RENewsletter | May 12, 2013


The Free environmental newsletter from

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


[05/05/2013 – 05/12/2013]


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Take Action



Opening Salvo:  “Hopeless trying to adapt to Climate Change without saying it”


While many of us were pleased with the nod to our environment in the 2013 State of the City Address by Rochester’s Mayor Richards, there was no mention of Climate Change.  Devoting a paragraph to park, trail, and water system improvements is not enough in a time of warming.  Mayor Richards’ heroic efforts (unheralded in his address) in improving Rochester’s active transportation system, which really will lower greenhouse gases, still need to be directed towards connecting the dots regarding the greatest peril to our city--and all cities in the world.


Syracuse has no such reservations about the critical need to plan appropriately: City of Syracuse Sustainability Plan. They get it:

While it is important for the City to minimize the impacts of climate change through ag­gressive climate action and sustainability initiatives, scientists conclude that communi­ties will inevitably be impacted by climate changes that are already occurring. Impacts such as variations in the frequency and intensity of storm and drought events, which ef­fect aging water, transportation and energy infrastructure, increased demand for public health services due to heat stress, and the introduction of foreign and invasive species to natural systems, agriculture, and forest ecosystems, are likely to affect the Central New York region as a result of climate change.  (Page 22, Syracuse Sustainability Plan)


Some may say that the political and economic climate is not ripe for taking action on Climate Change, so don’t kill the good in the pursuit of the perfect. It is true that these are hard times for addressing something as wildly controversial (controversial in the US, that is) as Climate Change.  President Obama cannot even get his nominee to head the Environmental Protection Agency (his own cabinet post) installed: Gina McCarthy's nomination in doubt, angering Democrats. Thus, a political party is willing to threaten our environment for their gains. I’m beginning to think that the GOP in the last decade has been just as wrongheaded on Climate Change as the Democrats were on slavery in the 1850’s.


But without connecting present environmental issues with Climate Change, we will continue to suggest ad hoc solutions to a world that no longer exists.  Doing some good will not be good enough on a planet that is warming quickly. Note this week, SCHUMER LAUNCHES PLAN FOR FIRST-EVER RAPID RESPONSE GRANT PROGRAM TO COMBAT AQUATIC INVASIVE SPECIES BEFORE THEY SPREAD.  First of all, many aquatic invasive species have already spread so completely that extracting them may do more harm than good. Trust me, we are not going to ratchet back the Zebra Mussel’s pervasive effect on our lakes.  Even more so in a time of warming, the term invasive species will become blurred as endemic and invasive species both struggle to gain a foothold on a planet dramatically shifting:  


Higher atmospheric carbon dioxide levels can potentially increase growth of many plants, particularly those with the C3 photosynthetic pathway growing under optimum conditions. The magnitude of the carbon dioxide effect varies widely among species and, even without climate change, could alter species composition in some ecosystems by favoring some species over others. Many fast-growing species, including many invasive plants and aggressive weed species, tend to show greater growth stimulation than slow-growing species and can gain a competitive advantage at high carbon dioxide concentrations (Ziska, 2003). (Page 125, Report 11-18 Response to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID)


We keep trying to solve environmental problems in the same old way we always have by eliminating the symptoms instead the cause.  (For example, we dump more pesticides on crops instead of finding out if there are more insects migrating to a warmer climate and living longer because it’s not as cold here in NYS as it used to be.) Climate Change will force us (hopefully, sooner rather than later) to solve environmental problems realistically and sustainably instead of our fruitless attempts to have our way of life and force the environment to comply with it. 


Not going to happen: Breaking news: Humanity’s ‘wait and see’ approach to Climate Change is not working: Carbon Dioxide Level Passes Long-Feared Milestone The level of the most important heat-trapping gas in the atmosphere, carbon dioxide, has passed a long-feared milestone, scientists reported on Friday, reaching a concentration not seen on the earth for millions of years. (May 10, 2013) New York Times  (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. The ability of this newsletter to inform and get the public focused on our local environment is dependent on reaching a lot of folks. 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. This newsletter looks and works great on your tablet device.


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 save 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


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.


May 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.