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: Friday, September 19, 2014

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

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

  • 8/30/2014 - Check out latest newsletter from: Pachamama September Newsletter The Pachamama Alliance "Building a critical mass of committed global citizens… to create a human presence on the planet that is environmentally sustainable, spiritually fulfilling, and socially just.” PACHAMAMA OF GREATER ROCHESTER

  • 8/30/2014 - You’d think Climate Change’s affect on public health alone would galvanize the world to address this issue. But most media keeps us ignorant of all that--especially on a local level. Climate change's health toll: 'We can save millions of lives, even now' While the effects of climate change on the environment are gaining wide attention, there's a lack of awareness about the impact on human health. The WHO's Diarmid Campbell-Lendrum tells DW how both can be adressed. As the earth warms, it makes it easier to transmit diseases in many parts of the world - diseases like malaria, which kills around 600,000 people every year, or diarrheal disease, including cholera and other forms of diarrhea, which also kills almost 600,000 just children every year, particularly in developing countries. And as we get more frequent precipitation, perhaps more frequent flooding and drought, it makes it harder to supply safe water sanitation services to populations. (August 28, 2014) Deutsche Welle (DW) [more on Climate Change and Environmental Health in our area]

  • 8/30/2014 - “If we do not demand the kind of change that we want, it will not happen.” Naomi Klein: Why global warming changes everything Among the world’s most popular anti-capitalist revolutionaries is a woman who once idolized capitalism. Global CEO profiles an intellectual giant. In December 1989, a 25-year-old man was denied admission to École Polytechnique in Montreal, took a firearm into one of its engineering classrooms, shouted: “You’re all a bunch of feminists,” and killed 14 female students before turning the gun on himself. His suicide note outlined his rage regarding women’s occupation of traditional male roles. He claimed feminists had ruined his life. (August 22, 2014) Global CEO [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/30/2014 - One of the purposes of the People’s Climate March is for folks to show Obama and Congress that physics, not US politics, rule.  A massive demonstration by the people on September 21st in New York City can demonstrate that people around the world demand a binding treaty to reduce greenhouse gases and do that fairly. Not some non-binding political scheme to thwart what absolutely has to be done in Paris Climate Conference in 2015. To sign up to get to NYC to the People’s Climate March from Rochester NY, go here: WESTERN NY | Obama Attempts to Sidestep Congress by Forging an International Climate Agreement - Under the U.S. constitution, the President may only enter into a legally binding treaty if two-thirds of the Senate approve it. President Obama hasn’t had much luck getting Congress to approve of anything, much less climate change, so how can he make any progress on forging an international alliance to reduce carbon emissions?  The answer involves a game of legal limbo. In 2015, a UN summit meeting will gather the leading industrial countries on the planet to hash out an international climate change policy. The UN’s two previous attempts to regulate its members’ emissions have ended in failure, both times with fingers left pointing at America. (August 27, 2014) Planet Experts [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/30/2014 - Governor Cuomo, we’ve learned enough from our friends in Pennsylvania that Fracking is not for New York. We need a Fracking ban.  Please focus on renewable energy in a time of Climate Change because we really, really don’t want our water, our life support system, our home mortgages, insurances, roads and bridges, tourism, wine industry, and (did I say) OUR WATER! screwed up by Fracking. Pennsylvania Finally Reveals Fracking Has Contaminated Drinking Water Hundreds Of Times For the first time, Pennsylvania has made public 243 cases of contamination of private drinking wells from oil and gas drilling operations. As the AP reports, Pennsylvania’s Department of Environmental Protection posted details about the contamination cases online on Thursday. The cases occurred in 22 counties, with Susquehanna, Tioga, Lycoming, and Bradford counties having the most incidences of contamination. In some cases, one drilling operation contaminated the water of multiple wells, with water issues resulting from methane gas contamination, wastewater spills, and wells that simply went dry or undrinkable. The move to release the contamination information comes after years of the AP and other news outlets filing lawsuits and Freedom of Information Act requests from the DEP on water issues related to oil and gas drilling and fracking. (August 29, 2014) Think Progress/Climate Progress [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/30/2014 - Organizations in Rochester, NY that support local folks to get to the People’s Climate March grow each day. Think of joining this effort and getting the word out to everyone by finding out more at People’s Climate March/WesternNY.   

  • 8/30/2014 - Disruption” coming to your computer, your home, and where friends gather: “Disruption will be released for free online Sept. 7.” Disruption: Watch It Sept. 7 “When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much?” This is the question that Disruption investigates in the 60-minute documentary with narration based on the writings of Bill McKibben. Disruption takes a fearless look at the devastating consequences of inaction on climate change. The film calls for bold action now and shows how building a renewable energy future can help provide solutions to our fossil-fuel addicted economy. “We’re the first generation to feel the impacts of climate disruption, and the last generation that can do something about it,” says the films synopsis. (August 29, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/29/2014 - People’s Climate March is more important than ever. We cannot have a milquetoast climate treaty. We need you in NYC on 9/21. Listen to this critical interview with Bill McKibben on why folks like you and I must not let leaders get away with some kind of go-around deal.  “Your body is badly needed on the streets of New York City on September 21, 2014…” As Obama Settles on Nonbinding Treaty, "Only a Big Movement" Can Take on Global Warming As international climate scientists warn runaway greenhouse gas emissions could cause "severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts," the Obama administration is abandoning attempts to have Congress agree to a legally binding international climate deal. The New York Times reports U.S. negotiators are crafting a proposal that would not require congressional approval and instead would seek pledges from countries to cut emissions on a voluntary basis. This comes as a new U.N. report warns climate change could become "irreversible" if greenhouse gas emissions go unchecked. If global warming is to be adequately contained, it says, at least three-quarters of known fossil fuel reserves must remain in the ground. We speak to 350.org founder Bill McKibben about why his hopes for taking on global warming lie not in President Obama’s approach, but rather in events like the upcoming People’s Climate March in New York City, which could mark the largest rally for climate action ever. "The Obama administration, which likes to poke fun at recalcitrant congressmen, hasn’t been willing to really endure much in the way of political pain itself in order to slow things down," McKibben says. "The rest of the world can see that. The only way we’ll change any of these equations here or elsewhere is by building a big movement — that’s why September 21 in New York is such an important day." (?August 28, 2014) Democracy Now! [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/29/2014 - Plastic bag problem highlights free-market/ pollution problem: If the invisible hand can’t stop plastic bag pollution, the nanny state will have to.  Although some may find plastic bags in our trees, blocking our street drains, and acting as food for wild creatures, uninteresting most realize that plastic bags are more than unsightly, they are poisoning our life support system. If our present economic system cannot find it in its heart to make littering plastic bags unprofitable, or gathering up plastic bags like deposit bottles profitable, then government regulations will come into play. It’s only natural that our government, any government, protects its people and its environment. California Assembly Passes Statewide Plastic Bag Ban The California State Assembly today voted 44-29 to phase out plastic shopping bags across the state. The legislation now advances to the State Senate where it is expected to come up for a vote before the legislature adjourns on August 31. The measure, SB 270, authored by Los Angeles Democrat Senator Alex Padilla, and two other Democrats, would prohibit grocery stores, drugstores, and convenience stores from distributing single-use plastic bags starting July 2015. Stores could sell paper, durable reusable bags, and compostable bags with a minimum charge of 10 cents each. The charge aims to encourage shoppers to bring their own reusable bags. (August 28, 2014) Environmental News Service [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 8/29/2014 - Important environmental news and information from the latest newsletter from the Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club.  Including a full description of how Rochester, NY folks can get to the People’s Climate March.

  • 8/29/2014 - In a warmer world “viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpillars that farmers call pests will have saturated the world” but we had better not saturate them and our environment with pesticides. This is why we need to plan for Climate Change so we find non- pesticides alternatives so we don’t shoot ourselves in the foot—as it were—with something just as bad if not worse than the pests. Food security faces growing pest advance A world with more people will see more competition for food. Many of our competitors may not be human, because natural pests are spreading far and wide.  Coming soon to a farm near you: just about every possible type of pest that could take advantage of the ripening harvest in the nearby fields. By 2050, according to new research in the journal Global Ecology and Biogeography, those opportunistic viruses, bacteria, fungi, blights, mildews, rusts, beetles, nematodes, flies, mites, spiders and caterpillars that farmers call pests will have saturated the world. Wherever they can make a living, they will. None of this bodes well for food security in a world of nine billion people and increasingly rapid climate change. (August 29, 2014) Climate News Network [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/28/2014 - Kind of hard to address NYS invasive species issue without including Climate Change, but NYS DEC manages to do so.  This is weird because trying to stop and regulate invasive species in our region, according to climate studies clearly describe the problem of more pest, and health and crop risks, with more invasive species but our main regulatory agency is mum on all that. New Regulations Seek to Prevent the Spread of Invasive Species in New York State DEC and Agriculture & Markets Issue Final Regulations to Address Damage Caused by Invasive Species New state regulations will prevent the introduction and spread of invasive species and help to preserve New York's ecosystems, state Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens announced today. The regulations are the latest step in the state's efforts to combat invasive species and were developed by DEC in cooperation with the state Department of Agriculture and Markets (DAM). "Invasive species can cause serious harm to other species and impair natural ecosystems," Commissioner Martens said. "These regulations will establish strict limits to better control the spread of invasive species and help to protect natural resources, habitats and biological diversity, including trees, crops and native species that are threatened by the presence of invasives." State Agriculture Commissioner Richard A. Ball said, "Invasive species pose a serious threat to New York agriculture, which is why we dedicate so much time and energy to combat these non-native threats to our farms. We are pleased to actively partner with DEC in these efforts to protect our state's food supply, ecosystems and economy and will work to ensure that these rules provide maximum protection for consumers and all affected industries." (August 27, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)   [more on Invasive Species in our area] 

  • 8/28/2014 - How many other Rochester, NY based media are reporting on IPCC draft that it may already be too late to avoid serious impacts of Climate Change? I’m thinking not many of them. Mostly we here in Rochester, NY are in Climate Change silence mode and must somehow believe we are not part of this worldwide crisis and that we don’t have to plan.  Climate change panel issues blunt warning on carbon emissions Over the past few months, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has issued a series of reports containing stern warnings about global warming. The panel's scientists have clearly stated that climate change is here, it's creating a long list of harms and risks, and governments need to act on greenhouse gas emissions to avert the worst impacts. But the latest document, sent yesterday to governments across the world, says it may already be too late to avoid serious impacts. According to reports in major media outlets, the panel's draft synthesis report — which combines the previous assessments into one comprehensive volume — warns that the global trend of rising average temperatures may be irreversible. An Associated Press article includes this excerpt: "Continued emission of greenhouse gases will cause further warming and long-lasting changes in all components of the climate system, increasing the likelihood of severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts for people and ecosystems," the report says. (August 27, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/28/2014 - Breaking: Business-as-usual strategy on Climate Change is NOT working.  Go to #climatemarch and kickstart real changes U.N. Draft Report Lists Unchecked Emissions’ Risks Runaway growth in the emission of greenhouse gases is swamping all political efforts to deal with the problem, raising the risk of “severe, pervasive and irreversible impacts” over the coming decades, according to a draft of a major new United Nations report. Global warming is already cutting grain production by several percentage points, the report found, and that could grow much worse if emissions continue unchecked. Higher seas, devastating heat waves, torrential rain and other climate extremes are also being felt around the world as a result of human-produced emissions, the draft report said, and those problems are likely to intensify unless the gases are brought under control. The world may already be nearing a temperature at which the loss of the vast ice sheet covering Greenland would become inevitable, the report said. The actual melting would then take centuries, but it would be unstoppable and could result in a sea level rise of 23 feet, with additional increases from other sources like melting Antarctic ice, potentially flooding the world’s major cities. (August 26, 2014) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/28/2014 - To get on a bus to Peoples Climate March from Rochester, NY to stop climate disruption go here:  http://peoplesclimate.org/westernny/  “Watch the trailer for 'Disruption', a new documentary that weaves together political intrigue, mind-blowing science, as well as an insider's view of the largest climate mobilization in history. Movies are on the most powerful forms of communication, and we hope this one will be a potent tool to raise awareness and get people out into the street on September 21st.”

  • 8/28/2014 - Winters in regions like Rochester’s and our snow fall patterns during Climate Change—it will get complicated. We should plan for the change. What Global Warming Might Mean for Extreme Snowfalls While the average annual snowfall in most parts of the world is indeed expected to decline, the extreme snowfalls — those that hit a place once every 10 or 20 years and can cause major headaches and economic impacts — may decline at a slower rate, and could even increase in particularly cold places, a new study detailed in the Aug. 28 issue of the journal Nature finds. Essentially, in a warming world, there are “more muted changes in [the intensity of] snowfall extremes than in average snowfall,” said study author Paul O’Gorman, a climate researcher at MIT. (August 27, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/28/2014 - Some communities are taking advantage of ‘zoomed-in climate models’ for accurate climate planning, all communities should do so. Zoomed-In Climate Models Help Alaska Communities Plan for Uncertain Future The urgency for climate modeling known as downscaling' is greatest in Alaska, which has warmed twice as fast as the rest of the country. Hunters in the Alaskan village of Wainwright, a community of about 550 Inupiat Eskimos at the lip of the Chukchi Sea, have long harvested bowhead whales from the ocean. Each spring, crews of 15-25 hunters set out in umiaqs—boats made from seal skins and caribou sinew. The hunters usually launch from Point Belcher, where the ice cracks open to expose the water in slivers called "leads." Then the whalers follow these narrow channels to the sea. They may land whales as long as 55 feet, but a young whale that is as round as it is long—about 30 feet—called a "butterball," is considered the most succulent. Successful captains share the fresh catch in a big home feast right after the harvest. The rest of the thousands of pounds of meat feeds the villagers through the next winter. (August 26, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/27/2014 - Because we are not updating our sewage systems, frequent heavy rainfalls due to Climate Change are killing our beaches.  Not to mention our fish, our drinking water, and a whole lot of other stuff that comes with the largest fresh water ecosystem in the world.  Updating our waste water infrastructures around the Great Lakes is going to cost big bucks and folks are going to have to let their leaders know this is a top priority. Montreal sewage waste dumped directly into rivers After a storm, sewage waste mixes with rainwater and is spewed directly into the St. Lawrence While the city of Montreal says it’s studying the idea of creating more beaches on its territory, CBC’s French-language service Radio-Canada has learned that sewage waste is dumped directly into the St-Lawrence River and the Rivière des Prairies after heavy rainfalls. The data collected near one of the proposed beach sites in the borough of Verdun shows that, on some days, the levels of coliform bacteria were more than 20 times higher than the acceptable levels for swimming. (August 25, 2014) CBCNews [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]  

