Daily Updates - Rochester, NY area

RochesterEnvironment.com

Analysis of the environmental news in our area 

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Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care.  For all Daily Updates going back to 1998, go to Update Archives.

* Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

Rochester, NY with its new bridgeLocal Media Doing their Job on Our Environment?

Coming up with a policy or an evaluation on the state of one's environment is impossible without data.  This truism is so obvious that it need not be expressed if it were not a fact that so many engage in both without enough information to support either.   

The government at the local, state, and federal levels does not have enough money (for whatever reasons) to pay for all the independent, objective and thorough studies needed to fully understand all an area’s flora and fauna and their interrelations, their ecology.  Neither do universities; neither do environmental organizations--though all cover various pieces of the puzzle that is our complex environment.   

There's one group left who can and should help the public evaluate the state of our environment - the media.  Besides making a profit, the media's job historically and manifestly is to inform the public on all critical matters, which, I submit, includes the state of our environment.  We need a healthy environment to survive and to do so we need a timely and complete picture of it.  We, the public, need information to be able to form evaluations and policies on our environment, so we can anticipate dangers, decide on solutions, and choose responsible leaders. Without a media with trained environmental reporters, a vital ingredient in the equation of a sustainable environment goes missing. Scientists cannot see all that occurs in the environment despite their expertise. 

The government won't notice danger signals, except those they are predisposed to see.  Environmentalists would have little to evaluate the health of our environment and the roles of those responsible.  And the public, without a media fully tuned to the environment, will think everything is going fine until a disaster indicates a tipping point and the aftermath splashes across the headlines.     

This is all to say that in recent years it is becoming increasingly obvious that because of financial and other extraneous considerations, our local media is experiencing a dearth of trained dedicated environmental reporters.  Only these professionals, who have the time and training to gather all the information from all the participants in our environment, can fill this critical role in our society.  Without them, what we get is a disparate snapshot of events going on in our environment that may or may not spell disaster.  A dedicated environmental reporter in each of our print and visual media would have the necessary, continual contacts to provide us with the depth and perspective that environmental stories need.  If our local media were doing their job, we could be anticipating environmental problems, instead of trying to catch up to long-standing realities .

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Daily Updates: Thursday, November 23, 2017

These are the daily recordings of what I believe are important indicators of our Rochester-area environment --since 1998. For all Daily Updates, go to Update Archives

* My comments are in Bold text:

  • 11/23/2017 - Slowing City traffic down make it safer for pedestrians, more survivable, and lower greenhouse gas emission as more people feel safe to walk. As I write, there are two pedestrian/car collision incidents in our area. Pedestrians always lose in a confrontation with a vehicle. Who in their right mind wouldn’t want to slow down and protect the lives of people wanting and needing to walk to their destinations? Active transportation (walking and bicycling) is a critical transportation option for many people’s livelihood and active transportation must be made a viable transportation mode as Climate Change become more dire. Just this week, a study found “Transportation is the Biggest Source of U.S. Emissions” (11/21/2017 Climate Central) Wouldn’t it make more sense to adopt laws that brings our freaking car/pedestrian accident rate down, rather than the horrific toll being paid for a speedy ride through our neighborhoods? Group wants the city to lower speed limits The faster a vehicle is going, the more potential it has to injure or kill someone. And that, in a nutshell, is why the Healthi Kids Coalition, a children's advocacy group, is asking City of Rochester officials to lower the speed limit on neighborhood streets from 30 mph to 25 mph. Prior to the push, coalition staff asked parents across the city about what prevents them from letting their children walk to school or playgrounds. One of the most common reasons they gave was traffic, says Mike Bulger, healthy communities coordinator for the coalition. (November 22, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 11/23/2017 - Sure hope the US Senate and Trump keep the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in their thoughts this Thanksgiving. The Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world, needs to be ready for Climate Change. $300M for Great Lakes cleanup moves forward in Congress DETROIT - A wide-ranging Great Lakes cleanup program would receive $300 million next year under a spending bill approved by the Senate Appropriations Committee. The measure cleared the committee this week and now goes to the full Senate. The Great Lakes Restoration Initiative focuses on the region's most longstanding environmental problems, such as toxic pollution, farm and urban runoff, invasive species and declining wildlife habitat. (November 22, 2017) ClickOnDetroit [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 11/23/2017 - A truth about modern humanity that is much more so in Climate Change: If you’re poor, you’re screwed. We could fix this if we wanted to. How Much Hotter Is It In The Slums? When Nairobi gets hot, its slums get even hotter. That's what a new study published in PLOS ONE has found. In 2015, researchers put dozens of thermometers in poor communities and monitored them during Nairobi's warmest months of December, January and February — during what turned out to be the capital's hottest summer in 30 years. They found that slums were 5 to 10 degrees Fahrenheit higher than the city's official weather station less than half a mile away. (November 20, 2017) National Public Radio [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/23/2017 - Eleventh Commandment: Thy shall not waste food. “Amazingly, up to 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. intended for consumption is not eaten, …”  Food Waste, Methane and Climate Change As Thanksgiving is a time to be grateful and celebrate, we can sometimes overdo it. Frequently, the food from Thanksgiving dinner doesn't all get eaten, and while that food often makes for good leftovers, some inevitably gets thrown away. The USDA estimates 35 percent of turkey meat cooked at Thanksgiving gets wasted. Food waste isn’t limited to Thanksgiving. Amazingly, up to 40 percent of all food produced in the U.S. intended for consumption is not eaten, which equates to about 20 pounds of food per person each month.(November 22, 2017) Climate Central [more on Food and Recycling and Climate Change in our area]  

  • 11/23/2017 - We know the Trump administration is quietly scrubbing environmental information and information about Climate Change from its websites? Blinding us. But how much, where, in what way? In these dire times when an ideology is purposely scrubbing the scientific truth from the media and the public, we have an obligation to those who come after us to keep the truth alive. Find out what is happening on Climate Change and what our federal government is doing to cloak the truth. Website Monitoring |EDGI is monitoring changes to tens of thousands of federal environmental agency web pages because the effects of proposed changes to federal environmental governance under the current administration could be sweeping and long-lasting. Our work here involves documenting and analyzing data that disappears from public view, and also monitoring and analyzing how data, information, and their presentation may change, sometimes in subtle but significant ways. (Environmental Data and Government Initiative)

  • 11/22/2017 - How can you stop rising homeowners’ insurance premiums? Make sure your region is addressing Climate Change. Adapt to more extreme weather as even getting insurance will become more dear.

  • 11/22/2017 - The good news is that as populations move to urban areas there will be more shade because Climate Change helps urban trees grow faster. The bad news is that this is further proof Climate Change is warming things quickly. Time passes. Growing urban warmth helps city trees thrive City trees are responding to climate change and urban growth, making the most of the heat island effect. LONDON, 22 November, 2017 – City trees are feeling the heat – and loving it. As the global climate changes, trees worldwide are growing briskly, but those basking in the warmth of urban heat islands are growing even faster. Their root space may be more cramped, their leaves may be assaulted by more pollution, but the limes along Unter den Linden in Berlin, and the London planes of Paris, France are flourishing, to make life a little better for the citizens who walk in their shade. “We can show that urban trees of the same age are larger on average than rural trees because urban trees grow faster”, said Hans Pretzsch, a forester at the Technical University of Munich, who led the study that uncovered the trees’ behaviour. (November 22, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/22/2017 - If your media failed you and didn’t report on the most important issue in the world, the COP23, go here and catch up: Cop23 UN climate talks: Everything you need to know The US’ split personality, a stronger China and all the technical outcomes of the 2017 Fiji-in-Bonn summit in one place, compiled by Carbon Brief Climate change was again placed at the centre of global diplomacy over the past two weeks as diplomats and ministers gathered in Bonn, Germany, for the latest annual round of United Nations climate talks. COP23, the second “conference of the parties” since the Paris Agreement was struck in 2015, promised to be a somewhat technical affair as countries continued to negotiate the finer details of how the agreement will work from 2020 onwards. However, it was also the first set of negotiations since the US, under the presidency of Donald Trump, announced its intention earlier this year to withdraw from the Paris deal. And it was the first COP to be hosted by a small-island developing state with Fiji taking up the presidency, even though it was being held in Bonn. (November 20, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/22/2017 - Rather than slow and gradual, scientists are finding that Climate Change is moving quite swiftly—with potential Holy Cow! moments thrown in. We, ourselves, can see wildfires, extreme floods and ocean surges with more dramatic hurricanes, and heatwaves that threaten many lives. We are living in a warmer world and that means big change. An extreme event due to Climate Change that’s probably not on a lot of our radars are big chunks of ice falling into the water. Not big? Check this out: “Next to a meteor strike, rapid sea-level rise from collapsing ice cliffs is one of the quickest ways our world can remake itself. This is about as fast as climate change gets.” Holy Cow! Ice Apocalypse Rapid collapse of Antarctic glaciers could flood coastal cities by the end of this century. In a remote region of Antarctica known as Pine Island Bay, 2,500 miles from the tip of South America, two glaciers hold human civilization hostage. Stretching across a frozen plain more than 150 miles long, these glaciers, named Pine Island and Thwaites, have marched steadily for millennia toward the Amundsen Sea, part of the vast Southern Ocean. Further inland, the glaciers widen into a two-mile-thick reserve of ice covering an area the size of Texas. There’s no doubt this ice will melt as the world warms. The vital question is when. The glaciers of Pine Island Bay are two of the largest and fastest-melting in Antarctica. (A Rolling Stone feature earlier this year dubbed Thwaites “The Doomsday Glacier.”) Together, they act as a plug holding back enough ice to pour 11 feet of sea-level rise into the world’s oceans — an amount that would submerge every coastal city on the planet. For that reason, finding out how fast these glaciers will collapse is one of the most important scientific questions in the world today. (November 21, 2017) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/22/2017 - Transportation produces more carbon dioxide emissions than electricity generation now. So, how we get around is an important source of individual responsibility for addressing Climate Change. Getting more active transportation (walking and bicycling) into our lives can have a big overall effect on reducing greenhouse gases. And walking and bicycling are good for your health. Transportation is the Biggest Source of U.S. Emissions The busiest travel day of the year brings a renewed focus on transportation, and for the first time since the 1970s, U.S. carbon dioxide emissions from transportation have eclipsed emissions from electricity generation as the top source of greenhouse gases. The change comes as U.S. electricity generation relies less on coal and more on renewables and natural gas (a less carbon-intensive fossil fuel). Transportation emissions have also declined from a peak in 2008 due to steadily improving fuel economies, although there has been a small uptick recently as a result of a drop in gas prices. The projected growth in electric vehicles suggests decreases in CO2 transportation emissions are on the horizon. Even when accounting for how electricity is generated, an electric vehicle emits less carbon dioxide than a comparable gasoline car in a majority of U.S. states. A typical gasoline-powered passenger car emits 20 pounds of carbon dioxide for each gallon of gas burned, or about a pound for each mile traveled, and both electric and hybrid vehicles can cut back on those emissions. A recent Climate Central report, Climate Friendly Cars, shows which cars are the most climate friendly in each state. The rankings are based on the type of engine and the method in which electricity is generated in each state. (November 21, 2017) Climate Central [more on Transportation and Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/21/2017 - Building a great big trash incinerator near Rochester, NY is a really, really bad idea. It would put more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere during Climate Change. It would reduce the public’s inclination to recycle, which is vital to create more recycling companies, reducing mining for more natural resources, and help many reuse agencies that help distribute our discards for use by others. Food waste should not be burned (which would be then be a fossil fuel), nor should they be land-filled. Food waste needs to be composted and go back in our soil. We need an incinerator in the Finger Lakes region like a lung cancer patient needs to smoke. Good grief. Rochester firm seeks to build huge trash incinerator in Seneca County A Rochester company with no known track record and uncertain ownership has proposed a massive trash-burning incinerator in Seneca County. The incinerator, which would burn up to 175 truckloads of solid waste each day, would be built on a 48-acre parcel that once was part of the storied Seneca Army Depot. The facility, which would loom 180 feet high over the landscape with a smokestack that reaches even higher, would generate electricity and create ash that the developers say could be re-used. The plant would be able to receive trash via rail as well as truck. (November 20, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 11/21/2017 - OK, maybe…. the shape of Lake Ontario has something to do with heavy snowfall but I’m thinking Climate Change is more likely to be a factor in how much snow we get as we move into a warmer world. When they talk about snowfall, it would be nice if all media in the Great Lakes region brought in Climate Change to the discussion. Climate Change already affecting and will greatly affect the weather, water level, and much more of the Great Lakes’ ecology. Our media needs to reflect this reality. How Lake Ontario’s Shape Generates Local, Persistent Snowstorms OSWEGO – A six-foot-wide snowblower mounted on a tractor makes a lot of sense when you live on the Tug Hill plateau. Tug Hill, in upstate New York, is one of the snowiest places in the eastern U.S. and experiences some of the most intense snowstorms in the world. This largely rural region, just east of Lake Ontario, gets an average of 20 feet of snow a year. Hence the tractor-mounted snowblower. The region’s massive snow totals are due to lake-effect snowstorms, bands of snow resulting from warm lake water fueling intense, long-lasting storms. Lake-effect snow is common in the Great Lakes region and in areas downwind of large bodies of water, including the Great Salt Lake. (November 20, 2017) Oswego County Today [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 11/21/2017 - When you consider how much more rainfall is falling in the Northeast since 1958 (71%) and how outdated combined (sewage and stromwater) sewer systems around the Great Lakes are continually spilling sewage into our drinking water, programs to “protect the Great Lakes by changing how cities handle rain water” are necessary strategies of how we in this region address Climate Change. Partnership aims to protect the Great Lakes by changing how cities handle rain water The Great Lakes Commission and Lawrence Technological University are teaming up to protect the Great Lakes by changing the way cities think about rain water. They want to explore new ways communities can handle storm water to prevent things like flooding and sewage overflow into the lakes. Michael Polich is a program specialist with the Great Lakes Commission. He says cities often view alternate storm water technologies as different and untested, making them hesitant to implement new ideas. (November 19, 2017) Michigan Radio [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 11/21/2017 - Seeing (that is, over time and a larger perspective) is believing. Watch this amazing data-based animation of 20 years of Climate Change. Humanity tends to focus on the here and now. But in order to address the worldwide crisis of Climate Change, we must adopt a more intelligent way of looking at reality—one that is scientific and wise and more focused on making our existence sustainable. We must free climate science from politics. Time passes. Nasa map of Earth over 20 years highlights astonishing impact of climate change Animation captures planet's seasonal fluctuations as seen from space An astonishing new map that highlights the unprecedented impact of climate change over the last 20 years has been captured by Nasa.  The animation shows our planet’s seasonal fluctuations as seen from space after the US space agency condensed two decades of data into just a few minutes.  The polar ice caps and snow cover are shown ebbing and flowing with the seasons. But as time passes the Arctic can be seen getting greener, as shrubs grow more widely in the warmer temperatures. (November 18, 2017) Independent [more on Cimate Change in our area]  

  • 11/21/2017 - Sorry Trump, world and America want real efforts to address Climate Change not fake solutions. UN Climate Talks Conclude with World Leaving Trump Behind ‘However much Trump wants to take us backward on climate change, the rest of the world — and the rest of the U.S. — is intent on moving forward.’ Two weeks of international climate talks in Bonn made only incremental progress toward resolving disputes that have been lingering since the Paris Agreement of 2015. The main achievement may have been cementing a firebreak to prevent the Trump administration from torching the whole process. The strategy is to assert a broad new leadership among nations big and small, to bolster their resolve with high-profile commitments from American cities and states, to muster corporations and financial institutions in an attempt to kickstart renewable energy and assist poor countries, and to leave Washington isolated on the world stage. It's a strategy pinned on the hopes—although diplomats would never put it so bluntly—that either Donald Trump will change his mind or that the United States will change its leader. (November 18, 2017) Inside Cimate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/21/2017 - What if climate scientists have been actually holding back on some of their deepest concerns when communicating about Climate Change? In the name of hope and optimism and scientific reticence could many of our climate scientist not be giving us a full picture of what Climate Change looks like? How can we plan accurately if we don’t see the whole picture? James Hansen - Scientific Reticence: A Threat to Humanity and Nature James Hansen, Pam Peterson, and Philip Duffy join us to discuss how the hesitancy among scientists to express the gravity of our situation is a major block to our understanding and response to climate change, The reticence results from a combination of factors: political pressure, institutional conservatism, the desire to avoid controversy, aspiring to objectivity, etc. But when the data and the conclusions it leads to are alarming, isn't it imperative that the alarm be transmitted publicly? Here is another facet of society's apparent inability to assess and respond appropriately to the present immense, existential threat of climate change. (November 19, 2017) United Planet Faith and Science Inititiave on YouTube [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/20/2017 - Toxic algae blooms are a growing threat to our region’s water quality and lake ecosystems and greatly impacted by Climate Change. Our growing toxic algae problem needs to be addressed as a Climate Change problem. This statement from the article below must instill a sense of urgency of addressing Climate Change locally. The South is being woken up to Climate Change with its extreme hurricanes; these toxic algae blooms are our wake-up call: “Within the past decade, outbreaks have been reported in every state, a trend likely to accelerate as climate change boosts water temperatures.” Toxic Algae: Once A Nuisance, Now A Severe Nationwide Threat He recovered, but Lake Erie hasn’t. Nor have other waterways choked with algae that’s sickening people, killing animals and hammering the economy. The scourge is escalating from occasional nuisance to severe, widespread hazard, overwhelming government efforts to curb a leading cause: fertilizer runoff from farms. Pungent, sometimes toxic blobs are fouling waterways from the Great Lakes to Chesapeake Bay, from the Snake River in Idaho to New York’s Finger Lakes and reservoirs in California’s Central Valley. (November 19, 2017) The Post-Journal [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 11/20/2017 - Got friends (maybe even a president) that don’t believe in Climate Change is happening and is human caused? Watch is short (5:31) from the UN climate change conference COP23 and then distribute widely to those we still need to convince. Time passes. Busting climate myths Know any climate change deniers? Here are some of the most common myths and misconceptions they use — debunked and busted by high-profile climate leaders at the UN climate change conference COP23. (November 17, 2017) Deutsche Welle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/20/2017 - How will Climate Change affect our region’s Lake Effect Snow season? One of the great known unknowns in our region is that we may or may not have a lot of heavy lake-effect snows, with incredible amounts of snow. Our Great Lakes region is known for this phenomenon. Climate Change appears to be even changing the changes even within this very changeable weather pattern. Towards the end of this century, it’s looking like there will be more precipitation falling as rain, not snow. However you view this jagged trend (see graph), it should impress upon you that Climate Change is already and will continue to have a dramatic effect on our region’s winters. It also means we need to plan. Time passes. Lake Effect Snow Season is Shifting and Contracting Arctic air begins to race across the relatively milder water of the Great Lakes every fall, generating lake effect snow. These snowfalls can be intense, but are often localized. Several inches of snow can fall a few miles away from a place that only gets flurries. As the planet has warmed from the increase in greenhouse gases, so have the lakes, meaning more evaporation into the atmosphere during the winter. Paradoxically, this had led to an increase in lake effect snow, but that trend is not expected to last. A recent study used a regional climate model to investigate these changes in lake effect snow if our current rate of greenhouse gas emissions continues. By mid-century, the amount of seasonal lake effect snow is projected to increase modestly, as the Great Lakes will remain ice-free longer into the winter. However, as the air warms, the amount of snow during the transitional seasons of late fall and early spring is expected to decrease, with more of the precipitation falling as rain. (November 15, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/18/2017 - There are many reasons why we should not continue to set the table for fossil fuels as Climate Change gets worse, major oil spills are one. Trying to build more fossil fuel infrastructure as our planet warms will continue to hijack our attention, our money, and our environment if we don’t stop cold and move towards renewable energy. Time passes. Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota About 5,000 barrels of oil, or about 210,000 gallons, gushed out of the Keystone Pipeline on Thursday in South Dakota, blackening a grassy field in the remote northeast part of the state and sending cleanup crews and emergency workers scrambling to the site. “This is not a little spill from any perspective,” said Kim McIntosh, an environmental scientist with the South Dakota Department of Environment and Natural Resources. No livestock or drinking water sources appeared to be threatened, Ms. McIntosh said, and no farm buildings or houses are within a mile. The spill, near Amherst, S.D., comes just days before regulators in neighboring Nebraska decide whether to grant the final permit needed to begin construction on a different pipeline proposal, the Keystone XL, which would be operated by the same company. An announcement in Nebraska is expected on Monday. (November 16, 2017) The New York Times [more on Energy in our area]

