RENewsletter | March 8, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

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

03/01/09– 03/08/09]


* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY


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


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




Opening Salvo:  “Don’t Waste This Crisis”


Amidst the present economic crisis and the looming Global Climate Change there are hopeful messages.  This is not to trivialize that our jobs are disappearing, our savings gurgling down a drain, or that there will be real suffering from not acting sooner on anthropomorphic climate change.  They are happening and there will be consequences.    


As I write, the so called experts are not able to predict the bottom of this economic crisis. Nor do scientists know the full measure of what will happened to us when our present culture must suddenly exist in a dinosaur climate.  Odds are, Alaska won’t simply be the new sun coast.  For, not only do tourists gravitate towards warm sunny locations, so do vectors for malaria, West Nile Virus, dramatic weather changes, flooding, and methane gas from previously frozen ground. Methane as a heat-trapping gas makes carbon dioxide look like a wimp.


But, change has its hopeful side, even though it destroys.  Laissez-faire capitalists (as Greenspan lauds in this book The Age of Turbulence} say that creative collapse allows for one business, say the horse buggy, to collapse while another thrives—the gas buggy. Lots of buggy makers tank, but automobile makers become zillionaires. However, it is one thing to observe that creative collapse occurs; it’s quire another to say creative collapse, or even evolution, should be the model for our behavior.  Nature for all its beauty is truly ‘red in tooth and claw’ exterminating the vast majority of possible life possibilities in favor of a relatively few.  Nature takes no prisoners and it’s been the great human moral achievement to mitigate the vagaries of evolution, not to embrace them. Social Darwinism was not only wrong, it was mean.


So, I am not advocating that we mindlessly look to benefit from our present catastrophe, by doing just anything as a result of it. Using the horror of 911 to march out the preconceived neoconservative agenda to change the political hegemony in the Middle East was such a bad decision that we will be decades trying to right it--as we now must.


But, one of our species’ best traits is to thrive despite disasters. “You never want a serious crisis to go to waste. And what I mean by that is an opportunity to do things you think you could not do before.” Rahm Emanuel, the President’s chief of staff.


Instead of gnashing our teeth and giving in to the worst idea out there, we can use this present turmoil to do the right thing. Instead of making more highways and repairing our entire infrastructure the way it was, maybe we should rethink how we get about.  Develop mass transit instead of the horrendously costly (to both ourselves and our environment) personal automobile.  Bikes instead of cars.  Trails instead of highways. Deconstruction (and properly reusing the parts) instead of the same old projects that go nowhere.


Instead of just creating any jobs, we should decide what jobs need saving and what jobs don’t. Right now the Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) the main agency here for monitoring and protecting our environment is seriously being hampered by job loss—which is not really their problem, but ours.  No monitoring and policing our environment, no sustainable environment.  Instead of buttressing the media industry as it collapses (note Rocky Mountain News) and moves to the Internet, environmentalists should use this opportunity to compete on an equal footing with those who misguided and misinformed us after 911.   Bad things happen, but we don’t have to react badly.  (Click on my email for feedback)




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


         Bears & Zebra Mussels

         Garbage to Fuel

         Great Lakes & Wind Energy

         Public Transportation Changes

         Bottle Bill Talk in Albany

         Highland Park News

         Curb Day for Chili

         Deer Harvest Up - DEC

         Major Fuel Cell Plant in Rochester Area?

         Local College Goes Green Week

         Birds Polluting Great Lakes?

         Drop in Lead Poisoning



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.]  If you don’t see your event, or know of a local environmental event, please send me the info: with (EV event) in the subject line.




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. I’ll keep Actions posted until their due date. 




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.] Award to be made on the Last Sunday of each month.