  • 8/27/2014 - Plastic bits (not all of them mircobeads), which accumulate toxins, in the Great Lakes are not filtered by our sewage plants.  This is to say that pharmaceuticals and other stuff we’ve been dumping into our drinking water, and our life support system, are not being filtered either and are entering our bodies—as a further body burden.  We are not going to adapt to Climate Change by simply banning microbeads. We are going to need a comprehensive plan to get the Great Lakes ready for the consequences of Climate Change. Plastic Pollutants Found Throughout Great Lakes Food Chain Scientists have been spending the summer studying the impact of micro-plastic pollution in the Great Lakes. Sherri Mason, professor of Chemistry and Environmental Sciences at SUNY Fredonia, led the team of researchers that first called attention to pollution from plastic microbeads found in personal care products - everything from facial scrubs to shampoo.  Mason says these plastic beads are too small to be filtered by sewage plants, and they're making their way into all five of the Great Lakes and the fish and birds that swim in those waters.  (August 26, 2014) WXXI News [more on Great Lakes, Water Quality, and Food in our area]

  • 8/27/2014 - “Curiouser and curiouser!” is the strange road USA must take “to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions.”  Be nice if the world came to the People’s Climate March in NYC on Sept 21 to send a clear message to our leader that we don’t freaking care about political protocol; get those greenhouse gas emissions down. Obama Pursuing Climate Accord in Lieu of Treaty WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is working to forge a sweeping international climate change agreement to compel nations to cut their planet-warming fossil fuel emissions, but without ratification from Congress. In preparation for this agreement, to be signed at a United Nations summit meeting in 2015 in Paris, the negotiators are meeting with diplomats from other countries to broker a deal to commit some of the world’s largest economies to enact laws to reduce their carbon pollution. But under the Constitution, a president may enter into a legally binding treaty only if it is approved by a two-thirds majority of the Senate. (August 26, 2014) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/27/2014 - Kicking the can down the road of ‘business-as-usual’ hasn’t worked and it looks like we are our progeny (kids)  are going to pay for that. It’s not too late to adapt to the worse of Climate Change, but our window of opportunity for mitigating Climate Change is closing quickly.  If the Paris 2015 climate talks fail, there is no Plan B. Draft Of Upcoming IPCC Report Presents Stark View Of The Future As Climate Change Rages On WASHINGTON (AP) — Global warming is here, human-caused and probably already dangerous — and it's increasingly likely that the heating trend could be irreversible, a draft of a new international science report says. The United Nations' Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change on Monday sent governments a final draft of its synthesis report, which combines three earlier, gigantic documents by the Nobel Prize-winning group. There is little in the report that wasn't in the other more-detailed versions, but the language is more stark and the report attempts to connect the different scientific disciplines studying problems caused by the burning of fossil fuels, such as coal, oil and gas. The 127-page draft, obtained by The Associated Press, paints a harsh warning of what's causing global warming and what it will do to humans and the environment. It also describes what can be done about it. (August 26, 2014) The Huffington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/27/2014 - Looks like climate scientists, with a lot of work, are finding and being able to use old climate information.  I suspect as our critical need for more information about the workings of our environment grows more acute, we’ll find that many past observations of our environment, including millennia of information from indigenous peoples for example, will be invaluable in accurately modeling the past so we can accurately model the future of our life support system.  With Climate Change, we’re gonna need all the information we can get. The Quest to Scan Millions of Weather Records Scientists are embarking on data rescue missions all over the world to find and digitize old climate information.  Deep in the dusty catalogs of weather stations and meteorological offices all over the world are hidden treasures. They're easy to miss if you're not looking for them—often taking the form of, well, piles of moldy papers. But on those pieces of paper are hundreds of years of weather records—data that could make climate science far more accurate. The International Environmental Data Rescue Organization (IEDRO) estimates that there are 100 million paper strip charts—records that list weather conditions—sitting in meteorological storage facilities throughout the world. That’s about 200 million observations unused by scientists, data that could greatly improve their models. Now, a few small groups of scientists are trying digitize these records, but they’re facing all kinds of obstacles.  (August 25, 2014) The Atlantic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/27/2014 - The road to the Paris 2015 Climate talks may be ‘rocky’ and steep (for that matter) but there’s no Plan B for a Paris failure. There is no worldwide framework that can duplicate all the nations of the world coming together lower greenhouse gas emission.  We should be working to make Paris 2015 work and not so much nooding over how many times we have failed to make the climate talks work. LIEBREICH: CLIMATE CHANGE TALKS – THE ROCKY ROAD TO PARIS Albert Einstein once said that doing the same thing over and over again and expecting a different outcome was the definition of insanity. How then are we to view the continuing attempts of the climate community to corral the world into a binding deal on greenhouse gases? This December sees the fifth anniversary of the UN’s COP15 Copenhagen Climate Change Conference. The great and good gathered together to sign climate change’s death warrant. Newly-minted President Barack Obama had noted his inauguration as “the moment when the rise of the oceans began to slow and our planet began to heal”. Former Prime Minister Gordon Brown proclaimed we had “50 days to save the world and no Plan B”. Expectations could not have been higher. Sadly, it turned out the world had other priorities. Developing countries refused to sacrifice their growth prospects on the altar of Western green sensibilities. Developed countries proved strangely focused on not disappearing down the plug-hole of the financial crisis. The apparent academic sharp practice revealed in the Climategate emails did not help. (August 26, 2014) Bloomberg Energy and Finance [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/26/2014 - Not to mention independent power grids are a great way to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change, but Media is too shy to say. Be nice if our local media, and out state government for that matter, would connect the dots between Climate Change and energy use and more frequent extreme weather that is coming because of Climate Change in our area and how an independent power grid is less likely to fail everywhere, unlike our present central power grid. Our use of energy is one of the main culprits of Climate Change and it would be real nice if our local media could continually inform the public of that instead of continually ignoring the elephant in the room. New York creates $40M energy technology contest New York state will hold a $40 million competition designed to spur research and development of independent power grids that would allow local communities to keep the lights on during power failures.   Gov. Andrew Cuomo announced the New York Prize competition, which would award funding to companies or utilities that suggest the best ways to create so-called "microgrids." Microgrids are small power systems that are able to function independently when storms or other emergencies knock out electricity. (August 26, 2014) WHEC Rochester [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]  

  • 8/26/2014 - Good grief, the USA is going to start muzzling scientists like Canada does? The denier cranks get free speech rights, so why not scientists who actually know what they are talking about? Journalism, Science Groups Decry EPA Move to Muzzle National Science Advisers Journalists and scientists are urging the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) to stop banning leading national scientists from talking to media outlets and the public. The EPA is placing new restrictions on independent scientists who advise the agency, according to a memorandum from the EPA’s chief of staff. The memo instructs Science Advisory Board members to get permission before talking to the press, which inhibits their ability to speak freely to the public about important scientific issues, including air pollution, toxic chemicals and water quality. “The EPA wants to control what information the public receives about crucial issues affecting Americans’ health and well-being,” said Society of Professional Journalists (SPJ) President David Cuillier. “The people are entitled to get this information unfiltered from scientists, not spoon-fed by government spin doctors who might mislead and hide information for political reasons or to muzzle criticism.” (August 12, 2014) Union of Concerned Scientists

  • 8/26/2014 - Thing of it is though, New Orleans did not recover from Hurricane Katrina overnight, it was not ready for a Climate Change extremes. As a matter of fact, Hurricane Katrina represents the complete failure of all infrastructures and public health and enforcement and humanity that will be the future if we don’t plan properly for Climate Change.  What could go wrong, did go wrong, and it did so at the worst possible time. Swipe the photos and see Hurricane Katrina disaster dissolve into present-day recovery Drag your cursor (on a computer) or swipe your finger (on a phone or tablet) across each photo below. The 2005 Hurricane Katrina photo will dissolve into a picture from the identical vantage point nine years later. (August 25, 2014) NOLA The Times-Picayune  

  • 8/26/2014 - Riverdale’s media reports on folks getting ready for the People’s Climate March, but not Rochester, NY’s media. Maybe more than the climate will change around here. Battle over climate change heats up In 2011, Riverdale resident Jennifer Scarlott was arrested on the White House lawn for protesting the Keystone Pipeline, along with 1,200 other demonstrators.   But the arrest was hardly a stumbling block for Ms. Scarlott, who is now part of a growing group of activists in the northwest Bronx working to combat climate change.  In Riverdale and Kingsbridge, Ms. Scarlott and fellow activists are gearing up for a climate change rally set for Sunday, Sept. 21. Participants in the People’s Climate March will start at 59th Street in Manhattan, march down Sixth Avenue to Times Square, and proceed across 42nd Street to 11th Avenue on the west side.  Organizers predict the march will be the largest focusing on climate action to date. (August 20, 2014) The Riverdale Press [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 8/25/2014 - How to get rid of unused Prescription Drugs properly, from our friends over at the DEC: “Drug Enforcement Administration to Collect Prescription Drugs: The federal Drug Enforcement Administration (DEA) will conduct a prescription drug collection on Saturday, September 27, 2014 from 10:00 AM - 2:00 PM. Collections will be held at many locations around New York and are the best way to dispose of unused and unwanted prescription drugs. Collection locations will be posted after September 1 on DEA's National Take Back Initiative webpage. In addition to the DEA collection on September 27, other collections are scheduled in many New York counties and many are available more often than the DEA collection. Visit DEC's Household Drug Collection Schedule webpage to see if a collection is scheduled in your area.  For more information about drugs in our water, visit DEC's drugs in New York's Waters webpage.  

  • 8/25/2014 - Thinking you want to do something for our environment in Rochester, NY? Why not an hour or two being a Recycling Ranger at this year’s Greentopia Festival? “The event is September 13th, 10am -10pm in the High Falls area of downtown Rochester. It will be smaller and more confined than in previous years, concentrated on 1 street - Brown's Race. We will have 3 recycling stations that will require 2 persons each per shift. The shifts will be 2 hours long. 1st and last shifts will probably be a little longer because of set up and tear down. Volunteers will receive festival tee shirts and free food.  Maybe, with your help, we can achieve a 100% diversion rate. That means that everything is either recycled or composted.” Sign up here.

  • 8/25/2014 - Looks like I’m going to have to surf over to Wisconsin to find local news coverage of People’s Climate March instead of Rochester, NY.  Is Rochester, NY’s media really going to ignore, and therefore let us down again, on informing its public of the largest Climate Change gathering ever?  We http://peoplesclimate.org/westernny/ are hoping that our local media will find it in their hearts to mention the most important gathering on the most important issue of our time. Maybe you could contact your media and demand that they talk about Climate Change and local efforts to join in the most important gathering on Climate Change in NYC on Sept. 21. Massive People's Climate March in NYC planned for Sept. 21 Hundreds of organizations are recruiting participants for the massive People’s Climate March in New York City on Sept. 21. Organizers say the march could become the largest demonstration for climate action in history. It is set to take place just two days before President Barack Obama and other world leaders gather for an emergency Climate Summit at the United Nations. Marchers will demand those leaders go beyond rhetoric and commit to bold action. More than 750 organizations around the world are supporting the march, from the largest transit workers union in New York City to a coalition of Buddhist monks. These groups, according to a news release, represent about 100 million people. (August 22, 2014) The Wisconsin Gazette [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/25/2014 - ‘Pragmatic institutions’ were not this point about an essay on whether “a social movement will rise up against global warming”. But I found this sentence intriguing: “Pragmatic institutions like insurance companies and the American military have been confronting the consequences of climate change for some time.” I think what the author means it that certain institutions must plan for the long term—and get it right.  They don’t have the luxury of ignoring the road ahead, as it were, because the future is their life blood. Insurance companies must be able to project how much money they will have to pay out because of damages so they can find out how much to charge their clients. It they get it wrong, they (and a whole lot of others) go belly up. Same with the military: they must project how many people and arms they will need for future conflagrations. If they get it wrong they (and a whole lot of others) go belly up.  All institutions and authorities (like transportation or water and many, many others) have been and will have to confront the consequences of Climate Change.  But mostly these other institutions and agencies can and have adapted to extreme weather, flooding, heat, crop pest and the other consequences on an ad hoc, day to day, basis. The military and insurance companies can’t survive climate denial. The Climate Swerve AMERICANS appear to be undergoing a significant psychological shift in our relation to global warming. I call this shift a climate “swerve,” borrowing the term used recently by the Harvard humanities professor Stephen Greenblatt to describe a major historical change in consciousness that is neither predictable nor orderly. (August 23, 2014) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/25/2014 - Birds are showing us that it’s Climate Change and more environmental issues that both of us need to plan for—at the same time. Winged Warnings: Our series day-by-day More than 1,300 birds are perched perilously on a global list of threatened species. Each one is sending us a message, and scientists are struggling to decipher them. EHN’s series, Winged Warnings, reveals the surprising new discoveries that are emerging about the global threats to birds. “Canary in the coalmine” isn’t just a proverb: Birds are showing us what ails their environment – and sometimes, what ails us.Their nesting, their parenting, their brains, their hormones – even their songs – have been changed by pollutants, climate change and other threats they encounter. Our team of reporters traveled to the islets of Iceland, the prairies of Canada, the shores of Lake Michigan and the backyards of Alaska, among other places, to bring these stories to life. Unfolding over the next six weeks, Winged Warnings is published in conjunction with National Geographic. (August 22, 2014) National Geographic and Environmental Health News [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/23/2014 - On the other hand, what’s the point of a black bear in New York State if the bear isn’t in the wild? Our environment, which is to say our life support system, in New York State was in-part orchestrated by a top predator like the black bear, so if the bear isn’t in our wilderness shaping our environment, what the point of a bear? Something large and black and something to shoot at, take photos of, wrestle or box (which we used to do with them) eat, park in a cage, or a zoo? Our New York State environment looks and acts the way it does because of creatures like the black bear. Removed from its role in our environment, there is no point of a bear. If tourism is our priority, instead of helping wildlife adapt to Climate Change, we’d better be able to take over the bear’s role in our life support system.  In Old Forge, can bears stay wild and coexist with humans? The hamlet of Old Forge sees huge numbers of tourists this time every year. Many people come from all over the country to have their annual wilderness experience, along with all the creature comforts of Old Forge's main street. But for years, residents of Old Forge and wildlife experts have been working to strike a balance with tourists: how to let humans have their fun but keep the wild animals of the Adirondack park like bears, wild, without turning any of that tourism away. (August 22, 2014) North Country Public Radio [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/23/2014 - This from the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) I would think folks would want to know where manmade toxins have been and are being released: “We're excited to announce the launch of a new webpage specifically for communities, and the availability of the first materials developed as part of the TRI Community Engagement Initiative. You’ll find a new “Introduction to TRI for Communities” slide presentation and “TRI Community Snapshots” for the South Philadelphia, Pennsylvania and North Birmingham, Alabama pilot projects. In addition, for the South Philadelphia project, we developed an interactive map that allows users to see locations of EPA-regulated facilities and community points of interest where youth and aging adults frequently congregate. For the North Birmingham project, you can check out a new community-scale pollution prevention and waste management data analysis. We'd appreciate hearing your thoughts on TRI for Communities! Please email us at tri.help@epa.gov with any feedback or suggestions. And please check the page again this fall for more new materials from our Community Engagement Pilot Projects Initiative.” Environmental Protection Agency (EPA)