  • 11/18/2017 - The Trump administration’s positions at the COP23 climate talks were an embarrassment to our great country. If the world will be patient with us, we’ll get our senses back. 'Tobacco at a cancer summit': Trump coal push savaged at climate conference The US administration’s attempt to portray fossil fuels as vital to reducing poverty and saving US jobs is ridiculed in Bonn The Trump team was heckled and interrupted by a protest song at the UN’s climate change summit in Bonn on Monday after using its only official appearance to say fossil fuels were vital to reducing poverty around the world and to saving jobs in the US. While Donald Trump’s special adviser on energy and environment, David Banks, said cutting emissions was a US priority, “energy security, economic prosperity are higher priorities”, he said. “The president has a responsibility to protect jobs and industry across the country.” Other attendees at the summit condemned the argument. (November 13, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/18/2017 - Looks like Trump administration is losing both science and moral arguments on Climate Change, arguments climate deniers have long lost. Their intransigence threatens us all. Time passes. Pope Francis Blasts ‘Perverse Attitudes’ Of Climate Change Deniers The U.S. remains the only country in the world to reject the Paris climate agreement. Pope Francis is once again proving he has absolutely zero patience for climate change deniers.  Climate change is “one of the most worrying phenomena our humanity is experiencing,” the pontiff wrote Thursday in a letter sent to world leaders gathered for the United Nations’ annual climate change conference. He also warned participants against falling prey to certain “perverse” attitudes on the issue, including denial, indifference and resignation. Such attitudes “certainly do not help honest research or sincere and productive dialogue on building the future of our planet,” Francis wrote, according to a translation provided by Vatican Radio. “We need an exchange that unites us all, because the environmental challenge we are experiencing, and its human roots, regards us all, and affects us all.” (November 17, 2017) Huffington Post [more on Cliamte Change in our area]

  • 11/18/2017 - At the close of the COP23 climate talks in Bonn the world agrees on Climate Change—that Trump’s way is wrong. Be nice if Trump listened to scientists and world leaders. Climate talks close with Trump administration on one track, world on another The world climate conference ended Friday much the way it began two weeks ago — with the Trump administration bolstering legacy fuels like coal and gas, separating itself from much of the world. The lone panel sponsored by the U.S. government was interrupted by singing and chanting protesters, who said support for coal power went against the thrust of talks centered on promoting renewable energy and 21st century technology. The result was a fundamental disconnect at the gathering in Bonn, Germany. “California is not waiting for Trump,” Gov. Jerry Brown told some of the 20,000 attendees. "We are not waiting for all the deniers, we are committing ourselves to do everything possible to get on the side of nature instead of fighting it, to deal with the climate change challenge in a real way." (November 17, 2018) NBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/17/2017 - It looks that Climate Change is playing an important role in the worsening algae plague in our lakes. Our media fails us when they fail to mention the possible role of Climate Change as making these harmful algae blooms more likely. Consider pressing your press to connect the dots with more harmful algae bloom and Climate Change so we can actually address this growing problem with all the factors—which will also keep the public informed that Climate Change is already greatly influencing our region. Time passes. A look at farm runoff and the worsening algae plague Harmful algae blooms have become a top water polluter, fueled by fertilizers washing into lakes, streams and oceans. Federal and state programs have spent billions of dollars on cost-sharing payments to farmers to help prevent nutrient runoff, yet the problem is worsening in many places. Here's a look at the algae menace and what's being done: IS CLIMATE CHANGE BEHIND THIS? Many scientists believe global warming is making conditions more favorable for algae blooms, primarily by raising water temperatures and causing heavier rainstorms that wash more nutrients into waterways. (November 16, 2017) ST. Louis Post-Dispatch [more on Water Quality and Cimate Change in our area]

  • 11/17/2017 - Climate Change is affecting and will keep affecting our weather and climate around the Great Lakes. Be nice if our media began to see our weather in this longer context, which is necessary in a warming world. To be properly informed by our media so we can plan for our future at all levels—buildings, infrastructures, real estate, businesses, housing, and much more—we need a media that continually reports on the changes coming so we can adapt. Our media needs to rethink its priorities and how it reports on them. Time passes. Global Warming’s Impact on Lake Effect Snow: Fewer Flurries, More Rain Lake Michigan is getting warmer, and eventually it will mean winters with less snow in Chicago. But don’t plan yet for winters free of the white stuff. According to a recent study by climate scientists at the University of Wisconsin-Madison’s Nelson Institute Center for Climactic Research, lake effect snow will continue to make modest increases over the next few decades. But in the late 21st century, as the air continues to warm, the amount of lake effect snow from the Great Lakes is expected to decrease, with more of the precipitation falling as rain. Like other weather events, lake effect snow has been impacted by the warming of the planet from an increase in greenhouse gases. Rising global temperatures have made lakes warmer, too, causing more evaporation into the atmosphere during the winter. The result has been an increase in the amount of lake effect snow, which in this region occurs when cold arctic air blows across the relatively milder water of the Great Lakes. (November 25, 2017) WTTW Chicago Tonight [more on Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area] 

  • 11/17/2017 -   Do you live in America and are you worried by global warming? More than likely your friends and acquaintances are. Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2017 Our most recent nationally representative survey finds that the number of Americans “very worried” about global warming has reached a record high (22%) since first measured in 2008. A majority of Americans (63%) say they are “very” or “somewhat” worried about the issue. Likewise, Americans increasingly view global warming as a threat. Since Spring 2015, more Americans think it will harm them personally (50%, +14 points), their own family (54%, +13 points), people in the U.S. (67%, +18 points), people in developing countries (71%, +18 points), and future generations (75%, +12 points). Nearly two in three Americans (64%) think global warming is affecting weather in the United States, and one in three think weather is being affected “a lot” (33%), an increase of 8 percentage points since May 2017. (November 16, 2017) Yale Program on Climate Change Communication [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/17/2017 - The Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) has become the largest and most influential umbrella organization with over 120-member organizations to address Climate Change in our region. Consider helping them with their efforts by donating "RPCC is now a 501c3 organization, which allows RPCC to accept donations that are tax deductible for the donor! If you've been looking for a way to get involved in climate action, but don't have much time to spare, this could be the opportunity for you!  Your donations are greatly appreciated! Use the Donate button above, or look for it on our website: rocpcc.org. "

  • 11/17/2017 - New York State officially banned Fracking on June 29, 2015 because of potential threats to our drinking water. Why didn’t other states follow suit? Interesting story. Industrial Strength: How the U.S. Government Hid Fracking's Risks to Drinking Water A pivotal EPA study provided the rationale for exemptions that helped unleash the fracking boom. The science was suppressed to protect industry interests. For Latkanich and all those who believe their water has been tainted by fracking, there are few remedies. Congress took away the most powerful one in 2005, prohibiting the Environmental Protection Agency from safeguarding drinking water that might be harmed by fracking and even denying the regulator the authority to find out what chemicals companies use. That provision of the Energy Policy Act was justified by an EPA study about fracking into coalbed methane reservoirs, completed under the George W. Bush administration, that concluded that fracking posed no risk to drinking water. Concerns about the study emerged from the outset, including a 2004 whistleblower complaint that called it "scientifically unsound." Now, InsideClimate News has learned that the scientists who wrote the report disagreed with the conclusion imposed by the Bush EPA, saying there was not enough evidence to support it. The authors, who worked for a government contractor, went so far as to have their company's name and their own removed from the final document. (November 16, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 11/17/2017 - Satellites like these are going to be crucial feedback as we try and survive in our warming world. Back in the day, back when our numbers were much fewer and we needed less infrastructure to exist, we didn’t need eyes in the sky tracking changes we make to our environment around the globe. Now, these monitoring satellites are a necessary part of our existence. Do we have enough of them? What measurements might we be missing in order to track the health of our planet? We are now dependent on instruments like these. Time passes. This new satellite could produce the most accurate weather predictions yet Now that’s science we can all get behind! The Joint Polar Satellite System-1, a joint project of NASA and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration, is scheduled to launch from Vandenberg Air Force Base near Lompoc, Calif., at 1:47 a.m. Wednesday. Once JPSS-1 makes it into orbit, its suite of five state-of-the-art instruments will collect the most high-resolution observations yet of our planet’s atmosphere, land and oceans, NOAA officials said. “These instruments are so precise that they can measure temperatures to better than one-tenth of a degree in the entire atmosphere, from the Earth’s surface up to the edge of space,” said Greg Mandt, director of the JPSS program for NOAA. (November 14, 2017) Los Angeles Times [mmore on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/16/2017 - Since US feds have forfeited its leadership role in addressing Climate Change, others are filling that gap. As for the rest of us Americans, #WeAreStillin. Macron: France will replace US funding for UN climate science French president said Europe must step into the leadership role the US had abandoned, while Angela Merkel struggled with Germany’s political uncertainty French president Emmanuel Macron sent a pulse of excitement racing through the Bonn climate summit with a speech seizing the mantle of climate leadership from the US. In an address to a conference charged with writing the rules of the deal struck in Paris in 2015, Macron promised to replace the $2 million annual donation withdrawn by the US from the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). (November 15, 2017) Cimate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/16/2017 - While Trump Administration pushes for more fossil fuel at COP23 in Bonn, our country is warming up right now because of fossil fuels. Sad. Climate Change Is Happening in the U.S. Now, Federal Report Says — in Charts The National Climate Assessment shows rising global temperatures are having ripple effects across the environment our economy was built on. For decades, the world has been told that the climate is changing—that the build-up of fossil fuel-driven greenhouse gas emissions would irrevocably change the Earth's systems. Those changes are already happening across the United States, the newest volume of the National Climate Assessment says. The exhaustive report, written by scientists and released Friday by 13 federal agencies (and, to the surprise of some, signed off on by the Trump Administration), also clearly states that humans have directly contributed to the warming of the globe. "This period is now the warmest in the history of modern civilization," the report's authors wrote. (November 7, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/16/2017 - The fossil fuels that warm our planet warm the whole planet; but regions are affected differently and the health effects of using fossil fuels are even more disproportional. African-Americans taking brunt of oil industry pollution: report African-Americans face a disproportionate risk of health problems from pollution caused by the oil and gas industry, and the situation could worsen as President Donald Trump dismantles environmental regulations, according to a report issued on Tuesday by a pair of advocacy groups. The report, issued by the National Association for the Advancement of Colored People civil rights group and the Clean Air Task Force, said more than a million African-Americans live within half a mile (0.8 km) of an oil and gas operation, and more than 6.7 million live in a county that is home to a refinery. (November 14, 2017) Reuters [more on Air Quality and Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 11/16/2017 - Are we prepared for more ‘Biblical’ storms? Harvey’s ‘Biblical’ rainfall is getting more likely The chances of a hurricane flooding parts of Texas, like Harvey did, have soared sixfold in just 25 years because of global warming and will likely triple once again before the end of the century, a new study says. Study author Kerry Emanuel, a meteorology professor and hurricane expert at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, found that what was once an extremely rare event — 20 inches of rain over a large area of Texas — could soon be almost common. From 1981 to 2000, the probability of 20 inches of rain happening somewhere over a large chunk of Texas was 1 in 100 or even less, Emanuel said. Now it’s 6 in 100 and by 2081, those odds will be 18 in 100, he said. “The changes in probabilities are because of global warming,” Emanuel said. The study was released Monday in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences. (November 13, 2017) AP News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/16/2017 - ACTION: Winter is coming – and so is Governor Cuomo’s State of the State address. Let's tell Cuomo that we expect bold climate action to be the star of the show! RSVP to call Cuomo with other Rochesterians and New Yorkers on November 21: NY Renews Call-the-Governor Day!  

  • 11/16/2017 - The New York Time full coverage of the COP23 Bonn climate talks: The Bonn Climate Conference: All Our Coverage in One Place 

  • 11/16/2017 - ACTION: Monday, November 20, 2017 6pm in the clubhouse of The Reserve on the Erie Canal housing complex, at 1 Reserve View Blvd. PUBLIC MEETING Monday NOV 20 Brighton - Plan to clear cut major sections of the Erie Canal | In the Great Lakes Watershed - Proposed Plan for Clearcutting trees from earthen berms of the Erie Canal:   PUBLIC MEETING Monday, November 20, 2017 6pm: Open House Format: people at displays to answer questions, written public input collected, no formal presentations.   The meeting is slated for 6 p.m. Nov. 20 in the clubhouse of The Reserve on the Erie Canal housing complex, at 1 Reserve View Blvd.   Did you see that NYS Canal Corporation is planning to clear cut trees and grind out stumps and replace with mowed grass to stabilize the earthen berms along the sections of the Erie Canal where the canal is above grade and walled by earthen berms?  Reason: According to FEMA, woody roots destabilize earthen dams/berms and make it more likely to leak, burst or fail in very wet, heavy rain conditions.  Recall 1972 Bushnell's Basin canal breach during very wet season.   (See attached FEMA doc and D&C news article.)  This activity will remove big areas of wooded & diverse wildlife habitat and be boring, hot, sunny and exposed, with the increased expense and pollutants of mowing a boring grass lawn instead of a beautify canopy of trees sequestering excess carbon from the atmosphere and creating a long wildlife migration corridor along the canal...   ... unless a possible alternate plan can be adopted, such as: to replace the trees with diverse native plants to intentionally create a native grassy meadow habitat home to bluebird, butterfly and other wildlife populations that can be mowed just once a year or two to prevent woody plants from taking over. 

  • 11/15/2017 - Was last spring’s Lake Ontario flooding due to abnormally heavy rainfall because of Climate Change, or a bad Plan 2014? We’ll probably never know because we aren’t listening to the scientists and this issue has gotten political—which is to say it’s another environmental issue that’s been hijacked. Regulators blamed for flooding on Lake Ontario Sen. Pam Helming says lake-level plan failed, caused historic flooding along Lake Ontario shoreline While scientists say nothing could have prevented the historic flooding this year along Lake Ontario, politicians blame regulators. At a public hearing last week, state Sen. Pam Helming, R-Canandaigua, blamed lake-level managers for flooding this spring along the lake and the St. Lawrence River. Helming was one of four state senators and six Assembly members on a panel Thursday to hear concerns and question authorities at the hearing at Wayne Central High School in Ontario, Wayne County. More than 150 people attended. (November 13, 2017) Daily Messenger [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 11/15/2017 - News about our Air Quality from the NYS DEC: Air Mail: News About NY Air Quality This Week’s Topics: A Bit of Air History 1966 Thanksgiving Day Smog New York Recycles Day (November 14, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  

  • 11/15/2017 - This looks like a great project to help get communities in the Great Lakes basin get their water infrastructure up to snuff for Climate Change. Check it out: Great Lakes Water Infrastructure Project “Analyzing and Proposing Solutions to Water Infrastructure Failures in Great Lakes Cities It could cost Great Lakes states $200 billion over the next 20 years to bring drinking and wastewater infrastructure to a state of good repair. One of the primary drivers of sky-rocketing infrastructure investment needs is a history of low investment. The vast majority of water supply and wastewater infrastructure was installed in the early 20th century and is over 100 years old. To add fuel to the fire, increased federal regulations, climatic stressors, and rising construction costs all exacerbate the level of infrastructure investment needed.” (from CNT)

  • 11/15/2017 - Many folks keep including natural gas as an important component of our clean energy future. Why? It’s a fossil fuel. 100% renewable energy doesn’t include natural gas.  It’s not a ‘bridge’ fuel if fossil fuels are running through it. Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse Methane leaks in New Mexico's oil and gas industry equal 12 coal-fired power plants. The evidence is overwhelming that natural gas has no net climate benefit in any timescale that matters to humanity. In fact, a shocking new study concludes that just the methane emissions escaping from New Mexico’s gas and oil industry are “equivalent to the climate impact of approximately 12 coal-fired power plants.” If the goal is to avoid catastrophic levels of warming, a recent report by U.K. climate researchers finds “categorically no role” to play for new natural gas production. (November 13, 2017) Think Progress [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/15/2017 - Get full coverage of the COP23 Bonn, Germany climate talks from Democracy Now!

