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These Daily Updates for this month represent just one month in over a decade of connecting the dots on our area's environmental situation.
Find out what’s going on environmentally in our area—and why you should care? GOT AN ENVIRONMENTAL STORY ABOUT THE ROCHESTER, NY AREA FROM A CREDIBLE SOURCE? SEND IT TO ME! Looking for something specific. Use Control + F and search for it on this page.
These daily updates pertain to what is going on in our environment in Rochester & around the world. Although I do not see RochesterEnvironment.com, or Global Environmental Resources, as environmental activist sites, I do view them as active. They are active conduits for all the environmental news, services, links, and an on-going discovery for the potential role that I believe the Internet will play in environmentalism. Your local news media is not doing its job in informing the public on the breath and depth of our environmental problems, so you are going to have to get on the Internet.
4/30/2010 - Throwing the planet out with the ideology: This article in the Wall Street Journal got my gall because it is indicative of how arguments on major environmental issues are framed in the corporate-driven press. Most would probably agree that Cap and Trade has failed as a way to both keep the economy healthy and deal with Climate Change. But, this article has taken the political failure and the failure of Cap and Trade to address true measures to reduce anthropogenic created greenhouse gases and sneaked in a dismissive assumption that because of these failures the whole argument and science-back facts of Climate Change have failed to. (note the word “speculative”: “All over the globe, politicians of different ideological stripes are reconsidering the costs of slashing greenhouse gases to combat the speculative problem of global warming.”) In the real world, the vast majority of scientists (not politicians, journalists, or corporations) do not see Climate Change as “speculative”. Most scientists believe there is overwhelming evidence that Climate change is occurring and doing so quickly. No mention in this article about the science of Climate Change, just the politics, which given the political and economic climate no one really wants to address—except those who are about to traumatized by the effects of Climate Change. Tom Switzer: World Rethinks Climate Legislation - WSJ.com Costly cap-and-trade system isn't the political winner it once was. (April 30, 2010) Business News & Financial News - The Wall Street Journal - WSJ.com
4/30/2010 - What is the State of our Air Quality in Monroe County? Monroe - American Lung Association Ozone Grade: F | The State of the Air 2010 shows that the air quality in many places has improved, but that over 175 million people—roughly 58 percent—still suffer pollution levels that are too often dangerous to breathe. Unhealthy air remains a threat to the lives and health of millions of people in the United States, despite great progress. Even as the nation explores the complex challenges of global warming and energy, air pollution lingers as a widespread and dangerous reality. - State of the Air: 2010 Report - American Lung Association
4/29/2010 - Help out on Rochester's Clean Sweep: City of Rochester | Clean Sweep More than 15,000 volunteers have demonstrated their pride in Rochester by working alongside City crews to clean and beautify just about every street in the city. In addition to removing litter and debris, volunteers do such things as planting flowers, pruning trees and performing other neighborhood beautification projects. In 2009, the Northeast Quadrant cleanup drew nearly 1,200 volunteers who collected more than 25 tons of litter and debris from the neighborhood. That brought the total debris collection for 2009's Clean Sweeps to more than 100 tons. With your help, we can make 2010 surpass the impressive goals set in 2009. In 2010, the Clean Sweep program will pick up where it left off after a successful 2009 and continue to clean up Rochester while building community spirit. Come and join in on the fun on one of the following Saturdays: Southwest Quadrant- May 1st at Genesee Valley Park, 131 Elmwood Ave. Northeast Quadrant- May 8th at Northeast Neighborhood Service Center, 500 Norton Street Northwest Quadrant- May 15th at Edgerton Park, 41 Backus St. Southeast Quadrant- May 22nd at Cobb's Hill Park, Culver Rd. and Norris Dr.
4/28/2010 - Are you paying Attention? I hope those you are against renewable energy--wind power and solar--are following this story about this oil leak and the recent coal mine disaster. They all related to the electrical switch on your wall that turns on the light. That switch is not magical, the power to turn on those lights come from somewhere. It is up to all of us to decide if turning on our lights is going to create havoc around the world or more towards a more sustainable power source. If we ignore this issue of Clean Energy, these events will continue: BP oil leak costing millions of dollars a day | This is Money BP's Gulf of Mexico oil leak is costing a million dollars a day to tackle, and it could be three months before the energy giant manages to stop the crude from spilling into the ocean. (April 28, 2010) This is Money: Be your own financial adviser - predictions, advice & tips
4/28/2010 - If Climate Change was True: If Climate Change was true, the implications of such a dramatic global change should be reflected in at least some countries—especially those countries most vulnerable to quickly rising oceans and hurricanes. It is true and some countries (only 34% of American believes anthropogenic Climate Change is happening ((check out this interview: "Avatar" Director James Cameron Follows Box Office Success with Advocacy for Indigenous Struggles on Democracy Now!) are beginning to address it. Maybe, when we finally ‘get it’ we’ll start acting. Check out the stories of those countries who do get it and are doing something about it: Global Ideas | Deutsche Welle Melting ice caps, catastrophic hurricanes, floods and drought plunging entire regions into a water crisis. These are the drastic images often associated with climate change. But what's actually being done on the ground to halt global warming? What kind of projects are helping to reduce emissions, inform people and spur them to change their lifestyles? Each week GLOBAL IDEAS visits a new destination and reports on a new project, so check back often. -from Home | Deutsche Welle
