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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.
8/31/2010 - Your chance to vote on Farmer's markets: Notes from a friend, "By now I am sure you are aware (and perhaps more aware than you'd like to be!) about the America's Favorite Farmers Market Contest, sponsored by the American Farmland Trust. Our beloved Rochester Public Market is entered in this contest in the Large Market category. The contest is really a measure of love for and loyalty to the markets, as all the voting is online by friends and fans of the markets. The contest is also a great way to illuminate what's great and important about farmers markets! With just ONE DAY left in the voting, the Rochester Public Market is LEADING the large market category. But the second place market, Davis CA, is last year's champion and well within range of a last-minute surge. This is why we need your votes, if you haven't voted already, and if you have, please urge your networks to vote! It only takes one minute at www.farmland.org/vote. Almost 4,700 people have voted so far for the Rochester Public Market. Let's honor all those voters, and of course the hardworking farmers and producers who provide and nourish us 52 weeks a year, come blizzards or searing heat (and everything else thrown at them), by voting and bringing this deserved distinction home to Rochester! Again, it takes only a minute at www.farmland.org/vote. Voting ends at midnight on August 31. Many thanks! "
8/31/2010 - ACTION: You have a chance to make comment on how new vehicles a labeled for fuel efficiency. This can make difference, something you as a consumer can do. This will allow you to be a responsible consumer, instead of a passive consumer because you comment could influence the “fuel economy labels consumers see on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms.” In order to be a good consumer and help direct our wholesale effect on our environment, you have to know what effect the things you buy will have on our environment. You cannot do this without adequate labeling. 08/30/2010: EPA, DOT Propose New Fuel Economy Labels/Agencies seek public comment on the most dramatic overhaul in the label’s 30-year history WASHINGTON – As a new generation of cars and light trucks start appearing on the market, the U.S. Department of Transportation (DOT) and the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) are jointly proposing changes to the fuel economy labels consumers see on the window of every new vehicle in dealer showrooms. The proposed rule seeks public comment on label design options and related issues. The public can view the proposed rule and labels at: Fuel Economy | US EPA and submit comments as part of the rulemaking process via email to: firstname.lastname@example.org . They can also review the proposed rule at Fuel Economy | National Highway Traffic Safety Administration (NHTSA). “We are asking the American people to tell us what they need to make the best economic and environmental decisions when buying a new car,” said EPA Administrator Lisa P. Jackson. “New fuel economy labels will keep pace with the new generation of fuel efficient cars and trucks rolling off the line, and provide simple, straightforward updates to inform consumers about their choices in a rapidly changing market. We want to help buyers find vehicles that meet their needs, keep the air clean and save them money at the pump.” (August 31, 2010) U.S. EPA Newsroom - News Releases
8/28/2010 - Invasive Species Alert: What to do about the Asian Carp issue and our Great Lakes: Wildlife Promise: Watch the Clip: New Resolution on Asian Carp "National Wildlife Federation leaders from the Great Lakes region and across the country gathered in Houston, Texas last week to determine the priorities of the National Wildlife Federation, and found unanimous support for fighting the invasion of Asian carp into the Great Lakes. " -from Home - National Wildlife Federation Also, YouTube - Help Stop the Carp Invasion!