  • 11/14/2017 - Our opportunity to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is running out. Don’t just take my word for it. But it does seem amazing that in the USA this message by so many scientists can’t be heard because so many American minds have been polluted, blinded, and averted by politics and so many other non-reasons. What’s the point of having scientists if we aren’t going to listen to them? (Are people thinking that if they blind themselves to a warming world the world will warm no more, the oceans will recede, and they’ll somehow win a struggle to have the future they want—even though it flys in the face or reality?) Time passes. 15,000 scientists give catastrophic warning about the fate of the world in new ‘letter to humanity’ 'Time is running out' A new, dire "warning to humanity" about the dangers to all of us has been written by 15,000 scientists from around the world. The message updates an original warning sent from the Union of Concerned Scientists that was backed by 1,700 signatures 25 years ago. But the experts say the picture is far, far worse than it was in 1992, and that almost all of the problems identified then have simply been exacerbated. Mankind is still facing the existential threat of runaway consumption of limited resources by a rapidly growing population, they warn. And "scientists, media influencers and lay citizens" aren't doing enough to fight against it, according to the letter. (November 13, 2017) Independant [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/14/2017 - This message that Heartland Institute wants to be heard at COP23 is wrong, immoral, unscientific, greed-ridden, sows doubt, brazen, hubristic, out-of-touch, craven, dangerous, and downright looney: “Jim Lakely, a spokesman for the Heartland Institute, said he hoped United Nations climate delegates would also hear his group’s message. “Carbon dioxide is not a pollutant and it is not the driver of global warming,” he said. “So there is no moral case for restricting the use of fossil fuels, especially because that is vital to raising the quality and length of life of the world’s poorest people.” A Shadow Delegation Stalks the Official U.S. Team at Climate Talks BONN, Germany — The office of the official American delegation at the international climate talks here is almost always closed. A sign taped to the door informs the curious that entry is for authorized staff members only. But there’s another group of Americans who are happy to be found. They are gathered in a nearly 27,000-square-foot inflatable tent adorned with American flags and red, white and blue signs proclaiming that states, cities and businesses are “still in” the Paris agreement, despite President Trump’s vow to leave it. The alternate American pavilion, with its free espresso truck, tins of themed M&M’s and wireless internet that tells new users “the U.S. has not gone dark on climate action,” has rapidly become a hub of activity at the United Nations global warming negotiations taking place this week. On Saturday, a line of people waited in the rain to hear Michael R. Bloomberg, the former mayor of New York, Gov. Jerry Brown of California and a handful of United States senators, all Democrats, declare that much of America remains committed to reducing planet-warming carbon dioxide emissions. (November 11, 2017) The New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/14/2017 - Trump team attempts to push the advantages of fossil fuel at COP23 don’t work with a world trying to get off this old, polluting energy. Trump team lauds fossil fuels at climate summit, met with protests A Trump administration attempt to offer fossil fuels as a solution to climate change was subject to protest and walkouts on Monday at U.N. climate talks in Bonn. Representatives of the fossil fuel industry said they wanted to be part of the conversation and sat through intense questioning and heckling from media and protesters in the room. The bitterness that has divided the U.S. since the election of Donald Trump arrived in Bonn, when around a hundred mostly American climate protestors disrupted the event, with song, heckling and protest banners. (November 13, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/13/2017 - What role does climate denial play in our ability to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change? The answer won’t surprise you. How do we move forward on this worldwide crisis? Dr. Michael Mann on Climate Denial: 'It’s Impaired Our Ability to Move Forward' Last month, Climate Reality chatted with world-renowned climatologist and geophysicist Dr. Michael E. Mann, distinguished professor of atmospheric science at Penn State University, ahead of our recent Climate Reality Leadership Corps training in Pittsburgh, Pennsylvania. Below, Dr. Mann discusses why he thinks, despite the evidence of climate change all around us, we haven't reached a tipping point in the culture as well as what he'd say to climate deniers. Climate Reality: We see these impacts—these hurricanes, these droughts and heatwaves, and so much more—but among those not there on the ground, well, some still think of climate change as a far-off problem. How do we change that? (November 10, 2017) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/13/2017 - ACTION: Are we helpless in the face of the Trump administration’s attacks on our environmental protections? No, says the NRDC. Find out more: "FIGHTING THE TRUMP AGENDA, A step-b-by-step guide to Trump's attacks on the environment and how you can help NRDC stop him | President Trump faces many hurdles in his quest to dismantle our system of environmental protections. Here, we document those steps, alongside NRDC’s actions to thwart Trump policies that attack our air, water, and wild spaces. We will also continuously update the page with steps you can take—because the biggest obstacle to the Trump agenda is you. "Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC)

  • 11/13/2017 - Our infrastructure, like that which brings us our drinking water, is old and crumbling and needs to be updated quickly for a warming world. How do we do that and what are the best materials? How do we regulate all that and keep drinking water clean and healthy? With over seven billion of us, our infrastructures are a vital part of our existence. If we are to adapt to Climate Change our infrastructures—energy, water, waste, telecommunications, transportation, and more—all need to be ready for more heat and extreme weather and everything else that comes with warming a planet quickly with a lot of beings on it. Time passes. $300 Billion War Beneath the Street: Fighting to Replace America’s Water Pipes Bursting pipes. Leaks. Public health scares. America is facing a crisis over its crumbling water infrastructure, and fixing it will be a monumental and expensive task. Two powerful industries, plastic and iron, are locked in a lobbying war over the estimated $300 billion that local governments will spend on water and sewer pipes over the next decade. It is a battle of titans, raging just inches beneath our feet. “Things are moving so fast,” said Reese Tisdale, president of the water advisory firm Bluefield Research. And it’s a good thing, he says: “There are some pipes in the ground that are 150 years old.” How the pipe wars play out — in city and town councils, in state capitals, in Washington — will determine how drinking water is delivered to homes across America for generations to come. Traditional materials like iron or steel currently make up almost two-thirds of existing municipal water pipe infrastructure. But over the next decade, as much as 80 percent of new municipal investment in water pipes could be spent on plastic pipes, Bluefield predicts. (November 10, 2017) The New York Times [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/11/2017 - Only the Trump administration dismisses Climate Change action and science, the rest of US are in. U.S. Cities and States Try to Keep Washington’s Climate Promises Mayors, governors and CEOs tell world leaders the Trump administration does not speak for them A giant star-spangled pavilion sits outside the formal negotiating area for the U.N. climate meeting in Bonn, Germany, which began this Monday. American-accented English dominates the potpourri of languages there, and power-suited representatives from U.S. cities, states and businesses mingle with their foreign counterparts. Above it all hangs a giant banner with a hashtagged slogan: #We Are Still In. The “We” is Americans, and what they are still “In” is the 2015 Paris climate agreement. Not officially—earlier this year, Pres. Donald Trump announced he would withdraw the U.S. from its Paris commitments—but in intent. The pavilion is the home base for an alliance of more than 2,500 leaders from America’s cities, states, businesses, universities, faith organizations, tribes and other groups. Stymied by the slow pace of the negotiations—which they are not even allowed to participate in—these so-called “subnationals” have worked on the sidelines for years, using political will, economic leverage and the celebrity status of prominent politicians to advance their climate goals. Now Trump's presidency has galvanized subnational leaders, who want to uphold the U.S.’ Paris pledge to cut its emissions 26 to 28 percent below 2005 levels by 2025. Their ambitious plan for this year’s meeting: Convince the rest of the world they can keep the promises their president abandoned. (November 9, 2017) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/11/2017 - The more scientists learn about Climate Change the more they learn how sensitive Earth and our bodies are to heat. When it comes to Climate Change, we should listen to people who know what they are talking about because our lives depend on them. 27 Ways a Heat Wave Can Kill You — A Dire Warning for a Warming Planet New research in health and climate change suggests people are more susceptible to heat-related death than once thought. ‘It’s not just the elderly. It’s everybody.' More people are projected to die from extreme heat in coming years, and new research is beginning to understand how. The findings suggest that heat may often be overlooked as a cause of death, giving the public a skewed picture of the risks they face in a warming world. Scientists at the University of Hawaii at Manoa reviewed medical literature to identify ways in which the body responds to heat and how organs are affected. They calculated that there are 27 ways, physiologically speaking, for a person to die from extreme heat. Their findings, the researchers say, suggest that more people are susceptible to heat-related deaths than previously thought, going beyond traditionally vulnerable populations such as the elderly and people without air conditioning. They believe the findings, released this week as the UN climate conference got underway, should trigger greater concerns over the immediate physical threats from climate change. (November 10, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 11/10/2017 - Despite Trump Administration’s low profile at COP32 Americans are still in. Stay informed on COP23; We Are Still In @wearestillin “Over one hundred of America’s climate champions are participating in the next round of UN climate talks – COP23 – November 6-17 in Bonn, Germany. These university presidents, mayors, governors, and business leaders will highlight their steps to reduce climate pollution and stand in solidarity with international leaders, showing the world that US leadership on climate change extends well beyond federal policy.” WeAreStillIn

  • 11/10/2017 - Though this world news is probably not in your local news, the 23rd COP23 climate talks are going on in Bonn. Might want to take a peek at your future. 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 23) President Trump shocked the international climate community with his June 1 announcement of his intent to withdraw the U.S. from the Paris Agreement, but the U.S. will still join other governments meeting Nov. 6-17, 2017, in Bonn, Germany, to continue to work towards the 2018 deadline for completing the nuts-and-bolts decisions needed to fully implement the Paris Agreement. The 23rd Session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 23) to the U.N. Framework Convention on Climate Change will be hosted by Fiji, the first small island developing country to assume the Presidency. In a historic arrangement, the COP will be held in Bonn, Germany, with the support of the German government. Center for Climate And Energy Solultions {more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/10/2017 - Plastics exist in the Great Lakes in all shapes and sizes (from large, to bits, to microbeads, to microfibers) interfering with this precious ecosystem. What do we know about the effect of all this plastic in the largest fresh water system in the world and what are we doing about it? Time passes. Massive trash patch found on Lake Superior beach after storms  After fierce storms whipped up record waves on Lake Superior late last month, chewing up coastline along the Upper Peninsula, Stella Larkin stopped by to check on her friend's waterfront home east of Marquette. What she found stunned her. A large plastic-filled trash patch had washed up on the beach, tangled among the tree branches and other debris. Everything from battered dish soap bottles and body wash containers to plastic silverware and toys. Lots of children's beach toys. (November 8, 2017) MLive Michigan [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 11/10/2017 - According to part of the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), what are some of the “Potential Surprises: Compound Extremes and Tipping Elements” that might come with Climate Change? Are these parts of the Climate Change threats Trump doesn’t want you to know about? If we’re going to willfully ignore Climate Change, we ought to at least get an idea of what we are likely to unleash to future generations. Time passes.

  • 11/10/2017 - When an anti-science, anti-environmental governmental ideology purposely sets out to blind humanity on our ability to monitor the effects of Climate Change, we are lost. Time passes. Congress ordered destruction of obstructing satellite research into climate change The Republican majority in the US Congress has been accused of deliberately obstructing research on global warming after it emerged that a critically important technique for investigating sea-ice cover at the poles faces being blocked. The row has erupted after a key polar satellite broke down a few days ago, leaving the US with only three ageing ones, each operating long past their shelf lives, to measure the Arctic’s dwindling ice cap. Scientists say there is no chance a new one can now be launched until 2023 or later. None of the current satellites will still be in operation then. (November 5, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/10/2017 - When our leaders don’t appreciate the threat of Climate Change, we won’t be able to plan for the future that’s coming. Time passes. Trump Ignores Climate Change. That’s Very Bad for Disaster Planners. When Hurricane Irma swept through the Florida Keys in September, it brought a vivid preview of the damage that climate change could inflict on the region in the decades ahead. The storm washed out two sections of the highway connecting the Keys, leaving residents stranded for days. With ocean levels rising around these low-lying islands, however, that interruption could end up seeming minor: By 2030, almost half the county’s roads could be affected by flooding. “We know that the water isn’t going away,” said Rhonda Haag, the sustainability director for Monroe County, which is preparing to elevate vulnerable roadways in the Keys. But the task is so costly, up to $7 million per mile of road, that the county may ultimately require outside help. (November 9, 2017) The New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/09/2017 - Delegates at the U.N. climate conference will probably be not be confused by mixed messages coming from the U.S. federal government and California because they’re probably used to it by now. Trump is wrong on Climate Change and the American people are right to support staying in the Paris Accord. It’s simple to understand, we are trying to come to our freaking senses on this worldwide crisis—but there’s a lot of money screwing up our brains. Please be patient with us. Time passes. Gov. Jerry Brown and European Union leaders agree to work to combat climate change California and the European Union will discuss the possibility of creating a common carbon market to cut greenhouse gas emissions, another sign of the state assuming a global role in the fight against climate change. Gov. Jerry Brown announced the move Tuesday in Brussels after meeting with Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Union commissioner in charge of climate action and energy, and other EU leaders to discuss how California and the region could work together to combat climate change, which Brown called an “existential crisis.” (November 7, 2017) Los Angeles Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/09/2017 - Who’s the blame when extreme weather caused by Climate Change hits? Scientists are getting better at Climate Change Attribution, which is likely to make denial more difficult. How Responsible Is Each Country When an Extreme Climate Event Strikes? Scientists are developing ways to separate out how much each country's emissions raised the risk of an extreme weather event, like a damaging heat wave, occurring. When a damaging heat wave occurs, how much responsibility do the major greenhouse gas-emitting countries bear? It's a question scientists say they're getting closer to answering at a country-by-country level. As international climate negotiators meet in Germany this week, a team of scientists has published a method for estimating how individual countries' shares of global greenhouse gas emissions over time contributed to the risk of specific extreme climate events, like heat waves, occurring in other countries. The ability to connect the risk of individual extreme events to climate change is still developing, but the technique the scientists describe plays into a thorny issue between rich and poor nations. (November 9, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/09/2017 - Experts don’t know why nuclear power plant fuel rods are leaking radiation @ OSWEGO, N.Y but everything is fine. Don’t worry your pretty little heads. Leaky fuel rods shut down nuclear plant for several days Federal regulators say operators of the FitzPatrick Nuclear Power Plant along Lake Ontario are trying to figure out why several fuel rods are leaking radiation. Nuclear Regulatory Commission spokesman Neil Sheehan tells the Syracuse Post-Standard that Exelon Corporation powered down the plant near Oswego over the weekend and is ramping it back up to full capacity. (November 8, 2017) North Country Public Radio [more on Energy in our area]

  • 11/09/2017 - Trump probably allowed this Nation Climate Assessment to be released because every president since Reagan has and he didn’t want to look stupid. To be honest it doesn’t matter why Trump does good for our environment or why he does bad because in either case his reasons probably don’t make any sense.  We aren’t likely to convince Trump of anything except large numbers of voters pulling away from his anti-environmental views. Time passes. Read: Climate Science Special Report Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA4), Volume I | Experts Ponder Why Administration Released Tough Climate Report Scientists and policy experts say the White House released the report, which differs from the administration’s stance, without political tampering to avoid potential further controversy. Although the Trump administration is busily rolling back Obama era climate policies, it also allowed the release last Friday of a major report that runs counter to the administration’s own position on climate change. Scientists and policy experts told Eos that they think the administration allowed the report to be released on 3 November without political interference to avoid potential controversy about censorship. “The Trump White House staff clearly judged that the firestorm if they tried to delay or suppress the report release would be greater than that from the findings themselves.” “The Trump White House staff clearly judged that the firestorm if they tried to delay or suppress the report release would be greater than that from the findings themselves, even though the report utterly contradictsnearly all Trump Administration climate science and policy statements,” Paul Bledsoe, who helped release the first national climate assessment in 2000 while serving in the Clinton administration as communications director of the White House Climate Change Task Force, told Eos. Bledsoe currently is a lecturer at American University’s Center for Environmental Policy in Washington, D. C. (November 6, 2017) EOS [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/09/2017 - I’m thinking climate ‘threats’ works better here because ‘risks’ connotes something we might dodge. At the rate we’re going, ‘high-risk scenarios’ seem much more likely than ‘low-risk scenarios’. If we really wanted to curb the worst of Climate Change threats, we should have begun long ago. Time passes. The Climate Risks We Face Since the dawn of the industrial age, humans have been pumping increasing amounts of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere by burning coal, oil and gas. Researchers at the Mauna Loa Observatory, perched on the side of a volcano on Hawaii’s Big Island, have measured atmospheric levels of this greenhouse gas since 1958. That first year, carbon dioxide averaged 316 parts per million. In May, it reached 410 p.p.m. — an amount never before experienced in the history of our species. This atmospheric carbon dioxide — as well as other heat-trapping gases and other air pollutants emitted by humans — is affecting our planet profoundly. (November 6, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/08/2017 - “WEALTHY COUNTRIES WOULD RATHER FUND MITIGATION THAN ADAPTATION” but that condemns millions to death. Maybe we should prioritize Climate Change over economics and make our economics fit environmental necessities. For too long our economics have treated our environment as an externality and there is now there is a great cost to be paid for that oversight.  But the rich and powerful don’t want to pay the price. Time passes. THE TENSIONS OVER U.N. CLIMATE FINANCE, CAPTURED IN ONE GRAPH A look at Fiji's emissions offers insights into the longstanding tension between adaptation and mitigation in the global response to climate change—and why different countries tussle over what to do with climate cash. Spread out across some 300-odd islands in the South Pacific, Fiji has a front-row seat to the effects of climate change. The Pacific island nation is already experiencing drastic sea-level rise, droughts, floods, and rising temperatures, despite having contributed very little to the man-made emissions that are rapidly altering our planet's climate. Still, Fiji is leading global efforts to reduce carbon emissions and adapt to climate change, not least by presiding over this year's COP23 in Bonn, Germany. As the first country in the world to ratify the Paris deal, the country pledged to reach 100 percent renewable electricity by 2030—up from around 60 percent in 2013—and to cut total emissions by as much as 30 percent with the help of $500 million in international aid. Climate finance is sure to be a heated topic once again this week in Bonn, where representatives from nearly 200 countries are meeting to continue hammering out the finer details of the Paris Agreement. Everyone agrees that funding is key to climate action, especially for the world's poorest and most vulnerable nations, which is why developed nations committed to providing $100 billion a year to developing countries by 2020. But funders and recipients are generally divided on how that money should be spent. (November 6, 2017) Pacific Standard [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 11/08/2017 - Even kids know that the United States shouldn’t rely on junk science to solve Climate Change. The US cannot remain a world pariah on this worldwide crisis that is going to affect first those who didn’t cause this crisis. Time passes.  Two children sue over Trump effort to roll back Clean Power Plan Two children, backed by the Clean Air Council environmental group, sued U.S. President Donald Trump and two of his Cabinet members on Monday to try to stop them from scrapping a package of pollution-reduction rules known as the Clean Power Plan. The lawsuit, filed in federal court in the Eastern District of Pennsylvania, says the United States is “relying on junk science” and ignoring “clear and present dangers of climate change, knowingly increasing its resulting damages, death and destruction.”  (November 6, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 11/08/2017 - If we don’t quickly get to a point where we allow climate experts to be heard over ideologs, we are lost. Short of arguing until we are overwhelmed by consequences of Climate Change, how do we get the majority of humanity to recognize the threats coming with Climate Change? Years ago, before Climate Change became entangled with American politics, we were ready to address this crisis rationally. Now, we are enmired in a great inertia towards a clear and present danger that threatens our existence. Time passes. 2017 is set to be in top three hottest years, with record-breaking extreme weather 6 November 2017 (WMO) - It is very likely that 2017 will be one of the three hottest years on record, with many high-impact events including catastrophic hurricanes and floods, debilitating heatwaves and drought. Long-term indicators of climate change such as increasing carbon dioxide concentrations, sea level rise and ocean acidification continue unabated. Arctic sea ice coverage remains below average and previously stable Antarctic sea ice extent was at or near a record low. (November 6, 2017)  World Meteorological Organization (WMO) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/08/2017 - Considering the US’s role in contributing to Climate Change, Trump’s assertion that staying in Paris Accord would be “bad for America’s economy” is immoral. Trump's position is pathetic, shameful, and wrong factually because addressing Climate Change would be good for our economy and our role on the world stage. The US has not only lost its leadership role on Climate Change, we are a pariah. Sad. Syria Joins Paris Climate Accord, Leaving Only U.S. Opposed WASHINGTON — Then there was one. Syria announced during United Nations climate talks on Tuesday that it would sign the Paris agreement on climate change. The move, which comes on the heels of Nicaragua signing the accord last month, will leave the United States as the only country that has rejected the global pact. According to several people who were in a plenary session at the climate talks in Bonn, Germany, a Syrian delegate announced that the country was poised to send its ratification of the Paris agreement to the United Nations. “This is the very last country that actually announced, so everyone has joined and the U.S. is now so isolated,” said Safa Al Jayoussi, executive director of IndyAct, an environmental organization based in Lebanon that works with Arab countries on climate change. A White House spokeswoman, Kelly Love, pointed reporters to a statement the administration made when Nicaragua joined the pact, noting there had been no change in the United States’ position. (November 7, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - As the world comes together in Bonn for COP23 to curb greenhouse gases, Rochester media laments rising gas costs. We need to connect the dots with Energy use and Climate Change.

