Daily Updates - Rochester, NY area

RochesterEnvironment.com

Analysis of the environmental news in our area 

Follow FrankRrrr on Twitter

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 .

Bookmark and Share

SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.

Loading

Daily Updates: Saturday, October 25, 2014

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

  • 10/25/2014 - Observations of local Climate Change changes from a regional climate expert. Warming effects are already afoot.  Journey to a Future Climate Exploring climate change in the Adirondacks By David W. Wolfe, PhD It's mid afternoon in late May, crazy hot for this time of year (upper 80s), and we are sloshing our way through Spring Pond Bog, the largest open bog in the Adirondacks. The weather has brought the black flies out in full force, loving the heat and humidity, and loving us even more. I'm with a colleague of mine from Cornell, plant ecologist Jonathan Comstock, and we are being led by the legendary Adirondack naturalist, Jerry Jenkins. Jerry knows this state park-from its soaring peaks to bog wilderness areas-probably better than anyone else alive, and he's taking us to see some of the areas that are most vulnerable to climate change. (October 2010) The Conservationist [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/25/2014 - So what’s going on with our friends over at Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia –things are afoot. The Greentopian News from a Sustainable, Resilient Rochester October 2014 "We've now merged our Friends of the GardenAerial and Greentopia newsletters into THE GREENTOPIAN. We've also merged our email newsletter lists - so you will now receive just one, simple monthly newsletter! "

  • 10/25/2014 - Let’s say you personally don’t care about Climate Change, you still better hope your insurance company does.  For those whose only possible interest in Climate Change is how this worldwide crisis could affect them personally, they will care about Climate Change when something happens because of extreme weather and neither their insurance company nor their government can afford to put their world back together again.  It is the nature of the job for insurers to plan for the future and if Climate Change doesn’t factor prominently in that planning, you are on your own. First-of-its-Kind Report Ranks U.S. Insurance Companies on Climate Change Responses Climate Change Responses Only Nine of 330 Insurers Get High Grades; The Hartford, Prudential, Munich Re and Allianz Are Among Top Scorers Amid growing evidence that climate change is having wide-ranging global impacts that will worsen in the years ahead, a new report from Ceres ranks the nation's 330 largest insurance companies on what they are saying and doing to respond to escalating climate risks. The report found strong leadership among fewer than a dozen companies but generally poor responses among the vast majority. The report, Insurer Climate Risk Disclosure Survey Report & Scorecard: 2014 Findings & Recommendations, ranks property & casualty, health and life & annuity insurers that represent about 87 percent of the total US insurance market. The companies were ranked on a half-dozen climate related indicators, including governance, risk management, investment strategies, greenhouse gas management and public engagement (such as their climate policy positions.) The report is based on company disclosures last year in response to a climate risk survey developed by the National Association of Insurance Commissioners (NAIC). (October 22, 2014) Ceres [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/25/2014 - Besides Florida wanting to split (literally) over Climate Change, trying to patrician ourselves doesn’t bode well for solving a worldwide crisis. Though this story dramatizes the differences between those governments who understand Climate Change and are feeling the most spectacular immediate effects and those who do not, there is no way that trying to distance ourselves from ourselves, as we have over other issues in the past (like slavery), will solve anything for a physical problem that knows no boundaries. South Florida Wants to Split State Over Climate Change, Become 51st State Now a similar proposal is being floated in Florida. And while some media has blown this up into another political food fight, given the historic rancor between its southern coastal cities and its more conservative north where the capital of Tallahassee is located, it actually has a more specific motivation. The mayor and city commission of South Miami recently passed a resolution calling for the separation of Florida into two states, North Florida and South Florida. The vote was 3-2. It’s full of “whereases” but here’s the key one: “whereas, climate change is a scientific reality resulting in global warming and rising sea level; and” (October 24, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 10/24/2014 - Meanwhile, Governor Cuomo, you (as a layman & not an expert) can read a zillion studies from beyond NY that prove Fracking is a public health risk. Extreme extraction of natural gas by Fracking is not new. New York State does not exist in a bubble. Lots of places are doing this crazy way of blasting through the bedrock for more fossil fuels in a time of Climate Change and there are studies about public health risks in those places.  Just Google “Fracking public health risks”. Even a layman can read. Cuomo Says Fracking Study Will Be Out by Year's End During Wednesday’s only gubernatorial debate, Governor Cuomo said that the long awaited health review on potential dangers of hydrofracking will be completed by the end of the year. Cuomo, answering a question on whether fracking, which is on hold in New York, will begin in the next four years if he’s re elected, says an over two year old health review  will be concluded by the end of the year, though not before Election Day. He says he’s told experts at his Departments of Health and Environmental Conservation to “give me a report”. (October 23, 2014) WXXI News [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/24/2014 - I know, for most Rochesterians the People’s Climate March was last year’s bird’s nest. But Wow! It has changed a lot of attitudes on Climate Change.  Watch this great video and re-experience humanity speaking for the planet, or if you’ve just seen photos of the march—get inside the change. Inside the ginormous, huge-tastic climate march Hear the People's Climate March make history. They promised the biggest climate march in world history. But when the big morning arrived, the Weather app showed a thundercloud.  Hear what happened next—and feel the (renewable) energy of a giant, urgent movement hitting the streets together for the first time—as The Good Fight takes you inside the most ambitious grassroots mobilization of the year. (September 26, 2014) The Good Fight With Ben Wikler [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/24/2014 - If a tree falls in a forest and no one is around to hear it, does it make a sound? If we ignore Asian Carp approach to Great Lakes, will they not come? If we doubt Climate Change, will it happen anyway?  If we choose not to keep our environment, our life support system, healthy, will it just go on keeping us healthy?  If we believe that it won’t hurt us if our house is on fire, will we get hurt? I could go on, but I think you get the drift. New Evidence of Mounting Asian Carp Invasion at Great Lakes  A new series of DNA analyses have revealed the possible beginnings of an invasion of Lake Michigan, with evidence of Asian carp showing up in a pair of Michigan tributaries. Earlier this month, a single sample of silver carp DNA was identified in over 200 samples taken from lower Kalamazoo River in Allegan County, Michigan. This worries officials, who have never seen the carp's DNA in these waters before. However, it remains unclear where the sample came from. According to the Michigan Department of Natural Resources (MDNR) and US Fish and Wildlife Service (FWS), genetic material could have simply entered Michigan waters through boatsfishing gear, or even bird droppings. However, if follow-up sampling finds more evidence, they may very much be looking at the beginnings of a long-feared invasion. (October 22, 2014) Nature World News [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 10/24/2014 - The Bonn climate talks are but one of the stops along the way to the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris  At Bonn “Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’).  So how’s all that going: Daily TCK: Day 4 at the climate talks in Bonn There are just two days of negotiations left, and much work remains. On Thursday afternoon, the talks’ two co-chairs took stock of how far the negotiations had moved since the start of this session, offering government negotiators a stern reality check. Their main tasks were to deliver clarity of what countries’ climate action commitments should include, and clarity on how to ramp-up climate action before those commitment periods take effect (ie between now and 2020, or ‘pre-2020 ambition’). But with time quickly running out, co-chair Artur Runge-Metzger acknowledged that the “ambition to finalise the two decisions is no longer possible in Bonn, they will have to be finalised in Lima;” when countries meet again at COP20 in December. He stressed that while “extensive exchanges” had taken place on many issues, countries had “not touched on many important things” and that co-operation must accelerate in the coming days. Much of the current frustration in Bonn focuses on delegates attempts to find common ground on the pledges they will submit as part of the 2015 global climate agreement – their Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs). After discussions yesterday were characterised by some as “demoralising”, divisions between countries remained strong throughout the morning. Frustrated, co-chair Kishan Kumarsingh called on delegates to “look yourselves in the eye; ask yourself if we are on track.” (October 24, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/24/2014 - If you haven’t read ClimAID and you live in New York State, you should. The study is our reality check on Climate Change and solutions.  Just to whet your appetite, check out this short article about the “Responding to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)” study where you can get a sense of the most important study about how Climate Change will affect our region that is being used by our authorities and planners.  This would be a good question for political leaders in New York State: “Have you read the ClimAID”? For if they haven’t, how can they properly plan for our future.  ClimAid Recommendations for adopting to a changing climate This past March, I put some snowshoes in the trunk of my car and drove to Tupper Lake to give a talk at the Wild Center. My presentation was a public prelude to a meeting of the Adirondack Climate and Energy Action Planning group (ADKCAP), and interest in it was heightened by the abnormally early snowmelt that had rendered my snowshoes useless baggage. Snowshoes would normally be required for any trail excursion in Tupper Lake in March. In 2009, I joined a team of scientists commissioned by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) to draft a report-called the ClimAID report-explaining our society's vulnerability to climate change, and detailing how we might adapt to it. My role was to help with the Ecosystems and Agriculture sections, overseen by Cornell University's David Wolfe. Following the publishing of the report in 2011, I and many members involved in that effort have traveled across New York and the region to educate the public. People everywhere want to know what to expect from climate change and what they can do about it. I've met with grade-school classes, college groups, church groups, and the Science Cabaret, an informal group of people who meet regularly in Ithaca to discuss current and sometimes controversial topics in science. (February 2013 Conservationist [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/24/2014 - What did last winter’s frigid temperatures teach us about Climate Change and how we will respond? A frigid winter, like we had last winter, not only did not prove that Climate Change is not happening it caused us to warm up climate more.  Just as when it gets colder we turn up the heat, when it gets hotter we will turn on the air conditioning.  So, when it gets cold we will warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels and when it gets hot we’ll warm up the planet more by burning fossil fuels.  What’s wrong with this picture? Polar Vortex Spiked U.S. CO2 Emissions in 2013 Bitter cold and a chill wind inevitably mean the heat gets cranked up inside. And as the polar vortex parked itself over Canada and the northeastern U.S. to end 2013, that’s what people did. Largely as a result of trying to keep warm from that Arctic chill, carbon dioxide emitted from burning energy in the U.S. increased 2.5 percent in 2013 over the previous year, according to the U.S. Energy Information Administration’s annual CO2 emissions report, released Tuesday. Only three other years since 1990 have seen a greater annual increase in energy-related CO2 emissions — 1996, 2000 and 2010. The spike in emissions from burning energy last year had less to do with the U.S. reversing a trend in declining CO2 emissions than it did with 2012 being unusually warm — the warmest year on record in the U.S., in fact. (October 21, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/23/2014 - Fess up.  Are you using Monroe County’s EcoPark-- a “one-stop drop-off” to dispose of or recycle certain items”?  If not, why not?  So where have you been putting your e- waste, scrap metal, clothing (for donation), ink jet cartridges (to benefit charity), curbside recyclables, batteries, sneakers, tires, bulky plastics, flags to be destroyed), household hazardous waste and prescriptions (for proper disposal) and probably even more?  In Monroe County only an appallingly small percentage (I’ve heard that it’s only 1%) of folks actually use this county-run facility to take care of the kind of waste you cannot put in your trash or recycling bin. I’ve also heard that they are dropping hours for those employed at one of the best county-run facilities to keep hazardous waste out of our environment—our life support system.  It costs money and resources to keep the place lit and heated and it just isn't getting a lot of traffic. I don't know why the D&C has never covered it or why more people (politicians) aren't talking about it.  Please help to spread the word and let your friends know about EcoPark so they can use it.  Let your representatives know that it is important to you and that they should be proud of Rochester's leading environmental resource.  Once the hours get even more limited it will make it less likely that people will use it and before you know it we will be using one of the great facilities that we have here in town.

  • 10/23/2014 - Learn about Micro-grids and how they might work to lower our carbon footprint in New York State. Webinar: a Climate Smart Communities (NYS program to address Climate Change) for “innovative models for energy purchase and management” Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon – Online. You can find out more about the state’s program from the Rochester Sierra Club’s 2014 Earth Day Forum  "Climate Smart Communities:  Let’s Get With the Program"  | Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Micro-grids and Community Choice Aggregation Thursday, November 13, 2014, 10:30 a.m. – Noon     What if communities could design energy policy according to their own priorities, providing local choice and local benefit….all without placing financial demands on municipalities or taxpayers? This is true today in many states where communities have designed strategies to save residents money on energy costs, while financing renewable generation, creating more reliable electricity grids, and earning residents’ money in demand management markets.   This second webinar in our two part community energy options series will introduce innovative models for energy purchase and management that are being explored nationally, internationally and, now, locally. Community Choice Aggregation (CCA), allows municipalities to pool the purchasing power of their residents and businesses, enabling alternative energy purchase as well as innovative financing mechanisms for efficiency and renewable supply. Micro-grids have the power to create unified and optimized grid assets from the disparate resources at the “edge of the grid.” In so doing, micro-grids provide superior information, control and value to grid operators and communities alike. (October 22, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) {more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 10/23/2014 - Putting a climate denier into office is like your insurance company only using historical data—both are dangerously delusional.  Because Climate Change is a problem of physics, energy from the sun being trapped more since the Industrial Revolution because of the rise in greenhouse gases faster than any time in the last 10,000 years, choosing a leader who cannot address this problem because of their stance against a problem of physics is insane. You cannot prepare your region with adequate planning if your leaders believe that what’s coming, won’t be coming.  Just like insurance companies that don’t factor in Climate Change, there won’t be enough money in the pot if they haven’t been getting ready for more destruction due to more frequent extreme weather.  Steyer Escalates Campaign to Keep Climate Deniers Out of Office On the heels of its Science Denier Week last week, NextGen Climate founder and funder Tom Steyer has put another $15 million into its coffers to help elect climate- and science-friendly candidates in the midterm elections. And that was merely his contribution in September. The billionaire is on track to fulfill his promise to put $50 million into this year’s elections, with $41 million donated so far this year. Other sources put in an additional $1.9 million. (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/23/2014 - But, but, if we lift the moratorium on Fracking in New York State the Fracking companies won’t create more and take advantage of more loopholes and put OUR water in danger, right? OK sure the Fracking companies got the Halliburton Loophole to get around the Safe Drinking Water Act but they won’t find other ways to get around the act and put our drinking water in danger, right? Not in New York.  If allowed into to our state, the Fracking companies would be good as gold (unless they came across real gold in our bedrock while they were drilling around down there  in which case presumably all environmental concerns about water or earthquakes or public health would be off the table.) Fracking companies use loophole to avoid permits for dangerous chemicals, report says Federal laws meant to protect drinking water require fracking companies to get a permit before using diesel fuel in the drilling process. That permit is important: Diesel contains chemicals that can cause cancer and damage nerve tissues. The permits regulate the length and depth of concrete and steel well casings that keep those chemicals from reaching groundwater. But a loophole in the law allows oil and gas companies to separately inject the same toxic chemicals without a permit, according to a report released by the nonprofit, nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project. (October 23, 2014) The Columbus Dispatch [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/23/2014 - If your insurance company can no longer cover you because they didn’t factor in Climate Change, who ya gonna call? That’s right, your government--the insurers of last resort. But even your government can only replace a finite number of houses and property when extreme weather comes more frequently.  This latest study about silence on Climate Change from insurance companies is very troubling because insurance companies, in order to stay viable, must be looking carefully and accurately into the future.  If your insurance company is only relying on historical data, it’s like trying to drive backwards down the highway without a rearview mirror. U.S. Insurers Meet Climate Risk With 'Deeply Troubling' Silence 'Insurers show widespread indifference to climate risk, both in regard to their core business' and their investments, new report says. Even though insurers are in the business of protecting others from risk, a new report shows that most major United States players are turning a blind eye to a serious threat to their own bottom line—climate change. "It's shocking...most of the industry continues to be far behind where they need to be in terms of understanding and articulating [climate risk]," said study author Cynthia McHale, insurance program director at the Boston-based nonprofit Ceres. (October 23, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/22/2014 - Incredibly pithy and cogent argument on why we must limit warming to 2C. This quote from the article is especially spot on: “Despite having accessible public information about global warming for more than two decades, many countries continue emitting greenhouse gasses at record-breaking rates.” We need to understand the kind of problem Climate Change presents humanity because it ain’t just about changing your light bulbs. Limiting global warming to 2°C: the philosophy and the science Industrial civilization must become technologically, economically, politically, and morally sustainable to hold the earth’s temperature below 2°C (3.6°F) higher than its preindustrial average. The problem is not insurmountable. It is possible, then, that we’ll benefit in the long run from having to deal with human-caused global warming, by being forced to mature politically and ethically. As of yet, however, the world has largely failed to move beyond moral, political, and economic parochialism. Our continued failure will supplant the promise of sustainability with a legacy of collapse. (October 21, 2014) The Conversation [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/22/2014 - Better yet, remove Bakken crude from any trains going through New York State altogether. New York State Sends Letter To North Dakota Governor Dalrymple Supporting Proposed Regulations To Decrease Crude Oil Volatility Treating Crude Oil to Remove Volatile Gases Before Transit by Rail Will Protect New Yorkers and Communities Near Rail Lines Across the Country State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens and state Department of Transportation Commissioner Joan McDonald today sent a letter to North Dakota Governor Jack Dalrymple in support of proposed North Dakota state regulation changes that would require oil producers to remove volatile gases from Bakken crude oil prior to shipping the crude oil across the country by rail, further protecting New Yorkers who live and work near rail lines. "In light of the devastating incidents in Quebec and North Dakota, there is no doubt that we need to make it safer to ship crude oil across the country and through New York State," DEC Commissioner Martens said. "One of the best ways to do this is to take action at the source, before the oil is shipped through our communities. North Dakota has proposed stronger precautions on this kind of rail shipments, that will benefit everyone who lives or works near a crude oil transport line - including New Yorkers. We urge North Dakota to act swiftly on these regulations to make communities safer and more protected from oil train accidents." (October 21, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)

  • 10/22/2014 - Interesting, immediate health benefits from stricter standards on coal power plants a new study finds. Da, ya think? We certainly do have a penchant for studying the obvious. But I guess we won’t get pollution down unless we do these studies so we can prove to the folks making zillions from the fossil fuel industries that, yeah, burning fossil fuels actually does pollute the air (See China) and heats up the planet.  We’ve only been studying this freaking issue for decades. Anyway, we’d get a whole lot more air pollution down if we stopped burning fossil fuels for energy and you don’t need any studies to find this out.  We just need the political will and public education on how energy conservation, energy efficiency, battery improvements, micro grids, along with renewable energy can wean us off our addiction to fossil fuel energy.  Despite mainstream thinking to the contrary, we don’t have to threaten all life on this planet to turn on a light. Go renewables (wind and solar) and make it work. Study finds New York would benefit from proposed new coal standards New Yorkers could see health benefits from proposed standards for coal power plants, new research has found. A vast majority of New York’s energy production comes from nuclear, hydro and natural gas, but the state is downwind from states that do burn a lot of coal, like Ohio, so that means the soot blows this way. "So they influence our air quality. Even though we have relatively clean emissions, we receive a lot of air from this downwind areas," said Charles Driscoll, an environmental engineering professor at Syracuse University. (October 17, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Air Quality in our area]  

  • 10/22/2014 - It’s flu season and time to get your shot and time for me to march out my flu essay: “Getting your flu shot and why it matters” | Flu Season to Begin Soon County officials remind residents to get their flu shots, as the season fast approaches. Between 50-60% of residents are regularly vaccinated against the highly preventable illness. Mid- to late October is the time of year when flu begins to appear in the region. Although there hasn’t been a confirmed case of the disease this year, spokesperson for the Monroe County Department of Public Health, John Ricci said the flu is on its way. (October 21, 2014) WXXI News [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/22/2014 - Take home message about loss of biodiversity: “These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth.”  Besides our way of life and because of Climate Change we are experiencing a loss of biodiversity that equals the five other great extinction events.  More than tragic and the prospect of living on a lonely planet, we probably need most of those creatures to keep our life support system going.  We cannot create a key stone species to prop up a failing ecosystem if we kill off a species critical to the operation of a specific environment—a wetland, a forest, a stream. Half Earth’s Wildlife Gone, Governments Meet to Save the Rest Global wildlife populations have declined, on average, by 52 percent in the 40 year period since 1970, reports the global conservation nonprofit WWF. Habitat loss and degradation are the greatest threats to biodiversity, with exploitation of wildlife and climate change close behind. Released ahead of the ongoing 12th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP12) now taking place in Pyeongchang, the WWF’s Living Planet Report 2014 is based on the Living Planet Index, which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish. (October 14, 2014) Environmental News Service (ENS) [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/22/2014 - Here’s the scary part: What if when we do decide to lower our greenhouse gas emissions and that doesn’t work? One of the assumptions we make is that when we do get our act together and realize that we must get our greenhouse gas levels down ‘stuff’ happens and things don’t work out as we planned.  We then realize we cannot turn the planet’s thermostat down instantly, that other factors come into to play (like a cold winter) and our thinking we can just tweak this or that is a lot more complicated than we thought. This is another reason why we should have started reducing greenhouse gas emissions long ago. Stopping warming much more difficult that stopping a car. U.S. Carbon Emissions Rise Despite Efforts to Combat Climate Change In a troubling sign, data from the U.S. Energy Information Administration (EIA) released today show that U.S. energy-related carbon dioxide emissions rose 2.5 percent in 2013, from 5,267 million metric tons in 2012 to 5,396 million metric tons in 2013. This increase comes after two years of declining emissions. Market trends on their own are clearly insufficient to achieve sustained, sharp reductions in heat-trapping emissions: we need strong policies that drive renewable energy and energy efficiency. (October 21, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/21/2014 - I like this quote about Rochester’s new transit center, let’s hope it turns out to be true: “Therese McMillan, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, noted that the new hub was designed to benefit residents who rely on the public transportation system while bolstering downtown’s economy.” Officials get peek at new transit center Rochester’s new Downtown Transit Center opened its automated doors to several federal, state and local officials Monday to celebrate the building’s completion, which has been under construction since late 2012. Lt. Gov. Robert Duffy said there was a “wow factor” when he entered the $50 million bus terminal on Mortimer Street for the first time. He used to catch the 10 Dewey bus into downtown in his youth, but from the glowing gate numbers and digital screens, he said it is clear that public transportation has moved forward. “This is a transformational project for downtown Rochester,” said Duffy. “I feel a deep connection to it, and I’m very proud of how far we’ve come.” Therese McMillan, acting administrator of the U.S. Department of Transportation’s Federal Transit Administration, noted that the new hub was designed to benefit residents who rely on the public transportation system while bolstering downtown’s economy. (October 20, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/21/2014 - One of the reasons why we marched (actually walked and waited) for the People’s Climate March in NY was to kickstart the UN Climate Summit 2014.  How did that work out? Top 5 Takeaways From the United Nations Climate Summit The historic United Nations Climate Summit provided the clearest signals yet of how world leaders and top business executives perceive the threat of global warming. There was a dizzying barrage of announcements that together add up to proof of life for the previously moribund U.N. climate treaty talks. Here are the top takeaways from the summit: 1. Extreme weather is spurring action. 2. We are awesome at opening and closing Climate Summit meetings. The in-between part still needs some work 3. So, about that Green Climate Fund... 4. Private companies and cities are in the lead now. 5. We might actually keep forests around for a bit longer. (September 24, 2014) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area}

  • 10/21/2014 - Don't forget folks, you cannot talk about long-range transportation plans without talking about adapting to and mitigating Climate Change, as transportation accounts for 27% of green house gas emissions. GENESEE TRANSPORTATION COUNCIL ANNOUNCES two public open houses for the LONG RANGE TRANSPORTATION PLAN FOR THE GENESEE-FINGER LAKES REGION 2040   The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is holding two open house-style public meetings to gather input that will guide the region’s long range strategic plan for transportation. The meetings will be held in Rochester City Council Chambers on Monday, October 27, 2014 from 6 p.m. to 8 p.m. and Wednesday, November 5, 2014 from noon to 2 p.m.   GTC staff members will be present to talk with residents, employers, and other stakeholders about their needs and any potential projects or services they feel should be considered. There will be separate stations set up for highways and bridges; public transportation; bicycling and walking; technology; and freight. Maps and markers will also be available for attendees so they can present their ideas geographically.   GTC has gotten great input from across the region through our tables at more than a dozen farmers’ markets and shopping malls. These open houses are another opportunity for people to let GTC know how the transportation system can be improved to make their lives better.   The Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2040 (LRTP 2040) will provide the strategic direction for more detailed planning and implementation of specific projects over the next 25 years. It is anticipated that the LRTP 2040 will be adopted by the GTC Board in June 2015.   For those needing special accommodation at the open houses (including a foreign language interpreter), please contact GTC at (585) 232-6240 at least 48 hours before the meeting. Persons who are hearing impaired should use the NYS Relay Service at (800) 662-1220 or 711. Oral and written comments will be accepted at the open houses. Written comments may also be submitted to: Genesee Transportation Council 50 W. Main Street, Suite 8112 Rochester, NY 14614-1227 ATTN: LRTP 2040 or via email to: LRTP@gtcmpo.org or via fax to: (585) 262-3106   GTC is encouraging those interested in transportation to take a brief survey and to provide ideas for projects on a Wikimap. Both of these can be accessed on the GTC website at:   http://www.gtcmpo.org/Docs/LRTP2040.htm   GTC will hold another series of customer engagement events in March and April 2015 to present draft recommendations to be considered for inclusion in the LRTP 2040. Comments, input, and feedback may be provided to GTC throughout the development of the LRTP 2040 and are not limited to when public meetings are being held. (October 20, 2014) - From email: Jody Binnix, AICP Assistant Program Manager Genesee Transportation Council 50 West Main Street, Suite 8112 Rochester, NY 14614-1227 [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/21/2014 - I know, this makes me sound like Bah Humbug, but grants, even when you get one, are a lousy way of cleaning up Brownfields. In the first place, if you use grants as a way of cleaning up industrial waste sites that some irresponsible corporation left for the public to clean up, it’s a crap shoot as to whether you’ll get the grant or not.  ‘Applicants’ have to jump through a Byzantine series of clerical hoops to be considered. And when they do get a grant, part of the grant money (as always) goes to administering the grants—not cleaning up the mess. Also, is the given amount of grant money enough to do the job? Instead of righting our environment, a fixed price is set and those with the lowest bid get to claim that they can clean up whoknowswhat with what limited funds.  Cleaning up Brownfields, which will unevenly affect low-income areas who will have to deal with more toxic runoff as Climate Change produces more frequent heavy rainfall in our region, should not be left to chance. Cleaning up Brownfields should be an immediate and comprehensive program that provides jobs to low-income communities so they can up the standards of their living and clean up their environment. Cleaning up Brownfields should not be left up to chance; they need to be cleaned up now.  EPA is Announcing - Funding Available for 2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants EPA is Announcing New Request for Proposals: Funding Available for 2015 Brownfields Assessment and Cleanup Grants! These brownfields grants may be used to address sites contaminated by petroleum and hazardous substances, pollutants, or contaminants (including hazardous substances co-mingled with petroleum). Opportunities for funding are as follows: Brownfields Assessment Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years; Assessment Coalitions are funded up to $600,000 over three years) and Brownfields Cleanup Grants (each funded up to $200,000 over three years). Please note that applicants who received an Assessment grant from EPA in Fiscal Year 2014 (FY14) are eligible to apply under this competition. If the applicant was a member of a coalition that was awarded a grant in FY14, that applicant is also eligible to apply under this assessment competition. The proposal submission deadline is December 19, 2014. Please visit EPA's Brownfields website for more information! (October 20, 2014)   The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) [more on Brownfields in our area] 