8/28/2010 - Some Lead will Stay in our Environment: It’s interesting that while the EPA leads the efforts of Lead in our environment in so many area, they are incapable of putting the stop to lead in bullets. Given the amount of hunting and firing ranges in this country that’s a lot of lead, and most of it is probably lying around going into to the ground. Of course lead is also natural in our environment, but shouldn’t we curb all manmade contamination of lead in our environment? 08/27/2010: EPA Denies Petition Calling for Lead Ammunition Ban WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency today denied a petition calling for a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA sent a letter to the petitioners explaining the rejection – that letter can be found here: TSCA Section 21 | Chemical Information Collection and Data Development (Testing) | USEPA Steve Owens, EPA assistant administrator for the Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention, issued the following statement on the agency’s decision: “EPA today denied a petition submitted by several outside groups for the agency to implement a ban on the production and distribution of lead hunting ammunition. EPA reached this decision because the agency does not have the legal authority to regulate this type of product under the Toxic Substances Control Act (TSCA) – nor is the agency seeking such authority. (August 27, 2010) U.S. EPA Newsroom - News Releases
8/27/2010 - Battling Climate Change: Perhaps one way of combating Climate Change is to change how we design our urban areas. Check this out: Interview with Kristina Hill on Managing the Effects of Climate Change « The Dirt "At a recent conference on designing wildlife habitats, you said cities are always warmer than surrounding areas because of the urban heat island effect. Cities are then precursors to climate change. In fact, “cities are at the edge of climate change.” What can cities’ experience with elevated heat levels teach us about best and worst ways to mitigate and adapt to climate change? " (August 24, 2010) The Dirt
8/27/2010 - Role Reversal? This story is interesting because environmentalists are usually slapped with accusations of using the ‘chicken little’ or the ‘sky is falling tactic’ to alarm the public when their Weltanschauung is being threatened. Now, that the oil companies used this tactic, has it turned on them? Drilling Ban in Gulf Costing Less Than Predicted - NYTimes.com WASHINGTON — When the Obama administration called a halt to virtually all deepwater drilling activity in the Gulf of Mexico after the Deepwater Horizon blowout and fire in April, oil executives, economists and local officials complained that the six-month moratorium would cost thousands of jobs and billions of dollars in lost revenue. (August 24, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
8/27/2010 - ACTION: Acid Rain: We thought, because there was so little mainstream news on this issue, that Acid Raid was under control. Seems that is not the case. Check the case for taking action on Acid Raid and make comment to the EPA until October 1st. Action Alerts "Your Best Chance to Help Stop Acid Rain EPA Accepting Comments on New Transport Rule Until Oct. 1 The US Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) is currently accepting comments on its recently proposed Transport Rule. The rule is designed to limit the amounts of sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) that can be emitted by power plants in 31 states east of the Rocky Mountains plus the District of Columbia. Both sulfur and nitrogen are the main causes of acid rain, which has been devastating the Adirondack Park for decades. " The Adirondack Council
8/26/2010 - Sort of an environmental health problem: Because we live in homes, this not-so-obvious health issue should be on our radar. Task Force Issues Preliminary Recommendation for Preventing Mold Problems in Buildings Invites Public Review and Comment ALBANY, N.Y. (August 25, 2010) – The New York State Toxic Mold Task Force is seeking public comment on a preliminary report to the Governor and the Legislature outlining recommended steps for the prevention of mold problems in buildings across the state. The report can be downloaded at: New York State Toxic Mold Task Force Exposure to building dampness and dampness-related agents, including mold, is nationally recognized as a potential public health problem, with evidence linking indoor mold exposures with upper and lower respiratory health effects, such as nasal symptoms and exacerbation of asthma. (August 25, 2010) New York State Department of Health
8/25/2010 - Hands Across the Sands Event: "Once again, we'll be joining our Hands Across the Sand to call for an end to exploitive energy practices (off-shore drilling, hydrofracking, and mountaintop removal) and for better regulation of the industries that are causing so much harm to their own workers, the general population, and our entire eco-system. We all know that the oil that was spilled in the Gulf hasn't simply disappeared. It's gone somewhere... and that's a frightening thought. Also VERY frightening is the knowledge that there are folks in Congress today pushing for drilling in the Great Lakes -- and they've got big money behind them. We MUST stand up and speak out! Please join us this Saturday as we once again draw a line in the sand. And PLEASE pass this message along to at least five more potential Friends of the Planet. SATURDAY, AUG. 28 11:30 a.m. - 12:30 p.m. (We gather at the Bandstand at 11:30 and join hands at noon) ONTARIO BEACH PARK At north end of Lake Avenue, Rochester (Charlotte) Bring a sign! Bring a friend. (Children especially welcome!) Please wear black. We are encouraging everyone to car-pool, bike, or take the bus to our Hands Across the Sand event this Saturday. See you on the sand...."
