RENewsletter | March 20, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

[3/13/11 – 3/20/11]


* 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]




Opening Salvo:  “The public doesn’t fully appreciate the bargain they are making with the devils of pollution, radiation, and Climate Change”


Why should the energy we use cost us so many lives and heat our planet to the boiling point?  Remember also, in the long term many of the fossil fuels kill thousands over the years from particulates in the air and increasing ground-level ozone. 


Charting the Human Cost of Different Types of Energy - ProPublicaSince this time last year, we’ve seen a deadly mine disaster [1], the worst oil spill in U.S. history [2], and now a nuclear crisis in Japan [3]. That got us wondering—how does one compare or quantify the human cost of different sources of energy? As it turns out, a Swiss research organization, the Paul Sherrer Institute, has been doing just that. Using data from the institute, we pulled together a few visualizations. March 18, 2011) ProPublica


Despite the attempt by environmentalist and renewable energy companies, this assumption that we have to use dirty and dangerous energy to survive continues without so much as a mention that it does not have to be this way. 

The Sierra Club, for example, presents an entirely different scenario for our future than an acceptance and assumption that millions must die so we can have energy:


“We can build an unprecedented coalition of workers, non-profits and businesses to retrofit our inefficient buildings, construct new low-carbon structures, modernize our energy grid, push for laws requiring energy utilities to provide greater percentages of electricity from renewable sources, and allow companies and consumers to earn money from saving energy or generating clean power.” Clean Energy Solutions - Sierra Club


Why is it that rather than change our ways, will accept without question the dismal scenario that we can only have oil, coal, and nuclear power and all that comes with them for our future energy needs? 


They say that wind and solar, which is just a small percent of our energy mix (1% wind, 1% solar), cannot do the job.  But, they’ve hardly been given these renewable a chance because wind farms are constantly being fought for aesthetic reasons and solar dismissed because we don’t get enough sunshine in Rochester, NY—even though our airport just put up many of them and will reduce energy costs? 


They say that renewable energy cannot survive without giant subsidies from the government even though we give billions of tax breaks to oil companies. 


They say that when the wind does blow we cannot get energy and when the sun isn’t shining we cannot get power, when we know that battery storage (maybe even warming water, which is a form of energy storage) can change this equation.  Also, because wind and solar power can be localized, these renewable energy sources can often be onsite instead of being put on the grid and losing much of their power in long transmission lines. 


Despite the many disasters associated with our present form of energy supplies we will not move to renewable energy, we will fight every attempt to construct wind farms, we will fight subsidies for any renewable energy sources, and we will embrace a plan for our future that means putting our environment and our health at the very edge of survival.


Large majority says nuclear energy is safe | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information More than eight in 10 respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say nuclear power is safe. And more than half think it is very safe. The poll was conducted as the Japanese government declared an emergency at one of the country’s nuclear power plants and ordered thousands evacuated after Friday’s 9.0-magnitude earthquake and tsunami shut down its reactors. Emergency workers were forced to leave the nuclear power plant when radiation levels soared. (March 19, 2011) Home | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information


Besides the overwhelming amount of money thrust into the media’s hands to support oil, coal, and nuclear to reinforce that these energy forms are safe and clean, there are probably a zillion psychological reasons why we hold to such a dismal future of death and destruction.  We are used to the way things are.  We don’t like change.  We can’t imagine doing with less energy, when we want even more.  We don’t believe in Climate Change because our media isn’t constantly reminding us that Climate Change is happening.  We believe that in life there is a certain amount of risk and danger we have to accept because that is the way it has always has been.


But if we don’t change our ways, we really will be more than just inconvenienced with occasional nuclear fallout, sporadic oil spills, or periodic mine disasters.  Oil, coal, and nuclear power are factoring into our very ability to survive because they are warming the planet or so potentially dangerous, as in nuclear power, that our ecologies will be disrupted for centuries.   Climate Change and nuclear radiation will present an inconvenience us on a scale never before experienced by humanity.


Our officials say there is only a ‘slim’ change of a nuclear disaster here in the Rochester, NY region.  But there shouldn’t be any.


Officials: Slim chance of nuclear leak at Ginna - Greece, NY - Greece Post Webster, N.Y. — With the unfolding nuclear disaster in Japan, northeastern Monroe County residents are reminded of the nuclear energy in their own backyard. The Ginna Nuclear Power Plant is just miles from the county border, putting Webster and Penfield residents within a 10-mile emergency zone if tragedy were to strike the plant. Although scientists have found a fault line running beneath Lake Ontario, plant officials say the Ontario plant is not in danger of being damaged by the magnitude of quakes that shook Japan last week. On Wednesday, a 4.7-magnitude quake struck about 300 miles away in Canada — near the same spot that a quake rumbled last June, shaking Rochester. Scientists have also found a fault line running through Lake Ontario. (March 18, 2011) Homepage - Greece, NY - Greece Post  (Click on my email for feedback)




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



·         Officials: Slim chance of nuclear leak at Ginna - Greece, NY - Greece Post

·         DEC Advises Public on the Potential for "Winterkills" on Area Waters - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         NYPA Reviewing Proposals on Wind Project - Rochester, News, Weather, Sports, and Events -

·         Large majority says nuclear energy is safe | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information

·         Dresden coal-fired plant shutting down this weekend - Finger Lakes Times: Local

·         Free lead testing offered | Democrat and Chronicle |

·         State, federal agencies ready to regulate offshore wind development - Local News - Times-News

·         Gov. Cuomo Calls For Closing Indian Point Nuclear Plant | New York League of Conservation Voters

·         Solar Takes Off But New York Falters | New York League of Conservation Voters

·         03/17/2011: EPA Issues Extension to Greenhouse Gas Reporting Deadline

·         RG&E, NYSEG report on production at plants | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information

·         Officials stress safety at Ginna nuclear plant | Democrat and Chronicle |

·         Federal legislation aimed at protecting drinking water from gas drilling

·         WXXI: Cuomo: Indian Point "A Matter of Concern" (2011-03-16)

·         Earthquake in Canada felt in NY's Adirondacks |

·         Commissioner Martens Reminds Small Communities of High Fire Risk Season and State Ban on Brush Burning - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         Analysis: “The content of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere is accelerating super-exponentially.”

·         Cuomo: NY will review safety at nuclear plant

·          Wastewater is major gas-drilling issue | Democrat and Chronicle |

·         Earthquakes not likely here : News :

·         Plans for the Port of Rochester |

·         DEC Statement on Power Driven Mobility Devices - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         03/15/2011: TOMORROW: EPA, American Lung Association to Hold Press Conference to Discuss Mercury and Air Toxics Standards

·         State-funded brownfield program disappoints | Press & Sun-Bulletin |

·         Oswego's nuclear reactors built to withstand worst earthquake, regulators say |

·         Japan Woes May Impede U.S. Nuclear Push -

·         Riverkeeper wants nuclear plant shut down following Japan crisis

·         Asian carp threat prompts crisis exercise - Windsor - CBC News


·         Can U.S. Nuclear Plants Handle a Major Natural Disaster?- ProPublica

·         German nuclear dispute sharpened by Japan mishap - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow




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.



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.]