RENewsletter | October 10, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[10/03/2010 – 10/10/2010]


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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:  “Your decision to go nuclear”


The best way to stop terrorists from infiltrating our nuclear plants is not to have nuclear power plants in the first place.  Although it is commendable that NY Senator Schumer is taking action to make sure our nuclear plants stay safe from those people intent on harming us, the public should take a closer look at the tiger whose tail they have latched onto as a major energy source.




This is an issue for the Rochester, NY region: “Nuclear power plants across the nation, including Ginna Nuclear Power Plant in Wayne County, need to improve security procedures to prevent possible terrorist infiltration, according to an audit by the Nuclear Regulatory Commission. The audit was requested in March after it was discovered that suspected al-Qaeda member Sharif Mobley had worked in New Jersey nuclear power plants for six years before he was arrested in Yemen in early March with other suspected al-Qaeda members.” (October 5, 2010) Ginna, other nuclear power plants need to improve security | Democrat and Chronicle


Why is it ‘your’ decision to have nuclear plants?  When the public doesn’t demand renewable energy (like off-shore wind power ((Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (GLOW)) and solar power), does nothing to vote for candidates who encourage renewable energy, doesn’t choose the wind option on their electric bill or take steps to conserve energy, they are enabling by default other energy options such as coal and gas, hydroelectric, and nuclear power. 


Coal and drilling for gas pollute our atmosphere and warm it up by emitting greenhouse gases.  Hydroelectric is limited because of limited falling water resources and it has unfortunate effects on fish.  Think dams. 


When you demand (and the demand is increasing) constant energy to power all your stuff, your home, your gadgets, but are not willing to conserve and make it known by your vote and your buying habits that you demand a viable and sustainable future by using clean, renewable energy, you are pushing our environment to its limit to sustain human life.


Nuclear Power: In order to have nuclear power, this clean energy source that doesn’t spew particulates into the air nor emit greenhouse gases, we taking a terrible risk, an unnecessary risk.  Nuclear power demands that we must use cutting-edge technology that needs the best and the brightest because there is absolutely no room for human, software, or hardware error. Think: Major Nuclear Power Plant Accidents  It’s fun to have some of our electronic toys run on split-second, cutting-edge technology, but do we really want our future to depend on such marginally safe technology?  Think how this most recent preventable disaster occurred despite all claims that it wouldn’t: Hungary Sludge Reservoir at Risk of Collapse - (10/09/2010) Human error in judgment and technological prowess always hits a snag.  As we ratchet up our impact to the environment, we risk not being able to recover from them -- ever.


When we look out from our cottages and bemoan the specter of wind-farms dotting the waterscape and fight tooth-and-nail to stop them, we are forcing the rest of our state and our country to use nuclear power and other environmentally dangerous energy.  We have to put our concerns in perspective.  A terrorist attack on a wind farm or a solar array will do what?  Stop power for awhile and create an annoying mess to clean up?  A nuclear power attack -- throwing radioactive isotopes into the air onto our properties, lasting tens of thousands of years, inflicting cell and possibly DNA damage and disease for centuries -- is altogether different. The accident at the Chernobyl Nuclear Power Plant (Wikipedia, the free encyclopedia) should have awakened everyone to the vastly different kind of damage that nuclear power can create.


Besides the recent move by Senator Schumer to shore-up safety at our nuclear power plants, there have been other nuclear power stories in the news.  Has your local media been informing you of these?





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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.



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.]