  • 8/23/2014 - One month away to People’s Climate March. There will be two buses transporting the Rochester contingent that will probably fill up pretty fast, so get your ticket now.  We expect the buses to leave EARLY on 9/21 and return about 22 hours later. Sign up here for your place on one of the Rochester buses:  http://bit.ly/1pWYpaT.  For general inquiries, e-mail charlotte4pcm@gmail.com. If you'd rather train it, Amtrak is offering a 10% discount for those who travel to NYC Sept. 15-24.  Call 1 (800) 872-7245 and reference Convention Fare Code X22T-908 when making your reservation.  Discount not available with online reservations.  (Note also that the Senior discount is 15% and you can only get one or the other discount.)  If you can't go but want to support this effort, we welcome donations so students and those on fixed incomes can participate.  The bus website has a "DONATE" button; please use it generously.  To pay or donate by check:  Please make your check payable to "Sierra Club RRG."  On the memo line, include “PCM tickets” or “PCM donation” and mail to Charlotte Baltus, 41 Belmont St., Rochester, NY 14620. Keep up with developments with Rochester and PCM here One Month Countdown Until Major Climate Marches in NYC and Around the World One-month out from what’s expected to be the largest march on climate change in history, groups launch massive recruitment push NEW YORK — With just one month to go until the People’s Climate March in New York City this September 21, more than 100 organizations are taking part in an online recruitment drive to sign people up for the demonstration. In the first hours of the push, thousands of new signups have already begun to flow in. The People’s Climate March is expected to be the largest demonstration for climate action in history. The march takes place just two days before President Obama and world leaders gather for an emergency Climate Summit at the United Nations. Marchers are demanding leaders go beyond rhetoric and commit to bold action at the summit. More than 750 organizations around the world are supporting the People’s Climate March, from the largest transit workers union in New York City to a coalition of buddhist monks. In total, the groups represent roughly 100 million people worldwide. (August 22, 2014) People's Climate March [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/23/2014 - Why wouldn’t NYS be concerned about a Maryland study about Fracking and significant levels of toxic chemicals into the air? Because New York still has a moratorium on Fracking until public health concerns can be address, I’d think this Maryland study would be useful to New York. Unless Maryland is a state on another planet where the environmental health concerns aren’t the same as New York… Maryland Fracking Study Cites Toxic Air Emissions as Top Concern Drilling-wary Maryland is one of several East Coast states considering whether to open their lands to fracking as public health concerns mount. A state-commissioned report found that air emissions trump water pollution and drilling-induced earthquakes as a top public health threat posed by future fracking projects in Maryland. For nearly a year, experts at the University of Maryland's School of Public Health examined past research into the link between oil and gas activity and health. The findings, released Monday, stand in stark contrast to public concern in heavy-drilling states such as Maryland's neighbor Pennsylvania. Those concerns have tended to focus on tainted water, not air. (August 21, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/22/2014 - Trying to address Great Lakes water levels highlights the need to address environmental imperatives and how to compensate ‘victims.’ As addressing Climate Change will force us (our governments) to make our life support system sustainable, we must find an economic way to make these regulations that will impact some folks unevenly (say, Great Lakes shoreline property owners) more palatable.  Trying to restore Great Lakes levels is only one of the measures that will have to be taken as we have to adapt to more extreme weather and climate that will always impact a special few. This doesn’t mean we have to sacrifice these special few each time we trying to make our life support system viable.  We as a society should find better ways than creative destruction (let the chips fall where they may) to humanely address sometimes drastic environmental regulations.  We don’t have to supplant our moral system with our economic system; we can address environmental concerns without creating victims who will naturally do anything to protect their own interests—who will form influential groups and we’ll have a shitstorm instead of a solution. Every time critical environmental regulations come up. Groups push for and against lake levels plan Back in June, the US and Canadian governments received for their consideration Plan 2014, a proposal to regulate water levels in Lake Ontario, from the International Joint Commission. Supporters and opponents of Plan 2014 have been making their voices heard throughout the process.  This week, a group of 40-plus environmental and sportsmen's groups sent a letter to US Secretary of State John Kerry urging the State Department to sign off on the plan. They cited several positives, such as increased hydropower production at St. Lawrence River dams and benefits to international shipping. (August 21, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/22/2014 - If you are trying to empty a swimming pool with a spoon while someone is filling the pool with a garden hose, you can be said to be making progress.  The spin we put on our meager efforts to make our life support system sustainable only makes sense if you think that sustaining our life support system is a side issue, a special issue, or an externality.  If our Air Quality efforts and our other ‘efforts’ to accommodate our life support system fail, especially in a time of Climate Change, these efforts won’t mean shit to a tree.  EPA Report Shows Progress in Reducing Urban Air Toxics Across the United States WASHINGTON - Today, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released the Second Integrated Urban Air Toxics Report to Congress - the final of two reports required under the Clean Air Act (CAA) to inform Congress of progress in reducing public health risks from urban air toxics. “This report gives everyone fighting for clean air a lot to be proud of because for more than 40 years we have been protecting Americans – preventing illness and improving our quality of life by cutting air pollution - all while the economy has more than tripled,” said EPA Administrator Gina McCarthy. “But we know our work is not done yet. At the core of EPA’s mission is the pursuit of environmental justice - striving for clean air, water and healthy land for every American; and we are committed to reducing remaining pollution, especially in low-income neighborhoods.”  (August 21, 2014) Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) [more on Air Quality in our area]

  • 8/22/2014 - Characterizing the “slowdown in the pace of global warming” as a 'hiatus' is like saying a child’s toy has ‘disappeared’ when you hide the toy from the child by putting it behind your back. The toy has not actually disappeared and eventually the child learns that just because something has ‘disappeared’ from their expectation that doesn’t’ necessarily mean that it’s gone.  The media might keep this child development concept in mind as they sling around the word ‘hiatus’ when they grope to message Climate Change to the public. Global warming 'hiatus': Scientists duel over which ocean steals some heat Many scientists say natural climate variability is behind a slowdown in the pace of global warming over the past 15 years. And the key to the variability is the way oceans can act as heat sinks. The deeper researchers dig into the dramatic slowdown in global warming during the past 15 years, the more their findings point to natural climate variability as the cause – rather than any purported end to human-triggered climate change. The latest example of this conclusion comes from a pair of scientists from the United States and China trying to identify where the expected heat has been hiding. (August 21, 2014) Christian Science Monitor [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/22/2014 - President Reagan’s’ trust but verify’ adage seems fit for dealing with Fracking industry because there they will go again skirting Fracking regulations Drillers Illegally Using Diesel Fuel to Frack An analysis by an environmental group finds hundreds of cases in which drillers used diesel fuel without obtaining permits and sometimes altered records A new report charges that several oil and gas companies have been illegally using diesel fuel in their hydraulic fracturing operations, and then doctoring records to hide violations of the federal Safe Drinking Water Act. The report, published this week by the Environmental Integrity Project, found that between 2010 and July 2014 at least 351 wells were fracked by 33 different companies using diesel fuels without a permit. The Integrity Project, an environmental organization based in Washington, D.C., said it used the industry-backed database, FracFocus, to identify violations and to determine the records had been retroactively amended by the companies to erase the evidence. (August 15, 2014) Scientific American [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/21/2014 - Looks like the ‘invisible hand’ has been very busy “There are an estimated 450,000 abandoned and contaminated sites in the United States” EPA Provides $331,000 Loan to Remove 100 Tons of Contaminated Soil in Rochester, New York The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is providing a $331,000 low-interest loan to the City of Rochester, New York to clean up abandoned and contaminated properties. The funding is being awarded under the EPA’s brownfields program, which helps communities assess, clean up, and reuse properties at which moderate contamination threatens environmental quality and public health and can interfere with redevelopment.  “Cleaning up brownfields allows abandoned and contaminated properties to be cleaned up and revitalized as new parks, new housing and businesses that create jobs,” said EPA Regional Administrator Judith A. Enck. “This funding will protect the health of area residents, and will help revitalize neighborhoods.” (August 15, 2014) EPA News Releases from Region 2 [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 8/21/2014 - It’s a fair question: If the Danes can make such remarkable gains in Wind Power, why can’t the US? I mean besides corporate power, fossil fuel subsides, our whacky political world, and the power of the few, but powerful climate change deniers, who are diluting the sense of urgency about addressing and mitigating Climate Change. Blown away by wind power in Denmark, a model for clean energy Back in the United States, I have to travel far beyond my Washington suburb to spot any signs of wind energy. In Denmark, it’s ever-present. You can’t drive more than a few kilometers on the country’s flat roads without seeing a turbine. They are fully integrated into society and part of the landscape everywhere. And that’s not by accident. (August 12, 2014) Environmental Defense Fund blog [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 8/21/2014 - This can be said of both the Lac-Mégantic disaster and Climate Change: 'nobody was looking at it from a big-picture point of view to say, "Have we got a systemic problem? Have we got a pattern here?" Transportation Safety Board slams Transport Canada in Lac-Mégantic disaster   Inspectors reported problems but 'nobody was looking at it from a big-picture point of view to say, "Have we got a systemic problem? Have we got a pattern here?" ' TSB chief Wendy Tadros said Lac-Mégantic — Transport Canada was slammed Tuesday in a long-awaited report into last summer's train disaster that claimed the lives of 47 people, for not forcing Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway to improve its safety record. "Each time (Transport Canada inspectors) were saying, 'OK, we found this, you've got to do this,' but nobody was looking at it from a big-picture point of view to say, 'Have we got a systemic problem? Have we got a pattern here?' " Wendy Tadros, president of the Transportation Safety Board, said in an interview. Time and again, Montreal, Maine and Atlantic Railway, owners of the errant train involved in the Lac-Mégantic disaster, were found to have lax safety standards, yet no government inspectors stayed on top of the problem until it was fixed. (August 20, 2014) The Gazette

  • 8/21/2014 - “The People’s Climate March is so important because we are all starting to wakeup …” #climatemarch Motivating Millions: People's Climate March design contest! This summer the People’s Climate March (http://www.peoplesclimatemarch.org) design contest lined up a jury panel of art, ad world and activism stars (Shepard Fairey, Barbara Kruger, Swoon, Moby, DJ Spooky and more), and drew submissions from artists worldwide to find a killer design that can help get hundreds of thousands of people on the streets of NYC for the People’s Climate March on September 21. Not one but TWO artists took the top prize -- $10k and RT trip travel to NYC to attend the march, the largest ever. The winning designs are informing a massive, creative NYC subway ad campaign to highlight both the depth of the climate crisis facing us, and the hope that organized people power can push our governments to take bold action. The unprecedented ad campaign will be seen by millions in New York City in the lead up to the march.(August 20, 2014)  AvaazOrg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/21/2014 - A clear message: “… the Finger lakes Region does not want to be the sacrifice zone for the gas industry” Watkins Glen Village Board Passes Resolution Against LPG Storage Facility The Watkins Glen Village Board has voted in favor of a resolution that opposes Crestwood’s proposed Liquid Petroleum Gas (LPG) facility along Seneca Lake. The Village Board took the vote on Monday night, just a little while after hundreds rallied against the facility on Route 14. The vote was three in favor of the resolution, none opposed, and two abstaining. The main concern for the trustees who voted for the resolution: the increased truck traffic through the Village of Watkins Glen, which can already be heavy with the bottleneck of Routes 14 and 414. (August 19, 2014) MyTwinTeirs.com

  • 8/21/2014 - Renewable energy (wind, solar, etc.) isn’t likely to destroy entire eco-regions. Or warm the planet more, for that matter. This Pristine and Glorious Wilderness is At Risk Bristol Bay is a magical wonderland, supporting a ridiculous number of fish and wildlife species. Don’t take my word for it, take a look and decide for yourself. Browse the categories below to see what’s really at stake if mining activities are allowed. Is it worth the risk? (August 19, 2014) National Wildlife Federation

  • 8/21/2014 - Our planet’s air conditioner is shutting down. Before many know what our Cryosphere is, it won’t be any more. Greenland ice loss doubles from late 2000s A new assessment from Europe's CryoSat spacecraft shows Greenland to be losing about 375 cu km of ice each year. Added to the discharges coming from Antarctica, it means Earth's two big ice sheets are now dumping roughly 500 cu km of ice in the oceans annually. "The contribution of both ice sheets together to sea level rise has doubled since 2009," said Angelika Humbert from Germany's Alfred Wegener Institute. "To us, that's an incredible number," she told BBC News. (August 20, 2014) BBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/21/2014 - Maybe we’re starting to move towards Environmental Justice in our country. EPA to Require Air Pollution Measurements in Black Communities  WASHINGTON (NNPA) – For the first time, the Environmental Protection Agency may require oil refineries to regularly measure the air quality at their perimeters. These fence line measurements will give surrounding communities – largely low-income communities of color – data on the level of pollution they are exposed to each day. The EPA’s proposed rule changes are the result of a lawsuit brought against them by environmental advocacy nonprofit, Earthjustice and a few grassroots groups around the country, including the Community In-Power Development Association. The group is based in Port Arthur, Texas, a historically Black neighborhood turned fence line community surrounded by four oil refineries, six chemical plants, one international incineration facility, and one pet coke facility. Pet coke is both a refining byproduct and a fuel source that, when burned, emits more carbon dioxide than coal. Hilton Kelley founded the association in 2000. He says the lawsuit was years in the making. (August 19, 2014) Black Press America [more on Environmental Health in our area]

  • 8/20/2014 - Of course, another way of avoiding West Nile Virus in New York State is to educate public on the links with Climate Change and this new disease so we can plan our public health adequately. Climate Change will increase cases of WNV in New York State:  "In the U.S., more than 25,000 cases of human disease caused by West Nile virus have been reported since its introduction to North America in 1999, and hundreds of thousands of birds have been killed by the infection. In New York State, the species of mosquitoes that are most likely to carry West Nile virus are those that breed in natural or artificial containers, such as ponds and discarded tires, respectively, including Culex pipiens, Culvex restuans, and Aedes albopictus. Climate change is expected to increase precipitation and summer temperatures in New York. Therefore, in general, risk of human exposure to West Nile virus is expected to increase in the state as the climate becomes warmer and wetter." (page 430, Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)) West Nile Found in Erie County West Nile virus has turned up in mosquitos in Erie County. John Ricci of the Monroe County Health Department says New York officials have confirmed one case of West Nile Virus in a human this year. According to Ricci, most people are asymptomatic. (August 19, 2014) WXXI News [more on West Nile Virus in our area]

