RENewsletter | December 11, 2011


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

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[12/04/11 – 12/11/11]


* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @!/FrankRrrr   On Twitter and Facebook and Examiner/RochesterEnvironment, I post local environmental events, news, and commentary as soon as it happens.  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 need to Occupy the Rochester media to change how the public views environmental news.


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:  “The conversation: Looking Climate Change full in the face”


Climate Change has many unpleasant truths besides the many Likely Changes to our local environment.   And people don’t like unpleasant stuff.  One of the unpleasant truths that Climate Change brings is upsetting the present order.  To address Climate Change on a scale that will actually make a difference will require our way of life to alter significantly—because it will be the lens though which we must view our environment, everything we do, even our purpose in life.  Our generation will be held accountable for how we address this issue.   


Presently, although many think they understand the implications of Climate Change, they continue to act in the same old way.  Environmentalists continue to attempt to preserve our pristine environment when there are no more pristine environments and Climate Change will make even maintaining a sustainable environment a moving target.   Meaning, trying to restore ecology by removing invasive species and leaving only endemics ones may be futile in a world where the endemic species cannot adapt fast enough.  Note: Western rattlesnakes might not make it: Pleistocene Climate, Phylogeny, and Climate Envelope Models: An Integrative Approach to Better Understand Species' Response to Climate Change


Government authorities, although they have studied Climate Change and fully understand its ramifications and what they need to do, continue to act as though we have a million years to adapt. They quietly encourage the public to conserve energy; they rarely get their message to the media in a way that confronts the public with the hot-hard truth, and they busy themselves with the same old programs to repair the same old infrastructures (sewer systems, road, and power lines) that will be inadequate for our Climate Change future.

Business still conduct business as if their products and way of doing business is still subject only  to pandering to the public’s desires—even products like gas-guzzlers and products that continue to release greenhouse gases.


We here in New York State continue to flirt with a dangerous technique for drilling more fossil fuels for energy (Fracking) without even discussing its role in Climate Change.  The public and the media are mostly oblivious to the methane leaks already present in our existing gas lines.  We will cook here in New York State if we ramp up our use of gas and continue to ignore renewable energy—as we have done by allowing the Great Lakes Off-Shore wind project (GLOW) by the New York State Power Authority to die a quiet death. 


Because the public has not been fully informed and because they don’t want to be fully informed on Climate Change we cannot look this crisis fully in the face and shift demonstrably to address it.  We talk about energy conservation as good for saving money.  We talk about increasing active transportation (walking and bicycling) using obesity rates and appealing to the biking culture instead of reducing the 27% of GHG that transportation accounts for.  We continue thinking we can kick the can of US strategy towards Climate Change down the road to 2020 before we actually start doing something about it at the Climate Conference in Durban.  


Doing the same old thing and expecting different results is a classic definition of insanity.  Yet, if we don’t dramatically shift our stance on Climate Change all those other things we want to accomplish are not going to happen. 


No groups seem to know that better than those who slavishly believe in laissez-faire capitalism—a system of economics that has raped our environment and heads us over a Climate Change cliff.  They are running scared.  Hence money’s involvement in our politics may be the most intractable truth we must overcome.  This dialogue must occur in our nation and it is best encapsulated in this conversation between Naomi Klein and Andrew Revkin:


Naomi Klein's Inconvenient Climate Conclusions - Naomi Klein, the author of a string of provocative and popular books including “The Shock Doctrine,” recently took on global warming policy and campaigns in “Capitalism vs. the Climate,” a much-discussed cover story for The Nation that has been mentioned by readers here more than once in the last few weeks. The piece begins with Klein’s conclusion, reached after she spent time at a conclave on climate sponsored by the libertarian Heartland Institute, that passionate corporate and conservative foes of curbs on greenhouse gases are right in asserting that a meaningful response to global warming would be a fatal blow to free markets and capitalism. (December 7, 2011)  Natural Resources and the Environment - Dot Earth Blog -  (Click on my email for feedback)




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





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.


December 2011




January 2012





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.]