4/27/2010 - Rochester's Project Green is coming, stay tuned: City of Rochester | Project Green "Imagine a city where neighborhoods are built around parks and gardens, where building walls and rooftops are alive with vegetation; where tree-lined streets encourage commuters to ride their bikes or take a walk. This is the vision of Project Green, a bold plan that would change the look and feel of Rochester by replacing vacant properties with vast swaths of green space. It’s a plan that recognizes Rochester’s built environment – our buildings, streets and public utilities – no longer match our population trends. Over the next 20 years, more than three dozen city blocks will be converted into a “green infrastructure” of open space that can be used for such purposes as community gardens, urban farms, parks and renewable-energy generating facilities. These green spaces will be connected by a network of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly “green corridors” that will further enhance Rochester’s exceptional quality of life. Other elements of Project Green include the installation of roof-top gardens, historic preservation, focused investment and strategic development of the city’s downtown and waterways "
4/27/2010 -Why pharmaceuticals Drop-offs? If you have been following our events, you have noticed a distinct increase in recycling events for electronics, #5 plastics that our country presently does not recycling, and other ‘stuff’ like pharmaceuticals. It may seem obvious to many why Monroe County (Brooks Expands Partnership with Wegmans to Collect Pharmaceutical Waste) and some recycling events include pharmaceuticals drop-offs, as special recycling events, and but all may not know the full impact. Here’s a great article about this issue. As Pharmaceutical Use Soars, Drugs Taint Water and Wildlife by Sonia Shah: Yale Environment 360 "With nearly $800 billion in drugs sold worldwide, pharmaceuticals are increasingly being released into the environment. The “green pharmacy” movement seeks to reduce the ecological impact of these drugs, which have caused mass bird die-offs and spawned antibiotic-resistant pathogens. " (April 15, 2010)
4/26/2010 - Invasive Species the Zebra Mussels gets around: I had to post this story about an Invasive Species, the Zebra Mussel, that entered our continent via the Great Lakes and has proliferated and devastated our area’s lakes. Give that one of the numerous behaviors that a Zebra Mussel does not engage in—flying—it is amazing how quickly this Invasive Species has spread around our country. In these times of interconnectiveness via planes and ships, we’re going to have to change how we stem Invasive Species. Zebra mussels found within Skiatook Lake | NewsOK.com http://newsok.com/zebra-mussels-found-within-skiatook-lake/article/3456169 (Apreil 23, 2010)Oklahoma Top Headlines for News, Sports, Weather, Entertainment and more | NewsOK.com [more on Zebra Mussels]
4/26/2010 - ACTION - Make your voice heard on this hot topic of outdoor wood boilers (OWBs): Commissioner Grannis Releases New Proposal to Cut Pollution - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation DEC Rules Would Affect Outdoor Wood Boilers New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Pete Grannis today announced the release of a proposed new state regulation to dramatically cut pollution from outdoor wood boilers (OWBs). The proposal will reduce the significant air quality impacts from the boilers, and address what has become a public nuisance for many New Yorkers. The proposal was published in the Environmental Notice Bulletin this week and can be viewed on DEC's website at Proposed Part 247, Outdoor Wood Boilers, and Part 200, General Provisions - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation . The public comment period will run through July 2. | Closest hearing is Genesee Community College Conable Technology Building, RM T102 Batavia, NY 14020
4/26/2010 - Climate Change Clearinghouse: With all the missteps from the media (whose coverage on Climate change is mostly ad hoc and infused with misinformation) and scientists (who tend not to appreciate the level of knowledge or ignorance by the public on this issue) it would be good to have a clearinghouse of news on Climate Change to gauge its place in educating the public properly on this most pressing of issues. The Climate Desk | A journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. "The Climate Desk is a journalistic collaboration dedicated to exploring the impact—human, environmental, economic, political—of a changing climate. The partners are The Atlantic, Center for Investigative Reporting, Grist, Mother Jones, Slate, Wired, and PBS's new public-affairs show Need To Know. "
4/24/2010 - Rochester Sierra Club’s Earth Day: Now, in its twelfth year and one of the longest running Earth Day celebrations in the Rochester, NY area, the Sierra Club forum had another excellent program on Thursday, April 22 - “Transitioning to Sustainable Communities.” I cannot give much of a report on this wonderful event because I was too busy networking with all the participants. So many groups, who have participated in the event over the years, are still working towards a clean, healthy, and safe environment and so little time to talk to them. I complement these groups in their effort to engage the public in the myriad of complicated environmental issues that don’t easily fit on a bumper sticker. In the 40 years from the start of Earth day, we have come along way from an almost dead Lake Erie and a much polluted Genesee River, but I’m not sure how much that means. Only a healthy, sustainable environment will do. Anything else, regardless of our attempts, will be an unsustainable environment.
