RENewsletter | August 21, 2016


The Free environmental newsletter from

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


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


[8/14/2016 – 8/21/2016]


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


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


Opening Salvo: “The Anthropocene epoch began …”


It is important to define when the Anthropocene epoch began so we can model how humanity has affected our life support system. Climate modelers need a more complete record of what is actually going on to make accurate predictions. Though it may not matter whether this represents a new geological epoch (a line in the dirt filled with plastics, nuclear fallout, or transistor radios), we need some kind of demarcation that signaled our arrival.


Scientists to launch global hunt for ‘line in the rock’ marking the ‘scary’ new man-made epoch Declaring we now live in the ‘Anthropocene’ would reflect the impact of artificial changes to the Earth's climate, chemistry, lifeforms and even the rocks of the future A worldwide hunt for a “line in the rock” that shows the beginning of a new geological epoch defined by humanity’s extraordinary impact on planet Earth is expected to get underway in the next few weeks. The idea that we are now living in the Anthropocene epoch has been gaining ground in recent years. The surge in global temperatures by an average of one degree Celsius in little over a century, the burning of vast amounts of fossil fuels, the extinction of many animal species, the widespread use of nitrogen fertilisers, the deluge of plastic rubbish and a number of other factors have all caused changes that will remain visible in rocks for millions of years. (August 18, 2016) Independent


What will matter is that we establish a realistic baseline from which to locate the point (or points) that our earth systems—the biosphere, the atmosphere, the hydro-sphere, and the energy system—veered wildly from their ‘natural’ (or non-human influenced) state to our present state. How much more disturbance can our environment (the particular ecological constraints we need to thrive) take before things get dicey? Have we already burst pass Earth’s carrying capacity?


Our ecological footprints have been profound. Our greenhouse gas emissions have already dangerously warmed the planet. Our desire to get around on well-paved roads has bifurcated almost every land ecosystem, making it difficult for plants and animals to live and adapt. (Smugly, we often call animals that don’t respect our highway boundaries ‘road kill’.) Our need for more and more food has hijacked much of our planet’s land surface for our purposes, regardless of the natural dynamics needed to make ecosystems work. 


Even our economics have become a major environmental driver in our earth systems because they influence widespread human behavior. As we respond to (man-made) market prices, this has a profound effect on how many forests we destroy, or the amount of ground we disturb, or how much water we reallocate. 


If we just assume that our present way of life is sustainable and base our climate models on this present period of time only, we are going to fool ourselves into thinking that it’s healthy for seven billion people (going on nine billion by 2050 and maybe twelve billion by the end of this century), desiring a higher standard of living (and all the environmental resources that comes with that), to be a proper baseline from which to plan our future. That would be a dangerous delusion.


Whether we discover the Anthropocene as a particular strata in the ground will not matter as much as our accepting that the fact that that human behavior at some point (probably many, many points) began to seriously disturb a natural evolution that began some 3 billion years ago here on Earth. Then we can adjust accordingly.


My guess is that Anthropocene began when humans forgot that the things we discovered about how the world works also pertained to ourselves.  (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, 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:


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 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. Text in BOLD are my 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.













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.