RENewsletter | September 29, 2013


The Free environmental newsletter from

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


[09/22/2013 – 09/29/2013]


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



Opening Salvo:  “News on release of Climate Change IPCC (AR5) reaches all but Rochester, NY”


After looking high and low for news about the United Nation’s release of the new Climate Change report today (9/27/2013) of the IPCC WGI AR5, I could find nothing. Zip (except this, by Rochester City Newspaper). This is puzzling because over the last decade of attending to local online news every day, I’ve noticed no dearth of local media’s interest in far-off political shenanigans, celebrity breakups, sport scores, CEO pension amounts, and how to develop your abs for that desired washboard look.


You’d think something as important as a 95% agreement among the world’s climate scientist that our planet’s atmosphere is warming up, we’re the cause, and we need to get off our duff and start planning would capture our media’s attention.  You’d think all that would get at least an itty-bitty mention here. None, nada (except this, by Rochester City Newspaper). Though there are many, many Likely Changes coming to the Rochester area because of warming, there are no interviews of mayoral candidates on how they’ll lead, or even a little polling of what the average Rochester person on the street thinks of this:


Human influence on climate clear, IPCC report says STOCKHOLM, 27 September - Human influence on the climate system is clear. This is evident in most regions of the globe, a new assessment by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) concludes. It is extremely likely that human influence has been the dominant cause of the observed warming since the mid-20th century. The evidence for this has grown, thanks to more and better observations, an improved understanding of the climate system response and improved climate models. Warming in the climate system is unequivocal and since 1950 many changes have been observed throughout the climate system that are unprecedented over decades to millennia. Each of the last three decades has been successively warmer at the Earth’s surface than any preceding decade since 1850, reports the Summary for Policymakers of the IPCC Working Group I assessment report, Climate Change 2013: the Physical Science Basis, approved on Friday by member governments of the IPCC in Stockholm, Sweden. “Observations of changes in the climate system are based on multiple lines of independent evidence. Our assessment of the science finds that the atmosphere and ocean have warmed, the amount of snow and ice has diminished, the global mean sea level has risen and the concentrations of greenhouse gases have increased,” said Qin Dahe, Co-Chair of IPCC Working Group I. (September 27, 2013) Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)


Non-local media mention the AR5 release in depth--Climate Panel Says Upper Limit on Emissions Is Nearing  (September 27, 2013) New York Times; Climate change: U.N. summary of latest science coming Friday  (September 26, 2013) CNN; and As IPCC Warns of Climate Disaster, Will Scientific Consensus Spark Action on Global Warming?  (September 26, 2013) Democracy Now! just to name a few—but Rochester’s media seems immune to the planetary situation that will affect the lives of all Rochesterians, our wildlife, plants, soil, and, of course, our climate.  The Guardian provided around the world coverage of reactions to the AR5 release, unlike local Rochester media that has become more deeply committed to what the public craves—sports, puppy love, newest TV shows, and how to doll up your lawn—rather than what they need to know. Really, there are other outlets for the public’s prurient interests than our mainstream media.


Most climate scientist agreed that a 2C rise in global temperatures would be the absolute limit we can tolerate, but we’re headed for 4C or 6C.  That’s because we are doing freaking nothing about it. Climate Change isn’t about apocalyptic horror stories, it’s about planning.  We in Rochester cannot plan for something we are incapable of talking about.  By  ‘planning’ I don’t mean like planning for a vacation, where you could conceivably leave everything to last minute, then stop the mail, throw your stuff into a suitcase, and run to the airport hoping you can find an open seat on a jet to Europe.


I mean planning in the sense that a failure to do so dooms plant and animal species, and wreaks bloody havoc on our transportation, telecommunications and our water infrastructures.  A lack of planning means the poorest in our region get to die miserably from inadequate health insurance due to increases in heat and diseases.  No planning for Climate Change, because much warming will occur even if we stop putting greenhouse gases into our atmosphere right now, means absolute chaos for our kids, or maybe even sooner. The window for planning against the worst consequences of Climate Change is quickly closing.


Some who have read the preliminary AR5 report are carping about the leveling off of world-wide temperatures in the last 15 years despite a continual rise in carbon dioxide—but at least someone in that crowd has actually read the report! Look, clever as our scientists are it’s very difficult to chase down how added CO2 to our atmosphere will radiate through the system. The system, 4.5 billon years old, is on a level complexity that would even bewilder even an Einstein with a supercomputer. This ‘missing’ heat could well be going into the ocean for the moment only to spring back into our atmosphere all at once.  Odds are that the leveling off of temperature rises (not actually leveling just not rising as fast as the previous 15 years) is not due to the laws of physics bending its rules just once because we’re a really nice species.  ‘Pretty please’ doesn’t work with Mother Nature.


The point is that silence in Rochester (or anywhere else for that matter) on Climate Change won’t make it go away or mitigate its consequences. We’ve been dragging our feet on this issue for many decades and it’s getting a bit morbid. Morally, it’s rather depraved to think only of ourselves, when most of the greenhouse gases that are warming up the world’s atmosphere came from us, the US.  Since the Industrial Revolutions (both in Britain and here) GHG’s have skyrocketed.  Many third-world countries made almost no contribution to Climate Change but they are feeling the effects. Climate Change will change the world and everything we hold dear.


I’m not sure what it will take for communities like Rochester, NY to speak up and have a conversation about Climate Change—how we will respond, how we will adapt and mitigate it—but because at the core of this issue is physics we will have to start talking soon.  We are missing a great opportunity for a public discussion on Climate Change in our Rochester mayoral race.  But even though our elections are the last resort for public debates of this sort (as all other mediums are merely silos of special interests), we won’t don’t do it because campaign money rules, not the people.


However, as bad as our local media is on keeping us informed on Climate Change there is no excuse for ignorance on Climate Change.  There is the Internet: check Global Environmental News for Climate Change. But without local media’s attention to this issue, most will be blind to its relevance to us.  (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.


October 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.