4/24/2010 - Wind Farm Placement: The argument about the Cape Wind project of 130 wind turbines in Nantucket Sound will mark how seriously we take climate change. If for aesthetic reasons we refuse to place renewable energy sources and continue to burn fossil fuel because those plants are in someone else’s backyard (while their mountains are being stripped away) and there workers are working in dangerous coal mines, we are making an unsound choice. We are saying that the appearance of a healthy environment for some is more important than a real healthy environment for all. Six Northeast governors, including New York's, criticize council's Cape Wind advice | BOSTON — Six Northeast governors urged the U.S. Secretary of the Interior on Friday to ignore a historical council’s advice that he stop a wind farm from being built off Cape Cod, saying that such a move could end offshore wind development on the Eastern Seaboard. (April 23, 2010) Syracuse NY Local News, Breaking News, Sports & Weather - syracuse.com
4/23/2010 - Earth Day Thoughts: Here's some thoughts on the 40th anniversity of Earth Day from the Messenger Post: What does Earth Day mean to you? - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow "MPNnow.com — A lot has happened since the first Earth Day — April 22, 1970 — which marked the birth of the modern environmental movement. Now, 40 years later, Earth Day conjures up memories of planting a tree in elementary school for some, making their first backyard compost for others. For many, the day is simply a pleasant reminder that spring is finally here — yes, the snow finally melted atop the Bristol Hills. " Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow
4/20/2010 - Bicycling as Transportation is Easier if You’re Routed Correctly: For about two month Google has included bicycle routes on their maps. You can choose several ways to be routed when you use Google for directions: driving, walk, public transportation, and bicycling. Well, some complained that the Google maps did not include cycling routes, but if you think about it that’s a tall order because bike paths and pedestrian overpasses are not usual transportation routes. At least for now. Anyway, we think this happen in the future so you can find the fastest and safest route to where you are going by bike. Check this out: Google Maps - Bikes Is Working & Responding To Route Recommendation Google maps bikes is now up, working and responding to suggestins. It is in beta testing so they are continuously refining things and encourage us to critique thier suggested routes. I'd encourage you to use it and post your favorite cycling routes to work, schools shopping ect. This can be a powerful tool to direct cyclists to the safest routes. --from Rochester Cycling Alliance
4/19/2010 - Bicycles as Transportation getting a Lift? Are we dreaming? Are bicycles going to be getting more respect as viable transportation and the gas guzzlers less respect? Hard to believe: Shopfloor » Blog Archive » Embracing Bicycles at Expense of Freight, Jobs, Reality Secretary LaHood reported his Bike Summit comments at his FastLane blog today, “My view from atop the table at the National Bike Summit“: Today, I want to announce a sea change. People across America who value bicycling should have a voice when it comes to transportation planning. This is the end of favoring motorized transportation at the expense of non-motorized. (March 15, 2010) Shopfloor
4/19/2010 - The Effect of our pollution: As we continue to pollute our air, land, and water one of the assumptions was that the ocean was too large to worry about. It will dissolve anything and everything and just go to the bottom. Well, there are living things on the bottom and we are just discovering what they are. And they have been making our environment work. So, what is the real effect of our industrial-age world-wide pollution? BBC News - Census offers glimpse of oceans' smallest lifeforms CoML researchers suggested that the total number of marine microbes, based on molecular characterisation, could be in the region of one billion species. They added that the micro-organisms were vital for sustaining life on Earth, as they are responsible for about 95% of respiration in the oceans. "They play a really critical role in keeping the oceans working," said Paul Snelgrove, leader of CoML's Synthesis Group. April 18, 2010) BBC - Homepage
4/19/2010 - Feeding the birds this spring, are you doing it correctly? Find out by joining this great program. Register Your Yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat™ - National Wildlife Federation Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program.
4/19/2010 - Electronic Recycling Standards: What are the best electronic recycling standards and are we practicing them in the US? BAN to Certify and Audit E-Waste Recycling - NYTimes.com The Basel Action Network, an American watchdog group that has sought to curb the export of toxic electronic waste from the United States, plans to begin a new certification and auditing program on Thursday for both recyclers and companies that generate electronic refuse. (April 14, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
4/16/2010 - Why The Invasive Species Problem will get Worse: While we wait for the inevitable onslaught of the Asian Carp into the Great Lakes, as we waited for the Zebra Mussels two decades ago, we might reflect on the world-wide issue of Invasive Species. Climate Change and Transportation in the modern age fuel much of the rapid spread of species that end up in areas where they have no natural enemies and wreak havoc on indigenous species. What can we do about this situation? Mostly keep informed and vote for candidates who appreciate and are willing to work with other countries around the world to monitor and check the spread of invasive species. The day where we could contain our borders (if they ever existed at all) are over. We’re going to be very busy the rest of this century holding our own against an increasingly hostile environment because we keep failing to act on issues like Invasive Species. BBC News - Counting the cost of alien invasions Far too many governments have failed to grasp the scale of the threat from invasive species, warns UN Environment Programme's executive director Achim Steiner. In this week's Green Room, he issues a call to arms to halt the alien invasion. (April 13, 2010)
4/16/2010 - Arbor Day is Coming: Arbor Day at arborday.org "Arbor Day is a nationally-celebrated observance that encourages tree planting and care. Founded by J. Sterling Morton in 1872, it's celebrated on the last Friday in April. "
