RENewsletter | November 21, 2010


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[11/14/2010 – 11/21/2010]


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* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Or, an Environmental Event, Please, SEND ME THE LINK. If you think this newsletter, which continually informs our community on our local environmental news, events, actions, is worthwhile, please encourage others to sign up.  


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:  “Enjoy Rochester’s environment while you still can”


Bill McKibben encouraged the audience at the GROWNY event last Saturday (11/13/2010) to “get outside and enjoy the outdoors.”  Rather than one of those cheery nature-lover slogans, McKibben’s statement had an ominous component to it.  Get outside and connect with your environment because it is changing, changing so quickly that you will never have it as good as you do now. 


Most politicians and even the public ignored his warning that the planet was warming up in The End of Nature published back in 1989—though there was certainly enough indications that humanity was warming the place up.  In Eaarth, (published 2010) Earth has changed so much since the publication of The End of Nature that it’s a changed planet from the one it was a couple of decades ago, to one that is warming so quickly that humanity is going to have to adapt—or perish.   


At the event McKibben didn’t talk about the depressingly true litany of environmental degradation that he describes in Eaarth  Instead, he described the even more depressing and alarming changes in our environment because of human-caused changes since the publication of  Eaarth—only a couple of months ago.  Floods in Pakistan (warmer air holds more moisture), droughts, increase frequency and severity of storms and the loss of Arctic and Greenland glaciers are happening far quicker than scientists predicted.


This isn’t climate porn:


 “The "apocalyptic" way in which climate change is often portrayed in the press and on government websites succeeds only in "thrilling" people while undermining practical efforts to tackle the problem, according to Labour's favourite thinktank, the Institute for Public Policy Research.” 'Climate porn' blamed for global warming 'despair' (8/06/2006) The Guardian


Climate Change is the real deal; it’s happening quickly; and, it’s happening in your neighborhood.  It’s happening despite the slog of articles, public statements, and despite those who for some reason or another just don’t want the public to ‘get it’ on the repercussions of putting billions of tons of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere for the last couple of centuries.   You would think it would be pretty straight forward: a lot of greenhouse gases (carbon dioxide, methane) go into the atmosphere (burning coal, wood, gasoline, natural gas, etc.) since the Second Industrial Revolution, have it all checked out by the majority of scientists over twenty years, and then suck it up and change our planet-heating ways.


Yet, it doesn’t seem to work that way.  Climate Change, despite its overwhelming acceptance by the majority of scientists, isn’t popular.  In present day politics, culture, and phenomena that I’ll call ‘conventionalism’, climate change seems to be a sinister plot, a conspiracy against our way of life and the fossil fuel companies.  The last straw for the public’s patience seemed to be Climategate: 


“Over the last few weeks, in the run-up to the official UK release of my new book "A User's Guide to the Crisis of Civilization" on October 4, I've been inundated with angry and often exasperated claims that one of the key crises I address in the book - human-induced climate change - is merely a myth, lacks serious scientific evidence and/or is the sinister result of deliberate "scare-mongering." My experience is that public opinion is now seriously confused about the science of climate change and that increasingly people either feel they fall into an agnostic camp or categorize themselves as wholesale "skeptics." Recent polls of American public opinion in August found that as much as 45 percent of people believe that global warming "is caused by long-term planetary trends," while only 40 percent are convinced that "human activity is the main contributor." The Real ClimateGate: Getting Over the Nonexistent "Email Scandal"


And so instead of addressing Climate Change in a responsible and thoughtful way, there’s going to be a great big fight for the hearts and minds of the public to ‘get’ Climate Change:


“Hacked emails from climate researchers at the University of East Anglia caused a storm last year. Now scientists say it's even harder to convince the world of the reality of climate change” Published on Sunday, November 14, 2010 by The Observer/UK Climate Change: Science's Fresh Fight to Win Over the Sceptics


You can listen to all the arguments in the media about who says what, or note the catchiest phrase by the group with the most money, or you can do what McKibben (creator of suggests: go outside and see for yourself.  (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.



December 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.]