RENewsletter | September 2, 2012


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[08/26/2012 – [09/02/2012]


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



Opening Salvo:  ““Bidder 70,” not DeChristopher, coming to Rochester, NY to talk about Climate Change”


Bidder 70” is coming to Rochester, NY for the Greentopia Festival to talk about Climate Change on Friday, September 14, 2012, but not Tim DeChristopher because the fossil fuel  industry had him thrown in prison for outsmarting them.  The fossil fuel industry did that because they have an infinite supply of fantastically expensive lawyers who convinced the federal government that a private citizen shouldn’t try to protect our public lands from being exploited by them and warming the planet. 


The truth is that the fossil fuel industries were really annoyed.  Tim had so befuddled them by walking into a public meeting, filled with the incredibly rich fossil fuel industry bidders, and out-bid them with only his knowledge of what manmade Climate Change is doing to his generation.  So, they threw the full weight of the US government on a man armed with only his brains.  They thought they had so much money that they could out-bid anyone but were outflanked by a citizen who just started bidding on what was essentially his and our land.  Stupidly, the fossil fuel industry forgot to set up a byzantine procedure for bidding with all sorts of industry cooked-up credentials, as they usually do, so that Tim was able to just start bidding—and beat their pants off. 


Here’s a description of all that:


One day in December 2008, 27-year-old Tim DeChristopher arrived at a Bureau of Land Management auction as a protestor; a few hours later, he left as nothing less than a hero. His spur-of-the-moment decision to impersonate a bidder (the “Bidder 70” of the film’s title) and fraudulently offer $1.8 million for 22,000 acres of Utah wilderness earmarked for oil exploration immediately propelled him to the front lines of environmental activism – and into the crosshairs of a federal prosecution that ultimately led to a two-year prison sentence. Thoughtful, optimistic and inspirational, Bidder 70 explores the nature of activism, and echoes DeChristopher’s commitment to his cause. George Gage, Director in attendance and recipient of Greentopia | FILM Fork in the Road Award.  Awards Human Rights Watch Film Festival | Official Selection
Traverse City Film Festival | 2012 Best American Film –from


But let’s get real. The question is not really, why is Tim in prison? The real question is why aren’t we all willing to move out of our comfort zone to address Climate Change?  Why does it take a few heroes like Tim DeChristopher to get the rest of us to the do the right thing?  Why did it take the abolitionists, and only a relatively few others, to rise up in order to avoid a war that killed 600 souls to stop slavery?  Why couldn’t have all those people, North and South, who knew it was wrong to subjugate and exploit another people to just stop doing that and treat them as equal?  And why, despite thirty years of proof and consensus by a majority of the scientists in the world, do a few folks have to sacrifice themselves to get the rest of us to address something as obvious as Climate Change?


2012 should be a time to examine ourselves and find out how we can move together to solve the most critical issue that has befallen our species—our complicity in warming the planet and threatening all life on it.  But instead, we fight the change needed to move us away from the greenhouse gas emitting industry.  Instead, we give into their crazy arguments—that they only they can provide enough jobs and supply us with sufficient power without being subsided by the government, which isn’t true


Instead, we are getting pummeled by mainstream media, which is bloated by billions of dollars from a disastrous Supreme Court decision, that greenwashing the fossil fuel industry and denying Climate Change is OK.  Except for this dismissal by Romney--Romney treats climate as a punchline-- and this off-hand remark by Obama--Obama tells crowd: “Denying climate change won’t make it stop” --, we are not getting informed on Climate Change, nor are we having a discussion during this presidential election year on it.


How can we get beyond such a delusional system that will surely cook our children?  One way is to listen to the heroes of our time.  A hero, a word too often misconstrued as someone who makes a lot of money at a sports activity, is rather an individual who scarifies themselves for the benefit of all.  There are many heroes fighting to bring Climate Change to the forefront of the public’s attention, though few have endured the harsh sentence passed on to DeChristopher


So, even though addressing Climate Change is the US official policy (see Administration Releases 10-Year Global Change Strategic Plan, that includes input from 13 departments of the government) we are acting as if we are outsourcing Climate Change responsibility to the developing countries.


Let’s stop being that way.  Let’s get engaged with the most important issue of our time.  Tim cannot come to Rochester, NY right now and talk to us about Climate justice.  But you can watch Bidder 70 along with many other environmental activist films at the Greentopia Film Festival that try, despite a dysfunctional media and a ludicrous presidential election, to put a little reality into our lives:


Greentopia | FILM is the documentary film festival within the greater Greentopia festival, which corrals film, music, art - even cars and fashion - to explore the themes of sustainability and innovation, broadly applied. During September 11-15, we will screen more than a dozen documentaries on topics from glaciers and wind power to community, health and economic sustainability. There are parties, dinners, multimedia installations, and a kids program.  See for details, but below are the 12 feature docs that will be screening at Nazareth College, The Little Theatre, the Forrest Cinema (a repurposed bank building at 35 State St.), and one screening at Tinseltown of a gorgeous 3D large format-film about reefs - a rare family-friendly environmental film.  (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




NewsLinks Environmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]





Updates Daily 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.


September 2012




Action Take 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.]