RENewsletter | January 29, 2017

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

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

 

[1/22/2017 – 1/29/2017]

 

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: “Why Rochester, NY should release its Climate Action plan soon

 

Climate action plans (CAPs) are critical for addressing Climate Change locally and demonstrating to the public that their government has their priorities straight. Last year at this time, I wrote: “Why Climate Action Plans (CAP) are so important for every community” and in October I wrote this: “Connecting the dots between Rochester’s Climate Action Plan (CAP) and our disadvantaged communities”. Both articles give a robust argument for the release of the City’s CAP.

 

Mayor Warren has already spoken publically and forcefully about the role of government in addressing Climate Change:

 

"Cities must take a leading role in confronting climate change regardless of federal policy," Warren said. "I have no doubt this is what our citizens expect of us and will allow us to lead by example on this critical issue." (from, City aims to fight climate change, November 21, 2016, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle)

 

However, the City may decide to integrate the CAP rollout within rollout of the Comprehensive Master Plan  (technically, it is part of the Comprehensive Plan, but here I’m referring to its rollout to the public). Such a strategic embedding is not a good idea at this time. If this is done, and the CAP is not highlighted in the media separately, it conceals the compelling concerns our government has about Climate Change in our region. It demonstrates to the public and the media that Climate Change isn’t all that important.

 

Mayor Warren has taken a leadership role in defending Rochester’s status as a 'Sanctuary City' against the federal government’s new xenophobic attitude towards immigrants, and I hope she also maintains a similar degree of leadership regarding Climate Change. 

 

For a long time, a great complacency towards our environment has become entrenched in the US. The first Earth Day in 1970 came about because we had allowed our environment to descend to such a deplorable state that 20 million people rushed to the streets to protest. It resulted in the formation of a federal agency, the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), to preserve and protect our environment. Now, the EPA is under a massive attack by the new administration, hoping to severely reduce the size and effectiveness of our nation’s leading environmental agency.

 

Official: Trump wants to slash EPA workforce, budget The former head of President Donald Trump's transition team at the Environmental Protection Agency said Thursday he expects the new administration to seek significant budget and staff cuts. Myron Ebell said in an interview with The Associated Press that Trump is likely to seek significant reductions to the agency's workforce — currently about 15,000 employees nationwide. Ebell, who left the transition team last week, declined to discuss specific numbers of EPA staff that could be targeted for pink slips. Asked what he would personally like to see, however, Ebell said slashing the agency's size by about half would be a good start. (January 27, 2017, AP

 

Over the years, the EPA came to understand that our gravest environmental threat would come as a quick warming of our planet, Climate Change. All our myriad environmental issues—pollution, loss of biodiversity, water quality, etc.—would be intimately entwined within a human-caused increase in greenhouse gasses. Much of the legal force in our country to address Climate Change came from the EPA. Now, the EPA is being gutted and science itself is being attacked. The American public, which include scientists, educators, government employees, and ordinary citizens, finds itself in the absurd position of having to defend science. We cannot be complacent about science and our life support system anymore.   

 

The public needs to feel confident that their local government is on the ball in a time when our federal government is scrubbing environmental information from its agencies.

 

The State of New York, as well as its cities, now needs to take the lead. 

 

Consider sending your personal note and/or one from your organization to: Anne Spaulding, Director of the Office of Energy and Sustainability: anne.spaulding@cityofrochester.gov requesting that the City’s CAP be unveiled soon and separately from the Comprehensive Master Plan (Earth Day 2017 is a great and timely opportunity for it). This would be just a year from the first public announcement that the Rochester CAP was in the works and moving to a final drafting stage. Watch this video of the press conference in City Hall last year that includes the City’s announcement of Climate Action Plan.

 

In a time when many of the lights are going out on governmental climate change information critical to the public and media, Rochester needs to step up to the plate. It is long past time to be shying away from Climate Change.

 

#ScienceMatters

 

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.

 

February 2017

 

 

March 2017

 

 

April 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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