4/16/2010 - How Healthy Are We? And how much of a factor is our environmental health a factor in our health? Probably won’t find that out in this study—see below. But, maybe if you consider all things being equal, meaning if you think that smoking, obesity rates, physical activity, are probably consistent around the state, you might be able to extrapolate all those indicators and assume that then the differences between areas might have something to do with other factors, like our environment. Meaning (again) how close do you live to air, water, or ground pollutants? Is this something valid that can be extrapolated from these figures? I don’t know. I’m just groping around for meaning in the studies that are being conducted for information that would be a whole lot more useful in determining our health. My point? Why doesn’t the New York State Health Department do a study that factors out health issues that wouldn’t be indicators of how our environment is affecting our health and factor in those that might? Maybe, with such a study we might be able to determine just how our environment is affecting our health. One of the new health indicators in this study—asthma—actually may be a result of air quality. Got money? Got experts? Let’s do that study. New Snapshots of Every County's Health Now Available "Expanded Data on Health Behaviors, Risk Factors, Other Conditions ALBANY, N.Y. (April 15, 2010) - Expanded snapshots of the health and health behaviors of adult New Yorkers, including data on rates of overweight and obesity, diabetes, physical activity and smoking, are now available for every county in New York State. The data was gathered through the State Department of Health's (DOH) Expanded Behavior Risk Factor Surveillance System (BRFSS) and are available on the Department's Web site. " -from New York State Department of Health
4/16/2010 - Why Should Rochesterians care about a Summit in Cochabamba, Bolivia? We should care because one way (which was not the Copenhagen Climate Change Talks) or the other massive quick changes to our behavior towards our environment needs to happen Most people around the world are beginning to realize that. Most government seemed incapable of overcoming the ideological and corporate forces to make these kind of changes. So, the people are getting together and figuring out what they can do. Rochester people should be a part of that discussion. Can’t make the trip? Join in online: World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth On April 19-22, 2010, over 15,000 people and up to 70 governments from all over the world will gather to attend the World People’s Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth in Cochabamba, Bolivia. The event is in response to the failed COP15 in Copenhagen and aims to highlight the central role of peoples movements and social movements in the climate struggle and the critical alliance that must be forged between movements and progressive governments." If you cannot travel that far on such short notice, then join in onnline : OneClimate.net - Attend the People's Climate Summit in Bolivia "The World People's Climate Summit, which runs from the 19-22 April in Bolivia, has been touted as an opportunity for 'ordinary people' to take the lead in tackling climate change. The good news is you are invited to attend - and you can do so without having to fly. Evo Morales has called the conference Image by United Nations Photo The pioneering OneClimate Channel has already enabled millions of people around the world to participate in global climate talks - most recently during the Copenhagen Climate Conference in December 2009. But in Bolivia, the promise of an 'open process' (there will be no secret discussions behind closed doors) combined with OneClimate's groundbreaking interactive coverage, means that anyone with access to the internet will have a free pass right to the heart of the summit. " -from OneClimate.net is a new social networking space for sharing ideas and experiences on climate change.
4/16/2010 - Just How Bad is our Environment Getting? According to Bill McKibben our environment is so back that it’s not the same environment you were born to—it needs another name Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet. Changes usually occur in the environment slowly, centuries, millennia. Now, rapid change is occurring within our lifetime. What do we do about it? Listen to, or read, this interview: Environmentalist, 350.org Founder Bill McKibben on "Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet" "Ahead of Bolivia’s indigenous summit on climate change and the expected unveiling of a Senate climate bill next week, we speak to someone who sounded one of the earliest alarms about global warming. Twenty years ago, environmental activist Bill McKibben wrote The End of Nature, but his warnings went largely unheeded. Now, as people are grappling with the unavoidable effects of climate change and confronting an earth that is suddenly melting, drying, acidifying, flooding and burning in unprecedented ways, Bill McKibben is out with Eaarth: Making a Life on a Tough New Planet, a new book about what we have to do to survive this brave new world. "--from A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 800 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.
4/15/2010 - What did we learn from “Climategate?’ (a media manufactured phrase to dismiss and make money from hyping the stolen emails from climate scientists story) We did not learn that Climate Change is a hoax; quite the opposite. East Anglia’s Climate Lessons - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com Closure is slowly coming for climate scientists whose e-mail messages and files were exposed five months ago in an unauthorized release from the Climatic Research Unit at the University of East Anglia in Britain. Lessons are emerging as a series of inquiries draws toward an end, leaving climate science bruised, but better off in the long run. --from The New York Times
4/15/2010 - Eliminating Garbage: The New York Times editors ask:” What stands in the way of the U.S. adopting more of these advanced technologies?” Other countries are burning or burying their garbage and mostly we bury our garbage via landfills. And, we are deriving energy from many of our landfills by collecting the methane gases. But rather than try to make my own case here, I say that I completely agree with Laura Haight (who “is senior environmental associate with the New York Public Interest Research Group” in her section , “Start With Waste Reduction.” Join in the discussion at the NYT’s: Should the U.S. Burn or Bury Its Trash? An article in The Times this week reports on the broad use of new, cleaner garbage incinerators across Europe that convert trash into heat and electricity. In Denmark, these plants have been embraced even in wealthy suburbs because they curb energy costs, reduce the use of landfills and cut carbon dioxide emissions." editors of The New York Times
