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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.
12/31/2010 - Can we ‘see’ our environment in a gadget-filled world? RochesterEnvironment.com began early in the Internet age and is now 12 years old. It was cutting environmental technology back when it was GreenSolitaire.org and trying to collect all local environmental web sites online. The Internet offered a new way for the public to become citizen examiners and news reporters because mainstream media wasn’t doing their job on monitoring our environment. With continual corporate take-over of media and consolidations, then sports, crimes, and political shenanigans heading the news, reports about the state of our environment were getting fewer and far between. The Internet changed all that and allowed an interconnectivity and access to an incredible amount of resources that helped by-pass a dysfunctional media. But a technical revolution is still occurring and it may not bode well for environmental monitoring. Recently, wireless connections to the Internet may have been compromised by the new FCC ruling. Timothy Karr: Obama FCC Caves on Net Neutrality -- Tuesday Betrayal Assured Late Monday, a majority of the FCC's commissioners indicated that they're going to vote with Chairman Julius Genachowski for a toothless Net Neutrality rule. According to all reports, the rule, which will be voted on during tomorrow's FCC meeting, falls drastically short of earlier pledges by President Obama and the FCC Chairman to protect the free and open Internet. The rule is so riddled with loopholes that it's become clear that this FCC chairman crafted it with the sole purpose of winning the endorsement of AT&T and cable lobbyists, and not defending the interests of the tens of millions of Internet users. (December, 21 2010) Breaking News and Opinion on The Huffington Post There may and probably will be limits to what you can access on the Internet. Those left out may be environmental watchdogs, who are trying to give the public a real model, instead of a corporate model of reality. We cannot possibly live in a world where we do not have ready access to objective, scientific, and unfiltered environmental information. The real world and physics cannot be spun like a news article coming from a media with an objective they wish to frame. And, a local survey about Smartphone usage may mean that the Internet, instead of providing a technology for the public to be better able to monitor their environment, may simply overwhelm them with so many unnecessary and silly messages that they fail to see the outdoors at all. Majority says smart phones are affecting the way they work | Rochester Business Journal New York business news and information “Two-thirds of respondents to this week’s RBJ Daily Report Snap Poll say smart phones are changing the way they work—with more than one-third of those selecting “very much” to describe the change. The research firm IDC recently predicted that in 2011 the latest wave in technology, led by smart phones, will start to take over the market. The firm said an estimated 330 million smart phones will be sold worldwide next year, and within 18 months non-PC devices capable of running software applications will outsell PCs.” (December 30, 2010) Rochester Business Journal The communication’s revolution we are now living in is great and we can connect to more people and more information than every thought possible—just a few years ago. But if all this leads up to where we cannot gage our environmental health because everything we should know about the outside world is being robbed by our attention to our gadgets, we are a species blinded to our environment.
