Daily Updates - Rochester, NY area

RochesterEnvironment.com

Analysis of the environmental news in our area 

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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Daily Updates: Saturday, May 27, 2017

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

* My comments are in Bold text:

  • 5/27/2017 - Trying to change Trump’s mind on Climate Change is like trying to teach a pig to talk, you can’t do it and it irritates the pig. We need a go-around. In Europe, World Leaders Try To Change Trump's Mind On Climate Change It was eight against one, according to German Chancellor Angela Merkel. On one side, leaders of Canada, Japan, France, Germany, Italy and the United Kingdom, plus two EU representatives. On the other side, President Trump. And up for debate, the peril of climate change and the urgency of the U.S. commitment to the Paris accord to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Merkel said that everyone at the table at the G-7 summit in Taormina, Italy, was urging Trump to stick with the pact, according to Reuters. (May 26, 2017) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/27/2017 - Besides turtles migrating to their nesting areas and frogs and other wildlife crossing our roads we should be mindful of our transportation system’s disruption on our ecosystems. One of the things we did not consider when we built our amazingly complex system of roads was the need for wildlife to move about to live. We now need to understand wildlife’s need to migrate in order to adapt to Climate Change. It’s going to be the dickens to come up with a Climate Action plan that will make it easy for wildlife to adapt to Climate Change by getting across our roads and highways. It’s kind of weird, but human, that we created thousands upon thousands of miles of roads throughout our environment without considering how disruptive that was going to be to the creatures that help make our environment and keep them thriving. But things are changing. Check out this amazing study Toward understanding the ecological impact of transportation corridors  Transportation corridors (notably roads) affect wildlife habitat, populations, and entire ecosystems. Considerable effort has been expended to quantify direct effects of roads on wildlife populations and ecological communities and processes. Much less effort has been expended toward quantifying indirect effects. In this report, we provide a comprehensive review of road/transportation corridor ecology; in particular, how this new field of ecology has advanced worldwide. Further, we discuss how research thus far has shaped our understanding and views of the ecological implications of transportation infrastructures, and, in turn, how this has led to the current guidance, policies, and management options. We learned that the impacts of transportation infrastructures are a global issue, with the potential to affect a wide variety of taxonomically diverse species and ecosystems. (2011) U.S. Department of Agriculture, Forest Service, Pacific Northwest Research Station. DEC Advises Motorists to Be Alert for Turtles Crossing the Road New York Motorists Encouraged to Safely Move Turtles to Side of the Road The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today reminded the public that the state's native turtles are on the move in May and June seeking sandy areas or loose soil to lay their eggs. Drivers that see a turtle on the road should use caution and should not swerve suddenly or leave their lane of travel, but take care to avoid hitting turtles while driving. In New York, thousands of turtles are killed each year when they are struck by vehicles as the turtles migrate to their nesting areas. New York's 11 native species of land turtles are in decline, and turtles can take more than 10 years to reach breeding age. The reptiles lay just one small clutch of eggs each year, which means the loss of a breeding female can have a significant effect on the local turtle population. (May 26, 2017) NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 5/27/2017 - But we do know that Climate Change accelerates and amplifies Harmful Algae Blooms in our local lakes. Be nice if DEC mentioned that. See: Impacts of Climate Change on the Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms  (May 2013 US Environmental Protection Agency Office of Water EPA 820-S-13-001 MC 4304T) DEC Encourages New Yorkers to Learn about Harmful Algal Blooms as Warm Weather Starts DEC Releases New Brochure to Help Residents Detect, Avoid, and Report HABs The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today encouraged New Yorkers to learn about Harmful Algal Blooms, or "HABs," as DEC's 2017 HABs notification season starts on May 26, and the weather becomes warmer. To help educate the public about HABs, also known as blue green algae, DEC released a new brochure explaining how to detect, avoid and report HABs, as well as the health risks of HABs. "Harmful algal blooms, commonly known as HABs, impact many of New York's lakes," said Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC is working to help New Yorkers better understand how to identify and report a bloom, as well as how to keep themselves and their families and pets safe. We're also working with localities to safeguard water supplies across the state." Most algae are harmless, but exposure to toxins and other substances from harmful algal blooms can make people and animals sick. HABs can impact drinking water and recreation, and cause unpleasant odors. "With warmer weather comes the need for increased vigilance in detecting harmful algal blooms that have the potential to invade our lakes and compromise their use for drinking and recreational purposes," said Health Commissioner Howard Zucker. "These new resources complement existing information designed to further educate New Yorkers about algal blooms and expand New York's aggressive efforts to safeguard public health." (May 26, 2017) NYS Department of Environmental Conservation (more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 5/27/2017 - Pruitt’s epa “respects the American taxpayer”; it just doesn’t respect Americans and their life support system. Stop the madness.  Trump Administration Says It Isn’t Anti-Science As It Seeks to Slash EPA Science Office The Office of Research and Development has been at frontlines of virtually every environmental crisis. Trump wants to cut its funding in half. When the city of Toledo temporarily lost access to clean drinking water several years ago after a bloom of toxic algae, the Environmental Protection Agency sent scientists from its Office of Research and Development to study health effects and formulate solutions. The same office was on the front lines of the Flint water crisis and was a critical presence in handling medical waste from the U.S. Ebola cases in 2014. Thomas Burke, who directed ORD during the last two years of the Obama administration and was the agency’s science adviser, calls the office the nation’s “scientific backstop in emergencies.” (May 24, 2017) ProPublica [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/27/2017 - If human-caused Climate Change were happening these are the things we would expect to see—and we are. Mapping 50 Years of Melting Ice in Glacier National Park Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers. The flowing sheets of ice scattered throughout the Montana park shrank by more than a third between 1966 and 2015, according to new data from the United States Geological Survey and Portland State University in Oregon. Using aerial and satellite imagery, researchers traced the footprints of 39 named glaciers in the park and surrounding national forest. They found that 10 had lost more than half their area over 50 years. (May 24, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/26/2017 - I submit that Rochester will flourish better than cities of the South because we will fare better in Climate Change. The South and the West, however they might be thriving at the moment, are in serious need of water—and they are going to get very hot. Rochester has lots of fresh water. We also have healthy soil for those regions of the world in danger of droughts and unbearable heat to come when they can no longer thrive. And, Rochester has the remains of a vast infrastructure (making and moving large industrial components) that can be retrofitted to making solar panels and wind turbines. If we plan and prepare now for the consequences of Climate Change, Rochester will be set for more sustainable development and alluring for climate refuges from the South and other regions. We need to act now to adapt to Climate Change because places in the South are going to be inundated by a lack of water, oceans rising, and heat—lots and lots of heat. Already, Rochester, along with several other major New York State cities, is vastly increasing its electric vehicle charging stations to accommodate vehicles that will make driving more efficient and less polluting. Rochester’s leaders need a vision as a city preparing for a warmer planet, which will help us to thrive. Why can’t Upstate N.Y. flourish like cities in the South?  Several leaders in the Rochester business community recently participated in discussions about economic development across the Finger Lakes region. We talked about reports on our region’s economic progress that vary from favorable to challenged in terms of the gains we are making. One study that we read shows the Rochester and Finger Lakes region’s economic progress as weaker than some other upstate communities. While studies are important to analyze, discuss and learn from, it is difficult to determine where we really stand today by studies and reports alone. I say this because my wife and I recently took a road trip to visit family in Alpharetta, Ga., and what I saw first-hand on this southern swing told me more than any report I could read. (May 25, 2017) Rochester Business Journal 

  • 5/26/2017 - Places around the world, like Rochester, don’t want to hear this but there’s going to be harder rains. Preparing for Climate Change in our region should include making our infrastructures more resilient to flooding and overflows. We cannot vote ourselves out of this by installing climate deniers into office. Quite the opposite, we need candidates and leaders who are willing to connect with other governments to keep our properties safe, our water and waste systems from over flowing, and our roads and bridges from being overwhelmed by frequent heavy rainfall. Getting angry and blaming insurance companies for dropping your insurance because they cannot handle increase cases and railing against local authorities because sewage runs into our streets is not going to work. You have to support people in government to make long-term changes to our infrastructures so that these anticipated hard rains won’t cause catastrophes.  Climate models forecast extreme rainfall Europe, North America and tropical regions could all face even harder rainfall if fossil fuel emissions continue to increase global warming. Nobel literature laureate and songsmith Bob Dylan certainly got it right: a hard rain is going to fall. As global temperatures rise, extremes of torrential rain will increase accordingly, with the heaviest rainfall up to 15% more intense for every 1°C that the planet warms. If global temperatures increase by 4°C by the end of the century – and climate studies say they could if the world goes on burning ever greater quantities of fossil fuel and dumping ever higher ratios of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere – then Europe and North America could see the consequences in terms of a 25% increase in extremes of catastrophic precipitation. Rainfall could become even more extreme in some of the monsoon countries, but in the Mediterranean, Australia and South Africa the rain gauges would measure a less dramatic response, according to a new study in Nature Climate Change journal. Research such as this is a consequence of the constant drive within science to test its own predictions. Once again, the outcome of the study delivers confirmation. (May 24, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/26/2017 - This is a serious wake-up call. To stop further global warming we must stop burning fossil fuels—trees are not the silver bullet we thought.  It’s looking like the hard work required to change our use of energy—from burning fossil fuels and shifting to renewables, and more energy efficiency—cannot be avoided. We do not have a work-around for continuing to use fossil fuels at the present rate.  I suppose this study, if it bears out, is also a revelation that humanity cannot hinge our efforts on hopes to avoid the need to stop using fossil fuels with other methods like changing what we eat, or geoengineering. Planting trees and reducing our eating of meat and many other actions will help us live sustainably and reduce our footprint on our ecosystems, but they are not likely by and of themselves going to bring down our planet’s temperature to a safe level. Planting trees will not slow global warming Nothing, not even the creation of huge plantations of trees to absorb carbon dioxide, is a viable alternative to drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions. Humans cannot simply plant their way out of trouble: trees cannot absorb the ever-increasing quantities of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere. If the world’s nations really do intend to contain global warming to within 2°C, there is no alternative to drastic cuts in greenhouse gas emissions, according to a new study. The tree could be regarded as low-technology carbon removal machinery and, in theory, carefully managed plantations could soak up the carbon released from fossil fuel combustion. But the sheer scale of such plantations would have devastating environmental costs, scientists say. “If we continue burning coal and oil the way we do today and regret our inaction later, the amounts of greenhouse gas we would need to take out of the atmosphere in order to stabilise the climate would be too huge to manage,” says Lena Boysen from the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research, who led the study, published in Earth’s Future journal. (May 26, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change and Plants in our area]  

  • 5/25/2017 - Trump or no Trump the world is desperate to address Climate Change. Should U.S. snub the world? Merkel calls for unity in climate talks before G7 as U.S. holds out German Chancellor Angela Merkel urged world nations on Tuesday to work together to fight global warming and, in a bid to convince U.S. President Donald Trump to drop any plans to ditch the Paris climate deal, argued there would be economic benefits. Speaking at a meeting of about 30 nations in Berlin before meeting Trump at a Group of Seven leaders summit on May 26-27, Merkel told the Petersberg Dialogue that tackling climate change had to be a global effort. (May 23, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/25/2017 - Even if Trump keeps his promise to read Pope Francis’s book on the moral imperative behind addressing Climate Change, will he understand it? Or, will Trump keep to his ideology over his responsibility to humanity now that he is the most powerful person on Earth? To what or to whom does Trump owe his allegiance? Pope Francis gives Trump a climate change message US president promised to read the pope’s encyclical Laudato Si’, which exhorts humanity to care for the environment Pope Francis gave US president Donald Trump a copy of his encyclical on climate change when the two met in the Vatican on Wednesday morning. According to reports from the presidential press pool, Laudato Si’, the letter on environmental stewardship Francis wrote in 2015, was given to Trump along with other religious texts the pope has written. (May 24, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/25/2017 - It’s hard to fathom how the U.S. can achieve a New Foundation for American Greatness without science and addressing Climate Change. How can businesses thrive when we’ve turned a blind eye on what it takes to keep a healthy life support system? Hasn’t much of human history proven the viability of science over ideology? Is the public really behind gutting science and environmental protections we have developed to live sustainably? White House Budget Aims to Kill ‘Crazy’ Climate Science As The White House released its budget request for the 2018 fiscal year on Tuesday, the Trump administration made good on its promise to target deep cuts to federal spending on climate, energy, science, research and other programs widely seen as critical to America’s ability to adapt to a warming world and reduce its impact on the climate. White House Budget Director Mick Mulvaney told reporters Tuesday that the government has been spending too much money on climate change and Trump’s proposed budget intentionally rebukes the Obama administration’s support for federally funded climate research. (May 23, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/24/2017 - If Trump truly wants to make America Great Again, he wouldn’t let China and India overtake us on addressing Climate Change. China and India Make Big Strides on Climate Change Until recently, China and India have been cast as obstacles, at the very least reluctant conscripts, in the battle against climate change. That reputation looks very much out-of-date now that both countries have greatly accelerated their investments in cost-effective renewable energy sources — and reduced their reliance on fossil fuels. It’s America — Donald Trump’s America — that now looks like the laggard. According to research released last week at a United Nations climate meeting in Germany, China and India should easily exceed the targets they set for themselves in the 2015 Paris Agreement signed by more than 190 countries. China’s emissions of carbon dioxide appear to have peaked more than 10 years sooner than its government had said they would. And India is now expected to obtain 40 percent of its electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2022, eight years ahead of schedule. (May 22, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/24/2017 - Be aware as the Trump administration eviscerates the EPA that ‘environmental regulations’ is code for ‘environmental protection’. Each of those protections that we expect from our federal government mostly came about after much environment and public health damage that attempted to address and prevent similar catastrophes. We carve up our EPA at great risk. Let your representatives that a weak EPA is not to our benefit to the public or businesses. EPA remains top target with Trump administration proposing 31 percent budget cut Candidate Donald Trump vowed to get rid of the Environmental Protection Agency “in almost every form,” leaving only “little tidbits” intact. President Trump is making good on his promise to take a sledgehammer to the agency. Under the White House’s latest budget proposal, released Tuesday, the EPA would fare worse than any other federal agency. The proposal would reduce the agency’s current funding by more than 31 percent, to $5.65 billion. The plan would eliminate several major regional programs, including ones aimed at restoring the Great Lakes, Chesapeake Bay and Puget Sound, as well as EPA’s lead risk-reduction program. The White House also proposes nearly halving categorical grants, which support state and local efforts to address everything from pesticide exposure to air and water quality, to $597 million. It would slash funding for the Superfund cleanup program, which helps restore some of the nation’s most polluted sites, despite the fact that EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt lists it as one of his priorities. (May 23, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 5/23/2017 - Rochester’s Bike Sharing program is so this century transportation. The more who use this system, the better bikes become a real transportation option. Rochester's Bike Sharing Program Making Progress The City of Rochester says it’s making progress on its plan to introduce bike sharing. “Most cities our size and certainly larger have bike share systems,” said Erik Frisch, the city’s transportation specialist. “And it’s something people have come to expect in cities these days.” It would start with 250 bicycles spread across 25 docking stations, largely downtown and in surrounding neighborhoods. Membership is required to access the system. Prices aren't set yet, but there will be no additional fee for trips less than an hour long. The city says it will help reduce car usage and parking demand, while increasing safety. “It’s not just increasing the safety for bicyclists in numbers, but actually, the more people out riding, studies have shown, all users of our street systems will be safer,” Frisch said. “So we’re looking at this as something rally hits on every level as a great investment for the city.” (May 22, 2017) Spectrum News [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 5/23/2017 - Despite efforts by the Trump administration to make Climate Change magically disappear, it hasn’t. Maybe a sprinkling of Fairy Dust might help but if all else fails they should try Science. Sea levels are rising at triple the pace since 1990, find scientists Meltwater from the vast ice sheets on Greenland and Antarctica is increasing the rate A new scientific analysis finds that the Earth’s oceans are rising nearly three times as rapidly as they were throughout most of the 20th century, one of the strongest indications yet that a much feared trend of not just sea level rise, but its acceleration, is now underway. “We have a much stronger acceleration in sea level rise than formerly thought,” said Sönke Dangendorf, a researcher with the University of Siegen in Germany who led the study along with scientists at institutions in Spain, France, Norway and the Netherlands ADVERTISEMENT . Their paper, just out in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences, isn’t the first to find that the rate of rising seas is itself increasing — but it finds a bigger rate of increase than in past studies. The new paper concludes that before 1990, oceans were rising at about 1.1 millimetres per year, or just 0.43 inches per decade. From 1993 through 2012, though, it finds that they rose at 3.1 millimetres per year, or 1.22 inches per decade. (May 23, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/23/2017 - The Interior Department knows what drives sea-level rise and increasing the frequency of coastal flooding (Climate Change) but they just can’t say it. So, in the future we will try to adapt to what we previously understood to be Climate Change and hope we can figure out how to mitigate whatchamacallit it. Interior Department agency removes climate change language from news release On Thursday, a group of scientists, including three working for the U.S. Geological Survey, published a paper that highlighted the link between sea-level rise and global climate change, arguing that previously studies may have underestimated the risk flooding poses to coastal communities. However, three of the study’s authors say the Department of Interior, under which USGS is housed, deleted a line from the news release on the study that discussed the role climate change played in raising Earth’s oceans. “While we were approving the news release, they had an issue with one or two of the lines,” said Sean Vitousek, a research assistant professor at the University of Illinois at Chicago. “It had to do with climate change and sea-level rise.” “We did end up removing a line,” he added. (May 22, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/23/2017 - Because Rochester, NY still has a lot of un-Fracked clean water and soil, it could become a focus for those people whose agriculture crashes because of Climate Change. Climate change could slash staple crops: Study Extreme weather and temperature swings are estimated to cut production of major crops by 23 percent over the next 30 years, scientists warn. Climate change, and its impacts on extreme weather and temperature swings, is projected to reduce global production of corn, wheat, rice and soybeans by 23 percent in the 2050s, according to a new analysis. The study, which examined price and production of those four major crops from 1961 to 2013, also warns that by the 2030s output could be cut by 9 percent.  The findings come as researchers and world leaders continue to warn that food security will become an increasingly difficult problem to tackle in the face of rising temperatures and weather extremes, combining with increasing populations, and volatile food prices.  The negative impacts of climate change to farming were pretty much across the board in the new analysis. There were small production gains projected for Russia, Turkey and Ukraine in the 2030s, but by the 2050s, the models “are negative and more pronounced for all countries,” the researchers wrote in the study published this month in the journal Economics of Disasters and Climate Change. (May 19, 2017) The Daily Climate  [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/22/2017 - Making case for addressing Climate Change mitigation via the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. While putting a fee on carbon could dramatically bring down our planet’s temperature (mitigation), we still have climate adaptation to deal with—protecting our lives, ecosystems, and our infrastructures because we’ve allow so much heat to build up in our climate system. Cracking Washington’s Gridlock to Save the Planet One day, ideally in the not-too-distant future, when Congress finally passes major legislation to curb carbon emissions — to reduce the environmental and economic harm caused by climate change — Americans will owe a big thank you to the perseverance and discipline of the Citizens’ Climate Lobby. Special appreciation should go to one volunteer, Jay Butera, a businessman from Pennsylvania who has put intense effort into getting Democrats and Republicans in Congress to begin talking with one another about potential solutions. The Citizens’ Climate Lobby is a network of volunteers who have come together in the last several years to advance climate policy in a bipartisan manner. Its support base has increased fivefold since 2015 to 60,000 supporters; among them, 23,000 are actively working to build political will for a national, revenue-neutral carbon fee-and-dividend system, a market-based approach that aims to reduce carbon emissions while spurring employment. (May 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/22/2017 - Climate Change explains why our forests are ‘moving’ North but the movement West is puzzling. There’s a freaking lot that we don’t know about the consequences of Climate Change on our planet, on our ecosystems, on our people, on our economies, on just about everything—which is why we should be giving this crisis our full attention. Not know the full details of a catastrophe is NOT good. American Trees Are Moving West, and No One Knows Why Climate change only explains at least 20 percent of the movement. As the consequences of climate change strike across the United States, ecologists have a guiding principle about how they think plants will respond. Cold-adapted plants will survive if they move “up”—that is, as they move further north (away from the tropics) and higher in elevation (away from the warm ground). A new survey of how tree populations have shifted over the past three decades finds that this effect is already in action. But there’s a twist: Even more than moving poleward, trees are moving west. About three-quarters of tree species common to eastern American forests—including white oaks, sugar maples, and American hollies—have shifted their population center west since 1980. More than half of the species studied also moved northward during the same period. (May 17, 2017) The Atlantic [more on Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/22/2017 - While it’s true that the Arctic is warming faster than Antarctica because of Climate Change, it’s warming nonetheless and that matters. There's moss in Antarctica now, and it's getting even greener Plant life on both poles is growing rapidly as the planet warms. A new study has found a steady growth of moss in Antarctica over the last 50 years as temperatures increased as a result of climate change. The study, published yesterday in the journal Current Biology, shows that Antarctica will be much greener in the future, said lead author Matt Amesbury, a researcher at the University of Exeter in the United Kingdom. The continued retreat of glaciers will make the Antarctic Peninsula, which has been warming at a faster rate than the rest of the continent, a much greener place in the future, Amesbury said. "It's a clear sign that the biological response to climate warming is pervasive around the globe," he said. "The Antarctic Peninsula is often thought of as a very remote and possibly even untouched region, but this clearly shows that the effects of climate change are felt here." (May 19, 2017) E&E News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/22/2017 - What is Black Carbon and why should we care that it’s ending up in the Arctic? Hint: it may be accelerating consequences of Climate Change. The Race to Understand Black Carbon’s Climate Impact Black carbon is a product of incomplete combustion from forest fires and the burning of both wood and fossil fuels, and its influence on the Arctic is like the proverbial death by a thousand cuts. At the top of the world, black carbon can land on snow and ice, darkening them, which makes them soak up more heat from the sun and melt faster. It can also absorb and radiate heat from sunlight as it floats through the atmosphere.Black carbon may be worsening the extreme warming felt all over the Arctic, record temperatures that are making permafrost disintegrate and sea ice melt. And if the Arctic gets too much warmer, it is, in the long term, like setting off a giant Rube Goldberg machine — once Arctic ice melts, seas rise; ocean waters absorb more heat; methane, another potent greenhouse gas, escapes from the permafrost. The particles that end up in the Arctic have millions of points of origin, drifting northward from sources like wood and coal stoves used for cooking in India or diesel trucks chugging down U.S. highways. But any particles produced in the Arctic itself are far more likely to linger here and become a more damaging pollution problem (May 20, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/20/2017 - Take home message of recent Bonn climate talks: Climate Change affects everyone, but don’t piss off Trump. At this point in time it seems as if in order to address Climate Change we have to appease climate denial while keeping our eye on the science. It’s kinda like having to keep a community safe by depending on a fire department that doesn’t believe in fires. A delicate matter, indeed. US works on climate interests relevant if Trump stays in UN pact A pared-down U.S. delegation has quietly worked to promote long-standing U.S. climate interests at global talks in Germany even though President Donald Trump is threatening to pull out of an agreement largely designed by Washington. U.S. delegates at the May 8-18 talks in Bonn, seeking detailed rules for the 2015 Paris Agreement to shift the world economy from fossil fuels, have stopped short of stressing Trump's doubts that climate change has a human cause. "I think the main headline at this point is that 'there are many, many measures under review," delegation leader Trigg Talley told the conference in a speech about trends in man-made U.S. greenhouse gas emissions on May 13. (May 18, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/20/2017 - Realistically, because our Great Lakes is filling up with plastic bits, microfibers, and beads, it’s going to take more than volunteers to fix this problem. Because our waste water treatment plants cannot remove microfibers, nor can volunteers remove even a fraction of the litter (like cigarette butts) on the beaches and in the water, we are going to have to stop plastics from getting into our Great Lakes waters in the first place. Plastics in our water are not simply unsightly, they tend to accumulate toxins in the water, fish feed on this stuff and ends up on our table, and much more. This problem is not going to go away by volunteers picking up litter on our beaches, though their efforts are invaluable. Lake Erie plastic keeps volunteers busy Ross Ellet Garbage patches’ the size of Texas have been discovered in the ocean, and now researchers have discovered our Great Lakes are filling up with plastic faster than previously thought. Meteorologist’s use computer models to track storms, wind, waves, and now you can add plastic to that list. The bad news is that our lake is filling up with manmade objects, but technology could help volunteers get the plastic out of our water. On a cold and rainy late April day, a group of volunteers with Partners for Clean Streams lined up at International Park to pick up trash. Zion Kania is one of the 11 volunteers that helped, and she was stunned by her discoveries. Kania said, “It is bizarre the things you will find in a stream. It blows your mind honestly.” Little by little 8 full trash bags were filled up with 100 pounds of glass bottles, cigarette butts, food wrappers, and lots and lots of plastic. All of this plastic will eventually run down the creeks, streams, rivers, and out into Lake Erie unless somebody intervenes by removing it. (May 18, 2017) 13ABC  [more on Great Lakes and Recycling in our area]