  • 10/21/2014 - Learn about ‘community-owned wind investment.’ Tonight in Rochester, NY. I’m on a learning curve here. This is what Wiki says: “Community wind projects are locally owned by farmers, investors, businesses, schools, utilities, or other public or private entities who utilize wind energy to support and reduce energy costs to the local community. The key feature is that local community members have a significant, direct financial stake in the project beyond land lease payments and tax revenue. Projects may be used for on-site power or to generate wholesale power for sale, usually on a commercial-scale greater than 100 kW” However it works, it beats the crap out of Fracking, trekking tar sands oil across our state on tanker cars not built for that, and burning any fossil fuel for energy.  To find out more check out this information session tonight: October 21, Rochester, NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  5-6:30 pm by Black Oak Wind Farm “New York State’s First Community-Owned Wind Farm”. Here’s what they say: “The Mission of Black Oak Wind Farm LLC is to give New York residents the opportunity to own wind energy assets, providing clean energy to the grid and financial returns to our investors. Our Vision is to develop, own, and operate an 11.9 megawatt wind farm in western Tompkins County, New York. There will be seven GE 1.7 megawatt turbines, planned to start construction in late 2014.” If you cannot make tonight’s talk, there another in Rochester: November 4, Rochester NY:  Rochester Plaza Hotel & Conference Center, Corinthian Room,  7:30-9 pm

  • 10/21/2014 - Instead of focusing on becoming stewards of our environment, it looks like we’ve let the camel get its nose in the tent—and it’s a very long nose indeed. With the Boom in Oil and Gas,  Pipelines Proliferate in the U.S. The rise of U.S. oil and gas production has spurred a dramatic expansion of the nation's pipeline infrastructure. As the lines reach into new communities and affect more property owners, concerns over the environmental impacts are growing. The rise of new technologies like hydraulic fracturing has opened up vast new stores of both natural gas and oil in the United States, and that, in turn, is driving a boom in new pipeline infrastructure to move the fuels around. The pipelines are entering previously uncharted territories — from rural parts of the West to suburbs in the Northeast — often causing controversy among landowners, local governments, and clean-energy advocates.  (October 6, 2014) Yale Environment 360 [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/20/2014 - But the emerald ash borer (EAB), which is eating more of our ash trees, is probably doing so because the EAB is better able to weather our winters because of Climate Change. So, will ash tree seed collections restore a tree that will be prone to more invasive species because of warmer winters?  How long will we store the seeds? Millions of years until our climate returns to the time when the ash tree thrived and flourished?  Invasive Species Causes the Decline in Ash Tree Population  Ash trees in the northeast and Midwest are under assault from an invasive species. "The emerald ash borer is a non-native weevil from Asiatic countries that has come in to the U.S. and is boring into the outer bark of the ash trees. It’s causing the decline of the species. It’s likely that the ash (tree) becomes extinct as a result," said Clara Holmes, Mid-Atlantic Regional Seed Bank. While efforts continue to slow the spread of the borer and researchers try to find an effective agent against it, ash tree seed collections are being organized to keep the ash tree in our future. (October 20, 2014) Time Warner News Rochester [more on Invasive Species in our area]

  • 10/20/2014 - What we know is that NYS is getting $197 million to help finance improvements to water projects. What we don’t know is whether this money is sufficient to protect our water quality as our region experiences more frequent extreme weather (flooding) as a result of Climate Change. How can the EPA talk about helping to improve New York State’s water quality without talking about Climate Change? In truth we cannot figure out whether this funding is enough, what the state is actually doing about these issues as they related to Climate Change: "This funding helps New York communities upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, improving the environment and protecting public health.” All these issues related to water and public health are going to be seriously challenged by Climate Change and we need to plan and the EPA, or New York State for that matter, says nary a word about the elephant in the room. EPA Provides New York State $197 Million for Water Infrastructure Projects The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency has awarded $197 million to New York State to help finance improvements to water projects that are essential to protecting public health and the environment. The funds will be primarily used to upgrade sewage plants and drinking water systems throughout the state. This funding, which is awarded annually, is in addition to the $340 million NY recently received for Hurricane Sandy resiliency projects.  “Since 1989, the EPA has provided more than $5.7 billion for New York State water projects,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. "This funding helps New York communities upgrade their drinking water and sewage treatment systems, improving the environment and protecting public health.” (October 17, 2014) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/20/2014 - If you don’t find the science of Climate Change compelling enough to address this issue, maybe the ‘moral imperative’ will get you to act. In the Rochester, NY area, there a lots of things you can do: ACTION. Holy See to UN: Dealing with climate change a "moral imperative" The Holy See has called climate change a “question of justice and a moral imperative” at a meeting of the United Nations on Sustainable Development. Speaking on Thursday, the Holy See’s Permanent Observer to the United Nations in New York, Archbishop Bernardito Auza, told the assembly the fact developing and poor nations remain particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change is unjust, given that the primary factors of climate change, like high consumption and high-quantity greenhouse gas emissions, characterize highly industrialized societies. (October 20, 2014) Vatican Radio [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/20/2014 - But what if your state regulators do a half-ass job reporting on key Fracking air toxics and omit measurements of most pollutants? How can you determine the people health risks of Fracking if you’re going to cherry pick the measurements so that only Fracking doesn’t get sick? If we lift the moratorium in New York State on Fracking, is this what we have to look forward to instead of clean renewable energy? State studies on shale-site air emissions incomplete, according to court documents Three widely cited state studies of air emissions at Marcellus Shale gas development sites in Pennsylvania omit measurements of key air toxics and calculate the health risks of just two of more than two dozen pollutants. State regulators and the shale gas drilling industry over the past four years have repeatedly used the regional studies to support their positions that air emissions from drilling, fracking wastewater impoundments and compressor stations don’t pose a public health risk. The revelations about the shortcomings of the state Department of Environmental Protection’s short-term air sampling reports are contained in sworn depositions by two DEP air program employees who worked on them. Those documents were filed in a Washington County Common Pleas Court civil case in which three families allege that air and water pollution from Range Resources’ Yeager drilling and 13.5-million gallon fracking wastewater impoundment in Washington County made them sick. (October 20, 2014) Powersouce Pittsburg Post Gazette [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/19/2014 - Important and articulate thoughts on the People’s Climate March from long-time local environmentalist Audrey Newcomb in her newsletter “Sifting & Winnowing”: 400,000 demand climate action at NYC People’s March At the Sept.21 People’s Climate March, NYU Professor Christian Parenti noted that the Pentagon correctly recognizes that climate change has led to violence in the Global South (which includes most nations of Africa, Central and Latin America, and most of Asia, including the Middle East). But during the Cold War, it was Colonialism that led to massive instability in the Global South, where neoliberal economic policies such as restructuring and austerity were superimposed by IMF and World Bank. Countries opting for progressive solutions such as regulation and socialism have faced military intervention by the US and Europe. The arming of rebels with cheap weapons left over from imperialist wars also fomented the violence. Climate change often looks more like civil war or banditry than bad weather in these countries because their populations are already vulnerable to the extreme effects of climate change. UN estimates that 150 armed conflicts that killed 20 million people, displaced 15 million, and wounded 60 million from 1945-1990.Today, alternating drought and flooding take a huge toll. Although the Pentagon recognizes the part climate change plays, its counterinsurgency policies have not and are not working. The War on Terror makes societies less and less able to deal with problems caused by extreme weather. (October 2014) Sifting & Winnowing [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2014 - Let’s get real, cleaning up Frack water is not just about getting the salt out, there are undisclosed Fracking chemicals that this report doesn’t mention. Why not? Not only have Fracking chemicals been removed as hazardous water waste in the Safe Drinking Water Act from the Halliburton Loophole, it looks like our public media is also on the Fracking secrecy thing. Read this Why Wastewater From Fracking is Such a Threat –from Catskill Mountaineer. Turning frack water into profit proves a challenge The oil and gas industry produces a high volume of very dirty water and that water has to go somewhere, like down an injection well. A lot of businesses think they have the technology to actually clean it up. As the Allegheny Front's Reid Frazier reports, that's a bigger task than it might seem and some doubt whether cleaning up frack water will ever be a moneymaker. Inside a cavernous industrial building in Pittsburgh, Mike Broeker shows off what he hopes is the next big thing in cleaning up the fracking business: three satellite dishes.  “These are the most common satellite dishes in the world,” says Broeker, COO of Epiphany Solar Water Systems.   The dishes will use the sun's rays to clean up brine that comes out of a shale gas well in Pennsylvania. They are just one of many systems companies are experimenting with to clean up the very dirty water the oil and gas industry produces. The waste water goes by various names—flowback, produced water, or brine. (October 17, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/18/2014 - Study: Find out more about the present state of mercury in our water and in our fish from the U.S. Geological Survey | Mercury in the Nation’s Streams—Levels, Trends, and Implications Major Findings and Implications Mercury is a potent neurotoxin that accumulates in fish to levels of concern for human health and the health of fish-eating wildlife. Mercury contamination of fish is the primary reason for issuing fish consumption advisories, which exist in every State in the Nation. Much of the mercury originates from combustion of coal and can travel long distances in the atmosphere before being deposited. This can result in mercury-contaminated fish in areas with no obvious source of mercury pollution. Three key factors determine the level of mercury contamination in fish—the amount of inorganic mercury available to an ecosystem, the conversion of inorganic mercury to methylmercury, and the bioaccumulation of methylmercury through the food web. Inorganic mercury originates from both natural sources (such as volcanoes, geologic deposits of mercury, geothermal springs, and volatilization from the ocean) and anthropogenic sources (such as coal combustion, mining, and use of mercury in products and industrial processes). Humans have doubled the amount of inorganic mercury in the global atmosphere since pre-industrial times, with substantially greater increases occurring at locations closer to major urban areas. (October 14, 2014) U.S. Department of the Interior | U.S. Geological Survey [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/18/2014 - Nice to see Paris getting ready for the Big One: UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December 2015, in Paris. Paris 2015, which the People’s Climate March, the UN Summit in NYC,  and the up-coming Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014,have been moving towards must not fail.  We must achieve a legally binding and universal agreement on climate, from all the nations of the world. Anything less is wishful thinking and doomed to failure. France Prepares to Lead the World in Low-Carbon Sustainablity This past weekend Région Ile-de-France hosted the first World Summit of Regions for Climate on October 10 and 11 in Paris at the Palais d’Iena. The Summit was organized in partnership with R20 Regions of Climate Action. Attendees included regional leaders, government officials, heads of large corporations, investors, associations, and the media. Chaired by Arnold Schwarzenegger, former Governor of California and Founding Chair of R20 Regions of Climate Action, this summit gathered some 500 regional and local governments from five continents to contribute to a new legally-binding international agreement to limit climate change. In collaboration with World Climate Ltd., the event mobilized regions, cities, businesses, investors and universities around a joint declaration calling for commitment to a series of concrete actions toward sustainability, including sustainable mobility, within the framework of the Road to Paris 2015. The event pushed forward the “positive agenda” of the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP21) in December 2015, in Paris. (October 13, 2014) Environmental News Service (ENS) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/18/2014 - Climate Change, it’s a lot more than carbon dioxide. Methane, a more potent greenhouse gas, is also harder to find. How scientists overlooked a 2,500-square-mile cloud of methane over the Southwest (+video) Scientists first noticed the largest methane hotspot in the US years ago, but the readings were so extreme they thought it might be instrument error. Emissions are 80 percent higher than previous Environmental Protection Agency estimates. Scientists have identified the largest hotspot of methane gas in the United States hovering over the Four Corners region of the Southwest, and the find could have big implications for how the country tracks its emissions in the future. Scientists first noticed the data years ago amid satellite measurements collected by the European Space Agency's Scanning Imaging Absorption Spectrometer for Atmospheric Chartography (SCIAMACHY) instrument. The SCIAMACHY instrument collected atmospheric data over the US from 2002 to 2012. The bright red patch over the Four Corners persisted throughout the study period, but the readings were so extreme scientists still waited several more years before investigating the region in detail. "We didn't focus on it because we weren't sure if it was a true signal or an instrument error," said Christian Frankenberg from NASA's Jet Propulsion Laboratory in a statement. (October 10, 2014) Christian Science Monitor [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/18/2014 - Don’t vote for candidate who plays dumb on Climate Change. Make the Mid-term elections Climate Change denier’s dances impossible. Candidates step up to their responsibilities on Climate Change or they don’t. I suspect many candidates do understand the science of Climate Change and what this means for leadership, but feel constrained by their part to play dumb. The Difficult Dance of the 2014 Climate Change Denier At the start of this year on this site, we urged the media and politicians to debate climate solutions, not the settled science of climate change. The good news is that, more than ever before, candidates are being forced to explain their positions on climate change and what they plan to do about it. In key Senate races around the country, candidates have gotten into heated exchanges about the role of the Environmental Protection Agency and its proposal to reduce the carbon pollution that is responsible for climate change. This heightened interest in climate change should come as no surprise as its impacts become more evident and more dangerous every year. (October 17, 2014) The Huffington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/17/2014 - Monroe County and Rochester, NY get screwed out of DEC grant for urban forests. More urban forests are critical in addressing Climate Change. I know, our region didn’t get nailed by a major extreme weather event (except flooding) and the Emerald Ash Borer or the Asian Long Horned Beetle haven’t completely chomped down all our trees yet, but still trees (when you leave them in the ground) are one of the most effective ways to address Climate Change—as they protect soil, provide shade, they are a carbon sink, they promote the welfare of Wildlife, which in turn keep our ecosystems healthy, and about a zillion other reasons.  Planting trees, like good agricultural practices, are a tried and true way of geoengineering our planet for Climate Change.  Not as high-tech and sexy as a billion mirrors in our atmosphere to reflect the sunlight (as some nerdy, irresponsible loonies believe) but sound environmental kinda of help in a time of Climate Change.  So, yeah it would have been nice if our friends over at the DEC shunted some of our public monies to our region so we could put some more trees in would have been nice. But trying to solve Climate Change via grants makes addressing Climate Change an ad hoc and ultimately useless way of funding our life support system.  We’re going to need something more robust than a competitive grant system to get New York State ready for what’s coming with Climate Change. DEC Announces $280,000 in Urban Forestry Grants Awarded to Communities for Tree Planting And Other Urban Forestry Projects Total of More Than $1 Million Awarded in 2014 for Urban Forestry Projects in New York New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens today announced the state awarded $280,000 in Environmental Protection Fund (EPF) grants for urban forestry projects to small and large communities across New York. The Urban Forestry grants are part of New York's ongoing initiatives to address climate change and environmental justice. The projects target local environmental needs and can truly benefit the community and the environment, including watershed protection. (October 16, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)   

  • 10/17/2014 - This Climate Change quiz by the EPA sounds really fun, but I’d rather my community leaders take it and reveal their results.  If our leaders at a local and national level cannot pass this quiz, I suspect we are in real trouble. Are you climate ready? from Environmental Protection Agency EPA

  • 10/17/2014 - The more we learn about Climate Change, the more we learn that denial is not an option—especially in our leaders.  What if you live on the coast (any coast) and your leader is a climate denier and refuses to orchestrate plans to fortify your community for higher sea levels. Get bigger boots? Boots in the water just doesn’t cover it. Sea level rise in last century ‘unprecedented,’ say researchers  The rise in sea levels seen in the last 150 years is unmatched by any period in the last 6,000 years, according to new research. The study, which researchers say is the most comprehensive of its kind, reconstructed 35,000 years of sea level fluctuations. It found that the 20cm sea level rise seen over the last century is 10 times what was observed on average over the past 6,000 years. This makes the past century extremely unusual. The scientists identified rising temperatures, which have caused polar ice melt and thermal expansion of the oceans as the primary cause of the sea level increase. “What we see in the tide gauges, we don’t see in the past record, so there’s something going on today that wasn’t going on before,” lead author Kurt Lambeck, a professor at the Australian National University told ABC. “I think that is clearly the impact of rising temperatures.” (October 15, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/17/2014 - Whether we can feed 2 more billion folks than thought and Climate Change worse, it’s not simply rhetorical for Rochester. Sure, we live in the lap of luxury with small farms and large all about us. Not to mention the food we air, train, ship, and truck from all over the world. But as Climate Change makes it more dire for folks around the world to produce enough food, our productive agricultural region and others may be where Climate Chang refuges come to live and eat and farm. Climate Change will make our world smaller as there will be more of us scurrying around for more when there will be less.  The best bet for sustainability in this new world is for our leaders to plan and not to install leaders who won’t plan for Climate Change. Can the world produce enough food for 2 bln more people? With the world population rising, demographers are grappling with one of the most pressing issues of the century - will there be enough food for an extra two to four billion people? Projections of global population growth vary widely with the United Nations last month forecasting numbers rising to 9.6 billion in 2050 and around 10.9 billion by the end of the century from 7.2 billion currently. That is about 1.5 billion more people than another estimate calculated by the International Institute for Applied Systems Analysis (IIASA), a Vienna-based research organisation, which predicts a world population peak of 9.4 billion in 2070. (Oct 15, 2014) Thomson Reuters Foundation [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/16/2014 - Connect the dots: Loss of biodiversity, more diseases, we have less biodiversity because of human development, and more Climate Change. Here’s the Climate Change/biodiversity connection: “It is now widely recognized that climate change and biodiversity are interconnected. Biodiversity is affected by climate change, with negative consequences for human well-being, but biodiversity, through the ecosystem services it supports, also makes an important contribution to both climate-change mitigation and adaptation. Consequently, conserving and sustainably managing biodiversity is critical to addressing climate change” Convention on Biodiversity | Study proves biodiversity buffers disease When a community is biodiverse with many different species, the risk of disease decreases, according to a new study that uses experiments to understand the mechanisms for this pattern, called the “dilution effect.” Researchers have debated for decades whether biodiversity itself buffers disease or whether the composition of species in a community is the true indicator of higher and lower rates of disease. (October 14, 2014) Cornell Chronicle Online [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 10/16/2014 - But, Mr. Harper what big oil tankers you have running through the St. Lawrence River! The better to piss off environmentalists, replied the wolf. Guess if they cannot pipe it, truck it, or rail it, the fossil fuel folks will get government to change the rules so they can send astronomical amounts of fossil fuels through our waterways.  We are so not addressing Climate Change and our energy needs in a sustainable way. Harper announces plans for Quebec’s St. Lawrence oil resources Harper said Ottawa and Quebec are well-positioned to table the legislative framework to implement an accord that was signed in 2011.  Ottawa estimates that the Gulf of St. Lawrence and surrounding areas have the potential for 39 trillion cubic feet of natural gas and 1.5 billion barrels of oil. (October 14, 2014) Global News [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 10/16/2014 - But during Climate Change does Rochester’s new transit center make active and public transportation more accessible? Because Transportation accounts for 27% of GHGs, accommodating more pedestrians, bicyclists, and using public transportation more is a critical and inexpensive and viable way of addressing Climate Change in our region. Is there easy access for pedestrians to get off the streets and on to buses or trains?  Are there easy places for bicyclists to get to bicycle racks and make sure they are secured while folks then get on a train or bus—and are there enough bike racks? What other encouragements are a part of the design for this new transit center to reduce greenhouse gases for local transportation? Touring Rochester's shiny new transit center The automated doors that lead from the bus bay to the main concourse of the Downtown Transit Centerwhoosh open like we're on the bridge of the USS Enterprise, giving way to a 45-foot-high ceiling and walls lined with ribbons of multicolored lights. Each gate is marked by a glowing number and a digital screen that displays bus routes and departure times. For now, the cavernous building is all but empty. But in just a month and a half, its every feature will be on display and put to the test when the transit hub finally opens to the public. While workers are still putting final touches on the $50 million terminal, construction is now all but finished. Work began in late 2012. As the Nov. 28 opening nears, the project continues to move along on time and within budget, said Daniele Coll-Gonzalez, chief operating officer of the Rochester-Genesee Regional Transportation Authority. (October 15, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/16/2014 - One of the results of the historic People’s Climate March is that climate change denial may be a political liability henceforth. We cannot have leaders who don’t believe in the fundamental way our planet is now functioning. Mid-term elections: We must not put a climate denier into public office Our military understands that Climate Change is affecting their role now and they cannot be hampered by climate change denier ideologues who have backed themselves into an absurd position. It’s not our fault that Climate Change was put into the political arena, but we must remove it and get on with governing in the real world.  Our military cannot function in a magical world, where climate change deniers rule. The Department of Defense Must Plan for the National Security Implications of Climate Change The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies. Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change.  (October 13, 2014) White House Blog | Will Climate Change Denial Become a Political Liability? U.S. Treaty Envoy Thinks So Todd Stern says that mounting public pressure could rapidly force GOP to address global warming, and urged people to demand action. Climate change denial will switch from being a litmus test for major Republican politicians to a liability in the near future. At least that's the hypothesis that Todd Stern, the United States envoy on climate change, shared with a packed auditorium at Yale Law School in New Haven on Tuesday. (October 15, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area)

  • 10/16/2014 - 3 reasons why Fracking not good for Climate Change: kills renewable energy, more energy use overall, fugitive methane adds to climate change. So, should we Frack New York State? NO!  A global natural gas boom alone won't slow climate change Comprehensive analysis shows that natural gas could displace both coal and low-emitting energy sources over the long term A new analysis of global energy use, economics and the climate shows that without new climate policies, expanding the current bounty of inexpensive natural gas alone would not slow the growth of global greenhouse gas emissions worldwide over the long term, according to a study appearing today in Nature Advanced Online Publication. Because natural gas emits half the carbon dioxide of coal, many people hoped the recent natural gas boom could help slow climate change — and according to government analyses, natural gas did contribute partially to a decline in U.S. carbon dioxide emissions between 2007 and 2012. But, in the long run, according to this study, a global abundance of inexpensive natural gas would compete with all energy sources — not just higher-emitting coal, but also lower-emitting nuclear and renewable energy technologies such as wind and solar. Inexpensive natural gas would also accelerate economic growth and expand overall energy use. (October 15, 2014) Pacific Northwest National Laboratory [more on Fracking and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/15/2014 - How is Cuomo leading on the Fracking debate? “…Cuomo, meanwhile, is steering clear of the issue.” Ya gotta laugh. If Cuomo was leading on Climate Change, as he promised, he would put a ban on Fracking immediately and go full out on renewable energy—which he should have done long ago. We should be debating about energy use in New York State as Climate Change is happening, not how to help the worst choice—extreme extraction for more fossil fuels—Fracking get into our ground. Gubernatorial candidates and fracking Trips to Pennsylvania drilling sites are emerging as a political pilgrimage for candidates for governor in New York as politicians and voters wrestle with fracking. Green Party candidate Howie Hawkins opposes hydraulic fracturing for natural gas and last week toured drilling sites in Pennsylvania to highlight what he says are negative health and environmental impacts. Republican Rob Astorino supports fracking and plans to visit a fracking operation this month - to show what he says are the economic benefits. Democratic Gov. Andrew Cuomo, meanwhile, is steering clear of the issue.  (October 15, 2014) WHAM [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/15/2014 - This is what happens when your policy is that products must be proved to be harmful before they are banned. The legal assumption that all products are OK until proven guilty means we are just surprised and amazed when hitherto safe products have seriously damaged our life support system—because we didn’t test them for what would happen when thousands and thousands of folks flushed some products down the toilet—even when used as directed. We so have the wrong attitude about our environment. A product must be proved to be safe for us and our environment before they are used. Nothing else makes any sense. Microplastics found in sediment from the St. Lawrence, a worrisome first  McGill professor Anthony Ricciardi and his students search the St. Lawrence River to find and study the invasive species that live below the river’s surface. On one particular day, they were looking for Asian clams in the sediment of the river, but upon closer inspection they found another invader. “There were little round spheres that were clearly unnatural and synthetic and we had a suspicion given what we've heard about plastic pollution that these may be plastic microbeads,” Ricciardi explained. (October 13, 2014) TV News Montreal [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 10/15/2014 - Wonder how this powerful message from US Military that “we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier”” will play in Peru? As the shaping of decisions for the Lima Climate Change Conference - December 2014 in Peru take shape, this message by the US Military should make it plain that we in the USA are serious about addressing Climate Change and that we are ready to take serious action—not just promises. The Department of Defense Must Plan for the National Security Implications of Climate Change The responsibility of the Department of Defense is the security of our country. That requires thinking ahead and planning for a wide range of contingencies. Among the future trends that will impact our national security is climate change. Rising global temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, climbing sea levels, and more extreme weather events will intensify the challenges of global instability, hunger, poverty, and conflict. They will likely lead to food and water shortages, pandemic disease, disputes over refugees and resources, and destruction by natural disasters in regions across the globe. In our defense strategy, we refer to climate change as a “threat multiplier” because it has the potential to exacerbate many of the challenges we are dealing with today – from infectious disease to terrorism. We are already beginning to see some of these impacts. (October 13, 2014) White House Blog [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/15/2014 - This is awkward: Pentagon plans for Climate Change as a clear and present danger, but powerful deniers think it’s bullshit.  How can we prepared long-term for the worldwide crisis of Climate Change if the moment the deniers get into office Climate Change will no longer be a ‘legitimate threat’?  Climate Change denial has reached a new level of insanity and we the people are going to suffer because these deniers won’t let go of their madness. We will be unprepared because our leaders won’t be planning for a warmer world. The king of this madness will never back up from a position he has double-downed on.   “Senator James M. Inhofe of Oklahoma, the ranking Republican on the Senate Armed Services Committee and a prominent skeptic on climate change, said of the Pentagon report. “It is disappointing, but not surprising, that the president and his administration would focus on climate change when there are other, legitimate threats in the world.”” Is there no accounting for those who block the rest of us from protecting ourselves? Censure might send a signal that Climate Change denial, just as slavery, is off the table at the US Congress. Pentagon Signals Security Risks of Climate Change  The Pentagon on Monday released a report asserting decisively that climate change poses an immediate threat to national security, with increased risks from terrorism, infectious disease, global poverty and food shortages. It also predicted rising demand for military disaster responses as extreme weather creates more global humanitarian crises. The report lays out a road map to show how the military will adapt to rising sea levels, more violent storms and widespread droughts. The Defense Department will begin by integrating plans for climate change risks across all of its operations, from war games and strategic military planning situations to a rethinking of the movement of supplies. Defense Secretary Chuck Hagel, speaking Monday at a meeting of defense ministers in Peru, highlighted the report’s findings and the global security threats of climate change. (October 13, 2014) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/15/2014 - Is Climate Change “a burgeoning social fact”? Did the People’s Climate March make it so? Don’t ask, make it so.  Stop sitting around wondering if demonstrating to your leaders to act on Climate Change will make a difference. Make it make a difference. Keep the pressure on.  The Climate Change Movement Is Not Wishful Thinking Anymore An expert on social movements looks back on the historic march. Less than two weeks have passed and yet it isn't too early to say it: the People's Climate March changed the social map—many maps, in fact, since hundreds of smaller marches took place in 162 countries. That march in New York City,spectacular as it may have been with its 400,000 participants, joyous as it was, moving as it was (slow-moving, actually, since it filled more than a mile's worth of wide avenues and countless side streets), was no simple spectacle for a day. It represented the upwelling of something that matters so much more: a genuine global climate movement. When I first heard the term "climate movement" a year ago, as a latecomer to this developing tale, I suspected the term was extravagant, a product of wishful thinking. I had, after all, seen a few movements in my time (and participated in several). I knew something of what they felt like and looked like—and this, I felt, wasn't it. (October 6, 2014) Mother Jones [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2014 - ACTION: What if in the Rochester, NY area we channeled this idea of the street librarian to educate locals on Climate Change.  So, we put together materials and get a neat bike (see photo) made so we casually ride around all the neighborhoods of Rochester and answer anyone’s questions about Climate Change in our area, hand out literature, engage the public at the very street level in a very low carbon emissions footprint way on this worldwide crisis. This wouldn’t be a charity project at all. This would be a crucial link in the Climate Change issue that is missing in the Rochester area—outreach.  If we hope to have a chance that the public will support the long-term actions we must make to upgrade and refit our infrastructure (transportation, telecommunications, water, etc.) we are going to need the public to understand an support these efforts year after year, elections after elections.  This outreach program would be inexpensive, effective, and probably a lot of freaking fun. Homeless Outreach in Volumes: Books by Bike for ‘Outside’ People in Oregon (October 9, 2014) New York Times