8/25/2010 - Getting engaged with Climate Change: From the Sierra Club, here’s a chance to network with others on learning and doing something about Climate Change. Check out this very interactive site and find out what cutting edge of community involvement on Climate Change is like. Climatecrossroads "ClimateCrossroads.org fuses social-networking opportunities with fresh environmental journalism and authoritative global warming expertise -- giving it the ability to connect users with a wealth of multimedia information, expert opinions, and each other. ClimateCrossroads.org, created by the Sierra Club, is the go-to site for people eager --after eight years of inaction on global warming -- to share ideas, information, opinions and opportunities to make real and urgent progress on climate change. "
8/25/2010 - Fracking in our times: check out this well-written history of the gas drilling/fracking efforts in our region and the rise of protest against it. The Fight Against Fracking: New York Senate Passes Moratorium on Hydraulic Fracturing "When politicians refer to natural gas as a "clean" alternative to oil and coal, they seldom mention a commonly used technique called horizontal hydraulic fracturing, also known as fracking. But in New York, residents were concerned enough about the long-term environmental, health, and economic fallout of fracking that they convinced the state Senate to institute a moratorium on the practice. In a 48-9 bipartisan landslide, state leaders voted to prohibit fracking for nine months so they can evaluate the environmental and health impacts of the practice before deciding how to continue. " (August 13, 2010) YES! Magazine — Powerful Ideas, Practical Actions — YES! Magazine
8/24/2010 - Protecting Endangered Species and their Habitat: It’s a peculiar position in our modern times that those with economic interests in our lands are OK with protecting endangered species, but don’t want to include the habitat they inhabit. It’s a peculiar position because without its habitat a plant or animals species is merely an isolated artifact. Saving wildlife cannot be done without saving the land the species came from because the species and the land it evolved on are one. Not in a fuzzy progressive way. Those animals in a zoo, removed from their habitats, have no purpose and have lost their environmental importance. Plants and animals in a habitat co-evolved with each and changed each other, sometimes for millions of years. If we don’t protect the lands that endangered species inhabit then there is no use in protecting the species. Ultimately, the whole point of protecting endangered species is not pulling aside these species for preservation in a place where they serve no purpose but to entertain us. The purpose of saving endangered species is to preserve our environment--that which sustains our existence. Think of these endangered species as components in an engine called our environment: When you yank these components from their place in our environment, you have damaged the entire engine. This story should be on our radar: Timber industry wants out of wildlife rule - Times Union ALBANY -- The state's timber industry is lining up to fight proposed state environmental rules that would treat a potential threat to an endangered species' habitat as a direct threat to the animal itself. The Empire State Forest Products Association, which represents about 600 companies that own or manage more than a million acres of forest, is urging members to get behind a petition drive asking that land not be covered under the proposed rules. State rules have long protected endangered animals from being killed or harassed due to new development. This month, the state Department of Environmental Conservation proposed extending that protection to lands that such animals rely upon to live, feed and reproduce. (August 21, 2010) Home - Times Union
8/24/2010 - Birds and recovery – What is the state of recovering birds from the BP Oil Spill in the Gulf? Louisiana update: When oil stops, the hard work can begin (slideshow) « Round Robin "It’s been a relief to finally glimpse the end of the oil gusher, and the New York Times reported Tuesday that oil on the surface of the Gulf appears to be dissipating rapidly. Scientists are less sure about the fate of underwater plumes of oil or the damage already done to fish and shellfish eggs and larvae. But the breakup of slicks represents some cautious good news for the pelicans, gulls, terns, and other birds—including migrating shorebirds and waterfowl—at risk of becoming coated with oil. " - from Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
8/23/2010 - How’s that Hudson River Cleanup going? We haven’t heard much lately about the on-going cleanup of the Hudson River, so it’s about time to check in. First Phase of Hudson River Dredging Project Complete “The dredging work of the first phase of the Hudson River cleanup concluded in late October, after five-and-a-half months of dredging in a six-mile stretch of the Upper Hudson River near Fort Edward in New York State.” --from Hudson | US EPA Read more: Environmental groups comment on Hudson River PCB Peer Review Panel’s draft recommendations Environmental groups comment on Hudson River PCB Peer Review Panel’s draft recommendations ALBANY – Leading environmental organizations today commented on the draft recommendations of an independent review panel evaluating Phase 1 of the Hudson River PCB dredging project, mandated by the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA). The panel’s detailed technical report was released in draft form on August 16. Clearwater, the Natural Resources Defense Council, Riverkeeper and Scenic Hudson—united in support of removing sediment contaminated with toxic chemicals, called polychlorinated biphenyls or PCBs, from the upper Hudson River—echoed the expert panel’s conclusion that Phase 2 of the cleanup can and should move forward on schedule, in spring 2011. The groups call on General Electric, the company responsible for dumping the PCBs into the river 40 years ago, to commit to resuming work next spring and to finishing the entire project, which is vital to making the Hudson River cleaner, healthier and more economically productive. (August 20, 2010) New York State News on the Net!
