RENewsletter | January 11, 2009



The Free environmental newsletter from  

“Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change.”


[01/03/09 – 1/11/09]


    Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |


[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo:  “Down in the Dumps”


Recently, I toured a local landfill facility with a large group.  It was great fun.  Our group got treated like royalty by a gracious, professional staff. They showed us how everything works at their landfill operation.  We even got to see those laser gadgets that recognize a variety of plastics and blow them within a split-second puff to the proper bin. 


“Matrix,” the sci-fi flick about super-intelligent machines in charge came to mind as I watched this machine do this and another do that. Our trash, which we have produced in massive quantities and discarded, was finding a new home—maybe a new business that makes a new doohickey t out of an old one.  Though, a lot still goes in the ground.  And, when it does it’s kept from poisoning the air, land, and water by state-of-the art sealants.  Supposedly.


My concern is that if we allow landfill companies to do everything for us--cap the bad gases and liquids, turn trash into energy, landscape the dumpsite so that it looks like countrified estate, and then turn it into a golf course when its permit expires--it affords us the illusion that our wasteful way of life is sustainable.  It’s not really. Not only are there ghosts in the machine (stuff that cannot be used or poisons we cannot safely put away), but something more pernicious occurs when we try to avoid hard ethical choices. What happens, like Global Warming, is that with each innovation to solve the symptoms of our excesses and waste instead of the causes, we are merely pushing the tipping points higher up a cliff. Things fall off the cliff as Nature balances itself.—it’s the law.


                We have exploited the planet, taken its resources, far beyond its capacity to renew them. What we do produce is often made into something just as useless from whence it came, like tires ground up for compost. This matters because there are no externalities in Nature where each part (like life and death, plants and animals, organics and inorganics) don’t sustain the whole. We are what and where we are because of the laws of nature, the forces and processes that produce and control all the phenomena of the material world. That has never before included a zillion plastic peanuts. But now it does along with over six billion people wanting things packed in plastic peanuts too.  Our trash will be our future, though, as Nature does its thing, it may trash our future too.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]




UpdatesDaily Updates – [Connecting the dots on Rochester’s environment. Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? Clicking on -DISCUSSION – will take you to my blog “Environmental Thoughts, NY, where you can add your comments.]




EventsRochester Environmental Events Calendar – [The most complete listing of all environmental events around the Rochester, New York area.]




ActionTake Action - Often, I receive request to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local developments, and environmental items needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.




AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [Each month, included in the RENewsletter goes out an environmental award for the best Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best helps promote the need to protect and offers solutions to our area's environmental issues.]