  • 10/14/2014 - One of the many great unknowns about modeling Climate Change is how cloud cover will affect Climate Change.  Here’s a chance to help NASA find out more about how clouds can be factored in when trying to predict climate in the future.  Learn more and join with NASA: Help NASA do #SkyScience In celebration of Earth Science Week, October 12 -18, NASA invites you to look up at the sky and help scientists who study Earth’s clouds by participating in #SkyScience. Clouds are an important part of Earth’s atmosphere, and NASA scientists are studying how they affect our weather and climate. Clouds cover about half of the planet at any one time, ranging from high, wispy cirrus to dark, rumbling thunderheads. By participating in #SkyScience you will help NASA learn more about the types of clouds where you live, work and play, and help all of us celebrate the beauty of Earth’s atmosphere, and the science behind it. NASA

  • 10/14/2014 - I know, in Rochester, NY we had the greatest summer ever, how could last 6 months worldwide been the hottest? Climate Change.  And our September was incredibly nice, really, really nice, so how could September have been the hottest September ever? Again Climate Change. Climate Change, a worldwide phenomenon that we in the (former) Industrialized Northeast (now referred to as the Rust Belt) mostly caused, is not at the moment reaping the most immediate and dramatic effects of Climate Change. So it must really stick in the developing nation’s throat when regions like ours are totally milquetoast in our efforts to mitigate and adapt to Climate Change. We have so many excuses why we here in the Rochester region are addressing Climate Change, but in many parts of the world they don’t have the luxury of denial and keeping quiet on this worldwide crisis that we are very much a part of the cause. NASA: Earth Just Experienced the Warmest Six-Month Stretch Ever Recorded Our planet is on a hot streak. Over the weekend, NASA announced that last month was the warmest September since global records have been kept. What’s more, the last six months were collectively the warmest middle half of the year in NASA’s records—dating back to 1880. The record-breaking burst of warmth was kicked off by an exceptionally warm April—the first month in at least 800,000 years that atmospheric carbon dioxide reached 400 parts per million. According to the National Climatic Data Center, which keeps a separate record of global temperatures, this April ranked as the warmest April on record. Followed by the warmest May on record. Followed by warmest June on record. (July wasn’t quite as hot—just the fourth-warmest July on record.) But August—again, you guessed it—was the warmest August on record. The NCDC will release its numbers for September later this month. (October 13, 2014) Future Tense [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/14/2014 - The jury is in. The people really, really, really don’t want their life support system Fracked—and that goes for New York State too. Global Frackdown sees thousands unite against dirty energy  In over 250 events across the world, thousands of anti-fracking activists from more than a dozen countries joined together this weekend to call for a ban on the dirty energy technology. Organised by Food & Water Watch, the day of action saw activists mobilise all forces in an effort to protect air, water, climate and communities from fracking. The a coalition of hundreds of groups worldwide who took part on the protest also sent a letter to United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon urging him to reject fracking as part of the Sustainable Energy for All Initiative. (October 13, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/13/2014 - A local climate expert said recently, “This is the first generation of farmers who cannot depend on historical data.” If you have in your mind that Climate Change means steady warming and no more hard winters, you’re not following the news. Overall worldwide temperatures are steadily rising but on a local level things can go awry because of local weather patterns, anomalies like the Polar Vortex, and other disruptive short-term extreme weather are occurring because the relatively stable climate of the Holocene, has now been disrupted. Planning for local farming and heating and snow plowing and is not going to be neat and clean, there is a lot climate experts don’t know about the short-term effects of a climate gone off the rails—and this lack of complete knowledge is not a good thing.  We should be finding out a lot more of how Climate Change will be affecting our region, so we can plan properly. This frantic effort to find enough firewood is occurring NOT because Climate Change isn’t happening; it’s occurring because Climate Change is happening. Firewood in short supply in Finger Lakes, statewide  Restocking the firewood supply is a challenge statewide and beyond, according to the Empire State Forest Products Association. “In some cases homeowners and retailers did not anticipate the long cold winter of 2013-14, used up their inventories and are now experiencing difficulties restocking inventories,” the association stated in an Oct. 7 fact sheet on its website, http://www.esfpa.org/. “The supply challenge last winter hit every sector of the wood products industry, from Michigan to Maine,” the association stated. The Northeast region faces supply challenges brought on the brutal weather conditions and lack of “boots on the ground,” according to a wood-fiber analyst in the February edition of The Northern Logger & Timber Processor, an industry publication. (October 13, 2014) The Daily Messenger [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2014 - Relax, take a deep breath, close your eyes, clear your mind, and now imagine what New York would look like if Fracked.  New York State does not exist in a fourth dimensional bubble; it exists in the real world with other states and other countries who are presently Fracking. If other states are experiencing health issues and water issues and more greenhouse gases like methane escaping into their atmosphere, so would we. There so much evidence from around the world that Fracking is a wrong energy choice in a time of Climate Change that it’s amazing that local news and news from the NYS governor’s office that we must determine from only our state’s point of view whether Fracking would be good for us. Why are we trying to reinvent the wheel before we lift the moratorium on Fracking in NYS? Isn’t there enough evidence from everywhere else that Fracking is crazy? Fracking Sludge in Open Pits Goes Unmonitored as Health Worries Mount [Video] An EPA review of 27 states found that none required regular air monitoring of fracking and other waste materials that could emit benzene and toluene NORDHEIM, Texas – School Superintendent Kevin Wilson tugged at his oversized belt buckle and gestured toward a field less than a mile from Nordheim School, where 180 children attend kindergarten through 12th grade. A commercial waste facility that will receive millions of barrels of toxic sludge from oil and gas production for disposal in enormous open-air pits is taking shape there, and Wilson worries that the ever-present Texas wind will carry traces of dangerous chemicals, including benzene, to the school. (October 2, 2014) Scientific American [more on Fracking in our area]  

  • 10/13/2014 - Actually you don’t "…have to balance what you’re trying to achieve environmentally with what you’re trying to achieve in the economy.” In fact this assumption that we can only address environmental concerns through the lens of our present economy is an absurd stance, not a fact. A fact is that Climate Change is happening. Climate Change will get much worse if we don’t mitigate this warming and our way of life will become impossible if we don’t adapt.  And it will get much worse if we don’t plan. Whether or not our present economic system can stay intact as we must shift to a sustainable economy is not important. To continually assume that we must find a balance with our present economy and our environment is suicidal way of thinking. EPA readies major ozone rule change The Obama administration is preparing to unveil an air pollution rule shortly after the midterm elections that could be among the most costly and controversial in history. The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is seeking approval from the White House for a proposal to update the nation’s outdated ozone standards. The agency punted on the air pollution rules three years ago and missed another deadline last year. Environmental and public health advocates say stronger ozone standards can’t come soon enough. But business groups complain that tougher rules would be “unrealistic”. "You have to balance what you’re trying to achieve environmentally with what you’re trying to achieve in the economy,” said Ross Eisenberg, vice president of energy and resources policy at the National Association of Manufacturers (NAM). (October 12, 2014) The Hill [more on Air Quality in our area]

  • 10/13/2014 - You’re going to have to plan for a bigger and strong handbasket because your world is going to hell in one. If you really understand Climate Change, you must (actually we should have long ago) adapt to and mitigate Climate Change for a sustainable environment, our life support system, that is. 25 Devastating Effects Of Climate Change NASA The world is getting warmer and that's already causing disasters that will devastate lives and cost hundreds of billions of dollars. Those problems are only getting worse, as shown by recent reports from the United Nation's Intergovernmental Panel On Climate Change (IPCC) and the White House, among others. The greenhouse gas emissions that drive warming "now substantially exceed the highest concentrations recorded in ice cores during the past 800,000 years," the IPCC said. Atmospheric carbon dioxide levels, which primarily come from the burning of fossil fuels, have risen 40% since preindustrial times. Last month, world leaders convened at the UN Climate Summit 2014 to discuss plans to reduce carbon emissions — though there were some notable absences. Most attendees recognized that failure to address these issues could spell terrible consequences for people all over the world. (October 11, 2014) Yahoo Finance [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/13/2014 - Was the reason oil & gas Waste became exempt from federal regulation because they were found to be magically nontoxic? Not really. How Oil & Gas Waste Became Exempt From Federal Regulation: A Timeline How Oil & Gas Waste Became Exempt From Federal Regulation: A Timeline Key event was in 1988, when the EPA decided to classify most oil and gas waste as 'non hazardous,' even though it contains dangerous chemicals. (October 6, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/11/2014 - Then again Mr. Cuomo, if your health experts did bring any bias towards our public health, Fracking NYS would clearly be unhealthy. Your decision on whether to lift the moratorium on Fracking should not be based on balancing the needs of the fossil fuel industry and our public health.  Your decision, as governor, should be based on your responsibility to preserve and protect public health as an absolute top priority. It’s not your job to protect the fossil fuel industry. Among the choices of how to provide energy safely and sustainably for New York State as Climate Change causes further challenges, Fracking should be far down the list, below wind, solar and a quick look around to all the news and studies from around the country and around the world on Fracking should make your decision clear.  Ban Fracking, go full throttle on renewable energy and lead on Climate Change.   Cuomo says conflicting studies make it hard to draw conclusion on fracking Governor Cuomo made some of his most extensive comments on the controversial topic of hydro fracking to date. For the past two years, ever since the Governor asked his health department to conduct a health review, Cuomo has had little to say about the review or even what was being studied.  He would only say that  the work was continuing. Cuomo now says it’s a challenge for his administration to hurry a decision, because there is new and often conflicting evidence emerging every day. (October 8, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/11/2014 - What is the road from the People’s Climate March to Paris 2015 and why it may be the most important journey of our lives? The Path to Paris Last weekend, nearly 400,000 people gathered in New York City for the People’s Climate March. Bearing signs and banners, a flood of ordinary citizens—from moms with strollers to students, business leaders, and clergy—paraded through the streets of Manhattan in a powerful show of support for bold action on climate change by our world leaders. The peaceful demonstration was the largest ever for climate, with more than 1,500 organizations, including PBI, taking part. Hundreds of events around the globe further boosted participation, showing that people from all walks of life want our leaders to take the actions needed to avoid locking in dangerous climate change—specifically, to limit warming to no more than 2° Celsius (3.6°F) relative to pre-industrial levels. (September 22, 2014) Polar Bears International [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/11/2014 - Who ya gonna vote for? Is your candidate for your environment (your life support system) or against it? Find out: Group ranks state legislators' environmental records Environmental Advocates of New York has released its annual scorecard for state legislators, and Democrats in the Rochester delegation outscored their Republican counterparts. Environmental Advocates bases the scores around legislation it has identified as priorities. Legislators get points for the "correct" vote, whether it's in favor of legislation the organization supports or against legislation it opposes. Legislators get more points for correct votes on higher-priority bills. Some of the legislation that EANY supported included a fracking moratorium, an act to boost solar power in New York, brownfield program reform, and a ban on plastic microbeads in consumer products. (October 9, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper

  • 10/11/2014 - Time for “The Living Planet Report” by the World Wildlife Fund.  How’s things going?  Well…, let’s talk.  “Globally, habitat loss and degradation, exploitation and climate change are the main threats facing the world’s biodiversity.”(Page 15) Living Planet Report 2014 Species and spaces, people and places  -  The Living Planet Report is the world's leading, science-based analysis on the health of our planet and the impact of human activity. Knowing we only have one planet, WWF believes that humanity can make better choices that translate into clear benefits for ecology, society and the economy today and in the long term. This latest edition of the Living Planet Report is not for the faint-hearted. One key point that jumps out is that the Living Planet Index (LPI), which measures more than 10,000 representative populations of mammals, birds, reptiles, amphibians and fish, has declined by 52 per cent since 1970.  Put another way, in less than two human generations, population sizes of vertebrate species have dropped by half. These are the living forms that constitute the fabric of the ecosystems which sustain life on Earth – and the barometer of what we are doing to our own planet, our only home. We ignore their decline at our peril. (October 2014) World Wildlife Fund [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/10/2014 - Halfway through Klein’s book “This Changes Everything” and already from folks I talk to there is a change a –coming… | Naomi Klein says climate activists need to get comfortable attacking capitalism Naomi Klein — “the most visible and influential figure on the American left,” as The New Yorker puts it — dropped by the Grist office to chat with David Roberts about her new book. They kicked things off by discussing its provocative title: This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate. (October 9, 2014) Grist {more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/10/2014 - Green Drinks coming up for October "Green Drinks October When: Thursday, October 16th, 6-7:30 Where: the Greenhouse Café at 2271 East Main Street Along with finding out about the greenhouse café and tasting some awesome kale smoothies, we will get up-close and personal with SeedFolk City Farm, In the City Off the Grid and Prosper Rochester. Together these dedicated folks are: • exploring urban agriculture, maximizing yields within a confined space • creating a living classroom to engage at risk youth in employment and education • using micro-climates, ground source thermo, passive solar and renewable energy • implementing a simple and replicable model integrated into communities throughout the City All phases of this project from planning, design, construction and implementation have been motivated by community need. Hope to see you there! Have questions or ideas for a future "Green Drinks?" Please contact: Kimie Romeo, Kimie.UGBN@gmail.com Green Drinks is a monthly networking event where people in the environmental field and the sustainably minded meet over drinks (alcoholic or non), in an informal setting to exchange ideas, find out who's doing what and spread the word on what you're doing, find employment leads and make new friends and contacts. "

  • 10/10/2014 - Has mainstream media not only buried 400,000 at People’s Climate March but also the Fracking connection to Climate Change? Instead of Fracking (an alleged bridge fuel) our way out of Climate Change are we actually accelerating the process with a drilling technique that releases more greenhouse gases, pound per pound, and making things much worse? Gas Drilling: The Media’s New Climate Denial Showcase When journalists cover fracking, they often fail to mention its contribution to global warming. What planet does Big Media think it’s living on? Over 300,000 people filled the streets of New York City in September as part of the worldwide People’s Climate March, a stirring call for action on global warming. But if you watched TV news that day, you may not have known it happened at all. The Sunday chat shows totally skipped this historic climate march. Instead, one program on the supposedly liberal MSNBC produced a sad segment about how voters are loyal to either Starbucks or Chick-fil-A. Who cares about a dynamic and broad-based social movement when you can reduce the country’s population to two corporate chains? Sensible people know there’s no more arguing about climate change: The planet is warming due to human activity. The only important question now is whether we plan to do anything about it. It will require, among other things, a massive shift away from burning oil, gas, and coal, as Naomi Klein argues in her brilliant new book, This Changes Everything. (October 9, 2014) Common Dreams [more on Fracking and Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/10/2014 - Has our focus on carbon dioxide as a climate change-driving greenhouse gas blinded us to the rise in methane emissions? Huge Methane Emissions ‘Hot Spot’ Found in U.S. The largest concentration of methane emissions seen in the U.S. over the past decade has been detected by satellite over the the most active coal-bed methane production area in the country — the Four Corners area of New Mexico, Colorado, Utah and Arizona, according to a new study published Thursday. The hotspot, which predates the current hydraulic fracturing, or fracking, boom in the region, is over the San Juan Basin, where energy companies have been drilling and producing natural gas from methane deposits found in underground coal seams for many years. The natural gas is composed of more than 95 percent methane. (October 9, 2014) Climate Central

  • 10/10/2014 - Ironically, corporations may not care about their damage to our life support system, but they will care about liability. Those human constructs we call corporations may be so powerful as to be heedless of our environment, but these corporations can be brought under control under the human construct of our legal systems. Climate change may create legal liability for Canadian energy firms New report from B.C. think-tanks says elements are in place to allow for civil action Advances in climate change science could be creating a huge legal liability for major Canadian energy companies, especially from foreign judgments being enforced locally, a new study suggests. The study, released Thursday from the Canadian Centre for Policy Alternatives and West Coast Environmental Law, joins a growing body of research considering how the law might be used to recoup the costs of climate change from companies that contribute to it. "That gives us some assurance that we're onto something " said Michael Byers, co-author and professor of international law at the University of British Columbia. "It's one of many reports in many different countries which collectively indicate that this is an issue that should be of concern." Read the full report Although linking individual weather events directly to climate change remains dicey, researchers are increasingly able to estimate the costs that rising greenhouse gases impose. (October 9, 2014) CBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 10/09/2014 - It would be nice to think our 400,000 efforts at the People’s Climate March were not vain; that ‘all of the above’ doesn’t still rule. Promises and dissimulation won’t really solve a problem of physics, where GHG emissions, all of them including methane, are warming up the planet. Climate change, Obama, and methane President Obama’s carbon plan announced this summer finally moves the United States to take much needed steps toward reducing emissions of carbon dioxide, but unfortunately the plan largely ignores the low-hanging fruit to slow the rate of global warming: reducing emissions of methane, another type of carbon. The president’s focus on carbon dioxide is perhaps no surprise, given the environmental community’s decades-long emphasis on this as the most important greenhouse gas.  But rapid advancements in the scientific understanding of the role of methane as a driver of global warming strongly show the danger of tunnel vision on carbon dioxide. By once again failing to announce strong, decisive action to combat methane at the recent Climate Summit at the United Nations,  Obama missed a major opportunity to demonstrate global leadership on climate change. Neither an afterthought treatment of methane, nor an indirect, passive public-private partnership will be sufficient to address the potent greenhouse gas’ role as a major factor in global warming. (October 6, 2014) The Hill [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/09/2014 - The good news is that NYS ranks in the middle on GHG emission and near best on GHG per capita. Bad news: We’re not alone on the planet. What others do or don’t do on greenhouse gas emission really matters. One of the things that makes New York State look good on greenhouse gas (GHG) emission graphs is that (because of New York City) we have a lot of folks packed into a relatively small space—unlike Texas.  However, in the real world these graphs are only useful as feedback as long as they don’t give us the delusion that we’ve done our share in reducing GHGs. We are part of a group of developing nations that have more than used its share of the commons and because our geographical boundaries are only useful to ourselves. It is the worldwide rising of GHGs that should concern us. Even if we tightened our emissions belt considerably we’ll still be subject to the worldwide accumulation of greenhouse gases and we’ll warm up unless all of humanity dramatically brings down GHG emissions.  So before we get to smug about how we look on a graph, we should remember real life is not a graph, an arbitrary measuring tool for our behavior. If we don’t work together with all nations to bring down GHG emission, we’ll be screwed—no matter how good we look on a graph.  How Does Your State Rank on Greenhouse Gas Emissions? The Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) recently released a breakdown of who in the US contributes the most to global warming — by state, by sector and even by individual business. Two massive coal-fired power plants in the southeast came in first and second place for generating the most greenhouse gases in America, clearing the competition by more than five million metric tons of emissions per year. The Scherer Steam Generating Plant, 20 miles northeast of Macon, Georgia, was responsible for 22.3 million tons of emissions in 2013, and the James H. Miller, Jr. power plant, 20 miles northeast of Birmingham, Alabama, generated 21.9 million tons. Coming in as a distant third was the Navajo Generating Station, in northern Arizona, with roughly 16 million tons of emissions. Overall, power plants are responsible for about one third of all of the country’s emissions. (October 8, 2014) Moyers and Company [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/09/2014 - Back in the day (1970’s) I used to look up to Canada’s environmental attitude, now since they’ve gone denier, not so much. It a time, before the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris when the developed nations like Canada, USA, Australia, and Japan need to step up to the plate and make strong measures to address Climate Change, they are walking away from the table and smashing the their plates. (I know, I’m mixing my metaphors and that’s a bad thing, but not, when you think about it, as bad as denying Climate Change.) Scathing report details Canada’s environmental shortfalls Prime Minister Stephen Harper’s government is not doing enough to reduce carbon emissions, fight climate change and regulate oil and gas emissions, a series of audits from a federal watchdog have found. The audits, contained in a report published Tuesday, say Canada has no detailed plan to meet its emissions reduction targets, is on pace to fall well short of meeting them and has made no long-term commitment to environmental monitoring in the oil sands region, the fastest-growing source of emissions. (October 7, 2014) Globe and Mail

  • 10/09/2014 - It isn’t charity if you ran ahead, gobbled up all the food, and then gave the next person some money for food. Such an exchange would be not only moral and humanitarian; it should be required so the person you screwed doesn’t take your food away out of desperation. Developed countries have eaten up the commons—our air, our water quality, food in the oceans, trees, soil for growing—and now the developing countries want their share but the commons are spent. So that we all don’t starve, it doesn’t simply make moral sense (though it should) for developed countries like the US that have put most of the greenhouse gases into the atmosphere to pledge money so developing nations can thrive. The pledge isn’t a handout, it’s money owed. These 10 Countries Have Pledged $2.3 Billion to Fight Climate Change. The US Isn’t One of Them. Poorer countries typically get the rough end of global warming: Not only are they more likely to feel the brunt of its impacts—like rising sea levels or increased extreme weather—they also don’t have enough money to face the problem. This split between the rich and poor has become a major source of frustration in the global fight against climate change. Put simply, some poorer countries say they are being asked to give up the rapid, fossil-fuel-powered development the rest of the world enjoyed while simultaneously being hit with the costs of a problem they didn’t create. During the UN climate summit in New York City recently, some world leaders took the opportunity to pledge support for the Green Climate Fund, an international effort to help poor countries mitigate and adapt to climate change. But many wealthy countries—most notably, the United States—haven’t contributed yet. Here’s a rundown of how the Green Climate Fund works, and where the major gaps in funding still exist. (October 8, 2014) Climate Desk [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/08/2014 - Sorry to interrupt. Your planet is still warming up, you are responsible and the consequences are wicked bad. Ok back to what you were doing. NOAA Report Links Climate Change to Heat Waves' Severityreport released Sept. 29 explores the causes of 2013 extreme weather and climate events around the world and ties human-caused climate change to the increased severity of heat waves that year in Australia, New Zealand, Japan, Korea, and China. Published by the Bulletin of the American Meteorological Society, the "Explaining Extreme Events of 2013 from a Climate Perspective" report looked at 16 extreme events on four continents. Three of the report's four lead editors are NOAA scientists. The report says the connection between human activity and U.S. events--California's severe drought and rainfall events and storms--is not as conclusive. However, it says there is evidence to suggest early autumn extreme snowfall events in western South Dakota are less likely to occur as a result of human-caused climate change. (October 2, 2014) Environmental Protection Online [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/08/2014 - Not to mention (Rochester makes greats pains not to) bike boulevards will look nice on Climate Change adaptation strategies.  Getting more folks out of their gas guzzlers so they can bike more safely through our city will reduces greenhouse gas emissions. The EPA say 27% of our greenhouse gases come from transportation.  But in Rochester there seems to be a concerted effort to disconnect active transportation (walking and bicycling) from what is stated in all climate studies and even local transportation studies, that more active transportation is a real strategy for addressing Climate Change. Instead of the city educating the public on Climate Change, as is their responsibility (especially under the state’s Climate Smart Communities program, they seem terrified of doing so.  Why in Monroe County and in the City of Rochester is Climate Change so not being communicated to the public? Why are all Rochester’s Climate Change efforts being conducted behind closed doors, instead of in the public, where the public absolutely needs to know what their government is doing to adapt to Climate Change? Rochester's bike boulevard experiment  Some roads in the City of Rochester, due to their design or the amount of traffic they get, are just not accommodating to cyclists. Cyclists tend to avoid them, even though the routes often connect important destinations, such as neighborhoods, workplaces, schools, and parks. To get around that problem, city planners have turned to bicycle boulevards. In simple terms, the boulevards are alternate routes that parallel a larger thoroughfare. They use secondary and neighborhood streets, so cyclists feel more at ease. City planners are testing two potential routes, which are currently identified with temporary signs and pavement markings. One route cuts through the 19th Ward, linking Genesee Park Boulevard to the intersection of Frost and Rugby avenues. (October 8, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Transportation in our area]  

