movement this April 29th in Washington, D.C. and across the country to stand up for our communities and climate.
WE RESIST. WE BUILD. WE RISE.
Change the dismal trajectory of history: Get Tickets. "Charter Buses for the People's Climate Mobilization March, Rochester to DC Join us in Washington, DC to stand up for our communities and our climate. The Rochester People's Climate Coalition (RPCC) is sponsoring two 56-seat buses for roundtrip travel to this critical event in Washington DC on April 29, 2017. The March is free. Use the TICKETS button above right to purchase bus tickets and/or to make a donation. About Donations: We are offering half-off and 75%-off tickets (full fare is $81) at the outset, so that everyone can participate in this historic event. We are taking a leap of faith, counting on our generous community to enable this. If you can't attend the March but want to contribute to the groundswell of support for strong climate action, please make a donation. We are very appreciative! " More....
Throughout the first 100 days in office, the People's Climate Movement is organizing a country-wide arc of action, culminating on April 29th in Washington DC in a powerful mobilization to unite all of our movements. To change everything, we need everyone.
WHY WE’RE MARCHING There is no denying it: Donald Trump’s election is a threat to the future of our planet, the safety of our communities, and the health of our families.
This new administration is attacking the hard-won protections of our climate, health, and communities, and the rights of people of color, workers, indigenous people, immigrants, women, LGBTQIA, young people, and more.
If the policies he proposed on the campaign trail are implemented, they will destroy our climate, decimate our jobs and livelihoods, and undermine the civil rights and liberties won in many hard fought battles.
It’s up to us to stop that from happening before it starts. Our fights are tied together, and we will only succeed together.
That’s why, from now through the first 100 days and beyond, we are taking action and standing up for everything and everyone we love — and we are calling on everyone to join us on April 29th; for a massive march to bring our demands to the streets of Washington, D.C.
We’re ready to fight back, and we are ready to build a resistance to Trump and Congress’ attacks on our climate, our communities, and our jobs that stands alongside the unprecedented Women’s Marches and other powerful rallies that shook the globe in the hours and days following the inauguration of Donald Trump and the 115th Congress.
On April 29th, we will march for our families. We will march for our air, our water, and our land. We will march for clean energy jobs and climate justice. We will march for our communities and the people we love.
In 2014, we said that it takes everyone to change everything. Now, with everything at stake, everyone has a part to play. Peoples's Climate Movement
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.
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...
- Thursday, March 23rd 6-8 PM |
Brighton Town Park Carmen Clark Lodge 777 Westfall Road,
Brighton, NY 14620
- I Want To Do Something The Sierra Club has received a flood of interest from people who are worried about climate change, environmental justice and the future of our planet. The Rochester Regional Group has a history of leadership on these issues. We are ready to help you get started. Come to a community meeting for members and friends. You will learn about actions already in progress and help strategize new actions. We are eager to hear your ideas in this time of crisis. Your energy and support will make a world of difference. Also look on Facebook and our website for updates of actions and events you can join.
- Saturday, March 25th, 9AM to
5PM, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY
- Water Law for Activists Saturday, March 25, Cornell Law School, Ithaca, NY Sponsored by Cornell Environmental Law Society and Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Water Committee Access to clean water is one of the most important environmental and social issues facing our communities. To support activists working on water protection issues, the Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter Water Committee and the Cornell Law School Environmental Law Society are sponsoring a Water Law for Activists symposium Saturday, March 25 at the Cornell Law School in Ithaca. The program is free and open to the public The purpose of the symposium is to bring together lawyers and activists working on water law issues in New York to learn from and network with each other. The conference will focus on best ways to support water advocates in our efforts. Draft schedule below. Confirmed speakers include Deborah Goldberg from Earthjustice, Maya van Rossum from Delaware Riverkeeper, Richard Berkeley from the Public Utility Law Project and Richard Lippes from Lippes and Lippes in Buffalo. For more information, call 917-692-0595 or email email@example.com.
- March 30 6:30-8:30pm |
Marriott Syracuse Downtown Finger Lakes Ballroom 100 E.
Onondaga St., Syracuse NY
- GreeningUSA & The NYS Green Building Conference Marriott Syracuse Downtown Finger Lakes Ballroom 100 E. Onondaga St. Film Screening "How to Let Go of the World and Love All The Things Climate Can't Change" A film by Josh Fox. This event is FREE but seating is very limited and YOU MUST REGISTER! Names will be checked off at the door. This is a GreeningUSA fund-raiser. Donations will be gratefully accepted at the door.
- Friday, March 31 and April 1st
(Little Theatre on Friday, March 31 and a Festival Gala
at the George Eastman Museum on Saturday, April 1. )
- Friday, March 31 and a Festival Gala at the George Eastman Museum on Saturday, April 1st . Fast Forward Film Festival About the Fast Forward Film Festival An initiative of The Lost Bird Project, Fast Forward Rochester (www.fastforwardroc.org) invites the Rochester community to submit environmental short films and videos of 5 minutes or less to the inaugural Fast Forward Film Festival. The festival is the first of its kind in the greater upstate NY area focused on showcasing new environmental perspectives in a local contest-style format, which has proved to unify the greater Rochester environmental, art, and film communities with two sold out events in 2015 & 2016. With a “for local, by local” mindset, the festival planning began in early 2014 and took off quickly with the community’s support. This year’s sponsors are the Lost Bird Project, WXXI/The Little Theatre, City Newspaper, and Rochester Institute of Technology. By focusing creativity into films under five minutes in length, Fast Forward films strives to become an important communication tool to inspire change, connect people, and build an environmentally concerned community. The Festival program will be announced Monday, March 6th. For more information about these events, to obtain tickets, and for full information about the juried Fast Forward Film Festival, go here.
- Saturdays (April 1st through
May 13th) | a Monroe County park near you
- This year’s Monroe County 8th Pick Up the Parks Event is looking quite different from previous years. Instead of a big one-day pickup, there are going to be pickups on 7 consecutive Saturdays (April 1st through May 13th). Consider volunteering to give our region’s parks a thorough cleaning, which helps our urban environments. Back at the first PickUpTheParks event, I had helped get the Sierra Club get involved in these efforts and we picked up a lot of trash. Now this event has grown and includes many more parks with many more people. We are learning that one of the major pollutants in our water—in our streams and rivers and lakes—is microfibers from cigarette butts, which constitute a large part of our park’s litter. So, it’s important to get this stuff out of our ecosystems. [more on Recycling in our area]
- Saturday, April 1st, 2-5pm at M
Body Gym, 1048 University Ave, Rochester
- The First Annual Rochester "Find Your Farmer" CSA Fair & Happy Hour with Live Music! Local Beer! Real Farmers! Will be held on Saturday, April 1st, 2-5pm at M Body Gym, 1048 University Ave, Rochester (CSA = Community Supported Agriculture, subscribing directly with a farmer for the season's produce.)
- Sunday, April 2, 2017,
1:30-3:30 pm. in the red brick building
immediately to the west of Asbury United Methodist
Church. (The building’s own address is 1010 East Ave.)
