RENewsletter | January 22, 2012


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

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[01/15/2012 – 01/022/2012]


* 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 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


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



[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo:  “There’s no environmental freight to throw overboard; it’s a Fracking delusion”


Environmental issues are riddled with examples of why our environmental infrastructure must remain intact for us humans to have a sustainable future.  I mean intact in the way that 4 billion years of biology and evolution on this planet has fit every little piece of our environmental puzzle together resulting in our specie’s appearance and survival.  Deep ecology recognizes that our environment is not just about us. Take biodiversity for example.  If we carve up our environment for our particular immediate needs, we threaten our environment’s ability to rebound after a disaster—say extreme weather. A disease could rip through our monocultures, like the potato blight, and leave our agriculture crippled.  Allowing other plants and animals to survive gives our environment a cushion against a complete collapsed when things go awry.  


If we continue to shape our environment to exactly the way we want it, that is, create a state where we want fresh water to drink, water to use as a drain for all our waste, and then even more water for Fracking, what will we do for water during an extended drought?  These water deprivation periods, even in NYS, will strain our ability to provide water for hydroelectric generation, wells, some municipal water reservoirs, and irrigation for our crops—even without the demands the Fracking industry will require if we lift the moratorium on horizontal drilling for natural gas.  Droughts will come more often as Climate Change shifts our hydrology cycle to more precipitation in the spring in the form of rain and more incidents of drought towards late summer and early fall.  This isn’t just an idle threat, as most climate change reports that include the American Northeast state this general precipitation pattern for our state. 


This is pertinent as we consider Fracking in our state.  Apparently, some folks think Fracking is something we can back out of if things go wrong.  There must be a feeling out there, by a sizeable portion of our population, that we puny humans can’t really do anything to affect the overall health of our environment. Much has been said about Nature’s resiliency, that Nature when abused somehow comebacks and heals itself, like when you get a scratch on your arm and in a few weeks you’re as good as new. 


Nothing of the kind happens in our actual environment.  When you change the environment, you change the environment and everything in it has to adapt or die.

Sometimes these environmental changes are slight and we don’t notice them, like a big rain storm, when things seemingly come back to something like it was—except some soil has washed away never to be seen again, and some branches and trees are killed. We don’t usually notice the effect of a big rain if plants and trees that died get replaced.  When the rains settle, and enough remains intact, we don’t notice the changes.  But it isn’t the same.  Things have changed.  Really, you cannot step in the same river twice.


It’s a dangerous illusion to believe that Nature is somehow adjusted to suit us humans, and no matter what we do things will just spring back when we stop doing bad things—like cramming Fracking fluids into thousands of miles of natural and unnatural fissures.  How we deceive ourselves must go something like this:  Many of us tend to think of our environment like the sick, elderly lady who just needs to stop all her bad habits to get well:


“Mark Twain tells of a doctor at the bedside of a very sick, elderly lady. The doctor told her that she must stop drinking, cussing, and smoking. The lady said that she’d never done any of those things in her entire life. The doctor responded, “Well, that’s your problem, then. You’ve neglected your habits.” Twain added: “She was like a sinking ship with no freight to throw overboard.”She Was a Sinking Vessel with No Freight to Throw Overboard « Quote Investigator


That’s a delusion. There is no environmental freight to throw overboard.   Everything living is part of the stuff keeping us alive and keeping the machinery of life going.  Every single organism at every single minute has to adapt to existing conditions or it perishes.  Creatures, like the dinosaurs, ruled the planet for 200 million years but it only took a fraction of that time to wipe them out by the conditions probably caused by a ten-mile sized meteor that fell to earth.  (If it wasn’t for this strange interstellar anomaly, dinosaurs, not us New Yorkers, would be Fracking with our water.)


If we screw up our NYS environment with Fracking, we may or may not be able to adapt to the changes, along with everything else coming down the pipe with Climate Change.  Nature is not predisposed to ‘right’ itself when we make bad decisions so we can live uninterrupted cushy lives again.  Nature, for all the poetry that abounds telling of its glory and motherly concern for us, is simply a mindless algorithm of the laws of physics.  Plug fracking mistakes into the program and out comes disasters for us.  And nature provides no “undo” button.  (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.


January 2012



February 2012



April 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.]