4/14/2010 - We are passing this important message on about a vote on Urban Gardening Tonight: "Dear friends of urban agriculture, Moments ago we heard that City Council will again place the Urban Agriculture study on the agenda for tonight's vote. We need you to either speak to Council or be in Council Chambers tonight to provide your support. Here's what we need you to do: Call City Hall at (585) 428-7421 before 6 p.m. Provide your name, address, the organization you are representing (if any), and the topic "URBAN AGRICULTURE" you plan to speak about. You will have three minutes to voice your support for the urban agriculture feasibility study. We hope to see you there! For more information contact me directly. Jan McDonald Director Rochester Roots, Inc. 121 N. Fitzhugh St. Rochester, NY 14614 Work: 585-232-1463 Cell: 585-802-0843 E-mail: email@example.com"
4/14/2010 - Pets and our environment: The importance of picking up after your pet. EPA > Watersheds > "After The Storm" > What is Stormwater Runoff? "Pet waste can be a major source of bacteria and excess nutrients in local waters. When walking your pet, remember to pick up the waste and dispose of it properly. Flushing pet waste is the best disposal method. Leaving pet waste on the ground increases public health risks by allowing harmful bacteria and nutrients to wash into the storm drain and eventually into local waterbodies. Education is essential to changing people's behavior. Signs and markers near storm drains warn residents that pollutants entering the drains will be carried untreated into a local waterbody. "
4/13/2010 - Climate Change changes: Interesting photograph series by Newsweek on places possibly most vulnerable to climate change. It is fascinating that it could be within our lifetimes that places that stood for millennia could well change. I hope we can do more than take photos for an Earth Album of a unique place that once was. Better that we act so the effects of Climate Change will not be so horrific, than pine over what could have been prevented. Places To See Before They Disappear: "A list of some of the most spectacular places in The Americas that could disappear, or radically change, if climatologists are right in their predictions. " --from Newsweek - National News, World News, Health, Technology, Entertainment and more... - Newsweek.com
4/12/2010 - Cleaning Up Our Parks: If you joined us, one of the many groups that joined in Monroe County’s Pick Up the Parks program Saturday, you probably saw a lot of park sprucing up. Few love our county parks as we do here in the Rochester, NY region. This new program my Monroe County Parks is a great way to clean up the litter and for our area’s resident to demonstrate their love of their parks. Better still would be no little at all, that everyone would not litter and go out of their way to pick up litter, so that our local environment is not blemished by litter. PICK UP THE PARKS A new initiative from the Monroe County Department of Parks - April 10th, 2010
4/12/2010 - Climate Change Deniers: I don’t spend a lot of time debunking Climate Change deniers because after two decade it’s obvious that there is overwhelming evidence and a reasonable assumption that over six billion humans with their cars, houses, and energy plants are putting greenhouse gases into our atmosphere at an alarming rate. Carbon Dioxide, the most prevalent greenhouse gas in our atmosphere, was 280 parts per billion circa 1860’s now the latest figure has it at 390ppb.) Instead of arguing the point, I believe the most prudent reaction to Climate Change is to act on it as though it is occurring because waiting for what the deniers would like as a certainty would most likely fry us all. It is critical to realize that we are bumping up against something profoundly different in our human history (where the past is no guide) and find a way to curb our inclination to deny, stubbornly stick to our ideologies, or indulge in what we perceive as short term gains, and act positively when our environment is clearly being threatened by a present danger. If we cannot distinguish between a real danger and ones that our not, we shall severely limit the freedoms of future generations. We must be able to distinguish between political, ideology, economic, and personal differences and those issues that threaten our ability to survive on this planet. However, there are others who better able to lay bare the essentials of the climate change crisis and change public opinion on the most critical environmental issue of our day. Check out: Weathermen, and other climate change skeptics : The New Yorker "Up in the Air " Why, with global warming, is it always one step forward, two, maybe three steps back? A year ago, it looked as if the so-called climate debate might finally be over, and the business of actually addressing the problem about to begin. In April, the Obama Administration designated CO2 a dangerous pollutant, thus taking the first critical step toward regulating carbon emissions." -from The New Yorker
4/12/2010 - Find Hazardous waste site in and around Rochester | Hazardous Sites This list of disposal sites with vapor intrusion problems was prepared by the state Department of Environmental Conservation. Two of these vapor sites are no longer listed on the registry. The description of the Leastman Landfill site in Murray, Orleans County, was taken from a fact sheet published by the DEC in 2001. Text describing the Former Romeo Ford site in Webster was taken from the 1997 DEC registry. democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York
4/10/2010 - Why High Speed Rail? What is it, why do we need it, what will it cost, and how will if affect our economy and transportation? Ask Louise: Congresswoman Louise Slaughter - Contact Louise "High-Speed Rail Bringing high-speed rail to Upstate New York is one of Rep. Slaughter's highest priorities. The improvement of existing tracks and the creation of a third track dedicated to passenger rail will allow people to move efficiently back and forth across the upstate region, improve commerce, generate new tourism opportunities and spark revitalization in our region for years to come. " -from Congresswoman Louise Slaughter - Contact Louise
4/10/2010 - It is the Year of Biodiversity: There is a good reason to focus on Biodiversity as many claim it will be as disruptive to our environment as Climate Change. We are living in an Extraordinary Time when many environmental problems are occurring at once, and many of those problems are aggravated by each other. So, the loss of Biodiversity will be increased by Climate Change. It’s time for everyone to focus on our environment: Make or break year for earth's species | Environment & Development | Deutsche Welle | 18.01.2010 Rates of extinction are said to be so high, that some have equated the crisis to the challenge posed by climate change. But is it really that dramatic? DW spoke to Achim Steiner, head of the UN Environment Program. The United Nations has designated 2010 the year of biodiversity, in a bid to turn around the rapid loss of the worlds various plant and animal species. DW spoke to Steiner about the extent of the problem. (January 18, 2010) Home | Deutsche Welle
