RENewsletter | January 28, 2018 logo

The Free environmental newsletter from

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


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


[1/21/2018 – 1/28/2018]


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


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Opening Salvo: “Climate denial: Better dead than red”


Many of us trying to address Climate Change have not realized just how much capitalists hate socialism or communism. (Or, vice versa for that matter.) For much of climate denial is about what some believe are the implications of climate science: a big socialist nanny state stripping every one of our individual rights. It is understandable why those benefiting significantly from the labors of others would not ‘want’ a system of government and economics that tried to spread the wealth differently. Cruel and monstrous Communist leaders didn’t help the socialist cause much either.


The operative word I’m focusing on here is not socialism, but ‘want’. People in political factions want (or maybe better said, demand) a way of life and values. They are willing to die for these values. This conflagration over our wants engulfs much of human history. Our way or death.


However, this human penchant for wanting a way of life and fighting for it tooth and nail has morphed into something even more ominous than war: a stance that we must have a fossil-fuel economy, or we must die, all of us whether you like it or not. This new climate war amongst ourselves is now threating our existence, not just our individual existence but as a species. Even a nuclear war pales against passively allowing our planet to spiral into an uninhabitable region like the innumerable, lifeless rocky orbs dotting the universe.


In past human disagreements, no matter how much we disagreed with each, other we at least held to the same reality. We operated within an objective realty that included gravity, the need to breath air, and all kinds of stuff we have learned about the workings of our world. Like fire, sharp points on spears, and boats that can float on water. But now we are in a war where we are throwing out the very science we need to function. The consensus of climate scientists (97%) is that Climate Change is happening, and it is human caused. Climate Change is a fact. But there’s a pollical rage about it’s veracity.


There is a difference between disagreeing about values and disagreeing about whether we should hold to the inherent properties of the universe. At this point in human history, we have made this incredibly wrong turn against science. And because physics is at the heart of our quickly heating planet, we can only go so far down this wrong path before we have to double back and try to get on the right path. But by then it will probably be too late.


Climate scientists, bewildered at the public’s response to their findings, are trying to communicate more effectively to those not inclined to believe in something so seemingly remote and inconvenient as a rapidly warming planet that we have caused. Scientists are taking climate denial head on by addressing the misrepresentations and fallacies climate deniers use in their battle to keep the public stupid on Climate Change.


I’ve been taking an incredibly useful online course by climate scientists: “Making Sense of Climate Science Denial”. Their certainty and rigorous examination of evidence would cleanse the public debate about the science if the public took this course. One of the techniques we students learned for pushing back on climate denial is FLICC: FLICC is a mnemonic for remembering the five characteristics of climate denial:


·         Fake experts People attribute more expertise to those they agree with. This results in a distorted perception of scientific consensus.

·         Logical Fallacies: Confirmation bias: favouring evidence that confirms our beliefs. Strawman argument: focusing on weather arguments, ignoring stronger arguments.

·         Impossible expectations: Disconfirmation bias: resisting threatening evidence

·         Cherry Picking: Confirmation bias: remember the hits, forget the misses. Example: Nuclear shutdown pro-nuclear focused on safeguards: anti-nuclear focused on breakdown

·         Conspiracy Theories: People who deny science are more likely to show conspiratorial thinking. 20% of Americans, 15% of UK think to some degree that climate change is a hoax. (Denial101x Lecture 1.4.3 “Characteristics of denial” selected slide) 

The war to address Climate Change on a scale and time frame that will matter is a different kind of human conflagration than we are familiar with. But we are still fighting in the same old way: Blindly attacking each other heedless of the consequences. Perhaps one of the possible outcomes of the Climate Change crisis is that humanity will finally heed the warnings from environmentalists of old—Thoreau, Humboldt, Marsh, and Muir--about how keeping our environment healthy is integral to our existence. 


We can and will disagree on the solutions for Climate Change, but if we don’t at least agree on the science, we will be no more. Despite the rhetoric, it isn’t better to be dead than red. It isn’t a worse fate than death to address Climate Change, however inconvenient. As we go further into Climate Change, we must get our priorities straight. 


Time passes.  (Click on my email for feedback)





* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr and on Twitter and Facebook: 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



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.


January 2018



February 2018





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.