  • 11/07/2017 - What will be the repercussions of the USA ducking our responsibilities at the COP23 climate talks in Bonn? Shame? Loss of prestige? Loss of Credibility? Do we care what the world thinks of us? COP23: US absence felt on first day of UN climate summit The small city of Bonn, Germany, was inundated with thousands of delegates today for this year's UN climate summit. Over the coming two weeks, negotiators will hammer out the rule book for the Paris climate agreement reached two years ago. The VIPs will not arrive until next week for the intensive final days of the summit. But already, the politicians are gearing up for a battle between people claiming to speak for the United States. Donald Trump announced earlier this year he will pull the United States out of the Paris Agreement. However, the withdrawal process takes three years, leaving the United States in as a signatory until then. President Trump is sending a small delegation to Bonn that will try to continue to shape the rules of the agreement. The role this delegation intends to play, and what role it should be allowed to play, was the subject of much debate on the first day of the summit. (November 6, 2017)  Deutsche Welle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - Even meteorologists understand Climate Change now. There’s no excuse for climate denial. Blockbuster Assessment: Humans Likely Responsible For Virtually All Global Warming Since 1950s Humans are likely responsible for 93 - 123% of Earth’s net global warming after 1950, says a blockbuster climate report issued on Friday. The Climate Science Special Report is the first product released by the Fourth National Climate Assessment (NCA); the core assessment itself, focusing on impacts, will be released in 2018. The NCA is an congressionally mandated quadrennial effort by hundreds of U.S. scientists to assess how the climate is changing in the United States. The project is carried out by the U.S. Global Change Research Program. Preparation of the report included workshops around the nation, a public-comment period on the draft, and a technical review spanning 13 agencies. (November 3, 2017) Weather Underground [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - Have US efforts to stay with the Paris Accord been trumped by climate deniers, many think not. Time passes. Advancing the U.S. Nonfederal Movement to Support the Paris Agreement Since the current U.S. administration announced its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, state, local, and private-sector leaders across the United States have created a landscape of climate initiatives and alliances to demonstrate that the country remains largely committed to the global fight against climate change. To date, the U.S. nonfederal climate movement has focused on pledges to reduce domestic greenhouse gas emissions in an effort to support the Paris Agreement. Given that the movement represents a significant percentage of the U.S. economy and population, these pledges have provided international assurance that the second-largest emitter will continue its pivot toward clean energy—even as the White House pursues an anti-climate agenda. (see text box for a taxonomy of the U.S. nonfederal climate movement) (November 6, 2017) Center for American Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - When it comes to harmful algal blooms in our region “lake temperatures” that help spread the blooms are probably code for Climate Change. Read EPA’s factsheet “Impacts of Climate Change on the Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms Lake Erie algal bloom as large as predicted, hurting fishing charters, but sparing island tourism CLEVELAND, Ohio - Federal forecasters won't deliver their final report for a few weeks, but indications are that the harmful algal bloom of the past summer met their predictions for one of the worst on record. The bulk of the bloom was concentrated in the Western basin of Lake Erie, which benefited the summer tourism in and around the Lake Erie islands. The lake's charter boat captains, who rely on clear water for the best walleye and yellow perch fishing conditions, weren't as lucky. (November 5, 2017) Cleveland.com [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - As more wildfires caused by Climate Change are burning our planet’s lungs (our forests), the resultant air pollution is burning our lungs. Climate Change makes wildfires more likely, larger, and hotter. Time passes. Breathing Fire As climate change fuels large wildfires, the pollution they're releasing is making Americans sick and undermining decades of progress in cleaning the air. SANTA ROSA, Calif. — As the deadliest fires in California history swept through leafy neighborhoods here, Kathleen Sarmento fled her home in the dark, drove to an evacuation center and began setting up a medical triage unit. Patients with burns and other severe injuries were dispatched to hospitals. She set about treating many people whose symptoms resulted from exposure to polluted air and heavy smoke. This story was produced through a partnership between Climate Central and Kaiser Health News with support from the Bill Lane Center for the American West at Stanford University. Kaiser Health News/California Healthline senior correspondent Barbara Feder Ostrov contributed reporting from Santa Rosa. “People were coming in with headaches. I had one. My eyes were burning,” said Sarmento, the director of nursing at Santa Rosa Community Health, which provides health care for those who cannot afford it. But respiratory problems — coughs and shortness of breath — were among the biggest risks. “We made sure everyone had a mask.” More than half of the evacuees at the shelter that October night were elderly, some from nursing homes who needed oxygen 24/7. Sarmento scrambled to find regulators for oxygen tanks that were otherwise useless. It was a chaotic night — but what came to worry her most were the weeks and months ahead. (November 7, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change and Air Quality in our area]

  • 11/07/2017 - To actually measure the US creditability gap between Its NCA and Trump administration on Climate Change, read the NCA. The National Climate Assessment is as clear an expert message you’re going to get out of the US that Climate Change is happening, caused by humanity, and needs to be addressed. How long will the US be the ignorant bully demanding that the world close its eyes on Climate Change? Time passes. As Climate Talks Open, Federal Report Exposes U.S. Credibility Gap The Trump administration’s push for expanding fossil fuel use is at odds with its own National Climate Assessment. As global climate talks resume this week, the U.S. is straddling a climate credibility gap, with the Trump administration's policies on one side of an abyss and what the government's own scientists know with increasing certainty on the other. The disconnect became more evident last week as the administration published, but then basically shrugged off, a comprehensive report on the state of climate science. Written by authoritative government and academic experts, then honed by the extreme vetting of a formal National Academy of Sciences peer review, the latest volume of the National Climate Assessment paints a stern and explicit picture of the risks of climate change. (November 6, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/06/2017 - Will humanity go backwards or forwards on addressing Climate Change during COP23? Time passes. Don’t wake the bear: fragile climate talks begin in Bonn Despite calm rhetoric, negotiators are nervous of the Trump effect, telling Climate Home News the Paris consensus ‘can unravel very quickly’ During a year of climate confrontation, the world has closed ranks around the Paris deal struck in 2015. Momentum was “irreversible”, said a statement released by the German, French and Italian leaders in the hours after Donald Trump said he would leave or “renegotiate” the accord. In the lead up to the annual UN talks in Bonn, which kick off on Monday, rhetoric from all nations has been uniform – confident, calm, defiant. Emmanuel Macron and Angela Merkel will attend the meeting in solidarity. In an interview with Climate Home News, Nazhat Shameem Khan, the Fijian diplomat who will lead much of these talks, said the conference needed to rebut any notion that the vision of the agreement had dimmed. (November 6, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/06/2017 - So, while the rest of the world goes to COP23 in Bonn to address the climate crisis due to the rapid rise in greenhouse gases, Trump team is going to try and sell them coal. This is freaking embarrassing. Sad. Climate talks open amid anger over Trump's coal support The latest round of UN led climate talks have opened in Bonn with delegates from almost 200 countries in attendance. Over the next two weeks, negotiators hope to clarify the rulebook of the Paris climate agreement. It is the first major meeting since President Trump announced plans to take the US out of the Paris pact last June. Many delegates are unhappy with White House plans to promote fossil fuels here as a "solution" to climate change. (November 5, 2017) BBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/06/2017 - Excellent encapsulation of the goals of the COP23 Climate Change summit in Bonn for those of us with challenged media. Get the skinny from this excellent article. And, shame on all major media not covering this important climate summit at this critical time in our history. Time passes. The COP23 climate change summit in Bonn and why it matters Halting dangerous global warming means putting the landmark Paris agreement into practice – without the US – and tackling the divisive issue of compensation What is happening? The world’s nations are meeting for the 23rd annual “conference of the parties”(COP) under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) which aims to “prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system”, ie halt global warming. It is taking place in Bonn, Germany from 6-17 November. Why does it matter? Climate change is already significantly increasing the likelihood of extreme weather, from heatwaves to floods. But without sharp cuts to global carbon emissions, we can expect “severe, widespread, and irreversible impacts” for billions of people and the natural world. The landmark Paris agreement at COP21in 2015 delivered the first truly global deal to tackle climate change, but national action needs to be significantly toughened to meet to goal of keeping global temperature rise to well below 2C, and 1.5C if possible. All the science, and the battering that extreme weather has inflicted this year from floods in India and Nigeria to hurricanes in the Caribbean and wildfires in the US and Europe, indicates that global emissions need to start falling urgently – in the next few years. The Paris agreement set out principles, but not the details, with one diplomat likening it to having a brilliant new smartphone but no operating system. The Bonn meeting will be vital in building the rules that will enable the Paris deal to work. (NOvember 5, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/06/2017 - This project to enhance transportation in our future by the City of Rochester is something we are keeping our eye on. Hopefully, we’ll really see “"urban village" development concept, improved walkability, sustainability and inter-modal connections, the "complete streets" concept and improved public realm design.” According to the webpage the final document should be ready by January of 2018.   ROCHESTER MOBILITY ENHANCEMENT STUDY About the Project   The purpose of this project is to first generally identify, examine and understand the broad connections, impacts and relationships between urban transportation goals and policies, key land use and development patterns and issues and the urban regulatory framework (zoning and permitting). (Rochester, NY)

  • 11/06/2017 - Great discussion on fake scientific skepticism with local Rochester, NY philosophy professor. It’s good to discuss and argue about Climate Change because we need to talk about this. But not all opinions are an honest discussion about the crisis of our age. How do you tell sense from nonsense?  Climate Change Skepticism with Lawrence Torcello “How does corporate misinformation and partisan skepticism effect what we know about climate change? Lawrence Torcello is an Associate Professor of Philosophy at the Rochester Institute of Philosophy. His research focuses on social and political philosophy, democratic theory, and climate justice.” (November 2, 2017 Why We Argue)   

  • 11/06/2017 - The Rochester, NY region could definitely use more electric vehicle charging stations. Hybrid electric plug-in vehicles, like mine, could get around with using more electric than fossil fuels if there were more places to charge up. Canandaigua gets its first electric vehicle charging station The City of Canandaguia will hold a ribbon cutting ceremony for its first electric vehicle charging stations Saturday afternoon. It’s the first of several stations to be installed throughout the Finger Lakes region. Other communities will be getting charging stations including Brockport, Geneseo and Victor. (November 4, 2017) WXXI News [more on Energy and Transportation in our area]

  • 11/04/2017 - I wonder how the Trump administration will plan for “easing the path for climate refugees.” Hummmm…. Climate refugees move up the agenda One government is considering easing the path for climate refugees to gain admission, and the United Nations is also reviewing ways to help them.  By definition, climate refugees are people with few choices beyond simple survival as sea levels rise, harvests wither and storms batter whatever refuge they have. But that could be starting to change: as the UN’s annual climate change conference prepares for two weeks of work (6-17 November) in the German city of Bonn, there are signs of hope for those at risk, who by some estimates could number two billion people by 2100.  First, New Zealand’s climate change minister has announced that the government may consider creating an experimental visa for people fleeing from climate change. There are few details of the scheme yet, or of how many of the new visas could be available. (November 4, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/04/2017 - Which raises the question, what if we are only willing to plan for Climate Change in certain places but not others? Does everyone rush to the places that planned properly and survived intact after major extreme weather due to Climate Change? Or, do we also need to plan on keeping others out, like rich walled-in neighborhoods, cities, or countries so they don’t get overwhelmed by those who didn’t or couldn’t prepare for Climate Change? Of course, the answer is that everyone prepares, and everyone helps every other city, neighborhood, state, and country prepare. This means we need to evolve as a species quicker than we are doing. Time passes. Museums Are Just About the Only Places Ready for the Next Natural Disaster Climate-resilient design is on the rise. Museums, seeking to protect their priceless art, are on this cutting edge. When Superstorm Sandy ripped through New York City in October 2012, it did not discriminate. At the construction site of the new Whitney Museum of American Art, chief operating officer John Stanley recalls “mechanical equipment bobbing like corks” in the floodwaters. And at the Rubin Museum of Art, a few blocks uptown, and upland, the museum lost power—a necessity for preserving the artifacts from environmental damage—and the backup generators weren’t enough to keep the facility running. “We thought if we do lose power, in the history of New York City, it would be for a day or two,” executive director Patrick Sears says. “No one really anticipated we could go without power for a week.” (October 27, 2017) Slate [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/03/2017 - What happens when we can’t reach our 2C goal for addressing Climate Change? Just move the bar? Works on paper but not so much in the real world. Time passes. The three-degree world: the cities that will be drowned by global warming The UN is warning that we are now on course for 3C of global warming. This will ultimately redraw the map of the world When UN climate negotiators meet for summit talks this month, there will be a new figure on the table: 3C. Until now, global efforts such as the Paris climate agreement have tried to limit global warming to 2C above pre-industrial levels. However, with latest projections pointing to an increase of 3.2C by 2100, these goals seem to be slipping out of reach. (November 3, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/03/2017 - Yes, I’m thinking Trump team trying to push fossil fuels on Bonn Climate Talks would be wildly unpopular. Trump’s idea of working with the world community on Climate Change is that every other country dumps their science, their economy, their sense of justice, indeed their common sense and just go whole hog on producing the same energy from fossil fuels that got us into this mess. Could the USA be more indifferent to the world plight on Climate Change, which we are in large part responsible? Time passes. Trump Team to Promote Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power at Bonn Climate Talks WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will promote coal, natural gas and nuclear energy as an answer to climate change at a presentation during a United Nations global warming conference this month, the White House confirmed Thursday. The program is billed as a discussion of how American energy resources, particularly fossil fuels, can help poor countries meet electricity needs and drive down greenhouse gas emissions. Entitled “The Role of Cleaner and More Efficient Fossil Fuels and Nuclear Power in Climate Mitigation,” it will feature speakers from Peabody Energy, a coal company; NuScale Power, a nuclear engineering firm; and Tellurian, a liquefied natural gas exporter. “As the world seeks to reduce emissions while promoting economic prosperity, fossil fuels will continue to play a central role in the energy mix,” a preview of the Nov. 13 presentation says. (November 2, 2017) The New York Times [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/03/2017 - Who ya gonna believe on Climate Change? “The NCA4 … the nation's most authoritative assessment of climate science”? Or Trump administration? Massive Government Report Says Climate Is Warming And Humans Are The Cause It is "extremely likely" that human activities are the "dominant cause" of global warming, according to the most comprehensive study ever of climate science by U.S. government researchers. The climate report, obtained by NPR, notes that the past 115 years are "the warmest in the history of modern civilization." The global average temperature has increased by about 1.8 degrees Fahrenheit over that period. Greenhouse gases from industry and agriculture are by far the biggest contributor to warming. The findings contradict statements by President Trump and many of his Cabinet members, who have openly questioned the role humans play in changing the climate. "I believe that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do," EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt said in an interview earlier this year. "There's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact." (November 2, 2017) National Public Radio [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/03/2017 - Perhaps not the warmest October in Rochester, NY ever but a heating-up trend is definitely here. Though many in Rochester might like warm Octobers, they won’t like what comes with all that. Much of Northeast notches warmest October in recorded history Whether you call it Hotober or Octoaster, the 10th month of the year failed to deliver the standard chill it is known for in the Northeast. The month ranked as the warmest on record or very close to it throughout the region. New York City (Central Park), Newark, Hartford, Burlington, Worcester, Portland, Bangor and Caribou all registered their warmest Octobers on record. Boston and Providence came oh so close, ranking second warmest by a fraction of a degree. (November 1, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/02/2017 - I consider myself in sync with Governor Brown representing the voice of US on Climate Change at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP23). The Trump administrations’ view on Climate Change is that of an international pariah. California governor heads to Europe for climate talks SACRAMENTO, Calif. (AP) — California Gov. Jerry Brown is continuing his international fight against climate change with an 11-day trip to Europe starting Saturday including stops at the Vatican and a United Nations conference in Germany. Brown is a chief adversary to Republican President Donald Trump in the battle over U.S. climate policy, promising to help the country reach its emissions reductions targets even as Trump withdraws from an international climate accord. He’s been named the special adviser for states and regions at the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany. (November 1, 2017) AP News [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 11/02/2017 - I don’t believe we have a luxury of a carbon budget but if we do, we’re going to blow through that. Given all past environmental abuses and the unknown unknowns (stuff we don’t even know we don’t know) about Climate Change, I think it’s hubristic to think we can still belt out more greenhouse gases without there being horrendous consequences—especially in the light of record-breaking extreme weather and wildfires. But it looks like humanity is not going to even reach this arbitrary (political) carbon budget goal, which is to say we aren’t even close to getting a handle on this crisis. Time passes.  UN warns of 'unacceptable' greenhouse gas emissions gap Report reveals large gap between government pledges and the reductions needed to prevent dangerous global warming There is still a large gap between the pledges by governments to cut greenhouse gas emissions and the reductions scientists say are needed to avoid dangerous levels of climate change, the UN has said. Current plans from national governments, and pledges made by private sector companies and local authorities across the world, would lead to temperature rises of as much as 3C or more by the end of this century, far outstripping the goal set under the 2015 Paris agreement to hold warming to 2C or less, which scientists say is the limit of safety. The UN’s findings come in its latest assessment of progress on climate change, published on Tuesday ahead of the COP23 conference, a follow-up to the Paris agreement, to be held in Bonn next week. (October 31, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 11/02/2017 - A good climate action plan (CAP) doesn’t try to strike a balance between developing fossil fuels and addressing Climate Change. A CAP addresses Climate Change. Alaska Gov. Walker signs Climate Change Action Plan FAIRBANKS - Gov. Bill Walker signed an administrative order Tuesday creating the Alaska Climate Change Strategy as well as forming a leadership team to address climate change in Alaska. The order also calls for state departments to review previous work on climate change and identify immediate responses they can take. Walker said the time was now to take a stand against climate change. "Alaskans should be at the forefront of innovation and response," Walker said. "In addition to developing solutions that ensure community and economic resilience while mitigating environmental harm, we must also engage with national and international partners to strengthen Alaska's voice in global decision-making." (October 31, 2017) Daily News-Miner [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 11/01/2017 - What might be the full impact of the Asian Carp in the Great Lakes.? Read new report: “EDUCATION AND OUTREACH ON ASIAN CARP” from the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network. Local Sea Grant office co-authors new report on Asian carp A detailed report about the life history, behaviors and ecosystem impacts by four species of the invasive Asian carp was released Monday by the Great Lakes Sea Grant Network. Helen Domske, New York Sea Grant's coastal education specialist at the University at Buffalo, is one of four experts from New York who helped develop the Asian carp education and outreach report. (October 31, 2017) The Buffalo News [more on Invasive Species, Water Quality, and the Great lakes in our area]