  • 5/20/2017 - If scientists could attribute specific extreme weather events directly to Climate Change, would that get the public’s attention? Or would we just find another excuse to ignore this crisis? Extreme weather just might encourage us to get our act together on global warming Much has been written about our incredible psychological ability to ignore or gloss over the threat of climate change. According to Irina Bokova, director general of UNESCO, “the gap between what we know about the interconnectedness and fragility of our planetary system and what we are actually doing about it is alarming. And it is deepening”. This gap between knowing and doing can be explained, in part, by our tendency to reach for defence mechanisms in response to the realities of climate change. We deny the reality of climate change, minimise its implications or our responsibility for it, or project the consequences onto far off places or into the future. Such processes can occur in individual thinking; and they can appear in conversation, groups and wider societies as deliberate but unspoken “agreements” not to talk about climate change in polite conversation. These denial tendencies are supported on an even larger scale in society and culture, as climate change is routinely absented or minimised as an issue – in media, government policy or advertising for example. (May 9, 2017) The Conversation [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/20/2017 - Antarctic holds a lot of ice, really a lot. Keeping our attention focused on how much and how fast that ice is melting is critical to our ability to adapt to Climate Change. Read/watch this great interactive series by the New York Times: Antarctic Dispatches THE ACCELERATION is making some scientists fear that Antarctica’s ice sheet may have entered the early stages of an unstoppable disintegration. Because the collapse of vulnerable parts of the ice sheet could raise the sea level dramatically, the continued existence of the world’s great coastal cities — Miami, New York, Shanghai and many more — is tied to Antarctica’s fate. Four New York Times journalists joined a Columbia University team in Antarctica late last year to fly across the world’s largest chunk of floating ice in an American military cargo plane loaded with the latest scientific gear. (May 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/20/2017 - Our oceans have absorbed most of the heat from Climate Change and they are becoming acidic and we don’t know how much more heat they can absorb. Governments around the world need to work together on Climate Change and help our oceans adapt. All governments, that is. Ocean acidification is global warming’s forgotten crisis We have the tools to barricade ecosystems against some impacts of warmer, more acidic oceans. But do we have the political will to use them? Most of us are familiar with the climate change impacts we see and feel in our communities: heatwaves, storms, droughts, floods, and so on. But a UN meeting this week about climate change and oceans reminds us a related crisis is unfolding largely away public attention: the one-two punch of ocean warming and acidification. With record temperatures sweeping over continents year after year, it is easy to overlook that the ocean has absorbed some 90% of the heat trapped by the carbon dioxide dumped into the atmosphere since the industrial revolution; and how much of that CO2 has dissolved into seawater as carbonic acid, altering its basic chemistry. The UN meeting follows on the heels of a new secretary general report that investigates the impacts of these changes and the findings are concerning, to say the least. (May 15, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/19/2017 - Great local media coverage on our Climate Change march, including Mayor Warren  & details on City’s Climate action efforts. People's Climate March April 29 2017 For the second time since Donald Trump became president, the people staged another march and rally to demand action on climate change. The event was organized by the People's Climate Coalition, who also sent two buses with 110 people to Washington DC for a national action. The event in Rochester was one of hundreds of local solidarity actions around the world. The Trump administration is threatening to defund and dismantle the Environmental Protection Agency and has repealed many laws intended to protect the Earth through executive actions. Meanwhile the Rochester area is experiencing record rainfall that is causing some of the worst flooding of lake Ontario in almost 50 years. About 1000 people participated in the Rochester march which began on the steps of City Hall and ended with speakers and music at Washington Square Park. (May 1, 2017) Indymedia Rochester [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/19/2017 - On the other hand, if we dawdle long enough on addressing Climate Change we’ll have to try these kind of risky geoengineering boondoggles. Reversing climate change with carbon-sucking plantations not realistic, scientists warn A proposal to turn back climate change by planting vast swathes of land with fast-growing trees and plants that can be burned for electricity, with the carbon they release captured and stored, is not “realistic and feasible”, scientists said Thursday. The idea, included in many economic and science models on how the world might try to reverse runaway climate change, cannot serve as an emergency back-up if the world fails to rapidly switch from fossil fuels to renewable energy and then regrets the consequences, said scientists at the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research in Germany. (May 18, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/19/2017 - Important E-waste recycling event in our area. New York State recycling laws have gone into effect but still too many folks are curbing their old TVs and computers, which get broken into and get scattered through our neighborhoods. This event with Senator Joe Robach is a very quick and proper way to get rid of those old toxic E-waste products. Save the date: “On Sunday, June 4th, Senator Joe Robach will be once again be hosting a Free Electronics Recycling Event open to the community. This event will run from 9:30am to 1:30pm at the Monroe County ecoPark at 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, NY 14624.” Senator Robach To Host Free Electronics Recycling Event On Sunday, June 4th, Senator Joe Robach will be once again be hosting a Free Electronics Recycling Event open to the community. This event will run from 9:30am to 1:30pm at the Monroe County ecoPark at 10 Avion Drive, Rochester, NY 14624. At this free event, community residents will be able to safely recycling their old and unwanted electronics such as laptops, desktops, televisions, video game consoles, cell phones, printers, MP3 players, DVD players, among many other electronics, without having to leave their car. Due to the regulations regarding eledtornics reccyling, items that contain freon, such as refrigerators and other household appliances cannont be accepted. For more information on acceptable and unacceptable items, please visit www.sunnking.com. (May 10, 2017) W YORK STATE SENATOR Joseph E. Robach [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 5/18/2017 - Listen to the podcast of WXXI’s Connections @WXXINews on Zero Waste in the Rochester area. We need to clean up our act and have a sustainable existence. It can be done, but it’s complicated. Connections: What does 'zero waste' mean? You may have heard the phrase "zero waste" being used a lot lately. What does it actually mean? A few local entities are taking on this sustainability initiative, including CMAC and the Brighton School District. Brighton hopes to be the first district in Monroe County to recycle most of its waste. The initial goal is to divert 80 percent of the district's waste from landfills, and reach 90 percent landfill diversion in three years. Our guests explain what it means to go zero waste in 2017. (May 17, 2017) WXXI Connections [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 5/18/2017 - With typical Pruitt epa hubris, citizens were asked just how they would like to see EPA gutted. We said, make the EPA stronger! Good grief, what country in their right mind would want our main environmental regulatory agency to do less science and less monitoring of our environment in a time of Climate Change, loss of biodiversity, collapse of ecosystems, and pollution? Let’s get back on track and make our environment sustainable. EPA asked the public which regulations to gut — and got an earful about leaving them alone Last month, the Environmental Protection Agency put out a call for comments about what regulations are in need of repeal, replacement or modification. The effort stemmed from an executive order issued by President Trump earlier this year instructing agencies to reexamine regulations that “eliminate jobs, or inhibit job creation” and/or “impose costs that exceed benefits.” More than 55,100 responses rolled in by the time the comment period closed on Monday — but they were full of Americans sharing their experiences of growing up with dirty air and water, and with pleas for the agency not to undo safeguards that could return the country to more a more polluted era. (May 16, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 5/18/2017 - Because they are coming to Rochester take an electric bus ride in Buffalo and learn more. Click here for Buffalo details.  Mobile ticketing, electric buses coming to RTS A new round of federal funding will help the Regional Transit Service install a mobile ticketing system and purchase five electric buses, according to Gov. Andrew Cuomo's office. The state Department of Transportation on Thursday announced a new round of federal funding Wednesday under a state-administered program to boost projects that enhance pedestrian or bicycle access or improve air quality. In all, 81 projects across New York were selected to receive a total of $112.2 million in federal money. (April 20, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 5/18/2017 - Are we doing enough to plan for how Wildlife will adapt to Climate Change? Only your environmental agencies know for sure. Because Wildlife are critical components of our ecosystems we shouldn’t be merely waiting to find out what species wins and what species loses—for humanity is now a major decider what life gets to live and which gets to go extinct. Climate change threatening some migratory birds that breed in Canada Study finds nine species of birds are struggling to adjust to earlier spring Imagine a day when the familiar bird calls of spring are no more. This could become a reality in the face of climate change, new research suggests. Researchers from the Department of Ocean Sciences at Memorial University of Newfoundland, as well Florida's Museum of Natural History, used satellite data as well as observational data collected by citizen scientists — bird watchers who keep an accurate account on the arrival and movements of birds. They studied the interval between spring plant growth and the arrival of 48 North American bird species from 2001 to 2012. What they found is that the gap grew by a rate of one day per year on average, or five days per decade. (May 17, 2017) CBC News [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/18/2017 - Which is to say, overwhelmingly Americans are Not on the same page as Trump on Climate Change. Be nice if Trump paid attention. By 5 to 1, voters say the U.S. should stick with the Paris Agreement In December 2015, officials from nearly every country in the world met in Paris to negotiate a global agreement to limit global warming. Last April, the U.S. and 174 other countries signed the agreement, with most of the others following suit since then. For the past month, President Donald Trump and his senior advisers have wrestled over whether to keep the U.S. in the Paris climate agreement, repeatedly postponing their meeting to reach a final decision. We would not presume to know the mind of the POTUS or his senior advisers. But, because we have polled the American people about climate change nearly two dozen times in recent years, we have a good understanding of what voters think about this issue. (May 16, 2017) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/17/2017 - Solar and Wind Power are good for the grid, the planet, our future, jobs, and our budget. Fossil fuels are not. We should plan accordingly. Solar, Wind Industries Pitch Job Growth to New Administration The solar and wind industries are pushing a message they think sells well even with an administration fixed on helping fossil fuels: Renewable energy creates jobs. Solar and wind are among fastest growing sectors in the economy, and the trend is projected to continue, the renewable industries say. (May 15, 2017) Bloomberg BNA [more on Energy in our area]

  • 5/17/2017 - Lyme disease is increasing because of Climate Change even in Rochester, NY.  We’ve known about the connection between the rise of some diseases (due to vector-driven ((ticks and misquotes)) causes because they are more likely to survive our winters now) for some time now and it would be helpful to the public to reflect this knowledge at our local government’s public health information outlets and in our media. We need to plan for the changes that come with a warmer climate, including our public health and the health of our critical infrastructures. Explosion of Deadly Ticks Fueled by Climate Change, Ravaging Moose, Infecting People and Pets Warmer, shorter winters due to climate change are a boon for the ticks that harm people, their pets and wildlife, scientists told EnviroNews in a series of exclusive interviews for this report. A walk in the woods can be refreshing, fun and good exercise. New England poet Robert Frost described his strolls as “lovely, dark and deep.” Henry David Thoreau encouraged his readers to get back to the wilderness, while many of Beethoven’s greatest pieces were inspired by nature’s splendor. But those great men all lived in simpler times. Lyme disease, spread by ticks, is now the fastest-growing vector-borne infectious disease in the U.S. Deer ticks (Ixodes scapularis) and western blacklegged ticks (Ixodes pacificus), both of which can carry Lyme, are now found in 41 states and one-third of all U.S. counties. (May 15, 2017) EnviroNews [more on Climate Change and Lyme disease in our area]  

  • 5/17/2017 - Even if you live in Rochester, where our April was bleak and cool, mostly it was warm around the world. To see Climate Change more clearly we need more climate scientists. Warm Arctic Fuels Second-Warmest April on Record An unusually warm Arctic spring fueled the second-hottest April on record globally, with global warming and unusual weather conspiring to shrink sea ice and push up polar temperatures. April temperatures were 1.5°F (0.9°C) warmer worldwide than the 1950 to 1980 average, NASA data released Monday showed, extending to three a string of hot months in which temperatures were surpassed just once in history. April temperatures were higher only in 2016. (May 15, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/17/2017 - Excellent #PeoplesClimate March video in #ROC #Rochester #RochesterNY “We just sent this video to Senator Schumer, Senator Gillibrand, and Rep. Slaughter to make sure they know that the Rochester People's Climate Coalition has endorsed CCL's Carbon Fee and Dividend proposal. Much thanks to Joyce Nakada for making the video!”RochesterClimateMarch_Apr2017 (Published on May 13, 2017 Climate march in Rochester, NY, April 29, 2017.) CITIZENS' CLIMATE LOBBY CHAPTER Rochester, Rochester, New York

  • 5/17/2017 - Of course, the U.S., or any other country for that matter, cannot have economic growth and security if they can’t breathe the air or drink the water. Planet Earth is finite; environmental issues affect us all; and, Climate Change is the ultimate planetary disease and there are no countries on the sidelines.  "United we stand, divided we fall" U.S. economic growth and security outweigh climate policy review, envoy tells U.N. conference The Trump administration will stay focused on economic growth and national security no matter the outcome of its climate change policy review, a U.S. official told delegates at a United Nations convention in Germany on Saturday. “It is clear that the administration will not take actions that are contrary to the overarching focus of competitiveness and economic growth,” said Trigg Talley, a deputy special envoy for climate change at the State Department. (May 13, 2017) Los Angeles Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/17/2017 - The crime against humanity is thwarting humanity’s efforts to address Climate Change. Our heroes are Climate scientists struggling to be heard. Under Fire, Climate Scientists Unite With Lawyers to Fight Back Lawyers and scientists do not always get along, but some are now finding common cause in an effort to defend the integrity of science — especially climate science — in government and academia. Climate scientists are feeling the heat as Republicans cement control of the executive branch and Congress. The Trump administration has already rolled back about two dozen environmental laws and regulations, dismissed members of an important science panel and taken down web pages giving information on climate change. Republicans in Congress have also brought pressure to bear on climate scientists. Now scientists and lawyers are fighting back, with well-attended public demonstrations and legal action. The push included a recent conference that brought law professors from across the United States to New York for training to protect scientists who come under scrutiny. (May 15, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/16/2017 - I’m sorry, the facts are in: although we have many environmental crises like Climate Change, we also have a serious plastics problem. Turning the page on these accumulating environmental (i.e., life support system) issues will not solve them. They are all serious and we have to address all of them at once. With our complacency and feet dragging on environmental issues we are ratcheting them up to unsolvable problems. See: Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters  (April 19, 2017 New York Times)  38 million pieces of plastic waste found on uninhabited South Pacific island Henderson Island, part of the Pitcairn group, is covered by 18 tonnes of plastic – the highest density of anthropogenic debris recorded anywhere in the world One of the world’s most remote places, an uninhabited coral atoll, is also one of its most polluted. Henderson Island, a tiny landmass in the eastern South Pacific, has been found by marine scientists to have the highest density of anthropogenic debris recorded anywhere in the world, with 99.8% of the pollution plastic. The nearly 18 tonnes of plastic piling up on an island that is otherwise mostly untouched by humans have been pointed to as evidence of the catastrophic, “grotesque” extent of marine plastic pollution. (May 15, 2017) The Guardian [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 5/16/2017 - It seems far more likely that recent Lake Ontario flooding was caused by Climate Change rather than Plan 2014. The distinction is important because we cannot solve this issue if we are looking in the wrong place. Check out my recent essay: “Climate Change and the Butterfly Effect Did Plan 2014 cause Lake Ontario's floods? No, according to Frank Sciremammano. Sciremammano isn't an apologist for the new plan that regulates lake levels. He acknowledges that it could contribute to problems in the future. But he attributes this spring's flooding to record rainfall -- and some moves made this winter to manage ice. He's a member of the International Lake Ontario-St. Lawrence River Board, which oversees lake level regulation and the management of outflows through a dam on the Upper St. Lawrence River. (May 16, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 5/16/2017 - However innovative, giving away a million to stop Asian Carp from entering Great Lakes is not a replacement for a comprehensive top-down solution to protect the largest freshwater system in the world. The failure of our governments to address the Asian Carp collectively and comprehensively does not mean we have to resort to gimmicks to solve deep environmental problems that can only be addressed by a wholesale change in the way we treat our environment. It would be far more productive to make sure the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative stay funded by the federal government, that all states in the Great Lakes basin work together, that the media inform the public more about the possible threats to our Great Lakes continually, and to put caring for the Great Lakes issues within the context of national climate action plans so that our top priority is to address Climate Change by keeping all our major ecosystems healthy. Michigan seeks eureka cry on carp control Imagine the governor of Michigan as a contestant on the game show, “Who wants to be a millionaire?” The question: “How do you stop carp from invading the Great Lakes?” Gov. Rick Snyder doesn’t know. He must decide to call an expert friend or ask the crowd. He chooses the crowd. Good choice. The everyday game show audience gives the right answer 91 percent of the time. The expert friend is right 65 percent of the time. Michigan is offering $1 million to anyone who comes up with a new and innovative solution to prevent Asian carp from entering the Great Lakes. And unlike the game show, it’s not the contestant but a lucky crowd member who wins that $1 million prize. (May 15, 2017) Great Lakes Echo [more on Great Lakes, and Water Quality, and Invasive Species in our area] 

