RENewsletter | May 3, 2009


The Free environmental newsletter from  

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

[04/26/09– 05/03/09]


* 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:  The Real Green Deal


Because the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is behind this effort, I believe the Climate Smart Communities program is a better way to address Global Warming at the community level than a business model.  I know it’s heresy to express this, despite the Recession, Global Warming, and the collapse of our oceans. But, in these days of environmental and economical stress there are probably going to be all kinds of schemes to get people and communities to go green—hoping for a profit somewhere down the line. I’m not saying that because an energy reduction program is for-profit and not backed by the government that it is necessarily out to gouge you, but too often if industry can’t make a buck from you, you’re useless to them. Our economy and our survival are not one: our environment and our survival are—and these statements are not mutually exclusive.


What I am saying is this: when a program like Climate Smart Communities is backed by the environmental branch of the government it is probably more sustainable than a business approach: Regulatory doors will open easier, the program is more likely to last because it is not wedded to the profit motive, it’s more likely that it communities will work together on reducing their carbon footprints than they would in the competitive market, and because its backed by our government it’s more likely to be a comprehensive approach than ad hoc business model. The incentive to make money should be a component of making our way of life sustainable, but not the Holy Grail.


Without going political (though we tend to think in these terms today), a government is more likely to be able to address long-term environmental issues—like global warming—because it (the government is the people) can set a level playing field for the public and business practices. A government can set goals: that all our communities should be recycling 99% of potential recyclable materials; that no pollution should to go into our waters, land, or soil, that make public officials accountable, and that make our environment sustainable—a business cannot.  A business is in business to make business.


If the government doesn’t set the rules for sustainability, most of the public won’t bother and business (as evidenced by deregulation of the banks) will only focus on the profit motive. By definition the survival of a business is the most important matter to a business and survival of a government most important to a government. This should no longer be an ideological squabble. We are living through a Recession and an environmental crisis caused by greed and a great dismissal of our environment. The experiment is over: Past practices have trashed our jobs and our environment. (Monroe County just got an “F” for pollution level this week by the American Lung Association.) 


So I vote for this non-compulsory program to help communities become more sustainable because it is the read deal: Climate Smart Communities - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "Saving Energy and Helping the Climate | New York communities are standing up against climate change by pledging to make their municipal operations and their communities Climate Smart. | More than 50 New York communities already have adopted New York's Climate Smart Communities Pledge or joined ICLEI Cities for Climate Protection. These communities are expressing their commitment to reduce heat-trapping greenhouse gas emissions and prepare for unavoidable climate change, by acting locally and acting now."  (Click on my email for feedback)




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


·         Lake Level Report

·         Great Lakes Plan

·         DEC Green Computer Program

·         Canal Water Clean Imitative

·         Swine Flu Update - NYS Dept. Health

·         Irondequoit Gets Environmental Award

·         Monroe County Air Quality

·         Buffalo Recycling Audit

·         Fewer Trays, Less Food

·         Swine Flu In Rochester

·         Study: pharmaceuticals  in Drinking Water

·         Mining Pollution

·         Swine Flu News

·         Great Lakes - Off-Shore Wind Farms

·         Trash/Garbage Study

·         Home Wind Turbine

·         Tree Studies

·         NYS On High State of Alert on Flu Swine

·         Smaller Deer in the Future?

·         Parks and Dogs

·         Diesel Truck Emission Standards

·         Cleaner Water for Honeoye Lake



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 – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]