  • 8/20/2014 - The problem with thinking we can regulate Fracking’s fugitive methane emissions is that not all Fracking companies are equally tolerant of regulations. Once Fracking companies get their nose into the New York State tent, they’re in and then there’s the dickens trying to regulate the Fracking camel. Why the Scientific Case Against Fracking Keeps Getting Stronger Anthony Ingraffea argues that fugitive methane emissions turn natural gas from a climate benefit into yet another strike against fossil fuels. On the political right, it's pretty popular these days to claim that the left exaggerates scientific worries about hydraulic fracturing, or "fracking." In a recent National Reviewarticle, for instance, a Hoover Institution researcher complains that 53 percent of Democrats in California support a fracking ban "despite the existence of little if any credible scientific evidence of fracking's feared harms and overwhelming scientific evidence of its environmental benefits, including substantial reductions in both local and global pollutants." Three or four years ago, a statement like that may have seemed defensible. The chief environmental concern about fracking at that time involved the contamination of drinking water through the fracking process—blasting water, sand, and chemicals underground in vast quantities and at extreme pressures to force open shale layers deep beneath the Earth, and release natural gas. But the science was still pretty ambiguous, and a great deal turned on how "fracking" was defined. The entire mega-process of "unconventional" gas drilling had clearly caused instances of groundwater contamination, due to spills and leaks from improperly cased wells. But technically, "fracking" only refers to the water and chemical blast, not the drilling, the disposal of waste, or the huge industrial operations that accompany it all. (August 15, 2014) Mother Jones [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/20/2014 - With two buses and a train out of Rochester, NY to People’s Climate March, we plan to be at this historic march. Calling all Rochester-area people concerned about climate change! The biggest ever climate march is being planned by Sierra Club,350.org, and over 650 (yes!) other organizations. It will coincide with a UN Climate Change Summit in NYC, which is a prelude to UN attempts to reach a binding Global Treaty in Paris in 2015 on carbon emissions reductions. We envision tens of thousands of people in NYC for this March, to let our leaders and people all over the world know that there IS mass popular support for strong climate change action. Sierra Club, along with several other local organizations, is coordinating two buses which will leave the Rochester area late on 9/20 and return about 24 hours later. Here is info on the Climate March: http://peoplesclimate.org/march/ Learn about and sign up here for the Rochester buses: http://bit.ly/1pWYpaT If you'd rather train it, Amtrak is offering a 10% discount for those who travel to NYC Sept. 15-24. Call 1 (800) 872-7245 and reference Convention Fare Code X22T-908 when making your reservation. Discount not available with online reservations. (Note also that the Senior discount is 15% and you can only get one or the other discount.)  If you can't go but want to support this effort, we are hungrily seeking donations so that students and those on fixed incomes can participate. We need to raise $1020 in order to offer 20 Reduced Rate tickets (about $20)and 8-10 free tickets (not yet being offered since our Fundraising is just starting). The bus website has a DONATE button-- please use it generously.  Please spread the word! Send the links around. September 2014: Climate Summit and Global Mobilisation What's the Peoples Climate March and the Global Day of Action?  As Heads of Government prepare to attend a historic summit on climate change, mobilisations will take place all around the world, made up of people who want a world and economy that works for both people and the planet. They want Action Not Words. The mobilisations across the weekend of September 20-21 will be crowned by the People’s Climate March in New York City. Expected to make history, thousands of people are anticpated to walk through the city in support of climate action. Solidarity marches and actions will take place around the world, including in Berlin, Paris, London, Rio and Delhi. You can also create and register your own event. This mobilisation is not the work of one particular group, but rather the combined effort of many, ranging from faith groups, unions, front-line and impacted communities. There are many organizing structures for the Marches, and communication is occurring through various tables, list serves, and online hubs. This will be a convergence of a large, broad, and diverse movement urging that governments take meaningful action on climate now. Climate Action Network International

  • 8/20/2014 - Looks like Rochester, NY was one of the two giant cool spots in an otherwise very warm July. I wouldn’t predict this nirvana phenomenon for our area for long.  July Checks In as 4th Warmest on Record Worldwide If you spent your summer in the Midwest or almost anywhere in the U.S. south of New York where the season was mild, it may have been easy to miss that most of the rest of the world was baking last month. New National Climatic Data Center (NCDC) data show that last month was the fourth-warmest July on record worldwide, even though two giant cool spots in the Northern Hemisphere — one over Siberia and the other over the U.S. Midwest — made it easy for people living there to think that summer 2014 has been a mild one. The world’s fourth-warmest July comes just after the globe’swarmest June, which was driven mostly by the hottest ocean temperatures since recordkeeping began 130 years ago. 2014 is on track to become the earth’s third-warmest year in on record. (August 18, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/19/2014 - How can GOP leaders lead on Climate Change if they are hiding behind their party’s apron strings? Good grief, it is not the public’s fault that the GOP has made addressing the worldwide crisis of Climate Change an ideological shitstorm. The public shouldn’t have to vote for a party and hope to god that their leaders will plan and protect them as our planet warms.  Nothing, at this point in time, will do but a full-throated response to planning for Climate Change from our leaders.  Many Republicans Privately Support Action On Climate  In stark contrast to their party's public stance on Capitol Hill, many Republicans privately acknowledge the scientific consensus that human activity is at least partially responsible for climate change and recognize the need to address the problem. However, they see little political benefit to speaking out on the issue, since congressional action is probably years away, according to former congressmen, former congressional aides and other sources. In Bloomberg BNA interviews with several dozen former senior congressional aides, nongovernmental organizations, lobbyists and others conducted over a period of several months, the sources cited fears of attracting an electoral primary challenger as one of the main reasons many Republicans choose not to speak out. (August 15, 2014) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/19/2014 - Is this, massive sewage discharges, our future in the Great Lakes region? Or will we start planning properly? Extreme weather in the form of frequent heavy rainfall that will overwhelm our existing sewer systems (meaning many community sewer systems around the Great Lakes are combined sewers ((storm water and sewage)).  Updating and adapting many sewer systems around the Great Lakes is in the interest of us all and it will take big bucks and continued support for this comprehensive adaptation to Climate Change in our region.  Detroit's sewage overflow feeds Lake Erie algae growth The near-historic rainfall this week that left cars stranded and roads closed across Metro Detroit also will likely make Lake Erie's algae-fouled beaches worse for neighbors to the south. #About 30,000 Michigan and 400,000 Ohio residents along Lake Erie's western basin had just shrugged off last week's algae contamination in their water supply when Mother Nature dumped up to six inches or more of rain in a few hours Monday on parts of Metro Detroit. And when it rains here, the region's fertilizers, chemicals and wastewater head toward Lake Erie. #For a decade, nutrients like phosphorus that washed into the lake from both states increasingly have been turned into algae that spoils local beaches and interferes with fishing. During the last two summers, it also has led to water consumption advisories. (August 16, 2014) Monroe News [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/19/2014 - ACTION: Got a nomination for an environmental leader in our Rochester, NY region? Nominate here: 2014 Community Salute to the Environment "The Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) plans to present several Environmental Excellence Awards at its 40th Annual Community Salute to the Environment on September 30, 2014. Please help us recognize our region’s environmental leaders by making a nomination now. The process is easy, just use the forms provided on our website. Nominations have been extended to September 1, 2014, so please do not delay. See our website for more information about the Community Salute including registration and sponsorship opportunities. This year's featured topic: The Genesee River - Its Past, Present and Future. "--from The Center for Environmental Initiatives

  • 8/19/2014 - US politics and Climate Change: If we vote in leaders who don’t believe in Climate Change, what do you plan for? Do you try and address every single consequence of Climate Change, like the oyster business, as if it wasn’t a part of a global transformation of our climate? Climate Change is such that long-term planning is required—trying to just address single-issues in Climate Change as they surface is like trying to stop a flood with a tube of caulk. As Oysters Die, Climate Policy Goes on the Stump OLYMPIA, Wash. — Billions of baby oysters in the Pacific inlets here are dying and Gov. Jay Inslee of Washington is busy spreading the bad news. “It used to be the canary in the coal mine,” Mr. Inslee said in a recent interview. “Now it’s the oyster in the half shell. You can’t overstate what this means to Washington.” Or to Mr. Inslee’s ambitions. The Democratic governor, aided by what is expected to be millions of dollars from his billionaire friend Tom Steyer, is using the story of Washington’s oysters — scientists say a rise in carbon levels has spiked the acidity of the Pacific and is killing off shellfish — to make the case for passing the most far-reaching climate change policies in the nation. (August 3, 2014) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/19/2014 - It’s just hard to put into words how craven and reckless it is to Frack the fragile Arctic that is melting because of Climate Change. A New Frontier for Fracking:  Drilling Near the Arctic Circle Hydraulic fracturing is about to move into the Canadian Arctic, with companies exploring the region's rich shale oil deposits. But many indigenous people and conservationists have serious concerns about the impact of fracking in more fragile northern environments. Among the dozens of rivers that flow unfettered through the Canadian North, the Natla and the Keele may be the most picturesque and culturally important. They are especially significant to the Dene people of the Sahtu region, which straddles the Arctic Circle in the Northwest Territories. Both of the rivers flow crystal clear out of the Mackenzie Mountains along the Yukon/Northwest Territories border before coming together in their final course to the Mackenzie River. (August 18, 2014) Yale: Environment 360 [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/18/2014 - The climate disaster narrative may have not worked well, but the monsters are no less real. Pandering to the public’s disinclination to hear dreadful, long-drawn out bad news about Climate Change has its complications. Climate Change means planning and planning accurately for the world we live in.  And this requires that we plan long before the effects of Climate Change show up because by that time they are usually too late to solve. Already we are experiencing a continual march of warming and its consequences (extreme weather, rising seas, etc) during which the public finally understands that Climate Change is happening.  Now the public doesn’t want to hear about all the dreary details.  If the public wants hope peppered into Climate Change news, they need to act in such a way that there will be hope—not turn off bad news (the monsters) that are really the repercussions of doing nothing. Communicating climate change – without the scary monsters  The climate disaster narrative hasn’t worked. Ignorance is bliss. So how do experts plan do wake up the world?  Clocks are ticking. The sand is dribbling from the hourglass. Mercury levels are rising.  And yet, if you pop your head out of the window, life goes on as normal. It’s a major headache for climate communication professionals in the developed world, charged with delivering a message of urgency to a public focused on more immediate concerns. Who has time to worry about sea levels rising so high London could be submerged, or extreme weather events driving people from their homes in Africa? Why worry about the potential to break the 2C barrier, when you have to pay the mortgage? Who’s buying the next round? Or (and this is tough) convince the kids they’ve watched too much Peppa Pig for one day? It’s a question exercising Pete Bowyer, who heads up the climate arm of PR firm Havas, charged with promoting UN secretary general Ban Ki-moon’s climate summit. (August 18, 2014) Responding to Climate Change [more on Climate Change in our area]   

  • 8/18/2014 As we address Climate Change, storing LPG, & Fracking in NYS, are we missing the big fossil-fuel picture? Crude oil transporting?  Already, Albany nears major oil-hub status and for those concerned about possible derailment of tank cars carrying crude oil, this observation by Harper’s Magazine might prove interesting:  “Number of tank cars of crude oil transported by U.S. railways in 2008 : 9,500 In 2013 : 400,000”. Admits all the concerns about lowering greenhouse gases to address and mitigate Climate Change, it seems that efforts to stopping drilling and pipelining fossil fuels are all being undermined by shipping crude by rail—that, except for its possible ‘volatility’, goes unseen.  Is NYS saying No! to fossil fuels, while transporting it all over the world? What is the big picture of New York State and fossil fuels and Climate Change? And why is the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) telling the Mayor of Albany not to worry her pretty little head over the dramatic surge in oil shipments at Port of Albany? Mayor: DEC off on oil Sheehan says state agency illegally approved surge in oil shipments at Port of Albany Mayor Kathy Sheehan sharply rebuked the state Department of Environmental Conservation over its review of a planned oil terminal expansion at the Port of Albany, claiming the state agency has illegally approved a surge in oil shipments piecemeal, rather than taking an overall perspective. In a letter to DEC last month, the mayor accused DEC of something called segmentation, which is a review of a project's environmental impact in isolated segments, rather than as a unified whole. Segmentation is illegal under the state Environmental Quality Review Act. Sheehan wrote DEC has not only segmented its review of plans by Massachusetts-based Global Partners to add a crude-oil heating facility to its terminal, but also segmented reviews over the last several years on permits that allowed Global and another company, Buckeye Partners of Houston, to increase crude oil traffic into the port from the Midwest from 1 billion gallons to 2.8 billion gallons. (August 12, 2014) Albany Times Union [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/18/2014 - Climate Change may have the power to change religion and politics—hopefully in time. Evangelicals Pressure Florida Governor on Climate Change Evangelicals are frequently called out for appearing to care only about the unborn and giving little attention to post-birth conditions. The 21-year-old Evangelical Environment Network, which describes itself as “a ministry that educates, inspires and mobilizes Christians in their effort to care for God’s creation, to be faithful stewards of God’s provision and to advocate for actions and policies that honor God and protect the environment,” is working to change that impression. Led by its president Rev. Mitch Hescox, the group is delivering petitions with more than 60,000 signatures to Florida Governor Rick Scott, asking him to lead on climate change, which is already impacting the state in a multitude of ways. Hescox requested a meeting with Scott, a request Scott first honored and then retracted. (August 15, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/18/2014 - Chronicling the inevitable, the inevitability of business as usual: The oceans are getting more acidic… Marine Economy Takes a Dive as Ocean Acidity Rises LONDON − The waters off the U.S. state of Alaska are some of the best fishing grounds anywhere, teeming with salmon and with shellfish such as crab. But a new study, funded by the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA), says growing acidification of Alaska’s waters, particularly those off the southern coast, threatens the state’s whole economy − largely dependent on the fishing industry. The study, which appears in the journal Progress in Oceanography, says that not only will the state’s commercial fishing sector be badly hit by a growth in acidification, but it will also affect subsistence fisher people whose diet mainly consists of the catch from local waters. (August 17, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2014 - Major local news on Lyme Disease cases rising (even stating “expanding their range northward”) but nary a word on Climate Change. A major study on Climate Change for New York State is not so shy about connecting the dots: "Climate change may have serious implications for diseases affecting wildlife and people. Vector species, such as mosquitoes, ticks, midges, and other biting insects, respond dramatically to small changes in climate, which in turn alters the occurrence of diseases they carry. For example, Lyme disease, erlichiosis, and other tick-borne diseases are spreading as temperatures increase, allowing ticks to move northward and increase in abundance. " (Page 185, Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) funded by New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (2011) Ticks — and Lyme risk — on the rise in Ontario County, Finger Lakes  You don’t need to go far to get bitten by a tick. While disease-carrying ticks used to plague mostly southern New York and New England, and were rare in the Finger Lakes region, that is changing. Scientific studies show ticks carrying Lyme disease are expanding their range northward, westward and into higher elevations. A new field study launched in the spring will document outbreaks of ticks in the Adirondacks and create a baseline to study their spread. Meanwhile, in Ontario County, health officials, business owners and people who enjoy the outdoors are seeing evidence that the tiny, disease-spreading insects are all too prevalent. (August 14, 2014) Penfield Post [more on Lyme Disease in our area]