  • 10/08/2014 - The truth is the more the public learns about Climate Change and the dangers of Fracking, the less they like Fracking. As for the Fossil fuel industry, they just don’t like anything better than digging down so they can kick up more fossil fuels into our air and undermine renewable energy (wind and solar) that would give the public an energy source that wouldn’t threaten their future.  Most back drill ban Poll finds wide support for state moratorium on hydraulic fracturing Most New Yorkers support the state's ongoing moratorium on natural gas hydrofracking, with people worried about potential damage to air and water widely outnumbering those who see added jobs and taxes as an economic boost, according to a poll released Monday by a prominent environmental group. Support for the moratorium, which will remain in place unless and until the state completes its six-year review of a potential environmental plan that could allow hydrofracking, was favored by a 79 to 17 percent margin, according to the poll done for the Natural Resources Defense Council. (October 7, 2014) Times Union [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/08/2014 - Cuomo say it isn’t so, that your “staff wanted some of the environmental risks described in the original draft played down” on Fracking. Besides, considering Fracking in New York State is not simply a parochial bugaboo. Many states and countries are already Fracking and there are many studies and evidence to show that blasting sideways through our bedrock with unknown chemicals is fraught with danger to our water, our environment, and our public health. Report: Fracking study changed after intervention by NY State officials Emails obtained by FOIA request said to shed light on changes to initial draft of a politically sensitive report A 2013 federal water study was edited to play down the negative effects of hydraulic fracturing or “fracking” following a flurry of email exchanges between the authors and New York state officials, according to a report published this week by local political news website Capital New York. The study, conducted by the U.S. Geological Survey (USGS), had examined naturally occurring methane in water wells across the gas-rich Southern Tier, a group of counties located on New York’s border with Pennsylvania. New York state Gov. Andrew Cuomo, who commissioned the study in 2011, has long maintained that he would only approve fracking if science shows that it can be done safely. But some environmental experts are accusing the Cuomo administration of meddling with the study in order to blunt the impact of a number of politically inconvenient findings — a move that would enable him to move forward with controversial energy policies. (October 7, 2014) Aljazeera America [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 10/08/2014 - New study—Encroaching Tides—by UCS shows Climate Change must include planning. Not something you’d leave to a denier leader. If you vote into office someone who doesn’t believe in Climate Change it will be the dickens trying to stay above water and financial water. Flood insurance near water will be a doozy. New Study Finds Steep Increase in East Coast High-Tide Floods Flooding events may triple in 15 years, increase ten-fold in 30 years for most towns analyzed, science group finds Flooding during high tides—something that rarely occurred in the past—is now common in some places and is projected to grow to the point that sections of coastal cities may flood so often they would become unusable in the near future, according to a report the Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) released today, “Encroaching Tides: How Sea Level Rise and Tidal Flooding Threaten U.S. East and Gulf Coast Communities over the Next 30 Years.” “Several decades ago, flooding at high tide was simply not a problem,” said Melanie Fitzpatrick, report co-author and climate scientist at UCS. “Today, when the tide is extra high, people find themselves splashing through downtown Miami, Norfolk and Annapolis on sunny days and dealing with flooded roads in Atlantic City, Savannah and  the coast of New Hampshire. In parts of New York City and elsewhere, homeowners are dealing with flooded basements, salt-poisoned yards and falling property values, not only because of catastrophic storms, but because tides, aided by sea level rise, now cause flooding where they live.” (October 8, 2014) Union of Concerned Scientists (UCS) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/07/2014 - ACTION: Got thoughts on “Why Getting Rid of Bus Stops Can Improve Bus Service.” RTS seeking feedback on Bus Stop Optimization Study "As you may be aware, RTS has recently released the findings and draft recommendations from its Bus Stop Optimization Study. As part of this effort, RTS inventoried and analyzed of all of its current bus stops (~3,400) and is recommending to phase out approximately 25 percent of them by the end of 2015. I am attaching documents that provide some background on the project and recommendations, as well as a list of which stops are being recommended for elimination. You can read more on the project website and explore an interactive map that shows which stops are recommended for elimination and which will be preserved (Note: You will need to use Internet Explorer 10+ or Google Chrome to accurately view the map). RTS is requesting feedback on the study and accepting comments through next Friday, October 17th. You can use this online comment form to submit comments, email RTS’ Customer Service Department at Monroe@myRTS.com , or call them at 288-1700.  I am developing some comments from a health/health equity perspective. The focus will be to recommend that RTS preserve bus stops that are co-located with key health care providers (e.g., licensed public health care and behavioral health facilities) and health supporting venues/services (e.g., affordable housing, senior centers, grocery stores). I encourage you to share your thoughts as well and to share this email with anyone in your networks who rely the bus, serve folks who rely on the bus, or who are interested in making our bus system work better for our community. If you have any questions, please let me know." Elizabeth Murphy  Active Transportation Specialist Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency 1150 University Avenue Bldg 5 Rochester, NY 14607 www.flhsa.org www.healthikids.org 

  • 10/07/2014 - We are so blinded by our way of life that we don’t see the decline of Wildlife as a breakdown of our life support system. Wildlife did not just spring up in its marvelous manifestations to amaze and thrill some of us. They evolved over billions of years in lockstep with plants and soil and climate to create a system that keeps us alive.  A sprawling shopping mall cannot live on its own; it neither produces nor breaks down life to help produce more life. Wildlife and plants in our environment do; we should change our priorities. WWF: Climate change driving world’s wildlife populations into decline The world’s wildlife population have decreased by over 50% in just 40 years – according to a new report published by WWF, which shows climate change was a major factor, along with habitat loss and exploitation. The 2014 Living Planet Report, identified climate change as one of the nine ‘planetary boundaries’ that will have a huge impact on wildlife, and on humans too. Climate change, biodiversity loss and the nitrogen cycle have all been ‘overstepped’ and so are causing damage to the habitats and animal populations. Climate change is particularly dangerous to wildlife as it aggravates other components of biodiversity loss, such as habitat modification, over-exploitation, pollution, and the arrival of invasive species which alter eco-systems. (October 3, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/07/2014 - 'Climate at Your Doorstep' attempts Hair Mary pass around dysfunctional media to message Climate Change with scientists and public. No doubt about it, mainstream and local media are incapable of messaging the great threat to our sustainability—where they can’t even link local expressions of Climate Change as predicted by climate studies. Or include Climate Change in news stories about studies on diseases, agriculture, invasive species, and a whole lot more that the public needs to know. So, this new idea where scientists and the public work together sounds very interesting because something has to be done about the state of our media on Climate Change. Scientists to Explain 'Climate at Your Doorstep' at New Online Hub The effort is one of many recent climate communication projects to try to deepen public understanding of the climate crisis amid political inaction. While the climate community was fixed on global climate negotiations unfolding at the UN last week, one news organization was focused on educating people about the local damage that's already resulted from the world's inaction. On Sept. 22, the online newsroom The Daily Climate launched a Kickstarter to raise $25,628 for "Climate at Your Doorstep." The project aims to build an online community of scientists, journalists and members of the public to discuss how climate impacts are already affecting people around the country and the world. (September 30, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/07/2014 - I had to laugh. This article is nonsense on stilts. If the environmentalists stop the Keystone XL pipeline, then the craven governments and fossil fuel industries who demand that we get tar sands (which will warm the planet) are forced to take even more drastic and unsafe measures to extract and transport these dangerous and dirty and fossil fuels in more dangerous and dirty ways.  Because, according to them, it's tar sands or nothing, no renewable energy, noting but tar sands! Ya gotta laugh. It's like a murderer saying to a murder victim, "Look, now that you put on a bullet proof vest, I'm going to have to shoot you in the head."  Leave the freaking tar sands in the ground, reset our economy and our way of getting energy so they don't wreck our life support system.  This pathetic argument that the New York Post thought fit to print that environmentalist are causing disasters like the Lac-Meganati derailment and explosion is so incredibly pathetic and craven as to be evil. Keystone pipeline opponents causing environmental disaster Government isn’t doing enough, but another group shoulders at least part of the blame — environmentalists. Oil production booms, but new pipeline construction, such as Keystone XL, has been blocked by liberal activists. Five years ago, very little oil was transported on trains, but in 2013, 1 million barrels a day moved by rail in the US, and in 2014 some 1.5 million barrels of oil per day will do so. Estimates are those figures will double again by 2015. This is a bonanza to railroads, but to the rest of us this is Railway Russian Roulette. Already there have been three near misses. Four months after Quebec’s deaths, another derailment and explosion occurred outside an Alabama town without deaths. This was followed by a collision of two trains that resulted in an evacuation of more than 2,000 persons and a 400,000-gallon oil spill. A third derailment and explosion happened in Virginia forcing another evacuation. (October 5, 2014) New York Post

  • 10/07/2014 - It does appear that one of our commons, our air, the air we breathe, is recognized by the US Supreme Court as something of value. Rather than a mere toilet to  industrial externalities, our legal system is coming around to the fact that our natural resources, the things that keep our life support system operating, like air and water and soil and forests are worthy of safekeeping from the remorselessness of our present economic system. EPA Ozone-Pollution Standard Left Intact by High Court The U.S. Supreme Court left intact ozone-pollution standards crafted under former President George W. Bush, rejecting an appeal by a business group that said the rules were too stringent. The rebuff leaves intact a federal appeals court decision that said the Environmental Protection Agency had adequate scientific evidence to tighten the standards for ozone, an oxidant that is the principal component of smog. (October 6, 2014) Bloomberg News [more on Air Quality in our area] 

  • 10/06/2014 - Sure hope that NYS state grants for agricultural research include what we know about Climate Change and our local agriculture.  For example this from the Cornell Cooperative Extensions’ “NEW YORK’S CHANGING CLIMATE” fact sheet: “The agriculture sector is already feeling the effects of New York’s changing climate. Warmer temperatures and changing precipitation patterns present both economic challenges and opportunities for agriculture. For example, farmers are already experiencing increased insect, disease, and weed pressure, but have also had success planting new longer-season varieties of corn. Since the 1960s, the growing season has lengthened by nearly a week, as evidenced by observations of earlier spring bloom dates for lilacs, apples, and grapes at agricultural research stations across the state.” Read the whole fact sheet, it’s only 4 pages. State Provides Grants For Agricultural Research New York state is setting aside $1.4 million to study and promote a growing part of the state's agricultural economy: specialty crops like hops, wine grapes, sweet corn and onions. Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the grants which will go to university researchers studying crop diseases and pests and farming techniques and to groups promoting farm products. (October 5, 2014) WXXI News [more on Food in our area]

  • 10/06/2014 - While we’ve been busy the TPP has been chugging along perhaps undermining any Climate Change efforts we make.  Read Sierra Club factsheet: The Trans-Pacific Partnership Agreement: What it could mean for the Environment “The Trans-Pacific Partnership (TPP) is an expansive trade agreement being negotiated between countries in the Pacific Rim, including Australia, Brunei, Canada, Chile, Japan, Malaysia, Mexico, New Zealand, Peru, Singapore, Vietnam, and the United States. Because the TPP is intended as a “docking agreement,” other Pacific Rim countries can join over time. The Pacific Rim is an area of great significance from an environmental perspective. It includes Australia’s Great Barrier Reef—the world's largest coral reef system, home to more than 11,000 species—and Peru’s Amazon Rainforest—one of the most biologically diverse areas on Earth. But the natural environment and rich biodiversity of the Pacific Rim are threatened by, among other things, illegal and/or unsustainable commercial exploitation. The Asia-Pacific region accounts for about one third of all the threatened species in the world. The numbers of several species of oceanic sharks, including reef sharks, are declined rapidly. And illegal logging persists in a number of TPP countries, threatening not only natural forests, but the communities who live in and rely upon the forests. The TPP must serve to strengthen environmental protection and support the biodiversity in the Pacific Rim and not facilitate a race to the bottom in environmental deregulation.” Japan-U.S. accord still seen as key to TPP deal An agreement between Japan and the United States is still a key element before the envisioned Trans-Pacific Partnership can become a reality, according to informed sources. Ministers from 12 TPP negotiation member states, including Japan and the United States, will gather for three days in Sydney starting Oct. 25 in hopes of ironing out the massive free trade accord. Ahead of the meeting, Japan’s TPP minister, Akira Amari, and U.S. Trade Representative Michael Froman met late last month to discuss the sticking points between their two nations, such as agriculture. But the talks ended in failure, dimming prospects for an early TPP deal among the 12 countries. (October 6, 2014) Japan Times

  • 10/06/2014 - Interesting, the steady drumbeat of increasing heat goes on while humanity dithers, worries about binding agreements, or ignores Climate Change altogether. The science on Climate Change is at odds with how humanity is reacting to the phenomenon we have never experienced before: as it gets more dire, including studies that continually prove previous assumptions about warming were too low, the more humanity focus on wars and sports and pets and whether or not President Obama should have held a coffee cup in his hand while waving to the troops… Humans, ya gotta laugh. Oceans Getting Hotter Than Anybody Realized The RV Kaharoa motored out of Wellington, New Zealand on Saturday, loaded with more than 100 scientific instruments, each eventually destined for a watery grave. Crewmembers will spend the next two months dropping the 50-pound devices, called Argo floats, into the seas between New Zealand and Mauritius, off the coast of Madagascar. There, the instruments will sink and drift, then measure temperature, salinity and pressure as they resurface to beam the data to a satellite. The battery-powered floats will repeat that process every 10 days — until they conk out, after four years or more, and become ocean junk. Under an international program begun in 2000, and that started producing useful global data in 2005, the world’swarming and acidifying seas have been invisibly filled with thousands of these bobbing instruments. They are gathering and transmitting data that’s providing scientists with the clearest-ever pictures of the hitherto-unfathomed extent of ocean warming. About 90 percent of global warming is ending up not on land, but in the oceans. (October 5, 2014) Climate Central

  • 10/06/2014 - Not to mention cats kill (3.7 billion) birds each year, far more than windows and wind turbines. Birds don’t care whether a cat is feral or stray; they’re just as deadly to them. Neutering best tactic in feral-cat control Bonnie Barbour is obsessed with cats. But even she didn't want to see Ontario County overrun with hundreds of feral felines that can be hostile to humans and tear apart garbage cans. There's only one approach that works to solve the problem, and Barbour and others use that strategy to foster healthy environments for both feral cats and their human neighbors. "There is no one anywhere in the world that can look around and not see feral cats everywhere," said Barbour, adding that feral cats are wild and have grown up with almost no human contact. "It's not local — it's a worldwide problem." (October 6, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 10/06/2014 - Learn about controlling invasive species effort in our region: Finger Lakes- Partnership For Regional Invasive Species Management (FL-PRISM) FL-PRISM Update: Going Far, Together One of my favorite African proverbs states: ‘If you want to go fast, go alone. If you want to go far, go together’. This summer has been a testament to working together. We have accomplished much across the region in a short period. Now, we can take a moment to reflect on our accomplishments and refocus our lens as we move into the strategic portion of the year for the FL-PRISM. Below is a recap of some of the summer’s top projects. Water chestnut invasion of Braddock Bay In 2013, while leading a Great Lakes Restoration Initiative funded Coastal Wetlands Monitoring project for the College at Brockport, Brad Mudrzynski noticed the aquatic invader. Not a ton, but enough to cause concern among his colleagues and enough to warrant control efforts. Brad was able to get his team to pull the water chestnut during the short period of time when they were not sampling along the Lake Ontario coastline in New York and Canada. After consulting with the managing NYS DEC Biologist, the team picked every plant they encountered in 2013. When sampling took the crew back to Braddock Bay in 2014, they were stunned to find that the cove near the marina was besieged with water chestnut. (October 1, 2014) Happenings the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute [more on Invasive Species  in our area]

  • 10/04/2014 - Actually Lake Sturgeon is native to Lake Ontario & Genesee River BEFORE these waters were polluted and warmed by Climate Change.  I know, I’m not an expert in these things, but wouldn’t it make a lot more sense to address Climate Change, bring down greenhouse gas concentrations, and clean up both Lake Ontario and the Genesee River from pharmaceuticals, manmade toxins, sewage, plastic bits, and a whole lot more THEN reintroduce the Lake Sturgeon? Sure, it would be expensive and unpopular, but in terms of our life support system, these measures would make a lot more sense than trying to force a species that thrived in Holocene waters into what we have now. Seems like the tactic of reintroducing the Lake Sturgeon to rule out the possibility that Climate Change and decades of pollution haven’t caused lake and river damage is delusional.  Agencies stock Genesee River with young sturgeon A group of county, state, and federal organizations released more than 1,000 lake sturgeon fingerlings into the Genesee River today.  The fish were hatched in June at the State Department of Environmental Conservation's Oneida fish hatchery. Early this afternoon, a DEC boat took them to Seth Green Island where they were released.  The sturgeon will spend the next 10 to 15 years in the Genesee River before they move on to Lake Ontario, said Dr. Jeff Wyatt, director of animal health and conservation for the Seneca Park Zoo. Mature lake sturgeon are generally three to five feet long, and between 10 and 80 pounds. However, some fish grow much larger. (October 3, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper {more on Wildlife and Genesee River in our area]   

  • 10/04/2014 - Showing of “Comfort Zone” a Rochester, NY based award-winning documentary on Climate Change October 14, at 7 pm. "On Tuesday, October 14, at 7 pm, all are invited to a free showing of the locally-produced film “Comfort Zone.” Location: Henrietta United Church of Christ, 1400 Lehigh Station Road, Henrietta; the facility is handicapped-accessible This film showing is hosted by the interfaith environmental group Living in Harmony.   If you have not yet seen this excellent production, plan now to attend.   COMFORT ZONE What kind of problem is climate change? A scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? How do we even begin to think about it? Many films show the shocking impacts of climate change on faraway places and peoples, usually the people and countries who have the least leverage on solving the problem. COMFORT ZONE shows us what it means in our own backyards, here in Rochester. COMFORT ZONE is the consciousness-changing story of three local filmmakers confronting what climate change means for us – scientifically, economically and personally – as the problem challenges our very sense of who we are. Run time 67 minutes   Questions? Contact Elizabeth Pixley, convener of Living in Harmony, epixley@rochester.rr.com

  • 10/04/2014 - Penfield Green Initiative October 2014 e-newsletter Lots of exciting things happening in October - please attend some   Please forward to any family, friends or co-workers  -- PENFIELD GREEN INITIATIVE Planning Committee The voice for Penfield’s environmental assets!

  • 10/04/2014 - One of the most popular and effective Climate Change actions in Rochester, NY coming up: "Announcing Curb Your Car Week 2014 Fall Edition When? Sunday October 5 to Saturday October 11. What? Families throughout the greater Rochester area and beyond will pledge to leave their cars home for one or more trips during the week. Can you walk, bike, take the bus, carpool, telecommute, or combine trips? It can be to school, to work, to piano lessons, the grocery store, or anywhere you would otherwise normally drive your vehicle." from ColorBrightonGreen

  • 10/04/2014 - How will Rochester, NY fare in the White House’s “Climate Action Champions designation”? Near the top, near the bottom, nowhere? Recognizing American Communities as Climate Action Champions From more frequent and extreme storms to higher average temperatures and rising seas, Americans today are experiencing first-hand what climate change will mean for their communities and their children. Taking steps today to cut carbon pollution and build resilience is essential to avert far more severe climate impacts in the future. As a recent report from the Council of Economic Advisers warns, postponing action on climate change could increase costs to the American economy by hundreds of billions of dollars per year. Local communities are on the front lines of the climate challenge — and are among the most ambitious in searching for solutions. From deploying more clean energy and setting energy efficiency goals to building more green infrastructure and revising building codes, many cities, towns, and tribal communities have emerged as leaders in the fight against climate change.  Today, the Obama administration is launching the first round of the Climate Action Champions Competition, to recognize and support the path-breaking steps that local and tribal governments are already taking to reduce carbon pollution and prepare for the impacts of climate change. This new competition, administered by the Department of Energy, will identify 10-15 communities across the country that have proven themselves to be climate leaders by pursuing ambitious climate action on both tracks — reducing greenhouse gas emissions and building climate resilience. (October 1, 2014) The White House Blog [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/04/2014 - Will Rochester business folks ever accept Climate Change into their hearts? Yes, but kicking and screaming. Read the comments on this article. Whew! Majority backs divesting from fossil fuel More than half of RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll respondents support the decision by some foundations, endowments and pension funds to divest fossil fuel investments, and 63 percent say they are concerned about climate change. On the eve of the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City last week, the Rockefeller Brothers Fund announced its decision to divest from fossil fuels and focus more on clean energy technologies in an effort to mitigate the effects of climate change. The fund, a nearly $900 million private foundation established in 1940 by members of the family whose wealth traces to John D. Rockefeller’s Standard Oil fortune, said it is committed to “reducing our exposure to coal and tar sands to less than 1 percent of the total portfolio by the end of 2014.” It also will develop a strategy to divest any remaining fossil fuel investments over the next few years. (October 3, 2014) Rochester Business Journal [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/04/2014 - The energy in Rochester on the People’s Climate March isn’t over: CLIMATE MARCH REPORT TO THE COMMUNITY WEDNESDAY OCTOBER 8, 2014 FROM 7-8 PM   Church of the Assumption * 20 East Avenue, Fairport, NY 14450 | This event is free and all are welcome to share and learn. ___Did you attend a Climate March or related Event? ___Do you want to hear first-hand from those who did? ___Do you want to meet others who share your concern?   Please come prepared to share a 2-minute report including: ___Who am I? ___Why is Climate Change/Environment Action important? ___What am I doing to make a difference?

  • 10/04/2014 - This is the question we’d better ask and we’d better get it right: Is the window for mitigating Climate Change closing? The answer should be for an intelligent species should be this: if there’s even a hint that the window of opportunity for stabling sustainable greenhouse gas concentrations is closing, we should be focusing on that worldwide not waiting around some more to nail this down exactly. We have not demonstrated that we have any power to curb our addiction to fossil fuels that are warming the planet.  What if we cannot stop ourselves even if we wanted to? We don’t even know the answer to that question yet. Maybe it’s the question we fear to ask ourselves. New Reports Offer Clearest Picture Yet of Rising Greenhouse Gas Emissions As the UN prepares to convene its climate summit, disturbing new numbers. Two days before the UN Climate Summit in New York, three new studies paint the clearest picture yet of rising greenhouse gas emissions and the dwindling opportunity for staving off the worst impacts—and also of at least one way that huge undertaking might be shared fairly among the nations of the world. (September 21, 2014) National Geographic [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 10/04/2014 - Trade deals are usually bad because they tend to carve up local environmental laws and regulations. But at least one aspect of the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership, or TTIP, may have a good effect on the US. “Under EU rules, chemicals must be proved to be safe before they are used. In the United States, chemicals must be shown to be harmful to be banned.” If the US adopted the EU’s rules on chemicals, imagine how many less Brownfields we would have. Actually, it’s insane to have a policy that says the chemicals must be shown to be harmful to be banned. People have to drop dead, streams must kill lots of fish, and other horrific stuff before a manmade chemical can be taken off the shelves. Who in their right mind would have made such a corporate-friendly, anti-environmental rule? Getting some EU sense into our chemical laws might not be such a bad thing. U.S. trade deal won't change rules on 'toxic' chemicals, EU says The European Union is seeking to contain a new complaint that a trade deal with the United States would undermine Europe's protection against dangerous chemicals, eager to avoid another front of resistance to the world's biggest trade accord. More than a year into negotiations, the European Commission, the EU executive, is engaged in a public relations battle to defend plans to deepen the transatlantic trading relationship and create a market of some 800 million people encompassing almost half the world's economy. In a letter seen by Reuters, the EU's trade chief will tell environmental activists on Friday that a free-trade pact between the top two trading blocs will not expose Europeans to harmful chemicals or force the EU to change its laws. Under EU rules, chemicals must be proved to be safe before they are used. In the United States, chemicals must be shown to be harmful to be banned. (October 3, 2014) Reuters [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 10/03/2014 - Cleaning up the Hudson River from GE pollution started in 2009, but we tend to forget the 25-year battle to bring GE to the table.  Dredging of Pollutants Begins in Hudson “Twenty-five years after the federal government declared a long stretch of the Hudson River to be a contaminated Superfund site, the cleanup of its chief remaining source of pollution began here Friday with a single scoop of mud extracted by a computer-guided dredge.” (May 15, 2009, New York Times) Be interesting if someone did an investigation of how long companies that polluted fought in the courts to renege on their responsibility before they owned up to them. If we wish to have even a clue as to the kind of environment we are going into Climate Change with, we need to know all about Brownfields—how many need to be cleaned up, old dump sites and what’s leaching into our streams, how various toxins interact with each other as they radiate out into our life support system, and a whole lot more.  Brownfields and their cleanups are an integral part of addressing Climate Change. And unless the press presses this issue, toxins from years past will be our compromised environment as the more frequent, heavier rainfalls inundate our region and spill toxins into our waters. EPA Announces Agreement with GE to Further Investigate Upper Hudson River Floodplain; Comprehensive Study to Cost About $20.5 Million The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency announced today that General Electric Company has agreed to conduct a comprehensive study of the contamination in the shoreline areas of the upper Hudson River. Cleanup of the Hudson River PCBs Superfund site has been ongoing since 2009 when river dredging began. Under the latest agreement with GE, the company will evaluate contamination in shoreline areas that are subject to flooding, called floodplains. The river and parts of the floodplain are contaminated with polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs). PCBs are chemicals that persist in the environment and can affect the immune, reproductive, nervous and endocrine systems and are potentially cancer-causing. For a period of 30 years, ending in the late 1970’s, PCBs were discharged from two GE capacitor manufacturing plants located in Hudson Falls and Fort Edward, New York. Once PCBs entered the river they were deposited and mixed with the sediment at many locations on the river bottom and at some locations along the shoreline. Under the agreement announced today, GE will investigate the PCB contamination in a 40-mile stretch of the Hudson River floodplain from Hudson Falls to Troy, New York and will develop cleanup options. The estimated value of this investigation work is $20.5 million. Under the agreement GE will also pay for EPA’s costs in overseeing the work and reimburse EPA for $3.5 million in floodplain-related past costs. (October 1, 2014) EPA News Releases from Region 2 [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 10/03/2014 - Quietly, buried under Fracking & nuclear power local news, Solar Power is growing (though not in Monroe County) to address Climate Change and energy options. You’d think that an energy option that could address a lot of our issues with our present energy options—derailments of dangerous crude oil, greenhouse gas emissions, public health, water issues, pollution, and a whole lot more—would garner more local press attention. But it doesn’t. Folks still think the sun doesn’t shine in our neck of the woods, but it does and it shines even less in Germany which has been experiencing a solar revolution: “Clean Break” Osha Gray Davidson Governor Cuomo Announces $94 Million Awarded for Solar Projects Across the State 142 Solar Projects at Businesses and Schools Will Increase New York’s Solar Capacity by 68 Percent Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today announced NY-Sun awards for large solar electric projects that will increase the solar capacity in New York State by more than 214 megawatts, a 68 percent increase over the amount of solar installed and in the pipeline at the end of 2013. The competitive awards further advance the scale-up of solar and move the State closer to a sustainable, self-sufficient solar industry. “Today we are making another long-term investment in our clean energy economy – with nearly $100 million in funding that will dramatically increase our capacity to generate and utilize solar energy across the state,” Governor Cuomo said. “New York is quickly becoming a national leader in renewable energy by building a competitive solar industry, and today’s award recipients are an example of how that progress continues to grow. As we recognize Climate Week, this is a significant step forward in our goal of creating a better place for New Yorkers to live and work, and I look forward to seeing these projects contribute to a cleaner environment.” (September 26, 2014) The New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA) [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 10/03/2014 - I’m thinking it does matter that we fess up to causing Climate Change; if we don’t get at the cause the cure will be delusionary. It is a quirk of the human mind that if cause and effect includes blame, we get defensive and nowhere does it get more defensive and loony than in our politics. If you can find a political leader that states that this problem (slavery, pollution, Climate Change, whatever) is not your fault and everything you do is good, then that political leader will probably get elected, and reelected. Which is to say, the problem continues because cause and effect have been removed from the discussion. Climate Change is real, we caused it, and we’d better solve it no matter how inconvenient. Trying To Fight Climate Change Without Admitting We Are To Blame We’re all familiar with climate deniers — the politicians who proudly declare that 97 percent of climate scientists are wrong, and human carbon emissions aren’t driving up global temperatures to a potentially catastrophic degree. Opposing them are what Grist’s David Roberts termed “climate hawks” — people who think climate change is real, it’s extremely dangerous, and civilization’s use of fossil fuels is behind most of it. But in between, a strange twilight figure has risen for whom there is no term, but with whom climate activists will have to grapple if America is to do its part in keeping the world under 2°C of warming. Michigan Governor Rick Snyder (R) probably represented this odd creature best back in August: “[Climate change is] a concern in terms of both its impact and the volatility it’s having on our weather patterns,” he said. But when reporters dug into whether humans are causing it, Snyder dodged: “I don’t get into how we got there because that tends to go off into a discussion that I don’t think has real value.” (October 2, 2014) Climate Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/03/2014 - On the whole though, Climate Change, which is quickly altering our planet’s climate, is not a good thing—even if some get more fresh water. Because Climate Change will affect everything, it’s hard to find a silver lining, just as someone falling from a high building would be unlikely to appreciate his new vantage points. Climate Change Could Increase Global Fresh Water: MIT Water stress — the general scarcity of freshwater for people who need it — is considered by many scientists as one of the biggest challenges facing humanity and struggling ecosystems in a world increasingly affected by climate change. Studies differ on how much the world’s growing population will be affected by the growing difficulty of finding freshwater, but a new report by researchers at the Massachusetts Institute of Technology have found that climate change could actually provide more water to people in some parts of the globe while reducing freshwater for other areas. (October 2, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/03/2014 - Why folks from Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) went to the People’s Climate March in New York City.  The Green Hand: HWS At The Climate March Of The Century Do you like numbers? 34 Hobart and William Smith Colleges (HWS) students. 2 HWS staff. 2 buses. Over 500 total miles. 1 day. The largest climate march in history included not just environmentalists, but folks affected by hydraulic fracturing; Hurricane Sandy, Hurricane Katrina, and other natural disasters; tar sands; droughts; industrial pollution; etc. The diversity of marchers is a true testament that climate change is not just about the environment anymore, it goes beyond those that care about trees and polar bears to a global crisis that is affecting us all, here and now. An estimated 400,000 people, 1574 participating organizations, 50,000 college students from over 300 campuses (45 campuses in New York State), 630,000 social media posts, 5,200 articles written, more than 100 buses from 35 states, and 700 organizations participated in the People’s Climate March (PCM) in New York City on Sunday, September 21, 2014. (October 1, 2014) Happenings the monthly newsletter of the Finger Lakes Institute  [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/02/2014 - “…neighborhood have a long history of pollution…” is code for Brownfield sacrifice zones because well-off won’t tolerate toxic cesspools. Low income regions get most of the uncleaned up Brownfields around the world, which is a major tragedy because Climate Change will bring more public health issues as more frequent heavy downpours in our region will unleash toxins in Brownfields to those less likely to deal with them. Brownfields must be cleaned up now before Climate Change gets worse. Developer, city to study Vacuum Oil site contamination The properties around the old Vacuum Oil site in the Plymouth-Exchange neighborhood have a long history of pollution. And though it's probably going to take a long time to clean them up, there is some progress to report in what's known as the Vacuum Oil Brownfield Opportunity Area.  The owner of 5 and 15 Flint Street — a  private development company called One Flint St. LLC — is preparing to resume an investigation into contamination at the properties, according to a notice sent out yesterday by the State Department of Environmental Conservation. (October 1, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 10/02/2014 - Environmental films are critical in educating the public on our life support system because the media is so bad at this. The trick is getting the general public to attend—those who live and vote and need to thrive in a healthy environment. New environmental film festival announced  Fast Forward Film Festival to show in April 2015 New locally-centered, environmental film festival scheduled for spring 2015 was announced Wednesday morning. The Fast Forward Film Festival will feature short films created by filmmakers from the Rochester and Finger Lakes region. The festival is an initiative of The Lost Bird Project, an organization that aims to highlight environmental issues through art and performance. A call for submissions from local filmmakers -- amateur to professional -- will begin Wednesday, October 8. Submissions are open to all ages, and the juried winners will be awarded cash prizes. Select films will be screened at The Little and Dryden Theatre on April 17 and 18, 2015. "Fast Forward Film Festival is an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, and encourages films that tap into the local experience and compel audiences to engage with the community while raising environmental awareness," said Andrew Stern, the festival's executive director, and executive director of The Lost Bird Project. "Embracing the short-film format, the festival challenges filmmakers to utilize the power of visual storytelling to convey the urgency of environmental issues." (October 1, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Environmental Education in our area]