- Seeds of Change Gathering Rochester Pachamama Alliance welcomes you to the next gathering to cultivate the seeds of change that we carry in us. We’ll meet 1:30-3:30 pm on Sunday, April 2nd, in the red brick building immediately to the west of Asbury United Methodist Church. (The building’s own address is 1010 East Ave.) Our intention is to inspire, support and empower each other as we become the change needed to co-create the environmentally sustainable, socially just and spiritually fulfilling world our hearts imagine possible. This month we'll share a powerful tool developed by Dr. Ron Kraybill, who contributed to the Truth and Reconciliation efforts in South Africa. The Cycle of Reconciliation process offers a map for healing relationships on multiple levels and can help us bridge the gaps and heal the suffering of division. This process of healing, empowerment and reconciliation works not only for our personal relationships, but also for our relationships with people we don’t agree with politically, and with our relationships to organizations, structures, and the current political climate. This is an open-ended/drop-in group. No ongoing commitment is necessary. Please share this with anyone you know who might be interested. And if you plan to attend, please email Dave Inglis at firstname.lastname@example.org so we can plan accordingly. Let’s keep those seeds of change growing! Dave Inglis
- Monday, April 3, 2017
St. Thomas' Episcopal Church of Rochester, NY 2000
Highland Ave, Rochester, New York 14618
- New York State of Climate Action | The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition will kick-off a climate-focused Earth Month with this forum that brings two New York State experts to town. To Change Everything, We Need Everyone! This was the rallying call of the 2014 People’s Climate March in New York City, and it continues to inspire the climate movement across the United States. In New York State, Governor Cuomo was influenced by tens of thousands of NY residents who spoke out against “fracking” for natural gas, such that he and the Department of Environmental Conservation made it illegal in our state in Dec. 2014. “We need everyone” to speak out for renewable energy and the jobs that it will create, and against the public health hazards and clima...See More
- Thursday, April 6th, 7:00 pm
Otto Shultz Community Center, Nazareth College, 1425
East Avenue, Rochester NY
- Contemplation and Ecological Action 7:00 pmOtto Shultz Community Center, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY This is the first in a 2-part forum at Nazareth College, "Contemplation and Ecological Action: Tenderness and Justice in "Laudato Si." Presenter Christine Z. Peppard is an expert on the ethics of fresh water and problems of climate change, social justice and sustainability. She is a science and ethics professor at Fordham, the author of many books on the subject and has lectured widely. This forum is part of Nazareth College's 2016-17 William Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies series of lectures. The event is free and open to the public.
- Friday, April 7th, 1:30 pm
Linehan Chapel, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue,
- Forum - Fresh Water is a Human Right 1:30 pmLinehan Chapel, Nazareth College, 1425 East Avenue, Rochester NY Christina Z Peppard presenting "Fresh Water is a Human Right." This is the second in a 2-part forum at Nazareth College, "Contemplation and Ecological Action: Tenderness and Justice in "Laudato Si." Christine is an expert on the ethics of fresh water and problems of climate change, social justice and sustainability. She is a science and ethics professor at Fordham, the author of many books on the subject and has lectured widely. This forum is part of Nazareth College's 2016-17 William Shannon Chair in Catholic Studies series of lectures. The event is free and open to the public.
- April 7, 7:00 PM, Owl Woods,
Manitou Beach Rd., Greece
- "Woodcock Courtship Display" April 7, 7:00 PM, Owl Woods, Manitou Beach Rd., Greece Hear one of nature's unusual spring sounds ~ courting woodcocks. Join BANC and the Rochester Birding Association to possibly see these birds display their courting behavior. Bring a flashlight and dress for the weather. Meet in the parking lot across from Owl Woods on Manitou Beach Raod, just north of the Lake Ontario State Parkway. The parking lot is on the right, very soon after you turn onto Manitou Beach Rd. Facebook
- Thursday, April 20th from 7-9
PM at the New Bethel CME Church located at 270 Scio
Street, Rochester, NY 14605.
- The 19th Annual Environmental Forum Intersectionality and Building a Strong Climate Movement Sierra Club Annual Forum: This year, your Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club is bringing a distinguished advocate for environmental justice to Rochester. He is Aaron Mair, the President of the Sierra Club and a powerful speaker that can inspire our community. Aaron will be in Rochester to give his presentation on Thursday, April 20th from 7-9 PM at the New Bethel CME Church located at 270 Scio Street, Rochester, NY 14605. Come early to visit tables of local environmental groups to find out what they are doing in our area from 6-6:30 PM. This event is free and open to the public. He will also be addressing classes at the University of Rochester and Rochester Institute of Technology. You can find a schedule on our Facebook page early April. We are very excited the opportunity has arrived to join forces with the communities of color on the issues that affect us all. Please join us. more ...
- April 21, 2017
The Links, East Syracuse, New York
- Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century Thirteenth Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st Century CAN WE STILL REACH OUR RENEWABLE ENERGY GOALS *New York State 50% by 2030 *United States 30% by 2025 Hear from National & NYS experts. April 21, 2017 The Links, East Syracuse, New York 7:30am - 2:00pm Optional Tours following ****REGISTER NOW **** \
- Earth Day,
April 22, 2017 9:00 am at Wadsworth
Square (at the end of Marshall Street, off of Monroe
Avenue). Step off is at 10:00 am.
- The Rochester Earth Day Parade will kick off our Earth Day Grand Opening events as a celebration of our cooperative’s commitment to sustainability, real food, and making sure we don’t destroy our planet for generations to come. The parade will gather at 9:00 am at Wadsworth Square (at the end of Marshall Street, off of Monroe Avenue). Step off is at 10:00 am. Come support this inaugural Earth Day parade for Rochester so that we can create a new annual tradition to celebrate the many nonprofits and businesses here that are working to promote and safeguard more sustainable ways of living.
Day, April 22, Earth Day, in
Rochester (infor being update for time and exact place)
- ROCHESTER MARCH FOR SCIENCE MARCH FOR SCIENCE IS AN EFFORT COMPRISING OF INDEPENDENT, NONPARTISAN COORDINATORS. RECENT RHETORIC HAS INSPIRED A MARCH ON WASHINGTON D.C. AS WELL AS SATELLITE MARCHES--HERE IN ROCHESTER AND MANY OTHERS ACROSS THE COUNTRY. MARK YOUR CALENDAR FOR APRIL 22ND, 2017 (EARTH DAY).
- Earth Day
April 22, 2017 Earth Day |
- The March for Science is Set to Happen on Earth Day Scientists officially have a date where they’ll be taking to the streets. The March for Science has been scheduled for Saturday, April 22 in Washington, D.C. A growing constellation of marches are also scheduled for that day in cities across the U.S. What began as a Reddit conversation has grown into a movement of scientists and science lovers standing up for evidenced-based policy making and inclusivity in the science community. The date of the march isn’t just an average Saturday. April 22 is Earth Day, first celebrated in 1970. The original Earth Day is seen by many as a turning point in the environmental movement. The year itself also marks a major turning point for the U.S. government and environmental policy. In 1970, Richard Nixon signed the Environmental Protection Agency into existence and it began operating that December. (February 1, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
- APRIL 28, 8:30AM-10:45AM,
University at Buffalo, Davis 101, North Campus, Amherst.
- APRIL 28, DISTINGUISHED LECTURE: Climate Change Denial in the Age of Trump - By Dr. Michael Mann, Climate Scientist and Author of 'The Madhouse Effect' illustrated by cartoonist Tom Toles. 8:30AM-10:45AM, University at Buffalo, Davis 101, North Campus, Amherst. Free & Open to the Public. [LINK]
- April 28 – April 30 Apr 28 at 6 PM to Apr 30 at 3 PM | Braddock Bay Park
- April 29th, @ 11:00 am - 2:00
pm | Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S.
Rochester, NY 14604
- Climate March – Rochester April 29 @ 11:00 am - 2:00 pm In solidarity with the Climate March in D.C., join in a peaceful gathering/march to help bring awareness, educate, and ultimately combat global warming. DETAILS Date: April 29 Time: 11:00 am - 2:00 pm Website: Facebook. VENUE Washington Square Park 181 Clinton Ave. S. Rochester, NY 14604 [info will be updated continually]
- April 29th, 2017 | Where:
- New year, new resolve. Time to mark your calendars for April 29th, 2017. That’s the date of the People’s Climate Mobilization, a major march in Washington, D.C., when we will come together with hundreds of thousands of people to reject Trump’s attack on our communities and climate, and push forward with our vision of a clean energy economy that works for all. Sign up to be part of it here, and connect with others near you who will be taking action in the run-up to April. We believe that in this moment of division, turmoil, and fear, it's important to put forward an alternative vision that inspires and connects. If we don't put forward our own vision -- of an economy built on justice and powered by clean, renewable energy -- then we let fossil-fuel-soaked nationalism, xenophobia, and hatred win. We need to show that more people still believe in our shared vision for the future than in Donald Trump's. That's where you come in: The only way this mobilization will work is if it’s driven from the bottom up by people like you. That's why we want to get you involved with the People's Climate Mobilization starting today -- whether you've helped organize a dozen marches before, or if you're a first-time participant.