12/30/2010 - Changing our buildings' profile to the sun: One of the things that every city can do to reduce all those dark roofs, which absorb heat and radiate it back out to the atmosphere (not inside your house) is increase our urban roofs light reflecting qualities. We could put light-colored shingles on our roofs. Or, we can plant plants. Or, we place solar panels and lessen heat absorption and create electricity. With new designs of existing structures, we could change our ways and work with Nature, instead of against it. Green Roofs are Starting To Sprout in American Cities by Bruce Stutz: Yale Environment 360 "Long a proven technology in Europe, green roofs are becoming increasingly common in U.S. cities, with major initiatives in Chicago, Portland, and Washington, D.C. While initially more expensive than standard coverings, green roofs offer some major environmental — and economic — benefits. " (December 2, 2010) Yale Environment 360: Opinion, Analysis, Reporting & Debate
12/30/2010 - Hydrofracking, a local perspective: Check out this program on hydrofracking if you missed it yesterday. Hyrofracking: The pressure to drill - YNN, Your News Now "In this half-hour special, YNN examines the issues behind the controversial natural gas drilling process known as hydrofracking. " December 29, 2010 TOP STORIES - Rochester - YNN, Your News Now
12/29/2010 - Solving two environmental issues with one project: Every community has Brownfields issues, and Rochester, NY is no exception. What if Rochester, NY accomplished something like the project below, putting renewable energy (like solar panels) in places previously left vacant by irresponsible industries—poisoning our environment and leaving us with the bill? Sounds like a solution that we should check out: Sun converts Chicago brownfield to brightfield | Great Lakes Echo "CHICAGO- The nation’s largest urban solar plant, Exelon City Solar, is built on the ashes of an industrial site once contaminated by lead paint in the southside of Chicago. This 41-acre brownfield property was home to the Pullman Railcar Co. from 1880 to 1955. A Dutch Boy paint factory followed. It closed in 1976 after polluting the ground. Then 30 years of non-use turned the site into an economic drain on the surrounding community. " December 22, 2010) Great Lakes Echo - Environmental news across the basin
12/29/2010 - Excellent audio program on drilling for natural gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale: Got some time, relax and listen to this excellent overview of the movement towards drilling gas nearby. Lots of good information on this subject—one of the hottest environmental topics at the moment for our region. The Gas Rush | A World of Possibilities "Host Mark Sommer continues his journey across the communities lying above the Marcellus Shale Play, a gigantic natural gas deposit stretching under the Northeast United States. In this program we hear the conflicting ideas and conflicted emotions of those living and working in the Southern Tier of New York State, where gas "fracking" is proposed but not yet underway. " (December 2010) A World of Possibilities
12/29/2010 - Climate Change disturbances: Check out this great interview with a climate expert on why we are seeing these big snowstorms, which only reinforce scientist’s conviction that Climate Change is happening and even more quickly than anticipated—despite the media’s ambivalence. There’s no way around it, Climate Change is not only going to be harder to live with, it’s going to be harder and harder for those media outlets who don’t want to accept it, to deny it. Major media outlets that misinform the public about Climate Change will have less and less credibility. Work on Climate Change needs to get going, and the media should be reporting accurately on this issue. From Snowstorms to Heat Waves, How Global Warming Causes Extreme Weather and Climate Instability "The East Coast is struggling to recover from the massive blizzard that slammed into hundreds cities and towns from the Carolinas to Maine. The storm was a grimly fitting end to 2010, which was characterized by extreme weather from start to finish with heat waves, floods, volcanoes, blizzards, landslides and droughts. While TV networks closely follow extreme weather events around the world, they rarely make the connection between extreme weather and global warming. We speak with Dr. Paul Epstein of Harvard University’s Center for Health and the Global Environment. " (December 28, 2010) Democracty Now! - daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the United States.
12/28/2010 - Green Drinks meeting coming up: UGBN Green Drinks - January January 20, 2011 from 6 - 7:30 pm at Flower City Habitat for Humanity ReStore 755 Culver Road, Rochester NY 14609 | Green Drinks is part of UGBN, Upstate Green Business Network their goal is to guide companies in establishing environmental policies and procedures to reduce company waste, conserve water, save energy and build a more sustainable workplace. Green Drinks network events are held every third Thursday of each month. Locations vary. --from CEI: Center for Environmental Information
