RENewsletter | February 8, 2009



The Free environmental newsletter from  

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

02/02/09 – 02/07/09]


* 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 Teach Environment-In”


Last Thursday, I attended one of our area’s colleges involved in the National Teach In On Global Warming, February 5th. The mission of the teach-in was to enjoin ”thousands of colleges, universities, high-schools, middle schools, faith groups, civic organizations and businesses” to “determine if our descendants will inherit a prosperous or an impoverished planet.”  Pretty heady agenda. 


The goal was to get everyone to realize that “We stand at a unique moment in human history. The window for action on global warming is measured in months, not years. Decisions that we make—or fail to make—in 2009 will have profound impacts not only for our children and grandchildren, but for every human being that will ever inhabit the face of this earth from now until the end of time.”  Almost makes our Recession an afterthought. Think of it: Humans realizing that they must charge of their planet’s machinations.  Doesn’t this define Environmental Ethics?


Though largely ignored by the press (if you came across local coverage of this nation-wide event, drop me a line), many of us from outside the university world did attend the activities.  My original plan was to stay about an hour or two, but I got engaged and stayed the whole day. There was tabling for recycling, a table for measuring your carbon footprints (I calculated mine right after the university’s president did his), attending classes on environmental ethics, listening to environmental poetry readings, watching environmental films, joining in webcasts, attending workshops, and whole lot talking and listening.  My favorite event was the “Teach-in.”  What could be more fun for an old philosophy student than discussing important matters with college professors?


Oh, what’s a teach-in? “A "teach-in" is similar to a general educational forum on any complicated issue, usually an issue involving current political affairs. The main difference between a teach-in and a seminar is the refusal to limit the discussion to a specific frame of time or an academic scope of the topic. Teach-ins are meant to be practical, participatory, and oriented toward action. While they include experts lecturing on the area of their expertise, discussion and questions from the audience are welcome.” from Teach-in - Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia


I came away from my teach-in day realizing that in spite of the media’s dismissal of the event, there are a world people concerned about our rapidly changing environment.  Professors get it. Business people are starting to get it, though how deep their green façades drill down into industry’s practices is problematic.  Students get it, for they have never lived in a world where it wasn’t known that anthropogenic climate change rules. Back in day, only an enlightened few believed humans could actually affect something as incredibly colossal as our planet’s environment in any meaningful way.


Shelving our environment is quickly changing as evidenced by Thursday’s national teach-in.  Try as they may, those who deny the scientific evidence of anthropogenic climate change are finding little traction for their views at the university level.  And, disdainful as they might be, the media, which barrages us with ads, economic gloom, sports, political shenanigans, and the delusion that environmental concerns are not important because they don’t have a section in their newspaper on it, the media itself is being transcended.  Already becoming marginalized by the Internet, teach-ins, and its own self-absorbed attempts to pander to a market that no longer listen to them, the media is merely fiddling around while the rest of us are trying to put out the planetary inferno.  (Click on my email for feedback)




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


·         DEC Tree and & Shrub Sale

·         Wind Farms - Bird & Bat Studies

·         No VHS

·         Waste As Fuel

·         Trans Fats in Great Lakes

·         Falling Ice Wind Turbines

·         Climate Change & Great Lakes



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.