  • 8/16/2014 - As Albany NY is nearing a major oil-hub status, it’s nice that some of the volatility (a euphemism for ‘Ka- Boom!’) might be removed from oil transported across our state. But if we went renewable energy instead (wind and solar), we wouldn’t have all this ‘volatility’ to worry about and we would have more jobs, less greenhouse gas emissions, and less worry. (Did I say, Less Worry?) Why are we continuing to produce, transport, and burn more fossil fuels during Climate Change?  Bakken crude oil could be made less volatile WASHINGTON – North Dakota officials are considering requiring drillers to partly refine Bakken crude oil so it’s less volatile before it’s shipped by rail to refineries on both coasts. The proposal could ease safety concerns around the nation along freight rail routes used to ship the crude. One of those routes runs through Monroe County on either the CSX West Shore line, through some of the southern suburbs, or main line — through the city of Rochester. The idea is to separate natural gas liquids from the crude oil before shipment to reduce vapor pressure and flammability. The Bakken Formation, which runs through parts of North Dakota, Montana and two Canadian provinces, has produced an economic boom for that region. North Dakota’s June unemployment rate of 2.7 percent was the lowest in the nation. (August 15, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/16/2014 - Dear Governor Cuomo: If you aren’t willing to ban Fracking, as those in the sacrifice zone demand, please step aside and let those who can see the writing on the wall Ban Fracking. Southern Tier, Hudson Valley Oppose Fracking 51 to 35 Percent  Southern Tier, Hudson Valley Oppose Fracking 51 to 35% Majorities Agree:  Hydrofracking Will Generate Jobs & Be Economic Benefit…But  Over 50% Concerned Environmental Risks are Unacceptable Loudonville, NY., Fifty-one percent of voters oppose the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) allowing hydrofracking to move forward in parts of upstate New York while 35 percent support the initiative according to the third part of a new Time Warner Cable News/Siena College Poll of registered voters of the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes and Catskills/Hudson Valley regions.    A majority of voters from the two regions, including 60 percent of voters from the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes regions, agree that hydrofracking would be an economic benefit to local communities in business activity and tax revenues.  And, 55 percent of voters, including 65 percent from the Southern Tier/Finger Lakes region, agree that hydrofracking will generate much needed jobs for New Yorkers. At the same time, 60 percent of all voters believe that hydrofracking runs the unacceptable risk of contaminating ground water, and small majorities agree both that fracking is too dangerous as it leads to unsafe levels of methane gas being released, as well as due to the migration of gases and chemicals to the surface.  (July 30, 2014) Sienna College [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/16/2014 - If we aren’t being overly hopeful (due to single-study syndrome), this report on reversing Acid Rain effects are good.  There used to be a lot of news stories about Acid Rain in our region (2000-2001) and they slowly disappeared from our media.  Maybe, it’s true that the measures employed to stop Acid Rain have borne fruit, but let’s check some more. ‘This is a huge success story’: 2 Maine scientists say acid rain effects reversing much faster than expected UNITY, Maine — Two Maine scientists are celebrating good news about the environment, after a decades-long study has shown that the negative effects of acid rain have been reversed much faster than expected. Steve Kahl, a sustainability professor at Unity College, said Thursday that the study looked at lakes throughout most of New England and New York, and it found that environmental regulations and the voluntary actions of industry have sharply reduced sulfur emissions in rain and snow. It also found that soils are recovering quickly, without taking centuries to bounce back that some had predicted would be necessary. Finally, the scientists learned that some of the acidity in the watersheds is organic, occurring naturally, and should not be targeted by the Clean Air Act policy. “Success stories are possible,” Kahl said, adding that the reduction of emissions since the 1970s and 1980s has been critical for water quality. “This is a huge success story for the environment.” The study was published this spring on the website for the journal Environmental Science & Technology. (August 16, 2014) The Bangor Daily News [more on Acid Rain in our area]   

  • 8/16/2014 - Remember when we used to speak of something moving very slowly as ‘glacial’? Humans to Blame for Much of Recent Glacier Melt From Alaska to the Alps, photos of today’s diminished glaciers contrasted with grainy black-and-white images of their former, more massive states are some of the most widely used examples of the impact of human-caused climate change, with their melt threatening water supplies, enhancing sea level rise, and posing threats like floods from bursting glacial lakes. “Everybody is using [these photos],” said Ben Marzeion, a climate scientist with the University of Innsbruck in Austria. “But nobody actually looked at whether it’s justified to do this.” Marzeion wanted to know how much of the ice loss is attributable to anthropogenic warming vs. natural drivers of change in glaciers? He and his colleagues used climate models and the measurements of glaciers contained in theRandolph Glacier Inventory, released in 2012, to see if they could answer that question. Their conclusions, detailed online Aug. 14 in the journal Science Express, were that while just 25 percent of the melt since the mid-19th century could be linked to human-induced warming — suggesting that natural variation was the dominant factor behind melt early in the period — that fraction increased to 69 percent for the period from 1991 to 2010. (August 14, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/16/2014 - Things are falling in place for People’s Climate March in NYC 9/21#climatemarch. Soon to have two buses from Rochester, NY. Details coming. Stay tuned for more. NY Police Approve Route for Historic Climate March NY Police Approve Route for Historic Climate March Huge crowds expected for “People’s Climate March” on September 21 NEW YORK — Organizers of the People’s Climate March announced this afternoon that the New York City Police Department has approved a route for the march on September 21 through the center of Manhattan. The march will begin at Columbus Circle, proceed over on 59th Street to 6th Avenue, down 6th Avenue to 42nd Street, then right on 42nd Street to 11th Avenue. The route passes by some of New York City’s most famous landmarks, from Rockefeller Center to Times Square. Eddie Bautista,  Executive Director of the NYC Environmental Justice Alliance, had this to say in response to the route approval-“People are seeing this crisis unfold all around them, especially in low-income and communities of color. That’s why the People’s Climate March won’t only be the largest, but also the most diverse global day of action on climate change–from unions to immigrants to parents to students to communities of faith. Our message to anyone anywhere concerned about the way the climate crisis will impact our jobs, health, children and communities is simple: join us.” (August 15, 2014) People's Climate March

  • 8/15/2014 - Inadequate funding in the Superfund trust to clean up local Brownfields is outrageous.  How about this idea, which I know will be wildly unpopular yet it works in the apartment rental business: Have all potentially polluting industries make a deposit before they get a permit to build, or travel with toxic stuff through our region, and they don’t get it back until they leave with the place clean and ready for the next user—not to mention leaving our life support system in working order. I know, in our present economy, where pollution is an externality (where there is no cost to polluting or using our natural resources ((our commons)), it would make industry very shy about doing business in our region if there wasn’t the lure of getting off scot-free from causing damage to our life support system. Schumer wants polluter tax reinstated to boost Superfund program The former Diaz Chemical site in the Village of Holley is something of a poster child for state and federal Superfund programs. Back in 2002, the plant accidentally released a 75-gallon steam cloud laced with chemicals, including some so potent that, even as they spread through the air and dissipated over the village, they wrecked the paint on some residents’ cars. Some of the neighbors couldn’t go into their homes without feeling sick or suffering from breathing difficulties. The government ended up buying some of their houses. (I started working at the Journal-Register in Medina shortly after the release, and I covered some of the aftermath. I’ll never forget how upset those neighbors were about giving up their homes.) (August 14, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 8/15/2014 - Plan to “stop algal blooms from blanketing the Great Lakes” won’t work until role of Climate Change is given top priority. When you dig into this plan, you see that some experts think Climate Change may be a factor in the recent spate of harmful algae growth in the Great Lakes.  That won’t do.  Solving Great Lakes algae problem won’t work unless this crisis is seen through the lens of Climate Change and how it amplifies all the other issues—farming practices, filtering pollutants, etc. Environmental Defence unveils plan to fight Great Lakes algae Toledo water ban was result of toxins from algae earlier this month An environmental organization has come up with a four-point plan on how to stop algal blooms from blanketing the Great Lakes.  Toledo tap water drinking ban lifted after toxin scare Water safe to drink, Windsor Utilities Commission reports How blue-green algae is taking over Canadian lakes Lake Erie's algae explosion blamed on farmers The report called Clean, Not Green: Tackling Algal Blooms in the Great Lakes was unveiled in Kingsville, Ont., Wednesday, southeast of Windsor. “The Great Lakes supply drinking water for millions of people, and are critical to Ontario’s fishing, boating and tourism industries,” said Nancy Goucher, water program manager with Environmental Defence. “Allowing them to be covered in green slime every summer is simply not an option.” The plan includes suggestions on finding creative ways to pay farmers to stop nutrient pollution that drains into the water. (August 13, 2014) CBCNews [more on Water Quality and Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/15/2014 - Been curious about the recent Algae Crisis in the Great Lakes? Watch is half-hour video from experts. Algae Blooms in the Great Lakes WATER—the thing that we take for granted become a commodity for more than 400,000 people in northwestern Ohio and southeastern Michigan over the weekend as they were told not to drink, cook or bathe in the water flowing from their tap. The reason? An algae bloom crisis in Lake Erie, which affected the city and surrounding areas’ water supply. While this issue surfaced over the weekend, scientists agree it is anything but shocking. Record-setting algae bloom in Lake Erie caused by agricultural and meteorological trends have caused this problem, which scientists predict won’t be the last crisis of its kind. So, what can we do about it? Is it preventable, and if so, how? Great Lakes Now produced a special interview with Christy McDonald and Dr. Patrick Doran, Director of Conservation for The Nature Conservancy in Michigan. Dr. Doran leads statewide and Great Lakes‐wide investigations of conservation priorities. This includes the identification and prioritization of important conservation areas, as well as the development and implementation of conservation strategies and measures of success. Great Lakes Now [more on Water Quality and Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/15/2014 - The gist: NYS climate program getting stronger “Climate Smart Communities … provide a more robust framework to guide the climate actions of local governments.” Tune into this webinar Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM., or better yet, if your NYS community is not already joined [check here to find out if your community has pledged] this volunteer state program to help communities adapt to Climate Change, get your community leader to pledge. Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Climate Smart Community Certification Our Climate Smart Communities webinar entitled Climate Smart Community Certification will be held on Thursday, September 11, 2014 at 10:30 AM.   In April 2014, the New York State Climate Smart Communities program launched a formal certification program to recognize leading Climate Smart Communities and to provide a more robust framework to guide the climate actions of local governments. There are four levels of certification: Certified, Bronze, Silver, and Gold (450 points). Achievement of each level requires completion of a specified number of “priority actions” and a sufficient number of voluntary actions to achieve the required number of points. The activities and documentation submittals required for each action are described in the Climate Smart Communities Certification Manual at http://www.dec.ny.gov/energy/96511.html . (August 14, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)  [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/15/2014 - For “the world’s 52 small island developing states (SIDS)” Climate Change is not a liberal hoax; It’s drowning them. Swamped by Rising Seas, Small Islands Seek a Lifeline The world’s 52 small island developing states (SIDS), some in danger of being wiped off the face of the earth because of sea-level rise triggered by climate change, will be the focus of an international conference in the South Pacific island nation of Samoa next month. Scheduled to take place Sep. 1-2, the conference will provide world leaders with “a first-hand opportunity to experience climate change and poverty challenges of small islands.” According to the United Nations, the political leaders are expected to announce “over 200 concrete partnerships” to lift small islanders out of poverty – all of whom are facing rising sea levels, overfishing, and destructive natural events like typhoons and tsunamis. “We are working with our partners – bilaterally and multilaterally – to help resolve our problems,” said Ambassador Ali’ioaiga Feturi Elisaia, permanent representative of Samoa to the United Nations. “You don’t have to bring the cheque book to the [negotiating] table,” he added. “It’s partnerships that matter.” (August 11, 20140 Inter Press Service [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/14/2014 - Rochester, NY is vastly increasing its active transportation, which helps mitigate Climate Change. But, yeah, “Copenhagen’s newest bike lane totally rules”.  See City of Rochester, NY’s bikeROCHESTER, where BTW they have an entire section on “Benefits of Increased Bicycling in Rochester” but nary a word about this being Rochester’s biggest effort in mitigating Climate Change—as it reduces greenhouse gas in the transportation sector which is responsible for 27% of greenhouse gases according to the EPA.  Rochester shouldn’t be so timid about addressing and mitigating Climate Change, which will have to be done, and the public will have to support these on-going effort, election year, after election year.  What is it with Rochester’s silence on Climate Change, the most critical issue of our times, the mother of all issues? Copenhagen’s newest bike lane totally rules In Copenhagen, where bicycles outnumber people and nearly 40 percent of residents cycle to work, bike-friendly infrastructure is key. But, even though more than 200 miles of bike lanes wind throughout Copenhagen, congestion is a common issue. The city is home to the world’s busiest bike lane, on which up to 40,000 cyclists travel daily. (August 8, 2014) Grist [more on Transportation in our area]

  • 8/14/2014 - Raw sewage overflowing our sewer systems and getting into our Great Lakes drinking water is predicted by climate studies—unless we update all systems that are even remotely connected to the Great Lakes. Every community’s sewage that ends up going into the Great Lakes is all of our problem who, like Rochester, live on the Great Lakes and get our water from there. It’s going to be expensive to update our wastewater infrastructures and it is one of the ways our region is going to have to adapt to Climate Change and it’s going to have to get continued public support (election year after election year) and the media must connect the dots, unlike this article: Heavy rains force millions of gallons of raw sewage into area waterways Monday’s rains overwhelmed sewer systems across metro Detroit, forcing millions of gallons of untreated and partially treated sewage into rivers and lakes. “As far as the significance of the volumes, this is incredible,” said Laura Verona of the Michigan Department of Environmental Quality. “We estimate that this was a 350-year event.” Macomb County alone logged more than 1 billion gallons in overflows from storm-retention basins and sewers countywide, according to data posted on its website. At least 67 million gallons of the overflow failed to meet federal pollution standards. DEQ officials are still collecting data to see what happens to E. coli levels in the waterways. Elevated levels are expected and that could prompt beach closures and other public health measures. (August 12, 2014) Detroit Free Press [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area}

  • 8/14/2013 - Today’s lesson boys and girls is “Climate Refugee.” A Climate Refugee is someone screwed out of a country because their country has been declared a Climate Change sacrificial zone. Tuvalu climate refugees granted residency in New Zealand  A family from Tuvalu has been granted New Zealand residency after claiming they would be affected by climate change and rising sea levels if they returned home. It is the first successful application for residency on humanitarian grounds where climate change has been a factor. Sigeo Alesana and his family moved to New Zealand from Tuvalu in 2007, but has had no legal status in the country since 2009. The family’s case was originally dismissed by the tribunal in March but was successfully appealed on humanitarian grounds because of their strong family and community links to New Zealand. (August 7, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/14/2014 - Older folks should lead on Climate Change because they have already enjoyed a prosperity the young won’t have a chance for; but the young cannot wait. 11 ways young people have revolutionized the climate debate Little people mean big business when it comes to climate change, as these 11 victories show - Young people are often the most passionate voices on climate change, and with reason – as the planet warms over the coming century, it is the future of the youngest at stake. As such, it is often youth that are the loudest and the most ambitious in calling for action, proving to be anything from serious combatants to potential allies to the politicians in charge. But do their pickets and their pleas actually achieve anything? For RTCC’s Youth Week, we’ve picked 11 moments where young people have made climate history. (August 11, 2014) Responding to Climate Change (RTCC) [more on Climate Change in our area]  

