RENewsletter | August 17, 2014

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

 

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

 

[08/11/2014 – 08/17/2014]

 

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.

 

Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Take Action

 

 

Opening Salvo:  Addressing the Big Lie that there are alternatives to the Paris Climate Conference 2015

 

It is rubbish to suggest that there is any real alternative to the Paris Climate Conference 2015 in actually bringing down manmade greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs). In the first place if there was an alternative to a worldwide binding agreement to keep world temperatures to 2°C and do so in a way that would be fair and equitable to both developed nations and developing nations, that would already be happening. It is not. Worldwide greenhouse gas emissions are going dangerously up.

 

Admittedly the climate talks have failed over twenty times, but that does not mean there is any real alternative; it merely means that those who have fought against doing the only thing that will actually bring down worldwide greenhouse gas emission have been successful in thwarting the rest of us. Thinking we can replace the moral imperative to mitigate Climate Change with our present economic system is folly, as our present economic system is the very system that has hijacked our moral system and put us in this worldwide climate crisis in the first place.

 

The United Nations (UN), which is hosting the Paris Climate Conference 2015 under the auspices of the  Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), was established to end worldwide conflagrations such as the first and second world wars. No other process than this, representatives of each nation continually talking and compromising, could have achieved this goal. Sure there have been many conflicts -- the Korean War, the Cold War, you-name-it -- but not another world war since the UN’s founding. Bad as the innumerable wars and nasty skirmishes that have gone on since the establishment of the UN in 1945 are, a third world war with the specter of a nuclear exchange would probably be the end.  Now, though there is almost as much aspersion heaped on the UN as when President Wilson tried to start the first UN (called the League of Nations), it again is being called upon to solve an issue only it can solve. A successful Paris climate talk will not in and of itself solve Climate Change, just as the UN did not solve all world conflicts.

But providing a platform where all nations meet and talk about Climate Change mitigation and find consensus in orchestrated agreements it can do. No other course of action has even a remote possibility of doing so.  

 

In an otherwise important article “Why A New Study Thinks Next Year’s Climate Talks Won’t Keep The World Under 2°C” in Think Progress/Climate Progress, where a Massachusetts Institute of Technology (MIT) analysis predicts failure at the Paris talks, the writer includes a statement by a Paris 2015 contrarian. This article borders on the irresponsible, reminding me of Jon Oliver’s “statistically representative climate change debate.” From the study by MIT that the Paris Climate Talks will probably fail, the writer leaps to an interview with someone who says we don’t need this 2015 climate talk anyways: “We do not need a new international process to do this…”and we already have “The infrastructure already exists in other multilateral frameworks.”

 

It would have been more responsible for the writer to demand some evidence for these purported alternatives to the Paris 2015 talks.  (And, maybe just for good measure, we might think about making those who dismiss and work against worldwide binding agreements accountable.) The truth is that after Paris 2015, there is no Plan B. If we cannot agree on a worldwide effort to mitigate Climate Change, we will be left trying to only adapt to the consequences of warming, and probably with little regard for those nations who did not cause Climate Change, who will be left to struggle with the consequences.

 

There are many ways we are going to have to accomplish fixing something as incredibly vast as bringing down GHG concentrations—and adapt to the inertia of warming already built up in our atmosphere and water since pre-industrial times. Clean energy; more efficient and less polluting transportation; quickly getting consumers to consider cradle-to-cradle design in their buying habits; a carbon tax, and much, much more will have to be implemented to adequately address Climate Change. But all of these actions must happen and they must happen in concert with the rest of the world or they’ll be ad hock and less than adequate for the situation—which is to say catastrophic. 

 

Only a successful climate summit can compel governments and their peoples and their economies to comply with an orchestrated worldwide effort to bring GHG concentrations down.  Nothing in our present economic system, or the religions of world, or even a major catastrophic event will get all seven billon of us on the same page.  (Actually major catastrophes like 9/11 seem at least as likely to bring out the worst in our nature.] We cannot carbon capture or geoengineer  ourselves out of Climate Change, because in many ways these ‘magic bullets’ will only enable us to dismiss the entire scope of Climate Change and continue on business as usual: buying more stuff, having more kids, and believing that there are no limits to our desires on a finite planet.

 

It is a Big Lie and it is irresponsible to suggest that because previous climate talks have failed, that because developed nations have refused to step up to the plate and lower their GHS and help those nations that did not cause this catastrophe in the past, that we must adopt plans that do little more than continue business as usual.  So-called alternatives to Paris 2015 aren’t alternatives; they are deliberately sabotaging the only solution that will work for their own ideological and economic gain.

 

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.

 

Lying to ourselves, looking for the quick-fix or the silver bullet, won’t solve an issue that has been building up for centuries due to overpopulation, overconsumption, and a great indifference to the workings of our life support system.

 

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,

 

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]

 

·         Ticks — and Lyme risk — on the rise in Ontario County, Finger Lakes 

·         Bakken crude oil could be made less volatile 

·         Southern Tier, Hudson Valley Oppose Fracking 51 to 35 Percent  

·         Rally at the New York State Fair! 

·         NYS To Hold Conference On Propane Storage Facility 

·         Humans to Blame for Much of Recent Glacier Melt 

·         ‘This is a huge success story’: 2 Maine scientists say acid rain effects reversing much faster than expected 

·         NY Police Approve Route for Historic Climate March 

·         Keystone Could Add 400% More CO2 Than State Dept Estimated 

·         Schumer wants polluter tax reinstated to boost Superfund program 

·         Environmental Defence unveils plan to fight Great Lakes algae 

·         Algae Blooms in the Great Lakes 

·         Climate Smart Communities Webinar: Climate Smart Community Certification 

·         Swamped by Rising Seas, Small Islands Seek a Lifeline 

·         Only a balanced 2015 climate agreement acceptable: BASIC countries

·         Copenhagen’s newest bike lane totally rules 

·         Heavy rains force millions of gallons of raw sewage into area waterways 

·         Tuvalu climate refugees granted residency in New Zealand 

·         11 ways young people have revolutionized the climate debate 

·         10 Images Show & Explain the Northeast Flooding 

·         Teachout a hit among fracking opponents 

·         Pennsylvania auditor blasts state oversight of fracking 

·         Ban Ki-moon appoints Mary Robinson as special climate envoy 

·         Why Restoring Wetlands  Is More Critical Than Ever 

·         EU Commission backs 30 percent energy efficiency target for 2030 

·         Kerry raises climate change in brief Solomons stop 

·         Solar Power on the Rise: The Technologies and Policies behind a Booming Energy Sector

·         Why A New Study Thinks Next Year’s Climate Talks Won’t Keep The World Under 2°C

·         City to consider solar power at water plant  

·         Scientist: Plants can remove toxin from drinking water 

·         DEC plans conference on Seneca Lake LPG proposal 

·         Safer Streets? Yes, Please! 

·         Climate Contrarians Overrepresented in Media Coverage, New Survey Finds  

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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.

 

August 2014

 

 

September 2014

 

 

October 2014

 

 

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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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