12/28/2010 - Forcing Climate Change measures: The Environmental Protection Agency is getting tough on tackling Climate Change, despite a lack of will by Congress and the greenhouse gas emitters. How forcing Climate Change measures will work, who knows? You would think that an intelligent species as our own would finally recognize how fast Climate Change is occurring and how everyone on the planet has to change their behaviors to address it. But I suspect that in the future the Climate Change issue won’t be as much about man pitting himself against the ‘elements’ (racing to change the amount of greenhouse gases we put into the atmosphere) as it will be man vs. man. Climate Change will be fought in the courts, instead of quickly moving to renewable energy and all the other things we have to do. Yet, there is a scenario that might galvanize everyone to change their behavior towards greenhouse gas emissions and lickety-split. When everything else fails to convince the public that they have to change their buying habits, how they travel, and how they heat their homes, there is something happening on the horizon that will work. Today’s news give a hint of the solution: $5/Gallon Gas in 2012? - RochesterHomePage.net We could pay $5 for a gallon of gas by 2012. That's according to former Shell Oil President John Hofmeister. (December 28, 2010) RochesterHomePage Believe me, nothing, not the United Nations Climate Change talks, governmental rules, environmental news stories, science, or articles like this will work to decrease the public’s use of greenhouse gas emitting fuels like a dramatic increase in gas prices. Then, things will change. EPA moving unilaterally to limit greenhouse gases - Yahoo! News "WASHINGTON – Stymied in Congress, the Obama administration is moving unilaterally to clamp down on power plant and oil refinery greenhouse emissions, announcing plans for developing new standards over the next year. In a statement posted on the agency's website late Thursday, Environmental Protection Agency administrator Lisa Jackson said the aim was to better cope with pollution contributing to climate change. " December 24, 2010) The top news headlines on current events from Yahoo! News
12/27/2010 - Climate Change is our problem, not somebody else’s: The article below from the New York Times highlights how the media miss-understands the Climate Change issue. For the media, Climate Change is the worry and the battle of the environmental groups, of various concerned parties. Nothing could be further from the truth. Climate Change is going to affect everyone. Going into next year, with many opposed to doing something substantial to reduce carbon dioxide in our atmosphere, we are going to see less concerted action on combating Climate Change. But to think that this will only be a problem for environmentalist’s who care about such things is inaccurate. There are going to be changes across the board because our climate is shifting our way of life. I’ve been reading some articles that say maybe it’s better if the United Nation Climate Change efforts fail altogether for then business could just get on business as usual and that will take care of the problem. There are other articles that say Clean Energy will take off on its own if the producers of clean energy stop anticipating handouts and subsidies from the government. But these kinds of articles are nonsense. The oil industry, which is fueling our economies and Climate Change, is heavily subsidized. Billions and billions of your dollars. Climate Change will not go away with business as usual. Climate Change will not go away because the decisions we did not make earlier will ensure that we will have some Climate Change—because of the lag time. But we can reduce how much Climate Change we have to endure if we change our ways now. Trying to make lemonade out of the lack of public and governmental action on Climate Change is a dangerous delusion—one that will warm up the environment and make our ability to take care of this issue at our leisure and convenience impossible. Next Year Offers Little Cheer for Those Battling Climate Change - NYTimes.com "AUSTIN, TEXAS — For advocates of action to prevent climate change, 2010 was mostly a year to forget. A blog about energy and the environment. Go to Blog It began with gloom, after the collapse of the Copenhagen climate meetings in December 2009. The mood darkened further as it became clear that cap-and-tradelegislation to combat greenhouse gas emissions would not pass the U.S. Congress. A sliver of hope came from a modest agreement at climate meetings in Cancún, Mexico, earlier this month, on a more solid multinational commitment to finding ways to cut emissions. Another development, bringing perhaps more relief than hope, was the rejection by California voters of an effort, backed by oil companies, to suspend the state’s landmark law to combat global warming." The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