8/21/2010 - Special event on our environment and its importance: I’m hoping to take this event to another level because I want to highlight how important this it is. Not only will our mayor speak about local environmental issues, I believe this issue (the critical shortage and need for investigative environmental journalism) to be one of the most important issues of our day and it needs to be understood by the public. We cannot possibly ‘fix’ our environment, if we don’t have full-time paid environmental journalists reporting on the state of our environment. Think of attending this conference and getting a sense of how necessary environmental reporting is to the public on monitoring the state of our environment. A free press must not only present an open forum of ideas and news to protect our Freedoms, we must also have a free and open press to get a clear and thorough picture of the state of our environment. UN Journalist Conference on Environmental sustainability 4 October 2010 ~ 8:30 am to 12:30 pm | Strong Museum of Play~1 Manhattan Sq. 14607 United Nations Association of Rochester will sponsor a UN Journalist Conference on Environmental sustainability on October 4, 2010. The Key Convener is Mayor Robert Duffy and the Keynote Speaker is Dr. Nabil Nasr, director of Golisano Institute for Sustainability at RIT. Attend a global conference-an opportunity to meet experts and listen to reporters discuss our shared environment. Fee: $15 Adults, $10 Students w/ID ~ includes lunch To Register: UNAR ~ 585-473-7286 ~ email@example.com Flyer #1 and Flyer #2
8/20/2010 -- Think Coal Power is going away because of all the talk about renewable energy? Think again: The Associated Press: AP Enterprise: Old-style coal plants expanding WYODAK, Wyo. — Utilities across the country are building dozens of old-style coal plants that will cement the industry's standing as the largest industrial source of climate-changing gases for years to come. An Associated Press examination of U.S. Department of Energy records and information provided by utilities and trade groups shows that more than 30 traditional coal plants have been built since 2008 or are under construction. (August 17, 2010) The Associated Press
8/20/2010 - Major Local Environmental/Ethical Issue that is not being address by the public: Off-shore wind farms project. You might have heard by now about the New York Power Authority’s Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (GLOW) but haven’t checked their site for details. I suggest before you form an opinion about the project you thoroughly look over their site. Your opinion about this project should not be a knee-jerk reaction about seeing tall wind turbines off the shores of Lake Ontario. It should be about energy and Climate Change. Sure, there are issues about bird deaths, bats, noise, aesthetics, and more. They are addressed on this site. Ultimately, I think this issue one of the most important environmental issues going on at the moment, but it is being marginalized because it isn’t being viewed as a major Climate Change solution for our area. Groups are saying no to off-shore wind and no one is reminding them that this means we will be stuck with coal and other fossil fuels. This decision about off-shore wind farms should be framed in the press as a major ethical issue. Check out: New York Power Authority: What We Do "Great Lakes Offshore Wind Project (GLOW) On June 4, 2010, NYPA President Richard Kessel announced the start of a multi-phase review process for five proposals vying to construct the GLOW project or projects in the New York State waters of Lake Erie and/or Lake Ontario." - New York Power Authority: Welcome
8/19/2010 - The media and our environment: When asked, the public is interested and concerned about the state of our environment. Why isn’t this reflected in our mainstream media? Why do so few mainstream media investigate environmental issues? Why don’t mainstream media continually remind the public that the decisions they make now will affect the stability of our environment? Why is our environment marginalized in mainstream media and not on the front page every day? Climate Change, pollution, loss of biodiversity, over populations, sprawl, and a lot more environmental issues are extremely important issues that we need to address and soon, but we are not addressing them in our media. Why? Shouldn’t an intelligent species like ourselves be focused on the very issues that will drastically change our way of life? Shouldn’t environmental issues be one of the main concerns of the press, just as much as Freedom, and what actor or sports hero has committed some petty crime? Here’s what the public wants: Public Supports Consumer and Environmental Protections, Polls Show | OMB Watch Americans overwhelmingly support government protection of the environment and consumers, a series of new polls shows. The findings come as efforts to enforce and expand regulation face increasingly hostile rhetoric from conservatives and industry representatives in Washington. (August 17, 2010) OMB Watch | Promoting open government, accountability, and citizen participation since 1983
8/19/2010 -Time to pipe up about Recycling Plastics in our region: Thanks to an article yesterday by City Newspaper, ENVIRONMENT: Should the county recycle No. 5 plastics? - News Articles - Rochester City Newspaper, there’s a chance for a dialogue on why Monroe County does not recycle 3-7 plastics and other surrounding counties can. Monroe County’s argument is that there isn’t a steady market for these plastics. Other NYS counties don’t agree. Just yesterday it was announced that New York City has so much faith in a market for that they are going to require all plastics recycling: Mayor Bloomberg Signs Bills Expanding New York City Recycling (8/18/2010) Waste Age Magazine. And, recently nearby Onondaga County has made recycling #5 plastic mandatory: OCRRA to vote today on adding No. 5 plastic to blue bins in Onondaga County | syracuse.com (7/13/2010). We don’t purport to have all the answers, but it seems that if other counties are recycling all plastics our counties can work together so that all NYS counties recycle all plastic creating a steady waste flow, which could create a steady waste plastics market. In any event, no matter where you stand on this issue, please take a moment and chime in on this issue at City’s article--Should the county recycle No. 5 plastics? (Comment at the bottom of the article online) —because this in an important dialogue for our community to have. This dialogue should be framed so it is about our environmental and our economic future. If we recycled all plastics we’d clean up our environment from these discarded substances create new green businesses. It’s not going to happen if the public doesn’t get behind this issue. more...
