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

[7/11/2010 – 7/18/2010]


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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:  “Wind or natural gas for Rochester’s energy, there’s a difference”


In the Rochester, NY region today, we have two major energy choices before us.  Do we allow off-shore wind projects to go forward?  Do we allow drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale?  Granted, these choices are not mutually exclusive; we can deny both, accept both, or accept one and not the other.  However, how we make these choices will greatly affect our future.


Monroe County (along with Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson, Chautauqua and Niagara County) is considering whether to allow wind projects in off our nearby shores.  The wind projects are known as the Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project  (GLOW), being offered by the New York State Power Authority: “GLOW proposes construction of 40 to approximately 160 wind turbines in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario. The project anticipates delivery of between 120 up to a maximum of 500 megawatts of power to New York State starting in 2015 or 2016.” 


Drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale is under consideration and is presently held up by a possible moratorium: Marcellus Shale moratorium in limbo  - 7/7/2010 Rochester City Newspaper.  There’s been a lot of news on this issue, but basically drilling for natural gas in our region is seen as a boon for many, and a continuation of our fossil-fuel energy habit for others.  Check out the many news stories on this issue: Energy Newslinks from


What’s troubling about the process of choosing our energy future is that so few of us are involved in decisions that will have an incredible impact on our environment.  It’s being left to owners with potential well sites in the Marcellus Gas Shale.  Or, it’s being left to waterfront owners on the shores of the Great Lakes. See Monroe legislators asked to oppose offshore wind towers - 7/16/2010


Somehow, we need to call on the angels of our better nature to help us make better sustainable energy choices.  We didn’t heed Lincoln’s words in his First Inaugural Address in 1861 and so went on to slaughter 600,000 souls—giving in to our short-term views and desires.  Our present energy choices are no less dear.  The choices we make now on wind power or natural gas drilling will have consequences that cannot be undone or fixed at a later time.  We are already passing critical warming points.  Like many environmental choices we make at critical periods, we cannot go back because we have unleashed forces we cannot control (global warming, extinctions, and pollution) and thus we limit the freedom and choices for those who come after us. 


The two choices, drilling for natural gas or constructing off-shore wind projects, though they share many of the same elements are not equal.  Both choices involve nearby landowners concerned about the value of their property.  But one choice involves a continuation and an escalation of burning fossil fuels and the other switches direction towards renewable energy.


Even if drilling for natural gas is safe and won’t poison our wells, it will still warm up the planet.  Further, how can the devaluation of a relatively few properties be compared with the effects of burning fossil fuel for energy? What do those who oppose renewable energy sources in their backyards suggest the rest of humanity do for energy for the next century? 


We are at an exceptional point in our environmental history.  Our atmosphere is warming; our oceans are dying; our population is going through the roof (going on seven billion souls), and the present extinction rate caused by human development equals the rate of the past five major extinction events.  The lawmakers who make the decisions to drill or create renewable energy won’t just have to answer to their water-front owning constituents.  They, and all of us, will have to answer to our children and our children’s children too.  (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.


July 2010



August 2010



September 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.]