12/24/2010 - Buying electronic stuff this holiday and going forward: The time that those wonderful electronic gadgets spend with us are but a moment in the gadget’s life. As responsible citizens and consumers we must begin thinking of the complete lifecycle of all products we buy, including all those computers, cell phones, and other electronic stuff that is going to make our future world run. The resources needed for an electronic gadget, the making of the gadget and what happens to it when it leaves your stewardship, should be your concern. There are toxic materials in those gadgets and heavy metals and when not made and recycled responsibly are wreaking havoc on people’s health and our environmental health. There is a new e-waste law coming this April for New York State, but it will be phased in over time. The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Ac t- The NYS Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act (PDF) (38 kb) (Article 27, Title 26 of the Environmental Conservation Law) was signed into law by the Governor on May 28, 2010. The law will ensure that every New Yorker will have the opportunity to recycle their electronic waste in an environmentally responsible manner. The law requires manufacturers to establish a convenient system for the collection, handling, and recycling or reuse of electronic waste. Manufacturers of covered electronic equipment will be responsible for implementing and maintaining an acceptance program for the discarded electronic waste, with oversight by the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation. New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Laws are great, but they only go so far. If you want an environmentally healthy planet, you have to find out more about e-wastes, as it gets complicated. Check out this very informative interview: After Dump, What Happens To Electronic Waste? : NPR "Many people will receive a new computer or cell phone this holiday season — and throw out their old equipment. And when old TVs and computers end up in landfills, the toxic metals and flame retardants they contain can cause environmental problems. Yet even recycling your e-waste, as it's called, does not always mean you're doing the right thing. " Fresh Air from WHYY : NPR
12/24/2010 - Holiday thoughts on Rochester’s environment This year’s holiday season comes just after the dismal Climate Change talks in Cancun, Mexico. Mostly, they agreed to keep talking but no enforceable rules. Get one of the many summaries of the talks here: Report from the Cancún Climate Conference | Union of Concerned Scientists "Modest success, but not enough to save the planet | In the wake of last year’s disappointing U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, some began to question the process and whether the 193-nation talks were the proper forum to produce a viable international climate agreement.” UCS | Union of Concerned Scientists Jobs and buying stuff and being cheery rule this holiday season--despite the growing realization that only a few (the rich) are going to survive this recession well and the rest of us… not so much. We like our news served hopeful and happily. The possibility that we too have a chance (which is becoming vanishingly remote) to be wildly rich keeps us from focusing on the needs of the majority and our environment. The lottery called the “American Dream” is being challenged by reality. But we should focus on our environment. It may be dismal stuff to those who think it’s just a left-wing conspiracy, but things will get nasty if we don’t address Climate Change. (Maybe, we can hold the Climate Change deniers, who stall effective actions on Climate Change, accountable.) Here’s a discussion between Dr. James Hansen and Bill McKibben on the perils of Climate Change. What does Climate Change look like and what are we facing now and in the near future? Read a transcript of a conversation between the most influential people on Climate Change: "From the Desk of Dr. James E. Hansen Conversation with Bill McKibben The paperback version of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity includes, as an added section, a conversation between Bill McKibben and me". While you are at it, read this great encapsulation of the Climate Change issue. If I could convince anyone to read just one short article (10 minutes) about Climate Change, it would be this. It puts the case before us in the clearest way that our generation should be focused on Climate Change. A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning - NYTimes.com "Yet, five years after Dr. Keeling’s death, his discovery is a focus not of celebration but of conflict. It has become the touchstone of a worldwide political debate over global warming. When Dr. Keeling, as a young researcher, became the first person in the world to develop an accurate technique for measuring carbon dioxide in the air, the amount he discovered was 310 parts per million. That means every million pints of air, for example, contained 310 pints of carbon dioxide. " The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia What will all this mean to Rochester, NY’s environment? It means that however successful the media is in marginalizing the most critical issue of our times, when runaway global warming is cheating the young out of a future, Climate Change will change our lives here too. Climate Change, where our environment even in Rochester, NY, is going to be constantly shifting as our atmosphere warms up, making it very difficult to preserve and protect our environment. A prudent citizen would begin thinking Climate Change when they vote, when they buy stuff, and just about everything they do because this isn’t your grand grandparent’s environment.