  • 5/16/2017 - As the window of opportunity for addressing Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter quickly closes, we must press the press on challenging Trump on Climate Change. Our media is critical in informing the public about the science and urgency of addressing this crisis. The Media Is Failing Miserably to Challenge Trump on Climate Change The press is covering the president’s attacks on climate science and policy, but when the time comes to press him in person, reporters go silent. It may seem like a distant memory now, given President Donald Trump’s firing of FBI Director James Comey, but the top political news at the beginning of this week was the administration’s unexpected dismissal of nine government scientists from the 18-member Environmental Protection Agency board that oversees the department’s scientific research. The EPA reportedly plans to replace some of those board members with representatives from the polluting industries the agency is supposed to regulate. This was just the latest brazen assault on climate policy by the Trump administration. By sheer number of actions, Trump has done more on the environment than in any other area since becoming president. He’s signed at least eight anti-environmental executive actions, and ordered delays and reviews of anti-pollution rules. He’s appointed climate-change deniers to cabinet positions, and scrubbed scientifically accurate information about climate change from EPA websites. And Trump is considering whether to leave the Paris climate agreement, which is casting a dark shadow over talks in Bonn, Germany, where representatives from 200 countries are discussing the terms of the deal. (May 12, 2017) Climate Desk [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/16/2017 - Learned a lot about electric vehicles, why it’s important to use them, and the prospects for future electric cars at last evening’s program in Brighton, ELECTRIC CAR INFORMATION SESSION. The event was hosted by Sierra Club, ColorBrightonGreen and Rochester People's Climate Coalition. The program also included an update on the recent work of the Genesee Regional Clean Cities program. Find out more about the Sierra Club's Go Electric Campaign.

  • 5/15/2017 - Take ACTION: Keep protections for national monuments, which could be at risk. Due date July 10th. Should Trump Eliminate These Beautiful National Monuments? Here's Your Chance to Weigh In. The public comment period is now open! Up to 27 national monuments could be at risk as the Trump administration embarks on an unprecedented endeavor to roll back protections for public lands. President Donald Trump signed an executive order in late April asking the Department of Interior to give him recommendations for which monuments he should target. All of the monuments potentially on the chopping block are larger than 100,000 acres and were created after 1996—a date chosen to include the Grand Staircase-Escalante monument that's unpopular among some Utah residents. It's unclear exactly what Trump intends to do with those recommendations, which are due in August. The 1906 Antiquities Act gives the president broad powers to create new national monuments, which typically protects the land or water from new mining leases. The law has never been used to roll back a predecessor's monument. If Trump decides to eliminate or shrink any of these monuments via executive order, they would likely remain federal lands managed, but more acreage could be opened to activities such as logging, mining, and grazing. Any attempt by Trump to do this would certainly face legal challenges. (May 12, 2017) Mother Jones [more on Parks in our area]

  • 5/15/2017 - Great to see Rochester regional scientists working on making Wind Power even more effective as a critical energy option. Wind and Solar power are going to allow us to move into a sustainable future. We must move quickly from fossil fuels and embrace the future of jobs and energy and hope. Cornell researchers map wind to better harvest energy Cornell scientists and engineers, working with international teams, are seeing wind in high resolution. They are creating the world’s largest, most-detailed wind maps ever in the picturesque hills of Perdigão, Portugal. This research aims to find how wind and turbulence behave in intricate terrain. “It’s our moonshot,” said Sara C. Pryor, professor of earth and atmospheric sciences and co-principal investigator on the Perdigão wind project. “In terms of complex terrain, there’s never been such an intensive effort, since it involves such a massive deployment of instrumentation and numerical model simulations that it is unlikely to be repeated.” (May 11, 2017) Cornell Chronicle [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 5/15/2017 - Even in Rochester, NY the poor and working class will get hit first and worst with Climate Change. There must be Climate Justice. We need to plan. Much can be done to alleviate the injustice of allowing challenged communities to deal with extreme weather, heat waves, failing infrastructure, poor health, and more if we plan accordingly with Climate Action Plans. The Injustice of Atlantic City’s Floods New Jersey's working class are forgotten as federal government funds fixes for wealthier neighbors Coastal communities are enduring growing flood risks from rising seas, with places like Atlantic City, sandwiched between a bay and the ocean, facing some of the greatest threats. Guided by new research by Climate Central’s Scott Kulp and Benjamin Strauss, reporter John Upton and photographer Ted Blanco chronicled the plight of this city’s residents as they struggle to deal with the impacts. Upton spent months investigating how the city is adapting, revealing vast inequity between the rich and the poor. (May 10, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/13/2013 - Great Lakes Restoration Initiative has had bipartisan support in Great Lake states and shouldn’t be gutted by Trump and Pruitt’s epa. This program to restore the largest freshwater system in the world where we drink and fish and boat and live is vital. Don’t let the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative die due to senseless ideology. Great Lakes Clean Water Project In Jeopardy, Officials Warn It’s a federally funded program geared at cleaning up the Great Lakes and keeping water safe, but it’s on the chopping block, as part of President Trump’s proposed budget cuts. As CBS 2’s Dana Kozlov reports, experts fear the program’s elimination could sink Lake Michigan. In just weeks, beaches will open for the season. It’s water quality is usually safe for swimming. But experts fear a change if the Great Lakes Restoration Initiative is cut. “This money is used to clean up contaminated spaces, to ensure safe drinking water,” says Rachel Havrelock, director of the Freshwater Lab at University of Illinois-Chicago. (May 10, 2017) CBS Chicago [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 5/13/2017 - Check out this instructional video about protecting water in our region: Todd Miller's talk on the Bath aquifer at the Bath Fire Hall on May 3.

  • 5/13/2017 - It’s BIKE WEEK IN ROCHESTER 2017: “May is National Bike Month! Hop on your bike, enjoy the smell of fresh air and lilacs, and experience the freedom of exploring our community on two wheels. The City of Rochester will help to launch the 2017 summer biking season with Rochester Bike Week, May 13-21. Whether you bike to work or school; ride to save money or time; pump those pedals to preserve your health or the environment; or simply to explore your community, Bike Week in Rochester is an opportunity to celebrate the unique power of the bicycle and the many reasons we ride.” Find out about all bike events here BIKE WEEK IN ROCHESTER 2017

  • 5/13/2017 - ACTION: Got bike? Got an old bike not being used? Why not donate that bike to R Community Bikes (RCB) and help others get around—without carbon emissions. Action Transportation (walking and bicycling) is increasing in Rochester and you can help get our city more climate friendly. Find out more about BikeRochester and our city’s draft Climate Action Plan that we are still waiting for passage.

  • 5/12/2017 - It must be very inconvenient for Trump to hear from his intelligence experts that Climate Change is still a major security threat. Compounding this irritating news is the fact that Trump will ultimately be held accountable for planning and addressing the security threats presented by the consequences of a warming planet—more extreme weather, more social unrest, and more assaults to Trump’s list of priorities. Intelligence agencies cited this surprising threat to U.S. security. Don't tell Trump. Each year the intelligence community puts together a "Worldwide Threat Assessment" report, and it inevitably scares the hell out of Congress and the public by detailing all the dangers facing the U.S. (Hint: there are a lot of them.) This year's report, published Thursday and discussed at a congressional hearing, makes for particularly disquieting reading. While it focuses on the increasing danger that North Korea's nuclear weapons program poses as well as cyberterrorism threats, one environmental concern stands out on the list: climate change. (May 12, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/12/2017 - Because of Climate Change, emergency responses to infrastructure damages will likely occur more often until we finally start planning and get ahead of this. We’ve known for some time now that our infrastructures, the bloodlines for our way of existing now, are going to be under tremendous threats due to more extreme weather, warming, and a history of not getting maintained properly.  We won’t fix our infrastructures by frantically looking for emergency solutions every time something disastrous happens because we are soon going to get overwhelmed—unless we plan for Climate Change on a massive scale. (I know, this is what scares the bejesus out of proponents of small government, free market fundamentalists and climate deniers, but as the local consequences of Climate Change gets worse, we’ll be forced to look to our governments for a strategic plan to deal with all of this. Time passes.  Expediting state aid for municipalities for water infrastructure Lawmakers gathered Thursday in a flooded area of a Webster tavern to announce legislation that would expedite emergency funding for counties and towns dealing with water infrastructure issues. The entertainment area and rear docks of the Bayside Pub on Irondequoit Bay are submerged. State officials used that as a backdrop to announce that legislation which would provide emergency assistance immediately for municipalities has passed the Senate and is now in the Assembly. (May 11, 2017) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/12/2017 - For those who wondered why hundreds of thousands of us #MarchForScience and #ClimateMarch recently, it was to prevent this: Climate change-denying booklets are landing in the mailboxes of thousands of teachers Science teacher Matthew Fox approached the climate change materials he had received in his school mailbox in the same way he had taught his students to think like scientists — with an objective frame of mind. Fox was part of the first wave of 25,000 science teachers in March who received an unsolicited package from the Heartland Institute, a libertarian think tank, which casts doubt on the role humans play in climate change. The package contains a booklet, ‘Why Scientists Disagree About Global Warming,’ a DVD, and a cover letter, which encourages educators to teach their students that a lively debate over climate change continues to take place among scientists. (May 10, 2017) PBS Newshour [more on Environmental Education and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/12/2017 - We are at a time when the more we know about the urgency of Climate Change, the more we have to fight back feet dragging and denial. Time passes. Climate negotiators rally to protect IPCC science funding National delegates in Bonn rejected a proposal by UN Framework Convention on Climate Change to stop funding science reports from its core budget Indignant countries at climate talks in Bonn have demanded that the UN climate convention continues funding the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), the world’s leading authority on climate science. A draft 2018-19 budget from the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) proposes to eliminate its funding for the IPCC, asking countries to support the body with direct voluntary payments. But according to several sources present at a budget discussion on Wednesday evening, countries rounded on the UN secretariat. Shifting the onus of the funding from the core budget of the UNFCCC, which is funded by compulsory contributions from member states, to individual country donors, would allow some to free-ride. Rarely so united at these talks, the majority of parties rejected the secretariat’s proposal. (May 12, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/12/2017 - The problem with building more fossil fuel infrastructure is that it’s been a problem, it is a problem, and it will continue to be a problem. We need to shift to renewable energy that helps our environment and isn’t anywhere near as problematic as burning climate warming fossil fuels. Dakota Pipeline Builder Under Fire for Ohio Spill: 1 of 8 Violations in 7 weeks U.S. regulators halted construction at new sites on an Ohio pipeline after several million gallons of drilling mud coated important state wetlands. Energy Transfer Partners, the company behind the controversial Dakota Access oil pipeline, is under fire from federal and state regulators after triggering a massive spill, and seven other violations, during the first seven weeks of construction of a major gas pipeline in Ohio. The Federal Energy Regulatory Commission (FERC) on Wednesday sent a letter to the Rover pipeline operator ordering it to not start construction on any new locations, as well as to stop construction at the site of the major wetlands spill and to hire an independent contractor to dig into what went wrong there. (May 11, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/12/2017 - Trump pulling the U.S. out of the Paris Agreement would be really bad. So says just about every one, everywhere. Massive Support for the Paris Agreement—A Running Tally The Trump Administration is considering withdrawing the United States from the international Paris Agreement on climate change. That would be a disaster—environmentally, economically and diplomatically. In outrage, an astounding number of businesses, citizens, US and world leaders have urged the White House to remain in the Paris Agreement—as we started documenting earlier in the week. This overwhelming support for staying in Paris has caused Trump’s advisers to delay the decision on Paris until after the meeting of the G7 heads-of-state on May 26-27.  To help the new Administration fully wrap its mind around the vast constituencies of support for the Paris Agreement, here is a running tally of the thousands of people and organizations that have spoken out. This list will be updated to reflect statements supporting the Paris Agreement as they become available. It’s already clear that these voices far, far outnumber the handful of political opponents—primarily polluter-backed think tanks—who want Trump to withdraw from Paris. (May 10, 2017) Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/11/2017 - Knock, knock. #ClimateFacts #ClimateChange is happening and it’s going to do more than screw up our national parks. Is your media paying attention? The big melt: Glacier National Park is losing its glaciers The 37 glaciers remaining at Glacier National Park are vanishing. In the past half century, some of the ice formations in Montana have lost 85% of their size, and the average shrinkage is 39%, a study released by the U.S. Geological Survey and Portland State University says. One day, they will be gone, the study's lead scientist said Wednesday. "The trend right now is that they are inexorably going into their final demise. There is no chance they will go into rebirth," Dan Fagre said. "In several decades they will be mostly gone. They will grow so small that they will disappear. They will certainly be gone before the end of the century." (May 10, 2017) CNN [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/11/2017 - Rather, our media should characterize ‘wins’ (sustainability) by environmentalists as wins for everyone. No one is on one side of environmental health or the other; no one is on the sidelines. Everyone loses if we cannot drink the water or breathe the air. Climate Change and keeping our environment healthy should be framed in the media not as a war, or a game, between ideological factions because environmental issues are not just special interests. If our media included environmental health into their idea of ‘objectivity’ they would prioritize news in such a way that the public could measure the health of our future, instead of how sensational a news story might be. In Win for Environmentalists, Senate Keeps an Obama-Era Climate Change Rule  In a surprising victory for President Barack Obama’s environmental legacy, the Senate voted on Wednesday to uphold an Obama-era climate change regulation to control the release of methane from oil and gas wells on public land. Senators voted 51 to 49 to block consideration of a resolution to repeal the 2016 Interior Department rule to curb emissions of methane, a powerful planet-warming greenhouse gas. Senators John McCain of Arizona, Lindsey Graham of South Carolina and Susan Collins of Maine, all Republicans who have expressed concern about climate change and backed legislation to tackle the issue, broke with their party to join Democrats and defeat the resolution. The vote also was the first, and probably the only, defeat of a stream of resolutions over the last four months — pursued through the once-obscure Congressional Review Act — to unwind regulations approved late in the Obama administration. (May 10, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/11/2017 - Experts link the present major flooding around Lake Ontario to Climate Change. Be nice if local media started to reflect this too. Nary a word in our Rochester local news about this connection. They have not even mentioned even a scintilla of a possibility of a connection with the very hard flooding in our area with Climate Change—though it has been predicted in climate models. There is a reason why people still continue to vote for climate deniers and one of them is media’s unwillingness to connect the local consequences of Climate Change.  The public needs to see how Climate Change is already dramatically affecting our lives—not some nebulous time in the future as is now in fashion. We need to plan for the future, which in our region is a lot more heavy precipitation, which means our homes and infrastructure need to be made more resilient and robust, which is to say we need to plan accordingly. Check out: “Northeast Heat waves, heavy downpours, and sea level rise pose growing challenges to many aspects of life in the Northeast. Infrastructure, agriculture, fisheries, and ecosystems will be increasingly compromised. Many states and cities are beginning to incorporate climate change into their planning.” National Climate Assessment  Also, “Observed and projected increases in heavy rainfall” from Hell and High Water: Climate Change Effects in the Empire State Check this out from Climate Change in New York State Refined and Updated Projections “Projections for New York State Updated climate models and methods have helped scientists refine their previous projections for higher average temperatures, changing precipitation patterns, and sea level rise in New York State. Scientists also project an increase in the frequency of extreme events, such as heat waves, heavy downpours, and coastal flooding.” Climate Change in New York State Refined and Updated Projections Historic flooding in Quebec probably linked to climate change: experts Some may blame the gods, Hydro-Québec or their own bad luck, but climate change scientists say the heavy rains and terrible flooding plaguing Quebec this spring are almost certainly caused by global warming. “There is a very clear picture emerging that we’ve changed the chemistry of the atmosphere with our greenhouse gases and we are really seeing the consequences now,” Paul Beckwith, a climate systems scientist who teaches at the University of Ottawa and Carleton University, told the Montreal Gazette in an interview Tuesday. Record amounts of rain this spring in Quebec and Ontario have meant the soil is saturated and can’t absorb any more water. The run-off adds to the water levels in already bloated rivers and streams. Lake Ontario has now hit its highest recorded level since 1880, when record-keeping began. The St. Lawrence River is about 1.2 meters higher than it normally is this time of year. (May 9, 2017) Montreal Gazette [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality, and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/11/2017 - Breaking: Hell of a victory in Seneca Lake gas storage fight. Hard won fight by lots of dedicated people, willing to move out of their comfort zone to stop a bad fossil fuel infrastructure. Enviro groups, business owners claim victory in Seneca Lake gas storage fight Arlington Storage Company, a subsidiary of energy distributor Crestwood, is abandoning its effort to expand fracked gas storage in unlined salt caverns along Seneca Lake. In its bi-weekly Environmental Compliance Report, filed today with the Federal Energy Regulatory Commission, Arlington states: Despite its best efforts, Arlington has not been successful in securing long-term contractual commitments from customers that would support completion of the Gallery 2 Expansion Project… Accordingly, Arlington has discontinued efforts to complete the Gallery 2 Expansion Project. The decision was met with cheers from environmental groups and some 400 businesses that had been fighting the plan for years. (May 10, 2017) The Legislative Gazette [more on Seneca Lake, Water Quality, and Energy in our area]