8/18/2010 - Greening up the Internet and Western New York. Check out this new environmental web site, which was “developed for the New York State Department of State with funds provided under Title 11 of the Environmental Protection Fund.” A lot of organizations have teamed up to provide the public and business resources for Living Green: Check out: GrowWNY "GrowWNY is a hyperlocal source of information about living green--powered by more than 150 organizations collaborating for our regional environment and YOU. This site is for anyone who enjoys the outdoors, cares about the environment and wants to know the best places to go and things to do to eat, live, work and play greener. GrowWNY is a project of the Community Foundation for Greater Buffalo, and is made possible through grants from the John S. and James L. Knight Foundation and the New York State Department of State Division of Coastal Resources. "
8/17/2010 - How can you affect Transportation in our area? One way is to attend one of the various public hearings on the City of Rochester Bicycle Masterplan hearings: Check out the plan, either on August 25th or 26th, then check for locations near you. City of Rochester | Bicycle Master Plan Project "The City of Rochester wants to make it easier for you to get around on your bicycle " Find the location nearest you: Public Work Shops for the City of Rochester’s Bicycle Master Plan Study --from Rochester Bicycling Club
8/16/2010 - Monitoring Climate Change: From a major voice on the Climate Change issue, Dr. Hansen, who reminds us that the environmental issue of Climate Change must be addressed sooner than later. He explains how unusually warm last month was. Like the Emerald Ash Borer boring in on Monroe County, choosing to wait until this issue becomes so in our face that it’s splashed on the local paper’s headlines is going to be too late to avoid the ramifications of it. We must address environmental issues differently that we address most other problems. We must have a media that understands the importance of getting the public behind an issue like Climate Change before it is unmanageable. Because we have not substantially addressed Climate Change even now, we are going to experience dramatic changes in our climate. Continuing to ignore it will drive it exponentially beyond our ability to address it at all. From the Desk of Dr. James E. Hansen: What Global Warming Looks Like...So Far "The July 2010 global map of surface temperature anomalies (Figure 1), relative to the average July in the 1951-1980 period of climatology, provides a useful picture of current climate. It was more than 5°C (about 10°F) warmer than climatology in the eastern European region including Moscow. There was an area in eastern Asia that was similarly unusually hot. The eastern part of the United States was unusually warm, although not to the degree of the hot spots in Eurasia. There were also substantial areas cooler than climatology, including a region in central Asia and the southern part of South America. The emerging La Nina is now moderately strong, as evidenced by the region cooler than climatology along the equator in the eastern and central Pacific Ocean. The global average July 2010 temperature was 0.55°C warmer than climatology in the GISS analysis, which puts 2010 in practically a three way tie for third warmest July. July 1998 was the warmest in the GISS analysis, at 0.68°C. " What Global Warming Looks Like discusses current global temperature anomalies in July 2010; see also summary and full paper accepted for publication in Reviews of Geophysics.