- Saturday, May 6 from 2 to 6 pm.
| Peacework Farm is located at 2231 Welcher Road (across
from 2232 Welcher,
- May 6 May Day Party at Peacework Farm - Tour an Organic Farm May Day Celebration at Peacework Farm Please join the festivities at Peacework Farm, Saturday, May 6 from 2 to 6 pm. We are having a May Day Celebration that is open to one and all! Peacework Farm is located at 2231 Welcher Road (across from 2232 Welcher, but that is a private home so use our marked parking areas). At 2 pm, farmer Ammie Chickering, on her valiant nag, will lead us in dancing around the May Pole. No previous dance experience necessary. Next we will take a wild flower walk in the woods of the Kraai Preserve, a nature preserve open to the public. Then, we will have tours of Peacework Farm and the Johnson Brothers Food Forest. At 4:30, we will have a potluck supper. Please bring a dish to pass, a place setting and folding chairs. The farm will provide beverages. All are welcome! If you would like to join in Community Supported Agriculture and get a share of Peacework produce every week from June 1 through November, you can sign up at the farm. The Peacework farmers grow over 200 varieties of 70 crops to supply weekly packets for families in Wayne County and the greater Rochester area. The farm is Certified Organic by NOFA-NY. You can also sign up on line at www.peaceworkcsa.org. Joining the CSA is a good way to save money if you want to feed your family organic produce at a reasonable price. As a CSA member you are more than a consumer: you become an invested shareholder with an active role in building cooperative, ethical, and sustainable communities. The impact of investing in a CSA share is high. You simultaneously support
- JUNE 10TH | 9:30am-3:30pm in
Mendon Ponds Park
- Outdoor Expo 2017 WORKSHOP Wetland Variety & Ecology in Mendon Ponds Park Come with naturalist and Sierra Club member Peter Debes to learn about the surprising, vital and interrelated life in the wetslands of Mendon Ponds Park. The event schedule is coming soon. Visit adk.org and sierraclub.org/atlantic/chapter for updates and presentation time.
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 highlightClimate 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: 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.
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- One of the things we found in the five-year work of the Rochester Sierra Club’s Zero Waste committee was that Styrofoam was really bad. It aint’ good for nothing, except a single-use monstrosity. Our committee helped work with Monroe County to get 3-7 plastics recycled. We help clean up Monroe County’s parks by helping to start the Pick Up the Parks yearly events, We helped local events, like Tour de Cure bike race, Greentopia, and the Clothesline Festival become zero waste events—including composting. We helped pressure the media and the City and the County about getting rid of e-waste properly and complying with the new state laws. And a lot more, but we made no freaking headway with Styrofoam. Please sign this petition because you cannot recycle Styrofoam—it’s not only instant trash; it’s an instant toxic substance. Ban EPS (aka Styrofoam) from Monroe County, NY. It is time to eliminate expanded polystyrene foam (commonly known as Styrofoam) from Monroe County. As the federal government turns its back on environmental conservation, local citizens must pick up the slack. Despite the little 6 found on the bottom of most Styrofoam products, Styrofoam is virtually impossible to recycle. In Monroe County, Styrofoam is not accepted at curbside pick-up. Persistent individuals aiming to recycle packing Styrofoam can deliver it to the Monroe County EcoPark near the airport, but single-use food containers remain unrecyclable. According to the EcoPark’s website: “Styrofoam meat trays, egg cartons, coffee cups, takeout containers or other small post-consumer items have no local recycling option and should be placed in your trash.” This is partially because Styrofoam breaks down so easily that, if someone tried to clean it, all they would get is a mess of tiny beads. (Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group )
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- One of the most effective ways to help our environment is to become a Citizen Scientist and help monitor the state of our environment. Become a Citizen Scientist Through FrogWatch USA New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC), in partnership with Friends of Reinstein Woods, will train interested volunteers to help FrogWatch USA on Tuesday, March 21 at 7 p.m. at Reinstein Woods Nature Preserve in the town of Cheektowaga, Erie County. Community members can join an international team of citizen scientists by monitoring frog populations in the many wetlands throughout the preserve. (February 21, 2017) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Environmental Health in our area]
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Great local effort to grow our renewable energy supply. Find out more and how you can get involved: Click here to learn more about RPCC’s Community Choice Aggregation Project! "The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition is pursuing the development of Community Choice Aggregation (CCA) as a way to use the market to grow our local renewable supply. We began exploring this issue in September 2015 and formed a committee on CCA in December. Our committee members have begun meeting with governmental leaders to inform them of this policy option. " Rochester People's Climate Coalition
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- From our friends over at the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition: Climate Friendly Food Choices |”Food Choices are extremely important for anyone who wants to take climate change action because: Food Choices have a profound effect on greenhouse gas emissions (one study shows as much as 51%). Food Choices are amongst the easiest changes that make a huge difference—the biggest bang for our individual buck.” Find out more about this issue and contact RPCC to see how you can help this issue locally. More on Food in our area.
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- Consider stopping wasteful phone books that littler our neighborhoods and no longer provide a useful service by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. Back in the day, our Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee tried to halt the delivery of these phone books with little effect. That now the phone company admits that this is a 12-tons-of-waste each year that can be avoided is interesting. Our group noticed over the years how phone books were tossed on to apartment complex porches’ and left for months there while folks just walked over them, avoiding them completely. And for many, many people the phone books would go immediately into the recycling bin—at best. At worst, folks threw them into the trash or let them scattered throughout the neighborhoods. We were told by the powers that be that although many people don’t use these books the advertising dollars that came from the phone books were too important. Now, finally, after long last, phone books are on the way out because they waste paper and aren’t needed. Which has been the case for years. Consider putting the nail this this wasteful coffin by surfing over here: Department of Public of Service, Comment Form using this case number 17-C-0013. More: Phone books to disappear for good The phone book, a one-time necessity that many now consider a wasteful nuisance, is about to disappear from your life forever. Frontier Communications, which provides landline phone service in the Rochester area and some other areas in New York, has asked state regulators for permission to end mass delivery of phone books to its customers. The books contain business listings, government contact information and consumer information. (February 1, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]
ACTION due date:
- Winds of Change by @revkin on Twitter, on Facebook , or by email on ProPublica is a great way to “to keep track of subsequent changes on federal websites as the Trump administration settles in.” We must remain vigilant on making use our climate science is not being hijacked by ideology in these troublesome times. Much of the public’s and the media’s information on Climate Change comes from federal websites so you’re help is needed in tracking any wavering from the climate facts we need in order to have a sustainable life support system. Help Us Track Winds of Change as Trump Confronts Climate Issues If you see something, say something. ProPublica is eager to get tips on shifts in available government information related to climate change. Until late morning on Friday, the White House homepage had an “issues” link to a page on the environment touting former President Obama’s efforts to build a “clean-energy economy” and tackle climate change. It’s still viewable via archive.org, but almost as soon as President Donald J. Trump’s hand was off the Bible, White House websites flipped to content consistent with Trump’s campaign pledges to roll back such programs. The live White House homepage now reflects President Donald J. Trump’s agenda, including a link to his energy plan, which includes “eliminating harmful and unnecessary policies such as the Climate Action Plan” of his predecessor. (January 20, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]
ACTION: Due Date Now!
- Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
- ACTION: Due Date: Now!
- Save Seneca Lake and the Finger Lakes Region from LPG Gas Storage! New York has banned fracking, but related infrastructure for transporting and storage of fracked gas continues to threaten our communities. In the Finger Lakes region of New York, we are fighting plans to store dangerous, explosive liquefied petroleum gases (“LPG” – propane and butane) in abandoned salt caverns under the shores of Seneca Lake, near Watkins Glen, the heart of the Seneca Lake Wine Trail. The facility poses unacceptable risks of catastrophic accidents, injuries, air pollution, and contamination of Seneca Lake, which is the largest body of freshwater within New York State and the drinking water source for 100,000 people. It would also undermine the economy of the entire Finger Lakes, which is built on the region's beauty, tourism, and wineries. Transportation of the LPG via rail to the facility puts the 750,000 annual visitors in Watkins Glen State Park at risk.
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- Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
- "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
- 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!
- Sign the petition to Get Exploding Oil Trains Off the Tracks: http://explosive-crude-by-rail.org/
- ACTION: Due Date Now!
- Considering signing a petition or donating to help this cause to reject Inergy Midstream‘s (now Crestwood) proposal to store Liquefied Petroleum Gas and expand natural gas storage at facilities on the shore of Seneca Lake in Reading, NY. More at Gas Free Seneca Even folks in the Rochester area should care about the health of our Finger Lakes. Airman-turned-activist arrested for 'civil disobedience'
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)
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- 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 email@example.com for more information or to sign up today! "
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: firstname.lastname@example.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
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- 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
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
My Comments are in Bold text.