  • 5/10/2017 - Of course, when our food production becomes severely impacted by Climate Change Trump and his supporters may not be able to indulge in much climate denial. There are issues like food production, insurance, and public health that will immediately turn doubters into believers of the science behind Climate Change. We just hope it’s not too freaking late. Time passes. America’s farmers are caught between the changing climate and Trump’s denial The Obama administration tried to make climate change a priority at USDA. What happens now that Trump is in charge? Don Teske, like many of his neighbors in Wheaton, Kansas, is a farmer. On his fifth-generation farm along the eastern edge of Kansas’ foothills, Teske farms a mix of grass and crops like soybeans, corn, wheat, and alfalfa. Cattle and calves roam throughout his pastures, helping to manage the grass. Teske’s is one of 890 farms that collectively cover almost three-quarters of Pottawatomie County. Many of the area’s farmers grow forage for animals, or soybean crops, and like Teske, they have felt the multi-year drop in crop prices — combined with the rising cost of farm operation — like a vice grip tightening around their net profits. But Teske breaks from his neighbors in one profound way: he is a vocal proponent of taking action to address the threat of climate change. In his county, which voted 72 percent for Donald Trump in the November presidential election, and in the broader landscape of rural voters, Teske is a rare green dot in a sea of deep red. Now, three months into the Trump presidency, his outlook is bleak. (May 8, 2017) Think Progress [more on Food and Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/10/2017 - However ‘normal’ or ‘usual’ it is to see continual evidence that our planet is warming, it still amazes me that humanity doesn’t ‘get’ the urgency. Sometime in the future folks will ask, Why did those people back in the day ignore all the evidence the many benchmarks (like the concentration of carbon dioxide past 400ppm) that screamed out that an emergency was about and only milquetoast efforts made to address this crisis? Slow-freezing Alaska soil driving surge in carbon dioxide emissions Northern tundra’s autumn carbon dioxide emissions increased 70% between 1975 and 2015, researchers find, blaming warming temperatures Alaska’s soils are taking far longer to freeze over as winter approaches than in previous decades, resulting in a surge in carbon dioxide emissions that could portend a much faster rate of global warming than scientists had previously estimated, according to new research. Measurements of carbon dioxide levels taken from aircraft, satellites and on the ground show that the amount of CO2 emitted from Alaska’s frigid northern tundra increased by 70% between 1975 and 2015, in the period between October and December each year. Researchers said warming temperatures and thawing soils were the likely cause of the increase in CO2 at a time of year when the upper layers of soil usually start freezing over as winter sets in. (May 8, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/10/2017- Along with clothing, plastic fibers are entering our drinking water in vast amounts by cigarette butts and much more. See “Why cigarette butts threaten to stub out marine life” (June 2015, The Guardian) ARE YOU EATING YOUR FLEECE? The I-Team has uncovered hair-like plastics in our water and they are connected to the clothing we wear and wash. Scientists looking into the clothing dilemma are asking, "are we consuming our fleece?" These tiny plastic particles hidden in our water systems could end up in the food we eat and what we drink. According to researchers, the newly discovered strands are even smaller than tiny beads of plastic in toothpaste and personal products that the I-Team has previously reported. The tiny microspheres of plastic in toothpaste and facial scrubs are officially banned in the U.S., but the problem of microplastic pollution is far from solved. The newest plastic threat, according to new and convincing research, is microfibers: miniscule filaments of plastic showing up where they shouldn't; inside fish and seafood, bugs and even some beer and sea salt. (May 8, 2017) ABC News [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 5/10/2017 - The truth of the science behind Climate Change is bubbling up through groups who had resisted this new normal for years.  These people want you to know climate change isn’t just for liberals These conservative and religious voices work to get their communities on board. He doesn’t start with an apocalyptic description of future impacts when he talks to people about climate change, but, for some audiences, University of Wisconsin-Madison Professor of Environmental Studies Calvin DeWitt does turn to the book of Revelation. “I’ll have a white-out pen in my pocket, and I’ll have them read Revelation chapter 11, verse 18. It’s a description of the sounding of the last trumpet, as you hear in Handel’s ‘Messiah,' and the end verse says, ‘The time has come for destroying those who destroy the Earth,’” DeWitt told me. “And so, I say, ‘I have a white-out pen here for anyone who would like to correct their Bible.’” DeWitt sees his faith as fundamental to, rather than in conflict with, his concern about climate change. He often finds common ground with fellow evangelicals by talking about stewardship of the wonderful natural world they have been given as a home. Put in these familiar terms, climate change seems more like an issue worthy of careful consideration. (May 9, 2017) Arstechnica [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/10/2017 - Americans favor addressing Climate Change. The Trump administration should not pull out of the Paris Agreement, nor backslide on the spirit of the climate pact. Trump Administration Delays Decision on Leaving Climate Pact With top presidential aides stubbornly divided, the White House abruptly announced on Tuesday that President Trump would make no decision on the United States’ future in the Paris climate change accord until June, after he returns from a meeting of the Group of 7 Western powers. The announcement by the White House press secretary, Sean Spicer, encouraged advocates of the landmark climate pact, who hope that Mr. Trump’s fellow heads of state can pressure the president to remain in the accord, first at a NATO summit meeting in Brussels next week and then at the G-7 meeting in Taormina, Italy. Similar pressure was brought to bear by the leaders of Mexico and Canada when Mr. Trump threatened to withdraw from the North American Free Trade Agreement — then reversed course. (May 9, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/09/2017 - Take ACTION: I think it proper to now distinguish Pruitt’s epa from the former U.S. EPA, which used to be a respectable federal agency  CONDEMN TRUMP’S ATTACKS ON THE EPA Trump and his Republicans want to weaken the EPA. Say you won't stand for it: here.

  • 5/09/2017 - Not to put this too hyperbolically, what’s happening in Bonn now may decide humanity’s future. Will we get Trumped or not? Because we are at a point in human history where the chance to address Climate Change on a scale and time that will matter is closing, what one man decides, a climate denier, could have a major impact on our destiny. Time passes.  Bonn climate talks mark next step for Paris Agreement Following the lightning-fast entry into force of the Paris Agreement last year, climate negotiators are gathered in Bonn this week to continue the process of turning the vision of Paris into a reality. We’re well on the way: 190 countries have submitted climate action commitments, known as NDCs; over 140 countries formally have joined the Agreement; and climate is an inescapable issue diplomatically, featuring in forums such as the G7 and G20. The determination of such a wide range of countries to tackle climate change and move towards a zero-carbon, climate-resilient future provides the foundation to implement the Agreement (regardless of what's happening in the U.S.). May 9, 2017) Green Biz [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/09/2017 - Using Pruitt’s EPA logic for Scientific Review Board, maybe the Board of Parole should be revamped to include inmates E.P.A. Dismisses Members of Major Scientific Review Board The Environmental Protection Agency has dismissed at least five members of a major scientific review board, the latest signal of what critics call a campaign by the Trump administration to shrink the agency’s regulatory reach by reducing the role of academic research. A spokesman for the E.P.A. administrator, Scott Pruitt, said he would consider replacing the academic scientists with representatives from industries whose pollution the agency is supposed to regulate, as part of the wide net it plans to cast. “The administrator believes we should have people on this board who understand the impact of regulations on the regulated community,” said the spokesman, J. P. Freire. (May 7, 2017) New York Times

  • 5/09/2017 - Back in the day, some wanted to call Climate Change, climate disruption. Considering Rochester is experiencing some of its wettest, and other states are frying ….  Basically, quickly warming up a planet is going to warm it up eventually but because our climate is such a complex system, things will be messy and even messier in specific locations. Probably not in a good way. Swath of States Experiencing Hottest Year to Date For a swath of states from New Mexico over to Florida and up to Ohio, 2017 has been the hottest year on record through April. For the Lower 48 as a whole, the year is the second warmest in records going back to 1895. Several states in the mid-Atlantic had their hottest April on record and a few Southeastern states were near-record warm, according to National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration data released Monday. (May 8, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/09/2017 - In a time of Climate Change it will be more risky to live near water. The Overlooked Risk of Levees As Rainfall Rises Thousands of miles of levees stretch across the U.S., built to keep swollen waterways from inundating towns, farmland and critical infrastructure. But, as the residents of Pocahontas, Ark., found out this week when drenching rains caused the Black River to overtop and breach the local levee system, living behind a levee is not an absolute guarantee of protection. The river’s waters rushed over the earthen berm, spreading out over six miles and sweeping into homes, turning roads into rivers and likely causing millions of dollars in damage. (May 5, 2017) Climate Central [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/08/2017 - Climate Change is already affecting public health with more heatwaves, extreme weather, and allowing warm diseases to invade what used to be colder regions. But some of the warming effects on public health, like other dramatic and sudden shifts in the consequences of warming a planet, may come quickly and very severe.  Unleashing dangerous viruses and disease from thawing permafrost is a possibility, which is to say something we must plan for and prevent for in a world that is now able to communicate diseases to seven billion people much faster that the Spanish Flu that killed up to one-hundred thousand souls just after our soldiers were leaving the war fields of World War I. I suspect to those that don’t believe in Climate Change, that the possibility of bringing back some very nasty diseases from the past sounds very sci-fi and alarmists. But you cannot warm an entire planet quickly and not expect some strange, unexpected scenarios. There are diseases hidden in ice, and they are waking up Long-dormant bacteria and viruses, trapped in ice and permafrost for centuries, are reviving as Earth's climate warms Throughout history, humans have existed side-by-side with bacteria and viruses. From the bubonic plague to smallpox, we have evolved to resist them, and in response they have developed new ways of infecting us. We have had antibiotics for almost a century, ever since Alexander Fleming discovered penicillin. In response, bacteria have responded by evolving antibiotic resistance. The battle is endless: because we spend so much time with pathogens, we sometimes develop a kind of natural stalemate. However, what would happen if we were suddenly exposed to deadly bacteria and viruses that have been absent for thousands of years, or that we have never met before? We may be about to find out. Climate change is melting permafrost soils that have been frozen for thousands of years, and as the soils melt they are releasing ancient viruses and bacteria that, having lain dormant, are springing back to life. (May 4, 2017) BBC [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/06/2017 - If you don’t care about the loss of human life due to extreme weather that may or may not be caused by Climate Change, maybe disruptions to our infrastructures will make you care. Scientists are getting better at connecting the dots between Climate Change and extreme weather (attribution) but in the meantime it would be prudent to plan ahead to protect our roads and bridges our pipelines ((carrying oil, gas, water, waste)) and our phone lines because these infrastructures are the bloodlines of our seven billion people, urban, civilizations. On top of the natural environment given to us by 3-billion evolution is the built environment we have created, which now is as critical to our collective existence as the natural environment. To protect these environments while our climate quickly shifts we need to have long ago planned and be well on our way to making these systems robust and resilient to what is upon us. Extreme Weather Flooding the Midwest Looks a Lot Like Climate Change As global temperatures rise and the oceans warm, what used to be 500-year floods are now happening more frequently. Devastating storms still roiling much of the American Midwest have dumped record levels of rain over the past week and caused flash flooding that has killed at least 10 people, inundated towns and highways, and forced hundreds of people to evacuate their homes. Parts of Missouri, Illinois, Indiana, Arkansas and Louisiana received 10 to 15 inches of rain in the past seven days, according to the National Weather Service, resulting in record crests of numerous rivers across the central United States. Extreme storms like these have become more common as global temperatures have risen and the oceans have warmed. Some have the clear fingerprints of man-made climate change. "Of course there is a climate change connection, because the oceans and sea surface temperatures are higher now because of climate change, and in general that adds 5 to 10 percent to the precipitation," Kevin Trenberth, a climate scientist with the National Center for Atmospheric Research, said. "There have been many so-called 500-year floods along the Mississippi about every five to 10 years since 1993."  (May 6, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/06/2017 - Considering the havoc heavy rainfall (conditions predicted by climate models for our region) is causing our area now, it would be nice in our county executive wouldn’t be shy about mentioning Climate Change “with members of our federal and state delegations about the need for funding for repairs to property and shoreline as well as funding to prevent this type of damage in the future.” Because you see, at the end of the day, whether you voted with Climate Change in mind or not, our governments are the insurers of last resort and the institutions that will be held accountable for protecting the public and our infrastructures from Climate Change. Though our local media and government aren’t mentioning it, this extreme weather that is affecting homes, our infrastructures, and putting sewage into the streets is most likely the new normal coming for our region with Climate Change.   More on Heavy Downpours Increasing: Heavy downpours are increasing nationally, especially over the last three to five decades, with the largest increases in the Midwest and Northeast. Increases in extreme precipitation are projected for all U.S. regions. By the National Climate Assessment. Dinolfo Provides Update On County Response To Flooding On Lake Ontario The National Weather Service has upgraded a previously issued flood watch to a flood warning in western Monroe County beginning at 6am on Sunday morning and continuing until 11pm on Sunday night. The National Weather Service issues a flood warning when it has determined flooding is imminent or occurring.  Experts believe that this flooding should affect few homes directly; however, there is significant risk that property will be impacted. “With this flood warning in effect, it is especially important that residents and businesses along the shores of Lake Ontario and its bays remain vigilant,” said County Executive Cheryl Dinolfo. “I have directed Monroe County's Office of Emergency Management to make every necessary resource available to town governments along the shoreline and we stand ready to provide any emergency response necessary.” (April 29, 2017) Monroe County Government 

  • 5/05/2017 - Of course, when the rich GOP rulers have to move their communities because of Climate Change, they’ll get off their butts and address this crisis. Until then, Native American and other minority communities will just have to fend for themselves and suffer the insult that Climate Change doesn’t even register as a problem in our country. Climate change already forcing 17 U.S. communities to move, new analysis says Climate change could force tens of thousands of U.S. residents to move this century. But 17 communities already face that threat, and most of these are Native American, according to a new academic analysis. One of them is the Biloxi-Chitimacha-Choctaw tribe, which lives on Isle de Jean Charles. The tribe has been awarded a $48.3 million grant from U.S. Department of Housing and Urban Development to move from its remaining sliver of land in Terrebonne Parish. (May 4, 2017) The Times-Picayune [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/06/2017 - I suppose if the EPA is going to continue its disinformation campaign on Climate Change, you could surf over to Canada, or other countries not completely buried in ant-environmental ideology. The point being that Climate Change is a worldwide crisis that is being monitored and public information provided by nations around the world—not to mention universities, businesses, and media dedicated specifically to Climate Change. In the day of the Internet a country like the US cannot bury information about Climate Change.  But it is sad that the very environmental institution dedicated to science and the truth about our environment in our country finds it more useful to become an arm of a disinformation program. The EPA’s Obama-Era Snapshot Is Missing Information Last Friday, the Environmental Protection Agency’s climate change pages were shuttered for revisions. A week later, they’re still not back. In their place is a page explaining that they’re being updated to “reflect EPA's priorities” under President Trump and EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt, and that users can check out a snapshot of the entire EPA site from the day before Trump took office. There’s one major issue with the Jan. 19 snapshot. It’s not complete, with the entire student site redirecting to the message about the climate page being updated rather than the original student content. This is the first documented instance of pages disappearing from archives, and it leaves teachers and students without a scientifically accurate climate change resource. (May 5, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/05/2017 - I know, one of the main reason climate deniers deny Climate Change is because they don’t want a nanny state turning their thermostat down for them. This reasoning is pretty curious giving that it’s most likely to be the kind of thinking that will make it more likely that governments will need to implement major changes in our lifestyle to keep our planet from warming. The Trump effect is a backlash against government intruding on many people’s sense of individual freedom, but it won’t last. In fact, rolling back environmental laws and actions to address Climate Change will ultimately ratchet up the government’s inherent role in protecting our lives, our infrastructures, and our future. We’ve already passed the point where changing our individual actions—turning off the lights, taking shorter showers, driving less—will have a dramatic effect on addressing Climate Change. Individual actions must now escalate to a planetary level. Climate Change is a worldwide disaster and will have to be addressed by humanity, meaning all of us on a major inconvenient scale. All Trump and his fellow deniers have done is hasten the day when Big Brother will have to step in and make it so we can survive.  Besides a moral issue, Climate Change is a physical, existential issue that will brook no anti-science ideology. Improving Your Carbon Footprint- Why it’s Not as Easy as You Think If everyone lived like I do, it’d take about five Earths to support the population. I learned that disappointing fact last week while taking an online carbon footprint calculator in a poorly-insulated, overly lit office. It seemed simple enough, I don’t drive much (less than 10 miles per day). I recycle avidly. Maybe I could eat less bacon and take more public transit, but as far as American lifestyles go, I thought I lived pretty well for Ole Mother Earth. Then the results came and I realized how much work there is to do. The calculator let’s you play around with your answers. What would happen if I ate less meat? Carpooled? Even after making a number of changes, I could only reduce my footprint to about four Earths. What gives? (April 25, 2017) Open Mic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/05/2017 - Of course, the EU trying to convince Trump of the reasonableness to stay in the Paris Agreement isn’t as likely to succeed as convincing everyone around Trump. Though not perfect, the Paris Agreement, after 20 years of trying and failing, provides a mechanism for countries to talk about and negotiate policies on addressing Climate Change. With 100, 000 of us in the DC streets on for the Science March and 200, 000 the next week for Climate Change, we had hoped to make it clear that many of Trump’s citizens, not customers, were behind the efforts of working with the world to address Climate Change. At best we hope our representative in Congress and locally will clear their heads of our present radical politics and see the science behind the urgency to address Climate Change. Do-or-die: EU pushes Trump to stick to Paris climate deal EU officials are scrambling to persuade U.S. President Donald Trump not pull out of the Paris climate accord after his advisers warned of legal problems if Washington stayed in but lowered its commitments. European Union sources said European ministers and EU officials have been lobbying senior White House staff after hearing Trump was leaning heavily towards exiting the global pact because of the legal problems that could arise if Washington revised its climate commitments downward. Trump is expected to announce a decision as early as next week along with other energy policy changes, including ordering opening up LNG exports and Arctic drilling. (May 3, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 5/05/2017 - More evidence that humanity needs to make dramatic cuts in greenhouse gas emission now. For those who think there is too much uncertainty about predictive climate modeling, let them be accountable for humanity not being prepared. Next decade critical for climate targets European researchers stress urgency of tackling global warming to meet climate targets, and say the goal of a less than 2°C rise may be unrealistic. The next decade will be critical in containing global warming to the limits the world has set itself, European researchers warn. And at least one of the targets stipulated in the 2015 Paris agreement may be unrealistic, according to a second team of European researchers. Researchers in Austria report in Nature Communications that they took a long hard look at what must happen to keep global warming to “well below” an average global rise of 2°C and if possible 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels. They deployed a mathematical simulation – in effect a computer model – to measure the carbon emitted in fossil fuel consumption, and the carbon taken up by natural mechanisms such as forests and oceans, and the impact of the ways humans use the land around them. (May 2, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/05/2017 - What the Trump administration calls ‘burdensome regulations’ are hard-won policies to make our way of life sustainable. Undoing them is tantamount to exploding all our environmental abuses into unmanageable catastrophes. 23 Environmental Rules Rolled Back in Trump’s First 100 Days President Trump, with help from his administration and Republicans in Congress, has reversed course on nearly two dozen environmental rules, regulations and other Obama-era policies during his first 100 days in office. Citing federal overreach and burdensome regulations, Mr. Trump has prioritized domestic fossil fuel interests and undone measures aimed at protecting the environment and limiting global warming. (May 2, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 5/04/2017 - More and more we hear about Climate Change and an increase in harmful algal blooms. Going to be very hard to fix this without addressing a warming ocean. Stark warning on health of oceans A combination of acidification and global warming could be turning oceans toxic and threatens to destabilise the balance of marine life, say US marine scientists. Ocean acidification and global warming between them could severely damage the health of the oceans. They could block the biological process that delivers nitrogen in the seawater to nourish micro-organisms. They could spark growth among the invertebrates but cause stress higher up the food web to destabilise the balance of marine life. And they could even create conditions that would make great stretches of oceans toxic. (May 4, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/04/2017 - It’s going to be very difficult to actually implement plans to address Climate Change adaptation—and trying to put the Lake Ontario lake level to a sustainable level (Plan 2014) where a relatively few may be disproportionally affected is an example: Cuomo declares state of emergency to help with shoreline flooding Governor Andrew Cuomo came to Rochester Tuesday to pledge help for area residents impacted by the recent flooding along the south shore of Lake Ontario. Among the things Cuomo announced at Ontario Beach was that he is declaring a ‘state of emergency.’  He says he’s taking that step to give state agencies more flexibility in responding to issues related to the flooding which has impacted homeowners and businesses near the lake. The governor is also appointing a response team that will consist of various state agencies in case the flooding gets worse and he says the state will position equipment in the area so that it can respond quickly in case of an emergency. That includes having 300 National Guard personnel ready to respond if needed. (May 2, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in  our area]