8/14/2010 - What I've been reading lately: This book chronicles the amazing changes humankind wrought on our environment during the last century. Those who think that we aren’t living in extraordinary times, where we may have brought our environment to the brink of collapse, might do well to read this book. The idea, or the basic human assumption, that we can rely on some hazy notion that ‘things come around’ or we can use the past as an indicator or teacher for the future, or even that Nature can take care of itself, just don’t understand the monumental changes that occurred to our environment in the last century. The changes were unprecedented in every way. We are in new territory on our environment, one where our assumptions and our knowledge of how earlier cultures dealt with environmental issues may not do us much good. We’re not going to Zen ourselves out of this coming century, after the shakeup from the last. Amazon.com: Something New Under the Sun: An Environmental History of the Twentieth-Century World (Global Century Series) (9780393321838): J. R. McNeill, John Robert McNeill, Paul Kennedy: Books
8/14/2010 - Protecting your Ash Trees from the Emerald Ash Borer: Safeguarding Your Ash Trees - YNN, Your News Now If you're on a mission to save your ash trees, it's suggested you begin soon. So far the Emerald Ash Borer beetle has been detected in Chili. A local expert says it's just a matter of time before your ash tree will be attacked. (August 13, 2010) TOP STORIES - Rochester - YNN, Your News Now
8/13/2010 - Is our government forcing Renewable energy on us? One of the arguments launched against renewable energy (solar, wind, biofuels, geothermal) is that unless they were heavily subsidized by our government, they wouldn’t have a chance. The inference, I suppose, is that we wouldn’t be talking about these delusional energy options at all if some socialistic scheme weren’t keeping them alive and shoving them down the public’s throat. Actually, big oil is getting the big bucks from the government. “$45 billion over 10 years” is light years away from what any renewable source of energy could, in its wildest dreams, get from our government. In my opinion, if the government wanted its best tax dollar for the buck on energy, it would be best spent our money on increasing battery energy storage capabilities. Small batteries with exceptional energy storage capacity could truly revolutionize energy option around the world. Imagine, you wouldn’t have to be connected to the grid, or you could back-up the grid, you could power your vehicle, your home, or whatever with whatever energy source you could invent because you would be able to store that energy efficiently. Water, solar, wind, geothermal, bicycle, or anything that could produce energy could be stored in a battery. But, we’ve ball-and-chained ourselves to the fossil fuel industries and the proponents of this greenhouse-gas-emitting energy source are forcing off us the bridge into the dark waters below because they’re making so much money—from our money. More government subsidies for batter storage technologies would not support a particular energy industry, but all of them. Increased battery storage would be as profound a change to our energy issue as the Internet has been to communication, opening up a whole new field for energy production. But, no. We’re stuck with this: Eliminating Tax Subsidies for Oil Companies "President Obama’s 2011 budget proposes to eliminate nine different tax expenditures that primarily benefit oil and gas companies. Cutting these special tax deductions, preferences, and credits would save the government about $45 billion over the next 10 years. " (May 13, 2010) Center for American Progress
8/12/2010 - Important Environmental Event on Wednesday, September 15 : 9:00 am - 12:30 pm Keynote Address and Presentations Class of '62 Auditorium Free and open to the public—please RSVP. Last day to register for lunch and discussions: September 7! 12:30 - 1:30 pm Lunch and Networking Flaum Atrium 1:30 - 4:30 pm Focus Groups Limited number of spots available, register now! Researching Women's Environmental Health 2010 "This workshop, part of Rochester Women’s Health Week, focuses on new research on the environment in relation to food, nutrition, and obesity. Leading researchers from around the county will present new results on a range of topics from chemicals hidden in your diet to foods that help increase fertility. These scientific presentations will be complemented by talks on how the media covers these hot-button topics and how to use research to implement changes in your life and your community. In the afternoon, the speakers will lead small discussion groups on selected topics. Participants will have the opportunity to register for their preferred discussion groups in advance. "
8/11/2010 - Tracking Local Pollution Cleanups: Although it won’t because there are so many other things to do, tracking local pollution sites and making sure they are cleaned up for our children’s future should be on our radar, our front burner so to speak. Glad these D&C environmental journalist have taken this on: The Cleanup Map: Golden Road Disposal Site | 520 - An Environmental Blog | Rochester Democrat and Chronicle "The Rochester region is dotted with contaminated properties, testament to the area’s industrial past and New York’s present-day emphasis on addressing these old blights. Many have already been cleaned up, but many more remain works in progress. This blog entry, in conjunction with an annotated map at Democrat and Chronicle’s RocDocs site, is part of an effort to track work at these sites. Let us know of other sites you’d like included. "
