RENewsletter | June 24, 2012

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[06/17/2012 – 06/24/2012]

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

Opening Salvo: “Solving environmental issues from the bottom up.”

If you have been following the Rio+20 - United Nations Conference on Sustainable Development, the news is pretty dismal. Here’s a story from The Guardian: Rio+20 Earth Summit: campaigners decry final document | Environment | about our inability to solve our environmental problems by world consent. The top down.

Lots of vague promises, no mandates, and only voluntary compliances.

This failure, of course, will be viewed by those against repairing Nature and not compensating those who are ravaged by ruthless free market fundamentalism, as a victory. It will encourage them to increase assaults on environmental regulations and constraints. An odd place, indeed, for us to be at this state in our knowledge of how our environment works.

In the twilight of our inability to address world-wide environmental problems including Climate Change, it looks hopeless. It looks like we will continue until enough of us understand how unsustainable our way of living is, but by then it will be far too late. Already, even if we stop all anthropogenic warming right now a lot of glaciers will melt and the atmosphere will warm up and the oceans will get very acidic. This is because we failed to act a long time ago.

So it appears that the solution to our environmental problems, including Climate Change, must default to local solutions—bottom up. Work at a local, community, and individual level, and decrease your use of greenhouse gases and stop pollution. Sounds good, fuzzy and warm, but on the scale that our environmental issues have ascended to these ad hoc personal efforts are not going to bring down the temperature of our planet. It will be ‘business as usual.’ This is all very convenient for world leaders who cannot find the political courage to lead on these issues.

On the home front, the City of Rochester, NY placed a moratorium on Fracking for a year.

Rochester City Council Votes for 1-year Moratorium on Hydrofracking Rochester City Council voted for a 12 month moratorium on hydrofracking in the city Tuesday night. The moratorium is an amendment to the zoning code. (June 19, 2012)

While speaking at City Hall the other evening I said:

Because Rochester is the 3rd largest city in New York State, adopting a moratorium on hydrofracking (or Fracking) will send a strong message to Albany that there are serious flaws in the state lifting its own moratorium on Fracking. For example, the NYS DEC Hydraulic Fracturing SGEIS does not adequately address public health issues.

Fracking threatens our future as a water-safe destination state as Climate Change forces water-refugees from the South and West to New York in the near future. (Read the NYSERDA ‘ClimAID

’ on water issues related to Climate Change.)

Rochester, please pass this hydrofracking moratorium. Our jobs, our environment, our ability to adapt to and mitigate Climate Change depends on renewable energy options, like wind and solar, not on another controversial way to drill for fossil fuels.

Speaking up and acting on a local level are important, but without a world-wide consensus on what should be done through coordinated action to stop and reverse the concentrations of greenhouse gases in our atmosphere we our kidding ourselves. We are kidding ourselves that we on the local level are making a difference on issues that must be orchestrated at the top. We are allowing our political nature, our sense of what is conventional; lead us on an issue that is entirely physics.

The failure at Rio + 20 must cause us great concern, as if we have finally discovered in ourselves a deep and irresolvable flaw. (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.

June 2012

July 2012

August 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.]