  • 5/04/2017 - Because we are finding a lot of microplastics in the Great Lakes, this short video presents an excellent overview of this different kind of environmental problem. Plastics in our waters are a problem to our ecosystems and our health. And, because these microplastics are so small we are just learning how prevalent they are. Just because you cannot see an environmental problem doesn’t mean it doesn’t exist and we’ve much to learn about our environment before it goes into Climate Change. Fishing for microplastics in the Rhine Scientists in Switzerland are concerned about microplastic pollution in the river Rhine. The tiny bits of plastic can end up in our stomachs via fish. Researchers are working on solutions. (May 2, 2017) Deutsche Welle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 5/03/2017 - While climate deniers continue to deny the relationship between Climate Change and extreme weather events, it’s becoming more likely that they’ll have to give up their presence.  As time goes on, people (and local news) will try to find similar weather patterns in the past to give themselves a sense of normality, but increasingly that will be more difficult. Our weather around the globe is changing quickly and we should be planning. US Severe Storms and Floods April 2017 A major slow-moving storm brought heavy rains, dangerous winds, tornadoes, and flooding across much of the central US beginning April 28. States from Oklahoma to Indiana recorded extreme three-day rainfall totals of 5 to 11 inches,[2] Kansas experienced a rare late-season blizzard, the Ozarks were hit by record-shattering flood crests, and eastern Texas saw two EF-3 tornadoes. At least 20 people have been killed.[3] Climate change is amplifying rainfall across all storm types. One of the clearest changes in the weather across the globe and in the US is the increasing frequency and intensity of heavy rain and snow. A warmer atmosphere holds more water, and storms supplied by climate change with increasing moisture are widely observed to produce heavier rain and snow (May 2, 2017) Climate Signals [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/03/2017 - It might please Trump to dismiss the Great Lakes ecosystem and use critical funding for keeping this largest freshwater system in the world healthy for guns and bullets, but this isn’t going to set well with those who understand the myriad issues facing our Great Lakes. Budget deal calls for releasing Asian carp prevention report Congress is pushing the Trump administration to release a study of how a Chicago-area waterway structure might be fortified to prevent Asian carp from reaching the Great Lakes. A provision saying Congress “expects” the U.S. Army Corps of Engineers to release the draft report was included in a budget agreement announced Monday. The report involves possible upgrades of the Brandon Road Lock and Dam near Joliet, Illinois, a choke point between the carp-infested Illinois River and Lake Michigan. Authorities want to prevent the invasive carp from reaching the Great Lakes and competing with native fish. (May 2, 2017) WLNS.com [more on Great Lakes and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 5/03/2017 - While hundreds of thousands of us marching in DC and around the country may not convince Trump that his anti-science and anti-environmental agendas are not acceptable, the public rising up is more likely to influence Congress—who can squash the Trump administration’s craven anti-life policies. Each member of Congress will be held accountable for any dismantling our life support system. EPA, Clean Energy Spared Trump's Ax in $1.1 Trillion Budget Deal Environmental programs marked for death or deep cuts by President Donald Trump got a reprieve in the government funding deal revealed early Monday by congressional leaders -- at least for now. The Environmental Protection Agency, targeted for $247 million in cuts for this year’s funding, instead escaped with a budget trimmed by $81 million -- or 1 percent -- and no staff reductions. Research divisions within the Department of Energy received increases despite calls by Trump to slash or eliminate them. For example, its advanced research program, which would have been cut in half under Trump’s 2017 spending plan, instead will get a $15 million increase in funding this year. (May 1, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Environmental Health in our area]  

  • 5/03/2017 - The uncertainties inherent in predicting just exactly how the rise of greenhouse gases will be changing our planet shouldn’t be comforting, scientists could be underestimating the effects. Quickly warming something as complicated and comprehensive as our climate, while knowing little about how our way of life will be disrupted by all this, sounds incredibly reckless. What If Climate Scientists Are Guessing Wrong?  (May 1, 2017) NY magazine [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/02/2017 - I#RochesterNY and elsewhere in NYS, we want contaminated soil and wetlands cleaned up properly. Big News! #ROC #Rochester #Brownfields Note: “Other un-remediated sites include oil storage plants in Buffalo, Rochester, and Albany, where, in 2011, 28,000 gallons of kerosene were spilled and, according to the documents, never fully cleaned up.” Report finds delays in oil spill clean ups in New York Environmental advocates say that New York State officials could do a better job of cleaning up pollution sites caused by the fossil fuels industry that they say in some cases, have dragged on for decades. Cuomo’s environmental aides defend their record. An Ithaca based environmental research group analyzed data on dozens of alleged toxic spills for just one company- Exxon Mobil. Walter Hang, with Toxics Targeting, says he got the idea to file a freedom of information act request for all of the company’s sites being investigated by state officials when he was doing work last year against the proposed expansion of a gas pipeline across wide swaths of the state. (April 20, 2017) WXXI News [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 5/01/2017 - Awesome, 5-hour coverage of yesterday’s People’s Climate March in DC by Democracy Now! Watch this excellent coverage this pivotal time. We were there, it was. Watch: Democracy Now! Special Broadcast from the 2017 People's Climate March On Saturday, April 29th, Democracy Now! will provide special live coverage of the People’s Climate March in Washington, D.C., organized to protest the Trump Administration’s climate change denying agenda. (April 29, 2017) Democracy Now! [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/01/2017 - One of the driving forces of addressing Climate Change now is Climate Justice, and those who most vulnerable will get hit the soonest—and they KNOW IT. This dance was part of an amazing march in DC ACTION at 2PM in DC Friday, the day before #PeoplesClimate: “Takes Roots Red Line Action | Frontline communities from across the country as unite as Mother Earth’s RED LINE to take direct action against the corporations and politicians driving the extractive economy. The Red Line is a line that cannot be crossed. We draw a red line through the militarization of the federal budget, and the rising wars at home and abroad, and the “dig, burn, dump” economy. We hold a red line to defend water of life, our environment, our homes, our families, communities, our human rights and our future generations. We will work to build a just transition away from a fossil-fuel economy, towards “local, living economies” where communities and workers are in charge. We demand an investment in communities, renewable clean energy and sustainability, and a divestment from militarism and extraction. Will you hold Mother Earth’s Red Line with Indigenous, Black, Brown, and Frontline communities?” (It Takes Roots to Grow the Resistance Solutions for the People by the People on the Frontlines! )

  • 5/01/2017 - Gutting of the EPA isn't merely a problem for 'environmentalists' it's a problem for you. Speak up, march, Be Inconvenient. EPA removes climate change information from website Visitors find information 'is being updated' The EPA removed most climate change information from its website Friday, saying in a press release that language on the website is being updated to "reflect the approach of new leadership." EPA Administrator Scott Pruitt has expressed doubt about the reasons for climate change, saying in a CNBC interview in March that he was skeptical of the role carbon dioxide plays. "I think that measuring with precision human activity on the climate is something very challenging to do, and there's tremendous disagreement about the degree of impact," Pruitt said. "So, no, I would not agree that it's a primary contributor to the global warming that we see." (April 29, 2017) CNN [more on Climate Change in our area}

  • 5/01/2017 - What’s next after Climate March for activists is to help transform media and the public and their representatives to be activists for their environment, their life support system. No one is on the sidelines on Climate Change. ‘It can’t just be a march. It has to be a movement.’ What’s next for climate activists? “Okay, so what’s next?” said Gene Karpinski, president of the League of Conservation Voters, on Sunday morning as he looked out at the nearly 100 women gathered inside a meeting room at Union Station. Less than 24 hours earlier, they had joined tens of thousands of demonstrators on a sweltering day in the nation’s capital for the latest mass protest of the Trump era. The Peoples Climate March had been a chance to push for action on climate change and to oppose what activists see as an unprecedented assault on environmental protections during President Trump’s first 100 days. Protesters had chanted and sung, carried clever signs, Snapchatted and tweeted their way down Pennsylvania Avenue to the White House. (April 30, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 5/01/2017 - Rochester, NY was one of many, many communities around the country marching for a viable future. The marchers march against the complacency of the public who has voted for an administration with environmental policies not in the public’s best interest. The marchers march to get the media’s attention to spread the word about the importance of characterizing the quick warming of our planet properly and what that will mean. The marchers are not just Earth Lovers, they are ordinary citizens willing to move out of their comfort zone to galvanize public attention to the fact that we are all Earth ‘needers’. When our environment doesn’t work, neither will you. Earth Lovers, Climate Activists March Through Rochester Hundreds of Earth lovers and climate activists gathered on the steps of Rochester's City Hall, to address a global issue. The group, like in Washington D.C. and many other cities throughout the country, marched through the streets from City Hall to Washington Square, touting signs, making speeches and singing songs dedicated to ideals of creating an economy based on clean, renewable energy as opposed to fossil fuels. “We can’t deny what is happening,” said Diane Rennie, a climate activist. “We have to march forward as one united group to really fight the issues of climate change and the destruction of this planet because there really is no other place.“ (April 29, 2017) Spectrum News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - Take ACTION! This is your opportunity to tell Pruitt’s EPA that “scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules” is craven and crazy. It’s like asking a hostage if it’s OK if you tape both their mouth and their nose closed while the hostage takers torture them. Go here to tell Pruitt’s EPA, Thank you very much for asking, but no I’d like to have a sustainable future if you don’t mind and don’t even consider scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules. Click here to comment. The EPA wants to know what you think about scrapping air-pollution and radiation rules The US has a lot of rules about which kinds of gases, particles, and forms of radiation can get pumped into the atmosphere. Many of those regulations were written by the Environmental Protection Agency, under the authority Congress granted it through the Clean Air Act. President Donald Trump and many other conservatives see these rules as overly burdensome and believe the country should have fewer of them. Trump's EPA chief, Scott Pruitt, vocally endorses that position, too. (April 19, 2017) Business Insider [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - Really, you think the #MarchForScience is “raising questions about the appropriateness of mixing science with politics”?!?!! You don’t think gutting the EPA, slashing environmental regulations, maybe pulling out of the Paris Agreement, and giving polluters more access to government than scientists have anything to do with this unprecedented effort to #StandUpForScience when it is being dismissed, even though it has been the backbone of our country’s policy’s on health, environment, infrastructure, and just about everything else? Really? You think it’s scientists who are upsetting the donkey cart?  You think it’s scientists who are upsetting the donkey cart?  Science march's political overtones spark debate A march aimed at promoting scientific-based public policy in the Trump era is raising questions about the appropriateness of mixing science with politics. The "March for Science" -- whose beginnings reflect the viral birth of the Women's March on Washington -- occurs this Earth Day. It will be comprised of scientists and their supporters, and largely grew out of opposition to President Donald Trump's environmental and energy policies. (April 19, 2017) CNN

  • 4/20/2017 - I know, with Trumpmageddon, the threat of nuclear war, and Climate Change, why worry about Plastic pollution? Well, plastic bits, microbeads, microfibers and plastic junk are getting into our oceans, our Great Lakes, and now we find they are in the warming Arctic—by the trillions. Plastic pollution isn’t just unsightly, like those ubiquitous plastic bags blown up against our hedges all along our streets and trail, plastic tends to be mistaken as food by critical animal (fish) species that keep our ecosystems thriving. And, plastic in our waterbodies have this annoying trait of accumulating other toxins we have put in our waters, which mean they accumulate in the food we eat—like fish. Plastic pollution is going to have to be solved along with Climate Change, and other pollution, invasive species, and the loss of biodiversity. So, maybe we shouldn’t gut the EPA. Hint, hint. Time passes. Trillions of Plastic Bits, Swept Up by Current, Are Littering Arctic Waters The world’s oceans are littered with trillions of pieces of plastic — bottles, bags, toys, fishing nets and more, mostly in tiny particles — and now this seaborne junk is making its way into the Arctic. In a study published Wednesday in Science Advances, a group of researchers from the University of Cádiz in Spain and several other institutions show that a major ocean current is carrying bits of plastic, mainly from the North Atlantic, to the Greenland and Barents seas, and leaving them there — in surface waters, in sea ice and possibly on the ocean floor. Because climate change is already shrinking the Arctic sea ice cover, more human activity in this still-isolated part of the world is increasingly likely as navigation becomes easier. As a result, plastic pollution, which has grown significantly around the world since 1980, could spread more widely in the Arctic in decades to come, the researchers say. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Recycling and Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - Maybe one of the reasons why the public confuses science with politics is that the media puts environmental issues in Politics section. Maybe each media should have a separate section for Environment, like these media. POLITICS Portman: Wetlands sites ‘working’ Senator pledges support for $300M Great Lakes restoration effort U.S. Sen. Rob Portman (R., Ohio) pledged his continued support Tuesday for the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s $300 million Great Lakes Restoration Initiative, as well as the agency in general and other agencies vital to Lake Erie programs and monitoring its algal blooms. Mr. Portman began his visit to the area with a stop at the man-made wetland developed by the University of Toledo and others west of Maumee Bay State Park’s entrance. THE BLADE  Enlarge | Buy This Image The wetland’s planning dates back to the early 1990s, when a local task force was trying to identify sources of bacteria at the state park beaches. (April 19, 2017) The Blade [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - On the other hand, if you don’t believe in Climate Change how do you explain the changes? Playing dumb? Hey, what that Climate Change, yuck, yuck? You could blame it on the shifting baseline syndrome, where the changes we are experiencing are happening so slowly (in our daily experience) that we fail to see it—except that everyone else is seeing it. How about accountability? At what point in time do you say, I was wrong about climate denial and, sorry about the effects of my feet dragging. Our Climate Future Is Actually Our Climate Present How do we live with the fact that the world weknew is going and, in some cases, already gone? The future we’ve been warned about is beginning to saturate the present. We tend to imagine climate change as a destroyer. But it also traffics in disruption, disarray: increasingly frequent and more powerful storms and droughts; heightened flooding; expanded ranges of pests turning forests into fuel for wildfires; stretches of inhospitable heat. So many facets of our existence — agriculture, transportation, cities and the architecture they spawned — were designed to suit specific environments. Now they are being slowly transplanted into different, more volatile ones, without ever actually moving. (April 19, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/20/2017 - When sea level rise due to Climate Change compels coastline communities to move, where they gonna go? Maybe Rochester. #RochesterNY #ROC #Rochester We should be prepared. Time passes. Rising seas could push some U.S. migration to areas far from coast: study Rising sea levels caused by climate change may drive U.S. coastal residents to areas far from the seaboard, not just to adjacent inland regions, according to a study published online in the journal Nature Climate Change. Even landlocked states such as Arizona and Wyoming could see significant increases in population because of coastal migration by 2100, and may be unprepared to handle the surge, said the analysis from a University of Georgia researcher. "We typically think about sea-level rise as being a coastal challenge or a coastal issue," Mathew Hauer, author of the study and head of the Applied Demography program at the University of Georgia, said in an interview on Tuesday. "But if people have to move, they go somewhere." (April 18, 2017) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/19/2017 - It would be nice if our local media gave a more complete report about Lake Ontario - St. Lawrence River Plan 2014 which is not only a plus for the environment, but a plan that will help the entire region adapt to Climate Change. It’s going to be very hard to plan for Climate Change and adapt if the media only focuses on those whose immediate concerns are addressed. Part of the Plan 2014 is to help compensate the losses for those disproportionally affected by this Plan 2014 and it would be nice if our local media addressed that also. It would also be nice to see if the Plan 2014 is the immediate cause of rising lake levels now. So, maybe first we should determine whether the recent Lake Ontario high water levels are a result of the Plan 2014 or a “wet spring”. Sodus Point Flooding: Good for Environment, Bad for Business In the Lakeside Village of Sodus Point, the spring rains have raised the water level of Lake Ontario to a point of concern. Residents are stacking sandbags in preparation for a possible flood. "Worst case scenario, we will have to shut down the village, and evacuate the people," said Mayor Chris Tertinek. "We flooded five times in a period of over 100 years; the low was 3 times below their limit in a hundred years. With the new plan, we're going to flood 17 times in 100 years." (April 17, 2017) Spectrum News Rochester [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/19/2017 - Of course, we have been tinkering with our environment for centuries, which put us in this Climate Change peril in the first place. The question is whether we go at this tinkering under the rubric of geoengineering with a determined plan. There are 3 main problems with geoengineering: 1. We really don’t know what we are doing and never have in such a complex ecosystem as ours. 2. Even if our efforts seem successful, the public may get lulled into thinking this is the ONLY way to bring a planet’s temperature down. 3. Geoengineering will only address the mitigation part of Climate Change and do little to help us adapt, that is, deal with the centuries of warming that’s coming even if we do stop more greenhouse gas emissions right now. Is It O.K. to Tinker With the Environment to Fight Climate Change? Scientists are investigating whether releasing tons of particulates into the atmosphere might be good for the planet. Not everyone thinks this is a good idea. For the past few years, the Harvard professor David Keith has been sketching this vision: Ten Gulfstream jets, outfitted with special engines that allow them to fly safely around the stratosphere at an altitude of 70,000 feet, take off from a runway near the Equator. Their cargo includes thousands of pounds of a chemical compound — liquid sulfur, let’s suppose — that can be sprayed as a gas from the aircraft. It is not a one-time event; the flights take place throughout the year, dispersing a load that amounts to 25,000 tons. If things go right, the gas converts to an aerosol of particles that remain aloft and scatter sunlight for two years. The payoff? A slowing of the earth’s warming — for as long as the Gulfstream flights continue. Keith argues that such a project, usually known as solar geoengineering, is technologically feasible and — with a back-of-the-envelope cost of under $1 billion annually — ought to be fairly cheap from a cost-benefit perspective, considering the economic damages potentially forestalled: It might do good for a world unable to cut carbon-dioxide emissions enough to prevent further temperature increases later this century. (April 18, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 4/19/2017 - One of the consequences of Climate Change will be more extreme weather, like heatwaves. Good to monitor all that. Check out this resource to find out about Heat Warnings in your area, Planning for, Heat waves, At-Risk Groups, and more: National Integrated Heat Health Information System "The NIHHIS is an integrated system that builds understanding of the problem of extreme heat, defines demand for climate services that enhance societal resilience, develops science-based products and services from a sustained climate science research program, and improves capacity, communication, and societal understanding of the problem in order to reduce morbidity and mortality due to extreme heat. The NIHHIS is a jointly developed system by the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) and the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration."

