RENewsletter | May 8, 2011

 

The Free environmental newsletter from RochesterEnvironment.com

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

[5/01/11 – 5/08/11]

 

* Got news? | Go to my blog: Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY or Tweet me @ http://twitter.com/#!/FrankRrrr

 

* 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:  “Rochester Bike Week May 20th – May 27th

 

Bike Week is coming up in May with several exciting bicycle rides in Rochester, NY.  Check out Rochester’s Bike Week Schedule of events: Rochester Bike Week 2011  sponsored by the Rochester Cycling Alliance (RCA).  The whole concept of Bike Week is to get folks to think about commuting to work and other short-travel destinations for a healthier community.  One of the aspects about Bike Week that I highlight is to encourage folks to think about Climate Change and how bicycling or walking (active transportation) will reduce the amount of greenhouse gases we emit when we get around.  Because, according to the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA), 27% of our greenhouse gases in the U.S. are emitted by transportation, active transportation can make a significant difference in our region’s ability to combat Climate Change.

 

Let’s not continue to fool ourselves.  Climate Change is real and it is happening now.  Go to the experts (climate scientists) and get the whole story in a series of well-designed short videos on the things you should know about Climate Change: NSF.gov - To What Degree? - What Science Is Telling Us About Climate Change - How Do We Know?  Remember, there are many likely scenarios that Climate Change will inflict on our region: Possible Rochester, NY region Climate Change scenarios.

Not to mention our Air Quality is not so good:

 

Monroe County gets mixed marks for air quality | Democrat and Chronicle | democratandchronicle.com An annual air-quality ranking has given Monroe County a good mark for one air pollutant but a failing mark for another. The American Lung Association's State of the Air study, released Wednesday, graded this area an "F" for concentrations of ground-level ozone. The study said the ambient air in the county exceeded federal ozone standards 13 days between 2007 and 2009. The statewide average was 11.5 days during that period. (April 28, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York | democratandchronicle.com 

 

Also, consider that all of our area’s long-range transportation, solid waste, and energy plans include Climate Change as a major planning factor.  This is essential because these groups are accountable for addressing Climate Change in our area.  These plans are:

 

·         Beyond Waste: A Sustainable Material Management Strategy - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation

·         Genesee Transportation Council Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region 2035

·         The New York State Energy Planning Board is soliciting public comments on the Draft Scope for the 2013 State Energy Plan [PDF].

There are many other benefits, of course, to increasing the safety and viability of bicycling in our region.  Bicycling can make you healthier, less stressful, improve your neighborhood, save you big bucks, increase the value of your home with bicycle boulevards, and much more.  Bicycling and walking are alternative transportation options that will move us away from a present unsustainable transportation system that dominates our communities, paves over our environment, and takes a large slice of our tax dollars to maintain.  Imagine being able to move around without having the myriad of expenses that go with owning a car. 

 

Sure it will be difficult to transform the Rochester, NY region to change our traveling habits and use bicycles and walking to those short distances we most often travel.  But there are a lot of folks who would consider these modes of travel if there were a safe infrastructure to do so: bike lanes, bicycle boulevards, more awareness by vehicle drivers for bicycles and walking, and more facilities for bicycles at shopping destinations and places of work. 

 

Changing our area’s transportation system to better accommodate active transportation won’t happen without an effort on your part.  Rochester area folks must demonstrate to their public officials and the public at large (not to mention the media) that they really want to get off the oil habit and have a healthier lifestyle.  If the public doesn’t rise up and ride their bicycles, the transportation authorities will continue to think we only care about road repair and fixing bridges—and that’s where your tax dollars will continue to go.

 

Two rides that I have helped develop and consider critical for increasing bicycling in our area are the South Wedge/Public Market Ride and the Upper Monroe Neighborhood/Swillburg Ride.  The first will help you visualize how bicycle boulevards will work in our community and the second will get you to think about bicycling on a beautiful Saturday morning on your bicycle with your neighbors to shop for healthy food at the Rochester Public Market, 280 Union Street North, 428-6907, http://www.cityofrochester.gov/publicmarket/

 

Be a part of the solution and demonstrate that we aren’t helpless consumers of an unsustainable lifestyle based on greenhouse gas emissions.  Oh, I almost forgot to mention: You’ll have fun too.

 

 

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

 

May 2011

 

 

June 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.]