3/24/2017 - Back in the day (2011) we had fought hard to stop the Keystone XL Pipeline boondoggle that would pollute and warm the planet even more. We won some battles but perhaps we have lost the war. It’s clear that environmentalists alone cannot make our way of life sustainable. Everyone needs to get engaged. Trump State Department to Approve Keystone XL Pipeline Permit by Monday Nearly a decade after it first applied for a presidential permit, TransCanada is getting the green light from the Trump administration for its $8 billion Keystone XL pipeline. POLITICO reported that the U.S. State Department's undersecretary for political affairs, Tom Shannon, will approve by Monday the cross-border permit needed for the project to proceed. Sec. of State Rex Tillerson, former ExxonMobil CEO, recused himself from the Keystone decision since Exxon stands to profit from the pipeline. The Keystone XL was blocked by President Obama two years ago because the pipeline would "not serve the national interests" of the United States. (March 23, 2017) EcoWatch [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]
3/24/2017 - There’s something fantastical hypocritical about conservatives not endorsing a Carbon Tax, a fee that would correct the externality problem in their financial zeitgeist. The conservatives want to gut the EPA, which allows the public to pay for industrial pollution, and on top of that they fudge their maniacal belief in free market fundamentalism by providing billions of tax-payer subsidies for the fossil fuel industries each year and they refuse to put environmental pollution into the costs of doing businesses—where they take our natural resources up from the ground and then plow their pollution into our air and water which ruins our public health. Does this sound fair to you? When the public asks that at least these people accept a carbon tax to offset all their resources grabbing and pollution and fairly accept the cost running their businesses, they say NO! How craven is that? White House: Trump isn’t considering a carbon tax The Trump administration isn’t considering advocating for a tax on carbon dioxide emissions, a White House official said Wednesday. The official sought to clarify the administration’s position after White House press secretary Sean Spicer seemed to be unclear on the matter at a Tuesday press briefing. “I think there's a robust debate going on with respect to comprehensive tax reform,” Spicer said in response to a reporter’s question on whether a carbon tax is under consideration by President Trump. (March 22, 2017) The Hill [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/24/2017 - If you do think that it’s unacceptable that communities and businesses around Lake Erie have to plan for the toxic algae threat each summer, then you’re going to have to focus on Climate Change too. Pollution from industrial agriculture is NOT the primary driver of toxic algae in western Lake Erie, after heavy rainfall washes the excess fertilizer and manure into streams. The primary driver is Climate Change because the warmer waters caused by Climate Change make more toxic algae outbreaks more likely and Climate Change is already dramatically (71% since 1958) causing heavy rainfall in our region, which is the reason why more excess fertilizers and manure get into our streams. Local governments voice solutions on toxic algae threat Lake Erie is the heart of Northern Ohio communities, and with warm weather approaching, the need to protect the waterway becomes a necessity, Elyria Fifth Ward Councilman Marcus Madison said. The Ohio Environmental Council’s Director of Clean Water Adam Rissien, Madison and Lorain Mayor Chase Ritenauer gathered together on World Water Day, March 22, at the Lorain Port Authority, 319 Black River Lane, to discuss solutions on toxic algae. (3/22/2017) The Morning Journal News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]
3/24/2017 - Withdrawal from addressing Climate Change by national leaders can NOT be offset by businesses and local governments because governments rule. National governments set policy, distribute funds, make and enforce laws, maintain our infrastructures (transportation, water, waste, gas lines, sewers, and telecommunications), uphold public health standards, maintain social order and provide mass emergency aid, and they are the insurers of last resort. Thinking that Trump dragging his feet and gutting federal efforts to address environmental issues won’t matter much, or can be taken over by businesses and local governments, is delusional. Without Naming Trump, UN Acknowledges Retreat on Climate Secretary-general says businesses will take up the task Trump is pushing to dismantle federal environmental programs The United Nations is acknowledging that some countries may be retreating in the effort to fight climate change, recognizing an emerging fissure in the landmark Paris Agreement as U.S. President Donald Trump moves forward with plans to gut environmental programs. Secretary-General Antonio Guterres, who assumed leadership of the international body this year, told delegates at UN headquarters in New York that he remained optimistic that any withdrawal by national leaders will be offset by businesses and local governments that have pledged to continue cutting emissions. (March 23, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/24/2017 - Climate science is critical so we can find out how Climate Change is affecting us and what actions we should be taking. We won’t get there by gutting NASA, the EPA, and NOAA. Global warming is increasing rainfall rates A new study looks at the complex relationship between global warming and increased precipitation The world is warming because humans are emitting heat-trapping greenhouse gases. We know this for certain; the science on this question is settled. Humans emit greenhouse gases, those gases should warm the planet, and we know the planet is warming. All of those statements are settled science. Okay so what? Well, we would like to know what the implications are. Should we do something about it or not? How should we respond? How fast will changes occur? What are the costs of action compared to inaction? These are all areas of active research. (March 22, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/23/2017 - Climate deniers don’t believe in the melting Arctic due to Climate Change but they’ll drill for oil as soon as the ice melts just the same. Terrible. Arctic ice falls to record winter low after polar 'heatwaves' Extent of ice over North pole has fallen to a new wintertime low, for the third year in a row, as climate change drives freakish weather The extent of Arctic ice has fallen to a new wintertime low, as climate change drives freakishly high temperatures in the polar regions. The ice cap grows during the winter months and usually reaches its maximum in early March. But the 2017 maximum was 14.4m sq km, lower than any year in the 38-year satellite record, according to researchers at the US National Snow and Ice Data Centre (NSIDC) and Nasa. “I have been looking at Arctic weather patterns for 35 years and have never seen anything close to what we’ve experienced these past two winters,” said NSIDC’s director, Mark Serreze. 2017 is the third year in a row the Arctic’s winter ice has set a new low. (March 22, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/23/2017 - We have entered a new era on Climate Change, the Trump era where we say goodbye to our future in a really nasty way More Extreme Weather Coming After Record 2016 Heat, WMO Says Rate of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere isn’t easing February was record-breaking month for temperatures in U.S. Unusually warm weather in the Arctic is helping shift weather patterns this year from North America to the Middle East, after global warming shattered records in 2016, according to the World Meteorological Organization. Rising ocean temperatures that are melting polar ice sheets, killing marine life and flooding coastal communities may have increased more than previously reported last year, the WMO said in a report Tuesday. Average sea-surface temperatures hit their highest levels ever last year, and overall temperatures over sea and land were 1.1 degrees Celsius above the pre-industrial period. At least three times this winter, the Arctic has experienced the polar equivalent of a heat wave with Atlantic storms driving warm, moist air. (March 20, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/23/2017 - Even here in NYS, gutting the EPA would matter because of reduced funding for Superfund cleanups, where industry used our environment as their toilets and under Trump the public would either have to suck it up or pay out for past industrial Brownfields. Does this sound fair to you? How Trump's Deep EPA Budget Cuts Would Impact NY President Trump's proposed 31 percent budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency will have "disastrous impacts" across New York State, NY Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman predicted today. At a press conference held on the banks of the Gowanus Canal, Schneiderman outlined the negative environmental impact that slashing the EPA's budget would have on the city's Superfund sites—like Newtown Creek, the former Wolff-Alport Chemical Company in Ridgewood, and of course, the Gowanus Canal—in addition to Superfund sites across the state. Trump's proposed budget cuts would include a 43 percent reduction in Superfund site cleanup funding, which Schneiderman says will likely slow down cleanup and make it more difficult to add new polluted areas to the list. Schneiderman also noted that the budget will no longer provide adequate funding to maintain the state's drinking water and wastewater treatment infrastructure, meaning New York's clean drinking water supply could be compromised across the board. According to the Attorney General's data, about 95 percent of New Yorkers drink water from the public supply. (March 21, 2017) Gothanist [more on Water Quality and Brownfields and Environmental Health and Invasive Species in our area]