  • 10/02/2014 - What we don’t know about soil could fill a planet, a planet that is warming faster than soil may be able to adapt to.  For example: How does will soil in our area act with cold winters and less snow cover and more days of freezing then thawing, back and forth? If we plan to have healthy soil and feed the world, we’d better find out.  Soil Doctors Hit Pay Dirt In Manhattan's Central Park Manhattan's Central Park is surrounded by one of the densest cities on the planet. It's green enough, yet hardly the first place most people would think of as biologically rich. But a team of scientists gt a big surprise when they recently started digging there. They were ten soil ecologists — aka dirt doctors. Kelly Ramirez from Colorado State University was among them. "We met on the steps of the natural history museum at 7 a.m. with our collection gear, coolers, and sun block," she recalls. (October 2, 2014) NPR [more on Plants in our area]

  • 10/02/2014 - Next stop after People’s Climate March and UN Summit in NYC is the UN Summit in Lima, Peru. Real commitments or promises, promises? All on the road to 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris where all those promises must turn into results and legally binding agreements. Lima talks should deliver first draft for 2015 climate deal, says Peru minister Amazon country wants UN summit to steer the course for a binding global committment on carbon emissions in Paris The meeting of nearly 200 governments in Peru later this year for a major UN climate change summit must produce the first draft of a global deal to cut emissions, the country's environment minister says. Speaking to the Guardian, Manuel Pulgar-Vidal said he was aware that slow progress at the last round of talks in Warsaw, Poland, meant significant progress is needed in key areas including climate financing and how to tackle greenhouse gas emissions from deforestation. The meeting in Lima in December is a staging point towards a crunch summit in Paris in 2015 when it is hoped world leaders will agree, for the first time, a global deal on cutting emissions that includes both rich and poor countries. (January 31, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/02/2014 - So, California bans the plastic bag because it’s damaging our life support system, but the bag manufacturers will fight the ban because it “… hurts the environment”? Really, a plastic bag ban would hurt the environment? Let me go back to the article and see if that what was said…. Yep, that what they said.  Guess I have to hit the books and find out what food group the plastic bag that was just invented in 1960 belongs to. Maybe something like “plasticbagus bagus” a new member of the jellyplastic fish family that roams the seas in search of underwater grocery stories.  Hummm…..  California enacts state ban on plastic bags Motivated by environmental concerns, Gov. Brown signs legislation making California the first state to bar plastic bags California Gov. Jerry Brown on Tuesday signed legislation imposing the nation's first statewide ban on single-use plastic bags, driven to action by a buildup of litter and damage to aquatic ecosystems. A national coalition of plastic bag manufacturers immediately said it would seek a voter referendum to repeal the law, which is scheduled to take effect in July 2015. Under SB270, plastic bags will be phased out of large grocery stores starting next summer and convenience stores and pharmacies in 2016. The law allows grocers to charge a fee of at least 10 cents for using paper bags. (September 30, 2014) Aljazeera [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - There are many benefits to bicycle boulevards including addressing Climate Change, but you cannot say that in Rochester, NY. Bicycle boulevards and other street design options for slowing down traffic and making it safer for more active transportation (walking and bicycling) are low-cost ways of bringing down greenhouse gas emissions—27% which are caused by present vehicular transportation.  But in Rochester you can go on and on about the benefits of bicycle boulevards, just as long as you don’t include Climate Change adaptation because that is so unfashionable. Community Meetings Today to Discuss Bike Boulevards Plan  The City of Rochester wants to know what the public thinks about designated bicycle routes. There are plans to add more bike boulevards in various neighborhoods. A couple of community meetings are scheduled Wednesday at specific locations along the potential bike route. The city has been working on becoming a bike-friendly city the past couple of years, this latest plan includes adding more bike boulevards, or designated residential streets for cyclists, in the 19th Ward and the South Wedge. The city said it is focused on making Rochester's streets better for biking. To do that, the city wants to hear some feedback from not only cyclists who use bike boulevards, but also from residents where bike lanes currently are and where the city is planning to add more. (October 10, 2014) Time Warner News Rochester [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - Does the Rochester region so hate renewable energy (solar and wind) that is willing put up with Fracking and this from nuclear power plants? Are we really so dead set against having a viable energy system of micro grids and solar and wind and increased batter power that we’ll keep just digging in deeper for more fossil fuels and an impossibly dangerous and financially unwieldy form of energy as nuclear? Really, in a time of Climate Change we cannot do better and safer and more adaptive to a warmer climate? The nuclear option  The Ginna nuclear power plant is in serious trouble. Is it worth saving? The owner of the R.E. Ginna nuclear power plant says that the facility may close unless it gets a new contract for the sale of its electricity. And even that may only be enough to keep the aging nuclear plant going for a few more years, the owner says. Ginna's cloudy future is a matter of economics. Its majority owner, Constellation Nuclear Energy Group, says in a recent filing with the State Public Service Commission that the price it's getting for its electricity won't be enough to cover the plant's operating and investment costs. Prior to June, Rochester Gas and Electric was contractually obligated to purchase 90 percent of Ginna's output. But the 10-year agreement expired that month, and Ginna has since started selling its electricity into New York's competitive marketplace. Even under the RG&E contract — at times, the utility paid above market prices for power, at others it paid below market prices — the plant was running in the red. The commission's filing says that Ginna's losses have significantly exceeded $100 million over the last three years. (October 1, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Energy in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - Sorry to be a Debbie Downer but Rochester NY has a long way to go to be a walkable city. In Rochester active transportation (walking and bicycling) have been languishing behind a tepid program to increase bicycling with painted road symbols that few understand and a sidewalk/trafficlight situation that turns individual pedestrians into packman-like casualties. Both pedestrians and bicyclists in Rochester are the first to be sacrificed for construction projects, trash collection, parking, deliveries, lawn service and telecommunications equipment parking. "Watchdog: Making roads safe for the unprotected At least twice a day for the past decade, a pedestrian or bicyclist on Monroe County's roadways was hit by a car, usually seriously enough to warrant medical treatment. And, at least 92 people walking or biking were killed. With residents increasingly interested in living in areas where a car isn't required for every single errand, local communities are taking notice and seeking out ways to make public roadways safer, more walkable and better suited for bicyclists. RocDocs database: Pedestrian and bicycle accidents in Monroe County RocDocs database: Fatal accidents between 2003-12 While a recent national study of roadway safety didn't place the Rochester region near the top of its list of the 50 most dangerous metropolitan places for pedestrians, there is still plenty of room for safety improvement, a Democrat and Chronicleanalysis of state Department of Transportation data has found. That data includes information on all crashes involving pedestrians or bicyclists struck by motor vehicles from 2003 to 2012, the most recent year available. " (June 15, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle | Great Lakes cities found at the intersection of walkable and affordable We’ve always known that the Great Lakes are the center of the freshwater universe. But who would have thought that they are the intersection of affordability and walkability? A group that’s developed a method of scoring a community’s walkability recently listed neighborhoods in a dozen U.S. cities that are not only easy to get around, they’re affordable to live in. They produced the list with Walk Score data – which measures walkability – the Cost of Living Index and the average rents for every major city in the country. And guess what? Five of them are in cities on a Great Lake: Buffalo Rochester Chicago Milwaukee Cleveland (September 30, 2014) Great Lakes Echo [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - ACTION: Excellent chance to get Bicycle Boulevard projects moving along in Rochester Friday, Oct 10th (I.e. addressing Climate Change) Bicycle Boulevards draft network, pilot segments, "pop-up" public meetings, and input opportunity "update on the City of Rochester’s Bicycle Boulevards Master Plan.   The consultant team has identified a network of draft recommended bike boulevard routes (see attached maps) and the city has installed two 1-mile pilot segments using temporary signage, markings, and speed cushions for folks to ride and test and share feedback on. One of these routes is in the 19th Ward and the other is in the South Wedge (see attached maps).   This Wednesday, Oct 1 from 4-6pm, the city invites people to come out to ride the routes and provide feedback directly at two concurrent “pop-up” public input meetings. Project staff will be available to answer people’s questions and take input. The 19th Ward meeting will have a staff table in Aberdeen Square (corner of Woodbine & Aberdeen) and the South Wedge meeting will have a staff table in Genesee Gateway Park (Riverway Trail & corner of Averill).   The temporary bike boulevard installations are in place for two weeks, so you can also provide feedback using this online form until next Friday, Oct 10th.   You can find more information about the Rochester Bicycle Boulevards Master Plan at the project website and in the attached project brochure.   Please share with your networks and contacts who are interested in biking and/or just in making our neighborhood streets more safe, comfortable, healthy, and active. Elizabeth Murphy Active Transportation Specialist "

  • 10/01/2014 - We can’t have our cake and eat it too? We can’t have endless growth on a finite planet? Physics is so unfair to our economics. No, economic growth and climate stability do not go hand-in-hand Much has been made of last week’s report from the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, led by former Mexican President Felipe Calderón and famous climate economist Lord Nicholas Stern. The report’s conclusion that we can have our cake and eat it too — that is, that we can “create lasting economic growth while also tackling the immense risks of climate change” — quickly became a popular talking point for mainstream economists and politicians. But to think that it has anything to do with actually avoiding catastrophic climate havoc is to misinterpret the entire premise of this New Climate Economy (NCE) project. The study, called “Better Growth, Better Climate,” is mostly about economic growth. In the short summary that makes up the homepage of the report’s sleek-scrolling website, the word “growth” appears 62 times, five more than “climate.” (September 30, 2014) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - Unlike the venomous lionfish, most predators prey, and plants don’t have the ability to quickly adapt to new stomping grounds due to Climate Change. Warmer Atlantic widens invader’s hunting ground The exotic lionfish, already a long way from the reefs of its Indo-Pacific home, is heading further north up the US coast as global warming causes big changes to ocean habitats. The venomous lionfish is on the move. This invasive species has been observed in deeper waters off the North Carolina coast since the turn of the century, but new research suggests it may now be expanding its range into the shallower levels. Since the lionfish (Pterois volitans) is actually native to the Indo-Pacific region, it is already a long way from home. But what now gives it licence to hunt further north is warmer sea temperature. Global warming has already begun to make huge differences to ocean habitat. The bluefin tunais a temperate zone fish that has already been observed in Arctic waters off the coast of Greenland, and commercial species such as red mullet, a creature of the Mediterranean, has been seen in the North Sea and even in Norwegian waters. (September 28, 2014) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 10/01/2014 - The momentum on addressing Climate Change from 700,000 people around the world must accelerate until binding agreements in Paris 2015.  Anything less probably means the end of our ability to mitigate the worldwide rise in greenhouse gas and commit ourselves and our children to catastrophic change. Sure, after a failed Paris 2015 Climate Conference we’ll still be able to adapt to some of those changes and we’ll keep having to adapt until we can’t. The 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris must not fail. Momentum gathers around UN climate summit but more needed from world leaders A weekend of unprecedented public calls for climate action and a New York summit that saw one Head of State after another acknowledging the need to listen to the people and act, has put climate change back to the top of the political agenda. Almost 700,000 people around the world marched for climate action on Sunday. This record-breaking global mobilization shows that sectors all across society in all corners of the world are concerned about inaction on climate change and ready to accelerate a rapid and just transition away from fossil fuels and toward renewable energy sources. In New York, a growing number of governments confirmed the need to end the fossil fuel era and craft a global climate agreement in Paris next year. (September 24, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 10/01/2014 - News of the People’s Climate March got headlines all over the world, except Rochester, NY, of course.  As a matter of fact when I mentioned that I went to the march, a local friend said, “How nice that must have been for you folks who believe in global warming.” (It’s like those of us in this special club had a great big party for ourselves.)  Local media has so much to make up for on messaging the crisis of our area.  People's Climate March Press Roundup  (September 30, 2014)  Sierra Club Atlantic Chapter.

  • 9/30/2014 - On no, I cannot imagine that lots and lots of crude heating would have any negative impact on the environment during Climate Change.  Makes perfect sense to give the store away and let the fossil fuel industry cook as much fossil fuel as they want from all over the world right at our New York State capitol. Please. And we thought Fracking was the monster we had to keep at bay. Comment period extended on Port of Albany oil plant proposal DEC cites high interest, but critic says agency is putting off a decision The state Department of Environmental Conservation is again extending the public comment period on a proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany to build a facility that would heat crude oil for shipment, the agency said late Friday. Global Partners handles crude oil from incoming oil tanker trains that carry crude daily from the Bakken fields of North Dakota. Opponents of the heating plant fear it would be used to process Canadian tar sands oil, a thicker type of crude that thickens in cold weather, making it difficult to pump out of rail tankers and into tanks for eventual transfer to barges and tankers that go down the Hudson River. (September 26, 2014) Albany Times Union [more on Air Quality in our area] 

  • 9/30/2014 - How can we best address Poverty in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area? Address Climate Change. Jobs, health, economics, cleaning up those Brownfields that mostly exist in poor areas, can all be addressed through the lens of preparing for our future, a warmer future.  We will need all hands on deck, especially those we have burdened with an unconscionable economic system. We can do this by creating jobs to fix our infrastructures (water, transportation, waste, and telecommunications) mass education for a more sustainable transportation system (active transportation, public transit, and high speed rail) and our health system with education, education, and education.  Poverty and the Concentration of Poverty in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area A report was recently released by Rochester Area Community Foundation and ACT Rochester detailing startling statistics behand our community's ongoing struggles with significant poverty issues. The Report finds that Rochester is:   • Fifth poorest city in the country among the top 75 largest metropolitan areas;   • Second poorest among comparably sized cities in those metro areas;   • Ranked third for highest concentration of extremely poor neighborhoods among cities in the top 100 metro areas;   • The poorest school district in Upstate New York and the poorest urban district in the entire state. ACTRochester

  • 9/30/2014 - Why we should plan with Climate Change consequences foremost in our minds: “Climate change makes all of them worse,” Climate change makes it harder to save Lake Erie Heavier rains cause runoff, feeding algae  Although not the primary source of Great Lakes algae, climate change is exacerbating the problem and making it harder to reduce phosphorus and other nutrients that help algae grow, experts say. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records show a 51 percent increase in heavy storms — those that dropped 3 inches of rain or more within 24 hours — in the Midwest since the 1960s. Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University Stone Laboratory director, cited erosion, nutrient loading, harmful algae blooms, invasive species, oxygen-depleted “dead zones,” and climate change as Lake Erie’s six biggest issues at an Ohio Farmers’ Union presentation in Toledo last Monday. “Climate change makes all of them worse,” Mr. Reutter said. (September 29, 2014) The Blade [more on Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/30/2014 - I know, I don’t ever do “inspirational message of hope” but this 4 minute film before U.N. Climate Summit in NYC is, well, inspirational… 'What's Possible': The U.N. Climate Summit Opening Film Morgan Freeman narrates an inspirational message of hope and a call for action from world leaders. (September 23, 2014) takepart [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/30/2014 - Will the People’s Climate March and the results of the UN Climate Summit in NYC make the Paris 2015 successful? It’s up to you. Certainly, if the public thinks all it had to do was MARCH! to make countries and corporations around the world keep their promises and then commit to legal agreements in Paris next year, the public will be deluded. It’s like placing a puppy at the other side of the room, walking away and expecting the puppy to stay. Only after some patient training will the puppy stay.  UN Climate Summit Achieves Successes, But Does It Really Matter? The judgment on whether the meeting meant anything will have to wait until the world reaches three milestones on the path to a possible global treaty. At the end of his summit meeting on the climate crisis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon put out a list of accomplishments festooned with 46 bullet points, some of them marking concrete new pledges, others diaphanous phrases. Among the most notable were two separate pledges on forests, which if followed through couldeliminate deforestationby 2030, and end deforestation at the hands of the palm oil industry even sooner. (September 26, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/29/2014 - Rochester, NY media mostly ignored the People’s Climate March and the rising concern of Climate Change, but not all media. We tried to stove pipe all that in our area, but it was a slog trying to get local media to give a rat’s ass.  Here are our attempts.  | 'Alarm Bells Keep Ringing': Live Coverage of Climate Week 2014 The biggest climate protest in history kicked off a week of debate, disruption and aspiration in New York. Here are the latest updates: (September 22, 2014) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/29/2014 - Sure we can truck Brownfields toxic waste from one place to another, but can fix the soil we have broken? I know, in the present consumer zeitgeist it depends on the standard of use, our use. But more sanely, can we restore contaminated soil to its original state so that soil can do what is was intended to do—decompose and help life grow again? Love Canal Waste To Be Excavated From Landfill New York state plans to excavate Love Canal waste from a western New York landfill, where it was dumped a decade before the notorious Love Canal environmental disaster.  The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans an informational session in the Niagara County town of Wheatfield on Monday.  The DEC says about 1600 cubic yards of toxic industrial waste were dumped at a town-owned landfill in Wheatfield in 1968 during construction of the LaSalle Expressway. A 2013 study found elevated levels of various contaminants. (September 29, 2014) WXXI News [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 9/29/2014 - Green Drinks coming up in October: "Will be Thursday, October 16th, 6-7:30 at the Greenhouse Café at 2271 East Main Street Along with finding out about the greenhouse café (with cash coffee bar) and tasting some awesome kale smoothies, we will get up-close and personal with SeedFolk City Farm, In the City Off the Grid and Prosper Rochester. Together these dedicated folks are: • exploring urban agriculture, maximizing yields within a confined space • creating a living classroom to engage at risk youth in employment and education • using micro-climates, ground source thermo, passive solar and renewable energy • implementing a simple and replicable model integrated into communities throughout the City All phases of this project from planning, design, construction and implementation have been motivated by community need " -from The Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) 

  • 9/29/2014 - The People’s Climate March, what now? 400, 000 was nice, but billions are needed. Kumi Naidoo: The Global Climate Uprising There are a lot of very hard working environmental activists in the world, but one person in particular that I think tops the list is Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. Naidoo joined Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! two days after the UN Climate Summit and four days after the People’s Climate March, where 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City demanding climate action. “Well, my one-line description of the climate summit outcome is that we got much more than many of us thought we would get in terms of stated commitments, but we got significantly less than what the world needs us to do,” Naidoo tells Goodman on the morning show. “I have no doubt in my mind that the mobilization of people in New York and around the world in such large numbers was a wake-up call both to the U.S. political establishment, as well as to the others, as well as the corporate sector. (September 26, 2014) EcoWatch

  • 9/29/2014 - If our local Rochester, NY media and public health were on the ball most folks would know Climate Change and Lyme disease spread are linked. Climate Change Linked to Spread of Lyme Disease As if we needed another reason to deplore the impacts of climate change, its warming effects are encouraging the northward spread of Lyme disease, carried by the black-legged tick which rides on deer, rodents and dogs, the Daily Climate reports. While common in the U.S., it was rare in Canada until recently. Because of that, Canadians eventually diagnosed with the disease were delayed in getting appropriate treatment. But with more attention comes more action. This summer legislation to promote Lyme prevention and timely diagnosis and treatment passed the House of Commons by unanimous consent. “So many members of Parliament have been hearing these stories that are heartbreaking,” said Green Party sponsor Elizabeth May. The number of cases reported in the U.S. has nearly tripled from 1991 to 2013. The range of the disease, initially identified in Connecticut in 1977, is found primarily in a cluster of northern states. The U.S. Environmental Protection Association added it to its list of climate change indicators this year. (September 26, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Lyme Disease and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/27/2014 - Looks like President Obama’s ‘All of The Above!” plan isn’t working. Maybe try more science, less politics. Climate Change has that irritating facility that it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what form or energy is politically and economically preferable. Climate Change only cares about results. This must have been embarrassing when the President just said at the Sept. 23rd UN Climate Summit in New York City “"Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth," he said, adding the U.S. is on track to meet his 2009 pledge to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.” when it actually went up by 6%. Whoops. U.S. carbon emissions rise despite Obama climate plan U.S. emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have risen 6% in the last two years despite the Obama administration's efforts to curb global warming, federal data show. Reversing several years of declines, its emissions from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) rose 2.7% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2013, and 6% compared to 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration's "Monthly Energy Review." This increase is a setback for President Obama, who touted U.S. progress in cutting emissions at this week's historic U.N. Climate Summit in New York, attended by representative from more than 120 countries. "Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth," he said, adding the U.S. is on track to meet his 2009 pledge to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. (December 26, 2014) USA Today [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/27/2014 - Climate Change moving up the agenda of US Homeland Security, now that’s an attention grabber. Even Rochester media should be impressed.  If US Homeland Security is planning for Climate Change, why aren’t we?  US Homeland Security moves to tackle climate change risks  Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official. "Increasingly, we've moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus," said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats. Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels. (September 25, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/27/2014 - The real news on crude oil train cars that have been coming through New York State is the “increasing frequency.” When will local news do a great big story about why so much fossil fuels, in a time of Climate Change, are using New York rails to transport this dirty fuel when we should be going renewable energy? Is New York State, which still has a moratorium on Fracking, going instead to be a major US hub, a delivery system, for fossil fuels to the world? Why won’t the media investigate this?   New Report Out On Oil Train Inspections There's a new report out on the inspections of crude oil train cars that have been coming through New York State with increasing frequency. Authorities say additional inspections of crude oil tank cars and railroad tracks in New York have found 72 minor defects and one critical defect from a split rail.  The report from the Cuomo administration details federal and state inspections of 766 tank cars and 167 miles of track.  They included hub rail yards in Buffalo and Albany and the CSX Corp. mainline track between Buffalo and Syracuse, where a split rail required lowering the speed limit to 30 mph until its replacement. (September 26, 2014) WXXI News [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/27/2014 - Must attend lecture on Climate Change by Dr. David Walter Wolfe foremost climate expert, co-author of many regional climate studies. Cornell Scientist to speak on Climate Change and Food Security "Climate Change and the Future of Food" is the title of a presentation by Dr. David Walter Wolfe, a prominent climate scientist from Cornell University. The talk will be delivered on October 10th, 2014 at the University at Buffalo, South Campus.  Dr. Wolfe, is a Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University. He has worked and published extensively in the area of agriculture and climate change. Dr. Wolfe's presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, and a casual reception soon after. The presentation will take place in 114 Wende Hall, South Campus from2:00-3:30 pm and it is Open to the Public. Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo

  • 9/27/2014 - But ya gotta ask yourself, what’s the point of restoring lake sturgeon if it cannot tolerate a warmer Great Lakes due to Climate Change? All the kings horses and all the kings fishermen, no matter how much they want to bring back these historic fish that we butchered in the millions last century, won’t be able to do so if these fish that thrived in the Holocene cannot do so in the Anthropocene.   Ancient sturgeon finally catch a break Crew at Riveredge, many others restore fish to Milwaukee River It's right here in southeastern Wisconsin. At its heart is an ancient native, the lake sturgeon. Protagonists include the staff and volunteers at Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County and fisheries personnel with the Department of Natural Resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets a nod, too, for assists with funding and overarching support. (September 24, 2014) Milwaukee Wisconsin  Sentinel Journal  [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 9/27/2014 - Dear world leaders, Our life support system is not a golden goose. It is our life support system. Please adjust your economics accordingly. If humanity doesn’t understand that our life support system is more important than our present rapacious and delusional and dysfunction economic system, we are screwing all life henceforth for our inability to adapt our human-based schemes for how life actually works on this planet. Peru: Environmental 'Extremists' Threaten Revenue Peru's president warned Friday that environmental "extremists" could hurt the golden goose of mining revenue. During an interview with The Associated Press, President Ollanta Humala said his top priority during the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations this week had been to sound the alarm on climate change. The Andean nation will host U.N.-sponsored climate talks in December. But in July, Humala enacted a law that weakens environmental protections in his country. Environmental activists want things to stay the same, but Peru's mining-dependent economy must ensure it does not bankrupt businesses with fines, he said. "It's not about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs," he said. (September 26, 2014) ABC News  