12/23/2010 - Green roofs. Has the Rochester region considered green roofs to combat Climate Change? Other US cities are doing it, why not our city? Green Roofs are Starting To Sprout in American Cities by Bruce Stutz: Yale Environment 360 "Long a proven technology in Europe, green roofs are becoming increasingly common in U.S. cities, with major initiatives in Chicago, Portland, and Washington, D.C. While initially more expensive than standard coverings, green roofs offer some major environmental — and economic — benefits. " (December 2, 2010) Yale Environment 360: Opinion, Analysis, Reporting & Debate
12/23/2010 - Yet another view of the Cancun Climate Change talks. Report from the Cancún Climate Conference | Union of Concerned Scientists "Modest success, but not enough to save the planet | In the wake of last year’s disappointing U.N. climate conference in Copenhagen, some began to question the process and whether the 193-nation talks were the proper forum to produce a viable international climate agreement. " UCS | Union of Concerned Scientists
12/23/2010 - The new environment: If I could convince anyone to read just one short article (10 minutes) about Climate Change, it would be this. It puts the case before us in the clearest way that our generation should be focused on Climate change. A Scientist, His Work and a Climate Reckoning - NYTimes.com "Yet, five years after Dr. Keeling’s death, his discovery is a focus not of celebration but of conflict. It has become the touchstone of a worldwide political debate over global warming. When Dr. Keeling, as a young researcher, became the first person in the world to develop an accurate technique for measuring carbon dioxide in the air, the amount he discovered was 310 parts per million. That means every million pints of air, for example, contained 310 pints of carbon dioxide. " The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
12/22/2010 - Acid Rain, you used to hear a lot about it. Now we don’t so much in our region. Why is that? 12/20/2010: EPA Delivers 15 Years of Acid Rain Reductions "WASHINGTON — The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a report that shows 15 years of successful results from its nationwide effort to address acid rain. Since its inception in 1995 as part of the Clean Air Act Amendments of 1990, EPA’s Acid Rain Program has earned widespread acclaim due to dramatic sulfur dioxide (SO2) and nitrogen oxides (NOX) emission reductions that are saving American lives and ecosystems. An analysis estimates annual public health benefits of the program in 2010 alone at more than $120 billion, about 40 times the estimated cost. " US Environmental Protection Agency
12/22/2010 - Great environmental job offer. Check to see if you qualify: RIT - Career Zone : IRC43756 - Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President "Senior Sustainability Advisor to the President Rochester Institute of Technology The Rochester Institute of Technology (RIT) in Rochester, NY, invites applications for the newly-created position of Senior Sustainability Advisor. The Advisor will report directly to the president and will be responsible for developing, implementing, and administering policies and programs that will help RIT become an international model for best practices in campus sustainability operations and programs. " RIT - Career Zone : Career Services
12/22/2010 - Important event on Dec 28th: a presentation on Health and Hydrofracking: What: Great Lakes Committee Meeting with guest speaker: Sally Howard | She will be doing a presentation on Health and Hydrofracking. When: December 28, 2010 Where: Brighton Memorial Library, Community Room (on the right as you enter the library) 2300 Elmwood Ave, Rochester, NY 14618 Time: 6:45pm - 8:45pm (note there is a slight change from our normal time due to the library's schedule. Sally's talk will begin shortly after 7pm so please come even if you will be there closer to 7pm) Please invite others who you feel might also be interested in learning more about this important topic. If you can, please rsvp so we can estimate the amount of information packets to have available. An rsvp is not mandatory. Robbyn McKie-Holzworth RRG-Great Lakes Committee, Co-chair 585-738-3242
12/22/2010 - What does Climate Change look like and what are we facing? Read a transcript of a conversation between the most influential people on Climate Change: "From the Desk of Dr. James E. Hansen Conversation with Bill McKibben The paperback version of Storms of My Grandchildren: The Truth About the Coming Climate Catastrophe and Our Last Chance to Save Humanity includes, as an added section, a conversation between Bill McKibben and me".
