RENewsletter | January 31, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[1/24/2010– 1/31/2010]


* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Please, SEND ME THE LINK.


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


*** The January 2010  Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to Christine Sevilla Project Go to Award.


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Opening Salvo:  “Drive the Markets Green!”


Upon retiring, the value of a budget looms large in my life.  Suddenly, with a fixed income, how I spend each and every penny has become an obsession.  No more: “want more, work more.”  Now, I think “Do I really need it?” The Great Recession, this financial collapse we’re living though, has steeled my resolve to question all my purchases.  I now equate the price of the stuff to the work I must do to pay for it.  I now question whether the ‘stuff’ is worth it in the first place.  It makes me wonder where our stricken economy is going if the majority are seriously pinching their pennies.


Previously, I thought that one of the ways our country was going to work itself through this financial disaster was to create a green market, whereby we create a new economic infrastructure that equates the health of our environment with how we extract, transport, consume, and dispose of stuff.  People would get trained for jobs that would boost our economy and improve our environment. After listening to President Obama’s State of the Union speech the other night, I doubt we’re going to see anything from the top on green jobs work its way down to us who are looking for those new green jobs.  Things aren’t really changing, except fixing up those old local railroad tracks for high-speed rail, which won’t be all that fast.  The rich bankers are getting richer and the poor who bailed them out are getting poorer.


Naomi Klein (author & activist), when asked about her reaction to the Obama speech, said it all: “Well, I mean, we knew the spending freeze was going to come, but to me, it’s really striking. I think what this moment represents is the decision, which we all feared would come, to pass the bill on from saving Wall Street, from saving the elites of this country from their own mess, a bill worth trillions of dollars, to regular people in need in this country. I mean, that’s what a spending freeze really means.” ( Jan. 28, 10)


So, I guess one choice is to keeping doing the same thing, looking for the same old jobs, in the same old ways, hoping at least one of the political parties will stop worrying about their reelection possibilities or wallowing in their obsessive political partisanship and start using our money to get us jobs.


Or, you can drive the markets green. As long as you’re scaling down your lifestyle anyway, hoping for a better health option (other than the present one-health-issue-away-from bankruptcy option), and wishing for one of those green jobs you keep hearing about, why not force the markets to change?


How do you drive the markets green? Get on a tight budget. Track all your expenses, your vehicle expenses, food, entertainment—everything.  Decide to buy only what you need to get by (lower your environmental footprint).  Consider only buying from businesses that are green and proving it.  Work only for places that are moving towards an environmentally healthier planet. Greenwashing won’t do.  The public is on to that scam. 


Rather than thinking of yourself as down and out. Think that you’re absolutely in charge. What you buy, where you work, how you vote, what media you listen to—all drive the markets.  Of course, all this has to be done on a large scale to affect massive economic change. But, why keep doing the same thing, expecting different results? The economic cliff we are falling off is not sustainable anyway, so why not change our own behavior and force the government and the markets towards a more sustainable lifestyle?  (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.





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. 


o        Action Due Date: Next Count: February 12-15, 2010

o        Get Involved — Great Backyard Bird Count "Your Help Will Make a Difference The success of the Great Backyard Bird Count depends on participants from every community to count birds across the United States and Canada. Help spread the word in your town by asking people to count birds for at least 15 minutes during the count. It's fun, easy, raises awareness of birds, and provides an important record of where the birds are--a record that scientists can use well into the future to track how birds are faring as their environments change. The Cornell Lab of Ornithology and Audubon invite everyone to “Count for Fun, Count for the Future.”  --Great Backyard Bird Count — Great Backyard Bird Count

o        Action due date: February 23-34  | Washington, DC

o        Great Lakes Day 2010 – February 23-24 – Washington, DC – Registration is now open! - Healthy Lakes - Healthy Lives Time for Action! With your help, the effort to restore the Great Lakes has made significant progress in the past year, which is why it is more important now than ever to attend Great Lakes Day, February 23-24 in Washington, D.C.! In 2009 Great Lakes advocates helped secure huge victories for the Great Lakes, including an investment of over $1 billion to repair aging sewers and restore habitat in the economic recovery package and an historic $475 million for the new Great Lakes Restoration Initiative aimed at restoring habitat, cleaning up toxic pollution and confronting invasive species.

o        Action Due Date: March 22

o        EPA Strengthens Smog Standard/Proposed standards, strictest to date, will protect the health of all Americans, especially children The United States Environmental Protection Agency today proposed the strictest health standards to date for smog. Smog, also known as ground-level ozone, is linked to a number of serious health problems, ranging from aggravation of asthma to increased risk of premature death in people with heart or lung disease. Ozone can even harm healthy people who work and play outdoors. The agency is proposing to replace the standards set by the previous administration, which many believe were not protective enough of human health.  EPA will take public comment until March 22. The agency will hold three public hearings on the proposal: Feb. 2, 2010 in Arlington, Va. and in Houston; and Feb. 4, 2010 in Sacramento. More information: Ground-level Ozone | US EPA  (January 7, 2010)  [more on Air Quality in our area]




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.]


The January 2010 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to Christine Sevilla Project (Christine Sevilla Project .  Too often there is too little recognition to those who have devoted much of their lives to making sure our way of life is sustainable.  Christine Sevilla’s environmental works will be remembered forever when a natural area (one of those she so cared about and activity worked on protecting) is preserved in her memory.  Get a sense of Christine’s environmental work from this site:


Christine Sevilla Project (Christine Sevilla Project  "Welcome to A Living Project to Preserve a Place in Christine's Honor  For All to Enjoy in Perpetuity Christine's family and friends envision a natural area, including wetlands, preserved in her memory.  This vision includes an educational component, like an interpretive trail to help others recognize what Christine saw - an interconnected natural community of flora and fauna, soil and water. Perhaps even an  Arts and Music Festival to celebrate what Christine so treasured. "