8/11/2010 - Really Protect our Great Lakes. The Great Lakes need protection from a variety of conditions. Besides the release of massive amounts of sewage, invasive species, Climate Change, mercury (from pollution and natural causes), new invasive disease like VHS, phosphates from runoffs, our Great Lakes are in trouble. The government is stepping in as are many private groups to help clean up our largest fresh water source. I hope those who are fighting to stop the possibility of off-shore wind farms on our Great Lakes because of the aesthetic discomfort of seeing these large renewable energy sources that do not add greenhouse gases (or mercury from coal) to our atmosphere are also behind all these efforts to make the pristine visage of a clean Great Lakes into actual lakes that are clean. My guess is many who say they are for a clean and pristine Great Lakes are only interested in the aesthetics of the lakes and care not to delve into the serious threats confronting our Great Lakes. One of the ways, instead of railing against off-shore wind farms which will reduce much of the pollution to the lakes by not using more polluting sources, would be to read this study and help stop sewage into our lakes: "New Report: Solving Region’s Sewage Crisis Will Create Jobs, Restore Great Lakes Reversing federal wastewater infrastructure deficit, investing in “green” solutions key to tackling sewage overflows—serious public health threat Failure to Address $23 Billion Backlog Could Hamper Restoration Efforts ANN ARBOR, MICH. (Aug. 9, 2010) —The Great Lakes are under siege from sewage pollution, four decades after Congress passed the federal Clean Water Act, according to a new report from the Healing Our Waters-Great Lakes Coalition. (Click here to download the report.) Turning the Tide: Investing in Wastewater Infrastructure to Create Jobs and Solve the Sewage Crisis in the Great Lakes --from - Healthy Lakes - Healthy Lives
8/11/2010 - The EPA meeting on Drilling has been postponed. EPA POSTPONES SYRACUSE MEETING ON HYDRAULIC FRACTURING STUDY, NEW DATES COMING SOON But, you can still write in your comments. "EPA is continuing to accept written comments via e-mail at firstname.lastname@example.org through September 1, 2010. Please write “Hydraulic Fracturing Study – Comments” in the subject line of the message. Written comments may also be hand-delivered at the public meetings or sent to EPA at the following address by September 1, 2010: Jill Dean 1200 Pennsylvania Ave. NW Mailcode 4606M Washington, DC 20460. "
8/10/2010 - It’s getting hot: Though an article in today’s Democrat and Chronicle (Believe it or not, July was hotter in 1921 | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle )points out that last July was not the hottest on record, the Russians might disagree. What matters is how hot it is at anyone time around the world, not just in Rochester, NY. The message about all this, even if you don’t think a single really hot summer in Russia proves Climate Change, is that it’s clear we need to pay attention to the Climate Change issue and think about how our use of Energy and Transportation and how we consume will affect the temperature of our planet. The message is that Climate Change is happening because of our actions. Has a Warming Russia Outpaced the World? - Green Blog - NYTimes.com "Better known for long, bitterly cold winters, Russia is well on the way to becoming the poster child for the perils of global warming this summer. On Thursday, the mercury hit 100 degrees in Moscow, the hottest day since record-keeping began in 1880; it was the fourth day in a week that the city set a temperature record. Highs for July and August typically average in the low-to-mid 70s. " The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
8/09/2010 - Drilling for Natural Gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale: Everything you wanted to know: pressconnects.com | Binghamton Marcellus Shale | Press & Sun-Bulletin including Live: Watch the EPA Public Forum Tune in here on August 12th at 8am for live coverage of the EPA Hydro Fracking forum Live: Watch the EPA Public Forum | pressconnects.com | Press & Sun-Bulletin
8/09/2010 - Pond Tour: Mark your calendar for 8th Annual Rochester Pond Tour on Aug. 14 - RocNow.com What: 8th Annual Rochester Pond Tour, a self-guided tour of more than 40 water features in Monroe and Wayne counties, done by both professionals and do-it-yourselfers. The tour is sponsored by Sunrise Aquatics and Northern Stone and Design Center. When: 9 a.m. to 5 p.m. next Saturday. Tour the homes after 5 p.m. Cost: $5 in advance, $10 day of the tour, with proceeds going toward the National Center for Missing & Exploited Children. Tickets are available at www.sunriseaquatics.com, the Sunrise Aquatics retail shop, Oriental Garden Supply in Pittsford, The Garden Factory in Gates and Northern Stone and Design Center in Perinton.
