RENewsletter | February 20, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[2/13/11 – 2/20/11]


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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 safe 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


Opening Salvo | NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Events | Environmental Site of the Month | Take Action |



[Hyperlinks work by CTRL + click to follow a link]




Opening Salvo:  “Litter Day for Rochester, NY’s environment”


A warm spell in February should be a day to get a glimpse of the spring to come, not a morbid revelation that we been throwing packaging and everything else out the window all winter long.   Today (February 18, 2011) was a beautiful day to get out and walk in Rochester, NY.  It was a warm, sunny break from the freezing cold winter we’ve been having—except for all the litter.  In just a short walk around Rochester I experienced a world full of trash blowing about as if a very disdainful species were just leaving the place, impatient to get back to their own planet that their parents had just cleaned up for them.  A thaw in the cold shouldn’t be “Litter Day” in Rochester.


Litter accumulates in our environment by blocking our sewers and providing mock or poisonous food for creatures hungry from a long winter.  It leaches poisons into our ground and, given the endless variety of harmful ingredients in all that garbage, wreaks havoc on what little of pristine nature there is left to us. 


I’ve mentioned this to some folks and they shrug their shoulders, as if to say, “That’s the way things are.”  Well, you could say that in the middle of a five-year war.  “Bullets flying about creating collateral damage (killing more innocents than intended targets) is just the way things are—stay in your house and forgetaboutit.”  No thank you.  Just as war ends, so should our adolescent behavior towards our planet end.  This litter, this stuff that we mindlessly allow into the biological machinery of our ecology, is making our planet a nasty place to try and survive in.   


Cleaning up our streets and neighborhoods from litter teaches our kids that we adults care about our community and our environment.  It’s ours, why trash it? What is the point of working and buying all these cars and houses if we let our communities fill with trash?  Recycling allows us to reuse many of the products we discard when we are finished with them, and provides a way to extract the resources from them instead of digging up and disturbing more of our fragile environment.


Most Monroe County residents probably care very much about the litter issue.  Each spring, all kinds of neighborhood groups go out and pick up ghastly items left by the few who still don’t care.  If we could just address one item, paper, we’d be getting somewhere.  Paper accounts for most of the residue trash (70%) being put into our waste stream.  Paper, all kinds of paper (check Monroe County Recycling), should be put in your recycle bin and not in the trash.  (And, certainly not thrown out the window of your car—which, by the way, is illegal.) There’s money to be made for your county by recycling paper.  There are markets ready to reuse paper when it is properly recycled--not to mention how sharp our neighborhoods will look when this stuff is not blowing around.   Also, 8% of garbage going to local landfill is plastic bags/product wrap.  You can take these spent plastic bags to many stores in our area and they will recycle them for you. 


There is one thing that would change how much litter ends up on the ground, a comparable “Litter Bill” like we have a “Bottle Bill.”  The Bottle Bill has worked so well that that it has reduced the amount of #1 plastics going into our recycling stream, which means the county has to try and make money from recycling other plastics.  Put a monetary value on something and people will grab it up.  Ultimately though, we shouldn’t have to constantly find ways to pay ourselves to do the right thing.  Something, like Not Littering!, should be something a responsible citizen of this planet just does.  (Click on my email for feedback)




NewsLinksEnvironmental NewsLinks – [Highlights of major environmental stories concerning our area from the past week]


·         Opponents plan next step to stop Bruce Power shipments - Owen Sound Sun Times - Ontario, CA

·         Peculiar geese deaths baffle wildlife officials - Toledo Blade

·         Toxic algae in Lake Erie might also carry estrogenlike chemical affecting fish reproduction, report says |

·         Last Call for New York's "Great Appliance Swap Out" |

·         Politicos, stars take the stage in Washington, to protect drinking water

·         Ontario’s wind power ‘flip-flop’ draws ire - The Globe and Mail

·         City of Canandaigua recycling: Revised, ready - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow



·         WXXI: NY AG Sues Over Nuclear Waste Storage (2011-02-16)

·         DEC Announces "State Of Lake Ontario" Meetings - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         Asian carp chief outlines federal government efforts - JSOnline

·         Court adjourns couple's case over nesting bald eagles | Democrat and Chronicle |

·         RIT team envisions algae as new biofuel | Democrat and Chronicle |

·         Wind power for the Great Lakes? Canada says ‘Nay’ - SmartPlanet

·         EPA Budget Proposal Focuses on Air and Climate Rules, Cuts Water Grants -

·         Great Lakes restoration funding continues to shrink - JSOnline

·         02/15/2011: EPA Assistant Administrator Paul Anastas to Speak at State of Green Business Forum

·         Green building technology topic of seminar | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information

·         Environmental Watchdog: NY Green Stimulus Dollars “Well Spent”

·         Ideas for Powder Mills Park needed - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow


·         New mussels becoming Canandaigua Lake nuisance - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         NRC delays hearing on Indian Point relicensing after state, environmental groups file petitions | | The Journal News

·         Cornell Chronicle: Recyclemania Kickoff Feb. 7

·         John Hanger, PA’s Former Environmental Chief, Talks About Challenges of Keeping Gas Drilling Safe - ProPublica

·         Oh, Deer! NY Trees are Lunch




UpdatesDaily 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.]





EventsRochester 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.


February 2011



March 2011



April 2011



May 2011



September 2011





ActionTake 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. 





AwardEnvironmental Site of the Month Award – [On the last Sunday of each month, we present an environmental award for the Rochester-area environmental web site or blog that best promotes the need to protect and offers solutions for our area's environmental issues.]