  • 11/01/2017 - How to describe the connections to public health and Climate Change at this point in time? It’s been a long while that scientists and doctors and other experts have warned that a warming planet will probably increase public health issues that come with hotter weather, more extreme weather, and disease carriers that can survive longer in what used to be colder regions. Studies that have taken the time and expertise to tease out this probably connection between Climate Change and more public health issues are now coming out, from medical experts and more. The health warnings are becoming more clear that many will suffer as a result of a poor response to this worldwide crisis. I’ve long thought that our media should have been viewing the increase in extreme weather and health issues around the world through the lens of Climate Change—or at least suggest the possibilities. How much more aware of Climate Change might public be now if our media had been more attentive to our climate scientists’ predictions on this crisis? Now, with extreme weather and wildfires in our faces, the public, inured by a complacent media, still finds ways to avoid this crisis and the need to plan. Could a climate denier been put into the top office of this country if the media have kept the public properly informed? Time passes. Climate change fueling disasters, disease in ‘potentially irreversible’ ways, report warns Climate change significantly imperils public health globally, according to a new report that chronicles the many hazards and symptoms already being seen. The authors describe its manifestations as “unequivocal and potentially irreversible.” Heat waves are striking more people, disease-carrying mosquitoes are spreading and weather disasters are becoming more common, the authors note in the report published Monday by the British medical journal the Lancet. Climate change is a “threat multiplier,” they write, and its blows hit hardest in the most vulnerable communities, where people are suffering from poverty, water scarcity, inadequate housing or other crises. “We’ve been quite shocked and surprised by some of the results,” said Nick Watts, a fellow at University College London’s Institute for Global Health and executive director of the Lancet Countdown, a project aimed at examining the links between climate change and public health. (October 30, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area] 

  • 10/31/2017 - CO2 levels are one of our most important life monitors. Humanity needs to pay attention to this Climate Change indicator. ““Today’s CO2 concentration of ~400 ppm exceeds the natural variability seen over hundreds of thousands of years,” the WMO bulletin said.” Global atmospheric CO2 levels hit record high UN warns that drastic action is needed to meet climate targets set in the Paris agreement The concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increased at record speed last year to hit a level not seen for more than three million years, the UN has warned. The new report has raised alarm among scientists and prompted calls for nations to consider more drastic emissions reductions at the upcoming climate negotiations in Bonn. “Globally averaged concentrations of CO2 reached 403.3 parts per million (ppm) in 2016, up from 400.00 ppm in 2015 because of a combination of human activities and a strong El Niño event,” according to The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, the UN weather agency’s annual flagship report. (Octpber 30, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/30/2017 - What about the 3% of climate scientists who don’t agree that “global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity?” Those 3% of scientific papers that deny climate change? A review found them all flawed It’s often said that of all the published scientific research on climate change, 97% of the papers conclude that global warming is real, problematic for the planet, and has been exacerbated by human activity. But what about those 3% of papers that reach contrary conclusions? Some skeptics have suggested that the authors of studies indicating that climate change is not real, not harmful, or not man-made are bravely standing up for the truth, like maverick thinkers of the past. (Galileo is often invoked, though his fellow scientists mostly agreed with his conclusions—it was church leaders who tried to suppress them.) (September 5, 2017) Quartz [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/30/2017 - It may seem from our human perspective that changes in seasons due to Climate Change can be good or bad. But it’s bad. Whatever good we may find in Climate Change will be overwhelmed by our ability to manage it if we don’t get moving. Time passes. Scientists say climate change making winter start later and later Winter is coming ... later. And it’s leaving ever earlier. Across the United States, the year’s first freeze has been arriving further and further into the calendar, according to more than a century of measurements from weather stations nationwide. Scientists say it is yet another sign of the changing climate, and that it has good and bad consequences for the nation. There could be more fruits and vegetables – and also more allergies and pests. “I’m happy about it,” said Karen Duncan of Streator, Illinois. Her flowers are in bloom because she’s had no frost this year yet, just as she had none last year at this time either. On the other hand, she said just last week it was too hot and buggy to go out – in late October, near Chicago. (October 28, 2017) Concord Monitor [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/30/2017 - Climate Change is making world health threats worse. Nurses in Puerto Rico See First-Hand Health Crisis from Climate Disasters They described sick children, families without food, and elderly people exposed to heat and contaminated water. New health risks are emerging as the planet warms. A group of nurses who volunteered in Puerto Rico following Hurricane Maria gave harrowing accounts of what they saw in hospitals, homes and isolated towns there at a meeting with members of Congress on Thursday. "Children, hungry and sick, clinging to their crying mothers, who were begging for food to feed their families. Frail elders exposed to excessive heat and rain, desperate for drinking water and forced to make terrible choices to either suffer from severe dehydration or drink from contaminated rivers and streams that could also lead to death," Cathy Kennedy, a registered nurse and Vice-President of National Nurses United, said recounting what she and others saw on the island. (Ocotber 26, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/28/2017 - Not everyone sees plastic bag use as harmless. What does zero tolerance toward plastic bags look like? Public Shaming and Even Prison for Plastic Bag Use in Rwanda GISENYI, Rwanda — They are sometimes tucked into bras, hidden in underwear or coiled tightly around a smuggler’s arms. They’re not narcotics or even the illegally mined gold and diamonds that frequently make it across the border into Rwanda. But they are, at least in the eyes of Egide Mberabagabo, a watchful border guard, every bit as nefarious. The offending contraband? Plastic bags. “They’re as bad as drugs,” said Mr. Mberabagabo, one of a dozen border officials whose job it is to catch smugglers and dispose of the illicit plastic he finds. Here in Rwanda, it is illegal to import, produce, use or sell plastic bags and plastic packaging except within specific industries like hospitals and pharmaceuticals. The nation is one of more than 40 around the world that have banned, restricted or taxed the use of plastic bags, including China, France and Italy. But Rwanda’s approach is on another level. Traffickers caught carrying illegal plastic are liable to be fined, jailed or forced to make public confessions. (October 28, 2017) New York Times [more Recycling in our area]

  • 10/24/2017 - Occasionally, if you try and work together, you can preserve some semblance of Nature in your neighborhood. As we continue to grow and develop we must preserve portions of our life support systems for our sanity, for advice on how to right an ancient system of biology when it is wronged. Andreatta: Diocese sells 'heaven' to Henrietta neighbors Beckwith Park isn’t really a park. It’s about 13 acres of mostly overgrown, vacant land off Beckwith Road ringed by a few dozen homes. The homeowners call it a park because the land is brimming with vegetation — ash, cherry, elm, maple, oak and walnut trees — that offers refuge for wildlife including deer, foxes and skunks. There are thickets, meadows and a wild blackberry patch. “You really can’t tell you’re in an urban community with streets on three sides and a Thruway less than a mile away,” said resident Tobin Foryt, who with his wife Kristie has raised four boys on the park. “This is like a little sanctuary, a little piece of heaven.” (October 20, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Urban Sprawl in our area]

  • 10/24/2017 - Imagine, if we didn’t have a climate denial Trump administration and the “Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change.” In that case, it would be more likely that the US would do the prudent thing and heed this warning. But that now seems unlikely. The Trump administration is unlikely to take this warning seriously. That’s too bad because humanity has passed many points where it should have taken dramatic action to bring down the level of greenhouse gases so we don’t warm planet more. What interesting about this economic report is that we are unlikely to take the measures we need to adapt to the warming we’ve already injected into our climate system. By installing a climate denier into office, we seem hell-bent on making sure Climate Change gets worse and hamper our ability to cope. Time passes. Congressional Auditor Urges Action to Address Climate Change WASHINGTON — Fires, floods and hurricanes are already costing the federal government tens of billions of dollars a year and climate change will drive those costs ever higher in coming years, a new federal study warns. The report by the Government Accountability Office, Congress’s auditing arm, urges the Trump administration to take climate change risks seriously and begin formulating a response. The study, scheduled to be released Tuesday, says that different sectors of the economy and different parts of the country will be harmed in ways that are difficult to predict. But one estimate projects that rising temperatures could cause losses in labor productivity of as much as $150 billion by 2099, while changes in some crop yields could cost as much as $53 billion. The Southwest will suffer more costly wildfires, the Southeast will see more heat-related deaths and the Northwest must prepare for diminished shellfish harvests. (October 23, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/24/2017 - How much oil gets moved around, under, or on the Great Lakes and what is the danger of accidents? Is it safe? Check out this interview with an expert: VIDEO: Oil Transportation in the Great Lakes region Matthew Child, a scientist with the International Joint Commission, talks with Great Lakes Today's Angelica Morrison about the transporting oil throughout the Great Lakes region. (October 19, 2017) WBFO [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/24/2017 - “Record warmth” in Rochester, NY could be code for Climate Change. Be nice is local media teased that possibility out. How can our media not talk about great changes in our weather that lean towards what climate scientists have predicted for our region? Wouldn’t this kind of attention bring Climate Change to more of the public so they could understand the worldwide crisis we are a part of? Record October warmth in Rochester Rochester, NY - The fall wardrobe has been tucked away in the closet this month in Rochester. Area temperatures have consistently averaged nearly 10 degrees above normal. From a weather standpoint, the region has been stuck in a pattern that has made it fell more like early to mid September. On the east coast we've been stuck in a persistent ridge. (October 23, 2017) WHAM Rochester

  • 10/24/2017 - We are deluding ourselves about water quality when Great Lakes communities like ours continually exceed sewage discharge limits—which by the way, should be freaking zero. We go into Climate Change with the environment we have and the Great Lakes, the largest freshwater system in the world must be ready for a warmer world with more people around the world looking for fresh clean water. Communities around the Great Lakes basin must all be sure their sewer systems do not overflow when we get heavy precipitation—which is getting heavier and heavier as a consequence of Climate Change in our region. These problems with wastewater plants—along with plastic pollution, pharmaceutical pollution, invasive species, and much more--are Climate Change problems for our region and should be treated as such. Troubled Monroe County sewage plant draws DEC attention State environmental officials have stepped in to press Monroe County to fix problems at the county’s primary sewage treatment plant that have festered for six long years. The Van Lare plant next to Durand-Eastman Park, the largest wastewater treatment facility on the U.S. side of Lake Ontario, has had persistent sludge-removal problems since the summer of 2011. It has violated its New York state discharge permit at least 81 times. Two particularly bad episodes, in September 2011 and December 2016, resulted in the discharge of tons of undesirable clumps of bacteria and other solids into Lake Ontario. The lake has not suffered any lasting environmental damage as a result of the problems, state and county officials have said. (October 23, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/24/2017 - One of the unknown knowns on Climate Change is how will melting glaciers affect sea rise? Could be dramatic. Studying how past climate changes unfolded can be of great use in our planning for this Climate Change. Though, we must remember that Climate Change is occurring with over seven billion of us with our critical infrastructure—transportation, telecommunications, water, gas, waste, etc.  If sudden bursts of profound sea level rises, like “several meters in just decades” are possible, that is a scenario we must be ready for because humanity has much more at stake in this Climate Change. This possibility of sudden sea level rise also highlights why we should be adapting and mitigating Climate Change as quickly as possible—we don’t know how many other unknown knowns, or even unknown unknowns (scenarios we don’t even know we don’t know) there are that would quickly overwhelm us if we don’t prepare. We’ve been much too complacent on addressing Climate Change. Time passes. Oceans Can Rise in Sudden Bursts Fossilized corals off Texas show that in the past, sea level rose several meters in just decades, probably due to collapsing glaciers The threat of sea-level rise remains one of the greatest global concerns about climate change, and scientists are still improving their predictions of how much — and how quickly — the world's oceans may rise. To help answer those questions about the future, some researchers are looking into the past. New research has provided one of the most detailed looks yet into the patterns of sea-level rise that occurred during the world's last major warming period, more than 10,000 years ago. The study, published yesterday in Nature Communications, suggests that during this time water rose rapidly, in punctuated bursts, rather than gradually over time. It was likely driven by uneven pulses of meltwater from the world's collapsing glaciers. The researchers suggest these past events could be viewed as a kind of “analog” for the future — a warning of the events that could yet come under future climate change. (October 20, 2017) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/23/2017 - So now if local officials want expert information in order to write up appropriate policies to address Climate Change, they’ll have to go someplace other than the EPA. Battling bad ideology will be added to the work of scientists and those charged with protecting us from the clear and present danger of Climate Change. Sad. E.P.A. Scrubs a Climate Website of ‘Climate Change’ The Environmental Protection Agency has removed dozens of online resources dedicated to helping local governments address climate change, part of an apparent effort by the agency to play down the threat of global warming. A new analysis made public on Friday found that an E.P.A. website has been scrubbed of scores of links to materials to help local officials prepare for a world of rising temperatures and more severe storms. The site, previously the E.P.A.’s “Climate and Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments” has been renamed “Energy Resources for State, Local and Tribal Governments.” About 15 mentions of the words “climate change” have been removed from the main page alone, the study found. Among the now-missing pages are those detailing the risks of climate change and the different approaches states are taking to curb emissions. Also edited out were examples of statewide plans to adapt to weather extremes. (October 20, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/23/2017 - It seems likely that the higher temperatures and drought conditions in California were amplified by Climate Change to make this year’s wildfires worse. As always, it’s hard to tease out Climate Change from what would be a normal range of disasters, like wildfires and hurricanes. But, given their increasing destruction to life and property, increases in insurances, and increasing disruptions shouldn’t we be planning through the lens of Climate Change? The consequences of continually writing off these extremes in wildfires and hurricanes as normal events doesn’t sound prudent in the light of Climate Change science in the increasing ability of scientists to attribute individual disasters to this worldwide crisis. Time passes. 4 Questions About Climate Change and the California Fires Rising temperatures can make the U.S. West dangerously combustible. We saw it this year in California wine country. The deadly fires that swept through California's wine country made one of the state's most destructive fire seasons on record even worse. As global temperatures continue to rise, scientists say the risk of extreme fire seasons across the West is rising, too. Wildfires are hugely complex events, complicated by human activity, including rampant development and decades of fire suppression strategies that left too much dry timber and underbrush for fires to burn.   Add the effects of climate change to the mix, and California's already fire-prone landscape grows increasingly combustible. What's the link between fires & climate change? An increasing body of research finds that the hot and dry conditions that created the California drought were brought on in part by human-caused warming. (October 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/21/2017 - Not laughable that rivers and forest should have rights? What’s laughable is that legal systems are still blind to our life support system. Our politics and our legal systems and even our media need to prioritize their systems so that our environment thrives. The only way we can thrive without our environment doing so, is for a sustainable population of human to have enough time to build enough spaceships that will move fast enough to another place we can thrive. That would probably require faster-than-light space travel. Now that’s more than laughable. If humanity cannot get their act together to save the planet their on, how will they get enough of us to another place in the universe that’s way beyond our technical ability? Wouldn’t it be far easier and better for us to change our collective behavior towards our life support system, than try to figure out solutions that defy physics? Time passes. Corporations Have Rights. Why Shouldn’t Rivers? DENVER — Does a river — or a plant, or a forest — have rights? This is the essential question in what attorneys are calling a first-of-its-kind federal lawsuit, in which a Denver lawyer and a far-left environmental group are asking a judge to recognize the Colorado River as a person. If successful, it could upend environmental law, possibly allowing the redwood forests, the Rocky Mountains or the deserts of Nevada to sue individuals, corporations and governments over resource pollution or depletion. Future lawsuits in its mold might seek to block pipelines, golf courses or housing developments and force everyone from agriculture executives to mayors to rethink how they treat the environment. Several environmental law experts said the suit had a slim chance at best. “I don’t think it’s laughable,” said Reed Benson, chairman of the environmental law program at the University of New Mexico. “But I think it’s a long shot in more ways than one.” (September 26, 2017) New York Times [more on Water Quality in our area]  

  • 10/21/2017 - Local interview with Bill McKibben on the state of Climate Change and environmentalism during Trump’s anti-environmental era. How much will Trump set us back from our goal of a sustainable existence? Podcast: Environmentalist Bill McKibben For our latest Postcast, Dan Telvock interviewed Bill McKibben, an author and founder of 350.org, a grassroots climate change movement and news website. McKibben discusses a wide range of topics, including how climate change impacts the Great Lakes region and how the movement has evolved over the past decade. (October 11, 2017) Investigative Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/21/2017 - Global pollution puts a great big lie to trump administration’s attacks on environmental protections. A polluting ideology cannot replace sustainability. Nobody, not even industry, thrives when we can’t breathe the air or drink the water. Our environment, our life support system, was never intended to be our waste disposal. Our air, water, and soil are the crux of our existence, an understanding it has taken our species hundreds of thousands of years to learn. We cannot allow politics to undermine this truth and we cannot sanction developing nations to grow the way we did—polluting our way to a delusional way of living—a wasteful way of living that puts our future in jeopardy. We must help developing nations jump over the pollution step to clean energy, food production, green transportation, and put humanity’s existence on a sane path. There is no balance between developing unsustainable and sustainably. There’s one or the other. Climate Change, which is amplifying all our past environmental abuses, is forcing us to choose between becoming our world’s stewards or no existence. Time passes. Global pollution kills 9m a year and threatens 'survival of human societies' Landmark study finds toxic air, water, soils and workplaces kill at least 9m people and cost trillions of dollars every year Pollution kills at least nine million people and costs trillions of dollars every year, according to the most comprehensive global analysis to date, which warns the crisis “threatens the continuing survival of human societies”. Toxic air, water, soils and workplaces are responsible for the diseases that kill one in every six people around the world, the landmark report found, and the true total could be millions higher because the impact of many pollutants are poorly understood. The deaths attributed to pollution are triple those from Aids, malaria and tuberculosis combined. The vast majority of the pollution deaths occur in poorer nations and in some, such as India, Chad and Madagascar, pollution causes a quarter of all deaths. The international researchers said this burden is a hugely expensive drag on developing economies. (October 20, 2017) The Guardian [more on Air Quality and Environmental Health and Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/20/2017 - @frontlinepbs documentary “War on EPA” Important. Tragic. Urgent. Concerning. Dystopian. Maddening. Recoverable? #ClimateChange. Time passes.