8/05/2010 - Should Future Energy Options Include Burning Waste? As we desperately search for energy options for the future, the lure of convenience, Climate Change, and protecting our environment should be part of the dialogue. Take burning trash for example. We should not burn trash simply because it is convenient. This will always be a lure, because it’s a relatively easy solution. People like to burn things rather than take the trouble to separate and recycle them. But, can we really contain the impurities that trash gives off? Also, when we burn waste there will be greenhouse gases produced and this must be considered in this time of Climate Change. We need energy solutions that don’t heat up the planet. Also, we should consider whether a product can be reused and thus save a natural resource before we just up and burn it. There are more considerations on burning waste and this article explains them: Is Burning Trash Bad? - Earth911.com “The growing popularity of modern waste-to-energy (WTE) facilities in Europe and Asia has many in America asking: is burning trash bad? We’re not big burners here in the U.S., but we’ve been known to light up some litter from time to time. The majority of our waste is buried in landfills, while 31 percent is recycled, but there are currently 90 waste-to-energy facilities operating in the country that torch 14 percent of our trash and convert the heat into electricity. It is important to talk about zero-waste in local government and to adopt zero-waste as a goal,” Wilson says. “It doesn’t mean we’re going to be at zero-waste tomorrow, but the only way to reach that goal is to set it.” (August 2, 2010) Earth911.com - Find Recycling Centers and Learn How To Recycle
8/05/2010 - Clean Water for all. Imagine where we have come from—world where we have so compromised our water that we need to declare that everyone has a right to it. And, a world where we recognize this fundamental right—a right that many around the world don’t have. General Assembly Adopts Resolution Recognizing Access to Clean Water, Sanitation as Human Right, by Recorded Vote of 122 in Favour, None against, 41 Abstentions "Delegates also Confirm Nominee to Head Office Of Internal Oversight Services, Elect Belarus to UNEP Governing Council By a vote of 122 in favour to none against, with 41 abstentions, the General Assembly today adopted, as orally revised, a resolution calling on States and international organizations to provide financial resources, build capacity and transfer technology, particularly to developing countries, in scaling up efforts to provide safe, clean, accessible and affordable drinking water and sanitation for all. " Welcome to the United Nations
8/04/2010 - Ignoring Climate Change: Here are some scenarios that will come to be if we don’t address Climate Change now. Heat of the Moment: How Much Global Warming Are We Willing to Take?: Scientific American A new report attempts to quantify the impacts from climate change by looking at various possible stabilization targets | The average temperature of the planet for the next several thousand years will be determined this century—by those of us living today, according to a new National Research Council report which lays out the impact of every degree of warming on outcomes ranging from sea-level rise to reduced crop yields. (July 16, 2010) Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American
8/03/2010 - Major RIT program on how our future energy policy will affect our environment and more. Webinar Highlights Transportation’s Role in America’s Energy Future The increasing role of energy production and use in economic, national security and environmental policy will be the topic of the upcoming webinar and panel discussion America’s Energy Future: A Transportation Perspective. The event, hosted by Rochester Institute of Technology and the U.S. Transportation Research Board, will be held from 1:45 to 4:30 p.m., Aug. 12 in RIT’s Golisano Auditorium. The event is free and open to the public. RIT - University News
8/03/2010 - Climate Change and how it will affect our wildlife. Canada Lynx and Climate Change Rising temperatures and declining snow fall spell trouble for Canada lynx Canada lynx are uniquely suited for the rigors of snowy northern Maine. The furry feline’s thick coat, long, lean legs and massive paws allow it to hunt atop snowpack like a cat on snowshoes. But with temperatures predicted to rise in the coming years, the deep snow cover lynx depend on may be significantly reduced, eliminating their competitive advantage over other predators. (July 23, 2010) Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service
8/03/2010 - Climate Change and the spread of diseases: One of the predictions of Climate Change is that diseases that used to plague warm areas will now spread to areas that are warming up. Thinking that any result of Climate Change will be a net sum gain forgets how incredibly complicated our environment is. Spread of disease linked to warming climate — The Daily Climate "A deadly infectious disease once thought to be exclusively tropical has gained a toehold in the Pacific Northwest, and health experts suspect climate change is partially to blame. This is not insignificant. These people died. - Ted Schettler, Science and Environmental Health Network Last week the CDC issued a report warning U.S. doctors to be alert for patients showing signs of a cryptoccocal infection. The infection is spread by a fungus, Cryptococcus gattii, that attacks the nasal cavity and spreads to other body sites, causing pneumonia, meningitis and other lung, brain or muscle ailments. The disease also affects animals. " July 27, 2010) The Daily Climate
8/02/2010 - Getting the facts right on Canada Geese population: Long-term Population Goals for Resident Canada Geese - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "A recent story about Canada geese that was published in the New York Times gave readers a completely incorrect impression about a long-standing goal to reduce the number of local nesting or "resident" Canada geese in New York State with a more recent and specific plan to capture and remove geese residing near JFK and LaGuardia airports. Contrary to the impression that some New York Times readers have come away with, there are absolutely no plans by DEC or others to capture, euthanize and bury 170,000 resident geese to achieve the statewide population goal of 85,000 birds. Here are the facts: In 1999, the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) helped develop a management plan for resident Canada geese in the Atlantic Flyway (basically the East Coast of the U.S. and Canada). At that time, DEC estimated the number of resident geese in New York to be approximately 137,000 birds. Based on the growing frequency and severity of complaints about geese, DEC biologists concluded that a more acceptable number of resident geese in New York was at or below 85,000 birds. Our management efforts since 1999 have largely been to encourage or implement programs or policies to help achieve that population level. " New York State Department of Environmental Conservation