3/23/2017 - Trump says ‘Trust me, I'm like a smart person’ and so when he says Climate Change is a hoax he must be right and everyone else is wrong. Right? Make sense to me. Think of all the money everyone is wasting on colleges and doing science. What if we all just declared that we were very smart? We’d put this down on job applications and they’d hire us lickety-split. Right? And if they didn’t hire us, we stomp our feet and fire out some really angry tweets. The White House calls climate change research a ‘waste.’ Actually, it’s required by law The day that President Trump’s climate science-slashing budget landed last week, his government held a public meeting here to prepare the nation’s Southeast region for rising seas, wildfires, extreme downpours and other impacts of climate change. Despite White House budget director Mick Mulvaney’s assertion Friday that studying climate change is a “waste of your money,” federal scientists are required, by a 1990 law, to do just that — and are carrying on for now, even under the cloud of budgetary uncertainty created by the Trump administration. It’s no easy task. Trump’s “skinny” budget proposes to slash many climate-related programs at agencies like NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration but often doesn’t go into specifics — raising doubts about the implications for climate science programs across 13 government agencies and the production of an exhaustive report about the impact of climate change in the U.S. that is required by law. (March 21, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/23/2017 - The #EPA was NOT created as a boondoggle for Trump to gut when he wants money to build a war machine. It was to protect all of us from crazy, irresponsible, environmentally destructive industrial practices that make our environment a wasteland. Here's Why the Environmental Protection Agency Was Created The Cuyahoga River burst into flames, while the Potomac stunk from the hundreds of millions of gallons of waste added to its waters every single day. As the Environmental Protection Agency becomes the subject of focus for major cuts under President Trump's proposed budget — and as the U.N. marks World Water Day on Wednesday — it's worth looking back at the moment in time when the EPA was first created, and why Richard Nixon saw a need for the agency to exist. Dirty water was only one ingredient. At the close of the 1960s, the United States could not escape the fact of, as TIME put it in 1968, "the relentless degradations of a once virgin continent." The evidence was right in front of citizens' faces. Pollution had gotten bad enough to be undeniable, and science had become advanced enough to make the reasons why clear. In 1963, smog had killed 400 New Yorkers, and Lake Erie's oxygen content had become so depleted that the center of the lake sustained precious little life. An oil spill off the California coast in 1969 coated 400 square miles with slime and killed hundreds of birds. Scientists announced that auto exhaust was at high enough levels in some places that it could cause birth defects. The city of St. Louis smelled, as one resident put it, "like an old-fashioned drugstore on fire." (March 22, 2017) Time [more on Environmental Health in our area]
3/23/2017 - I #MarchForScience on #EarthDay to demonstrate the need for US to recommit to #ScienceFacts & make Congress aware cuts to #EPA are unacceptable. #StandUpForScience Climate denier in White House prompts a 'March for Science' on Earth Day The power of climate change deniers in Congress -- plus a president who once called global warming "a hoax" -- has galvanized Earth Day on its 47th anniversary. Its main event this year, on April 22, will be a March for Science in Washington, D.C., and around the world. Its goal being "to save science from this assault," in the words of Denis Hayes, president of the Seattle-based Bullitt Foundation. "The concept of white coats marching is intriguing," said Hayes, who as a Stanford law student helped organize the first Earth Day in 1970. The assault on science is now and real. The Trump administration is talking of a 19-20 percent cut in the National Institutes of Health, the nation's bulwark against disease. The NIH usually approves grants on a multi-year basis. "If the cuts go through, they will be able to make no grants at all in 2018," Hayes said. (March 22, 2017) Seattle PI [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/22/2017 - Trying to reinvigorate a pollution fossil fuel infrastructure at the cost of indigenous people’s rights and our future is bad. Defund DAPL. #NoDAPL These Cities Are Pulling Billions From the Banks That Support the Dakota Access Pipeline From Seattle to San Francisco, Albuquerque to Raleigh, cities are joining the fight to defund the controversial pipeline. Last September, as water protectors faced down militarized police in North Dakota’s rural riverlands, activists in Seattle set out to withdraw municipal money from banks backing the Dakota Access Pipeline (DAPL). Above all, they sought to cut their city’s ties to Wells Fargo, the Wall Street leviathan that has generously financed and serviced the pipeline’s parent companies. (March 20, 2017) The Nation [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]
3/22/2017 - Take ACTION: Care about the largest fresh water system in the world? Register and show up: International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes: Tuesday March 28, 2017, 1:30 pm – 4:30 pm, WNED Studios | 140 Lower Terrace | Buffalo, NY, To register for the meeting and to read the governments’ and IJC’s progress reports visit participateIJC.org. International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes At this point, we are all aware of the importance of the Great Lakes. In the past, we did take them for granted, dumping in anything that we wanted. Today, thankfully, it’s a different story. These fresh water lakes are the key to the future, and must be protected by all means. On Tuesday March 28 WNED | WBFO will host the International Joint Commission’s Buffalo Public Meeting on the Great Lakes (part of a series of IJC public meetings). The binational treaty organization is looking to collect and record public comments that will help to show the community’s support to protect and restore the the Great Lakes, by Canada and the United States. (March 21, 2017) Buffalo Rising [more on Great Lakes in our area]
3/22/2017 - Gutting the EPA could have a profound effect on New York State (not in a good way) and so NYS AG and environmental groups promise to fight back. Considering all the Brownfields and the innumerable challenges our way of life puts on our life support system, we need a strong federal regulator helping to fund and fortify all our efforts to have a clean health environment. The public must get engaged and not let our EPA and our environment get gutted. A.G. Schneiderman Highlights Devastating Impacts Of President Trump’s Environmental Budget Cuts – Which Threaten To Delay And Obstruct NY Environmental Projects Massive EPA Budget Cuts Would Potentially Impact Environmental Cleanup Projects All Across New York Schneiderman: If The Trump Administration Can't Meet Its Legal Obligation To Ensure A Clean, Safe, And Healthy Environment, I Won't Hesitate To Act To Protect New Yorkers Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today highlighted the disastrous impacts President Trump’s proposed budget cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) could have across New York State. Standing along the Gowanus Canal, which is a designated federal Superfund site, Attorney General Schneiderman highlighted how the significant loss of EPA funding and reduction in the agency’s staffing levels would potentially slow, halt, or even reverse environmental protection throughout the state. Under President Trump’s proposed budget “blueprint” released last Thursday, the EPA would face some of the steepest cuts, as funding for the agency would be reduced by 31 percent or $2.6 billion – bringing the EPA’s budget to $5.7 billion, its lowest level in 40 years when adjusted for inflation, and eliminating more than 50 programs and 3,200 jobs. (March 21, 2017) NYS A.G. Schneiderman [More on Environmental Health in our area]