4/09/2010 - Climate Change changes: Climate change is serious and there will be serious changes due to climate changes, including the proliferation of invasive species that also move quickly to warmer climates. Here’s a factual and humorous way of depicting this probably result of Climate Change. "They Came From Climate Change!" "The horrifying hordes of Climate Invaders are upon us - creeping up from lower elevations, attacking from foreign countries, and settling into areas where once they were unable to survive. As climate change causes winters to warm and seasons to shift, a host of exotic invasives and destructive natives are marching their way into our lives at an ever increasing rate. Unless they are stopped, these invaders will continue to spread disease, destroy valuable natural resources and push out the native plants and wildlife we cherish." from News & Magazines - National Wildlife Federation
4/09/2010 - Bicycles as Transportation: Sure bicycles are fun to ride on the weekends on our great trails. But, they are transportation, just like a vehicle and must follow all the rules and regulations of a vehicle—bicycles are written into our vehicle laws. A great increase in bicycle use would make us healthier, make our communities more livable for us (instead of our vehicles) and help the environment by not emitting so many greenhouse gases. Realizing that getting the public to treat bicycles as a real and viable transportation mode this site was designed to help the commuter bicyclist get their heads around riding in regular traffic. Check it out: Capital Coexist "CAPITAL COEXIST is a localized education campaign geared towards cyclists and motorists safely coexisting when using the region’s roadways. This project was developed by the Capital District Transportation Committee (CDTC) in response to the recently completed Albany Bicycle Master Plan and public requests for bicycle education and safety information. It is anticipated that the Capital Coexist website will become the clearinghouse for bicycle education material in the Capital Region; a one-stop location for bicycle educational material, safety tips, current bicycle projects and events. Please check back often as information will be continuously updated! "
4/09/2010 - Action (do due date set yet) Public Input Requested: Help the DEC set a new bar on what should be recycled in our area and the rest of New York. Things have been changing in our ability to recycle in the past years. “The Solid Waste Management Plan (SWMP) was issued in 1987. It set a waste reduction and recovery goal of 50%-bold for its time--and contained a broad and aggressive list of recommendations.” But, now there are new waste streams such has electronics, and things we don’t want in our waste streams at all such as pharmaceuticals, and mercury-containing products. So, take a look at the Draft Solid Waste Management Plan. - "The Draft Solid Waste Management Plan entitled "Beyond Waste: A Sustainable Materials Management Strategy for New York State" is now available for review. An official public comment period for this plan will be announced soon. Please email us with any questions or comments. Draft New York State Solid Waste Management Plan - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation This SWMP process offers an opportunity to take stock of where we are with regard to solid waste management strategies and articulate a bold vision for maximizing recovery and minimizing waste. A SWMP will provide the Department with an opportunity to address the broader environmental implications of solid waste management alternatives, including global climate change. The Plan will include an analysis of the environmental and economic benefits of its recommendations to maximize recovery and reduce waste. In so doing, we will build the case for legislative and regulatory actions to achieve more aggressive recovery goals. "
4/08/2010 - Extraordinary Times: This is what we need to get. We living amidst a great upheaval in our planet’s environment, mostly caused by mankind. The changes, however slowly they may seem to the ordinary observer, are happening at an alarming rate. Sticking to an ideology where dramatic changes in our environment don’t happen, or adopting an attitude that you don’t believe in Climate Change or the Loss of Biodiversity, don’t match the facts. A New Geologic Era "It is a new age of geological time or so some say called the Anthropocene Epoch. This is noted in the in the journal Environmental Science & Technology. (web issue March 29; print issue April 1). This is because of the dramatic recent or potential changes in the world such as climate warming and species extinction. The dawning of this new epoch may include the sixth largest mass extinction in the Earth's history. Whether the new era will be dramatic as the Jurassic with the end of the dinosaur is still to be determined. " -from Environmental News Network -- Know Your Environment
4/08/2010 - How are Wildlife going to handle Climate Change? Find out from: Global Warming - National Wildlife Federation "Our country is home to a diverse array of wildlife ranging from the highest peaks, to the driest deserts, to freshwater and marine environments and to all the places in between. The abundant and diverse wildlife resources, which are so important to our culture and well-being, face a bleak future if we do not address global warming. " - National Wildlife Federation
4/08/2010 - Get an Award for your yard/garden: As long as you are sprucing up your lawn and garden, why not get some tips (and maybe win an award) on how to make your property more environmentally friendly? Register Your Yard as a Certified Wildlife Habitat™ - National Wildlife Federation Join the thousands of wildlife enthusiasts across the country who have been recognized for creating havens for neighborhood wildlife in their very own yards. These individuals have provided the essential elements for healthy and sustainable wildlife habitats and have earned the distinction of being part of National Wildlife Federation's Certified Wildlife Habitat™ program. --from National Wildlife Federation
4/08/2010 - Growing Smartly: Of course we are going to grow: populations increase, more buildings, more transportation, more stores, more streets, more and more. Better that we have Smart Growth than Urban Sprawl and here’s the way to go: Empire State Future "There's a new dawn in the citizen effort to improve our future - Empire State Future! It's a coming together of many civic improvement organizations, planning groups, and individuals interested in advancing the principles of "smart growth" and turning them into reality in cities, towns and villages all across the Empire State. The organization will build on the generally accepted ideas that our cities need nurturing, suburban sprawl is ruining our landscape and killing our economy, and it's no longer possible to build our way out of congestion. Empire State Future will compliment and expand on efforts to bring sanity to the way we plan our future. And a big element of our work will involve communications: our intention is to provide the smart growth constituency and the general public with a lively web site that is current, informative, and easily used. "
