RENewsletter | October 4, 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.’

 

[09/27/2015 – 10/04/2015]

 

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

 

* NEW! Having trouble reading this newsletter? Read it online here.

 

Opening Salvo: “Climate Change in Rochester, we are here:

 

Scientists say we should bring climate temperatures back down to preindustrial levels. We’ve increased climate temperatures to about 1C above those averages. At the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks the world agreed to hold climate temperatures increases to 2C, which is what the COP21 Paris climate conference this year is struggling to achieve. But it looks like present efforts would only reduce climate temperatures to 1C from its present trajectory of 3.5C by 2100. If we fail altogether to bring down greenhouse gas emissions, we’re slated for about 4.5C.

 

Offers for Paris Climate Talks Would Reduce Warming by 1°C Warming could be reduced from 4.5˚C to 3.5˚C under INDCs submitted to date The current national offers of climate action submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would reduce projected warming by approximately 1°C, according to a new analysis released today from Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan. A Paris agreement based on these offers would put the world on track for a global temperature increase of 3.5°C (6.3°F), with a range of uncertainty from 2.1 to 4.6°C (3.7 to 8.4°F), down from the 4.5°C (8.1°F) of warming above pre-industrial levels if nations continue on the business-as-usual track. (September 28, 2015) Climate Interactive

 

Some say that 4.5C is game over. Some say 3.5C is unendurable. Some say 2C is dangerously high and our lives will be dramatically altered. Some say the 1C we’ve already warmed our climate has set in motion catastrophic sea level rise, caused climate refugees and wars, produced extreme weather, and jeopardized our food production. And some say, humanity thrived in the Holocene which gave us a stable climate temperature for 10,000 years and that’s where we ought to reset the thermostat given that we haven’t a clue as to how our planet and all the beings on it will adjust to a tenfold increase in climate temperature changes.

 

Given all this and the media drama caused by Pope Francis’s spectacular climate-messaging visit to the US, you’d think we here in Rochester would be alarmed, exhilarated, and ready to join the world community on tackling this worldwide crisis.

 

Many are. Most are not. The pope’s visit garnered a lot of media attention in Rochester. But local media did not connect the dots between the pontiff’s visit and his message on Climate Change. (Except one local media “Pope in D.C., calls for climate action” from the Daily Messenger, which to be exact was a reprint from AP.) In the local media there was no connection between the pope’s visit and how Climate Change is connected to our region. It’s as if the local media went out of their way to not report the obvious—if Climate Change is true in Washington, DC it must be true here also.

 

Despite the science, the danger of the COP21 Paris Treaty failing to deliver realistic goals, and the pope (with 4.2 billion followers) and the Muslim community (with 4.3 followers) pressing our leaders for Climate Change actions, Rochester is still, even at this late date, shrouded in climate silence. Local media ignore candidate forums on Climate Change, as well as a massive march through downtown (complete with police escort) highlighting the pope’s climate message.  It makes these heart-felt actions about as effective as a screen door on a submarine.  

 

It’s not hopeless. Many intrepid souls in Rochester are determined to get this community in sync with this global moral and physical disaster.

 

Thanks to Indymedia, Rochester, NY we got coverage of our local People's Climate March in Solidarity with Pope Francis. There were lots of labor and environmental leaders along with candidates for the up-and-coming local elections who validated the connection between what is going on internationally, nationally, and locally on Climate Change. 

 

People's Climate March in Solidarity with Pope Francis Marchers met at Rochester's Liberty Pole on September 24 2015 in an event to call attention to Climate Change.  The march coincides with Pope Francis' visit to the United States.  In June the Pope published an Encyclical (official proclamation) in which he said “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” (September 26, 2015) Rochester Indy Media   

 

Thanks to the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition and the League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area, we had an amazingly fruitful forum to educate the public on how and why our local leaders need to address Climate Change. Just in case you missed the “Building an Economy for Climate Stability Candidate Forum 2015” Wednesday, September 16th (which is understandable because only a couple of local media mentioned it coming and none of them covered it when it occurred), here are some photos and highlights of this critical forum before this year’s local elections: Candidate Forum 2015 Recap.  

 

So it’s curious that the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle editorial board started carping about a non-substantive campaign for Monroe County Executive amidst their own campaign to obfuscate the local issues related to Climate Change that will affect all our lives: “Dinolfo and Frankel: How about a campaign of substance?” (9/26/2015, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). It’s 'curiouser and curiouser that the D&C editorial staff accuses Frankel of “… emailing reporters because you are wondering if Ms. Dinolfo might be a climate change doubter, you are not really doing the voters a favor either.”

 

Throughout this year, with harmful algae outbreaks (which the EPA links with Climate Change) in four of our Finger Lakes, 10 million gallons of raw sewage overflowing into the Genesee River on June 2nd due to the flooding that comes with heavy rainfall (now a feature of Climate Change in our region), and the pope coming to the USA to get our leaders to act on Climate Change for the Paris Climate Treaty in November, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and most of the other local media have been mostly mum. 

 

So when Sandy Frankel talks about addressing this crucial and substantive issue in debates, rallies, and discussions that are not attended to by this media, it’s no wonder that she must resort to constantly questioning whether her GOP opponent is a climate denier. One can and should wonder if our media and candidates are climate change deniers when they do not proactively report their position on this mother of all problems. 

As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities program points out, in Climate Smart Communities Guide to Local Action, leadership is going to be required at the local level. “Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, which will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.”

 

Ms. Frankel has been continually speaking on the importance of addressing Climate Change since this election began, but our local media have not been covering Climate Change and questioning how all the candidates will lead on this issue—which will have a great impact on all the other substantive issues in this campaign.

 

We are at a quite amazing point in Rochester as we head towards a very important local election that will determine our collective response to Climate Change. Most of us are unperturbed, uninterested, and unconvinced that this crisis includes us here in Rochester. There at least three more forums where our three county executive candidates will talk to the voters.

 

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, Also: If you wish me to include your event or news in this newsletter, which gets sent out on Sunday morning, please send the blurb to me by Friday evening: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com

 

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.

 

October

 

 

November

 

 

December

 

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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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