  • 4/18/2017 - What the Pruitt EPA refuses to understand is that most environmental regulations came about because of catastrophes that had to be righted. Rivers burned because of industrial pollution, people got sick, ecosystem were dying and finally after years and years of our government dragging their feet, environmental regulations had to be placed. Because our memories are so short (shifting baseline syndrome) too many folks tend to think our government just willy-nilly began creating and enforcing environmental regulations to fit some liberal agenda. This is hogwash because if most cases, these regulation were a result of disasters that the public finally got sick of. Republicans set their sights on the EPA’s science The federal agency that regulates our environment may soon have less data to work with. Federal regulatory changes can be about as interesting to ponder as drying paint. Of course, federal regulations also are the reason that drying paint is lead-free in this country. Now, the way that the U.S. makes many federal environmental regulations may be changing. In March, the House passed two bills aimed at defanging the Environmental Protection Agency, largely along party lines. The first, House Bill 1430 – named the HONEST Act – would challenge the EPA’s access to scientific data. The second, House Bill 1431 – named the EPA Science Advisory Board Reform Act of 2017 – would replace scientists and public health experts on its advisory panel with industry members and politicians. Both bills are now in the Senate Committee on Environment and Public Works. Previous versions passed the House in 2014 and 2015, but stalled in the Senate, with former President Barack Obama threatening to veto. It’s unlikely President Donald Trump would do the same. (April 14, 2017) High Country News [more on Environmental Health in our area] 

  • 4/18/2017 - You know what’s really weird? Local environmental agencies scrambling to help citizens adapt to Climate Change and the feds denying the whole thing. On one level, our freaking politics, it kinda makes sense. But on the other level, where reality hits the road, it doesn’t make any sense at all. How can only pockets of people be preparing for Climate Change and others just ignoring the whole thing? If our successors ever get a chance to have a future, they’re going to look back at these times and just wonder a how incredibly amazing that some people tried to adapt to Climate Change and others didn’t. They probably won’t think much of those who denied the science behind the warmer world our children will inherit. Local Government Training Workshop: Preparing for Extreme Weather Events through Land-Use Planning in the Lake Erie/ Niagara River Region   Date: May 3, 2017 Time: 8:30 am – 3:30 pm (check in and refreshments 8:00 - 8:30 am) Where: Erie County Fire Safety Training Center, 3359 Broadway, Cheektowaga, NY 14227 (Lake Erie/Niagara River Region Local Government Resiliency Training, May 3 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation sent this bulletin on 04/17/2017 02:09 PM EDT )

  • 4/18/2017 - For those who ‘get’ Climate Change but think it’s going to be slow and gradual, think again. This Climate Change isn’t our great ancestors’ climate change. Climate Change Reroutes a Yukon River in a Geological Instant In the blink of a geological eye, climate change has helped reverse the flow of water melting from a glacier in Canada’s Yukon, a hijacking that scientists call “river piracy.” This engaging term refers to one river capturing and diverting the flow of another. It occurred last spring at the Kaskawulsh Glacier, one of Canada’s largest, with a suddenness that startled scientists. A process that would ordinarily take thousands of years — or more — happened in just a few months in 2016. Much of the meltwater from the glacier normally flows to the north into the Bering Sea via the Slims and Yukon Rivers. A rapidly retreating and thinning glacier — accelerated by global warming — caused the water to redirect to the south, and into the Pacific Ocean. (April 17, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/18/2017 - In order to address Climate Change here in the U.S. and elsewhere we need the “long memories, centuries old wisdom and deep knowledge of this land” of Indigenous scientists. #MarchForScience #StandUpForScience Let Our Indigenous Voices Be Heard "Indigenous Science March for Science Letter of Support"

  • 4/17/2017 - There they go again ‘accidentally’ spewing more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere and further warming the planet. Fossil fuel companies, ya gotta laugh. BP Struggles to Control Damaged Well in Alaskan Arctic The British oil giant BP worked through the weekend to control a damaged oil well on Alaska’s remote North Slope that had started spewing natural gas vapors on Friday morning, the company and Alaska officials said. There have been no injuries or reports of damage to wildlife, but crews trying to secure the well have failed amid frigid winds gusting to 38 miles an hour. (April 16, 2017) New York Times [more on Energy in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - Only a selfish, isolationist, anti-science, and immoral country would ‘exit’ the Paris Agreement. Let that not be the U.S. Scott Pruitt calls for an ‘exit’ from the Paris accord, sharpening the Trump White House’s climate rift President Trump’s top environment official called for an “exit” from the historic Paris agreement Thursday, the first time such a high-ranking administration official has so explicitly disavowed the agreement endorsed by nearly 200 countries to fight climate change. Speaking with “Fox & Friends,” Pruitt commented, “Paris is something that we need to really look at closely. It’s something we need to exit in my opinion.” “It’s a bad deal for America,” Pruitt continued. “It was an America second, third, or fourth kind of approach. China and India had no obligations under the agreement until 2030. We front-loaded all of our costs.” Pruitt’s claim about China and India having “no obligations” until 2030 is incorrect — while these countries do indeed have 2030 targets, they are already acting now to reduce their emissions by investing in renewable energy and other initiatives. (April 14, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - Earth Day was supposed to be a celebration that we have changed our ways and become stewards of our planet. And note our progress. But with Trump and Pruitt’s EPA we must claw our way back to a sane attitude towards our life support system. Sad. EARTH DAY IN THE AGE OF TRUMP Next week, millions of Americans will celebrate Earth Day, even though, three months into Donald Trump’s Presidency, there sure isn’t much to celebrate. A White House characterized by flaming incompetence has nevertheless managed to do one thing effectively: it has trashed years’ worth of work to protect the planet. As David Horsey put it recently, in the Los Angeles Times, “Donald Trump’s foreign policy and legislative agenda may be a confused mess,” but “his administration’s attack on the environment is operating with the focus and zeal of the Spanish Inquisition.” The list of steps that the Trump Administration has already taken to make America polluted again is so long that fully cataloguing them in this space would be impossible. Here’s a sample: (April 12, 2017) The New Yorker [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - The media should view events through the lens of Climate Change—every freaking day. The media needs to be proactive on providing the public continual reporting of a quickly warming world and shouldn’t be waiting for someone, or some group, or some incident urges them to report on this crisis. Suzuki wants journalists to forget the Dow Jones, report on climate every day David Suzuki cuts straight to the chase. The state of Canada’s climate action is “disgusting,” he says, and the federal government should be ashamed. “Canada should hang its head,” he told National Observer in an interview. “(Trudeau) has given no indication that he was serious about the promise made at Paris.” It’s a typically frank assessment by the 81-year-old star environmentalist, scientist and broadcaster. In 2015, he famously called Justin Trudeau a “twerp” during a phone call about the Liberal climate change platform, after Trudeau reportedly indicated that his comments were “sanctimonious crap.” As Trudeau’s Liberals today cling to widely-criticized Harper-era climate change targets and continue to approve new oilsands pipelines, Suzuki says countries like Sweden, Morocco and Costa Rica are blazing ahead in climate leadership. Even India and China, two of the world’s biggest emitters of heat-trapping carbon pollution, are leaders in wind and solar investment — statistics that put Canada to shame, he says. (April 13, 2017) National Observer [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 4/17/2017 - Think you know the Great Lakes? These lakes that hold 20% of the world’s usable fresh water have gone through many tremendous changes because of us. Read “Death and Life of the Great Lakes” Death and Life of the Great Lakes The five mighty Great Lakes, separated from the ocean for millennia, hold twenty percent of the world’s surface freshwater. Dreams of trade spurred construction of the St Lawrence Seaway, opening the lakes to intercontinental shipping but transforming their ecosystems, thanks to unintended biological hitch-hikers such as Quagga and Zebra mussels. Environmental journalist Dan Egan’s new book, “The Death and Life of the Great Lakes”, details the changes, and he discussed the impact on the Great Lakes with host Steve Curwood. (April 14, 2017) Living on Earth [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality, and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 4/17/2017 - It’s inconvenient but it’s getting warmer. Who will be held accountable for not planning for the consequences? March Was Second Hottest on Record Globally The exceptional global heat of the past few years continued last month, with March ranking as the second hottest on record for the planet. It followed the second hottest February and third hottest January, showing just how much Earth has warmed from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. March was 2.02°F (1.12°C) warmer than the 1951-1980 average, according to NASA data released Friday. It ranks behind only March 2016, which was 2.29°F (1.27°C) above that same average. NASA’s global temperature records extend back 137 years. (April 14, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Which begs the questions, how many Americans are eating pesticides and how likely will the Pruitt EPA tell us? How many pesticides have you eaten today? A new report finds that about half the food consumed in Europe contains pesticide residues. The EU's food safety authority says there is no danger. Environmentalists aren't convinced. Traces of pesticides are contained in almost half of the food Europeans eat, according to an annual report issued this week by the European Union's food safety watchdog. Researchers found pesticides in 46.7 percent of the samples.  While this may sound like a lot, only 2.8 percent exceeded maximum residue levels permitted under EU law. The rest, the European Food Safety Authority (EFSA) stressed, is completely safe. The figures, based on about 85,000 food samples, are for the year 2015. (April 13, 2017) Deutsche Welle [more on Pesticides and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Wouldn’t it be nice if we had a system of thought that all people respected and followed during Climate Change? If all people respected science we still might have a chance. Time passes. World must hit zero carbon emissions 'well before 2040', scientists warn New research suggests it will be an ‘enormous challenge’ to prevent global warming getting out of hand Humans must reduce net greenhouse gases emissions to zero “well before 2040” in order to ensure global warming does not go above 1.5 degrees Celsius by the end of the century, scientists have warned after carrying out a study using a sophisticated new computer model. The analysis suggests that efforts to prevent temperatures rising to potentially dangerous levels may have to rely heavily on “negative emissions” technology that is still in its infancy. Commenting on the study, Professor Richard Betts, head of climate impacts at the UK’s Met Office Hadley Centre, said the “important” research spelled out the “enormous challenge” ahead. (April 14, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - The real tragedy is that we had already put climate denial to rest before the last US elections. Denier arguments have no merit but they are now in power. And now we have to continually defend science. Valuable time at a crucial moment in time is being wasted on fighting a war that has long been over in academia. Even if reasonable people and expert scientists win again, which we will (because, duh, it’s physics) we will have most likely have lost valuable time preparing and holding back the worst of Climate Change. America has made a mistake we may not recover from. Climate Change Projections Are Based on Hard Scientific Data It is extremely difficult to battle climate change when those in charge are resistant to the science that points to its future danger. Climate scientist's projections are not just based on guesses made to support an agenda, they are derived from hard data run through complex models on supercomputers, giving us the most accurate information possible. (April 7, 2017) Futurism [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Diversion, taking water from the Great Lakes to other areas is an issue that won’t go away as Climate Change makes other regions more desperate for water. For all the laws and attitudes against taking water from the Great Lakes, it’s going to be hard to resist pleas from communities who cannot get enough water. On the other hand, removing great quantities of water from the greatest freshwater system in the world could vastly affect our region’s ecology, weather, and lake levels. One solution would be for folks who need water to come to the Great Lakes basin region and live amongst us and help keep this fantastic water resource clean and plentiful. I’m thinking, anyway you look at it, the Great Lakes region is going to be a great attractant for folks to live as water elsewhere become more problematic. #WaterIsLife Pipe Great Lakes water to Southwest? Not so fast Talk of a fictional pipeline that could carry Great Lakes water to the Southwest caused a recent uproar from folks around the lakes. But the NASA scientist who mentioned the idea says Phoenix and other desert cities aren’t coming for the Great Lakes’ water any time soon. “Such models, that can realistically transport water from a natural system via aqueducts, canals, pipelines, etc., to another managed or natural system, really don’t exist,” said hydrologist and water scientist Jay Famiglietti. (April 14, 2017) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/15/2017 - Another feature of a Climate Change world: However great your state may be, if it ain’t got water it won’t be livable. NYS has water, lots of fresh, clean, un-Fracked water. Every state, and nation for that matter, should be doing all it can to protect its water resources because soon water in a warmer will be more valuable than gold. NY's water systems to get $2.5B boost The state budget includes $2.5 billion over five years to improve New York's clean-water infrastructure. The Clean Water Infrastructure Act, passed as part of the 2017-18 state budget, allocates the $2.5 billion toward assisting local governments with addressing water emergencies, paying for infrastructure construction projects and investigating and mitigating contaminants in drinking water. “Cities in central New York like a lot of older cities in the state have been suffering with water pipes breaking literally, and it’s not sexy but it’s important and it’s expensive,” Cuomo said Wednesday in Syracuse. “So we have $2.5 billion to help cities rebuild their water infrastructure.” (April 14, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - This is where our local media is failing us. Media should connect the Climate Change dots. Rather than simply characterizing the threat of the invasive species Hydrilla in our Finger Lakes as a problem with boating and fishing and a brief mention to water quality, our local media should also be mentioning that the increase in many invasive species that wreck our local ecosystems is due to Climate Change. Warmer waters are making our Northern water bodies friendlier to Southern invasive species. One of the reasons we put climate deniers into office and fail to plan for our local environmental problems accurately is because our media won’t demonstrate to our public the local connections to the consequences of Climate Change. “Invasive species originating in warmer climates are moving north, exemplified by the sudden threat of Hydrilla to Cayuga Lake (and potentially across the Great Lakes Basin), and the Hemlock Woolly Adelgid to our steep-banked, cool-water creeks.” Climate Change & Related Issues Cayuga Lake Watershed Network   Hydrilla threatens to overtake Finger Lakes Fast-spreading aquatic plant growing in Cayuga Lake can choke off waterways and make boating and fishing nearly impossible Hydrilla, a weed that grows like crazy and can eventually choke waterways and kill recreation, is now found throughout 27 acres in Cayuga Lake. If left to spread, the plant — which can grow 6 to 8 inches per day — could eventually overtake not just Cayuga but other Finger Lakes, including Canandaigua. “If hydrilla takes root it will grow at record speed, leaving millions in economic damage to Cayuga Lake in its wake,” said U.S. Sen. Chuck Schumer Wednesday in a press conference at Cayuga Lake State Park in Seneca Falls where he called for federal funding to fight hydrilla. “Seneca County and the Finger Lakes region generates millions in economic activity, in large part due to the tourists, boaters, and fisherman who visit these true treasures every year. A single aquatic plant could put all of that at risk,” Schumer continued. (April 13, 2017) Daily Messenger [more on Finger Lakes and Water Quality and Invasive Species in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - With Climate Change, there will be heat. Is our community prepared for heat stress, especially those vulnerable to heatwaves—the young, the sick, the elderly, those who live alone without help in case of a power failure, which tends to happen when everyone is running their ACs? Can our public health system handle more extreme weather? Now is the time to ask, not after the fact. Early Heat Wave Bakes India, Sign of What’s to Come Temperatures across northern India, including the capital New Delhi, are set to soar well above 100°F (37.8°C) through the weekend and into next week thanks to a pre-monsoon heat wave that has set in somewhat earlier than normal. Such heat waves are expected to become both more common and more intense as the world warms from the continued buildup of heat-trapping greenhouse gases, in India and elsewhere, posing a threat to public health. Studies have suggested that India will be a particular hotspot for populations stressed by the combination of extreme heat and humidity. (April 13, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - You go into Climate Change with the environment you have, so if your environment isn’t sustainable already, you’re going to be at a great disadvantage from the start. Water, the gold of the future, must be clean and ready for billions of people going into more dire environmental changes. Two billion people drinking polluted water worldwide: WHO Dramatic improvements are needed in ensuring access to clean water and sanitation worldwide, the World Health Organization (WHO) said Thursday, warning that nearly two billion people currently use fecal-contaminated water. Hundreds of thousands of people die each year because they are forced to drink contaminated water, the WHO said, urging large investments to help provide universal access to safe drinking water. (April 13, 2017) Press TV [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 4/14/2017 - Within the City of Rochester, we have an old growth park: WASHINGTON GROVE PRESERVATION PROJECT Washington Grove is a city owned woodland area nestled on the eastern edge of Cobbs Hill Reservoir. “Urban old growth forests like the ancient preserve and the North Woods tend to harbor greater ecological complexity and biological diversity while giving city-dwellers a glimpse of what their states looked like before white colonists began cutting forests centuries ago” Respect the elderly: Saving cities’ oldest trees Old growth forests are increasingly rare in US cities—protecting these health-boosting relics from bulldozers, invasives and apathy is no easy feat. Jeff Stant was nervous. He passed easily through the undergrowth and spring pools of an unlikely old growth forest standing five miles from downtown Indianapolis, but he was looking out for contractors working for the U.S. Department of Veterans Affairs. “I’m waiting for some people to show up and tell us to leave,” said Stant, executive director of the Indiana Forest Alliance. Over the background noise of chickadees, crunching leaves, humming traffic and a leaf blower clearing the shoulder along 42nd Street, Stant spent that morning in early March extolling the virtues of the Crown Hill North Woods — a 15-acre pre-settlement relict of the flatwood swamp forest that once covered much of the state. His organization spent the past year working to spare the woods from a VA plan to clear part of the land for a National Cemetery. “You can count the number of forests you have like this basically on two hands in the northern two-thirds of this state,” Stant said. (April 13, 2017) Environmental Health News [more on Plants in our area]

  • 4/13/2017 - Free Science from Politics! U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson, D-FL nails it: A country as large and complicated MUST get on the same page on SCIENCE. Nelson, near Trump’s Palm Beach resort, calls for end to attacks on climate science  Three years after he held a field hearing in Miami Beach to draw attention to a region at ground zero for climate change, U.S. Sen. Bill Nelson convened a second hearing in West Palm Beach on Monday with a new target: the Trump administration’s attack on climate science. Held just across the Intracoastal Waterway from Mar-a-Lago, President Donald Trump’s vulnerable island retreat, the hearing highlighted worsening conditions — and the need to free science from politics. “There are people trying to muzzle scientists. I’ve seen it in Washington. I’ve seen it here in the state of Florida,” said Nelson, a Democrat and the state’s former insurance commissioner. (April 10, 2017) Miami Herald [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/13/2017 - Here’s why we #StandUpForScience: Powerful ideologies in Washington really want to rip out science by the roots. However crazy, we can’t let that happen. Get engaged. Be there on Earth Day. #climatechangeadaptation #adaptingtoClimateChange #StandUpForScience #climatechangeshealth #ClimateFacts #MarchForScience #ScienceMatters #ClimateChange #BeInconvenient #PeoplesClimate #RochesterNY Scott Pruitt Faces Anger From Right Over E.P.A. Finding He Won’t Fight When President Trump chose the Oklahoma attorney general, Scott Pruitt, to lead the Environmental Protection Agency, his mission was clear: Carry out Mr. Trump’s campaign vows to radically reduce the size and scope of the agency and take apart President Barack Obama’s ambitious climate change policies. In his first weeks on the job, Mr. Pruitt drew glowing praise from foes of Mr. Obama’s agenda against global warming, as he moved to roll back its centerpiece, known as the Clean Power Plan, and expressed agreement with those who said the E.P.A. should be eliminated. His actions and statements have galvanized protests from environmentalists and others on the left. But now a growing chorus of critics on the other end of the political spectrum say Mr. Pruitt has not gone far enough. In particular, they are angry that he has refused to challenge a landmark agency determination known as the endangerment finding, which provides the legal basis for Mr. Obama’s Clean Power Plan and other global warming policies. (April 12, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/13/2017 - I know, permafrost probably isn’t on your radar or really your ‘thing.’ But now we’ve gone and broken it and now we own it. We are melting vast swaths of formerly frozen ground that used to hold a lot of greenhouse gases and now those gasses are going into our atmosphere warming up the planet quicker than we ever thought possible. Looks like hardy ole Earth is much more sensitive than we thought. We ain’t putting this Humpty Dumpty permafrost back together again and we’re going to have to deal with the consequences. Going into denial ain’t gonna work. Time passes. Each degree of warming thaws India-sized area of permafrost – study Frozen tundra may be more sensitive to rising temperatures than previously thought, releasing methane and worsening global warming Permafrost, the layer of permanently frozen ground that lies just beneath the Earth’s surface in the polar regions, has been found to be more sensitive to the effects of global warming than climatology had recognised. In a study published in Nature Climate Change journal, scientists say they expect the warming to thaw about 20% more permafrost than previously thought, potentially releasing significant amounts of greenhouse gases into the Earth’s atmosphere. (April 4, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - Trump isn’t being 'unclear' about Climate Change, he’s being coy. Just trying to squirm out of our county’s responsibility. Sad. Four emerging countries are pushing the US to stop being 'unclear' about climate change China, Brazil, India and South Africa have urged industrialized countries to honor financial commitments made in Paris in 2015 to help developing countries fight against global climate change, they said in a statement on Tuesday. Following a meeting in Beijing, climate change ministers from the "BASIC" bloc of four major emerging economies called on rich countries "to honor their commitments and increase climate finance towards the $100 billion goal", and said more clarity was needed to "track and account for" those pledges. (April 12, 2017) Business Insider [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - As the number two top emitter of greenhouse gasses, shouldn’t the U.S. give a rat’s ass about Climate Change? Is that unreasonable? Am I missing something? Because, say, if you’re the number two reason why your basketball team loses every game, wouldn’t it be prudent for the team’s coach to do something about that? This Interactive Chart Explains World’s Top 10 Emitters, and How They’ve Changed A lot has happened since countries met in Paris in 2015 and agreed on an accord to combat climate change. So far, more than 140 countries have ratified or otherwise joined the Paris Agreement, representing more than 80 percent of global emissions. Several major economies, including Canada, Germany and Mexico, have also developed long-term plans to decarbonize their economies. As countries implement their targets and policies and develop more detailed pathways to reduce their emissions, it’s important to fully understand our global emissions picture and how it has changed over time. WRI recently updated its CAIT Climate Data Explorer on the world’s top greenhouse gas-emitting countries with the latest global data available (2013). Here’s an interactive chart to explore it by country and by economic sector, showing how the top emitters have changed in recent years. (April 11, 2017) World Resources Institute [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - Something to live by: If climate scientists are worried about present Climate Change consequences, we should be worried too. Ignoring scientists is like dismissing your car mechanic who says your car ain’t going to make it. Great Barrier Reef at 'terminal stage': scientists despair at latest coral bleaching data ‘Last year was bad enough, this is a disaster,’ says one expert as Australia Research Council finds fresh damage across 8,000km Back-to-back severe bleaching events have affected two-thirds of Australia’s Great Barrier Reef, new aerial surveys have found. The findings have caused alarm among scientists, who say the proximity of the 2016 and 2017 bleaching events is unprecedented for the reef, and will give damaged coral little chance to recover. (April 9, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/12/2017 - A must-read local newsletter The Banner, Vol. 3, No. 15 - States of Resistance, from our friends over at We Are Seneca Lake.

