RENewsletter | April 29, 2012


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[04/22/2012 – 04/29/2012]


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


The Aril 2012 Environmental Site of the Month Award goes to Climate Change Crash Course « The Cost of Energy | Go to Award.


Opening Salvo:  “Bats and Bees: What’s the story?”


Considering the critical roles both bats and honeybees play in our environment, our economics, and our agriculture, it’s worth taking a moment to catch up on these wonderful creatures.  Bats eat bugs that eat our crops and spread diseases—like West Nile Virus.  Honeybees pollinate our flowers and crops—like apples.  Bat populations are being decimated by White-Nose Syndrome and honeybees are also collapsing because of Colony Collapse Disorder.  We know that both these species are in trouble by their diseases, but what seems to have clouded the information and hence the saving of both bats and bees is the role pesticides  are playing in their demise—if any.   However, both of these issues have gone on for some time now with little progress and we have to wonder if it is due to the possible role of pesticides:  


·         Controversy Deepens Over Pesticides and Bee Collapse A controversial new study of honeybee deaths has deepened a bitter dispute over whether the developed world’s most popular pesticides are causing an ecological catastrophe. Researchers led by biologist Chensheng Lu of Harvard University report a direct link between hive health and dietary exposure to imidacloprid, a so-called neonicotinoid pesticide linked to colony collapse disorder, the mysterious and massive die-off of bees across North America and Europe. (April 6, 2012) Wired Science - News for Your Neurons |

·         Behind Mass Die-Offs, Pesticides Lurk as Culprit by Sonia Shah: Yale Environment 360 “In the past dozen years, no fewer than three never-before-seen diseases have decimated populations of amphibians, bees, and — most recently — bats. A growing body of evidence indicates that pesticide exposure may be playing an important role in the decline of the first two species, and scientists are investigating whether such exposures may be involved in the deaths of more than 1 million bats in the northeastern United States over the past several years.” (January 2010) Yale Environment 360: Opinion, Analysis, Reporting & Debate

What makes saving our honeybees and bats so difficult is the interaction of politics, science, law, the pesticide industry, and the media.  The science is problematic because industry does not want its pesticides associated with or even collaterally connected to these diseases even when using their products properly.  But it’s often very hard to tell what happens when toxic chemicals (let’s face it pesticides kill pests) radiate out into our environment, which in turn sows doubt in the courts and in the media.   Cause and effect are hard to determine after tons of these toxins are released into our air, land, and soil.


Also, concern over the use of pesticides to manage our crops and control potential pests that compromise our public health is linked with Climate Change.  As our growing season lengthens in New York State because of warming, the length of survival for the pests, both indigenous and invasive, will increase.  And our inclination will be to dump more pesticides and herbicides to protect our way of life. 


On bats: You can find the latest news and information on White-Nose Syndrome in bats here:  White-Nose Syndrome - U.S. Fish & Wildlife Service and check out this latest study DEC Reports: 2012 Winter Bat Survey Results - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation.


On bees: Check with the EPA: Honeybee colony collapse disorder | Pesticides | US EPA  (Click on my email for feedback)





* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook:  and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  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.  We who care about our environment and future need to ‘Occupy’ the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.


The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to safe ourselves?


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




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. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.


May 2012



September 2012





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.]


The April 2012 Environmental Site of the Month award goes to Climate Change Crash Course « The Cost of Energy. Take a Climate Change Crash Course: Learn more about the major issue of our time, Climate Change, from a local expert. Our future will be shaped by Climate Change and all that we do will be now viewed through the lens of Climate Change. So know all you can:


Climate Change Crash Course « The Cost of Energy "The Climate Change Crash Course (“4C”) is an experiment in creating a crowd-sourced, one-stop guide to climate change resources, geared to three levels of familiarity with the subject: Newbies, Nerds, and Ninjas. Each of those sections has three subsections: Must Reads, Extended Reading, and Web Sites Worth Tracking. As a bonus, there’s also a section on my favorite online research tools. "