  • 8/14/2014 - I wonder how long folks will see the new normal weather as what they thought of as normal then realize it isn’t normal. 10 Images Show & Explain the Northeast Flooding Records fell along with the torrential rain that swamped parts of the East Coast from Baltimore up to Long Island from Tuesday through Wednesday morning. A series of storms parked themselves over certain parts of the region, dumping enough rain to inundate roads, parking lots, front lawns and backyards. On Tuesday, Baltimore-Washington International Airport recorded 6.3 inches of rain, a record amount for the date. That's also the second-highest rainfall total in the books for that station on any day. The highest mark was set in August 1933 when a hurricane swept across the Chesapeake Bay area. Because rain fell so fast and hard, standing water quickly rose in a number of spots around the airport including the long-term parking lot. (August 13, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/13/2014 - Yeah, I’m thinking the report that says “Pennsylvania regulators failed to properly supervise drillers” could have implications in New York. I’m thinking that a lot of Fracking reports around the country and around the world should be reviewed as New York State is still on the fence on Fracking. Why wouldn’t NYS look to see what happens to other places when they start Fracking? Pennsylvania auditor blasts state oversight of fracking Pennsylvania regulators failed to properly supervise drillers during the fracking boom that began several years ago, the state's auditor general has found. In a 158-page report, the auditor says the state Department of Environmental Protection: -- Failed to issue orders to drillers to replace and restore damaged water supplies. -- Failed to properly inform people whose water supplies could be contaminated. -- Didn't properly monitor how drillers get rid of fracking wastewater -- Failed to post accurate inspection information online. The report could have implications in New York, where a moratorium on fracking is in its sixth year and is still under review. (August 11, 2014) Syracuse.com [more on Fracking in our area} 

  • 8/13/2014 - As Former Irish President Mary Robinson says "We need to make (climate change) the biggest issue humankind faces, because if we don't we lose…" Much needs to be done before the 2015 Paris conference. Ban Ki-moon appoints Mary Robinson as special climate envoy Former Irish President Mary Robinson has been appointed as the U.N. Secretary-General's Special Envoy for Climate Change in a drive to mobilise political will and action ahead of a climate summit Ban Ki-moon will host in New York on Sept. 23. Robinson has long advocated for "climate justice", and has her own foundation that works to secure justice for people vulnerable to the impacts of climate change who are often forgotten - the poor, disempowered and marginalised across the world. In a statement issued on Monday, Ban said Robinson would build on this work as his special envoy for climate change, engaging heads of state and government to raise ambition on tackling climate change ahead of the September summit and advising him based on her consultations. (July 15, 2014) Thomas Reuters Foundation [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/13/2014 - Considering that the US has ‘lost’ (destroyed) over half its wetlands due to development, and we need them in order to adapt and mitigate Climate Change, we’d better get rebuilding them. Why Restoring Wetlands  Is More Critical Than Ever Along the Delaware River estuary, efforts are underway to restore wetlands lost due to centuries of human activity. With sea levels rising, coastal communities there and and elsewhere in the U.S. and Europe are realizing the value of wetlands as important buffers against flooding and tidal surges. The work began at low tide on the Mispillion marsh on Delaware Bay. A field team hauled coconut fiber logs the size and heft of rolled carpets out beyond the tall cordgrass to the gray mud flat that extended from the marsh edge. Ten or so yards out, where the mudflat met the open water, an array of gray stacked blocks made of marine limestone and oyster shell was already set out. Looking like the battlements of a buried castle, this permeable reef was designed to deflect and dissipate the energy of the bay’s water as it flows toward the marsh. (July 28, 2014) Yale: Environment 360 [more on Wetlands in our area]

  • 8/13/2014 - Who will set the bar for lowering greenhouse gas emissions ahead of the 2015 Paris conference? | EU Commission backs 30 percent energy efficiency target for 2030 The European Commission has proposed a 30 percent EU-wide energy savings target for 2030, officials confirmed in July. The proposal is the third and final component of the draft 2030 climate and energy framework, which the bloc’s leaders are aiming to finalise this coming October. The three-pronged climate and energy strategy would take effect from the end of this decade, and would be in place through 2030. The process of shaping this new framework has fuelled debate over what effect the potential strategies will have on job creation and sustainable and inclusive growth within the 28-country bloc, as well as what signals the final result may send for ongoing UN-level talks for a new global climate deal. (August 4, 2014) International Centre for Trade and Sustainable Development [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/13/2014 - What powers your stuff without warming up the planet or polluting your air and water or blowing up while being transported? Solar. Solar Power on the Rise: The Technologies and Policies behind a Booming Energy Sector Solar power – clean, reliable, and increasingly affordable – is experiencing remarkable growth across the U.S. DOWNLOAD: Solar Power on the Rise: The Technologies and Policies behind a Booming Energy Sector (2014) Solar power generates electricity with no global warming pollution, no fuel costs, and no risks of fuel price spikes, and has the potential to help move the country toward cleaner, reliable, and affordable sources of electricity. Small-scale solar photovoltaic (PV) systems, typically on rooftops, account for the majority of solar installations, while large-scale PV systems and concentrating solar power (CSP) systems constitute the majority of solar's overall electricity-generating capacity. All three are undergoing rapid growth. Given the abundance of sunshine across the country, solar power has the potential to supply a significant amount of electricity that is both environmentally and economically attractive. (August 7, 2014) Union of Concerned Scientists [more on Solar Power in our area] 

  • 8/12/2014 - On the other hand, if next year’s climate talks don’t keep the world under 2°C, there’s no Plan B.  Ad hoc mitigation efforts after Paris 2015 will be fruitless, which is to say adaptation without much hope of sustainability.  Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature. Why A New Study Thinks Next Year’s Climate Talks Won’t Keep The World Under 2°C The hopes that the world will do something meaningful to reduce its carbon emissions now hang on the next big round of international climate talks in Paris in 2015. And according to a new analysis from the Massachusetts Institute of Technology, it’s probably going to be a letdown. The Paris talks will be the twenty-first gathering of nations under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), with the goal of cutting greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions enough to hold any rise in global temperatures under 2°C. At this point, very few public commitments have been made by any of the countries involved, so what deal could emerge in 2015 is anybody’s guess. Nonetheless, the MIT researchers wanted to take a stab at a prediction, and see how close it could get the world to the 2°C goal. (August 6, 2014) Think Progress/Climate Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/12/2014 - Of course, we don’t wish to infer that our wastewater treatment plants have magical powers. ‘Toxins’ here means toxins from harmful algal blooms, not manmade toxins, or plastic bits, or pharmaceuticals, or zillions of other stuff we dump into our drinking water.  We don’t have wastewater treatment plants that strip all pollutants from our drinking water and until we do we should stop allowing any pollutants to go into the Great Lakes, the greatest freshwater system in the world. Scientist: Plants can remove toxin from drinking water PORT CLINTON – Toledo and other water plants along Lake Erie likely will see high amounts of toxin in water this summer, but they should be equipped to remove it, a scientist said Friday. After Toledo could not provide safe drinking water to its more than 400,000 customers in northwest Ohio and southeast Michigan last weekend, officials and scientists collaborated finding the most effective ways to remove it, said Jeff Reutter, director of Ohio State University's Ohio Sea Grant College Program and Stone Laboratory. "That condition of the lake will repeat itself several times during the rest of the year," he said during a webinar regarding harmful algae. (August 9, 2014) Port Clinton News Herald [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our region]

  • 8/12/2014 - Rather than trying to “…achieve the highest safety and environmental standards…” with LNG storage and allowing Albany to become one of the nation’s largest Oil-Hub, New York is setting the table for more fossil fuels in a time of Climate Change.  DEC plans conference on Seneca Lake LPG proposal State Department of Environmental Conservation Commissioner Joe Martens announced Monday that an issues conference will be scheduled regarding the proposal to construct a liquefied petroleum gas storage facility in the Schuyler County Town of Reading. A news release said the conference was being planned because of extensive public interest. The conference — for the applicant, DEC staff and any individual or or group that has filed a petition for party status — will be scheduled through DEC’s Office of Hearings “to determine if there are any significant and substantive issues that require an adjudicatory hearing,” according to the news release. (August 11, 2014) Star Gazette

  • 8/12/2014 - Rather than relying on media that still tends to over represent climate contrarians, we are learning to monitor our environment more accurately. One of the things that have allowed climate change denial to continue is the lack of objective instruments that give us immediate feedback on warming and now air equality. More and more we can see for ourselves how our environment is reacting to pollution, warming, and it ain’t pretty.  DISCOVER-AQ: U.S. EPA kicks off air quality research in Colorado with NASA and NOAA  from U.S. Environmental Protection Agency

  • 8/12/2014 - One of the solutions for climate contrarians overrepresented in media coverage is for the public to switch media. Reading many of the climate studies can give you a feel for what media is feeding you crap and what media is trustworthy on Climate Change.  Climate Contrarians Overrepresented in Media Coverage, New Survey Finds Scientific survey finds media may be skewing its coverage of climate science by seeking out views of a small minority who questions man-made warming. There is an overwhelming consensus among expert scientists studying climate change that man-made pollution is the main cause of global warming. But the media may be skewing its coverage of the issue by persistently seeking out the views of a contrarian minority, according to a new study. In an opinion survey of nearly 1,900 scientists, 90 percent of the respondents with more than 10 peer-reviewed articles to their name "explicitly agreed with anthropogenic greenhouse gases being the dominant driver of recent global warming," the study found. (August 11, 2013) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/08/2014 - Besides Climate Change we are causing the Sixth Great Extinction Event. Transporting Amphibian-killing fungus around the world. Connect the dots in this New Yorker article: The Sixth Extinction? There have been five great die-offs in history. This time, the cataclysm is us. | Genetics reveal effects of deadly frog fungus A deadly fungus has decimated certain populations of amphibians globally for the past few decades, but scientists remain unclear about the exact mechanisms that lead to its disease. For example, while some species have become threatened or gone extinct, others appear unaffected, or the disease persists at reduced frequencies following an outbreak A new Cornell study, published in the July issue of the journal G3: Genes, Genomics, Genetics, teased out the mechanisms at play by examining which genes are turned on and off in the highly susceptible Panamanian golden frog (Atelopus zeteki) following infection of the fungus Batrachochytrium dendrobatidis (Bd). (August 6, 2014) Cornell Chronicle Online [more on Wildlife in our area]

  • 8/08/2014 - One of our “community needs” we could use from a $1 million grant by the state Department of Health is Climate Change info and readiness.  The New York State Department of Health knows about the relationship of Climate Change to our health issues-- Strategies to Protect Health in a Changing Climate—and yet they bury this information on their website and provide neither the public with continual education on this issue.  Back in June 2014 the NYS Dept. of Health cautioned about West Nile Virus outbreak in New York, but nary a word about this disease relationship to Climate Change: “As West Nile Virus Arrives, State Health Commissioner Urges New Yorkers to Take Precautions against Mosquito Bites First detection of 2014 in mosquitoes reported” Climate Change is about planning. But how can we plan if our health authorities are too shy to tell us about Climate Change on a level that will matter? Finger Lakes region gets $1M grant from Department of Health The Finger Lakes Performing Provider System, which includes Monroe and other Rochester-area counties, was awarded a $1 million grant by the state Department of Health as part of a program to promote community-level collaborations and focus on system reform. The Delivery System Reform Incentive Payment program aims to achieve a 25 percent reduction in avoidable hospital use over five years. The department on Wednesday announced $21.6 million in DSRIP Project Design Grant Awards for emerging performing provider systems statewide. (August 7, 2014) Rochester Business Journal [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/08/2014 - Because Transportation accounts for 27% of our greenhouse gases, it’s important that we get more folks safely on the streets, especially the safest streets to their destination, on a bike (or walk). This updated Rochester bike map is designed to find out who to navigate our best biking streets to your local destination. Greater Rochester Area Bicycling Map 2014 Edition Now Available The 2014 Greater Rochester Area Bicycling Map, prepared by the Genesee Transportation Council utilizing road ratings provided by volunteer members of the Rochester Bicycling Club, is now available.    The ratings represent the opinions of experienced bicyclists on the rideability of major roads based on existing road conditions and features such as pavement width and quality, traffic volumes, presence and type of shoulders, and posted speed limits.   Copies of the map are available at the following locations: from Genesee Transportation Council

  • 8/07/2014 - Or, one could argue to the NYS Court of Appeals: “What’s more important, more fossil fuels or threats to our water, our public health and our environment?  I suspect that the pro-Fracking folks will never tolerate NO! in what they perceive as their god-given right to drill-baby-drill regardless of court rulings, of public health, of threat to our water, and they certainly have conveniently dismissed the link to more fossil fuel and Climate Change. Gas industry tries to revive challenge to fracking bans ALBANY – The trustee for a defunct oil-and-gas company is attempting a last-ditch effort to revive a lawsuit challenging hydraulic fracturing bans by local governments in New York. The state Court of Appeals in June ruled in favor of the towns of Dryden, Tompkins County, and Middlefield, Otsego County, which saw their local natural-gas-drilling bans challenged by pro-fracking interests. The ruling set a precedent allowing New York's local governments to use zoning ordinances to ban fracking and gas drilling within their borders. (August 6, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Fracking in our area]

  • 8/07/2014 - More than 1,600 people have died of West Nile virus in USA since 1999 and WNV is related to Climate Change and New York is experiencing WNV cases now, but folks are dying in California now and you have to go to California where they report on the connection between WNV and Climate Change.  (Sorry about this convoluted message, but until the local media starts connecting the dots on diseases that will come to our area because of Climate Change, ya gotta do what ya gotta do.) West Nile Virus is alarming example of climate change’s effects The message gets to the Santa Clara County Mosquito and Vector Control District that a dead bird was found in Sunnyvale. If it’s a crow or a jay, the district sends out a team to collect the bird and bring it back to their in-house lab to test it for West Nile Virus. If the bird tests positive, a team of five technicians in white pick-up trucks goes out and sets 40 mosquito traps in a one-mile radius of the site. At this point, Dr. Noor Tietze, Entomologist is called in for mapping and planning strategies. After one night of trapping, the team returns in their white pick-up trucks to collect the mosquitoes and bring them back for testing. “If we get any positive mosquitoes, we go to the next step and fog the area,” said Tietze. They spray with Ultra Low Volume (ULV) fog, an insecticide strong enough to knock down the mosquito population by 60-80 percent but mild enough to use in residential areas. In case this brings to mind “Silent Spring” images of children running behind a DDT truck and polluting their lungs, you should know that Tietze’s trucks only put out 1.5 fluid ounces per acre, not enough to affect honeybees or dragonflies, much less larger mammals like us. (July 11, 2014) SFGate [more on West Nile Virus in our area]

