RENewsletter | March 3, 2013


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


[02/24/2013 – 03/03/2013]


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



Opening Salvo:  “Changes in attitudes towards Climate Change are not fast enough”


Though many are still jazzed from the amazing turnout at the “Forward on Climate Rally” on February 17th, there’s a long way to go.  Somehow we have to get the GHG-related .8C temperature increase since 1850 back down to the levels where we thrived—the Holocene epoch.  If Fracking proceeds in NYS, it could release as much GHG’s as coal while continually exposing us to ‘fraccidents’.  Even if Fracking is blocked, there won’t be much time to celebrate.


Indications are that the US is waking from its Climate Silence slumber and starting to stir. President Obama and governors around the country are beating the drum.  Indeed, it was gratifying at the rally to see thousands of bright young folks who ‘get it’ on Climate Change.  After all, it’s their generation that is going to get nailed by the consequences and limited choices of a warmer world.


Our local mainstream media is beginning to mention Climate Change because even if they don’t buy the science behind the crisis, they do notice things like ending moose-hunting season: Warmer winters bedevil moose in Minnesota  (February 28, 2013) Democrat and Chronicle.  People who love guns don’t like their lifestyle upset and they’ll make news if thwarted. That mainstream media still doesn’t connect the dots between Great Lakes water levels and Climate Change, as mentioned in many Northeast Climate studies, indicates that our comprehension of the problem is decades behind schedule.


Actually, the solution to Climate Change is maddeningly simple, one of quickly decreasing GHG’s that will brook no other remedy.  We’ll either get our economics and politics in line with sustainability in a warming world, or we won’t.  Our politicians need to know you have their back as they maneuver a sea change in how we treat our environment.  


As for our economics, you’d think that implementing a Carbon Tax would be the best and easiest way to combat Climate Change.  But even this modest attempt, the Sanders-Boxer bill, to right our economics after centuries of environmental neglect (externalities) throws free market fundamentalists into fits of fiery frenzy.  Those hell bent on preserving an economic system that helped them, but trashed our environment, continue to say it’s their way or no way.  When presented with a cap-and-trade scheme based on business-as-usual with emission thrown in, they carp about that and find ways to game it. 


Here’s the thing about the Carbon Tax: It may be the last chance for Capitalism to squeeze environmental issues into its relentlessly mindless algorithm before the radical anti-capitalists (see: Occupy movement) start to look pretty darned sensible.   Just listen to Janis: “Freedom is just another word for nothing left to lose.”  I know, bucking the system seems unimaginable, but so is trying to survive a 6C temperature rise by 2100.  Something’s going to give.


You’d think that after the environmental challenges our species has wrought just in the last century—pollution, microbial contamination, wetlands destruction, and a seven billion population increase—we’d just hold on a moment and let our environment catch its breath.  Find out what we’ve done before we move forward.  Most probably think to slow down, look around, and think about our situation would be like pausing to smell the roses while racing across a busy four-lane highway.  But it’s not our Nature that is compelling us to dash ourselves against reality—it’s an unreasonable economic system.


There are more indications that attitudes are changing on Climate Change.  Nearby, there’s a conference on Climate Change that should be going on in every community: Climate Smart & Climate Ready . Meanwhile, Earth Day is coming up, the one day we turn our attention towards the system that created us and keeps us alive.  One of the largest and longest running Earth Day events in Rochester, NY is returning for its 15th season:


Sierra Club - Rochester Regional Group to Host International Great Lakes Champion The Rochester Regional Group of the Sierra Club is bringing internationally renowned speaker Maude Barlow to Rochester for 15th Annual Environmental Forum. –.  The focus of the Forum is the growing movement advocated by Maude Barlow to protect the Great Lakes forever by establishing them as a Public Trust.  At last year’s forum, we began a conversation with Jim Olson of FLOW about protecting our water as a “common good” for future generations, through the legal and political structure of the Public Trust Doctrine.  This year, we'll continue that conversation in a bigger venue to accommodate the large audience that Maude is sure to bring, and we'll dive deeper with workshops the day after her keynote address.   The Forum will highlight the growing threats to our precious Great Lakes and begin building community networks to protect and manage them. Already we have seen increased threats to our water including: hydrofracking, invasive species, algal blooms, global climate change and lower lake levels. (March 1, 2013) Rochester Sierra Club


All this recent attention on Climate Change is welcome.  But it is still far short of seven billion human inhabitants immediately shifting to a sustainable way of life.  (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


Follow me on Twitter:!/FrankRrrr | Please “like”’s Facebook page:

My companion book to written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on and Kindle We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books




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.]





Events Rochester 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.


March 2013



April 2013



June 2013



September 2013





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. 





Award Environmental 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.]