  • 4/12/2017 - Students in Rochester, NY and probably around the U.S. understand Climate Change. They understand that their future is at risk. Wouldn’t it be nice if our kids didn’t have to brainstorm their way around Trump’s anti-science administration in order to have a sustainable future? Shouldn’t us adults be fixing our climate so it’s fit for our kids? The Rochester Youth Climate Summit was one of the many events of Earth Month in Rochester. There’s more events coming and a chance to bus to DC for the People Climate Mobilization March on April 29th. Students come together to fight climate change Rochester, N.Y. - Middle and high school students put their heads together Sunday at the Rochester Museum & Science Center to brainstorm ideas on how to fight climate change. It all happened at the Climate Summit, which was held by the Rochester Youth Climate Leaders. (April 9, 2017) WHAM Rochester [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 4/12/2017 - Extreme weather isn’t a fluke anymore if it happens all the time. Did last winter seem a little extreme to you? Maybe, because it was. Maybe we’re getting so used to extreme weather that we don’t notice that the new normal is extreme. One of the strange characteristics of being human is the shifting baseline syndrome, where we tend to get so used to the new normal that we forget that they aren’t normal. Like Presidential behavior, where the new normal of the behavior of our present President isn’t as outlandish and unprecedented as we first thought. With winter weather, we’ve become used to wild swings between lots of snow and little. It is with the help of science and careful monitoring that we know our winters have been shifting radically according to the predictions of Climate Change in our area. We should be backing science and get our politicians to plan for more extreme weather because it ain’t just a fluke. There was nothing normal About America’s Freakish Winter Weather A tornado in Massachusetts, wildfires in the Great Plains, and record snow in the Sierra Nevada. It’s been a weird winter. It’s not your imagination. The weather has been weird. So weird, in fact, it’s had an almost biblical feel: a February tornado in Massachusetts; record wildfires across the Great Plains and beyond; more snow than ever in the Sierra Nevada; and temperatures whiplashing from balmy to frigid, killing crops and coaxing flowers out of their winter slumber. While some of the swings may result from chance, scientists agree climate change is adding to weather mayhem and that the world will have to brace for worse. President Donald Trump is also seeking to roll back measures to fight global warming, saying the regulations kill jobs. “The bottom line: It’s not just in our minds that the weather is changing,” said David Titley, a meteorology professor at Pennsylvania State University. “It is changing, and changing rapidly in ways we understand and ways we are just beginning to examine.” (April 10, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/11/2017 - Take home message on Trump’s anti-environmental assaults: There will be marches and litigation and a lot of our money spent protecting what we already had. Sad. Trump moves to open Atlantic coast to oil drilling for first time in more than 30 years The White House is taking steps that could open up new areas of the Atlantic and Arctic oceans to offshore oil and gas drilling, according to multiple individuals briefed on the proposal. The White House is considering an executive order instructing the Interior Department to reverse President Barack Obama’s withdrawal of hundreds of millions of offshore acres from future drilling in December. The executive order — which could come out in the next few weeks — represents President Trump’s latest attempt to promote domestic energy exploration by rolling back restrictions put in place by previous administrations, though it would take considerable time for Interior to carry out aspects of the proposed directive. (April 7, 2017) The Washington Post

  • 4/11/2017 - Been waiting for the DEC report on the investigation of the Kodak pollution on the lower Genesee River? Be nice if someone would boil down this lengthy, wonky report into something the public can actually understand. My take (and I’m not an expert or a scientist) is that yeah, there’s a lot of stuff in the Genesee River, but it probably cannot be linked to Kodak. The report is out but it’s really detailed: RCRA FACILITY INVESTIGATION for the Lower Genesee River (Operable Unit 5 of the Eastman Business Park) March 2017: This is the summary: “Nature and Extent of Contamination Historical sample results and analytical data compiled as part of this RFI were compared to applicable and appropriate screening levels for each media to assess potential impacts to the lower Genesee River and to develop an understanding of the distribution of environmental contaminants. Contaminants of concern identified in the lower Genesee River based on exceedances of NYSDEC criteria or guidance values include the following: Silver and other metals Polycyclic aromatic hydrocarbon (PAHs) Pesticides/herbicides Polychlorinated biphenyls (PCBs) Dioxins/furans While these compounds have been identified as contaminants of concern, they are not all necessarily attributable to historic EBP operations.” To read the whole report, which is so long you have to download it or go someplace and read it, the DEC says “Because of the large file size, the full investigation report is available on request through DEC's file transfer service. To request access, send email to: here. ” The report also is available for review at the following locations: Maplewood Community Library, 1111 Dewey Avenue, Rochester, NY 14613; Greece Public Library, 2 Vince Tofany Boulevard, Rochester, NY 14612; NYSDEC Region 8 Office, 6274 East Avon-Lima Road, Avon, NY 14414-9519, Open Monday – Friday,(585) 226-5324, Please call for appointment.” Whew! Genesee River Project - Investigation Report Available DEC has issued a report on investigation of the lower Genesee River. The investigation assessed the effects of historic releases from Kodak's operations at the Eastman Business Park (EBP) located in Rochester, New York. The investigation identified EBP-related contamination of certain river sediments, wetland/floodplain soils, and biota (fish/mussels) that has the potential to adversely affect ecological receptors at some locations. The investigation also identified the potential for human exposures to EBP-related contaminated wetland/floodplain soils and biota (fish/mussels). The primary EBP-related contaminant of concern is silver. While the potential for adverse risk to ecological and human receptors appears to be relatively low and localized, DEC will undertake a Corrective Measures Study (CMS) to further evaluate these exposure pathways, and to identify and evaluate possible cleanup options that could be taken to reduce exposures. (March 2017) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (More on the Genesee River and  Brownfields in our area] 

  • 4/11/2017 - How many of you actually voted for Trump to make our life support unsustainable? Did you mean to give what's left of our environment to the polluters so we can all choke and die? Or, is making life impossible just one of those collateral damages that come with having a president who promises to fix everything that annoys you? We are all going to suffer greatly for this colossal lack of judgment. What’s at Stake in Trump’s Proposed E.P.A. Cuts What is at stake as Congress considers the E.P.A. budget? Far more than climate change. The Trump administration’s proposed cuts to the Environmental Protection Agency budget are deep and wide-ranging. It seeks to shrink spending by 31 percent, to $5.7 billion from $8.1 billion, and to eliminate a quarter of the agency’s 15,000 jobs. The cuts are so deep that even Republican lawmakers are expected to push back. Senator Lisa Murkowski of Alaska, the chairwoman of the Interior and Environment Subcommittee of the Senate Appropriations Committee, pointedly reminded Mr. Trump last month that his budget request was just “the first step in a long process.” Here are some proposed cuts that are likely to face resistance when the budget reaches Congress. (April 10, 2017) New York Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/11/2017 - #MarchForScience will happen on #EarthDay in #RochesterNY and around the country. No one can sit on the sidelines of science. No one should sit on the sidelines when science is being discounted. Local scientists, supporters plan to March for Science on Earth Day Adding to growing momentum for the upcoming national "March for Science," a Rochester contingent is planning a series of science-related events and activities for Earth Day. The Rochester "March for Science" on April 22 will kick off with a 9:30 a.m. rally at Martin Luther King Jr. Memorial Park in Manhattan Square Park, to be followed by a march to the first-ever Rochester Science Expo, which begins at noon at the Hyatt Regency Rochester, 125 E. Main Street. Organizers announced their event on Monday at Rochester City Hall. Amanda Preske, who holds a PhD in Chemistry from University of Rochester is the founder of Circuit Breaker Labs in Rochester and an organizer of the March for Science. She said one aim of the event is to help show the tight links between science and everyday life. Her company, which has three employees, makes jewelry from recycled electronics. (April 10, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/10/2017 - Unlike the Trump administration which bases its Climate Change policy on ideology, New York is going science based. Superb! But, we must realize that states, or nations for that matter, cannot do it alone on addressing Climate Change. At the state level, much can be done to adapt to Climate Change by protecting the public health, upgrading our infrastructures, and working with other states and the federal government on joint projects. As for mitigation, or stopping more global warming, everyone—individuals, cities, rural communities, states, and nations—all need to be on the same science-based page to address this worldwide crisis. States can do a lot, but without a responsible, science-based policy and action from the US federal government and other nations, we will not able to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter. Time passes. Time is running out. Time is not on our side. New York Adopts Science-Based Sea Level Rise Projections New York State’s Department of Environmental Conservation announced Monday that the state has adopted official sea-level rise projections to help state agencies and coastal communities plan for the impacts of climate change, becoming one of the first states in the nation to formalize sea level rise projections. The DEC first proposed the projection regulations in October of 2015. The projections are based on peer-reviewed research conducted by scientists at Columbia University, Cornell University, and Hunter College as part of the New York State ClimAID study, which included consideration of possible rapid melt of land-based ice in Antarctica and Greenland. (February 7, 2017) East End Beacon [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/10/2017 - We must switch gears to renewables immediately to keep global warming below 1.5 degrees by 2020. The Single Shining Hope to Stop Climate Change | Science is under attack at the very moment when we need it most. President Donald Trump’s March 28 executive order went much further than simply throwing a lifeline to fossil fuels, as industry-funded congressional climate change–deniers have done in the past. It intentionally blinded the federal government to the impacts of climate change by abolishing an interagency group that measured the cost of carbon to public health and the environment. Now, the government won’t have a coordinated way to account for damages from climate change when assessing the costs and benefits of a particular policy. With that in mind, Trump should read the landmark “2020” report now published by Mission 2020, a group of experts convened by the former Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate ChangeThe report establishes a timeline for how we can ensure a safe and stable climate. We don’t have much time — 2020 is a clear turning point. (April 8, 2017) Time [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/08/2017 - Our consumer-driven way of life produces a lot of waste and getting rid of this stuff is critical for our communities, like any living organism, to work. We expect our local governments to take this stuff away and they do a pretty good job. But our waste removers aren’t magicians; they need the public to comply with recycling rules so this system doesn’t get jammed up. This excellent article highlights why we have recycling rules and why it’s important for the public to become engaged in this vital part of how our communities work. Waste has to be gotten rid of and recycled properly for our way of life to work. Plastic bags wreak havoc at recycling plant I learned a new word on a recent visit to the Monroe County Recycling Center: wishcycling. It refers to the behavior of people who really, really want certain items to be recycled — lawnmower blades, old fake Christmas tree parts, plastic bags — so they toss them into the curbside recycling bin. Don’t do this. Last year, 2,569 tons of inappropriate stuff ended up at the Monroe County Recycling Center, about 5 percent of the total take-in. This rate is pretty good compared with other municipalities. Waste Management, the company that operates Monroe County’s curbside recycling program, has a national average of 16 percent. (April 7, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Recycling in our area] 

  • 4/08/2017 - Climate Change is motivating us to learn about things like “Atlantification” “where warm Atlantic water is increasingly pushing to the surface and melting floating sea ice.” But not in a good way. How much wiser it would have been to learn about how our planet’s environment worked BEFORE we began seriously warming it. Now we have to learn as we warm and hope to hell we can keep it altogether. Time passes. Climate change is literally turning the Arctic ocean inside out There’s something special — and very counterintuitive — about the Arctic Ocean. Unlike in the Atlantic or Pacific, where the water gets colder as it gets deeper, the Arctic is upside-down. The water gets warmer as it gets deeper. The reason is that warm, salty Atlantic-originating water that flows into the Arctic from the south is more dense, and so it nestles beneath a colder, fresher surface layer that is often capped by floating sea ice. This state of “stratification” makes the Arctic Ocean unique, and it means that waters don’t simply grow colder as you travel farther north — they also become inverted. But in a paper in Science released Thursday, a team of Arctic scientists say this fundamental trait is now changing across a major part of the Arctic, in conjunction with a changing climate. (April 6, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/08/2017 - I know, by their very nature springs are erratic. But Climate Change is putting this seasonal volatility on another disruptive level and it must be planned for. Or farmers may not be able to cope. Michigan's Tart Cherry Orchards Struggle To Cope With Erratic Spring Weather The Montmorency tart cherry is pretty much the only sour cherry grown in the U.S. And cherry growers in Michigan know the tree really well. It was brought here from France a couple hundred years ago. "This is older than most people think of as heirloom varieties and it's our main variety to this day," says Jim Nugent, a cherry grower in northern Michigan. The tree is "very cold hardy" in the dead of winter, he says, and grows well in the state. But it is susceptible to damage from spring frost, making it very sensitive to the extreme weather shifts made more likely by climate change. And that made tart cherry growers nervous. (April 7, 2017) NPR [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/08/2017 - An amazingly detailed interactive article, part two of New York Time’s “Changing Climate, Changing Cities”. How climate change is challenging the world’s urban centers. Rising Waters Threaten China’s Rising Cities In the Pearl River Delta, breakneck development is colliding with the effects of climate change. The rains brought torrents, pouring into basements and malls, the water swiftly rising a foot and a half. The city of Dongguan, a manufacturing center here in the world’s most dynamic industrial region, was hit especially hard by the downpour in May 2014. More than 100 factories and shops were inundated. Water climbed knee-high in 20 minutes, wiping out inventory for dozens of businesses. Next door in Guangzhou, an ancient, mammoth port city of 13 million, helicopters and a fleet of 80 boats had to be sent to rescue trapped residents. Tens of thousands lost their homes, and 53 square miles of nearby farmland were ruined. The cost of repairs topped $100 million. (April 7, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/08/2017 - An amazingly detailed interactive article, part one of New York Time’s “Changing Climate, Changing Cities”. How climate change is challenging the world’s urban centers. Mexico City, Parched and Sinking, Faces a Water Crisis Climate change is threatening to push a crowded capital toward a breaking point. On bad days, you can smell the stench from a mile away, drifting over a nowhere sprawl of highways and office parks. When the Grand Canal was completed, at the end of the 1800s, it was Mexico City’s Brooklyn Bridge, a major feat of engineering and a symbol of civic pride: 29 miles long, with the ability to move tens of thousands of gallons of wastewater per second. It promised to solve the flooding and sewage problems that had plagued the city for centuries. Only it didn’t, pretty much from the start. The canal was based on gravity. And Mexico City, a mile and a half above sea level, was sinking, collapsing in on itself. It still is, faster and faster, and the canal is just one victim of what has become a vicious cycle. Always short of water, Mexico City keeps drilling deeper for more, weakening the ancient clay lake beds on which the Aztecs first built much of the city, causing it to crumble even further. (February 17, 2017) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/07/2017 - This is what happens when you let the fox take over the henhouse. Stunned silence. For now anyways. World Leaders Watch in Silence as Trump Cuts Climate Efforts Nations mute criticism as U.S. cuts enviromental efforts Germany, others plan to jointly push Trump at G7, G20 summits As President Donald Trump tries to rip U.S. climate change efforts out by the roots, world leaders are watching in silence. Presidents and prime ministers around the globe have raised few, if any, public objections to Trump’s sweeping orders to gut environmental regulations. German Chancellor Angela Merkel said nothing about climate last month during her appearance with the U.S. president. And the issue is unlikely to come up in detail this week when he meets with Chinese president Xi Jinping. The muted international reaction underscores the cautious line nations are treading with a president threatening to upend worldwide efforts to stop global warming. Rather than publicly confront him, leaders are largely keeping criticism of Trump’s climate stance behind closed doors, avoiding a showdown that might prompt him to double down on support for fossil fuels. (April 6, 2017) Bloomberg [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/07/2017 - So, what you’re saying is just about the time Trump leaves office we blow our carbon budget and cook. Sad. Terrible. Analysis: Just four years left of the 1.5C carbon budget Four years of current emissions would be enough to blow what’s left of the carbon budget for a good chance of keeping global temperature rise to 1.5C. That’s the conclusion of analysis by Carbon Brief, which brings the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s (IPCC) carbon budgets up to date to include global CO2 emissions in 2016. Our infographic above shows how quickly the budgets for 1.5C, 2C and 3C will be used up if emissions continue at the current rate. For 1.5C, this could be a soon as four years’ time. (April 5, 2017) Carbon Brief [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/07/2017 - Of course, when farming get tougher as Climate Change worsens, getting food to the table becomes more problematic. If we planned for Climate Change on a scale that mattered, I suspect protecting agriculture would be near the top of our priorities. Thinking that air conditioned tractors, GMO’s, more industrial fertilizers and pesticides will do the trick, instead of stopping soil degradation and stopping more warming, is only likely to ratchet up the consequences of this crisis. The longer we wait to address Climate Change, the more likely we’ll crash trying to feed more people in extreme conditions. America’s farmers face uncertain future New research indicates that climate change will wreak havoc on farmers in America as they struggle to adapt to the rapid increase in heat. Spare a thought for the farmers of America: climate change is going to make their lives more difficult. Growing seasons will be extended, as spring arrives ever earlier and winter’s onset is delayed. But that also throws one of farming’s great specifics into new uncertainty. What matters most immediately to farmers is not just the overall pattern of rain and sunlight; it is the number of days on which they can successfully and fruitfully work the soil. And this, say agricultural researchers, is crucial. (April 5, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Food and  Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/07/2017 - This must be a mistake because no politician would be mean enough to take away federal funds that protect children from lead poisoning. Right? Trump’s EPA moves to dismantle programs that protect kids from lead paint Environmental Protection Agency officials are proposing to eliminate two programs focused on limiting children’s exposure to lead-based paint, which is known to cause damage to developing brains and nervous systems. The proposed cuts, outlined in a 64-page budget memo revealed by The Washington Post on Friday, would roll back programs aimed at reducing lead risks by $16.61 million and more than 70 employees, in line with a broader project by the Trump administration to devolve responsibility for environmental and health protection to state and local governments. Old housing stock is the biggest risk for lead exposure — and the EPA estimates that 38 million U.S. homes contain lead-based paint. (April 5, 2017) The Washington Post {more on Lead Poisoning in our area]

