RENewsletter | September 5, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[8/29/2010 – 9/05/2010]


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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:  “Are you exercising on the wrong planet?”


Many of us love running, hiking, climbing, skiing, swimming, and power-walking outside.  Pitting ourselves against Nature is an ageless pursuit that usually makes us stronger in mind and body.  But what if our environment isn’t the environment we think it is?  Maybe it’s not so healthy to exercise outside because of the present heat wave and the ozone alerts.  However, it’s not just the heat; our air quality has failed for the past two years according to the American Lung Association.  Our water quality too is compromised due to blue-green algae breakouts, endocrine disruptors, and pharmaceuticals showing up in water tests.  Our beaches are closed as much as they are open.  Swimming might not be good for you.


I can hear your response: Deal with it, Dude.  Get some bottled water and toughen up.   What doesn’t kill us outright makes us stronger.  No pain, no gain.  When the going gets tough, the tough get going.


True: it’s in our nature to pit ourselves against Nature.  But what if Nature isn’t what we think it is?  What if our environment is getting so polluted that hard exercise outside is actually bad for you?  What if sitting around streaming mindless movies and chomping down chocolates is healthier for you than running or swimming?  If your environment is not healthy; you won’t get healthy exercising in it.  You’ll get sick.  You might want to do some biomonitoring because your body burden may be off the chart already.


This isn’t just something I’ve been noodling about.  As noted in a review of Bill McKibben’s Eaarth, “Twenty years ago, with The End of Nature, Bill McKibben offered one of the earliest warnings about global warming. Those warnings went mostly unheeded; now, he insists, we need to acknowledge that we've waited too long, and that massive change is not only unavoidable but already under way. Our old familiar globe is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding, and burning in ways that no human has ever seen. We've created, in very short order, a new planet, still recognizable but fundamentally different. We may as well call it Eaarth.”


There’s a consensus among scientists that our planet is warming up and our environment is breaking down.  But the public doesn’t want to face it.  “Do you trust the vast majority of climate scientists who claim that anthropogenic greenhouse gas emissions are causing a clear and present climatic danger? Or do you trust the much smaller band of sceptical climate scientists who argue that there isn't a problem?” Why don't we trust climate scientists?


Not believing in an environment going bad won’t change the outcome of exercising on a planet you were not designed for.  I’m not talking about the usual man vs. Nature, where man climbs towering mountains and endures long voyages across the oceans, as our ancestors have done in the past.  I’m talking about a fundamental shift in the state of our environment and our inclination to keep doing the same thing.


Given our nature, I suspect that warnings on the decline in our environmental health will kick in the competitive response of many athletes into high gear.  Many will workout more intensely.  Yet, it may not make sense to challenge Nature the way we have in the past because our bodies are fundamentally incapable of overcoming the poisons we have allowed to be discharged into our air and water. Continuing to press oneself against Nature may be counterproductive: Not in the way toughing out a long run would be, but in the way stepping out your spaceship door and jogging over the Martian landscape without your spacesuit would be. 


The message from all this is not to give up outdoor exercise.  The message is to demand from your representatives and public officials that we clean up our environment and keep it clean.  The only rational way to engage Nature in this new is to learn what’s going on, change our behavior, and hold our public officials feet to the fire.  Don’t keep responding to challenges and threats in counterproductive ways, find out what exactly is going on and do something about it.  (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.



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 -