  • 10/20/2017 -  The RochesterNY/Buffalo bid for @amazon’s 2nd HQ is best bid. We are Ready to regain our boom town status by addressing Climate Change & we’ve got lots of water. As businesses think of their future, more and more they are thinking that they’ll need continual fresh clean water and a stable climate. Rochester has that and more—an industrial past infrastructure ready to be refurbished for the future with clean energy. Pitching Amazon: Will outlandish schemes overshadow businesslike approach? The pitch is in. Rochester and Buffalo submitted their combined application Thursday morning seeking to land Amazon's second North American headquarters. (October 19, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

  • 10/20/2017 - Rochester, NY is adding 5 electric buses to its fleet. Find out the advantages of an electric bus system. Also, Check out this article in Rochester City Newspaper: “RTS adding electric buses to its fleet These City Bus Routes Are Going All-Electric ― and Saving Money Electric bus startup Proterra is leading a shift away from diesel-powered public transit to help cities save money, improve health and cut greenhouse gas emissions. Two years ago, the Transit Authority of River City (TARC) in Louisville, Kentucky, bought 10 electric buses to replace its aging diesel fleet. The agency installed two on-route chargers, where the buses now stop to recharge in less than 10 minutes before continuing their downtown route. TARC officials liked the buses so much, they've since ordered five more. A few hours to the south in Nashville, Tennessee, nine electric buses have been running fixed routes around the Music City since 2015. And across the country in Park City, Utah, the local transit authority recently purchased six electric buses to help reach a goal of a net-zero carbon footprint by 2022. (October 19, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/20/2017 - We go into Climate Change with the environment we have. That environment, like the Great Lakes, must be free of plastics. Increasingly, we are finding that plastic pollution runs throughout the greatest freshwater system in the world. Plastics aren’t just unsightly. Plastics bioaccumulate toxins which get eaten by small fish go on up the food chain. Improperly discarded plastics aren’t just a nuisance, they are a major problem in our ecosystems. Threat of microplastics topic of Healing Our Waters meeting It’s day two of the Great Lakes Restoration Conference in Buffalo New York. Hundreds  are learning about problems that affect the lakes, including microplastics. They’re the smallest of the small. And, they end up in the bellies of fish throughout the Great Lakes basin. Microplastics can even be found in our drinking water. It’s an issue that doctor Sherri Mason chemistry professor from Fredonia University, has been following closely.   She says when it comes prevention, it all starts with the small things people do every day. “Every piece of plastic that we find out in the external environment, ultimately comes from us," she said. "So, by reducing our individual use of plastic we can reduce what we find in the environment  and the impact it has.” (October 18, 2017) WBFO [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/20/2017 - Teaching science in our schools is a sacred trust we pass from one generation to another. It MUST be taught correctly, without ideology, and a love for learning. Especially, as we go further into Climate Change, our youth must be ready for the challenges ahead. Facing Public Outcry, New Mexico Restores Evolution and Global Warming to Science Standards Students will learn the age of the Earth, too. New Mexico’s public education agency announced late Tuesday that it would restore references to evolution, global warming, and the age of the Earth that had been stripped out of the state’s proposed science education standards. The reversal comes after an outcry by teachers, scientists, students, and others—the culmination of which was a day-long public hearing on Monday in which scores of people spoke out against the draft standards. “Similar to the process in other states, our goal in holding a public hearing is to ensure all those who wanted to discuss these proposed standards would be heard,” Christopher Ruszkowski, New Mexico’s secretary of education, said in a Tuesday statement. “We have listened to the thoughtful input received and will incorporate many of the suggestions into the New Mexico Standards.” (October 18, 2017) Mother Jones [more on Climate Change in our areaa]

  • 10/19/2017 - ACTION: Tell DEC that you want this long-standing Rochester Brownfield cleaned up to the highest health and environmental standards Vacuum Oil Refinery Site (Rochester) - Public Comment Invited on Draft Investigation Plan Public Comment Invited About Draft Plan to Investigate Contamination at Brownfield Site on Flint and Exchange Streets, Rochester The following link opens a fact sheet that invites public comment about a draft work plan to investigate contamination at the Vacuum Oil Refinery Site #C828193 (Rochester, Monroe Co.) within New York's Brownfield Cleanup Program: here NYSDEC is accepting public comments about the draft work plan through November 19, 2017. Please see fact sheet for details. (October 18, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 10/19/2017 - At the core of the Climate Change crisis is the rise in greenhouse gases in our atmosphere and heat in our oceans. Time passes. 2017 on Track to Be Third Hottest Year Nationally Through the end of September, 2017 is the third hottest year on record in the U.S. These figures are even more impressive in the absence of an El Niño, which gives a small boost in average global temperatures. This is further evidence that the observed long-term warming of the globe is from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. The U.S. will likely finish 2017 as the third hottest year since scientists began recording temperatures in the 1890s. If that holds true, then five of the 10 hottest years in the U.S. will have come since 2006. Only two of those 10 hottest years came before 1998, so those five hottest years are each hotter than the hottest of the Dustbowl years, 1934. (October 18, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/19/2017 - Trumps’ intentions as to the Paris Accord should not be a distraction, but they are. To address Climate Change US must be still in. The US, or any other country, cannot be great if they don’t work together with other nations to solve this planetary problem. Time passes. New Talks on Paris Climate Pact Are Set, and That’s Awkward for U.S. WASHINGTON — When Trump administration officials travel to Germany next month for United Nations climate change discussions, they will face a fundamental contradiction: how to negotiate the terms of a deal they say they’re walking away from. Like a spouse who demands a divorce but then continues to live at home, the relationship between the United States and other parties to the Paris agreement is, at best, awkward. The Trump administration has declared it will abandon the global climate change pact and make no effort to meet its voluntary target to curb planet-warming emissions. On Tuesday, President Trump repeated his claim that former President Barack Obama’s diplomats agreed to bad deals. “I will always put the needs of our country first,” Mr. Trump said. “That is why we are withdrawing from one-sided international deals,” he added, citing the Trans-Pacific Partnership and the Paris agreement. (October 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2018 - What happens to one of your Commonwealths when you install a climate denier as President? A half-assed emergency response. Sad. Raw sewage contaminating waters in Puerto Rico after Maria Raw sewage is pouring into the rivers and reservoirs of Puerto Rico in the aftermath of Hurricane Maria. People without running water bathe and wash their clothes in contaminated streams, and some islanders have been drinking water from condemned wells. Nearly a month after the hurricane made landfall, Puerto Rico is only beginning to come to grips with a massive environmental emergency that has no clear end in sight. "I think this will be the most challenging environmental response after a hurricane that our country has ever seen," said Judith Enck, who served as administrator of the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency region that includes Puerto Rico under President Barack Obama. (October 16, 2017) ABC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2017 - Been seeing more about devastating Wildfires across the globe? What’s the connection with Climate Change? Find out: Increased Wildfire Risk Climate disruption has amplified the threat of wildfires by influencing the variables that start or fuel fires. Warmer temperatures and drier conditions increase the chances of a fire starting, or help a burning fire spread. Such conditions also contribute to the spread of the mountain pine beetle and other insects that can weaken or kill trees, building up the fuels in a forest. Climate change may also alter storm patterns, directly affecting the number of lightning-caused fires. (October 17, 2017) Climate Signals [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2017 - Despite “President Trump’s proposed budget included massive cuts to the GLRI”, major funds and efforts needed to restore Great Lakes. Climate Change is here and getting worse and our greatest freshwater system in the world must be made more resilient for the challenges ahead. #WaterIsLife  Organizers of Great Lakes conference urging Congress to fund restoration efforts People are gathering in Buffalo this week for the annual Great Lakes restoration conference. At the top of their list is making sure Congress fully funds the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative in the 2018 budget. President Trump’s proposed budget included massive cuts to the GLRI. (October 17, 2017) Michigan Radio [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality and Cimate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2017 - Major New York State Climate Summit being held this Saturday in Rochester, NY on addressing Climate Change. “The day-long summit includes workshops and case study presentations on renewables, energy efficiency, transportation, movement building, and environmental justice. The keynote speakers will be former Sierra Club President Aaron Mair and ecologist and author Sandra Steingraber.” Local summit aims for action on climate For several years, climate and environmental activists have been calling for New York to take serious, aggressive action to transition the state to 100 percent renewable energy. The state has made progress. It now requires utilities to get half of their electricity from renewables by 2030. And earlier this year, New York and some other Northeast states approved – at New York officials' urging – a tougher cap on power-plant carbon emissions. New York climate activists advocated around both actions, pushing hard for the parts they liked and calling out the parts they didn't. They focused on specific policies, and their details, as a way to move the state toward a broader renewable energy goal. And that's an approach many activists want to see more of, says Sue Hughes-Smith, a Rochester People's Climate Coalition leadership team member. (October 18, 2017) Rocheter City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2017 - Excellent Warm Regards podcast on how scientists are trying to stay positive on addressing Climate Change amidst pollical miasma. Scientists are people too and it’s a challenge for them to stay focused on their job when their job is not being taken seriously by our new political ideology. Climate Change Got You Down? You Need to Hear This Now Andrew Revkin and Jacquelyn Gill talk with Sara Moore about climate adaptation and staying hopeful in what feels like very troubling times. (October 10, 2017)  Warm Regards Podcast on SoundCloud) [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 10/18/2017 - Information all about urban trees, why they’re important for our health, managing storm water (which is increasing in our region), and cooling our cities (which are getting warmer because of the urban island effect. This is a great resource for a great natural resource: Funding Trees for Health Finance and Policy to Enable Tree Planting for Public Health (from the Nature Conservancy)

  • 10/17/2017 - The world, even Trump administration, recognizes Climate Change threat to global food supply. Gonna be hard (actually, they’re impossible) for Trump’s USA to cherry-pick cause and effect as our planet warms—because the effects are so dire. When is the USA going to be able to completely flush climate denial from our system? Time passes. US signs G7 statement recognising climate threat to food security Secretary of agriculture agrees statement on global hunger, but unlike previous G7 statements a reaffirmation of the Paris climate deal was dropped Donald Trump’s secretary for agriculture signed a communique on Sunday recognising climate change threatens the global food supply.  Sonny Perdue met with ministers of agriculture from the G7 countries and the EU over the weekend. Their final communique, signed by all countries, said climate change was one of a number of threats to “our capacity to feed a growing population and need[ed] to be taken into serious consideration”. The ministers noted droughts, floods, earthquakes, plant and animal diseases, pest infestation, market shocks and conflicts were impacting farmers and food production. “Climate change is projected to amplify many of these issues,” they said. (October 16, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change and Food in our area]

  • 10/17/2017 - If you promised your constituents something impossible and even the attempt would be disastrous, would you still do it? Trump would. How far can a failed ideology go in a free world? What will be the price of Trump focusing on coal at the cost of renewable energy in a time of Climate Change? Time passes. Five Climate Truths Donald Trump Doesn’t Understand “Trump Digs Coal” read the signs during the campaign, and Donald Trump promised he would be “an unbelievable positive” for the miners. Now he’s trying to deliver by repealing the Obama-era Clean Power Plan and proposing to subsidize coal-fired power plants. These moves are, in fact, unbelievable: Not only are they a setback in the fight against climate change, but they also make no economic sense, since the cost of renewable energy is falling sharply. (October 15, 2017) New York Tiimes [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/17/2017 - What happens when Climate Change makes permafrost unstable—besides rapidly warming the planet more? Our infrastructures (roads, pipes) secured to it crack, lakes drain, and buildings move. Monitoring the state of permafrost melt is critical of assessing the impact of Climate Change. Time passes. The great thaw of American's north is coming One of the most profound effects of a warming world is underway on US soil – the impact will force thousands to relocate, and have far-reaching, global consequences. Sara Goudarzi reports from Alaska. Vladimir Romanovsky walks through the dense black spruce forest with ease. Not once does he stop or slow down to balance himself on the cushy moss beneath his feet insulating the permafrost. It’s a warm day in July, and the scientist is looking for a box that he and his team have installed on the ground. It’s hidden nearly six miles (10km) north of the Geophysical Institute at the University of Alaska in Fairbanks, where he’s a professor of geophysics and heads the Permafrost Laboratory. The box, which is covered by tree branches, contains a data collector connected to a thermometer installed below ground for measuring permafrost temperature at different depths. Permafrost is any earth material that remains at or below 0C (32F) for at least two consecutive years. (October 16, 2017) BBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - It will be comforting to know that our bridges are in a little better shape than surrounding infrastructures during extreme weather events. But on the other hand, our infrastructures will collapse at the weakest link. Our infrastructures are critical to our collective existence; so, every region’s roads and bridges and water pipes and gas pipes, and wastewater systems, telecommunications, and more must be ready for a hotter more disruptive climate. Time passes. Upkeep of Monroe County local bridges better than most of state Bridges owned by New York’s local governments need over $27 billion in repairs, according to a recent report released by New York State Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. But Monroe County isn’t in as bad a shape as other parts of the state. Terrance Rice, Monroe County Director of Transportation says according to the report there are 10 bridges out of 170 in Monroe County that need repairs, but that also includes bridges run by local towns or the city of Rochester. He noted a couple bridges that he knew could use some work. "Bowerman Road I’m sure is close to being on that list if it isn’t on the list, and we are just finishing up a rehabilitation project there this year with federal money. As well as Coldwater Road, that is a replacement, the road is closed." (October 15, 2017) WXXI News [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - Can Dominica’s efforts to be the “world’s first climate-resistant nation in the climate change era…” after hurricanes’ complete devastation convince developed nations (like the USA) of the need to address and prepare for Climate Change? Time passes. Amid wreckage of hurricane-devastated Caribbean, leaders see a climate change opening SALYBIA, DOMINICA  In the ruins of his hurricane-ravaged nation, Dominica Prime Minister Roosevelt Skerrit sees the homes that have to be razed, the hospital and clinics that collapsed and the power lines that failed. But amid the overwhelming destruction wrought by a powerful Hurricane Maria last month, Skerrit also sees opportunity. On Sunday, as U.N. Secretary General António Guterres wrapped up a 24-hour visit here and to Antigua and Barbuda, Skerrit presented a bold rebuilding plan for a tiny country that today can barely provide food and water for its people but wants to be a model for the Caribbean. He wants to transform Dominica, he said, into the “world’s first climate-resistant nation in the climate change era.” And he wants the United Nations — and Guterres — at his side on the front lines. (October 10, 2017) Miami Herald [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - How a nation responds to climate disasters and prepares for the next is an indicator of how much hope we might place in addressing Climate Change. Puerto Rico’s “Frustration with the Federal Response” is not a good sign. Time passes. In Puerto Rico, a Daily Struggle for Water and Food People in poor communities hit hard by the hurricane are rationing their food, water and propane, and hospitals are trying to operate on shaky power supplies. In rural and impoverished areas of Puerto Rico, a new day means a new search for food and safe water as the humanitarian crisis there continues to escalate. More than three weeks after Hurricane Maria, 36 percent of homes in the U.S. territory lack clean water, 85 percent are without electricity, and President Trump is raising anxieties further as he tweets threats to end federal assistance that aid workers on the ground say has been slow to reach hard-hit areas if it has reached them at all. (October 15, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2017 - Excellent discussion on Climate One podcast with top environmental reporters how they view communicating Climate Change. Great insights into the challenges of how to articulate the greatest challenge of our times and engage the public. ELIZABETH KOBERT AND DAVID ROBERTS: COVERING CATASTROPHE "Communicating about climate change and convincing the public that something needs to be done about it is a complicated proposition, one that reporters Elizabeth Kolbert and David Roberts face daily in their jobs of covering the looming catastrophe. " (September 22, 2017) Climate One [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - EPA’s 4-year plan that says nothing about climate change probably ain’t that popular around the world, especially in developing nations. Sad. We in one of the developed nations, who contributed greatly to Climate Change, are saying ‘tough luck’ to those nations being devastated by Climate Change. When will we re-join the world with a responsible attitude towards the crisis of our time—which we had a lot to do with? Time passes. EPA’s 4-year plan says nothing about climate change Climate change, greenhouse gas emissions, and carbon dioxide are nowhere to be found in the Environmental Protection Agency’s four-year strategic plan. The recently released 38-page draft of the EPA plan instead focuses on cleaning up the environment, and it proposes redistributing certain federal responsibilities to the states.  (October 12, 2017) Vice News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - OK, we’ll just take everything we learned about our environment and Climate Change and throw it out the window. NOT! Hard to believe we’ve allowed SCIENCE to sink so low in the US. How long will it take us to recover (if at all) from this yet another disastrous environment appointment by the anti-environment Trump administration? Time passes. Trump Pick for Top Environment Post: Carbon Dioxide Is 'The Gas of Life' Kathleen Hartnett White is an unabashed defender of fossil fuels who has argued against the endangerment finding and the Endangered Species Act. President Donald Trump has picked Kathleen Hartnett White, a former Texas regulator and unapologetic advocate of expanding U.S. fossil fuel production regardless of carbon dioxide emissions, for the top White House environment post. Putting her in charge of the Council on Environmental Quality, which has been rudderless since Trump took office, would place an extreme denier of mainstream climate science, a hero of those who oppose urgent action on global warming, at the fulcrum of federal interagency policy discussions on energy and environmental matters. White has argued against the federal government's "endangerment finding" that carbon dioxide, the principal greenhouse gas feeding worldwide climate change, is a danger to human health and the environment. If confirmed to head the White House Council on Environmental Quality, she would be coordinating environmental efforts across the federal agencies. (October 13, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2017 - Warmer waters (aka Climate Change) in our Western NY region allows southern invasive species to set up here. We need citizen scientists to help identify and take out these invasive species and we need the public to understand that Climate Change is seriously changing the ecology of our waters, including more harmful algae blooms occurring each year. There are many consequences of Climate Change already occurring in our region. Warm Lake Erie Helping Invasive Species Buffalo, NY — It's mid-October and the Lake Erie water temperature is still at a near record warmth of 67 degrees on Thursday. The average is just 60 degrees. The very warm lake water can pose some issues, such as allowing invasive species to set up.  "We see trends in regards to warmer water temperatures," Andrea Locke, with WNY PRSIM and Buffalo State Great Lakes Center, said.  "A lot of invasive species that are moving up from the south as the waters are getting warmer, and the introductions of a lot of new invasive species that are now able to establish here in Western New York." (October 12, 2017) WGRZ.com [more on Water Quality, Great Lakes, and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - The whole point of planning adequately for Climate Change is so you don’t get ‘disaster fatigue’, or ‘spending fatigue.’ When nations work together during major disasters that are more likely to increase as we go further into Climate Change and when we plan for more resiliency in our infrastructures and when we plan so that all are prepared, even for the poorest who didn’t cause Climate Change, we are more likely to adapt to Climate Change and do so justly. Time passes. U.S. House approves disaster funds as Trump criticizes Puerto Rico WASHINGTON (Reuters) - A new package of U.S. disaster assistance sailed through the House of Representatives on Thursday, despite President Donald Trump expressing impatience with having to devote federal resources for hurricane-ravaged Puerto Rico’s recovery. The Republican-controlled House voted 353-69 to approve $36.5 billion in emergency relief for Puerto Rico and other areas hit by recent disasters. Senate approval is expected in coming weeks. Trump and his aides on Thursday suggested that there would be a limit to how much help Puerto Rico could expect from Washington to solve some of its longer-term problems, although Trump is expected to sign the latest emergency package. (October 12, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - ACTION: Making our streets safe for children and pedestrians and bicyclists are critical for our communities to thrive.Write City Council to Lower the Residential Speed Limit Join the effort led by HealthiKids to reduce the City speed limit from 30 to 25 mph on residential streets. Every year in Rochester, hundreds of people are struck by vehicles while out walking and biking on our community streets. The top two factors in traffic fatalities in this country are alcohol and speed. Send a Message to City Council Now  What else can you do? Attend this month’s City Council meeting and “Speak to Council” to show your support for safer streets:  Tuesday, October 17th at 6:30PM (Call before 5:30 PM or email before 2PM the day of the meeting to sign up to speak)” This message from our friends over at ReConnect Rochester.  