12/21/2010 - Climate Change has far outgrown polar bears as a poster species: Concerns about polar bears because of climate change seems a strange concern because far more species and conditions are going to be impacted than polar bears. Island nations are going to be sinking with people aboard. At the core of all environmental problems in the future will be Climate Change as our biology changes to stay in or out of the looming warmth. Polar bears are important because they are keystone top predators in the arctic, but Climate Change has far outgrown polar bears as a poster species for Climate Change. The focus of Climate Change should be on the way it is changing every aspect of our environment, making environmentalism on this hotter planet different from before. Instead of finding specific facts or species to highlight our continuing concern on Climate Change, the media should find a way to report on all our environmental issues with Climate Change at the underpinnings. This means as we try to combat Invasive Species, restore our Wetlands, solve our Energy issues, Climate Change will also be moving what we used to understand as a stable environment. For example, how can we combat Invasive Species and return our local environment to a particular state, when the state of our environment will be warmer, with more extreme weather events? The plants and animals that used to do just fine in our neck of the woods may not do so well in the future—and some of the invasive Species we are trying to get rid of may fair quite well. Climate Change from now on isn’t another issue on our environment, it is the issue and the media needs to change to reflect that. Climate Action Could Save Polar Bears - Science News Cutting fossil fuel emissions would retain enough sea ice habitat, study concludes | Cutting greenhouse gas emissions enough over the next few decades may stabilize the rapidly shrinking Arctic sea ice sufficiently to provide a sustainable habitat for polar bears, a paper in the Dec. 16 Nature reports. And if emissions do keep rising, another new study finds, the only species that has officially been declared threatened by the U.S. government due to global warming may still be able to hang on for a while in a few pockets of the northern Arctic. (December 15, 2010) Science News
12/21/2010 - Biodiversity research study at the UR. As this is the Year of Biodiversity, it’s good to see the University of Rochester coming up with a major study on whether species continually change or, when conditions are right, achieve equilibrium. Research Shows that Environmental Factors Limit Species Diversity : University of Rochester News "It's long been accepted by biologists that environmental factors cause the diversity—or number—of species to increase before eventually leveling off. Some recent work, however, has suggested that species diversity continues instead of entering into a state of equilibrium. But new research on lizards in the Caribbean not only supports the original theory that finite space, limited food supplies, and competition for resources all work together to achieve equilibrium; it builds on the theory by extending it over a much longer timespan. " (December 20, 2010) University of Rochester
12/20/2010 - Job layoffs, but we should be no less vigilant on our environment: Though the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (NYS DEC) will be losing many employees soon and that could “limit its enforcement of its regulations” (State layoffs lead to closures of facilities, programs | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle) this does not mean the public and the media cannot increase their awareness and report to either the press or the DEC itself. The whole point of having a regulatory agency like the DEC is to regulate, especially in tough times, to make sure our environment is protected. With its new online reporting form the public can assist monitoring by being vigilant. Report an Environmental Violation Online "Report an Environmental Violation Online The New York State Environmental Conservation Police values the watchful eyes and ears of citizens concerned with our environment. Use this form to report suspected violations of New York State environmental conservation laws. Submitted forms are immediately forwarded 24/7/365 to DEC dispatchers. If an immediate response is needed, file your complaint by phone by calling the DEC Turn in Poachers and Polluters (TIPP) hotline at 1-800-TIPP-DEC (1-800-847-7332). It’s one thing to have environmental laws, it’s quite another to make sure you have the personnel to make sure they are enforced. Sure, there are other departments both in the public and private sector losing jobs, but this issue is not about fairness and job cuts—though the NYS DEC cuts have been disproportional. It’s about our environment and making sure all the people, however they affect our environment (while fishing, hunting, drilling, disposing of waste, developing their property, building new buildings) keep to the environmental rules. Once violated, many environmental situations, the reductions in a plant or animals species or a well contaminated by lax monitoring, cannot be recovered when our economy recovers. State