3/22/2017 - Remember the Laurentide Ice Sheet, the one that gouged out the Great Lakes and put a mile-high pile of ice on Rochester? We are finishing it off. Just think how mighty and powerful is the human who can accomplish such a thing. Of course, in the process (Climate Change) of finishing off this once great ice sheet, we are threatening our existence and most of the creatures we evolved with. Maybe we should start thinking about how our behavior affects our life support system. Climate Change is on Pace to Kill an Ice Age Remnant Humans are in the process of changing the planet in a way that hasn’t happened in 2.6 million years. For eons, the Laurentide Ice Sheet has been a fixture of North America. At its peak, it covered the majority of Canada and sent icy tendrils down across the Midwest and Northeast, covering Chicago, New York and Toronto in a mile or more of ice. It helped carved mountains as it advanced, and it filled the Great Lakes as it receded at the end of the last Ice Age. About 2,000 years ago, the ice sheet remnants reached equilibrium on Baffin Island, Canada’s largest island, now dubbed the Barnes Ice Cap. But that equilibrium has been disrupted by human-driven climate change. A new study shows that the last vestige of the once-mighty ice sheet faces near certain death, even if the world rapidly curtails its carbon pollution. The results indicate the Arctic has entered a state nearly unheard of since the Pliocene, an epoch when the Arctic was largely free of ice. (March 21, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/21/2017 - Plastic bags are trashing our life support system, voluntary efforts haven’t worked, and folks don’t like bag fees. Give up? Are all the possible solutions to environmental problems being framed in such a way that it must be OK to trash our future because all the solutions are either too burdensome or inconvenient to too many people? Maybe the problem is that we don’t prioritize our environment, that which keeps us alive and give our children a future, as much as we should? Why won’t the public who dismiss the plastic bags problem take a moment and learn “The Effects of Plastic Bags on Environment” (from HealthGuidance) We need to seriously change our attitude about our environment. NYS Exposed: State weighing a 5-cent plastic bag fee for stores When you buy something at a store, if you can't carry the item yourself, you usually put it in either a paper bag, a re-usable cloth bags or go the easy route and fill up a plastic bag or two. But what if each flimsy little bag cost you an extra five cents? Statewide, we use about 23 billion a year. If that upsets you, you typically bring your own reusable bags like Sue Gyore. "Because if you look around at the sides of the roads," says Gyore, "you see all the plastic that's floating around that doesn't get cleaned up." (March 20, 2017) WHEC Rochester [more on Recycling in our area]
3/21/2017 - If Americans really do care about addressing Climate Change, they’d better get off their butts. They’d better #MarchForScience on Earth Day locally or in DC and #ClimateMarch for #PeoplesClimate on April 29th locally or in DC. Thinking Climate Change is happening but you won’t be affected is like finding out your next door neighbor, who doesn’t have health care and just got a nasty case of Ebola, won’t affect you. Good luck with that. How Americans Think About Climate Change Americans overwhelmingly believe that global warming is happening, and that carbon emissions should be scaled back. But fewer are sure that the changes will harm them personally. New data released by Yale researchers gives the most detailed view yet of public opinion on global warming. Americans want to restrict carbon emissions from coal power plants. The White House and Congress may do the opposite. (March 21, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/21/2017 - One of the things governments tend to forget, when they don’t address pollution, the public eventually gets really pissed off. For example for all those people in the US ignoring the gutting of the EPA, they’ll get energized with they cannot drink the water or breathe the air. But, lots of people will suffer with horrible pollution due to lack of governmental oversight and things may get to a point where they cannot be solved. Our life support system, our environment, is very complex and we may not be able to just go and fix it after we’ve broke it. Tensions rising as Chinese no longer willing to hold their breath on pollution problems Cracking down on dissent has been a hallmark of Chinese public life. But a population once ignorant of the toxic cost of pollution is speaking out against a government intent on growing the economy. The war on pollution has increased tensions across China, Nathan VanderKlippe reports. In the village dubbed the birthplace of Beijing’s smog, anger is rising into a sky that seems permanently darkened by pollution. At least three times over the past two years, local residents in Songting have gathered to protest at the gates of the steelworks that surround the place generations have called home. People here once farmed rice, peanuts and corn until, in the years before the Beijing Olympics, their fields were transformed into an industrial forest of pipes, stacks and production lines, after iron and steel companies moved away from the capital to leave behind cleaner air for the Games. Two-hundred kilometres east of Beijing, they erected a metallic forest of emissions towers that belch exhaust and soot. During one severe episode in February, the air grew so thick that residents could no longer see across their narrow streets and workers got lost on the way home. Now the villagers are fed up. One of the recent steel-mill protests lasted more than a week. “Every day, more than 30 people gathered there,” said ZhaoXiuying, 54, who lives in an old village home that backs out onto a vista of metalworks. (March 19, 2017) Globe and Mail
3/21/2017 - Hummm…., wondering if the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4) will be anything like the first three. It’s supposed to be release in late 2018. From the other three reports, we learned a lot about how 13 agencies of the US government understand Climate Change and what their recommendations are for adapting. Agencies like the Department of State, of Agriculture, of Defense, of Transportation, etc. Starting with President Reagan “Assessments have been integral components of USGCRP since our inception. We have a legal mandate to conduct a National Climate Assessment (NCA) every four years, the third and most recent of which was released in May 2014.” Check out the previous reports and let’s make sure the fourth isn’t some climate denial claptrap. Be nice if the media got out ahead of this.
3/21/2017 - People, even though they voted for Trump, whose lives and livelihoods are threatened by Climate Change won’t get much help from the climate denier in chief. Sad. “Weeks without snow or rain and late-winter temperatures scraping 80 degrees are threatening to create even more blazes in Western states grappling with the growing fire danger posed by climate change.” Our crazy politics are going to extinct us if we don’t separate politics from science. Burying Their Cattle, Ranchers Call Wildfires ‘Our Hurricane Katrina’ Weeks without snow or rain and late-winter temperatures scraping 80 degrees are threatening to create even more blazes in Western states grappling with the growing fire danger posed by climate change. Hundreds of homes were evacuated this weekend because of a wildfire that erupted in the dry hills near Boulder, Colo. By Monday, the fire was about 80 percent contained. The Kansas fires — the largest in state history — burned more than 400,000 acres here in Clark County alone. Ten days later, Mr. Gardiner was still burying cows on his family’s ranch. One by one, an orange loader scooped them off the bare sandy soil and trundled them to a pit being dug by a backhoe. (March 20, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/20/2017 - Whatever your freaking politics, warming up something as large and influential as our oceans will result in more than just a tweeting furry. Our oceans, which drive our climate and our sea levels, are changing quickly. Denying this and trying to kick this can further down the road will only make it less likely we’ll be able to adapt. Only governments (all of them) can address this consequence of Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes. Rate of Ocean Warming Has Nearly Doubled Over Two Decades, Study Says The world's oceans have warmed at twice the rate of previous decades and the extra heat has reached deeper waters, finds data stretching back to 1960. The rate of ocean warming has nearly doubled since 1992 compared with the previous three decades. And the warming has reached deeper waters, scientists reported Friday. The findings are important because the world's oceans provide one of the best records of the excess energy trapped on Earth by increased greenhouse gases, largely from the burning of fossil fuels. As the seas heat up from climate change, the water expands and rises, causing coastal flooding and, in Antarctica, ice shelves to disintegrate. (March 11, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/20/2017 - How ya gonna keep ‘em in a gas guzzler after they’ve driven an electric car? One of Trump’s efforts to send us all back to the Dark Ages and warm up our planet will be thwarted by the efficiency and technological breakthroughs in new cars. Trump Can’t Stop Cars From Getting More Energy-Efficient Economics (and performance) are driving efficiency gains, as much as the EPA. Sweden, you can keep your silly turbos. Japan, spare us with the toddler-size kei cars. Donald Trump wants to make America better in a nostalgic way, and to many, that means big cars with brutish engines burning dinosaur-era goo. Trump has promised to scrap efficiency rules that required automakers to produce vehicles with an average efficiency of 54.5 miles per gallon by 2025. At the moment, that looks like 17 million Toyota Priuses (Prii?). In a meeting with auto executives this week, the president said he may slice environmental standards in about a year, providing carmakers deliver "big numbers in terms of jobs." The EPA now has until April 2018 to decide whether the 2025 milestone is feasible. (March 16, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Transportation in our area]
“Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.