4/07/2010 - The Public Can Help Gather Environmental Information: Along with all the possible negative repercussions of mankind’s footprints on our environment there are some good things. One of them is the power of the Internet and its ability to clarify just how world-wide environmental issues are. But, the Internet not only reveals environmental problems around the world, it also has the power to gather people to help our environment. One way is to have citizens join in gathering important information, so the rest of us can make sound judgments on our actions that affect our environment. Clearly, we cannot depend on any single media, or government, or university, or business for all the information we need. Sometime we ourselves can be a part of that process: USGS CoreCast: Help Us Keep an Eye on Climate Change "Attention citizen scientists: We need your help watching the way the world changes! For nature, timing is everything. So how does climate change affect the timing of things like flowers blooming and animals migrating, and why is this so important? Learn more, and find out how YOU can help us by observing the world around you from USGS scientist Jake Weltzin, Director of the National Phenology Network. " --from Welcome to the USGS - U.S. Geological Survey
4/06/2010 - Take Food Action for our area: Urban Agriculture Petition Let's Make Rochester the Flower, Fruit and Vegetable City! I M A G I N E Community gardens where neighbors can grow food together, Farmers markets offering delicious, fresh fruits and vegetables to City residents, Urban farms and Community supported agriculture projects that bring food production right into the heart of the City, and Connections to our surrounding food shed that increase Food security for the Benefit of all. We INVITE YOU TO "Speak to Council" at 7:00 p.m on April 13. In order to "Speak to Council" about this issue you must call (585) 428-7421 before 6 p.m. of the meeting day. You will need to provide your name, address, the organization you are representing (if any), and the topic "URBAN AGRICULTURE" you plan to speak about. You will have 2 minutes to voice your support.
4/06/2010 - An opinion by an expert on Natural Gas as Energy: Gas and drilling not clean choices | theithacajournal.com | The Ithaca Journal " Natural gas is marketed as a clean fuel with less impact on global warming than oil or coal, a transitional fuel to replace other fossil fuels until some distant future with renewable energy. Some argue that we have an obligation to develop Marcellus Shale gas, despite environmental concerns. I strongly disagree. " (March 28, 2010) theithacajournal.com | The Ithaca Journal | Ithaca news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Ithaca, NY
4/06/2010 - Still a lot to be ironed out on nuclear power: Nuclear power may seem like a nice way to solve our energy needs and reduce greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, but it comes with complications. Not just ordinary complications. Utilities Sue U.S. to Halt Nuclear Waste Fees - NYTimes.com WASHINGTON — Sixteen utilities and a trade association sued the Energy Department on Monday to halt the government’s collection of nuclear waste disposal fees, arguing that the country no longer had a disposal plan after ruling out Yucca Mountain, Nev., as a repository. (April 5, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia And also: New York Denies Indian Point Plant a Water Permit - NYTimes.com In a major victory for environmental advocates, New York State has ruled that outmoded cooling technology at the Indian Point nuclear power plant kills so many Hudson River fish, and consumes and contaminates so much water, that it violates the federal Clean Water Act. (April 3, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
4/06/2010 - Does your food have mercury in it? Check it out: Sea Turtle Restoration Project : Got Mercury? "GotMercury is a project of Turtle Island Restoration Network, the parent organization of Sea Turtle Restoration Project. Gotmercury.org is part of Turtle Island Restoration Network's efforts to protect the environment and the public from mercury. Because of the ubiquitious nature of mercury in our environment and because federal and state public health agencies are not doing enough to raise public awareness and protect the public from mercury, we developed gotmercury.org. "
4/5/2010 - Bicycling as Transportation in Rochester. Rochester is moving towards recognition as a bicycling transportation kind of city. Rochester is #50! Rochester NY is listed as #50 on Bicycling magazine's list of "America's Best Bike Cities". The link to the map of the cities is here: America’s Top 50 Bike-Friendly Cities Slide 1 : Bicycling Magazine.com. Click on the pin for Rochester to see our slide. The article is in the May 2010 issue. --from Rochester Cycling Alliance
4/03/2010 - Good Point: No one should be mowing Trash: www.WHEC.com - Who picks up the trash? The question is, now that the snow is melting, whose job is it to pick up all the garbage along roadways before the tractors come out to mow? (April 2, 2010) www.WHEC.com - Rochester, NY News
4/03/2010 - Local Toxic Air Releases: Eastman Kodak Co. is 9th of PERI - Political Economy Research Institute: Toxic 100 Air Polluters "Toxic score: Population health risk from air releases and incineration transfers reported to the US Environmental Protection Agency's Toxics Release Inventory (TRI) for the 2006 Reporting Year, as computed by the US EPA's Risk-Screening Environmental Indicators (RSEI ver. 2.2.0) from quantity released, toxicity of chemicals, and population exposure. Data are adjusted by the Corporate Toxics Information Project for subsequent revisions to TRI data. Source: US EPA and Corporate Toxics Information Project (CTIP). "
4/03/2010 - Drilling News: See the environmental story all environmentalists are talking about this week. Why did President Obama do it? Obama energy plan would open Atlantic and Gulf drilling - CNN.com President Obama unveiled plans Wednesday to open large swaths of U.S. coastal waters in the Atlantic Ocean and the Gulf of Mexico to oil and natural gas drilling -- a move likely to please the energy industry but upset the administration's environmentalist supporters. (April 1, 2010) CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
4/03/2010 - From the EPA: Earth Day is April 22, 2010 April 22 is the 40th anniversary of Earth Day, and this is EPA's 40th anniversary year, so we’ve planned a very special month! Start by checking out our newly redesigned Earth Day web site. Lots of cool things you can do to participate in and celebrate Earth Day – Earth Day, April 22, 2010 | US EPA. Go ahead – get involved: commit, take action, share!