  • 10/13/2017 - To get our Great Lakes clean we must monitor our water quality often and prepare our infrastructures for more heavy flooding that will come with Climate Change in our region. Waterkeeper urges city to test Toronto inner harbour water quality Group’s summer sampling program found water quality varies within harbour The Lake Ontario Waterkeeper wants the city to conduct regular water testing in Toronto’s inner harbour, after its own sampling program revealed variable water quality that in one location failed to meet provincial E. coli standards almost 80 per cent of the time. Samples from the busiest sampling location, meanwhile, met the provincial safety standard 85 per cent of the time. “It shows the importance of sampling on a regular basis,” said Krystyn Tully, the vice president of the Lake Ontario Waterkeeper. On poor water quality days people shouldn’t let water splash into their eyes, ears, nose or mouth and should wash their hands when they leave the water, she said. (October 11, 2017) TheStar.com [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area] 

  • 10/13/2017 - Listen to an expert conversation in Rochester, NY about the local effects of Climate Change on threats to human health and nutrition. Climate Change isn’t just about dramatic hurricanes and floods. The subtler consequences of Climate Change are just as profound. Connections: The impact of climate change on human health and nutrition When you think about the effects of climate change, perhaps your mind goes to drastic weather events, air pollution, or rising sea levels, but what about threats to human health and nutrition? Research shows that increasing levels of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere are decreasing the nutritional value of fruits and vegetables. This research isn't new. In fact, a small, but growing group of scientists has been stressing how CO2 can significantly impact plant growth and nutrition since the 1990s, but no one seemed to be listening. That’s all changing as more evidence becomes available. We dive into some of the research, and discuss how climate change can affect our food supply and our health, both in the short and long term. (October 12, 2017) Connections [more on Climate Change, Food, and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - There are consequences to heating an entire planet and everyone is going to feel it. Time passes. Climate change is a threat to rich and poor alike Is this year's string of hurricanes a sign of things to come? From Miami and Puerto Rico to Barbuda and Havana, the devastation of this year’s hurricane season across Latin America and the Caribbean serves as a reminder that the impacts of climate change know no borders. In recent weeks, Category 5 hurricanes have brought normal life to a standstill for millions in the Caribbean and on the American mainland. Harvey, Irma and Maria have been particularly damaging. The 3.4 million inhabitants of Puerto Rico have been scrambling for basic necessities including food and water, the island of Barbuda has been rendered uninhabitable, and dozens of people are missing or dead on the UNESCO world heritage island of Dominica. (October 11, 2017) THOMSON REUTERS FOUNDATION  News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - As we go further into Climate Change, a wormhole of environmental impacts from which we may not emerge, we need to ready our infrastructures. And we shouldn’t be building where the extreme weathers of Climate Change will quickly inundate our best laid plans. Time passes. Everyone Knew Houston’s Reservoirs Would Flood — Except for the People Who Bought Homes Inside Them When Jeremy Boutor moved to a master-planned community in Houston’s booming energy corridor, he saw it as idyllic. Lakes on Eldridge boasted waterfalls, jogging trails and a clubhouse. It was upscale, secure and close to the office. A bus even picked up his two young sons in front of their house and took them to a nearby international school. “This neighborhood was a paradise,” said Boutor, who moved to Houston from Paris two years ago after his employer, a French-based energy company, asked him to relocate. Then, Hurricane Harvey changed everything. (October 12, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2017 - Their September 2017 newsletter from our friends over at the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club. Our local environmental groups put out publications that help our collective understanding of our environment.

  • 10/12/2017 - Of course, it’s always great to do well on an environmental scorecard. And, it’s great to make some headway in a time of the Trump administration’s environmental rollbacks. But, at the end of the day it’s how well we are addressing Climate Change that will ultimately matter. And by ‘we’ I mean humanity. We need to know our collective—meaning Rochester, Monroe County, New York State, the USA, and the world—progress on addressing Climate Change on a scale and timeframe that will matter. We must be careful about deluding ourselves that just some good towards sustainability in a time of warming is enough. We must remain optimistic and realistic. We either get it right, or we don’t. Time passes. Rochester ranks well in 2017 environmental scorecard Rochester legislators have shown notable improvement in environmental voting, with perfect and high scores across the board, according to the 2017 New York State Environmental Scorecard. The scorecard, an annual release from New York’s EPL/Environmental Advocates, ranks scores for environmental consciousness among legislators on a scale of 0-100. Using 1-3 point “tree,” or environmentally friendly bills, and 1-3 point “smokestack” bills, or environmentally hazardous legislation, legislators are granted points for voting in favor of or sponsoring tree bills, as well as voting against smokestack bills. Legislators who missed 20 percent of the votes are given a score of “incomplete,” marked as INC in the report card. The scorecard ranks legislators’ votes during the 2017 New York State legislative session, which ended June 21. In 2017, this year’s markings are more valuable than ever, said EPL executive director Peter Iwanowicz, with a federal administration seemingly in a battle against progressive environmental policy. (October 11, 2017) Rochester Business Journal [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/12/2017 - Teaching kids and showing them how our life support systems works are vital to having an informed public. If our environment isn’t healthy, we won’t be either. A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor Thursday October 12, 2017 On one day each autumn, thousands of students from New York City to Troy participate in the annual "A Day in the Life of the Hudson and Harbor" event. Students collect scientific information to create snapshots of the river at dozens of locations, then share their data via the web so they can better understand how their piece of the river fits into the larger Hudson estuary ecosystem. "A Day in the Life" is sponsored by DEC's Hudson River Estuary Program and produced with assistance from the Lamont-Doherty Earth Observatory of Columbia University. At each location, teams of students and environmental educators use seine nets, water testing kits, and measuring tools to investigate aquatic life, water chemistry, tides and weather. Many groups also collect core samples of river bottom mud for analysis. (October 12, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/12/2017 - Both ramping up and ramping down coal for Energy seem arduous. Can humanity transition to a clean energy in time? Time passes. UK and Canada announce global alliance to end coal power UK and Canada challenge other nations to join them in committing to end coal power generation, saying “we are doing our part” The UK and Canada on Wednesday called on other nations to join them in ridding their energy sectors of coal power. The two nations have committed to phase coal out of their electricity generation – by 2025 in the UK and 2030 in Canada. Canada’s minister for the environment Catherine McKenna and UK climate minister Claire Perry met at the Houses of Parliament in London. Afterwards, they released a joint statement calling for an end to the use of the fuel that creates more carbon emissions than any other. (October 11, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - The problem with climate denial—besides being Wrong and Immoral—is that it’s going to be very Expensive. Time passes Nate heralds latest US destruction as 2017 poised for record clean-up bill As Hurricane Nate crossed the Gulf of Mexico on Saturday, it brought with it the prospect of yet more destruction in a storm-battered year that is shaping up to be the most costly on US record. Nate was set to be the fourth major hurricane to hit in quick succession, after HarveyIrma and Maria devastated southern Texas, Florida, Puerto Rico and the US Virgin Islands. According to statistics issued by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (Noaa) on Friday, the clean-up bill could be without precedent. The US government can also expect more unwelcome news about how climate change is intensifying such natural disasters. (October 7, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - As we go further into Climate Change in our region it will be more likely that more sewage will spill into our waters if we don’t get our infrastructure ready. Heavy rains have increased flooding and are going to overwhelm outdated wastewater treatment plants around the entire Great Lakes basin. If the communities worked together on addressing this issue as a Climate Change action plan, it would be more likely we could keep more sewage out of the largest freshwater system in the world as the consequences of Climate Change hit our Northeast region. Time passes. DEC looking into latest discharge into Niagara River The state Department of Environmental Conservation is looking into the latest Niagara Falls Water Board discharge into the Niagara River. The Niagara Falls Water Board reported that the discharge was caused by "heavy and prolonged rainfall" on Monday morning. “The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is responding to a report from the Niagara Falls Water Board of overflows and discharges associated with the Niagara Falls Wastewater Treatment Plant and sewage system," said a statement released Monday night. "While the discharge occurred at a time of heavy rain in the area, DEC’s investigation is ongoing at this time. DEC will provide additional information as it becomes available." (October 10, 2017) Niagara Gazette [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/11/2017 - What’s the difference between engineered Bt pesticides and the naturally occurring ones and why does it matter? Have Monsanto and the Biotech Industry Turned Natural Bt Pesticides into GMO “Super toxins”? Is the supposed safety advantage of GMO crops over conventional chemical pesticides a mirage? According to biotech lore, the Bt pesticides introduced into many GMO food crops are natural proteins whose toxic activity extends only to narrow groups of insect species. Therefore, says the industry, these pesticides can all be safely eaten, e.g. by humans. This is not the interpretation we arrived at after our analysis of the documents accompanying the commercial approval of 23 typical Bt-containing GMO crops, however (see Latham et al., 2017, just published in the journal Biotechnology and Genetic Engineering Reviews). In our publication, authored along with Madeleine Love and Angelika Hilbeck, of the Swiss Federal Institute of Technology (ETH), we show that commercial GMO Bt toxins differ greatly from their natural precursors. These differences are important. They typically cause GMO Bt proteins to be more toxic. Worse, they also cause them to be active against many more species than natural forms of Bt toxins. (October 9, 2017) Independent Science News [more on Plants and Food in our area]

  • 10/10/2017 - What is more important is whether those who feel optimist or fatalistic towards humanity’s ability to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is whether their opinions match reality or not. Climate Change has built-in indicators and benchmarks that give us objective feedback as to whether we are actually addressing this issue or not. If we don’t find ways to give ourselves (meaning all of humanity) accurate feedback (climate monitoring) capabilities, our optimism or fatalism will be delusional. Which is to say, humanity should be going full force towards addressing Climate Change at this point and make doing what is necessary the priority, not navel-gazing over whether we are optimistic or fatalistic about our chances. When you are in the heat of a battle for your life, you don’t continual to sit around and ponder whether you are winning or losing. You don’t have the luxury; the innate need to survive kicks in.  We should be funding scientific effort to monitor Climate Change consequences around the world so our decisions and attitudes are driven by reality, not bullshit. Time passes. NEW SURVEY FINDS THAT A MAJORITY OF PEOPLE GLOBALLY ARE OPTIMISTIC ABOUT OUR ABILITY TO ADDRESS CLIMATE CHANGE Climate Week NYC 2017 Opening Ceremony, New York, September 18: A new survey finds that a majority of people globally are optimistic about our ability to address climate change, with 64% of global citizens believing we can address climate change if we take action now. Overall, 33% strongly agree this is the case, and 32% tend to agree. Only 11% disagree that we can address climate change if we take action now. The survey, conducted by global market research firm Ipsos on behalf of non-profit organization The Climate Group and change agency Futerra, polled online adults aged 16-64 in 26 countries and is at the heart of a new campaign, #ClimateOptimist, launched today to change the dominant narrative on climate change. The campaign’s partners include Mars, VF Corp, Interface, Ashden and the DivestInvest movement. The survey found that people in emerging economies are especially likely to feel positive about solving climate change, with 71% of these respondents believing we can address it if we take action now, compared to only 59% in established economies. Countries with high numbers of optimists include Brazil, Chile, China, Colombia, Mexico, India, Peru and South Africa. (September 18, 2017) Climate Week NYC [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/10/2017 - I can see how the failing coal industry will benefit in the short term from Pruitt’s EPA gutting the Clean Power Plan, but anyone else? Doesn’t make sense (except in a mad way) to try and revive a polluting, climate warming fossil fuel at the expense of a future for all of us. Did the majority of the US public really vote to run away from our Climate Change responsibilities—and leave the rest of the world to deal with Pruitt’s and Trump’s crazy ideology? How long will it take us to recover from Pruitt’s mad attack on science and environmental protections after he’s out of office—or will we be able to recover at all. Time passes. Pruitt announces withdrawal of Clean Power Plan Environmental Protection Agency Administrator Scott Pruitt announced Monday his agency's plans to withdraw the Clean Power Plan, the sweeping Obama-era rule regulating greenhouse gas emissions. While speaking in Kentucky at an event with Senate Majority Leader Mitch McConnell, Pruitt said he will sign the proposed rule repealing Obama's plan Tuesday. "When you think about what that rule meant, it was about picking winners and losers. Regulatory power should not be used by any regulatory body to pick winners and losers," he said at the event. "The past administration was using every bit of power and authority to use the EPA to pick winners and losers and how we generate electricity in this country. That's wrong." CNN obtained a copy of the leaked proposal to repeal the milestone Clean Power Plan, the outcome of President Donald Trump's executive orders calling for the review of the plan and questions the legality of the original rule. (October 9, 2017) CNN [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/10/2017 - Record-breaking Climate Change induced extreme weather events will force insurance out of their business-as-usual routine. The one money market force that will force Capitalism to treat our environment less as an externality is the insurance industry. At some point, if we don’t address Climate Change, no one will be able to afford flood insurance—not even our government. The insurance industry is going to have to raise premiums, limit the damage they cover, and encourage more resiliency to be built into our future planning. Which is to say, Climate Change planning is a must. Time passes. After hurricanes, Congress ponders future of flood insurance program Congress is beginning to consider how to overhaul the flood insurance plan that many Texans are relying on to rebuild after Hurricane Harvey. WASHINGTON - The devastating hit Houston took from Hurricane Harvey has exacerbated — and highlighted — the enormous financial jam facing the National Flood Insurance Program. Thanks to the recent onslaught of hurricanes hitting Texas, Florida and Puerto Rico, there has never been a greater need for the program. But that need has also set off a new round of calls to dramatically overhaul a program that hasn't been able to sustain itself without major subsidies from the U.S. Treasury.  Republican U.S. Rep. Pete Olson's Sugar Land-based district suffered some of the most intensive flooding in the state. He said he is open to some changes, but not if it risks payouts on Harvey claims his constituents are filing. He is quick to underscore the desperation in his suburban Houston district and doesn't want changes to make things worse. "It should be part of the package but not a do-all, end-all," Olson said of any potential overhaul. (October 9, 2017) The Texas Tribue [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/09/2017 - Keeping our transportation infrastructure, like bridges, in good repair and Climate-Change resilient is critical for our adapting to a warmer future. As we have seen recently in Texas, Florida, and Puerto Rico, when extreme weather (heavy flooding) tears apart our transportation infrastructure, we are crippled. If we continue to leave our bridges in bad repair, they could fail us at the worst time possible. Not only are we not preparing adequately to adapt to Climate Change, we aren’t even doing regular maintenance on our bridges. If you are trying to get to emergency care, or if you are trucking in food, and a critical bridge is out, you are out of luck.  Best to get all our infrastructures—water, waste, transportation, communications, gas, etc.—updated and properly repaired for a Climate Change future. Time passes. Report: New York needs $27B to fix local bridges ALBANY — New York state needs $27 billion to repair hundreds of aging, locally owned bridges, according to a new report from state Comptroller Thomas DiNapoli. About half of the state's 17,000 bridges are owned by local governments. Nearly 13 percent of these locally owned spans are considered structurally deficient. Some need repairs to allow them to carry heavier loads; others are prone to floods. Many are more than half a century old; the average age of the 823 locally owned bridges in New York City is 75 years. Failure to keep the bridges in good working order will jeopardize public safety and hamper efforts to boost the upstate economy, said DiNapoli, a Democrat. He said local, federal and state officials would have to work together to find the money for vital repairs. "We have a long way to go and it's very clear that our local governments, given the hefty price tag, cannot do the job on their own," he said. (October 9, 2017) Niagara Gazette [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - With Climate Change soil may turn on us. For those who think warming things up is a good thing, they haven’t thought it through. Our planet’s systems, like soil (which took billions of years to evolve), are complex and they will react to a quickly warming climate. Probably not in a good way. Time passes.  Carbon emissions from warming soils could trigger disastrous feedback loop 26-year study reveals natural biological factors kick in once warming reaches certain point, leading to potentially unstoppable increase in temperatures Warming soils are releasing more carbon into the atmosphere than previously thought, suggesting a potentially disastrous feedback mechanism whereby increases in global temperatures will trigger massive new carbon releases in a cycle that may be impossible to break. The increased production of carbon comes from the microbes within soils, according to a report in the peer-review journal Science, published on Friday. The 26-year study is one of the biggest of its kind, and is a groundbreaking addition to our scant knowledge of exactly how warming will affect natural systems. (October 5, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - Invasive species invading our environment via our trash and plastics floating across our oceans makes it clear we don’t really throw anything away—or have sealed borders from far-off lands. On a finite planet things--invasive species, pollutants, our waste—go somewhere. As we go further into Climate Change we must track and prevent the movement of things that will affect our ecosystems and compromise them. The more we learn about Climate Change, the more we learn how complex it is when our way of life has so changed the environment from the one we thrived on for 10,000 years. We are living in a very dynamic environment that we influenced greatly and we must factor all this into how we adapt to Climate Change. Using past data about past climate changes will produce valuable information about how climate changes disrupt, but this Climate Change is going to be entirely different from past climate changes. We must prepare for this Climate Change. Time passes. TONS OF LIVING ANIMALS HAVE FLOATED FROM JAPAN TO OREGON ON PLASTIC JUNK TRASH IS THE NEW TITANIC. The morning of June 5, 2012, invasive species researcher John Chapman’s wife, who works for the health department in Newport, Oregon, told him he had to go with her to see a mysterious object that had washed onto the town’s beach. Chapman was initially skeptical that the beached mass would be of any interest to him, scientifically speaking. The Oregon police and parks service were already at the scene, checking the large concrete slab for radiation. A plaque said the object was a fisheries dock from Misawa, Aomori Prefecture, Japan, but Chapman only had to glance at the creatures stuck to the plastic to know the source. “I was completely shocked to see all these Asian species on this dock,” he says. That object was a small chunk of many tons of plastic garbage launched into the sea in 2011, after an earthquake and subsequent tsunami in Japan, according to a new study in Science. Invertebrates like the Japanese shipworm and the Asian shore crab — and even a few species of fish—colonized the debris, forming floating islands of garbage and sea creatures. (Spetember 28, 2017) Popular Science [more on Invasive Spcies in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - We go into Climate Change with the environment we have—and that has been seriously polluted by plastics. How has plastic pollution compromised our ability to adapt to Climate Change, which is to say have we compromised our environment’s resiliency by polluting our environment with so much plastics? If so, how? We not only have to know more about how we and our environment respond to climate change, we must know how 7 billion of us with our infrastructures and development respond to this Climate Change, the one happening now caused and accelerated by us. You would think, given all the complexities we are encountering with Climate Change, we’d be thinking and discussing this crisis in a responsible way. Instead, we voted in climate-denier Trump. What’s wrong with this picture? Time passes. How plastic is damaging planet Earth There are 500 times more pieces of microplastic in the sea than there are stars in our galaxy and by 2050 it is estimated there will be more plastic than fish Cheap, capable of being made into any conceivable shape, strong and durable, plastic is something of a wonder material. It has proved so useful to humans that since the 1950s we have produced an estimated 8.3 billion metric tonnes of the stuff. However, the victim of this success appears to be much of life on Earth. And humans, one day, could find themselves among them. For some 79 per cent of the plastic produced over the last 70 years has been thrown away, either into landfill sites or into the general environment. Just nine per cent is recycled with the rest incinerated. This has been described as "an uncontrolled experiment on a global scale" by scientists. (September 28, 2017) Independant [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/07/2017 - The Amazon forest is a major ecosystem of the world. How much is it being affected by and affecting Climate Change? Amazon forest fires pushing climate change ‘beyond human control’ Leading Amazon scientist highlights ‘grave problems’ in Brazil’s management of the world’s most important forest as climate-driven fires eat it away As in many parts of the world, the climate of the Amazon is undergoing dramatic changes. Droughts and floods happen more often, as well as forest fires. But in recent years, Brazil’s government, which holds the largest swathe of the biggest tropical forest in the world, has privileged economic interests over preservation, according to one of the world’s leading experts on the region and its environment. Philip Fearnside, a US-born professor at Brazil’s National Institute for Research in Amazonia (INPA), has researched the Amazon for three decades. In an interview with Climate Home in his office in Manaus, he explains how climate change is driving forest fires through the most important forest on earth, creating a cycle of carbon emissions that threatens to push beyond human’s capacity to control it. He also criticises Brazil’s government for their favouring of industry and explains the country’s peculiar relationship to its own laws. (October 5, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/06/2017 - Climate Change is scheduled to make harmful algal blooms in our lakes more plentiful because it adds ‘warmer waters’ to the toxic mix. Climate Change brings more heavy rainfall, which brings more flooding, which washes more nutrients, into our lakes that are warming because of Climate Change. Our state and our country need to focus on Climate Change because many of the local consequences of this crisis are showing up without the media connecting the dots. The rapid increase of harmful algal blooms in over sixty of our NYS lakes should be setting off alarm bells. Climate denial thrives in a climate of doubt and omission and threatens our future. 'Serious wake up call': Panel dissects harmful algae problem in Skaneateles Lake SKANEATELES — A crowd of a couple of hundred people filled the Skaneateles High School auditorium Wednesday night to learn more about a 3 billion-year-old enemy that has surfaced in their lake — harmful algal blooms. This summer microcystin toxins from the blooms, were detected in the water intake, potentially threatening the drinking water for thousands served by the city of Syracuse's department of water. Drinking water test results continue to show no toxins, but with some residents drawing directly from the lake and many wondering when they can swim or fish or take out the kayak, the blooms this summer have created panic. (October 4, 2017) AuburnPUb.com [more on Water Quality in our area]  