  • 4/06/2017 - Of course, the climate change 50 million years ago didn’t have today’s 7 billion people to feed and our infrastructure to maintain.  And 50 million years ago during the Eocene, the shoreline communities, such as they were, wouldn’t get suddenly flooded as it have been much more gradual and besides the ungulates (hoofed animals)  and Mesonyx, bats, proboscidians (elephants), primates, rodents and marsupials, pythons and turtles, (Wikipedia) would have just moved until they couldn’t. This Climate Change is different from past climate changes. Read my essay: “Why this Climate Change should be capitalized”   Time passes.   The Climate Could Hit a State Unseen in 50 Million Years No, the headline is not a typo. Current carbon dioxide levels are unprecedented in human history and are on track to climb to even more ominous heights in just a few decades. If carbon emissions continue on their current trajectory, new findings show that by mid-century, the atmosphere could reach a state unseen in 50 million years. Back then, temperatures were up to 18°F (10°C) warmer, ice was almost nowhere to be seen and oceans were dramatically higher than they are now. The implications of the research, published on Tuesday in Nature Communications, are some of the starkest reminders yet that humanity faces a major choice to curtail carbon pollution or risk pushing the climate outside the bounds that have allowed civilization to thrive. (April 4, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/06/2017 - Dear Earthlings: I know you are being gobsmacked by Trump’s anti-science shitstorm right now, but Climate Change needs your attention. Keep your eyes (we only have one in the middle of our forehead, which is why I use the plural) on the ball because Trumps will come and go but your life support system once wrecked will be too hard to fix. And, we are too far away to help you right now. But if you can keep your species and ecosystems together just a few million more years, we can help you out. You can do it. Imagine a sustainable future and move towards it relentlessly.  See ya real soon. These stunning timelapse photos may just convince you about climate change Melting glaciers, from Greenland to Antarctica, have become symbols of global warming — and monitoring their retreat is one major way scientists are keeping tabs on the progress of climate change. Now, scientists are trying to bring the issue a little closer to home by using time-lapse photos to show the effects of climate change are already occurring. A paper published last week by the Geological Society of America presents dramatic before-and-after photographs of glaciers around the world over the last decade. Most of the photos were taken by photographer James Balog as part of a project called the Extreme Ice Survey, which began documenting changing glaciers around the world in 2007. The project was featured in the 2012 documentary “Chasing Ice.” (April 3, 2017) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/06/2017 - Two important marches in Rochester, NY during Earth Month: March for Science on Earth Day and a solidarity march for the People's Climate Mobilization taking place in Washington, DC April 29th. Demonstrate you commitment to a sustainable future. No one should be on the sidelines when science is being attacked; no one can be on the sidelines as Climate Change happens. Marches promote science, climate action Rochester is steeped in science. George Eastman's film business was basically chemistry. The cutting-edge medical and tech research happening at the University of Rochester Medical Center uses just about every branch of science, from biology to theoretical physics. Photonics, a high-potential industry for the Rochester region, is a branch of science. And that just scratches the surface. The April 22 Rochester March for Science (rocmarchforscience.org) is partly intended to recognize what the sciences have done for Rochester. But as the local satellite event to the national March for Science, the idea is emphasize the importance of government funding for the sciences and to denounce President Trump's proposed cuts to federal science programs. Trump's 2018 budget rips funding from National Institutes of Health research budgets, from federal weather forecasting services, from Environmental Protection Agency research, and more. In other words, it threatens important programs that fight disease, protect the environment, and advance technology. The cuts could hurt local initiatives and jobs, says Stephanie Gallant, a teacher and chair of the Rochester March for Science organizing committee. (August 5, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/06/2017 - Fantastic essay by Rochester City Newspaper’s, Mary Anna Towler. City Newspaper has been one of the region’s few media that has continually reported on Climate Change and helped connect the dots to this worldwide issue at the local level.  The rest of our areas media has been very milquetoast on this crisis of our age and will either have to change their attitude on Climate Change or fall into obscurity as irrelevant. Rochester, with the rise of the Rochester Peoples Climate Coalition (100 member organizations, RPCC continues to expand, evolve, and galvanize our local climate movement) is especially set to kick off Towler’s message: Earth Day provides a good focal point. And this month is a good time to start building alliances. by collecting all the Earth Month activities into one coherent theme. Protecting the Earth is a moral issue  So many awful things are happening in Washington right now that it’s hard to single out one particular area of atrocity. But at the moment, in this month, Washington’s attack on the environment stands out. Pull back from the Paris climate agreement? Loosen environmental regulations? Give a thumbs-up to polluting the air and spoiling the water and destroying the lands we’ve designated as special, protected spaces? How could we? What on earth are we thinking? This isn’t an issue of Republicans versus Democrats, Tea Partiers versus liberals. The people unleashing practices that will pollute the air and water – endangering public health in the process – aren’t following the principles of a political party. Nor are they adhering to sound business practices. They’re simply greedy, looking out for their own interests (August 5, 2017) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/05/2017 - A must read if, unlike Trump, you really care about the Great Lakes the largest freshwater system in the world. If you really want to get your head around how humanity’s bringing in invasive species have wreaked havoc on our Great Lakes, you must read "The Death and Life of the Great Lakes" by Dan Egan. This book just came out and while I thought I knew a lot about how humanity has changed this largest freshwater system in the world into one ridden and profoundly altered by invasive species, this book really gives me the big picture of what we are up against in fixing this precious system of freshwater lakes. Invasive viruses from Ballast water is only the latest assault on our Great Lakes. We must get the Great Lakes ready for Climate Change which will accelerate and amplify all the environmental issues with our Great Lakes. Exploring the death, and life, of the Great Lakes The Great Lakes are a marvel — an unrivaled natural resource and a stunning landscape that defines the surrounding states. But in the middle of the 20th century, they were in trouble. Pollution strangled the beaches, and rivers feeding the lakes were so filled with chemicals they literally caught on fire. Then came the Clean Water Act of 1972. "In 1972, suddenly industries and cities were being held accountable for what they were putting in our water bodies," reporter Dan Egan told MPR News host Tom Weber. "The improvement was vast and dramatic — and in many ways people thought the problem had largely been solved." Not so fast. (March 13, 2017) MPR News [more on Water Quality, Invasive Species, Great Lakes in our region. ]

  • 4/05/2017 - If you are going to be a part of the many beach cleanups this month around the Great Lakes, you will find plastic bags. Even though there weren’t plastic bags before 1960, we now tend to think plastic bags strewn through our environment is normal and safe. Not so. Plastics because they clog drains, starve animals, accumulate toxins, and deface our environment are a real threat to the largest freshwater system in the world. Plastic bags waste isn’t normal for our environment. Exploring the death, and life, of the Great Lakes The Great Lakes are a marvel — an unrivaled natural resource and a stunning landscape that defines the surrounding states. But in the middle of the 20th century, they were in trouble. Pollution strangled the beaches, and rivers feeding the lakes were so filled with chemicals they literally caught on fire. Then came the Clean Water Act of 1972. "In 1972, suddenly industries and cities were being held accountable for what they were putting in our water bodies," reporter Dan Egan told MPR News host Tom Weber. "The improvement was vast and dramatic — and in many ways people thought the problem had largely been solved." Not so fast. (March 13, 2017) MPR News [more on Water Quality, Invasive Species, Great Lakes in our region. ]

  • 4/05/2017 - Low morale at the EPA demonstrates how quickly humanity can unravel its commitment to our life support system. It isn’t easy being green; it takes hard work, research, knowledge, and commitment to restructure our way of life from an unsustainable path to a sustainable path. Though these Trump anti-science times are rough going , we must keep the vision of a viable future in our sights and strive for them as if we expect humanity to properly become the stewards of this planet that we are destined to be. At Trump's EPA, going to work can be an act of defiance As California’s top energy regulator, Michael Picker has an absurdly busy job. So it was a little surprising to find him recently near a Washington, D.C., metro stop, randomly handing out help-wanted fliers in the middle of a workday. But with morale plummeting at the Environmental Protection Agency since President Trump took office, Picker saw in that patch of sidewalk near its headquarters an opportunity — and perhaps a publicity stunt — to lure top-shelf talent that never before would have considered bolting from the agency. The dim outlook at the EPA is weighing heavily on its 15,000 scientists, engineers, investigators and other employees, many of whom perceive their life’s work to be under assault from within. The Trump administration is moving as quickly as it can to diminish the place, with plans to cripple the EPA science office, stop the agency’s climate change work, cut its Superfund program in half and outright eliminate 50 programs, down to the voluntary Energy Star stickers that help consumers locate efficient appliances. (April 4, 2017) Los Angeles Times [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 4/05/2017 - April in Rochester is Earth Month and there are lots of events going on. This excellent program describes the state of our environment right now, what’s going on, and what you can do during this critical time. Rochester is definitely not sitting this one out. Connections: Climate change policy, and a busy month of events In several billion years, the sun will run out of hydrogen at its core, and that will be game over for humans. So why are we so hung up on climate change? Well, in the event that you think it's worth protecting the planet for several billion more years, there are some things going on. Start with the recent policy changes and reversals from the Trump administration, from coal to clean energy to Paris. There are also a number of events going on this month. Our panel discusses state and federal policy, recent developments, and the upcoming march, among other things. In studio: Mark Dunlea, president and chair of the Green Education and Legal Fund Ben Frevert, member of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition leadership team and its Community Choice Aggregation project Linda Isaacson-Fedele, member of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition leadership team and the Sierra Club Rochester Regional Group (April 3, 2017) Connection WXXI [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/05/2017 - Transportation in Rochester is about justice and health and finding and keeping a job and addressing Climate Change. Transportation is more than just getting round. Going into the future, we have some choices about the kind of place where we want to be and how we are going to get to that place. If we want that place to be just and fair to all, with equal opportunities and have a viable future, our transportation system needs to change and it won’t just happen without your input. Public Transit in Rochester: Still Miles from Where it Needs to Be When I lived in D.C., I walked everywhere. To work, to get groceries, even downtown. Since I’ve moved back to Rochester, I’ve been car-bound, despite working just eight minutes from my house and living mere streets from the Public Market. This is for a number of reasons but mainly because getting around any other way is exceedingly slow and cumbersome. There’s no question that transportation in the city of Rochester is severely lacking, negatively impacting residents’ ability to find and/or commute to work, get to high-quality grocery stores, and more. For a city where everything is 15 minutes away, residents without a car often feel isolated and face an inability to travel easily, conveniently and cheaply. “We take transportation for granted here,” said Ravi Mangla of ROCitizen. “You can drive from one end of the city to the other in, what, 15 minutes? About 25 percent of people don’t have access to the car. That’s upwards of a quarter of people, families. That’s your access to grocery stores, job, green spaces, everything.”(March 31, 2017) Open Mic [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 4/04/2017 - Take ACTION for Wildlife in NYS. Make comment to the DEC that you want a state plan for managing wildlife through the lens of Climate Change. Due date for your comments is May 1, 2017. Our state wildlife are going to be severely impacted by a quickly warming climate and our state’s environmental agency has done little in actually informing the public of what needs to be done and actually doing things that will protect the beings that are largely responsible for the environment we inherited.  Learn more about Wildlife and how they will be impacted by Climate Change in our area. This is the time to act. DEC Invites Public Comment on Proposal to Update Habitat Management Activities Comments Accepted on New Draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement through May 1, 2017 The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) announced today that a draft Supplemental Environmental Impact Statement (SEIS) to update its Final Programmatic Environmental Impact Statement (PEIS) on Habitat Management Activities for DEC's Division of Fish and Wildlife is now available for public review and comment. The draft SEIS describes and evaluates habitat management techniques implemented on nearly 234,000 acres of state land, designated primarily as Wildlife Management Areas (WMAs) and managed for wildlife production and wildlife-dependent recreation. Comments will be accepted through May 1, 2017. DEC recognized the need to update the state's 1979 PEIS to reflect current practices. DEC uses a variety of methods to manage habitat for wildlife, including controlling undesirable vegetation, maintaining impoundments for waterfowl and wading bird production, planting trees, mowing and removing brush to maintain grasslands, and cutting trees to create openings in the forest. (April 3, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 4/04/2017 - What’s the most immediate effect of Trump’s suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency? Litigation, litigation, litigation. Every bad environmental Trump move deserves its day in court. Rather than doing anyone any good, much time and effort and money are going to be focused on keeping what good environmental standards and rules we have worked decades to put in place. Sad. It didn’t have to be this way, wasting our time on Trump’s anti-sustainable ideology when we should be addressing Climate Change and keeping our environment healthy. New York, other states take on Trump over energy efficiency A coalition of U.S. states has mounted a broad legal challenge against what it called the Trump administration's illegal suspension of rules to improve the energy efficiency of ceiling fans, portable air conditioners and other products. The challenge, also joined by environmental groups, came after the U.S. Department of Energy last month delayed standards proposed under the Obama administration to reduce air pollution and operating costs associated with the products. Ten Democratic attorneys general, plus New York City and a Pennsylvania regulator, on Monday notified Energy Secretary Rick Perry of their plan to sue in 60 days for stalling proposed standards for air compressors, commercial boilers, portable air conditioners, power supplies, and walk-in coolers and freezers. The same group, excluding Maryland, on Friday petitioned the federal appeals court in New York to force the administration to implement ceiling fan efficiency standards that were to have taken effect two weeks ago, but have been delayed to Sept. 30. (April 3, 2017) Reuters [more on Energy in our area]

  • 4/04/2017 - ACTION: from our friends over at Alliance for the Great Lakes  "There are Adopt-a-Beach events scheduled at beaches near you for Earth Month — and we want you to join us for one! Being an Adopt-a-Beach volunteer is fun and easy, plus you get to make a difference with your community at your local beach. Keeping Great Lakes beaches and shorelines clean and healthy has never been so easy. You can sign up for an Adopt-a-Beach cleanup today. Spring Kickoff events take place from April 1 through Memorial Day. So, all you have to do is find an event near you that fits your calendar and sign up. I’m happy to help you with any questions you may have, just email me at ndrag@greatlakes.org or call me at (716) 261-9393. Happy Earth Month! Nate Drag Alliance for the Great Lakes "

  • 4/04/2017 - The Keystone XL pipeline was a bad idea then and it’s a worse idea now. Constructing a major fossil-fuel pipeline infrastructure will lead us down the wrong energy path for a long time and we may not find out way back. From my essay in 2011: Jobs vs. our Environment – Wrong characterization of Tar Sands Action Time passes. Environmental groups sue Trump administration for approving Keystone pipeline Several environmental groups filed lawsuits against the Trump administration on Thursday to challenge its decision to approve construction of TransCanada Corp's controversial Keystone XL crude oil pipeline. In two separate filings to a federal court in Montana, environmental groups argued that the U.S. State Department, which granted the permit needed for the pipeline to cross the Canadian border, relied on an "outdated and incomplete environmental impact statement" when making its decision earlier this month. By approving the pipeline without public input and an up-to-date environmental assessment, the administration violated the National Environmental Policy Act, groups including the Center for Biological Diversity, Sierra Club and the Northern Plains Resource Council said in their legal filing. (March 30, 2017) Reuters [more on Energy in our area]

  • 4/04/2017 - We have awakened a great giant who is now stirring and warming after its great thaw threatening to further disrupt our world. We should be slowing its arousal and trying to understand the implications of this profound change before we start exploiting the effects of this phenomenon whose influence is most likely planet wide.  We should have let this sleeping dog lie, but we didn’t. Thinning Arctic Sea Ice Prompts Algae Bloom Study Climate change is stirring life in the Arctic Ocean as thinning sea ice lets in more sunlight, allowing microscopic algae to bloom in the inhospitable region around the North Pole, scientists said. The micro-algae may now be able to grow under the ice across almost 30 percent of the Arctic Ocean at the peak of the brief summer in July, up from about 5 percent 30 years ago, they wrote. Blooms may become even more widespread. "Recent climate change may have markedly altered the ecology of the Arctic Ocean," wrote scientists in the United States and Britain led by Christopher Horvat of Harvard University. The first massive under-ice bloom of algae was seen in 2011 in the Chukchi Sea north of the Bering Strait separating Alaska and Russia, a region until then thought too dark for photosynthesis. (April 2, 201) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/01/2017 - Earth Month starts today in Rochester, NY. Lots of events going on. More imp than ever you get engaged. Don’t stand on the sidelines as your future unravels. Here’s what I wrote about Earth Day in 2010: “Earth Day: The Real Meaning” Click here for Earth Month Flyer or the Full Schedule from the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition.

  • 4/01/2017 - Trump has obviously forgotten what happened to Bush when the then-president didn’t respond quickly enough to Hurricane Katrina. For all the climate denial hogwash and efforts to thwart humanity’s efforts to address Climate Change, the public will not forgive a leader who didn’t protect them and gutted the resources to pick them back up again when the consequences of this crisis hit home. Folks may think they have a choice about mitigating (stopping) Climate Change, but they don’t have a choice to adapt to it. For billions of years, life which did not adapt didn’t get to play another day. Check out my 2014 essay “Climate Change mitigation (People’s Climate March ==> Paris 2015) & adaptation: what’s the diff?” Time passes. Trump Order Targets Local Efforts to Adapt to Warming As President Trump moved this week to halt federal efforts to slow climate change, his executive order on energy and climate also directed agencies to retreat from efforts to help cities and counties adapt to the effects of warming temperatures. Tuesday’s executive order rescinded directives issued by President Obama in 2013 and 2015, which sought to better protect Americans from floods, wildfires, heat waves and other disasters that are being amplified by greenhouse gas pollution. The order followed a budget proposal by the White House to eliminate federal spending on a wide range of programs that partner with local governments, scientists and industry to help Americans cope with everything from rising temperatures to rising seas. (March 31, 2017) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 4/01/2017 - Soil is one of those incredible natural processes that should give humanity pause whenever we think we can outsmart Nature. For all our ingenuity, we’ve created nothing like the soil beneath our feet, which can allow life to breakdown properly and flourish again. We’ve paved over it, poisoned it, dug it up and threw it away, eroded it and washed it away, over-fertilized it, but we haven’t duplicated it. We should pause and find out what soil really is and then how best to protect it, as this extremely complex society of beings may be one of our most important allies in addressing Climate Change. Here’s an essay I wrote about last year’s Earth Week that included the importance of soil: “Rochester’s Earth Week highlights Paris Agreement and agriculture omission” Time passes. Soil microbes hold key to climate puzzle Scientific studies cast new light on the complex role soil microbes play in affecting ecosystems, atmospheric carbon levels and the climate. LONDON, 28 March, 2017 − Climate scientists puzzled by the traffic of carbon between soil and air may have to think more deeply about the role played by soil microbes − the planet’s smallest inhabitants. One research team has just found that soil microbes could actually lighten the colour of arid land soils, to reflect more light and bounce more radiation energy back into space. Another has identified an unexpected source of atmospheric carbon: 17% of the soil carbon that gets into the atmosphere from a floodplain has its origins among micro-organisms at depths of more than two metres. And a third group has identified soil bacteria that could help plants survive drought, and enhance crop yields in drylands such as Arizona, Israel and the Nile Valley. (March 28, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Plants and Food in our area]  

  • 4/01/2017 - But the Carbon Law wouldn’t be like Moore’s Law precisely because of “the current political climate” which thwarts human ingenuity and sustainability. Doubling of computer processing every two years is what humanity really, really wants. With a Carbon Law, just as hard as some innovators are increasing renewable energy, push-backs like Trump’s push for coal try to undo all we have gained. Many bad players really, really don’t want to give up old technologies. There’s the ‘One Step Forward, Two Steps Back Law’ that humanity must put to rest before we can address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will actually matter. Time Passes. Carbon law could make Paris promise a reality Leading scientists say a carbon law requiring CO2 emissions to be halved every decade could drastically cut global warming – and is feasible. LONDON, 1 April, 2017 – By 2020, fossil fuels will no longer be subsidised by the taxpayer, anywhere in the world. And by then, carbon dioxide emissions worldwide will have started to fall. By 2030, coal will no longer be mined or burned. The construction industry will be carbon neutral. So will some of the world’s great cities, lit up by renewable energy, the traffic powered by hydrogen, or by carbon neutral biofuels. And by 2040, crude oil will no longer be an energy source. Europe will be the first continent with zero carbon emissions, and by 2050, the entire global economy will be carbon neutral: those who do still rely on fossil fuel combustion will also by then have found ways to remove the carbon dioxide they have released. That’s the ambition. In the current political climate it may seem improbable. But scientists within a number of great organisations think it can be done, and explain how it can be done in the journal Science. (April 1, 2017) Climate News Network [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]