  • 9/27/2014 - Antarctic used to be such a quiet and calm sort of place until anthropogenic Climate Change came along. Gravity Shift Reveals West Antarctic Ice Loss The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is headed toward “unstoppable” collapse according to recent studies. A new visual released by the European Space Agency show what the start of that collapse looks like both for the mass of the ice sheet and its signature on the planet’s gravitational field. We think of gravity as a constant, holding us in place on the planet. But the reality is there are small changes in gravity all over the globe. Not enough that you’ll feel lighter on your feet in one place compared to another, but enough that scientists can use satellites to measure the differences. Those measurements can, in turn, help us better understand the world around us, from how earthquakes shift land to how fast ice sheets are receding and what that means for sea level rise. (September 26, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/26/2014 - Actually, energy costs don’t just “boils down to the basic principle of supply and demand.” It boils down to making better energy choices, like renewable (wind and solar) energy, in a time of Climate Change.  For those who say we cannot fulfill our energy needs with renewable energy, they are not stating a fact, they are making a stance. They are condemning us to an impossible fuel choice.  However, it is possible to lower our greenhouse gases with renewable energy. Read Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight | Higher energy costs on the horizon Energy use is on the rise and, while the peak of the season isn't here yet, traders on the financial markets are already anticipating higher costs. And that could leave you digging deeper into your wallet to pay your bill. In a matter of seconds on Wednesday, the cost of natural gas on the commodities market climbed 10 cents. The reason: just one afternoon computer model forecast of colder weather. On top of that, National Grid projects customers will see higher electric bills this winter because of higher costs to buy power. George Conboy of Brighton Securities says it all boils down to the basic principle of supply and demand. (September 25, 2014) WHEC Rochester [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/26/2014 - Why doesn’t the US care about Climate Change? Delusional gas prices make Climate Change go away—until it doesn’t.  Gas prices falling, headed below $3 in much of US The price of a gallon of gasoline may soon start with a "2'' across much the country.  The price of a gallon of gasoline may soon start with a "2'' across much the country. Gasoline prices typically decline in autumn. This year they're getting a big push lower from falling global oil prices. By the end of the year, up to 30 states could have an average gasoline price of under $3 a gallon, according to a forecast from GasBuddy.com. (September 25, 2014) Wayne Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/26/2014 - News out of Detroit that Great Lakes are in “Great Peril” cannot be true can it? My local news would have prepared me, right?  Seeing how I live in Rochester, NY on Lake Ontario and we are downstream, as it were, from anything going on in the Great Lakes basin region, I’m just sure my local media would have kept me informed of pending dangers to the largest fresh water system in the world so we had time to plan adequately, especially during Climate Change.  Detroit, tell me it isn’t so! Great Lakes in unprecedented danger, Chicago mayor says The discussion is no longer just about the environmental health of the five big lakes. It's also about the health of the millions of people who rely on them for their drinking water. When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for Congress in 2002, he vowed that protecting the Great Lakes would be high on his agenda. The primary concerns at the time were environmental damages wrought by invasive species such as zebra mussels, as well as urban and industrial pollutions. Twelve years and three jobs later — Emanuel went from Congress to chief of staff for President Barack Obama before becoming mayor of Chicago in 2011 — the Great Lakes have received $1.6 billion in federal restoration funds. Yet despite all of that money earmarked for things like combating the spread of invasive species, cleaning up toxic hot spots and restoring wetlands, Emanuel said Wednesday that the world's largest freshwater system has just entered an era of unprecedented peril. (September 25, 2014) Detroit Free Press [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/26/2014 - Did your local news media shirk their responsibility to cover the biggest climate march in history? Go here--People's Climate March--to compensate.  As you scroll down the page, there is an incredible amount of photos and videos, and articles about a gathering of the people to get their voices heard on the most critical crisis of our age. Local media didn’t do their job, but many, many who came to the march became the media. 

  • 9/26/2014 - Are the new pesticides in a warming world going to be a bad as the old pesticides? As we are slated to dump more we should find out. Unless we quickly change our farming ways, we will be dumping massive amounts of pesticides on the more crop pests that come with Climate Change. New generation: Growing up reading Rachel Carson, scientists unravel risks of new pesticides “Both Christy and Rachel started in the same place, with a profound appreciation for wildlife and natural systems,” said Cynthia Palmer, director of pesticide science and regulation for the American Bird Conservancy, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “Both came to realize that the chemical cocktails of their day threatened to derail conservation efforts for the wild organisms they studied and cared about.” Unlike DDT, neonicotinoids don’t appear to accumulate in the tissues of warm-blooded creatures but they may have other subtle, widespread effects that Morrissey and other researchers are only now beginning to pinpoint. Several studies have found that the chemicals are killing so many ecologically important insects that they are having widespread effects on whole ecosystems, particularly bees. In addition, evidence is mounting about effects on birds: In the Netherlands, birds are declining in proportion with neonicotinoid levels in waters. In the Canadian prairies, Morrissey’s early results suggest that birds and chicks are unhealthier near the treated fields. An experiment in Spain found that when captive partridges consumed neonic-coated seeds, they had fewer chicks and suppressed immunity. And one analysis concluded that birds might be poisoned if they eat just one or two seeds. [Read the rest of our series, Winged Warnings ] (September 25, 2014) Environmental Health News [more on Pesticides in our area]

  • 9/26/2014 - The reason we shouldn’t allow Fracking to work in New York State because it doesn’t work anyplace else.  Accumulated evidence from all over the world of the damage to public health, environment, and additional greenhouse gases in a time of Climate Change makes Fracking and absurd energy choice. We don’t need to try Fracking out because there is an incredible amount of information from places that have been forced to Frack and the damage that this dangerous fossil fuel extraction method has wrought. Essay: Give fracking a chance to work in NY The production of natural gas intersects with water in two ways: (1) the protection of the surface water table; and (2) the use of water in hydraulic fracturing. In New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation has promulgated regulations virtually guaranteeing the protection of surface, fresh water supplies. For 30 years (from 1979-2009) when the state had a viable natural gas industry, the DEC issued over 10,000 permits to drill natural gas wells. There was only one documented case of migration of methane into a fresh water supply. That is an excellent record in anyone's book, and the DEC's proposed regulations for shale drilling are even tougher. There is no incentive for a natural gas production company to make "short-cuts" on such rules. The protection of fresh water supplies benefits everyone. (July 5, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [ more on Fracking in our area]

  • 9/25/2014 - Fracking, blasting through our bedrock, for more fossil fuels during Climate Change is insane. Take Action! Global Frackdown October 11 "The Global Frackdown is an international day of action initiated by Food & Water Watch to ban fracking —a risky technique that uses millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals to break open rock formations deep underground to release oil and gas. The oil and gas industry has spent millions of dollars on slick public relations campaigns and high-profile lobbying efforts to buy the ability to extract fossil fuels from our communities with as little government oversight as possible, all while destroying our air, water, health, communities and our climate. While the industry is working hard to protect its profits and drown out the worldwide demand for clean, renewable fuels, there is a tremendous movement afoot around the world to protect our global resources from fracking. The first Global Frackdown in September 2012 brought together 200 community actions in over 20 countries to challenge fracking. The second Global Frackdown in October 2013, was even bigger with over 250 actions in 30 countries spanning six continents. And we continue to grow. "

  • 9/25/2014 - Why you should never, never, never, never, never, never vote a climate change denier into office. Jon Stewart Obliterates Republicans By Highlighting Their Ignorance On Climate Change On Monday night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, host Jon Stewart devoted the first segment of his program to the subject of climate change. He discussed the People’s Climate March that took place in New York City on Sunday, where over 100,000 people took to the streets to bring awareness to the dangers facing our planet due to rapid global warming. Stewart pointed out that, while you would think people around the world are now acutely aware of the existence of climate change and its effects on the environment, this march was necessary because House Republicans continue to deny its existence. (September 23, 2014) Politicus USA

  • 9/25/2015 - Local coverage of UN Summit in NY cheers non-binding agreements and non-binding billions to developing nations—billions but not from US.  This delusional statement about the summit kinda says it all: "We prove climate protection and a strong economy must go hand in hand." Of course, we didn’t prove any such thing. What we proved at the UN Climate Summit is that no what matter the peril to our environment and our people’s, we won’t be compelled to do anything that hurts our present economy.  Non-binding is another way to say that if what you promised in any way inconveniences you, you can renege in a second.  UN to leaders: Set 'new course' on climate change Challenged by the United Nations chief to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases, world leader after world leader Tuesday made promises of billions of dollars and better care of planet Earth.  Challenged by the United Nations chief to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases, world leader after world leader Tuesday made promises of billions of dollars and better care of planet Earth. Tuesday's one-day summit at the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of more than 100 world leaders is a forum for non-binding pledges. It was designed to lay the groundwork for a new global treaty to tackle climate change in December 2015. More than 150 countries set the first-ever deadline on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030, but the feasibility of such a goal was eroded when a key player, Brazil, said it would not join. Forests are important because they absorb the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The United States, Canada and the entire European Union signed on to a declaration to have forest loss by 2020 and eliminate deforestation entirely by 2030. (September 23, 2014) Penfield Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/25/2014 - The only true marriage of countries addressing Climate Change is a shotgun wedding—binding agreements.  At the UN Summit in NY no one wants to be held to their lackluster promises.  As for helping developing countries that did not cause Climate Change and who should not develop the way we did, it looks like we demand they do the impossible because we aren’t going to give them anything we got from using up the world’s commons—air, water, soil, natural resources, and ecologies.  Looks like despite the People’s Climate March, a demand that real change occurs, business as usual rules—making it look like we are doing something but not really.   I can understand why a lot of businesses and countries and many who don’t really want what needs to be done to address Climate Change are happy with the UN Summit in New York: it doesn’t upset their agenda. “But, as anticipated, the leaders held back on making new commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions or to give significant climate finance to developing countries, leaving it to business, cities and campaign groups to produce the real action on climate.” Nelson Mandela's widow calls for urgent climate action at UN Nelson Mandela’s widow Graça Machel says leaders failed to rise to challenge after day of impassioned speeches at UN The widow of Nelson Mandela punctured the self-congratulatory mood of the UN summit on Tuesday, saying world leaders had failed to rise to the challenge of climate change. “There is a huge mismatch between the magnitude of the challenge and the response we heard here today,” Graça Machel told the closing moments of the summit. “The scale is much more than we have achieved.” The gathering of 120 world leaders – the first such meeting on climate change in five years – resulted in a day of impassioned speeches, including a cameo from the actor and UN ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio. (September 24, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2014 - For me at least, the People’s Climate March has changed everything because I used to look for Climate news, now I cannot keep up. The march has given the public a show of strength and solidarity on Climate Change and it must become the wedge from which to shove progress on a successful Paris 2015 Climate Conference: binding agreements. No wishy washy, ad hoc non-agreements.

  • 9/24/2014 - It’s heartening that NYT’s Revkin find results of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s summary of commitments heartening. Maybe the People’s Climate March, the public efforts to kick start the UN Climate Summit in New York, has indeed ‘changed everything’, even media coverage of Climate Change. U.N. Climate Summit Harvests a Host of Commitments It’s heartening to review the summary of governmental and private climate and energy commitments compiled by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of his daylong climate change summit. They range from a substantial new push to reduce and eventually eliminate forest loss to boosted investment in a planned clean-energy corridor in Africa. The difference between this summit and the meeting the secretary general convened in 2009 is enormous. The goal five years ago was to build momentum to “seal the deal” on a binding climate treaty — a fruitless task given the divisions among the world’s nations — while this conclave was centered on a more modest, but more concrete, achievement — “to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement [notice there's no mention of the word "binding"] in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.” (September 23, 2014 ) NYT Dot Earth [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2014 - The Big Ask: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s summary of what’s being asked to address Climate Change. 2014 Climate Change Summary – Chair’s Summary The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change. I asked leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to crystallize a global vision for low-carbon economic growth and to advance climate action on five fronts: cutting emissions; mobilizing money and markets; pricing carbon; strengthening resilience; and mobilizing new coalitions. An unprecedented number of world leaders attended the Summit, including 100 Heads of State and Government. They were joined by more than 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society. This Summary details their most significant announcements. (September 23, 2014) UN Headquarters New York [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2014 - The People’s Climate March and now on the road to the Paris Climate Conference in 2015 for the real deal. U.N. climate summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy A United Nations summit on climate change agreed on Tuesday to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit, hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030, improve food production and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030. The non-binding initiatives were set by various coalitions of governments, multinational companies, cities, financial groups, investors, environmental organizations and other groups. (September 23, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/23/2014 - Can’t find hardly anything on Rochester, NY media about People’s Climate March, so let’s ask Bill McKibben…  The People’s Climate March: An Interview with Bill McKibben On Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to join the People’s Climate March through midtown Manhattan; its Web site describes it as the “largest climate march in history.” In May, Bill McKibben wrote an article in Rolling Stone, “A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change,” which laid some of the groundwork for this weekend’s events. We spoke about the march with McKibben, one of its lead organizers, and a former New Yorker staff writer. According to the Los Angeles Times, anywhere between a hundred thousand and four hundred thousand people are expected to come to New York City for the People’s Climate March. Can you tell us about how you, and others, came up with the idea for a large demonstration and how you turned it into what it is now?  (September 20, 2014) The New Yorker [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/23/2014 -  Whoops! Wrong Rochester. I thought Rochester, NY media had mentioned hundreds of us going to the People’s Climate March.  For that you have to go here People’s Climate March/Western NY | Rochester environmentalists spread the message of action with Climate SummitAs tens of thousands of people invaded New York City Sunday to take part in the People's Climate March, members of the Rochester community banded together for their own mission to spread awareness on climate change. A local effort for a global cause mobilized in Central Park in support of an international day of rallies supporting ambition on climate change. "We just decided quickly to get something organized here in Rochester because we know there's a lot of good people here that feel the same way that we do," said march organizer Mary Idso of Rochester. (September 21, 2014) KTTC [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/23/2014 - Don’t forget scientists too like a march, especially one as critical as the People’s Climate March in getting the public’s attention. Science Shows Up in Force at People's Climate March Scientists who do not typically take a policy position make an exception for climate change The People's Climate March may end up being the biggest protest to urge action to restrain global warming yet. The march in New York City on September 21 is predicted to draw more than 100,000 people, which would top the tens of thousands who showed up in Copenhagen back in 2009. But how many scientists, whether they study climate change or not, will be there? (September 20, 2014) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/23/2014 - Though Rochester media avoided greatest climate march in history on Sunday, they did catch a little violence on Monday’s demonstration on Wall Street. 400,000 marching for attention on the greatest issue of our time gets little notice but the specter of some violence afterwards does seem to catch their notice. Demonstrators 'Flood' Wall Street with Environmental Message NEW YORK CITY -- At least two police officers unleashed pepper spray on demonstrators. We also watched one officer take a swing at a protester and dozens of people push and pull at barricades. The environmental activists tried to break through to get from Broadway onto Wall Street. "I got hit with a billy club so that really hurt. First time for that," one protester said. The woman from Manhattan said bruises heal and it's worth fighting against what she calls the biggest social injustice of our time. (September 23, 2014) Time Warner Cable News Rochester [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/23/2014 - People’s Climate March makes front-page news around the world but not in Rochester, NY. In fact, it is the dickens trying to find a local mention. People’s Climate March Makes Front-Page News When 400,000 people hit the streets, perhaps it isn't surprising that it makes headline news. And that's just what happened on Sunday when the People's Climate March shut down thoroughfares around New York as part of the largest climate action in history. The march drew a wide cross-section of society from public figures like Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio to labor and indigenous groups, scientists and activists and was timed to kick off a week of major climate events in New York. While the main event was in New York, more than a half a million people staged marches around the world from major urban hubs like London and Toronto to small island nations such as Kiribati, reflecting the organizer's tagline, "to change everything, we need everyone." The change in question is phasing out fossil fuels and moving the world to a clean energy economy while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. (September 22, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/22/2014 - In the immediate aftermath of the People’s Climate March it feels like the low roar that came down the long, long march after the moment of silence, then quickly increasing to an avalanche of a deafening call for humanity to pay attention to Climate Change.  

  • 9/22/2014 - Just awakening from People’s Climate March return. As Peter Debes, chair of Rochester Sierra Club, say’s “it's difficult to measure the potential impact of something like this.” Glad that our public airwaves has given the greatest climate march in history a local mention.  More to come: People’s Climate March/WesternNY | Rochester Area Residents Take Part in Climate March There were about 100 Rochester area residents marching in the People's Climate March in New York Sunday.  The event drew more than 300,000 people. One of the participants, Peter Debes, chair of the Rochester chapter of the Sierra Club, said it's difficult to measure the potential impact of something like this. (September 22, 2014) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/19/2014 - ACTION: Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey  and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "

  • 9/19/2014 - ACTION: Got short film abilities and want to message importance of our environment?  "Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT,  and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "

  • 9/19/2014 - If Climate Change is a moral issue (it is) and a practical issue, then we must morally aid those who did not cause warming, but will get nailed by it. The People’s Climate March coming up in a few days is an effort to wake up the world and its leaders to the moral obligation to make the Paris 2015 Climate Conference a success. The window of opportunity for binding agreements to lower greenhouse gases emissions and protect the most vulnerable that will actually work is quickly closing.  After that we’ll be scrambling to adapt to the warming for ourselves, and will probably have little to offer those nations begging for help.  Canary in a coal mine: Extreme weather, rising seas plague atoll nation Marshall Islands president issues a call to action ahead of international climate summit next week hosted by the UN As global leaders gear up to meet at next week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York, the president of a small Pacific island nation vulnerable to rising seas caused by global warming said the future of his people depends on creating a carbon-free world by 2050. “Out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, climate change has arrived,” Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak said in a video address to his fellow heads of state. “Our atoll nation stands at the front line in the battle against climate change.” In the video, Loeak stands in front of a sea wall he built to protect his home and family from rising seas which have already engulfed several of the nation’s atolls — making them disappear forever. (September 18, 2014) Aljazeera American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/19/2014 - Yikes! Looks like human population growth assumptions are off and there will be many more mouths to feed. How many other assumptions our ability to handle a warming world without planning have we got wrong? I guess if we continue business as usual, we’ll find out. Boom! Earth’s Population Could Hit 12 Billion by 2100 Earth is fast becoming a more crowded place — and it may become even more crowded than expected. According to a new projection of human population growth, there could very well be 12.3 billion people by century’s end, up to 2 billion more than some estimates. The number’s not written in stone, but it’s something to consider. Life’s already pretty complicated with 7.5 billion people confronting environmental problems, food insecurity and spotty public health. Are we ready for more? “A rapidly growing population with bring challenges, said statistician and sociologist Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington. “But I think these challenges can be met.” In a study published today in Science, Raftery and 13 other scientists analyzed new data provided by the United Nations on national trends in fertility, mortality, migration and age patterns. (September 18, 2014) Wired [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 9/19/2014 - Instead of racing to market microbial cocktails maybe we should take care of the soil we have. When treated nicely, soil is good at what it does. And soil does a lot more than help provide us with food. Why Tiny Microbes Mean Big Things for Farming The soil-dwelling bacteria that we walk on every day are working their way into technologies that could help feed the world. Friesen, a microbiologist, is on a hunt for a microbe thought to live in these strange, hot soils. The humble bacterium has an unusual ability that may help farmers grow more crops. More than a decade ago, German scientists described the elusive bacterium, known as Streptomyces thermoautotrophicus, which has a special knack for converting nitrogen from the air to a form that plants can use—even in the presence of oxygen, which normally poisons the bacterial enzyme that pumps out nitrogen. The process is called "fixing" nitrogen. (September 18, 2014) National Geographic [more on Food in our area]

  • 9/18/2014 - This local fight over waterways and the EPA is interesting in light of Climate Change. Who is best able to protect all our waters, locals or fed? Addressing Climate Change means addressing aspects of our life support system on a planetary scale and that is going to clash with our traditional way of viewing local environments, such as waterways. Trying to address Climate Change is likely to step on a lot of toes and be very inconvenient to many who think there is no such thing as Climate Change.  Gonna be very tough to address Climate Change if we are not all on same science page.  Reed bill aimed at blocking EPA water rules  The Ontario County Board of Supervisors' fight against definition changes to the Clean Water Act — which officials say would take away the local responsibility for area waterways — has received support in Congress. The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding the federal government's role and regulatory influence under the Clean Water Act. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are seeking a rule change to the act that would give the federal government more authority and control by expanding the definition of expandable waters. (September 18, 2014) Victor Post [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 9/18/2014 - Folks protesting about the threat Fracking poses to NYS health and environment couldn’t come to Cuomo’s party because they weren’t invited. Anti-fracking protesters demonstrate outside Cuomo fundraiser WEBSTER - About a dozen anti-fracking protesters tried to send a message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local democratic party leaders at a big-bucks fundraiser on Wednesday hosted by prominent area developer Wayne LeChase. But, party leaders didn't stop to talk, and protesters couldn't get by blazer-wearing event organizers and Webster police to attend the $5,000-to-$20,000-a-ticket fundraising event because they weren't on the guest list. LeChase and about 50 prominent business and labor leaders were expected to attend the event, which is estimated to have raised nearly $200,000 for Cuomo's re-election bid in November. (September 17, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 9/18/2014 - Soil, like leaves, are really really important to our life support system. How will soil fare in Climate Change? Check out this important study: Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming As we consider the entire scope  of the Climate Change issue, we should consider the vital environmental components we need to have intact as we move into a quickly warming planet. Soil, hitherto been given little consideration, should be paramount. Not just for food production for 9 billion people by 2050, but because soil breaks down and renews life. There are so many unknown unknowns about soil and human development and Climate Change that we should learn about soil and Climate Change.

  • 9/18/2014 - Making comment on open space in NYS and Climate Change, it’s no longer fun and games. This is critical ”…the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.” “Public comments can be submitted by email to LF.OpenSpacePlan@dec.ny.gov  or mailed to DEC by December 17 to: Open Space Conservation Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233” DEC and State Parks Release State Open Space Conservation Plan for Public Comment Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23. (September 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 

  • 9/18/2014 - If anything, a new climate study probably shows what we are actually seeing, a disruptive climate, means weather will be very hard to predict Polar vortex visits to U.S. linked to climate change WASHINGTON (AP) — Remember the polar vortex, the huge mass of Arctic air that can plunge much of the U.S. into the deep freeze? You might have to get used to it. A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of that cold air. Researchers say that's because of shrinking ice in the seas off Russia. Normally, the polar vortex is penned in the Arctic. But at times it escapes and wanders south, bringing with it a bit of Arctic super chill. (September 2, 2014) USA Today [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/18/2014 - This statement that deeply concerns Climate Change is not a fact, it is a stance: “Fossil fuels aren’t disappearing anytime soon …” Once we accept that no matter what cost to our lives and our life support system we will burn fossil fuels, we are screwed. It is possible to move to renewable energy quickly, farm so that soil captures carbon not releases it, and live sustainably. But many with money and power will not even entertain anything but an existence based on fossil fuels. Can Carbon Capture Technology Be Part of the Climate Solution? Some scientists and analysts are touting carbon capture and storage as a necessary tool for avoiding catastrophic climate change. But critics of the technology regard it as simply another way of perpetuating a reliance on fossil fuels. For more than 40 years, companies have been drilling for carbon dioxide in southwestern Colorado. Time and geology had conspired to trap an enormous bubble of CO2 that drillers tapped, and a pipeline was built to carry the greenhouse gas all the way to the oil fields of west Texas. When scoured with the CO2, these aged wells gush forth more oil, and much of the CO2 stays permanently trapped in its new home underneath Texas.  (September 8, 2014) Yale Environment 360 [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/17/2014 - I’ll be reading Klein’s “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” on bus to People’s Climate March.  Naomi Klein: Only a Reverse Shock Doctrine Can Save Our Climate In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,Naomi Klein argues that if we had taken action years ago when scientists first established that human activities were changing our climate, we might have been able to deal with the problem of global warming with only minimal disruption to our economic system. But as we approach a tipping point, and the consequences of climate change come into sharper focus, that time has passed, and we now have to acknowledge that preserving humans’ habitat requires a paradigm change. But Klein doesn’t just offer us a depressing litany of the damage we’ve already done. She calls on us to seriously rethink the way our economy is structured to address not only climate change, but also other longstanding social problems like persistent global poverty and rising inequality. (September 16, 2014) Moyers and Company [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/17/2014 - Powerful article about Rochester, NY local making climate a career. Should be an inspiration to all. Making climate a career  'Its not easy to talk about climate change. The fundamental premise sounds simple enough: decades of burning fossil fuels has unleashed vast amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, causing global warming. But start getting into details about shifting precipitation patterns or cutting carbon emissions and people tune out. A small percentage will even insist that climate change isn't a problem, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. Susan Spencer, a Rochester Institute of Technology Ph.D. student studying microsystems engineering, says she wants to talk to people about global warming. She says she wants them to understand that climate change is a serious problem and that workable solutions exist — solar energy, for example. For the past four years, Spencer has been researching ways to improve organic solar cells at the molecular level, and is defending the thesis she wrote on that work. (September 17, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper

  • 9/17/2014 - Wonder if Bear Lecture will include how bears in our region will adapt to Climate Change and what our efforts will be to help them. Learn the latest on the thriving black bear population in upstate New York A Cornell University master's student, Catherine Sun, will provide the latest on black bears in the region at a presentation, Sept. 19,  Black bears are thriving in upstate New York including in the counties of Ontario and neighboring communities. A Cornell University master’s student, Catherine Sun, will provide the latest on black bears in the region at a presentation, Sept. 19, at Alfred University. (September 16, 2014) Irondequoit Post [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 9/17/2014 - I know, I shouldn’t carp, we should be prostrate gratitude with every crumb thrown at our environment, but isn’t this too little too late? Scientists get federal grant for Great Lakes study A federal grant will enable University of Michigan scientists to study how climate change affects water quality and water levels in the Great Lakes. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan say the $321,448 grant was awarded by a research arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (September 16, 2014) petoskey news  [more on the Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/17/2014 - Get trained and Help monitor previously unmonitored tributaries to Lake Ontario Tues 9/23 & Thurs 9/24 8a-10:30a -WAVE Training (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) at Durand Eastman Park! - citizen scientists program sampling previously unmonitored tributaries to Lake Ontario. Also see Lake Ontario LAMP website www.lakeontarioforum.org   (see slide presentation, notes, interactive maps, calendar, etc.)

