RENewsletter | March 29, 2015

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

*Note: Henceforth 'environment' means ‘our life support system.’

 

[03/22/2015 – 03/29/2015]

 

Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature. Frank J. Regan

 

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

 

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Opening Salvo:  Rochester’s transportation system light-years away from Climate Change solutions

 

Those infuriating potholes that jangle your mind and damage your vehicle aren’t the half of our transportation issues as we drive into Climate Change. First, we have an old system of roads and bridges that are in deep disrepair. According to TRIP, 9% of Rochester’s bridges are structurally deficient and 33% are functionally obsolete. CONDITIONS AND SAFETY OF NEW YORK’S ROADS AND BRIDGES (March 2015, TRIP a national transportation research group)

 

It’s absurd to have to explain to the public why our transportation system has to be properly maintained. And yet we do.

 

Transportation Group Says 1/3 Of Rochester Area Roads In Poor Or Mediocre Condition A transportation organization that pushes for more money for roads and bridges says that the Rochester area's infrastructure needs a lot of work. The group called "TRIP," consists of people involved in the highway and construction industry, related unions and other organizations. But its director of Research and Policy, Rocky Moretti, says they pull their data from information available from state and local governments. (March 15, 2015) WXXI News 

 

It’s not only absurd that we have a massive transportation system that is not being maintained; we haven’t even begun to discuss the very expensive and unpopular adaptations required to keep this system functioning as Climate Change produces more extreme weather and heat. Just to get your heads around what Climate Change has already dumped (think flooding) on our roads, this map [See Figure 2.18: Observed Change in Very Heavy Precipitation] shows that the Northeast has experienced a 71% percent increase in the amount of precipitation falling in very heavy events from 1958 to 2012. In other words, this deluge is the change we have already observed. This also means that all our infrastructures—transportation, water, wastewater, telecommunications (think telephone poles)—are already being challenged by Climate Change.

 

According New York State Energy Research and Development Authority (NYSERDA)’s ClimAid report, this is what our region needs to do to get our transportation system prepared, that is, made ready for Climate Change that’s beyond mere routine maintenance.

 

“Examples of adaptation strategies for the Transportation sector described in Chapter 9 relate to coastal hazards, heat hazards, precipitation hazards, and winter storms including snow and ice. Strategies explored include raising the level of new critical infrastructure and essential service sites; including climate change adaptation knowledge when retrofitting older infrastructure; switching to more durable materials; changing land-use planning mechanisms; and creating increased resilience through flexible adaptation pathways in operations, management, and policy decisions.”(Page 11, Responding to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) [full report]

 

To be fair, our local transportation authorities know about this and what needs to be done.

 

The Impacts of Climate Change: Mitigation and Adaptation | Independent of mitigating climate change, adapting transportation facilities and programs to be more resistant and resilient is equally if not more important. Adaptation activities as they relate to transportation are clearly a public responsibility given that the vast majority of associated infrastructure and services are provided by government entities. Accordingly, evaluation of the vulnerability of critical infrastructure to impacts resulting from more severe and intense weather events, including storms and corresponding flooding, needs to be conducted so that the reconstruction and replacement of these facilities includes design features and operations and management capabilities that account for these impacts.” (Long Range Transportation Plan 2035, Genesee Transportation Council)

 

But what chance do we have to get our transportation system ready for more Climate Change when we cannot even agree on how to fund our existing system as it crumbles under our tires? 

 

Because the public is not being educated on the links between our transportation system and Climate Change, imagine trying to talk to an unprepared public about pouring millions of more tax dollars into our transportation system for a crisis they don’t care about.

 

We are light-years from actually implementing what we know has to be done in order to adapt our transportation system for Climate Change. This gap between facts and necessary action highlights how far behind we are from actually addressing the mother of all problems. 

 

Time passes.

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook: http://www.facebook.com/RochesterEnvironment  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. One way to do that is to join this Google+ Group. “Become The MediaBTW: 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 RochesterEnvironment.com written in 2005 still holds true. Now, “We Don’t Get It!” is an E-Book on Amazon.com and Kindle Amazon.com: We Don't Get It! eBook: Frank Regan: Books

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

 

 

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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. Text in BOLD are my comments.]

 

 

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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: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line. Also, be sure to check other calendars and environmental series for multi-day events.

 

March 2015

 

 

April 2015

 

 

May 2015

 

 

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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. 

 

 

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