RENewsletter | November 19, 2017

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The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

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

 

[11/12/2017 – 11/19/2017]

 

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: “Climate Change is not just an individual responsibility

 

This mostly wonderful essay by the Democrat and Chronicle Editorial Board about local efforts, including those of the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC), gets at the heart of what folks in our region can do to address Climate Change.

 

Editorial: Climate change is everyone's problem While the United States is no longer leading the world against climate change, state and local efforts aimed at helping stabilize the earth’s temperature are building steam. While these initiatives are critical, they are also not enough. We must do more. Even New York state, which has set some of the nation’s most ambitious targets for lowering greenhouse gas emissions, is falling short according to a new report from the University of Massachusetts-Amherst. Economic researchers outlined a more dramatic clean energy investment plan that they say would “put the state on a true climate stabilization trajectory,” create jobs, and show the world what needs to be done. Now. The reason for urgency is obvious. A time series heat map created by NASA shows the average variation of global surface temperatures between 1884 and 2016. Cooler averages are marked in shades of blue. Warmer averages are colored red. Blue goes from being the overwhelmingly dominant color, to nearly disappearing off the map within the past 35 years. (November 15, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

 

While I agree that Climate Change is everyone’s problem, I’m having a problem with the last sentence: “We do not need to be participating in this week’s United Nations climate talks in Bonn to increase our own knowledge about what needs to be done, and to take individual responsibility for helping change the world.” The statement is literally correct, but sidesteps the responsibility of all the players (including media, government, and businesses) involved in this crisis.

 

First, I’m not sure who the ‘we’ in this sentence refers to: the D&C newspaper, ‘we’ (as in the public), or ‘we’ as in the US federal government. If the “we” refers to the D&C, I think that this major print publication should be reporting to the local public what is going on at the COP23 climate talk in Bonn and why it is important that our government chose to pull out of the Paris Accord, but showed up anyways peddling more fossil fuel use. In this quickly warming world, we must be able to continually depend on our local major media to communicate accurately and effectively how this crisis will affect our ability to plan sustainably in this region. The media is our collective information system that we now depend on for a precise model of reality—a reality that is already changing with more harmful algae blooms, more flooding, and more disruptive winters due to a warming Arctic. [See Rochester, NY’s Climate Action Plan.]   

 

However, the federal government is also ‘we’, and its forfeiture of our responsibility is incredibly important, and should not be depicted as insignificant, as this editorial and many other recent pronouncements have implied. Efforts by other actors, such as New York State, California, Jerry Brown, and Michael Bloomberg are to be applauded. [See: ‘America’s Pledge’]

 

But these efforts are no replacement for a strong federal role. The United States needs to participate in the climate talks in a leadership and responsible role both for moral reasons (most of the greenhouse gas emissions that have already changed our climate are ours) and because only nations can enter into treaties, change a nation’s laws, and make sure public monies are directed towards the sciences that tell us Climate Change is a clear and present danger. In order to effect change on a scale and time frame that will matter, nations working together are the most likely (or perhaps only) actors who can make it work.

 

If left only to “individual responsibility”, this crisis is most likely to be ignored by the majority, or result in ad hoc, conflicting, and insufficient solutions until it’s too late.

 

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]

 

·         Reuters finds 3,810 U.S. areas with lead poisoning double Flint’s  (November 14, 2017) Reuters [more on Lead Poisoning and Water Quality in our area]

·         DEC and Cornell Launch New Hemlock Woolly Adelgid Biological Control Laboratory (November 17, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  [More on Plants and Invasive Species in our area]

·         DEC Announces Guidance for Living Shorelines (November 17, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  

·         Keystone Pipeline Leaks 210,000 Gallons of Oil in South Dakota (November 16, 2017) The New York Times [more on Energy in our area]

·         'Tobacco at a cancer summit': Trump coal push savaged at climate conference (November 13, 2017) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Pope Francis Blasts ‘Perverse Attitudes’ Of Climate Change Deniers (November 17, 2017) Huffington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Climate talks close with Trump administration on one track, world on another (November 17, 2018) NBC News [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         61 EPA Staff Have Left Chicago Office in 2017, And They’re Missed  (November 14, 2017) WTTW Chicago Tonight [more on Environmental Health in our area]

·         A look at farm runoff and the worsening algae plague  (November 16, 2017) ST. Louis Post-Dispatch [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

·         Global Warming’s Impact on Lake Effect Snow: Fewer Flurries, More Rain  (November 25, 2017) WTTW Chicago Tonight [more on Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]

·         Climate Change in the American Mind: October 2017 (November 16, 2017) Yale Program on Climate Change Communication [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Industrial Strength: How the U.S. Government Hid Fracking's Risks to Drinking Water (November 16, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Fracking in our area]

·         Editorial: Climate change is everyone's problem  (November 15, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         This new satellite could produce the most accurate weather predictions yet  (November 14, 2017) Los Angeles Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Macron: France will replace US funding for UN climate science  (November 15, 2017) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         African-Americans taking brunt of oil industry pollution: report  (November 14, 2017) Reuters [more on Air Quality and Climate Change and Energy in our area]

·         Climate Change Is Happening in the U.S. Now, Federal Report Says — in Charts (November 7, 2017) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Harvey’s ‘Biblical’ rainfall is getting more likely (November 13, 2017) AP News [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Trump approves Lake Ontario disaster declaration, but omits Monroe County (November 14, 2017) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Great Lakes and Water Quality in our area]

·         Regulators blamed for flooding on Lake Ontario  (November 13, 2017) Daily Messenger [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]

·         Air Mail: News About NY Air Quality (November 14, 2017) Department of Environmental Conservation  

·         The U.S. Is Tackling Global Warming, Even if Trump Isn’t (November 14, 2017) By MICHAEL R. BLOOMBERG and JERRY BROWN  in The New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Natural gas has no climate benefit and may make things worse  (November 13, 2017) Think Progress [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

·         LEGACY OF LEAD (November 14, 2017) Reuters [more on Lead Poisoning in our area]

·         Algae Toxins In Drinking Water Sickened People In 2 Outbreaks (November 9, 2017) North Country Public Radio [more on Water Quality in our area]

·         Fossil fuel emissions hit record high after unexpected growth—Global Carbon Budget 2017  (November 13, 2017) PHYS.org [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         15,000 scientists give catastrophic warning about the fate of the world in new ‘letter to humanity’  (November 13, 2017) Independent [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         A Shadow Delegation Stalks the Official U.S. Team at Climate Talks  (November 11, 2017) The New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Fossil Fuel-Touting U.S. Heckled By Singing Demonstrators At UN Climate Summit  (November 14, 2017) Huffingtonpost [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Trump team lauds fossil fuels at climate summit, met with protests  (November 13, 2017) Mashable [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         Dr. Michael Mann on Climate Denial: 'It’s Impaired Our Ability to Move Forward'  (November 10, 2017) EcoWatch [more on Climate Change in our area]

·         $300 Billion War Beneath the Street: Fighting to Replace America’s Water Pipes (November 10, 2017) The New York Times[more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]

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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.

 

November 2017 

 

 

December 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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