  • 9/17/2014 - One of the great unknowns in Climate Change is how soil will be affected and affect Climate Change. No soil, no life on Earth.  Before those who dismiss Climate Change as an issue, they might want to look over this report.Soils and Climate Change: Gas Fluxes and Soil Processes” Published in Soil Horizons (2012). Received 5 Apr. 2012

  • 9/17/2014 - The window for addressing Climate Change is closing quickly (“next 15 years were vital”) to prevent catastrophic change. The Paris 2015 Climate Conference must work. Slowing climate change makes economic sense; cities to lead-study (Reuters) - Investments to help fight climate change can also spur economic growth, rather than slow it as widely feared, but time is running short for a trillion-dollar shift to transform cities and energy use, an international report said on Tuesday.     The study, by former heads of government, business leaders, economists and other experts, said the next 15 years were critical for a bigger shift to clean energies from fossil fuels to combat global warming and cut health bills from pollution. "It is possible to tackle climate change and it is possible to have economic growth at the same time," Felipe Calderon, a former Mexican president and head of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, told a news conference. (September 16, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/16/2014 - I know, even the thought of doing without cars in Rochester gives most the screaming heebee-jeebees, but think of Climate Change and low cost. We don’t have to be a parasitic scourge on planet Earth, we can be live sustainably if we want.  Just saying… Goodbye to cars: Why we should take a good look at Finland's phone-based mobility system Helsinki is experimenting with a plan to match people with rides, making cars unnecessary.  Our mobility future may end up looking something like what they’re working on in transit-friendly Finland, which imagines it can retire the private car in a decade. Even more, it plans a radical transformation of its public transit system that could make traditional light rail and bus systems obsolete.   I was in Helsinki in 2010, and it seemed as auto-centric as any other European capital (meaning, lots of cars but much more centered on biking and transit). But the concept of ride sharing, and innovators like Uber and Lyft, obviously hit hard in Finland. The Finns practically invented the cellphone with Nokia, and I remember it seeming unusual that average folks used them for practically everything four years ago. (September 15, 2014) Mother Nature Network [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 9/16/2014 - Here’s what your Rochester, NY area media hasn’t been telling you: While we had a cool August, it was the warmest ever. With Climate Change, while consequences won’t be spread out evenly at first, the repercussions of this worldwide crisis will be experienced everywhere. Our local media is blinding us Rochesterians from the magnitude and impact of Climate Change.  If you think Rochester is going to remain untouched as the rest of the planet burns, you’re delusional. NASA Ranks This August as Warmest on Record While this summer may have felt like fall across much of the eastern half of the U.S., worldwide the overall picture was a warm one. This August was the warmest August on record globally, according to newly released NASA temperature data, while the summer tied for the fourth warmest. Central Europe, northern Africa, parts of South America, and the western portions of North America (including Alaska) were just some of the spots on the globe that saw much higher than normal temperatures for the month. Large parts of the oceans were also running unusually warm. (September 15, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 9/16/2014 - Local Fracking study includes: Water Quality and Quantity, Air Emissions, Quality of Life and Economic Issues, Public Health and Health Care, Vulnerable Populations Communities Contemplating Fracking Grapple with Long List of Concerns A new report has examined the host of potential health-related issues that communities in areas of the country suitable for natural gas extraction may face. The goal of the study was to determine how future research can best address communities’ health questions and inform their decision-making. “We hope that this assessment will help create a framework that provides for ongoing community engagement in research on the potential health, environmental, and economic impacts of natural gas extraction,” said Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core and lead author of the study. “While this study is just a first step, it clearly indicates that the communities in areas that are considering hydraulic fracturing have many questions and environmental health research priorities – and that these priorities may differ from those of technical experts and government agencies.” (September 15, 2014) University of Rochester Medical Center [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 9/16/2014 - Not only will Climate Change make toxic algae problem in our lakes worse, warmer and heavier and more frequent Climate Change extremes will ensure that they proliferate. Toxic Algae Problem Likely To Get Worse Before It Gets Better The issue of blue-green algae in lakes took the spotlight in August after the Ohio city of Toledo banned its drinking water for two days. Toledo could be a wake-up call for people around Lake Erie. BIHN: It's multijurisdictional, and that's why I say the federal government needs to step up. WALLACE: And there's something else that crosses lines - climate change. More intense rains made runoff harder to avoid, and warmer waters stimulate more algae growth. Last week a group of scientists took Ohio's Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown out on a boat - a pontoon boat to look at the algae. The water's choppy and blue, but the green goo is still there below the surface. A water sample comes out. (September 15, 2014) NPR [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/16/2014 - Actually, it must be possible to tackle Climate Change and it could have economic growth if we changed the playing field. I think most already know this; they’re just waiting around to hope the 1% to allow it to happen.  And it won’t happen, our present economy won’t refit itself for economic growth while tackling Climate Change unless the public demands it. Slowing climate change makes economic sense; cities to lead-study Investments to help fight climate change can also spur economic growth, rather than slow it as widely feared, but time is running short for a trillion-dollar shift to transform cities and energy use, an international report said on Tuesday.     The study, by former heads of government, business leaders, economists and other experts, said the next 15 years were critical for a bigger shift to clean energies from fossil fuels to combat global warming and cut health bills from pollution. "It is possible to tackle climate change and it is possible to have economic growth at the same time," Felipe Calderon, a former Mexican president and head of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, told a news conference. (September 16, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/15/2014 - OK, so it looks like we’ve gotten to the point where your choice is Drinking Water or Fracking. Humans, ya gotta laugh. We could have gone full throttle on renewable energy (Wind and Solar) but instead we’ve allowed ourselves to be bullied by the fossil fuel industry and so now our choices are narrowing and narrowing and soon we’ll be lucky just to adapt. Fracking or Drinking Water? That May Become the Choice Fracking for oil and natural gas—or having enough water to drink. That's the possible dilemma facing a number of countries including the United States, according to a new report released by the World Resources Institute last week—though experts disagree on the real implications of the report and what should be done about it. Forty percent of countries with shale-rich deposits—the types where hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is used to extract natural gas and oil—face water scarcity in and around the shale deposits, according to the WRI report. (September 12, 2014) NBC News [more on Fracking and Water Quality in our area]

  • 9/15/2014 - Maybe hydroelectric dams outweigh the benefits that this form of renewable energy produces—at least in the tropic and maybe beyond… Drowned Tropical Forests Exacerbate Climate Change Methane emissions from big hydroelectric dams in the tropics outweigh the benefits that this form of renewable energy provides, according to new scientific data LONDON − Big dams built in the tropics to produce hydroelectricity have long been highly controversial − and data gathered in Laos by a French team studying methane emissions confirms that dams can add to global warming, not reduce it. In many rocky regions low on vegetation and population, such as in Iceland and other northern mountainous regions, the production of electricity from hydropower is clearly a net gain in the battle against climate change. (September 11, 2014) Scientific American [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/15/2014 - Climate Change and food and changing growing conditions with 9b souls to feed by 2050—it gets complicated. Food insecurity to intensify for countries hardest hit by climate change  As climate change impacts compound across the globe, recent reports reveal that food insecurity will be one of the leading threats to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Agriculture industries in Africa will continue to struggle with failing crops as smallholder farmers will be overwhelmed by the quick-paced changes imposed by climate change, according to the 2014 African Agriculture status report. (September 5, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/15/2014 - Which brings us to the question, what is the NYS DEC doing about helping wildlife adapt to Climate Change in New York? Climate Change Threatens Half of North America’s Birds Half of North America’s bird species, from common backyard visitors like the Baltimore oriole and the rufous hummingbird to wilderness dwellers like the common loon and bald eagle, are under threat from climate change and many could go extinct, an exhaustive new study has found. Seven years of research found climate change the biggest threat to North America’s bird species. Some 314 species face dramatic declines in population, if present trends continue, with warming temperatures pushing the birds out of their traditional ranges. Ten states and Washington, D.C. could lose their state birds. “It is hard to imagine that we are not going to lose some of these birds permanently,” said Gary Langham, chief scientist for the Audubon Society and leader of the study. (September 13, 2014) Climate Central [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/13/2014 - I wonder how the purchase of the Buffalo Bills by a Fracker will affect Fracking in New York State.  What do sports and media and politics and environment and energy and Climate Change have to do with each other? Be afraid, be very afraidSome perspective on Pegula’s purchase of Bills Then there is the way in which Pegula made the fortune that allowed him to drop more than $1 billion to buy the Bills. I took a hard look at his track record as a hydrofracker in 2011 when I was with The News. I reported Pegula “contributed heavily to politicians in a position to advance his business interests and established a less-than-stellar track record in the environmentally dicey business of drilling for natural gas.” In other words, Terry Pegula has polluted the political system with his money and the earth with his hydrofracking. (September 11, 2014) Investigate Post [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 9/13/2014 - Of course, the impacts of toxic and non-toxic discharges from industrial and municipal sources, storm sewers, and urban runoff will increase with Climate Change in our area. As you check out this study, think Climate Change in our area: The Impact of Rochester Storm Sewers on the Water Quality of the Lower Genesee River: A Modeling Approach Using PCSWMM "The lower Genesee River suffers from beneficial use impairments from the mouth of the river at Lake Ontario to the New York State Barge Canal due to industrial and municipal sources, storm sewers, and urban runoff. In urban areas, nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff is known to be a dominant factor in water quality. An assessment of the lower Genesee River was initiated to determine impacts from the canal, storm sewers, combined sewer overflows, and a wastewater treatment plant. " (September 2014) Dressel, Lindsay, "The Impact of Rochester Storm Sewers on the Water Quality of the Lower Genesee River: A Modeling Approach Using PCSWMM" (2014). Environmental Science and Biology Theses. Paper 89.

  • 9/13/2014 - All of us “will miss a huge opportunity to create jobs and protect the environment if it doesn’t embrace building wind farms in the Great Lakes…” and one of the major reasons we will miss this opportunity is because we continue to embrace fossil fuels, thinking low cost business as usual will make everything better.  It won’t. Only a major shift in the way we produce and use energy will mitigate (stop) greenhouse gas emissions and help us to adapt (adapt) to a sustainable future. Environmental group calling for construction of 'far-offshore wind farms in Ontario Ontario will miss a huge opportunity to create jobs and protect the environment if it doesn’t embrace building wind farms in the Great Lakes, an environmental group is arguing. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is calling for construction of “far-offshore” wind farms that will be out of sight and out of hearing distance of the mainland. The group, which represents 6,000 doctors and members of the public, estimates offshore wind farms would generate a minimum of $10 billion of investment from the private sector. Gideon Forman, the group’s executive director, said the U.S. is looking seriously at offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes. “It would be a shame to let that technology-driven leadership opportunity pass Ontarians by,” Forman said. (September 11, 2014) IfPress.com [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 9/13/2014 - Have the trifecta of Climate Change, unchecked human population growth, and the overuse of pesticides/ antibiotics endangered humanity? Ehrlich: Ebola, population and evolution whip up a wicked recipe for disaster The 1918 influenza pandemic infected one-fifth of the world's population. On an increasingly hot, overcrowded planet, could Ebola be our next global scourge?  Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich calls for a holistic defense. We have a problem with "emergent" diseases, ones that are becoming potentially serious to a larger and more vulnerable human population. Ebola and Marburg viruses, because of their high death rates, could become this generation's version of the flu pandemic that swept the globe at the end of World War I. If it does, we have only to blame ourselves: Our degraded environment, our unchecked population growth, our nonchalance at global poverty, hunger and disease and our jet-setting ways. The filoviruses are native to Africa and commonly infect non-human primates (don't eat chimpanzee meat) and some bats, which may be the main natural reservoir. The favorable conditions for transfer are directly related to human population size. The more people who come into contact with animal reservoirs and the more people who need "bushmeat," the higher the odds of a virus transferring into people. (September 12, 2014) The Daily Climate [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/13/2014 - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the People’s Climate March has your back! Even Western, NY will be there. Stakes Higher Than Ever, Climate Summit Aims to Be Turning Point for Global Action There are ample grounds for pessimism and opponents of action, but the urgency of keeping warming within 2 degrees Celsius is greater than ever. A United Nations chief dismayed at the lack of resolve toward the climate crisis; a daunting deadline for negotiating a new treaty; 125 or so heads of state; a sprawling agenda of fossil fuels, food, forestry and finance; a train of think tanks hauling gigabytes of green data; countless teach-ins, press conferences, art shows—plus tens or even hundreds of thousands of activists marching through midtown Manhattan, demanding action now. Are these Climate Week events the makings of a turning point in the world's effort to escape the risks of climate change, or a formula for futility?  (September 12, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/12/2014 - Interesting messaging about Harmful algae blooms: we are more interested in connecting the dots of HAB to dogs than Climate Change. Pandering to the public’s infatuation with pets seems far more lucrative to the press than warning the public how Climate Change probably already is and will be a major factor in more HAB’s. The media, and even studies, sense that the public doesn’t want to hear about Climate Change, but anything on pets is OK—even though the lack of planning for Climate Change, including more HAB’s will threaten us and our pets. More on EPA and Harmful Algae outbreaks: Impacts of Climate Change on the Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms | Dog poisoning up from algae toxins statewide Harmful algae blooms that are becoming more common in waterways statewide are the subject of a new brochure to alert dog owners. Harmful algae blooms that are becoming more common in waterways statewide are the subject of a new brochure to alert dog owners. The New York Sea Grant brochure alerts pet owners of potentially lethal toxins in New York waters. Harmful algal blooms (HABs), especially in the state's freshwater, are overgrowths of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that cause water quality problems in lakes and ponds, including the occasional production of potent toxins. These toxins can poison people, household pets, waterfowl and livestock, according to a release. Because HABs are increasing in many areas, the number of dog poisonings from cyanobacterial toxins is also on the rise. To keep canine companions safe around local waterways, the brochure provides pet owners a safety checklist of symptoms of HABs poisoning and steps that can be taken if a dog is exposed to HABs. (September 11, 2014) Fairport - East Rochester Post [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 9/12/2014 - Actually, we aren’t restoring habitats for our wildlife as much as we are putting our life support system back together. The media keeps characterizing attempts to restore wetlands and water quality as a gift we are giving to those other creatures that inhabit this planet. A kind of sop for all those creatures we’ve mistreated for so long. This may in part be true, but foremost is that these ‘wildlife habitats’ are crucial element of our environment, our life support system, that we need to fix for our own survival—however much importance we might give to wildlife. This is important because not everyone cares about wildlife and their habitat (though they should) but because everyone (even those who think our environment is a special interest needs to understand the need to keep critical ‘services’ that our environment provides us. Feds provide $7.9M for Great Lakes habitat work A state and local partnership will receive nearly $7.9 million from the federal government to restore wildlife habitat in the Great Lakes region. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan say the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide the funding. (September 11, 2014) Detroit Free Press [more on Great Lakes in our area]   

  • 9/12/2014 - And many folks (many not activists, but people) from Rochester, NY will be coming to the People’s Climate March too. For more info on that go to The People’s Climate March Western New York Hub. Activists Plan NYC Climate March Before UN Summit Labor unions and environmental groups said Wednesday they expect a huge turnout for a New York City march to draw attention to climate change taking place two days before a United Nations summit on the issue. Organizers of the New York event, called the People's Climate March, said similar actions will take place Sept. 21 in other cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Lagos, Nigeria. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited heads of state to a Sept. 23 climate change summit in New York. President Barack Obama is expected to attend. City Councilman Donovan Richards said at a rally to publicize the march that he expects many people from around the country "will descend on New York City streets to let our leaders know that we can no longer turn a blind eye to this crisis." (September 10, 2014) ABC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/12/2014 - The full version of the Rochester People’s Climate March Coalition press conference that the local media missed. What we achieved on the September 9th press conference in front of Rochester City Hall was historic—the coming together of many, many local diverse organizations speaking with one voice on Climate Change. This has never occurred before in our region. I’ve been working at local environmental advocacy since 1985. And, yeah, it was a drag that only one media outlet showed up and when they did, they only grabbed a fraction of the press release. We can take advantage of this dreary response by local mainstream media. We become the media. Please see this press conference as a major opportunity to change everything in the Rochester area on Climate Change. We tend to measure our success in messaging the pubic in terms of small conferences and events. When we get any mention by the press, we think we have done our job. The measure of our success in messaging Climate Change should not be the amount of traditional press coverage we may or may not get. In order to address the magnitude of Climate Change we must get our message out to all the public. Over 700,000 people live in Monroe County, more than the state of Vermont. Our press conference was videotaped and is now available on our hub site Press Conference. There are 9 segments. I did not get all of our speakers as I ran out of camera memory. It’s just an itsy bitsy camera. Please distribute the press release web address to everyone on your distribution lists, your websites, and when you talk to the media. We cannot depend on historical media to message Climate Change, an issue they’ve completely failed us on. There’s a reason why so many in the public still deny Climate Change science and how it will affect our region and how our leaders must respond to it. So we have to become the media. You all have spoken eloquently and put much effort and concern into your statements. Please don’t let this evaporate; this chance will not come again any time soon. Please get this press conference web page out to the world.

  • 9/12/2014 - And some climate studies suggest that our response to more crop pests due to Climate Change will be to use more pesticides. Using more and more pesticides to adapt to the consequences of using more and more fossil fuels is crazy. Pesticides a concern for aquatic life in most U.S. urban streams : study The proportion of urban streams in the United States with potentially worrisome levels of pesticides for aquatic life has surged to 90 percent, a two-decade government study said on Thursday. Some of the more than 500 million pounds (220 million kg) of pesticides used yearly in the United States are concentrated at levels that pose a concern for fish and water-dwelling insects, the U.S. Geological Survey report on pesticides from 1992 to 2011 said. The levels seldom topped human health standards. "We're at the stage of saying, 'OK, these (levels) compared to a benchmark indicate more evaluation need to be done,'" said Wesley Stone, a Geological Survey hydrologist and the study's lead author. Ninety percent of urban streams had one or more pesticides exceeding an Environmental Protection Agency aquatic-life standard from 2002 to 2011. The proportion was 53 percent in the 1992-2001 decade. (September 11, 2014) Reuters [more on Pesticides in our area]  

  • 9/10/2014 - Are these so-called experts who think it’s OK to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron going to be held accountable?  Or, as the idiots who lied us into the Iraq War, that has totally screwed up millions of lives and disrupted an entire section of the world, going to be invited to mainstream media after an ‘incident’ occurs and crow over what a great idea poising the Great Lake with nuclear waste was? Plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron safe, experts say An independent expert group has dismissed fears that Ontario Power Generation’s plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron would threaten the Great Lakes, despite warnings from another scientist that the proposed site would have the potential for calamity. Facing opposition from some local residents, the provincial Crown corporation will appear before a federal review panel in Kincardine, Ont., this week for final hearings on its plan to bury up to 20,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the bottom of a deep shaft at the Bruce nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Huron. (September 8, 2014) Globe and Mail [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/10/2014 - One of the most bizarre things about Climate Change is what we know is happening and how little we are doing about it.  U.N. Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase In 30 Years: ‘We Are Running Out Of Time’ More carbon dioxide was emitted into our atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 than in any other year since 1984, putting humans on the fast track toward irreversible global warming, the United Nation’s weather agency said in a report released Tuesday. The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that the increase of atmospheric CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million (ppm), the largest year-to-year increase in 30 years. Because of that growth, the average amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396 ppm — just 9 ppm away from an average level some scientists believe could cause enough sea level rise, drought, and severe weather to significantly harm human populations across the globe. “The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years,” WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud said in a statement. “We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board. We are running out of time.” (September 9, 2014) Climate Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/10/2014 - The bad news is that greenhouse gases are on the rise; the bad news is we ain’t doing much about it, and the bad news is folks are already talking about probable failure of Paris Climate talk in 2015. Humans, ya gotta laugh.   Another Year, Another Record High for Greenhouse Gases The numbers are in and in case there was any doubt, 2013 was another recordsetting year for greenhouse gases. The atmosphere is home to more warming gases than at any other point since industrialization. And carbon dioxide, the main culprit, is causing oceans to acidify at a rate unseen in at least 300 million years. The news comes courtesy of the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, released Tuesday. The report tracks carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases at dozens of monitoring stations around the world and provides a snapshot of how humans are changing the planet. (September 9, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/10/2014 - Local news clip of press conference of Rochester People's Climate Coalition on why getting Rochesterians to the People’s Climate March was so importantRochesterians Prepare for Climate March in NYC A group of Rochesterians are headed to the Big Apple to take part in a historic march.  The Rochester "People's Climate Coalition" is organizing a trip to send about 200 people to the "People''s Climate March" in New York City on September 21st.      The coalition is made up of several local organizations and agree that climate change and carbon emission reduction are two of the most serious issues facing us today.  "Locally we want to raise awareness about the concern our community feels about climate change. and the speed with which organizations have come together and the number of people who are going down to the march speaks to the concern that does exist here in Rochester addressing climate change," said Sue Smith of the Rochester People's Climate Coalition.  (September 9, 2014) RochesterHomePage.net [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/09/2014 - Who in their right mind would not want proper product labeling that is safer for people and the environment? EPA Seeks Feedback from the Public on Proposed Label Options for Safer Products  The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is redesigning its Design for the Environment Safer Product Label to better convey to consumers that products bearing the label meet the program’s rigorous standard to be safer for people and the environment. “We want consumers to be able to easily find safer products that work well,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The agency wants to hear from the American people on which designs will help people identify household cleaning and other products that are safer for families and the environment.” The redesigned label is intended to help consumers, businesses and institutional buyers recognize products that have earned the EPA Safer Product Label. All ingredients in products that earn the logo have undergone a thorough evaluation to ensure they meet high standards for safety and performance. When people use these products, they are protecting their families and the environment by making safer chemical choices. (September 9, 2014) EPA

  • 9/09/2014 - Fracking is NOT a bridge fuel to help us adapt to and mitigate Climate Change; Fracking is a siren song for no future. McKibben to Obama: Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal If you’re a politician, science is a bitch; it resists spin. And a new set of studies—about, of all things, a simple molecule known as CH4—show that President Obama’s climate change strategy is starting to unravel even as it’s being knit. To be specific: most of the administration’s theoretical gains in the fight againstglobal warming have come from substituting natural gas for coal. But it looks now as if that doesn’t really help. In a very real sense it’s not entirely the president’s fault. When Obama took office in 2008 he decided to deal with health care before climate change, in essence tackling the biggest remaining problem of the 20th century before teeing up the biggest challenge of the 21st. His team told environmentalists that they wouldn’t be talking about global warming, focusing instead on “green jobs.” Obama did seize the opportunity offered by the auto industry bailout to demand higher mileage standards—a useful move, but one that will pay off slowly over the decades. Other than that, faced with a hostile Congress, he spent no political capital on climate. (September 8, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Fracking in our area]  

  • 9/09/2014 - Battery and energy storage are critical for making renewable energy (wind and solar) viable; Rochester, NY may be a leader. Battery and energy storage conference set for Wednesday A battery and energy storage conference and expo is scheduled for Wednesday at the Kodak Center for Performing Arts in Rochester, with Mark Johnson of the U.S. Department of Energy as the guest speaker. The event, presented by the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Johnson is the director of advanced manufacturing for the Department of Energy. (September 8, 2014) Rochester Business Journal [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/09/2014 - Rochester, NY folks getting up very early to bus to People’s Climate March and it’ll be worth it.  Don’t get left out of the greatest climate march in history, where we demand our leaders take action on Climate Change. Go here for more info and bus tickets if you live in western New York.   Rochester group to join climate march Early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 21 — very early — people will filter into a parking lot in Pittsford and board a bus. Their intended destination? A future that's a little less overheated than it otherwise would be. The Sept. 21 bus-riders from the Rochester area, and others who will travel by train and car, will be among several hundred thousand people expected to descend on New York City that afternoon for an event known as the People's Climate March. Participants hope to focus attention on the need for the United States and other countries act more aggressively to reduce emission of the greenhouse gases that are altering the Earth's climate. The protest march is timed to bring pressure on international leaders attending a climate summit two days later at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. More than 100 people from the Rochester area are expected to join in. (September 8, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/08/2014 - We solve the Canada Geese problem, and all wildlife issues, by learning to live with them and prepare them for Climate Change.  If you only focus on geese poop, you’re not getting this profound issue we have when we treat most wildlife as an externality to our lives, even though they helped create and maintain our life support system.  And now all wildlife will have to adapt far more quickly than they ever have to a rapidly changing climate. Our notions of wildlife needs to adopt to the real world, or we will have to run our life support system, as system that is million, in some places billions, of year old, a job we haven’t a clue how to do. What to Do About Canada Geese The Canada geese population in New York is currently estimated at up to 250,000 birds. That creates a lot of problems. "I’ve seen people driving cars on the thruway with a flock of geese trying to move across the highway. This can cause problems. As well as, they can foul ponds. You've got a lot of birds that are roosting on small ponds and defecating in them," said Ronald Geigerich from the ESF Roosevelt Wildlife Station. Not to mention the very dangerous conditions a flock of geese can cause at airports. So what is being done about it? (September 8, 2014) Time Warner Cable News Rochester [more on Geese Problem in our area]

