RENewsletter | December 19, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[12/12/2010 – 12/19/2010]


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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:  “Rochester’s Bicycle Master Plan steps up to the plate on our environment”


Monday (12/13/2010) evening’s Bicycle Master Plan talk by the City of Rochester was part of a comprehensive outreach plan to involve our community in bicycling as transportation.  With our environment greatly affected by how we get around, especially by greenhouse gas emitting vehicles, this matter warrants your attention—whether you bicycle or not.   Check out what the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) says on the relationship between transportation and greenhouse gases:


“Transportation sources emit greenhouse gases that contribute to climate change. In 2008, transportation sources contributed approximately 27 percent of total U.S. greenhouse gas emissions. Transportation is also the fastest-growing source of U.S. greenhouse gas emissions, accounting for 47 percent of the net increase in total U.S. emissions since 1990, and is the largest end-use source of C02, which is the most prevalent greenhouse gas.


Because transportation contributes to 27% of the manmade greenhouse gases, this matter needs to be addressed by not only transportation officials and bicycling groups, but environmental groups, social justice groups, public health advocates, consumers, the business community, the religious community—everyone who cares about having a future.  It’s that serious.


NASA: Hottest November on record, 2010 likely hottest year on record globally — despite deepest solar minimum in a century « Climate Progress “ In U.S., heat records far exceed cold for 9th consecutive month NASA released its monthly global temperature data, revealing November was easily the hottest in the temperature record.  The “meteorological year” — December to November — was also the hottest on record.  Calendar year 2010 appears poised to be the hottest on record. These records are especially impressive because we’re in the middle of a strong La Nińa, which would normally cool off temperatures for a few months (relatively speaking), and we’ve been in “the deepest solar minimum in nearly a century.”  It’s just hard to stop the march of manmade global warming, other than by sharply reducing greenhouse gas emissions, that is. (December 10, 2010) Climate Progress


Why bicycles?  Bicycles don’t emit greenhouse gases; they promote public health; they encourage a less hectic and safer community.  For short distances, using your bicycle can get you where you need to go--if there is a safe and well-designed bicycle infrastructure in your community, that is.  Reworking our transportation routes so that they easily accommodate bicyclists is much cheaper than developing more roads, more bridges, installing a subway, or a number of other options.  That’s why it is so important that the city’s bicycle plan be as comprehensive as it is. 


City of Rochester | Bicycle Master Plan Project  “The City is developing a long-term master plan for bicycling infrastructure and services. Sprinkle Consulting (with SRF & Associates and EDR as subconsultants) was selected through a request for proposal process and is on board to produce a plan that will: identify best practices for bicycling infrastructure and services,  assess their feasibility for local application,  identify appropriate locations for bicycle facilities,  and recommend bicycle-supportive policies.  While the plan will provide conceptual design and inventory work with respect to on-street bike lanes, it will also consider shared lane markings (sharrows), bicycle boulevards, bicycle parking, commuter facilities (e.g. showers, lockers), bicycle sharing, and more.  While the City of Rochester and Monroe County received an "honorable mention" from the League of American Bicyclists' "Bicycle Friendly Communities" program in 2009, the goal is to achieve full "Bicycle Friendly Community" status from the group.”


Bicycling in the streets is your right and it’s the law.  And while it will take time for Rochester, NY to reach the giddy heights that bicycling in Boulder, Co.  and Copenhagen have, increasing bicycle usage and decreasing greenhouse gas emitting vehicles can happen in our region.  It takes communication, education, and a realization that Climate Change is a problem that gnaws at the core of all our environmental issues  (Click on my email for feedback)




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


·         Enviro groups say EPA’s PCB cleanup plan is a compromise 

·          Aging animals on the rise at Seneca Park Zoo | | Democrat and Chronicle 

·         Indian Point's 20-year impact on environment not substantial, NRC finds | | The Journal News 

·         NYSERDA-Supported Companies Gain National Recognition in 2010 | 

·         Governor Paterson Announces Executive Order to Promote Sustainable Local Farms 

·         12/16/2010: EPA Issues Annual Report on Chemicals Released Into Land, Air and Water in New York; Finch Paper, Eastman Kodak and Danskammer Power Plant Top the List of NY Polluters 

·         DEC Urges Participation in Christmas Bird Count - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation 

·          12/15/2010: EPA Expands Air Monitoring Network to Protect Children from Lead 

·         ENVIRONMENT: Bracing for ash borer - News Articles - Rochester City Newspaper 

·         NY Adopts Statewide Rechargeable Battery Take Back Law   

·         Counting crows: the American crow in Western New York - News Articles - Rochester City Newspaper 

·         DEC cracks down on deer jacking | | Democrat and Chronicle 

·         DEC: Thousands of gallons of oil leaked into Hudson after Indian Point fire | | The Journal News 

·         Report: White House seeks drilling OK before hydrofracking study is complete - 

·         Bird observatory evaluates wind turbines | | The News-Messenger 

·         Governor Paterson Issues Executive Order on Hydraulic Fracturing 

·         Fired NY environment chief joins advocates - 

·         Fired NY environment chief joins advocates - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow 

·         Fair or foul? | London | News | London Free Press 

·         NASA: Hottest November on record, 2010 likely hottest year on record globally — despite deepest solar minimum in a century « Climate Progress 

·         Industry, enviros praise NY gas-drilling time-out - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow 

·         Paterson vetoes gas drilling moratorium, but orders temporary ban | | Press & Sun-Bulletin 

·         New York Governor Vetoes Fracking Bill - 

·         David Paterson vetoes gas drilling ban; orders moratorium | | Democrat and Chronicle 

·         Rochester to hold public meeting on master bicycle plan | | Democrat and Chronicle 




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.]