  • 8/07/2014 - The Lake Erie Mess: Gonna be hard to address Climate Change and Water Quality in our lakes if we continue farming as usual.  There are other ways: “No-till usually reduces soil erosion.” What Toledo’s Water Crisis Reveals About Industrial Farming  As you may have heard, about half a million people in the Toledo, Ohio area lost their municipal drinking water supply on Saturday because of possible microbial toxin contamination from Lake Erie. A combination of heavier spring rains, exacerbated by climate change, and runoff of phosphorus from fertilizer applied to crops is the likely cause. The good news is that farmers can adopt better practices to eliminate this problem. The bad news is that the agriculture industry, and the public policies that it lobbies for, work against these solutions. A toxic microbe, or cyanobacteria (a.k.a. blue-green algae), has been causing big water problems in Lake Erie and other bodies of water around the country for the last several yearsScientific research pointed to the combination of agricultural and climate change as the cause of the historic 2011 toxic Lake Erie microbe “bloom” and subsequent dead zone. And research shows that farm pollution, which feeds the explosion of toxic microbe growth, especially from phosphorus fertilizer, has been increasing since the 1990s. Now, new research published in the Journal of Great Lakes Research has further solidified the connection between industrial ag, climate change, and an explosion of toxic algae. (August 5, 2014) Civil Eats [more on Food and Water Quality in our area]

  • 8/07/2014 - It’s amazing the callous disregard we have for fresh drinking water, perhaps many believe we have unlimited quantities, that our oceans are drinkable. Canadians Can’t Drink Their Water After 1.3 Billion Gallons Of Mining Waste Flows Into Rivers Hundreds of people in British Columbia can’t use their water after more than a billion gallons of mining waste spilled into rivers and creeks in the province’s Cariboo region. A breach in a tailings pond from the open-pit Mount Polley copper and gold mine sent five million cubic meters (1.3 billion gallons) of slurry gushing into Hazeltine Creek in B.C. That’s the equivalent of 2,000 Olympic swimming pools of waste, the CBC reports. Tailings ponds from mineral mines store a mix of water, chemicals and ground-up minerals left over from mining operations. The flow of the mining waste, which can contain things like arsenic, mercury, and sulfur, uprooted trees on its way to the creek and forced a water ban for about 300 people who live in the region. That number could grow, as authorities determine just how far the waste has traveled. The cause of the breach is still unknown. (August 5, 2014) Think Progress/Climate Progress  

  • 8/07/2014 - What a tangled web of health concerns we weave with Brownfields when first we don’t practice to clean them up.  Brownfields mangle our environment (our life support system) just I have mangled Walter Scott’s poem—except birds don’t die and human don’t get sick when I butcher poetry. Health experts question handling of songbird-killing Superfund site Health experts are questioning the Environmental Protection Agency and Michigan state officials for their decades-long delays in cleanup of a Superfund site that is killing songbirds in yards, possibly leaving people at risk, too. After years of complaints from residents, researchers recently reported that robins and other birds are dropping dead from DDT poisoning in the mid-Michigan town of St. Louis, which was contaminated by an old chemical plant. “The more we know about DDT the more dangerous we find out it is for wildlife, yes, but humans, too,” said Dr. David Carpenter, director of the University at Albany - State University of New York's School of Public Health and an expert in Superfund cleanups. Velsicol Chemical Corp., formerly Michigan Chemical, manufactured pesticides at the plant until 1963. DDT, known for accumulating in food webs and persisting for decades in soil and river sediment, was banned in the United States in 1972. (August 6, 2014) Environmental Health News [more on Brownfields in our area]

  • 8/06/2014 - One has to wonder when the Monroe County Health Department will include Climate Change and public health concerns on their website.  The Centers for Disease Control and Prevention (CDC) is not shy at all about planning and informing the public about how Climate Change will affect public health. We know from climate studies that our region will experience more Lyme disease, more West Nile Virus, and more heat-related deaths due to longer periods of frequent extreme heat.  So why doesn’t our county provide information on that, which would help legitimize this issue in the eyes of the pubic and help health insurance companies plan—so they don’t just drop health benefits when they are overwhelmed.  I believe that our public health should be viewed through the lens of Climate Change (top priority) because this will affect all issues related to public health.

  • 8/06/2014 - Unlike local media, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture doesn’t have the luxury of dismissing Climate Change. If we haven’t planned for Food issues with Climate Change, folks get annoyed when extreme stuff happens to their diet. Ag secretary briefed on nutrition, dairy, climate research In an agrarian world fraught with complication, U.S. Secretary of Agriculture Tom Vilsack met with Cornell faculty members July 29 to learn about solutions in the realm of dairy, nutrition and climate change. Kathryn Boor, the Ronald P. Lynch Dean of the College of Agriculture and Life Sciences (CALS), organized the event. More than two dozen faculty members, primarily from CALS and the College of Veterinary Medicine, and scientists from the U.S. Department of Agriculture (USDA) Agricultural Research Service met with Vilsack to discuss dairy herd health, dairy and food processing, workforce development, and Cornell’s teaching, research and extension missions (August 1, 2014) Cornell Chronicle Online [more on Climate Change and Food in our area]

  • 8/06/2014 - Because humans are afflicted with the dreaded Shifting Baseline Syndrome, #climatemarch & high temps in other places remind us of “Global” warming. We tend to think that our ‘now’ is the only ‘now’ there is, or ever was, unless we are educated about what is going on around the world and what has transpired in the past. This temperate summer in Rochester, NY (for example) is not the ‘now’ the rest of the world is experiencing now.  Temperatures elsewhere and in our oceans are rising to unprecedented levels and so we must engage in the Climate Change crisis to be continually reminded that what we see as ‘now’ is only a fraction of the worldly now. If we don’t do that we’ll think Climate Change disappears every time we have a pleasant day. First 100°F Temperature on Record in the Baltics The 37.8°C (100.0°F) temperature observed at Ventspils, Latvia on August 4th was the first time on record that a reading of 100°F has been measured in any of the Baltic nations (Latvia, Estonia, and Lithuania). The heat wave has also affected Poland, Belarus, and Sweden where a massive forest fire, said to be the worst in the nation's modern history, rages out of control. The record was especially unusual since Ventspils (also known as Ventspili) is a coastal location situated right along the shores of the Baltic Sea. The previous Latvian record of 36.4°C (97.5°F) on August 4, 1943 (same date!) was measured at Daugavpils which is an inland location near the border of Belarus and where hotter temperatures might be expected vis-à-vis a coastal location. The reason for the excessive temperature at Ventspils, this time around, was a strong offshore flow caused by a high-pressure system centered over northeast Russia and Finland. (August 5, 2014) WeatherUnderground [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/06/2014 - Despite all media dismissal to the contrary, the sun still shines in New York & we are a “rising star” in Solar Energy.  Read “Lighting the Way” by Environment New York. Of course the real hurdle to getting more Solar Power in New York State is the unfair billions of subsidies that the fossil fuel gets and the rise of Fracking, which not only undercut efforts at Solar and Wind power, but nuclear power also.  If we don’t get fossil fuel energy to reflect its true costs to our environment and lose those incredible tax subsides, we’ll never get a viable energy source as our planet’s atmosphere warms. New Report: Solar Capacity in New York Grew 30% in 2013 Progress Fueled by the NY-SUN Initiative New York, NY – Today, Environment New York Research & Policy Center released a new report: "Lighting the Way” showing strong solar growth across the nation including a 30% increase in New York in 2013. The report emphasizes that it is not availability of sunlight that makes states solar leaders, but the degree to which state and local governments have created effective public policy to help capture the virtually unlimited and pollution-free energy from the sun. New York's progress on solar has helped fuel a tripling of solar energy nationwide between 2011 and 2013. In 2013, solar capacity in New York grew from 175 MW to 250 MW. “Solar energy is emerging as a go-to energy option here in New York and across the country,” said Heather Leibowitz, Director of Environment New York. “Thanks to the commitment of New York’s leaders, this pollution-free energy option is poised to play a major role in helping us meet New York’s goal of a 44% reduction in carbon emissions by 2030.” (August 5, 2014) Environment New York [more on Solar Power in our area]

  • 8/06/2014 - Cuomo code for Climate Change: “As we continue to adjust to the new normal of extreme weather…” The “NY Rising Housing Recovery Programs” will probably dwindle as the seas rises higher and the ability of the government to fund disaster relief from Climate Change gets smaller. NY Rising Program to help 6,575 homeowners impacted by extreme weather ALBANY - Up to $300 million has been made available through the State’s NY Rising Housing Recovery Program to support home elevations for 6,575 homeowners. Individuals eligible for this round of funding experienced damage to their homes as a result of Superstorm Sandy, Tropical Storms Irene and Lee. The Optional Home Elevation and Mitigation Initiative is being offered in addition to other housing recovery assistance that has been made available through NY Rising. “As we continue to adjust to the new normal of extreme weather, it is critically important that our communities are as safe and resilient as possible,” Governor Andrew Cuomo said. “That is why the state is stepping up to support home elevations for thousands of New Yorkers who were hit hard by Sandy – because we’re not just rebuilding from the damage that was done, but building back with the next storm in mind. This level of housing recovery assistance is unprecedented, and I am confident that it will go a long way toward creating a New York that is stronger, smarter, and safer than ever before.” To date, the agency has issued 8,000 storm-impacted homeowners with more than $350 million, helping communities throughout New York to recover from recent storms and build back even better than before. (July 31, 2014) EmpireStateNews.net [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 8/05/2014 - So, while we’re on the subject of Brownfields, yeah, it’s great that the City of Rochester got an EPA grant to clean some up. But I have some questions: Why do folks complain about regulations on business when businesses have a long history of walking away from their toxic crap and leaving us the bill? (Remember, a grant from the EPA is not a gift from heaven. It’s a way to assign your tax dollars to clean up after irresponsible industries have left us some very unhealthy and environmental unfriendly stuff that can seep into our groundwater and runoff into our streams.)  How many more Brownfields in Rochester need to be cleaned up? What does ‘cleaned up’ actually mean? Can you grow crops in the soil after that Brownfield has been ‘cleaned up’?  What is the percentage of Brownfields are there in low-come region as opposed to higher-income regions? What are we doing from preventing Brownfields in the first place? When are we going to design a system where there will be no more Brownfields? And finally, what are we doing to prevent Brownfield runoff in extreme weather events as predicted by Climate Change?  Brownfields aren’t simply a way that we do business—Brownfields are a Shitstorm unleashed upon present and future generations of plants, wildlife, and us. City gets grant for cleanup of brownfield sites The city of Rochester has received $300,661 to clean up brownfield sites, its first federal award since its designation as a manufacturing community. The grant, from the Environmental Protection Agency, will be part of the city’s brownfield revolving loan fund, which provides low-interest loans to small businesses for brownfield remediation, city officials said last week. The revolving loan fund is administered jointly by the Department of Neighborhood and Business Development and the Department of Environmental Services. (August 4, 2014) Rochester Business Journal [more on Brownfields in our area}

  • 8/05/2014 - Remember folks, No milkweed, no monarchs! You might want to plant some milkweed on your lawn and make a difference.  I mean, grass, what is it for, besides a relentless mowing experience? Growing Milkweed for Monarchs One of the keys to having monarchs—for their survival now and in the future—is having lots of milkweed. Because of modern changes, such as suburbanization and Roundup-Ready crops, there's a lot less milkweed than there was in the past. This is a disaster for monarchs since monarch caterpillars can eat nothing but milkweed. No milkweed, no monarchs! We want lots of monarchs, so we plant lots of milkweed for them to lay their eggs on. We've tried to maximize our milkweeds in a number of ways—especially since it's sometimes difficult to find them for sale or at least to find them for sale at an affordable enough price to buy more than just a few. Organics Consumer Organization

  • 8/05/2014 - Penfield Green Initiative August 2014 e-newsletter "Hi All   Lots of exciting events in August   Please forward to any family, friends, neighbors or co-workers "from PENFIELD GREEN INITIATIVE Planning Committee The voice for Penfield’s environmental assets!

  • 8/05/2014 - Stay tuned, we are working on getting buses out of Rochester, NY to #climatemarch and will let you know the details soon.  In the meantime check this out: “We are 47 days away from the largest climate march in history. In order to show world leaders how URGENT it is to take action on climate change, we need not just you, but all your friends and family too. Share with your friends this inspiring video from our press conference last week and ask them to join.” Launching the People's Climate March "Published on Aug 4, 2014 On Wednesday July 30, we publicly announced the People's Climate March - the largest march demanding action on climate change in the history of the planet. The march will be on September 21st, 2014, when world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution. With our future on the line and the whole world watching, we’ll take a stand to bend the course of history. We’ll take to the streets to demand the world we know is within our reach: a world with an economy that works for people and the planet; a world safe from the ravages of climate change; a world with good jobs, clean air and water, and healthy communities. Join us on September 21st. http://peoplesclimate.org/march "

  • 8/05/2014 - Today’s lesson boys and girls: Are there stupid questions? Ans: Yes, you don’t have to ask what is water worth? All that you hold dear, including life itself, will not, or would not have not have happened, if you don’t have water. So to ask what is water worth is to ask what is life worth—which as you know has no meaning, except in the context of an economic system so far removed from reality as to be absurd. What is water worth? But that said, the water scarcity problem is real … and serious … and global. Since the 1970s, droughts worldwide have gotten longer and more intense over wider areas, according to the UN’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Throw in the effects of pollution, overconsumption, and relentless population growth, and there is little for the political left and the right to debate: We have a genuine, burgeoning, boundary-crossing crisis over water. That isn’t new, of course. NGO types, geologists, and climate scientists have been warning about freshwater scarcity for some time. What’s striking today is the sheer number of gray suits who are sounding the alarm. “Water now gets discussed at the board level,” David Grant, the senior manager for water risks and partnerships at SAB Miller, tells Fortune. (That Miller has a senior manager for water risks is telling in itself.) PepsiCo  PEP  CEO Indra Nooyi says, “The world water crisis is one of the most pressing challenges of our age.” (May 1, 2014) Fortune 

  • 8/05/2014 - On the other hand in planning for Climate Change and blue-green algae toxin lakes like Lake Ontario won’t be so deep and cold. Toledo's water trouble not likely here Similar toxins have been found in more than 140 New York lakes, ponds and reservoirs in the past, and some of them serve as public drinking water supplies. It's possible there could be cause for concern in a small number of those water bodies, one expert said Monday. But Metzger, the authority's chief engineer, was able to offer Noce a note of reassurance as he stood Sunday on the sandy shore of Lake Ontario, from which the authority draws its drinking water: Not a bit of blue-green algae in sight, and a Toledo scenario is very unlikely to happen in Monroe County. "You can never say never," Metzger said. "But western Lake Erie and Lake Ontario where our water intakes are located are two very different lakes." (August 4, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/05/2014 - We have to both adapt to and mitigate Climate Change. For example, adapting is making sure your rails don’t warp.  For those who don’t believe in Climate Change it may be difficult to get them to mitigate Climate Change by helping to reduce more manmade greenhouse gases warming up our planet. But everyone, climate change denialist or not, is going to have to adapt to a warming world.  You cannot run a train full speed over a warped rail no matter who you are. You cannot drive a car over roads that are continually washed out. You cannot labor hard day after day in temperature above 100 degrees.  You cannot rebuild after a disaster if your insurance company won’t pay up, or the federal government goes broke trying to recover from frequent disasters. Everyone will have to adapt to Climate Change—or they won’t. If you vote in a leader who doesn’t believe in Climate Change, you might want to walk to work instead of taking a chance with an out-of-date transportation system. Derailments May Increase as ‘Sun Kinks’ Buckle Tracks In a warming world, the U.S. could see its cities inundated with water, its power grids threatened by intense storms, its forests devastated by wildfire and insect infestations, and its coastlines washed away by storm surges. Climate change also threatens roads, pipelines, power lines and rail lines in ways that may not be quite as in-your-face as the stark images of homes washed away on a hurricane-eroded beach. Bridges and highways can be weakened or destroyed in floods. Power lines can be burned in wildfires and damaged in major storms. Roads and airport runways are vulnerable to extreme heat, which can soften and deteriorate asphalt. You can add ‘sun kinks,’ or railways that buckle in extreme heat, causing derailments, to the list of things that are already taking a toll on U.S. transportation, a problem that figures to grow significantly as the U.S. warms. (July 31, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change and Transportation in our area]

  • 8//04/2014 - Climate Change: Sure we have too much extreme rain in the Northeast, but the Wildfires in California bankrupt us? The rising costs of wildfire protection across the US “The cost of putting out these deadly wildfires has increased year-to-year as more acres continue to burn” (July 31, 2014) Aljazeera America

  • 8/04/2014 - Finger Lakes and farming and Climate Change, we are at an extraordinary point in our history that’s why #ClimateMarch matters. .  The People’s Climate March “In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.” Extreme weather challenges Finger Lakes farms While a certain amount of extreme weather events are to be expected, the frequency and severity of such dramatic events — from floods to drought and from overwhelming heat to bitter cold — present evidence of climate change. In New York, the average summer temperature is 2 degrees warmer than in 1970, and the average winter temperature is 4 degrees warmer. The earth is now warmer than it has been during the past several 1,000 years, and the climate models project a continuation of this trend, according to Cornell Institute for Climate Change and Agriculture, which facilitates research, education and outreach to reduce the collective impact of agriculture on the climate and help farmers become more resilient to climate change. (August 3, 2013) Daily Messenger [more on Plants and Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2014 - We should heed Revkin’s warning of “single-study syndrome”, but we also need to see ASAP the full dimensions of Climate Change so our actions reflect the new reality. Learning the full monty of Climate Change will be always fluid, but that doesn’t mean ‘wait and see’ is a good idea.  We are indeed in a pickle, trying to address and mitigate a worldwide crisis we don’t even know the full dimensions of yet. New Study Sees Atlantic Warming Behind a Host of Recent Climate Shifts Using climate models and observations, a fascinating study in this week’s issue of Nature Climate Change points to a marked recent warming of the Atlantic Ocean as a powerful shaper of a host of notable changes in climate and ocean patterns in the last couple of decades — including Pacific wind, sea level and ocean patterns, the decade-plus hiatus in global warming and even California’s deepening drought. The study, “Recent Walker circulation strengthening and Pacific cooling amplified by Atlantic warming,” was undertaken by researchers at the University of New South Wales and University of Hawaii. Read on for the abstract, a related news release and three cautionary reactions (this is an understatement) from seasoned climate scientists uninvolved with this new paper (they help one keep in mind the importance of avoiding “single-study syndrome”). Here’s the abstract: (August 3, 2014) New York Times | Dot Earth [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2014 - Be nice if the wonderful Canadian folks in the http://bluedot.ca/ tour swung down through the USA too. We could use some waking up. The Blue Dot Tour: The Right to Breathe Fresh Air, Drink Clean Water and Eat Healthy Food A now-famous 1972 photo of Earth taken by Apollo 17 astronauts from 45,000 kilometres away became known as “the blue marble.” The late scientist Carl Sagan described a 1990 picture taken from six billion kilometers away by the unmanned Voyager 1 as a “pale blue dot.” The vision of Earth from a distance has profoundly moved pretty much anyone who has ever seen it. “When we look down at the earth from space, we see this amazing, indescribably beautiful planet,” International Space Station astronaut Ron Garan said. “It looks like a living, breathing organism. But it also, at the same time, looks extremely fragile.” Referring to the atmosphere, Garan added “it’s really sobering … to realize that that little paper-thin layer is all that protects every living thing on Earth.” July 29, 2014) EcoWatch

  • 8/04/2014 - Shouldn’t we first try to restore the Great Lakes ecosystem itself besides focusing on human-centric ‘eco-services’? I know, the thinking is that if it’s good for us (if we get from the Great Lakes what we want) then it will be good for the Great Lakes.  However, not so much. We tend to be very focused on our own wants and needs and not the long-term ecological health of an ecosystem. Making the Great Lakes safer for swimming, fishing and drinking the water Just in case the Great Lakes Water Quality Agreement isn’t on your summer reading list, here’s the gist of it: It’s an agreement between the U.S. and Canada. One of the goals of that agreement is to make the Great Lakes more swimmable, fishable and drinkable. The International Joint Commission is an independent bi-national organization. It gives advice to the U.S. and Canada on meeting those goals, among other things. The IJC has a Health Professionals Advisory Board, and the board’s come out with a reportproposing five ways to measure risks to our health from contaminants and other hazards in the Great Lakes. (July 31, 2014) Michigan Radio [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/04/2014 - Here’s the rub on success at Paris Climate Conference 2015 “only provided countries quickly adopt a robust set of policies” Maybe #ClimateMarch will jump start that.  The People’s Climate March “In September, world leaders are coming to New York City for a UN summit on the climate crisis. UN Secretary­ General Ban Ki-­moon is urging governments to support an ambitious global agreement to dramatically reduce global warming pollution.” There is no magic bullet to slow climate change The solutions are already available; we just need more political will to implement them A recently released draft report (PDF) prepared for the United Nations makes an ambitious attempt at showing how 15 major carbon-emitting countries, including the United States and China, can make deep reductions in their emissions to help keep global temperatures from increasing more than 2°C above preindustrial levels — a goal at the heart of international climate negotiations. Prepared by a group of independent international experts, it confirms that a variety of low-carbon technology solutions are already available. However, given the planet’s current high emission trajectory, sharply curbing carbon emissions in line with the 2°C goal may be just barely technologically feasible — with a lot of effort — and only provided countries quickly adopt a robust set of policies to drive that outcome. Progress on this front, unfortunately, is checkered. Australia’s repeal of its carbon tax last month is a stark example of shorter-term, narrow political priorities taking precedence over global interests in the fight against climate change. China, on the other hand, is considering a mandatory cap on coal use, though the speed and scope of its implementation is still up in the air. (August 3, 2014) Aljazeera America [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/04/2014 - “"Many energy prices in many countries are wrong," [Including USA.]  said the report, entitled Getting Energy Prices Right.” IMF's Blunt Message to Nations: Raise Fossil-Fuel Taxes to Fight Climate Change 'Many energy prices in many countries are wrong. They are set at levels that do not reflect environmental damage, notably global warming.' Countries all over the world, including the United States, should be collecting much higher pollution taxes on fossil fuels—stiff enough to reflect the long-term cost of global warming's damage, the International Monetary Fund said on Thursday in an important new study. The IMF, one of the world's leading development institutions, has long favored putting a price on carbon as an essential defense against the mounting damages of climate change. But its advice has never been so blunt, or so detailed. August 1, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 8/02/2014 - Climate Change in the north USA. The good news is a longer growing season. The bad news, they aren’t saying.  (But according to climate studies, it’s not all peaches and cream for the northern USA. More extreme weather, more crop pests, more likelihood of dumping more pesticides, which will end up in our waters, more problems with wildlife and endemic plants trying to adapt to a climate that is warming ten times faster than any time in these creatures’ and plants’ history, more disruption to all of our infrastructures—water, waste water, telecommunications, and transportation.) Sorry to be a Debbie Downer, but articles that focus only on the positive side of Climate Change are delusional in the sense that they don’t reflect reality and make it impossible to plan properly. But at least farmers are finally admitting that our climate is changing.  Whether we’ll be able to thrive and flourish is another kettle of fish. Planted acres increase in region; warming climate among reasons More crops were planted in the northern Midwest this year than last year, including Michigan, according to a federal report. The U.S. Department of Agriculture report says that Michigan farmers planted 300,000 more acres of principal crops this year than last year. One reason may be that warmer temperatures are allowing for a longer growing season, said Jim Byrum, president of the Michigan Agri- Business Association. With frost starting later in the year, crops have more time to mature, he said. And higher temperatures are prompting crop production to expand to the north. You can expect that trend to continue, Byrum said. (August 2, 2014) Great Lakes Echo [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/02/2014 - We could use more Climate Change leaders in Rochester, NY.  Maybe wake Rochester up to reality. RIT student takes on climate advocate role Susan Spencer sees potential for the Rochester region to lead on technology that could prevent the acceleration of climate change. In particular, she says she sees promise in the solar cell research and development work happening across the area, especially at Eastman Business Park. And that makes sense: Spencer is a Ph.D. candidate at Rochester Institute of Technology who studies solar cell technology. Her dissertation, which she defends at the end of August, deals with ways to optimize solar cells at the molecular level. In a sense, Spencer is trying to fight climate change from inside a lab. But she says she also wants to talk to the public about climate change, and solutions including renewable energy.  And to that end, she'll give a free presentation — "The Climate Crisis and Renewable Energy Solutions" — at 6 p.m. tomorrow at RIT, in the Xerox auditorium in Gleason Hall. It'll last 45 minutes to an hour, and a question-and-answer session will follow. (July 31, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/02/2014 - August Green Drinks "Broccolo is hosting “Green Drinks” Event — Aug. 14th at its Garden Center 2755 Penfield Road. There will be demonstrations of storm water management systems using coir logs, rocks, and vegetation along the DEC protected watershed on the Broccolo property. Solar energy and electric car information and demonstrations will be featured. The event will also showcase native plantings, birds and butterfly gardens, make and take rain barrel workshop, recycled art work, Rochester’s permaculture, representatives from Genesee Land Trust, a tasting by Black Button Distillery, and LOTS of FOOD. Additionally, Laurie Broccolo has generously offered to donate 10% of her retail sales at the Garden Center all day on the 14th,to CEI's RiverWater initiative. " "Green Drinks is a monthly networking event where people in the environmental field and the sustainably minded meet over drinks (alcoholic or non), in an informal setting to exchange ideas, find out who's doing what and spread the word on what you're doing, find employment leads and make new friends and contacts. " Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI) 

  • 8/02/2014 - The more you know about the Paris Climate Talks in 2015 the more you will realize it must not fail. This conference may be the world’s last chance to mitigate Climate Change and keep our greenhouse gas emissions to a sustainable level. If it does fail, most likely we’ll all be scurrying around trying to adapt Climate Change—which is ultimately hopeless. WORLD LEADERS MUST ACT IN 2015: TUTU, MALALA AND BONO’S STARK WARNING Today is Mandela Day. Desmond Tutu, Bono, Malala Yousafzai, Graca Machel, Muhammed Yunus and Mo Ibrahim have written a powerful letter to world leaders  to make 2015 a transformative year in the fight against poverty, inequality and climate change.  Dear World Leaders, We write to sound a warning. A warning that 2015 will be a year of huge opportunity, but also of huge risk. What is at stake here could not be greater, for it is not less than the future of our human family and the world upon which we all depend. Two global processes – the replacement of the current UN development framework and the conclusion of a new climate treaty – culminate within months of each other at the end of 2015. They require us to decide which future we want for people and planet. For there are two dramatically different futures we could live in by 2030. Down one hopeful path we have built on progress, and learned how to eradicate extreme poverty, hunger, as well as put an end to preventable maternal, newborn and child deaths. In so doing, we will give everyone everywhere opportunity and the right to lead their lives with dignity without jeopardising our planet’s ability to provide for its people now and into the future. This is an entirely possible outcome if we do the right thing. (July 18, 2014) Save the Children [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 8/01/2014 - Should we simply characterize addressing Climate Change as putting fossil fuel workers out of a job, or frame the discussion as an opportunity for a sustainable future that include more jobs that don’t warm the planet? If the issue that many have about Climate Change is jobs, want not encourage jobs that don’t warm the planet? Tensions Stir At EPA Hearings On New Emission Rules The coal industry made its presence known in Pittsburgh this week for public hearings on President Obama's controversial plan to address climate change. A key element is rules the Environmental Protection Agency proposed in June. They would cut greenhouse gas emissions — chiefly carbon dioxide — from existing power plants. The national goal is 30 percent by 2030, based on 2005 levels. Coal has much to lose under the rules. The EPA says power plants make up about a third of the greenhouse gas emissions in the U.S., and coal is used to generate nearly 40 percent of electricity today. States have a variety of options for meeting their reduction targets, but in coal country the industry and its workers are worried about the future. (August 1, 2014) North Country Public Radio [more on Energy in our area]

  • 8/01/2014 - Been hearing about plastics in Great Lakes? Might want to check out exhibit “Plastic Waters: From the Great Lakes to the Ocean” Exhibit highlighting plastic pollutants in Great Lakes opens Friday in Hamburg An exhibition of plastic – from the tiniest microbeads piling up along Great Lakes beaches to a 500-pound plastic mass of tangled fishing nets and line pulled from the world’s waters – will be on display for the month of August along Lake Erie’s shoreline in the Town of Hamburg. The “Plastic Waters: From the Great Lakes to the Ocean” exhibit is designed to show the harmful effects of plastic pollution in the Great Lakes and other bodies of water, according to the Alliance for the Great Lakes and California’s 5 Gyres Institute – a research group that has collected plastics in sailing expeditions around the globe and partnered with SUNY Fredonia in studying pollution in the Great Lakes. The exhibit opens Friday with a 7 p.m. gallery opening and reception at the Lake Erie Seaway Trail Center, 4968 Lake Shore Road, Hamburg. “Plastics do not belong in our water. Period,” said Marcus Eriksen, executive director and co-founder of 5 Gyres. “We need to stop trash where it starts, and that’s why public awareness and smarter product design is so critical. Our goal, with the help of the public, is to have zero plastic pollution from our lakes to the sea.” (July 31, 2014) Buffalo News [more on Great Lakes in our area]

  • 8/01/2014 - Growing water scarcity in the USA and around the world will probably mean Rochester, NY region will look like a godsend. Climate Change is about adaptation and our region should adapt to climate refuges.  So, it would be nice if we didn’t Frack up our water for the boom that is coming—albeit a boom based on the tragedy of others. Report: World faces water crises by 2040 Wind, solar power increase needed to avoid global drought The world will face “insurmountable” water crises in less than three decades, researchers said Tuesday, if it does not move away from water-intensive power production. A clash of competing necessities — drinking water and energy demand — will cause widespread drought unless action is taken soon, researchers from Denmark’s Aarhus University, Vermont Law School and the CNA Corporation, a nonprofit research and analysis organization, said in the reports. “It’s a very important issue,” said lead study author Paul Faeth, Director of Energy, Water, & Climate at CNA Corporation. "Water used to cool power plants is the largest source of water withdrawals in the United States,” said Faeth in a press release on two new reports released Tuesday. (July 29, 2014) Aljazeera American [more on Climate Change in our area]