  • 9/08, 2014 - Here’s one of the many very inconvenient truths about Climate Change we don’t want to face: What we eat matters.  Of course, there are many other things we do, have children, drive cars, build houses, play games, treat diseases, you-name-it and because Climate Change is the mother of all problems, what you do matters.  How did things get this way?  We ignored the above statements for one reason or another. What's on your plate? Climate change and diet What you eat can have a big impact on the climate. But lowering your carbon footprint might mean giving up some all-American favorite foods like hamburgers. As Kara Holsopple of The Allegheny Front reports, the place where climate change science and food culture meet is on your plate. Len Frenkel only has a minute to talk because he's rushing between presentations at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus. The North American Vegetarian Society has their annual gathering here. Frenkel’s traveled from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He’s not just a vegetarian, he's vegan. That means he doesn’t eat meat or butter or anything made from animals. He started for animal welfare and health reasons. But now, climate change weighs heavily on Frenkel’s mind. "Our personal health doesn’t mean squat with the future looking so terrible for life on the planet," he says. Most people at this vegetarian festival are like Frenkel. They seem to want to go even further with their diets, often for environmental reasons. Take animal advocate Lee Hall, for example. She just graduated with an environmental law degree, with a focus on climate change. (September 3, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Food and Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/08/2014 - Why are we having the biggest climate march in history? Because business as usual is threatening our future. World Falls Behind in Efforts to Tackle Climate Change: Report The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C, according to the sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report LONDON (Reuters) - The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions needed to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees this century, a report published on Monday showed. The sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report from professional services firm PwC looked at the progress of major developed and emerging economies toward reducing their carbon intensity, or emissions per unit of gross domestic product. "The gap between what we are achieving and what we need to do is growing wider every year," PwC's Jonathan Grant said. He said governments were increasingly detached from reality in addressing the 2 degree goal. "Current pledges really put us on track for 3 degrees. This is a long way from what governments are talking about." (September 7, 2014) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/08/2014 - Question: How do you move an entire forest in time to adapt to Climate Change? Ans: Better find out and act quickly. Critical to understanding the Climate Change crisis is the speed at which it is happening—many, many times faster than the plants and animals that have evolved can adapt. There are ideas about how to help our fellow species adapt to what we have unleashed but they are going to need our full support and now. Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks? During the last two springs, contract planters for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have spread out through the pine, spruce and aspen forest of northeastern Minnesota. Wielding steel hoedads, they have planted almost 110,000 tree seedlings on public land. What’s noteworthy about planting trees in a forest? Usually foresters plant seedlings grown from seeds harvested nearby, on the assumption that local genotypes are best suited to local conditions. But these TNC workers were planting red and bur oak (which are uncommon in northern Minnesota) from seed sources more than 200 miles to the southwest, and white pine from as far away as the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, 400 miles to the southeast. (September 7, 2014) Climate Central [more on Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/08/2014 - More and more media are talking about biggest climate march in history #climatemarch, how about your local media? Demand coverage!  This all matter because ultimately if our local press doesn’t cover Climate Change and its consequences, we’ll be missing the chance to adapt to Climate Change.  Just as the NYS AG’s new report state’s “In recent years, there has been a steep increase in the number of powerful deluges. Extreme rainstorms, and the disastrous floods and soil erosion that result, are wreaking havoc in places that rarely had to contend with these damaging meteorological events” Current & Future Trends in Extreme Rainfall Across New York State  | Activists promise biggest climate march in history People’s Climate March in New York and cities worldwide hopes to put pressure on heads of state at Ban Ki-moon summit Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of New York, London and eight other cities worldwide in a fortnight to pressure world leaders to take action on global warming, in what organisers claim will be the biggest climate march in history. On 23 September, heads of state will join a New York summit on climate change organised by Ban Ki-moon, the first time world leaders have come together on the issue since the landmark Copenhagen summit in 2009, which was seen as a failure. The UN secretary general hopes the meeting will inject momentum into efforts to reach a global deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015, at a conference in Paris. (September 8, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/08/2014 - Come to Climate Week in NY, including People’s Climate March; you won’t be bored.  To get there from Rochester go here. | Climate Week NYC: 10 Top Places to Be Infographic shows key events and locations of this year's Climate Week in New York City, including the route of the 'largest climate march in history.' On Sunday, Sept. 21, demonstrators from more than 1,000 organizations representing millions of people plan to demand that world leaders take action against global warming. The People's Climate March through midtown Manhattan will be the "largest climate march in history," according to its organizers. And it will kick off the sixth annual Climate Week NYC—with about 80 events focused on climate change such as high-level meetings, conferences, lectures and debates. A United Nations summit in New York City will also take place during Climate Week, which will help lay the groundwork for climate-change treaty talks next year in Paris. (September 8, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/06/2014 - There will be two local showings of “Disruption” in the Rochester, NY region: WED, SEPT. 17 AT 2:00 PM AND 7:00 PM,IN PARISH LIVING ROOM AT CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION, 20 EAST AVE, FAIRPORT, NY 14450. More info here:  9/17 “DISRUPTION”: A NEW MOVIE FOR THE MOVEMENT | World Premiere of “Disruption,” New Climate Documentary with Van Jones, Chris Hayes, Naomi Klein, and More Premiering online and in NYC this Sunday night, “Disruption” Spotlights Growing Costs of Inaction, Spurring People to the Streets and Raising Stakes for UN Climate Summit Showtime in NYC: Sunday, September 7, 7:00 – 9:00 PM John L. Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue, University Center, Room U100, New York, NY SEPTEMBER 7, NEW YORK CITY: Disruption, a new documentary film premiering this weekend, and featuring some of the environmental movement’s top leaders, calls for a new strategy to address the climate crisis: a public movement and uprising that forces world leaders to replace rhetoric with action. The world premiere of the film sets the stage for a historic groundswell of climate events in New York City at month’s end, including the People’s Climate March on September 21 and the UN Climate Summit on September 23 featuring President Obama and other world leaders. Disruption seeks to answer a fundamental question: When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much? The movie lays bare the science, the broken political process, the industry special interests and the civic disengagement that have brought us to this crossroads. (September 4, 2014) 350.0rg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/06/2014 - Exceptional report by NYS AG connecting the dots between NY’s heavy rainfall, Climate Change, and the need to adapt. What is not exception about this report: it states what Climate Change studies have been saying about how Climate Change is already affecting us—and what needs to be done.  What is exception is that an office as important as the New York State Attorney General says that it agrees with the climate studies.  What is even more exceptional is that only a few media (like Rochester City Newspaper) have even mentioned the AG’s press release and the posted the study:  “Current And Future Trends In Extreme Rainfall Across New York State”.  Although only a few of our state (or anywhere else for that matter) leaders have stepped up to the plate and described to the media (and thus the public) exactly what is a stake in New York State as Climate Change gets worse, none of our leaders—mayors, environmental authorities, county executives, and have the luxury of climate denial. Our leaders are the ones that are obligated to inform the public of clean and present dangers and do something about it. We are long past the time for comprehensive Climate Change messaging throughout our state in the media about the kinds of changes we should expect and the level of adaptation we will have to marshal to accomplish that. Climate Change is not a special interest issues, it is an issue special to all of us—even those who don’t believe in science. A.G. Schneiderman Issues Report Highlighting Need To Tackle Climate Change At State Level, Details Work Of Environmental Protection Bureau Report Shows Need For Improved Resiliency Planning, Concerted Effort To Tackle Climate Change Schneiderman: While Our Leaders In Washington Have Failed To Act, We Have Chosen To Take Action At The State Level To Protect Our Homes, Communities And Environment NEW YORK – In remarks delivered during a forum titled “Beyond Gridlock: State Leadership on Energy and Environmental Issues” at Pace University School of Law, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today released a report that, for the first time, details the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events across New York State and outlined the unique approach his office has taken on environmental issues in the last 3 ½ years.  The report, “Current And Future Trends In Extreme Rainfall Across New York State,” highlights this disturbing weather trend in recent years in virtually every part of the state, including Long Island, the Southern Tier, the Capital Region, the North Country and Western New York.    According to data from a recent United States National Climate Assessment, there have been dramatic increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme rain storms across New York. Just last month, a record 13.57 inches of rain fell in a single microburst in Islip – an amount equal to an entire summer’s worth of rain for Long Island – causing massive damage and disruptions in the area. (September 3, 2014) New York State Attorney General [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 9/05/2014 - If you don’t get your butt to the People’s Climate March and back your leaders’ substantial actions on Climate Change, you can kiss it Goodbye.  Look, for those who pour scorn on the Peoples Climate March as being some desperate symbolic measure by some frustrated liberals to change the world, let them be accountable for less than a great outpouring of humanity to demand that greenhouse gases be lowered, and done so fairly. If, after you have gotten out of your chair and from behind you beer, and joined with hundreds of thousands at the People’s Climate March in New York City, then you can carp with righteous self-importance about how you knew humanity was incapable of rising to the occasion.  Back six years ago, many, many in New York State though Fracking was inevitable and Governor Patterson’s Fracking moratorium would quickly dissolve.  But folks from all over the state, including the heroic work of R-Cause in Rochester, has stopped that Fracking nonsense—at least for the time being.  Be at the People’s Climate March, and please no excuses. New York climate summit is a chance to push for long-term climate neutrality A meeting of heads of state with Ban Ki-moon is an opportunity to look at how we get greenhouse gas emissions to zero This month, the UN secretary general will host a major climate summit: it is a moment in time for heads of state, cities, organisations, and companies to announce bold new initiatives to address climate change in the short to medium term. It is also a moment for an ambitious, scientifically credible and clear vision on where the world needs to aim over the long haul. Bold initiatives are certainly needed now to slow the growth of emissions before 2020, peak global emissions shortly thereafter and rapidly put in place policies capable of delivering clean and resilient development. Yet, like a young person planning their career, a mayor looking at future demographics or a corporation evolving a business strategy, there also needs to be a long term view of where we want to be fifty years or so down the road. (September 4, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]    

  • 9/05/2014 - Critical investigation by Reuters: To understand how climate denial threatens our ability to adapt to Climate Change read “Water’s Edge” For all the raging against the inconvenience, against the climate science, against politics, and against ideologies, the rising seas near our most populated regions are relentless.  We are going to have to understand the role of government and insurance and private property and a whole lot more in this world of warming.  We cannot get away with the usual excuses because Climate Change only understands that when more greenhouse gases are put into our atmosphere, more of the Sun’s heat gets trapped. Of course, this has been true for several billion years, but now we are here and his warming is occurring ten times faster than any time in the epoch we thrived, the Holocene, and accelerated even faster in the last several decades.  This is to say most plants and animals (instrumental for our life support system) probably cannot adapt with quickly enough and this heat increase is probably too fast for a human population that is now 7 billion and will be 9 billion by 2050. This Reuters story proves we don’t get Climate Change yet: As the seas rise, a slow-motion disaster gnaws at America’s shores Part 1: A Reuters analysis finds that flooding is increasing along much of the nation’s coastline, forcing many communities into costly, controversial struggles with a relentless foe. WALLOPS ISLAND, Virginia – Missions flown from the NASA base here have documented some of the most dramatic evidence of a warming planet over the past 20 years: the melting of polar ice, a force contributing to a global rise in ocean levels. The Wallops Flight Facility’s relationship with rising seas doesn’t end there. Its billion-dollar space launch complex occupies a barrier island that's drowning under the impact of worsening storms and flooding. NASA's response? Rather than move out of harm’s way, officials have added more than $100 million in new structures over the past five years and spent $43 million more to fortify the shoreline with sand. Nearly a third of that new sand has since been washed away. (September 4, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/04/2014 - Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, amassing to get Rochesterians to People’s Climate March, gets big local press coverage.  Rapidly more than 20 organizations in the Rochester area are boosting awareness that getting local folks to the largest demonstration to act on Climate Change is absolutely crucial for making change. Business as usual is not acceptable anymore. “To change everything, we need everyone on board. Sunday, September 21 in New York City. Join us.” People’s Climate March | Coalition recruits climate marchers  On September 21, hundreds of thousands of people will march through Manhattan to show leaders from around the world, particularly US politicians, that the American public supports and demands action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which is being organized by 350.org, is timed to coincide with a UN climate summit in the city. World leaders will meet to begin laying the groundwork for climate treaty talks in Paris next year. Rochester-area climate activists are trying to get as many local people as possible to participate in the march and have formed the Rochester People's Climate Coalition. The coalition is raising local awareness of the event, and will charter a bus to take marchers to Manhattan. (September 3, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/04/2014 - Slowing down Climate Change means slowing down fossil fuels as an energy source and increasing enthusiasm at People’s Climate March. “Later this September something that we’ve never seen in North America is going to happen in New York. Hundreds of thousands of people will take to the street for the People’s Climate March, which we’re hoping will be largest climate march in human history.” Bill McKibben Energy East vs. the climate By building a movement capable of shutting down the tar sands, we’re standing up for the future of the planet Since the 2011 arrest of hundreds of people in Washington while protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, the fight against the tar sands has grown into one of the most important global fights against extreme energy. Hundreds of thousands of people have come together to fight pipeline projects across the US and Canada, to stop mega-load shipments and above all to stand with First Nations in Northern Alberta and draw a clear line in the sand for politicians: being serious on climate change means rejecting the tar sands. As it has grown in size, this movement has also grown in scale, beauty and ambition. And as it has done so, it has made life increasingly hard for the tar sands barons. Just this year, a lack of pipelines to transport tar sands to the coast played a key role in forcing Total to suspend its plans to build an $11-billion tar sands mine — something Big Oil doesn’t do very often, at least not willingly. As the movement has grown though, so too has the desperation of the fossil fuel industry, which will do anything to get tar sands to port. The most audacious “anything” so far is TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. (September 3, 2014) Ricochet Media [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/04/2014 - Local showings of “DISRUPTION”: A NEW MOVIE FOR THE MOVEMENT in Fairport, NY on Sept. 17th at both 2PM and 7PM. The timing couldn’t be better. This fall, the climate movement is going to be standing shoulder to shoulder to demand change: On September 21st — just before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City — the People’s Climate March will bring us together for an historic convergence. We hope Disruption helps you and your community get moving (to New York and beyond). P.S. Two minutes usually isn’t enough to make much of an impact — but this trailer gives us goosebumps. Seriously, go watch and share it.

  • 9/04/2014 - The People’s Climate March on Sept. 21st in NYC also will try and “kick-start sagging enthusiasm for climate deal” A viable future, what’s not to get enthused about? U.N. chief tries to kick-start sagging enthusiasm for climate deal United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this month hopes to reinvigorate the years-long effort to forge a global climate deal, even as concerns grow over whether the final pact will be rigorous enough to address threats to the environment. Ban wants heads of state at a Sept. 23 gathering in New York to outline how their countries will contribute to a mutual goal to contain rising temperatures, said Selwin Hart, the Barbadian diplomat helping to spearhead the conference. The final deal is due to be signed in Paris in 2015. Hart said the event will avoid some of the thornier questions surrounding the ultimate outcome of the Paris summit, but should give a good indication of how serious countries are. “What we are looking for is countries to signal a commitment to a universal and meaningful global deal, and signal their ambition,” Hart told Reuters (September 4, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/03/2014 - Blunt truth about democracies and our environment: The Nanny State is what happens when voluntary efforts to protect our environment don’t work. For those who hate regulations and rage against a government that has to implement more and more regulations to protect our life support system, it would be wise to listen when scientist say that we need to clean boats to prevent invasive species from spreading, or we need to curb greenhouse gases so Climate Change doesn’t get worse, or we need to recycle to stop pollution and reduce using up our natural resources. Because, as it is with the crucial role our government has in protecting us and our life support system, if voluntary measures don’t work, then off to the Nanny State we go. New law to create fine for not cleaning boats Boaters who don’t wash their boats before entering New York waterways will soon face fines under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The new law, which will take effect in one year, is meant to combat invasive species like hydrilla, a fast-growing plant that can be found in the Cayuga Lake inlet in Ithaca. Certain invasive plants, clams, mussels and other species that can cause harm to waterways are often transported between waterways by boats. “We all share a responsibility to protect our natural environment, and this legislation helps ensure that all who enjoy New York’s waters will also do their part to limit the spread of different types of aquatic life that would otherwise harm the local ecosystem,” Cuomo said in a statement. (September 2, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Invasive Species in our area]

  • 9/03/2014 - People’s Climate March is building every day with more joining to demand real action on Climate Change. Senators Chris Murphy & Richard Blumenthal join with CT Labor and Religious Leaders to Promote People’s Climate March Senators join with the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs to Encourage Participation in Upcoming March in New York City and to Announce Collaboration with Metro-North New Haven, CT — The group gathered at Union Station in New Haven by the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs did not consist of “the usual suspects.” Some of the state’s top labor leaders stood side-by-side a diverse group of religious leaders and both of Connecticut’s senators to announce an agreement with Metro-North Railroad to provide discount fares and enhanced capacity for people traveling from Connecticut to New York City for the People’s Climate March (www.peoplesclimate.org) on September 21. Tickets are available at: www.CTClimateTrain.org Lori Pelletier, Executive Secretary of the CT AFL-CIO introduced the thirteen Connecticut labor organizations that have endorsed the march and worked to secure the agreement with Metro-North. (September 2, 2014) People's Climate March

  • 9/03/2014 - I don’t mean to upset you (OK, I do) but Peoples Climate March is critical to wake up our slumbering species on Climate Change.  Dragging our feet, kicking the can down the road, business as usual (and a whole lot more metaphors on procrastination) have produced this. This can be very upsetting: 5 terrifying facts from the leaked U.N. climate report How many synonyms for “grim” can I pack into one article? I had to consult the thesaurus: ghastly, horrid, awful, shocking, grisly, gruesome. This week, a big report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked before publication, and it confirmed, yet again, the grim — dire, frightful — reality the we face if we don’t slash our global greenhouse gas emissions, and slash them fast. This “Synthesis Report,” to be released in November following a U.N. conference in Copenhagen, is still subject to revision. It is intended to summarize three previous U.N. climate publications and to “provide an integrated view” to the world’s governments of the risks they face from runaway carbon pollution, along with possible policy solutions. (August 29, 2014) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/03/2014 - Advantages of ‘eye in the sky’ monitoring of our environment, rather than ground level reporting, are many, including comprehensiveness, independent monitoring that doesn’t have to trust private industry to report accurately, and a whole lot more. Gonna be hard to fool scientists in the future as they get better and better at monitoring our entire life support system. NASA reports International Space Station to monitor Lake Erie Algae Growth problem The green stuff that clouds up fish tanks – it’s not just an aesthetic annoyance. In fact, if you’ve been watching recent news of algal bloom concerns in Lake Erie, you know that the right conditions for algae can lead to contamination of local water sources, potentially impacting aquatic life and humans. What you might not have known is that among the resources to help study this problem you will find the International Space Station’s Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO). (September 2, 2014) Clarksville Online [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/03/2014 - Listen to this great broadcast on Climate Change and People’s Climate March from Rochester, NY public radio  Please 'like' and make comment and distribute everywhere...  Connections: Climate Change “Coming up on September 21, the People's Climate March takes place in New York City. The organizers describe the event as the largest single event on climate ever organized. The march is designed to get the attention of world leaders about the issue. Our guests today will tell us about the march and discuss the issue of climate change: Susan Spencer, Ph.D. candidate at RIT, Susan Smith, Dr. Abigail McHugh-Grifa” (September 2, 2014) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/03/2014 - You mean the EPA hasn’t “force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions”? In a time of Climate Change? It is incredulous that at this late date our environmental regulatory agency doesn’t clamp down on the most potent greenhouse gas in a wildly growing fossil fuel extraction technique that potentially would release a lot, really a lot, or methane gas. Shouldn’t it be a prerequisite for any Fracking permit that no methane get released? Throwing out the ‘volunteer’ option is like putting the fox in the hen house and asking him to behave himself. EPA MAY FORCE DRILLERS TO CUT METHANE LEAKS, CHIEF SAYS The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that would force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions, its chief said, stepping up efforts to curb the most potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator, told investors at a New York forum today the agency will decide this year whether to issue regulations mandating emission cuts, or to rely only on voluntary steps. “We are looking at what are the most cost-effective regulatory and-or voluntary efforts that can take a chunk out of methane in the system,” McCarthy said. “It’s not just for climate, but for air quality” reasons, she said. (September 2, 2014) Bloomberg New Energy News [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/02/2014 - How come every time an issue related to Climate Change (like lake levels) is brought up, the state goes mum?  Cuomo made such a powerful statement “We will lead on climate change” back in 2012, but whenever issues related to Climate Change (like every freaking day) come up that are connected to Climate Change in NYS—increase in frequent heavy downpours, establishing lake levels, more (Fracking) fossil fuels, more public health (Lyme disease and West Nile Virus increases), and whole lot more—Cuomo and the DEC won’t say a word—even though the state has a state program to address Climate Change called the Climate Smart Communities program.  How can the governor and the DEC lead on Climate Change if they go silent anytime anything remotely connected to Climate Change is mentioned in the news (which ain’t that often)?  State silent on lake level plan Hoping to counter a chorus of disapproval for the proposal to regulate Lake Ontario water levels in a more "natural" way, a coalition of environmental groups has spoken up in favor of the plan. The most powerful voice in the debate, however — the state of New York — is continuing to bite its tongue. State environmental officials, who previously had been forceful advocates for similar regulation schemes, have not yet taken a position on this one, which was advanced in June after 14 years of study and debate. The International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada treaty organization that oversees water levels on Lake Ontario, recommended Plan 2014 because it would allow water levels to rise and fall slightly more than they do under the current plan. Levels are regulated, though not fully controlled, by a dam on the St. Lawrence River. (September 2, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 9/02/2014 -  A note about the Penfield Green Initiative September 2014 Newsletter "I'm really pleased with the NEW Environmental Discussion Series - courtesy of your Penfield Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee - for more information see the PEN-REC fall brochure   I'll be speaking at the first session - Recycling & Creatively Reusing in Monroe County!   Lots of exciting events in Sept - I hope to see you at some   Please forward to any family, friends, neighbors or co-workers " Deb Muratore

  • 9/02/2014 - Important message about helping out over at the Greentopia Festival: "Greentopia Fall Festival Fri, Sept 12 – Sat Sept 13: 10am-10pm Brown's Race & the Centers at High Falls Greentopia Festival will be a focused, 2-day celebration of sustainability, this year featuring Music, Design & EcoFest.  Most events will take place around Brown's Race & the Centers at High Falls. Get ready for never-before-seen-performances of art, photography & music--all of which is carefully selected programmed & curated to educate & inspire. www.greentopiafest.com/ facebook.com/greentopiafest Greenovation & the Zero Waste Committee will be co-sponsoring: Greentopia 2014 Recycling Rangers!  Saturday, Sept 13: 10am-10pm only. We need a total of 40 volunteers. We will have 3 recycling stations that will require 2 persons each per shift. The shifts will be 2 hours long.  1st & last shifts will probably be a little longer because of set up & tear down. Volunteers will receive festival tee shirts & free food. Maybe, with your help, we can achieve a 100% diversion rate. That means that everything is either recycled or composted.  The sign up site to the Greentopia site is http://vols.pt/Yk6RTp Thank you very much.  We look forward to continuing our partnership with Greentopia.   Deb Muratore Rochester Greenovation   Dave Goldman Zero Waste Committee"

  • 9/02/2014 - You want to save the world, but you don’ have enough money. This is a common problem and there are grants for that. GrowWNY.org has a wonderful webpage where they have aggregated the possible environmental grants that would pertain to the Buffalo area.  Each area could do this so public agencies, entrepreneurs, environmental organizations could find the funds to clean up and monitor various environmental concerns in their area. "Grant Opportunities

  • 9/02/2014 - It is a good reminder for a region like Rochester, NY that in a world that’s warming overall “each year won’t necessarily be warmer than the year before in every region.” ” It’s only over time that the warming trend is obvious.” See How This Summer’s Temperatures Stack Up Get ready to retire the white wardrobes, cover the grill and shutter the lake house. Labor Day Weekend marks the psychological – and meteorological – end of summer. While you're enjoying one last cold one this weekend orsnapping photos on the beach, take a look at how the summer's average temperatures stacked up for a number of cities across the U.S. Was it hotter than average? Colder? About in the middle? The answer is . . . yes, depending on where you live. However, even with rounds of record cold air this summer, none of the cities we analyzed is close to setting a record low for the entire season. Meanwhile, there are some cities across the West that are sizzling through one of their hottest summers on record. It’s a good reminder that in a world that’s warming overall under a growing blanket of greenhouse-gas pollution, each year won’t necessarily be warmer than the year before in every region. It’s only over time that the warming trend is obvious. (August 29, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/01/2014 - Local news reports that higher price tag on helping Rochester streets accommodate active transportation by morphing one-way street into two.  In what way is the public being nailed for a high construction project for pedestrians and bicyclists by bringing in more cars with a two-way street? It sounds to my untrained ear that pedestrians are being blamed for a higher price tag for a change that will make walking and bicycling worse.  Someone needs to talk me through this as I don’t understand the logic.  Construction to Make Downtown Rochester More Pedestrian Friendly The price tag has gone up for a project to make Downtown Rochester more pedestrian friendly. Construction work is about to begin to convert St. Paul Street and Clinton Avenue from one way, to two way roads. The low bid came in almost 20% higher than the engineer's estimate. The city is now spending more than $2.3 million to convert five blocks of both streets north of East Main. (September 1, 2014) RochesterHomepag.net [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 9/01/2014 -  Hire an environmental specialists, so you know your business is not just greenwashing. | State: Big shortage of environmental scientists Tom Vogler believes his clients want to build such things as pipelines, wind farms and electric utility transmission lines that impact neighbors as little as possible. “We all have to live on this planet,” said Vogler, a senior environmental scientist at Haley & Aldrich, a Henrietta consulting firm with headquarters in Boston, “and my job is to make sure regulators get good data so they can make good decisions. It really is about making sure you don’t harm your neighbors.” Job prospects for environmental scientists in the Finger Lakes region are projected to grow by 15.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, reports the New York state Department of Labor. (September 1, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]

  • 9/01/2014 - What is worse for Climate Change, Coal or Fracking? It’s like asking what will kill you faster a gun or poison. If we want to keep on living, have a sustainable life support system that is, we should go renewable energy and we can do that by stop quibbling about what fossil fuel is worse and get on with sensible energy. Why Coal Is (Still) Worse Than Fracking and Cow Burps Geoscientist Raymond Pierrehumbert argues that carbon dioxide is always worse than shorter-lived pollutants like methane. Is fracking for natural gas good for the planet? To understand the pitched fight over this question, you first need to realize that for many years, we’ve been burning huge volumes of coal to get electricity—and coal produces a ton of carbon dioxide, the chief gas behind global warming. Natural gas, by contrast, produces half as much carbon dioxide when it burns, and thus, the fracking boom has been credited with a decline in US greenhouse gas emissions. So far so good, right? (August 29, 2014) Climate Desk [more on Fracking and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/01/2014 - Why are folks in Rochester, NY going to the People’s Climate March? Read some heart-felt quotes: WHY WE ARE GOING TO PCM "Here are some very heart-felt quotes on why folks in Western New York are going to the People’s Climate March: "

  • 9/01/2014 - If California Kills the Plastic Bag, what will the trees in their neighbors grow? The streets will have no tumble-filth. Their trails will have nothing but Nature to see. What does a world without trash look like? California Bans Plastic Bags The California Senate voted 22-15 late last night to pass a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The bill, SB 270, will phase out single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies beginning July 2015, and in convenience stores one year later, and create a mandatory minimum ten-cent fee for recycled paper, reusable plastic and compostable bags. The bill, which passed both houses of the California State Legislature now heads to the Governor’s desk. If signed, California will become the first state in the U.S. to ban what advocates call “the most ubiquitous consumer item on the planet.” Senators Alex Padilla, Kevin de León and Ricardo Lara authored the measure that will implement a ban while promoting recycling and California manufacturing, and provides financial incentives to maintain and retrain California employees in affected industries. (August 30, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 9/01/2014 - G7 using old strategy “to minimize the effects of climate change and ‘phase out’ subsidies for fossil fuels…” Business as usual!  World’s richest countries invest billions in expanding fossil fuel stocks Despite repeated commitments to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, a new report by Oil Change International  found that G7 countries continue to pump billions of dollars into dirty energy sources each year. In June 2014, the leaders of the G7 reaffirmed their 2009 pledge  to minimize the effects of climate change and ‘phase out’ subsidies for fossil fuels. However, the report (pdf) finds that, rather than invest in sustainable alternative energies, G7 countries are dedicating at least $8 billion US dollars of taxpayers money annually into expanding fossil fuel reserves, with another $10 billion given in subsidies by government banks and institutions for funding  fossil fuel exploration. To ensure the average global temperature does not dangerously rise by more than 2ºC, it is imperative that at least two thirds of existing reserves remain untouched. Currently,the world’s reserve of fossil fuels is four times larger than is safe to use, so it is illogical for the G7 to divert huge amounts away from public services in favour of funding ‘unburnable carbon’, warns Oil Change International (August 28, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]