3/20/2017 - This year’s Monroe County 8th Pick Up the Parks Event is looking quite different from previous years. Instead of a big one-day pickup, there are going to be pickups on 7 consecutive Saturdays (April 1st through May 13th). Consider volunteering to give our region’s parks a thorough cleaning, which helps our urban environments. Back at the first PickUpTheParks event, I had helped get the Sierra Club get involved in these efforts and we picked up a lot of trash. Now this event has grown and includes many more parks with many more people. We are learning that one of the major pollutants in our water—in our streams and rivers and lakes—is microfibers from cigarette butts, which constitute a large part of our park’s litter. So, it’s important to get this stuff out of our ecosystems. [more on Recycling in our area]
3/18/2017 - Because Trump never accepts blame for anything, who will be held accountable for US abandonment on addressing Climate Change? Who will shoulder the responsibility for telling the world that even though the US contributed much to the present Climate Change crisis, we are now only concerned about ourselves and will do little to help monitor this crisis, help out those countries who did not contribute to this crisis (but will reap the consequences), and flagrantly up the ante on promoting more fossil fuel emissions? Will it be Congress? Will it be the American public? Who will say the US desires to no longer be great, just selfish while the rest of the world scrambles to make our environment habitable? Trump Budget Would Cripple U.S. International Climate Change Work Cuts to State Department budget include essentially walking away from U.S. involvement in international climate efforts, even without withdrawal from Paris accord. (March 17, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/18/2017 - Hard to believe anyone would want to cut the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in a time when the largest freshwater system in the world is in jeopardy. “The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has been instrumental in more than 3,000 projects — funding wetlands restoration, fighting harmful algae blooms in western Lake Erie, leading efforts to keep invasive Asian carp from reaching the lakes and causing chaos in the ecosystem, and improving fish and shoreline habitat.” Great Lakes funding cuts are absurd, irresponsible, lawmakers say Proposed budget would eliminate federal program to clean up and maintain the Great Lakes Environmental advocates and congressional Democrats vowed to fight President Donald Trump's plan to slash environmental spending as part of his proposed 2017 budget — including the elimination of the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, which since 2010 has provided more than $2.2 billion for improving and protecting the lakes. "President Trump's budget is even worse than we thought for the Great Lakes," U.S. Sen. Debbie Stabenow, D-Mich., said. "It completely eliminates funding for protection." (March 16, 2017) Detroit Free Press [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]
3/18/2017 - Looks like US is turning its back on the world and will leave addressing Climate Change, much of it caused by the US, to its former friends. Sad. The US public must contact their representatives in Congress and tell them not let our country become a pariah. Instead we want leadership on the most important crisis of our age. Climate veterans say Trump budget undermines global cooperation China and India experts say cuts challenge progress on emissions, while an architect of the Paris climate deal criticises the US for not being “truthful” to its commitments Donald Trump’s first budget proposal as US president has confirmed the climate community’s worst fears. Swingeing cuts to climate programmes and research at home and abroad will undermine international efforts to protect people from dangerous global warming, veterans of UN talks told Climate Home. Laurence Tubiana, one of the architects of the historic Paris climate deal, described the US U-turn as “shocking”. (March 17, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/17/2017 - Look, the president was fairly straightforward about his hatred of science, reason, your future, your children’s future—and he certainly doesn’t care about the rest of the world or any of the other people in it. He considers it a waste of his money and yours to go out and spend anything on all that. So, please stop whining. The sun shines down on all his speeches, his audiences are bigger than anyone else’s, he has secret knowledge about everything, he gets secret information that nobody else does, and that is that. You have forked over your existence to a madman, so deal with it. (Tump, ya gotta laugh.) Scientists Bristle at Trump Budget’s Cuts to Research Before he became president, Donald J. Trump called climate change a hoax, questioned the safety of vaccines and mocked renewable energy as a plaything of “tree-huggers.” So perhaps it is no surprise that Mr. Trump’s first budget took direct aim at basic scientific and medical research. Still, the extent of the cuts in the proposed budget unveiled early Thursday shocked scientists, researchers and program administrators. The reductions include $5.8 billion, or 18 percent, from the National Institutes of Health, which fund thousands of researchers working on cancer and other diseases, and $900 million, or a little less than 20 percent, from the Department of Energy’s Office of Science, which funds the national laboratories, considered among the crown jewels of basic research in the world. (March 16, 2017) March 16, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/17/2017 - No room in budget to restore Great Lakes from industrial waste, invasive species, diminished water quality, and bad farming practices. Sorry, largest fresh water system in the world, Trump wants more guns instead. Sorry, Trump just thinks more guns are more important than a future. We’re really sorry about this, but you have to understand that Trump has his priorities and they aren’t you or your life support system. That’s just the way things go. Have a nice day. Trump budget cuts Great Lakes restoration, Sea Grant programs The Trump Administration’s proposed budget is out – and it eliminates the $300 million in annual funding for the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative (GLRI), which finances environmental projects all over the region. The budget also zeroes out the $250 million allotted to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) grants, including 33 Sea Grant programs nationwide. Based at universities, Sea Grant programs focus on educating the public, outreach and research. The budget says the programs are a “lower priority than core functions maintained in the Budget such as surveys, charting, and fisheries management.” (March 16, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality and Environmental Education in our area]
3/17/2017 - Good that not all GOP and Trump administration against addressing Climate Change, but it’s still not enough for actual hope. Time passes. The House Republicans Calling for Climate Action in the Trump Era A group of GOP lawmakers have signed a resolution warning that “the consequences of a changing climate have the potential to adversely impact all Americans.” Will it translate to legislative action? At a time when President Donald Trump is working to dismantle former President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, more than a dozen House Republicans are calling for action to confront the threat of a changing climate. Seventeen Republican lawmakers, including Elise Stefanik of New York, Carlos Curbelo of Florida, Mark Sanford of South Carolina, Mia Love of Utah, Don Bacon of Nebraska, and Ryan Costello of Pennsylvania, introduced a resolution on Wednesday that urges the House of Representatives to “address the causes and effects” of climate change, according to a press release sent out by Costello’s office. (March 15, 2017) The Atlantic [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/17/2017 - While it is true that derailments are bound to happen and just like cars on our highway have accidents, cars on rails also have accidents, there is no freaking comparison of a train load of railroad cars filled with dangerous and volatile substances having an accident with an automobile on a highway having an accident. When a car on a railroad filled with dangerous substances goes off the rails massive human and environmental consequences can be the result. Instead of downplaying or trying to compare our all accidents with exceptional, long-term catastrophic accidents, we should be informing the public of just what our railroad cars are carrying and when they go off the rails just exactly what were the consequences. For the consequences can be grave indeed. See derailment in Newburg (March 7, 2017) “CSX freight train derailment cleanup continues today” See derailment in Batavia (March 8, 2017) “Train carrying gun powder derails in Batavia due to wind” And, check out this editorial “Train derailment could have affected wetlands”(March 14, 2017) The Daily News)
3/17/2017 - While sometime in the future it may be possible to get a US leader who will overturn Trump’s anti-science, anti-help-the-US-and-the-world-address Climate Change, it may be too late to stop the worst consequences of this crisis. Time passes. Budget Proposal Would Hamper Climate Efforts Abroad The Trump administration’s budget proposal would hamper efforts abroad to slow global warming, especially by poor and fast-developing countries, compounding the hazards of America’s retreat from efforts to ease its own climate impacts. A 54-page proposal released Thursday would end payments to global climate initiatives, such as a United Nations fund that helps poor countries deploy clean energy and adapt to climate change. It would also sharply reduce funding for the World Bank and other development programs. Meanwhile, the budget proposal and executive orders by Trump would increase the amount of climate pollution released by Americans for years to come, largely by eliminating regulations and spending designed to help the U.S. meet obligations under the Paris climate treaty. (March 16, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/16/2017 - Climate Change is already affecting our health and it will get worse if we don’t address it. #climatechangeshealth | Climate change is making us sick, top U.S. doctors say From increases in deadly diseases to choking air pollution and onslaughts of violent weather, man-made climate change is making Americans sicker, according to a report released Wednesday by 11 of the nation's top medical societies. The report was prepared by the Medical Society Consortium on Climate and Health, a new group that represents more than 400,000 doctors, who make up more than half of all U.S. physicians. “Doctors in every part of our country see that climate change is making Americans sicker,” said Mona Sarfaty, the director of the new consortium and a professor at George Mason University in Fairfax, Va. (March 15, 2017) USA Today [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]
3/15/2017 - Just got Dan Egan’s Kindle version of "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes". We have treated the largest freshwater system in the world badly and we must now get it ready for Climate Change. To do that we need some history. Exploring the death, and life, of the Great Lakes The Great Lakes are a marvel — an unrivaled natural resource and a stunning landscape that defines the surrounding states. But in the middle of the 20th century, they were in trouble. Pollution strangled the beaches, and rivers feeding the lakes were so filled with chemicals they literally caught on fire. Then came the Clean Water Act of 1972. "In 1972, suddenly industries and cities were being held accountable for what they were putting in our water bodies," reporter Dan Egan told MPR News host Tom Weber. "The improvement was vast and dramatic — and in many ways people thought the problem had largely been solved." Not so fast. As Egan explains in his new book, "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes," the Clean Water Act took steps in battling industrial pollution. But it failed to deal with biological pollution, which today is causing damage at an alarming speed (March 13, 2017) MPR News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]