4/03/2010 - Useful Environmental Information: What is a State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR)? Why do you need one? Where do you get one? SEQR - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "Environmental Impact Assessment in New York State In New York State, most projects or activities proposed by a state agency or unit of local government, and all discretionary approvals (permits) from a NYS agency or unit of local government, require an environmental impact assessment as prescribed by 6 NYCRR Part 617 State Environmental Quality Review (SEQR). [Statutory authority: Environmental Conservation Law Sections 3-0301(1)(b), 3-0301(2)(m) and 8-0113]. SEQR requires the sponsoring or approving governmental body to identify and mitigate the significant environmental impacts of the activity it is proposing or permitting. We standardized our environmental assessments by using the Environmental Assessment Form (EAF) and special guidance documents which you may download with instructions using the links on this page. "
4/01, 2010 - Will there be a Phosphorus Ban Law here? We know that the overuse of phosphorus has causes unwanted and unhealthy algae growth, which is affecting the environmental health of the Great Lakes. And, now one state is restricting fertilizers containing phosphorus. But, that’s only one state. There are five Great Lakes and several states and two countries surround the Great Lakes. What good will one state restricting fertilizers containing phosphorus do for our environment? Our environment works as a whole, and the Great Lakes is a system of lakes, eventually flowing to Lake Ontario, through the St. Lawrence River and out to the ocean. If we are going to try and solve environmental problems, how can we solve our environmental issues by continually carving up our environment with manmade boundaries, instead of Nature’s? My point, in order to solve the phosphorus problem in the Great Lakes, won’t all the states and the US and Canada have to pass such laws? Phosphorus law in effect today | htrnews.com | Manitowoc Herald Times Reporter Use of compound in fertilizer for home lawns to be restricted | The phosphorus ban, signed into law last year by Gov. Jim Doyle, prohibits the use and sale of fertilizers containing phosphorus, but includes several exceptions on both the selling and application of fertilizers. (April 1, 2010)
4/02/2010 - Nearing Earth Day: Most organizations, especially environmental organizations, universities, etc., are having an Earth Day celebration and you should check out one or two to remind yourself of our environmental situation. But, Cornell University goes a step further and makes April Sustainability Month: Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future - Events - Cornell Sustainability Month 2nd Annual Cornell Sustainability Month - April 2010, features 30+ events WHAT: 2nd Annual Cornell Sustainability Month Features 30+ Events WHEN: April 2010 WHERE: Cornell Campus and Ithaca Community (view full list at www.ccsf.cornell.edu/april2010/ ) ITHACA, N.Y. - The Cornell Sustainability Office ( www.sustainablecampus.cornell.edu/ ) and Cornell Center for a Sustainable Future ( www.ccsf.cornell.edu ) are promoting April 2010 as the "2nd Annual Cornell Sustainability Month", with over 30 public campus and community events, related to the breadth of sustainability activities at Cornell. Building on President Skorton's commitment for Cornell to be climate neutral by 2050 and the recent news that Cornell will 'Go Beyond Coal' in 2011, this year's Sustainability Month theme is 'Climate Action and U'.
4/01/2010 - Studies on the consequences of Climate Change – It’s about time. We should be funding and conducting studies of the possible consequences of Climate Change because we are a prudent, intelligent species that wants to endure. Regardless of what we actually do about Climate Change, it’s going to occur in some degree because we have waited so long to do something on a scale that would matter to our climate. Climate Change is the biggest challenge we have at present because it will determine the outcome of everything else we do. 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 Feds to study animal climate change risks - UPI.com RESTON, Va., March 30 (UPI) -- The U.S. government says it is funding 17 projects to better understand future climate change conditions and their effects on fish and other wildlife. (March 30, 2010) http://www.upi.com/
4/01/2010 - Know your Soil: How healthy is our soil? Web Soil Survey Web Soil Survey (WSS) provides soil data and information produced by the National Cooperative Soil Survey. It is operated by the USDA Natural Resources Conservation Service (NRCS) and provides access to the largest natural resource information system in the world. NRCS has soil maps and data available online for more than 95 percent of the nation’s counties and anticipates having 100 percent in the near future. The site is updated and maintained online as the single authoritative source of soil survey information.