RENewsletter | August 1, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[7/25/2010 – 8/01/2010]


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Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet. -- Carl Sagan


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



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




Opening Salvo:  “Will the Internet save the news?”


There are those who believe that our news media is experiencing a colossal breakdown.  Consolidations of the major media empires and the loss of revenue due to massive reductions in advertising revenues, which fueled the news media since the early 1800’s, is tearing down the financial structure that gave us competitive and investigative journalism.  The main proponents of this view, Bob McChesney and John Nichols, spell out the problem in their new book: “The Death and Life of American Journalism: The Media Revolution that Will Begin the World Again.”


Most others, if they think about this issue at all, believe the Internet and all its exuberant entrepreneurship will save the media, creating from the rubble of the old media that was newspaper, radio, and TV a new media composed of Wi-Fi, digitalized tablets, cell phones, social media, and some spectacular software yet to be designed. 


How this all turns out is worthwhile pursing because we are either going to find a way to inform ourselves accurately on critical issues like environmental problems and prevent them, or impotently jabber about something else while unintentionally hurling ourselves towards oblivion (runaway Climate Change).


There is much that lends credence to the apocalyptic view.  We have so diluted and confused scientific matters like Climate Change that we may not be able to act at all.  Recently Congress proved itself again incapable of addressing Climate Change.  For whatever reason (and perhaps it is best summed up here Why did the climate bill fail? | Grist,) it ultimately failed because the public doesn’t get it.  They don’t get the importance of Climate Change because mainstream media says otherwise.  


But this isn’t an article about Climate Change.  It’s an article about the media and where it is going.  Already, mainstream media is either run by or is greatly influenced by corporations.  And corporations (not evil, just insanely preoccupied with money at the exclusion of all else) just got a jolt in the arm from the Supreme Court, who views them as people, with as much right as anyone else to have their say.  Check out what might be in play in the coming elections: Coal Companies Look To Spend Big To Influence Elections With A 527 Group .  You might have some big bucks stashed away under your pillow to give to your favorite candidate or political commercial. But corporations have a lot of money -- more than you can shake a stick at – and they will be framing the environmental issues this election season.


All this means that in the future you are less likely to get important news about our environment and more propaganda.  Propaganda is when someone with an agenda is able to bombard the public with fake news that is not in the public’s best interest. 


Somehow we have to create a new medium for environmental news that allows a more responsible framing of environmental news in a form that most people listen to.  We need a media that can give us real-time data from instruments that can be objectively interpreted for the public in such a way that we can respond to environmental issues wisely. That is not happening on the Internet right now, despite the amazing resources and connectivity of this new medium.  Instead of getting reliable information on what is going on in our environment, we have democratized all information and marginalized critical information into blogs and other pockets where only scientists and intellectuals dare to tread. 


Our ancestors knew how to tell important environmental information from noise.  If they had not, they wouldn’t have gotten to be our ancestors.  Today, we’ve become so removed from our environment that too many believe we have transcended the very underpinnings of our biology.   We have not.  When our environment breaks down, we will fall too. 


If you have ideas on how to fix our media’s treatment of the environment, present your ideas here:  (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.]  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.


August 2010



September 2010



October 2010



November 2010





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.]



Frank J. Regan ( or ( ) - Please visit: Where you can get all the environmental news, events, documents, and services on the Internet for Rochester, New York. is the most complete, non-profit environmental site for any one city in the world. You can also subscribe to RochesterEnvironment.Com. Once a month, get's "RENewsletter in your mail" - Or, join in discussion on Rochester environmental matters at Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY -