RENewsletter | December 25, 2016

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

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

 

[12/18/2016 – 12/25/2016]

 

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: “Musings on U.S. election’s failure to highlight Climate Change

 

As we watch lead science agency positions being taken over by folks who are diametrically opposed to the missions of the institutions they will soon take over, we might pause and figure out how this disaster came about. Make no mistake, this is a disaster, one that even its most ardent proponents did not believe would actually happen. However Pollyannaish your take is on Trump’s ability to unravel years of environmental regulations, undo efforts to address Climate Change, and put science itself into Limbo, this year’s elections results are the worst case scenario for our chance at a sustainable future. Spending our time trying recover what we had, when we should be moving drastically forward, may well spell irreversible damage to our life support system. As climate Scientist Michael Mann has said, “Trump's Policies Are 'Game Over' for Our Climate.” (Climate Scientist Michael Mann: Trump's Policies Are 'Game Over' for Our Climate, November 13, 2016, The Real News Network) (Also: Check out this article by Mann: I’m a scientist who has gotten death threats. I fear what may happen under Trump., (December 16, 2016, The Washington Post))

 

Now that Trump has been deemed the winner and is packing his cabinet positions with anti-environmentalists, Americans are going to be talking past each other on Climate Change even more. Our sense of priorities, which are always undergoing public examinations in a democracy, are now more likely to veer away from science and our biological obligations to live sustainably. An historical fluke, a troubled election, means that climate denial will now seem more legitimate to many more people than before the election. It will seem normal to silence people from saying ‘Climate Change’ in public discourse because it is a divisive issue. To rant and rave against environmental regulations and champion more unsustainable ideas (that our species has tried to overcome since we’ve been a species) is likely to become the new normal. 

 

Science is humanity’s light in a biological system often hidden in deep interconnected complexity, billions of years in the making. And now this light is growing dim in the United States. Climate denial is not just another worldview with different priorities and values; it’s crazy.

 

Pulling out NASA’s ability to monitor our environment is suicidal. The US, together with the rest of the world, depends on NASA’s information. Our new political landlords who think Climate Change is a hoax might be able to scrap all previous efforts to address Climate Change, but this will not stop the physical impacts of this crisis—just seriously thwart our ability to do so. 

 

TRUMP’S PLAN TO DEFUND NASA’S CLIMATE RESEARCH IS ... YIKES CLIMATE CHANGE DOESN’T CARE ABOUT POLITICS Today, The Guardian reported that President-Elect Donald Trump plans to defund NASA’s Earth Science Division to cut down on what a campaign advisor referred to as “politically correct environmental monitoring”. NASA may instead focus on a Cold War-era throwback space race to explore the cosmos, leaving climate research to other agencies. But NASA’s unique position as a space agency means that it has a view of Earth that other agencies like the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration (NOAA) are rarely afforded. Indeed, NOAA and NASA often partner on climate-monitoring projects like the recently launched GOES-R satellite or the DSCOVR climate observatory, which watches for space weather that can knock out electrical grids (among many other things). (November 23, 2016) Popular Science

 

This change coming at the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is just chilling.

 

An Enemy of the E.P.A. to Head It Had Donald Trump spent an entire year scouring the country for someone to weaken clean air and clean water laws and repudiate America’s leadership role in the global battle against climate change, he could not have found a more suitable candidate than Scott Pruitt, the Oklahoma attorney general, whom he picked on Wednesday to run the Environmental Protection Agency. This is an aggressively bad choice, a poke in the eye to a long history of bipartisan cooperation on environmental issues, to a nation that has come to depend on the agency for healthy air and drinkable water, and to 195 countries that agreed in Paris last year to reduce their emissions of climate-changing greenhouse gases in the belief that the United States would show the way. A meeting Monday between Mr. Trump and Al Gore had raised hope among some that the president-elect might reverse his campaign pledge to withdraw the United States from the Paris accord. The Pruitt appointment says otherwise. (December 7, 2016, New York Times Editorial Board)

 

We can conjecture all day long (or for the next four years) about how and why climate deniers were able to defeat science and reason. They have won and their ideology will cloud most media attention on Climate Change. Rather than focusing on the actions needed to address Climate Change, our media will likely use the new administration to frame environmental issues and Climate Change. At the very least, mainstream media will feel compelled to include climate denial as a fact of life in the United States instead of focusing on the problem itself.  

 

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.

 

January 2017

 

 

February 2017

 

 

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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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