RENewsletter | October 23, 2011


The Free environmental newsletter from

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

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[10/16/11 – 10/23/11]


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


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:  “Easiest way for Rochesterians and everyone else to address Climate Change”


According to a major European poll on Climate Change called the” Special Eurobarometer 372 Climate Change Report” published in June of this year, most Europeans think Global Climate Change is one of the greatest challenges of the modern age  and most take responsibility for that by recycling.  “Separating and recycling waste separation is the most common action undertaken, with 66% having done this.”

Few actions for addressing Climate Change can be easier and have a more dramatic effect on reducing Climate Change than moving away from wasting our resources.  “…preventing waste and expanding reuse, recycling, and composting programs — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change.” From Stop Trashing the Climate:


Stop Trashing the Climate “Stop Trashing the Climate provides compelling evidence that preventing waste and expanding reuse, recycling, and composting programs — that is, aiming for zero waste — is one of the fastest, cheapest, and most effective strategies available for combating climate change. This report documents the link between climate change and unsustainable patterns of consumption and wasting, dispels myths about the climate benefits of landfill gas recovery and waste incineration, outlines policies needed to effect change, and offers a roadmap for how to significantly reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions within a short period.”


So, the planet’s atmosphere is warming up and you can do something in your daily life to slow that down.  It happens because we use less energy to dig up, transform, and transport virgin materials by recycling stuff we already did with that.  Take aluminum, for example:


“For every ton of aluminum produced, 97% of greenhouse gas emissions take place before aluminum ingot casting, which is the point at which scrap aluminum would enter the process. In addition, for every ton of virgin aluminum recycled, 2.7 tons of solid waste related to mining, extraction, and virgin material manufacturing are avoided.” Stop Trashing the Climate


We also don’t want our used stuff going into landfills. It’s a dangerous delusion to think we can throw everything we don’t want into a hole in the ground and consider that a great way to deal with waste.  Think about it: Instead of throwing food scraps into the garbage, where it goes to the landfill, then rots and produces methane gas (which is dramatically more warming to our atmosphere than Carbon Dioxide) we could be composting (food recycling) that stuff, enriching our soil for growing (instead of using man-made chemicals for fertilizers which use more fossil fuels to produce) and produce healthier food.  As for using the methane gas from landfills for energy, it’s a bad idea: “When viewed from a 20-year time horizon, landfill methane emissions represent 5.2% of all U.S. greenhouse gases emitted in 2005.” Stop Trashing the Climate


But here is the point I want to make:  If you have gotten this far in the essay, you probably already recycle and you might even be composting your yard and food waste.  Recycling--this simple activity that most all community’s fund and encourage—needs to be ramped up in order to affect Climate Change.  It’s one of those practices that should be integrated into the way we live and how we conduct businesses: the new normal is not to waste. 


We can all recycle, but most of us probably don’t.  It’s great if you recycle, and it can give you that warm and fuzzy feeling that you are doing something for our environment.  But it’s not enough. Everyone needs to be recycling and get moving towards Zero Waste to have an appreciable effect on something so incredibly large as our planet.  That can be done in a number of ways without turning yourself into a bug-eyed zealot. 

You can talk about recycling with your neighbors.  You can read Stop Trashing the Climate and understand why (in-depth) it is important to recycle.  You can choose products that are recyclable and paper and plastic products that come from recycled materials.  You can stop buying stuff from companies that don’t recycle or use recycled products. 


An aside: I’m thinking, if we had a functional media that actually informed us of stuff we needed to know, instead of the usual fare, we’d be continually reminded of ways to recycle—everything.  I know, it’s really a crazy far-out idea to have media help us sustain our existence with information in the public interest, but there you are. (But really, why are sports scores on the front page of every newspaper?)


Somehow, and our Rochester Sierra Club Zero Waste Committee thinks about this a lot, we have to take the practice of recycling to a level where it will make a real difference in our environment.  To make a real difference, almost everyone has to recycle, and it doesn’t get any easier than to dump a can into a recycling bin rather than the trash can.  If we cannot even do that much to lift a hand to save our planet, we are lost indeed.  (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.



November 2011



December 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.]