  • 10/06/2017 - Remember, those ‘burdensome environmental rules’ are only burdensome to polluters, but they’re your lifeline. Many, if not all, environmental protects came at a great cost to people’s lives and livelihood. And now your protections are being stripped away with amazing tenacity. I don’t think anyone voted to have their environmental protections removed—but that’s all our reality now. Are we now at the mercy of a lot of angry voters who just want things to change—regardless of what change? If so, what if we aren’t able to undo the damage to our life support system in time to address Climate Change? Time passes. 48 Environmental Rules on the Way Out Under Trump Since taking office in January, President Trump has made eliminating federal regulations a priority. His administration — with help from Republicans in Congress — has often targeted environmental rules it sees as overly burdensome to the fossil fuel industry, including major Obama-era policies aimed at fighting climate change. To date, the the Trump administration has sought to reverse nearly 50 environmental rules, according to an analysis by The New York Times. (October 5, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]  

  • 10/06/2017 - In order for the world to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter, the United States must stay in the Paris Accord. There’s not a realistic workaround for cities, states, businesses, and environmental groups because of the US’s responsibilities and the scope of our power. #IAmStillIn Time passes. International concern as US moves to end clean power plan The Trump administration plans to repeal and replace landmark policy that underpinned US commitment to Paris Agreement and a key climate deal with China News that the Trump administration will move to repeal and replace the clean power plan (CPP) – a major initiative to cut emissions from the US electricity sector – has been met with concern overseas. On Wednesday, the Reuters news agency reported on a document leaked from the Environment Protection Agency (EPA) outlining a plan to scrap the Obama-era measure. It also called for input on a replacement policy that would reduce carbon emissions in fossil fuel power plants. Industry is reportedly lobbying for a weaker rule. (October 4, 2017) Climate Home

  • 10/06/2017 - Lyme disease and Climate Change; “More recently, climate change has been warming our winters, accelerating ticks’ life cycles and extending their range eight miles farther north each year.” What We Get Wrong About Lyme Disease The stories we tell about the epidemic get things backward. (October 5, 2017) Nautilus [more on Lyme disease and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/06/2017 - We go into Climate Change with the environment we have and much of that has been compromised by our messing with natural chemicals. What will be the repercussions of changing nature’s chemistry as our ecosystems and our way of life become more challenged by Climate Change? We must ask. Time passes. How the Benzene Tree Polluted the World The organic compounds that enabled industrialization have unintended, long-lasting consequences for the planet’s life. Deep in the Mariana Trench, at depths lower than the Rockies are high, rests a tin of reduced-sodium Spam. NOAA scientists caught sight of it last year near the mouth of the Mariana’s Sirena Deep. It isn’t an isolated incursion, but it was nevertheless startling, the sight of those timeless golden letters bright against the deep ocean bottom. Shortly after came news from another team of scientists who had found in the Mariana an innovation less familiar than shelf-stable meat, but far more significant. In the bodies of deep-dwelling creatures were found traces of industrial chemicals responsible for the rise of modern America—polychlorinated biphenyls. (October 4, 2017) The Atlantic [more on Environmental Health in our area] 

  • 10/05/2017 - More lakes near Rochester, NY getting harmful algae blooms, which are amplified by Climate Change. Time passes. Four local lakes report harmful algae blooms GENEVA — Harmful algae blooms have been reported in Canandaigua, Seneca, Cayuga and Keuka lakes, according to the state Department of Environmental Conservation. On Friday, the DEC said 15 bodies of water were added that week to the statewide list, which now has 68 bodies of water listed with harmful algae blooms. DEC officials report on its HAB notification page these confirmed sightings: (October 3, 2017) Finger Lakes Times [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/05/2017 - Are you feeling more hopeful or less hopeful that humanity will address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter? Time passes. Trump Takes a First Step Toward Scrapping Obama’s Global Warming Policy WASHINGTON — The Trump administration will repeal the Clean Power Plan, the centerpiece of President Barack Obama’s effort to fight climate change, and will ask the public to recommend ways it could be replaced, according to an internal Environmental Protection Agency document. The draft proposal represents the administration’s first substantive step toward rolling back the plan, which was designed to curb greenhouse gas emissions from the power sector, after months of presidential tweets and condemnations of Mr. Obama’s efforts to reduce climate-warming pollution. But it also lays the groundwork for new, presumably weaker, regulations by asking for the public and industry to offer ideas for a replacement. (October 4, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/05/2017 - The IPCC’s sixth assessment report is coming up. Few documents about Climate Change have the impact of these reports. These reports evolve, they are an accumulation of climate experts’ reviews from all over the world, they are a consensus of climate expert information at any one time frame, and they are the world’s best attempt to give the rest of humanity the most comprehensive picture of how Climate Change is developing. While waiting for AR6, check out AR5: Fifth Assessment Report (AR5). Gearing up for IPCC’s sixth assessment report You can watch all plenary talks from this three-day event through a series of recorded livestreams. Watch day oneday two and day three. World-leading climate experts met in Stockholm from 28 to 30 August to discuss the research needs for the  next tome from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC): its sixth assessment report (AR6) – scheduled to come out in 2022. Since IPCC’s last such report in 2014, nations have forged the Paris Agreement on climate, launched the Sustainable Development Goals and agreed the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction. The next report, in other words, will come out in a different world with new politically agreed climate goals. During the opening of the event in Sweden, IPCC chair Hoesung Lee remarked in a speech that these major political milestones will inevitably influence the shape of the next IPCC report, and IPCC must expand its notion of risk to include these developments. (September 13, 2017) FutureEarth [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/05/2017 - Because of Climate Change, we must prepare for a warmer world because our cooler world no longer exists. Planning for a world without baking in extreme weather occurrences that will leave more people vulnerable to infrastructural collapsed is delusional. Time passes. Ex-FEMA Director: Rebuilding Puerto Rico Requires Acknowledging Climate Change Obama instructed FEMA to consider climate change in responding to Superstorm Sandy. The Trump administration’s response has been different. The former Federal Emergency Management Agency chief has some advice for the Trump administration after back-to-back hurricanes in the past month: You have to look at climate change science if you want smarter disaster relief. Drawing on eight years of experience leading FEMA under President Barack Obama, Craig Fugate warned on Tuesday that flood-prone areas can’t simply “rebuild to the past” using historical data on 100-year flood risk. Instead, he said at an event at the liberal Center for American Progress, the country needs to “build to future risk.” (October 3, 2017) Mother Jones [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/05/2017 - Our oceans are consuming the lion’s share of the heat caused by our greenhouse gas emissions. And while this blinds us to much of impacts of Climate Change, the impacts are profound nevertheless. For example, this accumulated heat accounts for the power behind our recent record-breaking hurricanes. But there’s more… Time passes. The Most Powerful Evidence Climate Scientists Have of Global Warming The oceans hold the story of a planet warming as fossil fuels are burned. Here is what scientists have discovered, in four charts. Earth's temperature is rising, and it isn't just in the air around us. More than 90 percent of the excess heat trapped by greenhouse gas emissions has been absorbed into the oceans that cover two-thirds of the planet's surface. Their temperature is rising, too, and it tells a story of how humans are changing the planet. This accrued heat is "really the memory of past climate change," said Kevin Trenberth, the head of climate analysis at the National Center for Atmospheric Research and co-author of a new paper on ocean warming. It's not just the amount of warming that is significant—it's also the pace. (October 3, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/04/2017 - It’s hard to believe that car manufactures would actually switch from planet-destroying gas guzzlers to Electric Cars—until you’ve driven one. The switch to a sustainable future doesn’t have to be all onerous. Death of gas and diesel begins as GM announces plans for ‘all-electric future’ After nearly a century of building vehicles powered by fossil fuels, General Motors — one of the world’s largest automakers — announced Monday that the end of GM producing internal combustion engines is fast approaching. The acceleration to an all-electric future will begin almost immediately, with GM releasing two new electric models next year and an additional 18 by 2023. At a media event at GM’s technical campus in Warren, Mich., on Monday, Mark Reuss, the company’s chief of global product development, said the transition will take time, but the course has been set. “General Motors believes in an all-electric future,” Reuss said. “Although that future won’t happen overnight, GM is committed to driving increased usage and acceptance of electric vehicles.” (October 2, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/04/2017 - These toxic algae blooms are an indicator that Climate Change is happening in our Western NYS region. “The blooms are expected to grow more harmful as global warming changes rainfall patterns.” Responsible media in our region at least mention that global warming or Climate Change are affecting (accelerating and amplifying) the impacts of these harmful algae blooms. We are unlikely to address these major threats to our region’s freshwater ecosystems unless we do so through the lens of Climate Change. Time passes. Miles of Algae Covering Lake Erie A potentially harmful algae bloom covered more than 700 square miles in the western basin of Lake Erie last week, turning the lake bright green and alarming residents and local officials. Scientists say that algae blooms have been a growing problem for Lake Erie since the 2000s, mostly because of the extensive use of fertilizer on the region’s farmland. The algae blooms contain cyanobacteria, which, under certain conditions, can produce toxins that contaminate drinking water and cause harm to the local ecosystem. During last week’s bloom, the amount of toxins in the algae remained low at the intake points where towns draw water from the lake, according to officials. (October 3, 2017) New York Times [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 10/04/2017 - What are we in NYS doing to protect wildlife (ecosystem engineers) from Climate Change? How are we helping our endemic species to adapt to a quick warming? What will be the price if we leave these creatures that help create and shape our local environment to fend for themselves? Time passes. Impact of climate change on species A growing need for species to adapt to a changing world Climate change leads to a loss of species Our planet is warming faster than at any time in the past 10,000 years. With these changes, species have to adapt to new climate patterns (variations in rainfall; longer, warmer summers etc). Global warming resulting from human emissions of greenhouse gases. The consequences include habitat loss; shifts in climatic conditions and in habitats that surpass migrational capabilities; altered competitive relationships. WorldWildlifeFund Global [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/03/2017 - Learning more about past climate changes is critical, but this Climate Change ain’t your prehistoric grandmother’s. With 7 billion people and counting, loss of biodiversity, 6th Great Extinction, pollution and the massive infrastructures that humanity needs to survive collectively and much more, learning about past climate changes are not a perfect model for planning for today’s crisis. Climate Change has been made exponentially complicated by our species desire to grow and not heed the early warnings of early scientists and environmentalists.  Time passes. New research highlights the need to learn from past climate changes New international research led by The University of Manchester has highlighted that learning from previous periods of climate change is essential if we are to understand the vulnerability of species and ecosystems to global warming. An international team of researchers led by Manchester’s Dr William Fletcher has produced the most detailed record of past vegetation change in Northwest Africa to date, based on ancient pollen grains and charcoal recovered from a lake in Morocco’s Middle Atlas mountain range (pictured above). (October 3, 2017) Manchester [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/03/2017 - No! Don’t forget Paris Agreement, it’s critical to address the worldwide Climate Change crisis. But US fossil fuel subsidies must go. Imagine where renewable energy (wind and solar) would be today if these struggling new industries (for which subsidies are intended) got the kind of subsidies that the fossil fuel industry gets year after year. We so need to change how we get energy so that we don’t warm up the planet further. Time passes. Forget the Paris agreement. The real solution to climate change is in the U.S. tax code. When President Trump made a speech a few weeks ago to kick off his push for an overhaul of the tax code, he chose a telling backdrop: An oil refinery in North Dakota, a state that over the past decade exploded from backwater to boom town thanks to a massive spike in oil production. “I want all of America to be inspired by what’s happened in North Dakota and the North Dakota example,” Trump said. Standing with him on the podium was Harold Hamm, the North Dakota oil billionaire who has helped shape Trump's views on energy. So when Trump said he wanted to “restore America’s competitive edge by passing tax cuts,” he seemed to have at least one particular industry in mind: oil. [GOP tax plan would provide major gains for richest 1 percent and uneven benefits for the middle class, report says] (October 2, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/02/2017 - Maybe they’re thinking no one will notice an oil spill in our nation's most pristine wildlife refuge way up near the Arctic. Think again. Drilling for more fossil fuel in a region that being is threatened by warming and which is caused by warming, and its ecosystem which will be destroyed by both warming and pollution is (how shall I say this politely?) malicious. Who will be held accountable when there is a major oil spill in the Arctic? What will we say to our grandchildren when they asked why we didn’t create more renewable energy, instead of doubling down on such a planet-altering energy source like fossil fuel?  Time passes. Arctic National Wildlife Refuge Targeted for Drilling in Senate Budget Plan The plan — tied into the Republican tax overhaul — assumes $1 billion in revenue, likely to come from oil leases in the pristine Alaska wilderness area. Congressional Republicans may have found the clearest path yet to opening up the Arctic National Wildlife Refuge to drilling—by shielding their efforts from the Democrats. The draft budget resolution issued by the Senate Budget Committee today ties two major initiatives—tax overhaul and opening up ANWR—to the 2018 budget. The resolution included instructions to the Senate Energy and Natural Resources Committee to submit legislation that would identify at least $1 billion in deficit savings. Those instructions are considered a thinly veiled suggestion that the committee find a way to open up part of the pristine Alaska wilderness area to oil and gas drilling. (September 29, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/02/2017 - As things get hotter with Climate Change our infrastructures, which are the bloodlines to our collective existence now, must be ready. Even our air travel infrastructure, which barely touches the ground, will feel the heat when they do. If we don’t think through the consequences of Climate Change and plan accordingly, we are going to be quickly overwhelmed by the costs of not preparing in time. In a Warming World, Keeping the Planes Running HONG KONG — Airports are a major global business, part of an industry that by one estimate transports the equivalent of nearly half the world’s population in a single year. But the world’s airports were largely designed for an older era — a cooler one. Many were built near seacoasts or river deltas to minimize disturbances to humans or avoid natural obstacles like mountains. Others have short runways because of space restrictions, while planners in the past gave little thought to how extreme temperatures could affect airplanes and airports. Climate change is making airport planners think again. (September 30, 2017) New York Times [more on Transportation and Climate Change in our area]