3/15/2017 - Here’s the thing the GOP doesn’t want you to know about Climate Change: The worst things get, the more likely Big Government will need to step in. Shrinking the role Climate Change plays in decisions across the government won’t make it go away. It will make it unmanageable. Only our government can make deals with other countries; only our government can make umbrella policies that affect our nation, only our government can bring in US military to bring massive help in natural disasters, only government is the insurer of last resort. Thinking Big Government shouldn’t be telling us what to do about our life support system is the surest way to ensure that Big Government has to come to the rescue. I wrote this essay back in 2013, “Why Climate Change means big, really big government” I know, one of the reasons many in the GOP don’t want to acknowledge and address Climate Change is because they fear it’s a great big liberal nanny state takeover. If humanity and businesses had over the decades voluntarily addressed Climate Change and environmental degradation, things would not have gotten to the point where the only solution was for our government to come in a save us from ourselves. Trump to Drop Climate Change From Environmental Reviews, Source Says Directive to reverse Obama-era mandate for agency actions Clean Power Plan, methane rules and coal halt also addressed President Donald Trump is set to sign a sweeping directive to dramatically shrink the role climate change plays in decisions across the government, ranging from appliance standards to pipeline approvals, according to a person familiar with the administration’s plan. The order, which could be signed this week, goes far beyond a targeted assault on Obama-era measures blocking coal leasing and throttling greenhouse gas emissions from power plants that has been discussed for weeks. Some of the changes could happen immediately; others could take years to implement. It aims to reverse President Barack Obama’s broad approach for addressing climate change. One Obama-era policy instructed government agencies to factor climate change into formal environmental reviews, such as that for the Keystone XL pipeline. Trump’s order also will compel a reconsideration of the government’s use of a metric known as the "social cost of carbon" that reflects the potential economic damage from climate change. It was used by the Obama administration to justify a suite of regulations. (March 14, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/15/2017 - How hard it must be to work for a healthy environment for most of your career only to have it all gutted by an ideologue. Terrible. Chief Environmental Justice Official at EPA Resigns, With Plea to Pruitt to Protect Vulnerable Communities Mustafa Ali quits after 24 years, as new administrator prepares deep cuts in programs affecting the poor and minorities. The head of the environmental justice program at the Environmental Protection Agency has stepped down, departing the government with a lengthy letter to Scott Pruitt, the EPA's new administrator, urging him not to kill the agency's programs. Mustafa Ali, a senior adviser and assistant associate administrator at the agency, worked to alleviate the impact of air, water and industrial pollution on poverty-stricken towns and neighborhoods during nearly a quarter century with the EPA. He helped found the environmental justice office, then the environmental equity office, in 1992, during the presidency of President George H.W. Bush. Ali leaves the EPA as Pruitt, who took office Feb. 17, prepares to implement deep cuts in the agency's budget and staff. A Trump administration proposal would cut the EPA's $8 billion budget by $2 billion and reduce its roster of 15,000 employees by 20 percent. An internal memo obtained by multiple news outlets on March 1 called for a complete dismantling of the office of environmental justice and elimination of a number of grant programs that address low-income and minority communities. A story in the Oregonian reported that funding for the office would decrease 78 percent, from $6.7 million to $1.5 million. (March 9, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Environmental Health in our area]
3/14/2017 - Is this Northeast Blizzard March 2017 prove Climate Change is a hoax? Not likely. Climate Change means climate disruption and “Between 1961 and 2010, there have been twice as many extreme regional snowstorms in the US compared to 1900 to 1960.” Our climate is changing radically and we need to know more and our local media needs to connect the freaking dots. Northeast Blizzard March 2017 inter Storm Stella is hitting the Northeast, and states from Maryland to Maine are expected to witness more than a foot of snow, hurricane force winds, and coastal flooding March 13 through 15. The massive snowstorm has multiple climate connections helping to fuel its destructive power. Elevated sea levels will amplify and extend the reach of Stella's storm surge. A warmer atmosphere can hold more water vapor for Stella, increasing blizzard risk as the storm can collect and dump that moisture as extreme snowfall, sleet and rainfall. Sea surface temperatures are record warm in the Atlantic Gulf Stream, pumping more heat energy and moisture into the storm, further increasing the risk of blizzard. The amplification of these physical mechanisms can be seen in the long-term trends. Between 1961 and 2010, there have been twice as many extreme regional snowstorms in the US compared to 1900 to 1960. In New York City, which is forecast to receive between 12 to 18 inches of snow over the course of one day, 6 of the 10 all-time biggest snowstorms on record have occurred since 2000. An extreme event driven by natural variability and amplified by climate change is consistent with what science projects for a warming world. (March 13, 2017) Climate Signals [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/14/2017 - What if young folks successfully sued that “the federal government has violated the constitutional right of the 21 plaintiffs to a healthy climate system”? Imagine a world that considered all life and a sustainable existence for the future of young folks, instead of the looming dystopia brought on by business as usual, in which the fossil fuel industry rules. Time passes. The climate change lawsuit the Trump administration is desperate to stop going to trial Young people aged between nine and 20 claim the federal government has promoted fossil fuel production, worsening climate change and therefore violating their constitutional right to life, liberty and property A groundbreaking climate lawsuit, brought against the federal government by 21 children, has been hailed by environmentalists as a bold new strategy to press for climate action in the United States. But the Trump administration, which has pledged to undo Barack Obama’s climate regulations, is doing its best to make sure the case doesn’t get far. (March 10, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/14/2017 - In a way, I suppose, we should be glad that cities and governments might be racing to the top on addressing Climate Change. The trouble is that if cities are leading the charge (bottom up) they are going to be in conflict with governments (top down) efforts who are either helping or trying to hinder them. The best scenario is leadership and planning coming from the top down from governments with cities implementing coordinated actions and tailoring them to their local communities. If we the public and our cities and our states and our nations aren’t on the same page for addressing Climate Change the result will be ad hoc, mismatched, counterproductive (in many cases), and most likely not enough effort on a large enough scale in a timely manner to make a difference. We need a coordinated planetary response to Climate Change in order to bring down a planet’s temperature and make our way of life sustainable. Time passes. As cities from Sydney to Oslo set more ambitious targets to cut climate change than national plans, is conflict ahead? Cities test limits of power vs governments over climate change * More than half of the world's population in urban areas * From Oslo to Sydney, city ties with government strained * In America, city of Austin fears Trump plans will hinder goals Cities from Oslo to Sydney are setting goals to curb climate change that exceed national targets, causing tensions with central governments about who controls policy over green energy and transport and construction. More than 2,500 cities have issued plans to cut carbon emissions to the United Nations since late 2014, setting an example to almost 200 nations that reached a Paris Agreement in December 2015 to fight global warming. Although there are no officially collated statistics available, many city targets are more ambitious than those set by governments under the Paris accord, which imposes no obligations on cities, regions or companies to define goals. (March 13, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
3/13/2017 - Economic incentives are crucial for giving electric vehicles a fighting chance against polluting gas guzzlers backed by fossil-fuel politicians and massive subsidies. The technology behind electric non-polluting vehicles is here and ready to help all of us transform to transportation options that can stop many of our greenhouse gas emissions from warming our atmosphere more. But as electric vehicles take hold state-by-state, they are being fought by fossil-fuel industry far more concerned with their immediate self-interest than our long-term sustainability. Here’s an interesting way to look at this issue: If the middle class in China only buys traditional gas guzzlers humanity is doomed. China is moving towards only producing electric vehicles in order to bring up the standards of all and not condemn our future. The US needs to do our part to stave off a crisis we helped to create. Check out: “China, Europe drive shift to electric cars as U.S. lags” (January 15, 2017, Reuters) Behind the Quiet State-by-State Fight Over Electric Vehicles When Georgia repealed its generous $5,000 tax credit on electric vehicles in July 2015, and instead slapped a $200 registration fee on electric cars, sales quickly tumbled. In the month before the repeal, nearly 1,300 electric vehicles were sold in the state. By August, those sales had all but evaporated — to just 97 cars. It was a hint of what would come. Today, the economic incentives that have helped electric vehicles gain a toehold in America are under attack, state by state. In some states, there is a move to repeal tax credits for battery-powered vehicles or to let them expire. And in at least nine states, including liberal-leaning ones like Illinois and conservative-leaning ones like Indiana, lawmakers have introduced bills that would levy new fees on those who own electric cars. The state actions could put the business of electric vehicles, already rocky, on even more precarious footing. That is particularly true as gas prices stay low, and as the Trump administration appears set to give the nascent market much less of a hand. (March 11, 2017) New York Times [more on Transportation and Climate Change in our area]