RENewsletter | April 3, 2011

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

[3/27/2011 – 4/03/2011]

 

* Need to vent? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY

 

* Found an important Rochester environmental story from a credible source that you think needs attention? Or, an Environmental Event, Please, SEND ME THE LINK. 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.  

 

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]

 

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Opening Salvo:  “Critical environmental information darts behind a pay wall”

 

To those who believe the marketplace should rule the planet (and not something as amorphous and unforgivable as Nature) must be heartened by the movement of one of our most important news sources behind a pay wall.  The New York Times recently took a leap into the online media payment regime:

 

“This week marks a significant transition for The New York Times as we introduce digital subscriptions. It’s an important step that we hope you will see as an investment in The Times, one that will strengthen our ability to provide high-quality journalism to readers around the world and on any platform. The change will primarily affect those who are heavy consumers of the content on our Web site and on mobile applications.  This change comes in two stages. On Thursday, we rolled out digital subscriptions to our readers in Canada, which will enable us to fine-tune the customer experience before our global launch. On March 28, we will begin offering digital subscriptions in the United States and the rest of the world. “(March 17, 2011) A Letter to Our Readers About Digital Subscriptions - NYTimes.com

 

It may be a big gamble, one of desperation, for such a large news organization to force its readers to pay for what they have been freely able to attain for years.  There are so many other free media outlets online to choose from, albeit not with the quality and clout of the New York Times.  Nevertheless, whatever your views on the media business model in the digital age, everyone, even those without resources, need to have some basic information about the state of our democracy and environment. 

 

I am not against the New York Times, or any news outlet, making a living wage so that their business can sustain itself.  What I question is that critical information, major studies that the NYT has conducted on our environment, will no longer be available for the huddled masses who don’t have the resources to subscribe to this newspaper or any other online content.   

 

Please note: This is not a polemic about money and how news outlets stay alive; this essay is about how the majority of the public will get critical information in the future.  We are at a juncture in this country where public broadcasting funding is being questioned, where the FCC has given mobile Internet servers free reign as who goes where online, where funding for libraries is dwindling because of community budget crunches, where extreme political networks are viewed as mainstream media, and serious, well-trained journalists are scurrying for a livelihood.  And while many may think this is just ol’ creative disaster capitalism at play, it means the light is going dim on thoroughly researched and objective information that can reach a mass audience. 

 

The majority of folks don’t need to know how many moose Sara Palin has shot or dreams of shooting, but the public does need to know if our atmosphere is warming up and what is causing it.  How will the average citizen learn about the state of our environment if all serious media closes the door to them by making this information too expensive?    

 

It is ultimately in no one’s best interest to have a sizeable portion of our public ignorant of the basic information they need to know.  Eventually, and probably when it’s far too late, no matter how well a media has spun the truth about Climate Change, things will get hot. 

 

An informed public must be the most important goal throughout this media upheaval.  Other countries like Great Britain and the Netherlands understand this dilemma and are willing to steer public funding towards that end.  We, however, have had that discussion hijacked by extremists who believe only the rich should be given tax breaks so they can gobble up and consolidate the media and then fill the airwaves with counterproductive claptrap. 

 

So how are we in the United States going to have objective, mass distribution of information on energy (oil, nuclear, renewable, and natural gas) or Climate Change, when the major media outlets don’t even believe in science?  How will the masses make informed choices if the news we need to know is only available to the rich?

 

Luckily, there are many who recognize the desperate situation our media is and have resolved to solve it:  Check out this major media conference where the best and brightest will be assembling to make our media functional:

 

National Conference for Media Reform 2011 “The conference is your chance to meet, share ideas with and be inspired by thousands of people who care about the future of media, technology and democracy. You’ll join activists, media makers, educators, journalists, artists and policymakers in sessions about journalism and public media; technology and innovation; policy and politics; arts and culture; social justice and movement building; plus how-to workshops and hands-on trainings. You’ll see creative, courageous and conscientious films and meet with writers during book signings. And of course, you won’t want to miss the parties.”

 

 

FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com  (Click on my email for feedback)

 

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

 

 

·         UB to host 8 free lectures on hydraulic fracturing- Business - The Buffalo News

·         Tapping shale gas is called benefit to economy, consumers - Business - The Buffalo News

·         Radioactive Water Leaking From Crippled Japan Plant : NPR

·         Marcellus Shale caucus of House members meets today- Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         DEC chief: Gas-drilling review likely to run through summer | Press & Sun-Bulletin | pressconnects.com

·         Plans to export water, though unpopular, keep springing up - The Globe and Mail

·         Radiation Levels in New York Remain Safe

·         DEC Announces New Program for Electronic Waste Recycling - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         Pennsylvania Limits Authority of Oil and Gas Inspectors- ProPublica

·         Electronics recycling law takes effect today - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         Environmentalists call for halt to nuclear power plant construction, relicensing - saratogian.com

·         Foundation grant boosts invasive species program - AdirondackDailyEnterprise.com | News, Sports, Jobs, Saranac Lake region — Adirondack Daily Enterprise

·         A.G. SCHNEIDERMAN FILES PETITION FORCING INDIAN POINT TO COMPLY WITH FEDERAL FIRE SAFETY REGULATIONS IT CONTINUES TO RESIST

·         While Nuclear Waste Piles up in U.S., Billions in Fund to Handle It Sit Unused - ProPublica

·         Obama Call for Action on Clean Energy – Could Spur NY Solar and Wind

·          FLCC series digs into hydrofracking - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         ENVIRONMENT: Group pushes for Corbett's Glen buffers - News Articles - Rochester City Newspaper

·         Power Plants Face EPA Cooling-Water Rules to Protect Fish - Bloomberg

·         DEC Announces 2010 Bear Harvest Results - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         03/29/2011: EPA to Hold Listening Session on Whether to Add Vapor Intrusion as a Criterion for Superfund Sites

·         Hunters kill more deer statewide in the 2010 season- Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow

·         Corbett's natural-gas panel begins its work | Press & Sun-Bulletin | pressconnects.com

·         New York attorney general knocks fire safety at nuke plant | syracuse.com

·         A.G. files petition forcing Indian Point to comply with federal fire safety regulations

·         New York joins EPA program to help consumers safely dispose of old appliances | www.WHEC.com

·         Great Lakes barrier may be too weak to stop carp | Reuters

·         Are Nuclear Plants Safe? Environmentalists Are Split : NPR

·         Board approves solar project rules - Times Union

·         Federal, state lawmakers differ on whether Indian Point is safe

·         Radiation in seawater may be spreading in Japan | www.WHEC.com

·         Free farm energy seminar March 30 | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com

 

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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.]

 

 

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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: FrankRegan@RochesterEnvironment.com with (EV event) in the subject line.

 

April 2011

 

 

May 2011

 

 

September 2011

 

 

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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. 

 

 

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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.]