layoffs lead to closures of facilities, programs | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle 'Pete Grannis was fired as commissioner of the state Department of Environmental Protection in October after an agency memo was made public that was critical of layoffs there. The agency has had to cut 209 workers — about 6.6 percent of its current staff — by year's end. About 150 are expected to come through layoffs. The DEC had 3,775 full-time employees in April 2008, but will have about 850 fewer full-time employees at year's end. Grannis, who is now working for the special-interest group Environmental Advocates, said the DEC would likely have to limit enforcement of its regulations and slow its permitting process." Democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York
12/18/2010 - The irrelevance of zoos: Zoos have always had nothing to do about wildlife and our environment and much to do about entertainment. We might be able to pick out some useful facts about wildlife and get the public to learn about wildlife, but wild animals are best left where they are. An animal’s existence and its environment are one. Remove an animal from its environment and put it in a zoo and you have an isolated fragment of an environment staring back at you from a cage. Animals shape and are shaped by their environment and have no meaning in a zoo. Even if you hold that we can preserve animals as we overdevelop our environment so we can bring them back when their numbers get low, this reasoning ignores Climate Change. The chance of an animal being able to return to the environment it evolved in is even more remote because Climate Change will have further changed its environment to one that the animal may not survive in at all. Far better than the money spent on zoos, where animals remain but curiosities, it would be prudent to use that money to preserve the environment from which they came. And, as far as zoo being learning centers for the public on our environment and wildlife, that is a delusion. What we should be doing, instead of all this fascination with zoos and how their inhabitants are dealing with old age (a luxury they rarely experience in the wild), is preserve our dwindling untouched environments and perhaps view wildlife through cameras or webcams where viewers in a cold northern city can learn how tropical monkeys are vital to the environment they helped create and how vital their environment are to them. Our present state of zoos, isolation chambers for the ecologically disenfranchised, have no meaning in the modern world except as strange artifacts of earlier times. Zoos teach us the worst possible lesson we can learn about our environment: that we can remove it, isolate it, and go on with our lives indifferent to our environment. We cannot. Aging animals on the rise at Seneca Park Zoo | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle Among the active, spry animals at the Seneca Park Zoo lives a considerable population of senior residents. You might not spot them at first. But the black and white ruffed lemurs, ages 16 and 25, have step stools in their exhibit to help with climbing. And the spider monkeys, ages 35, 36 and 38, have teeth so worn that their fruit must be peeled and their monkey chow soaked in Tang or juice to soften it before eating. (December 18, 2010) Democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York [more on Wildlife in our area]
12/17/2010 - Simply stated, the planet is warming up: NASA releases global warming map "NASA has released a new analysis of temperature change. The map shows temperature anomalies for 2000-2009 and 1970-1979 relative to a 1951-1980 baseline. To conduct the analysis, NASA's Goddard Institute for Space Studies (GISS) uses "publicly available data from 6,300 meteorological stations around the world; ship-based and satellite observations of sea surface temperature; and Antarctic research station measurements." " December 5, 2010) Rainforest - mongabay.com
12/17/2010 - Writing contest on your outdoor experiences: Good project by the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation to increase awareness of our environment. Maybe it’s an opportunity to reflect on what you experience outside knowing that it is going to be continually changing by manmade development and Climate Change. I know, this essay contest is about ‘positive’ outdoor experiences, but at the same time, they didn’t say anything about being delusional. When it comes to reflecting on and reporting on our environment these days, shouldn’t we do so with the knowledge that it is changing rapidly? That the foundation of our lives, our environment, is not the stable, never changing, environment we like to believe in, but actually something in grave danger of neglect and subject to Climate Change? Simply writing positively about our environment is ignoring the true state of affairs and decreases the chance that we will put pressure on official agencies like the NYS DEC to be out there in force protecting what’s keeping us alive. Anytime, in these extraordinary days for our environment, when one spins the state of our environment, we all suffer from delusion—thinking our environment is OK when it is not. DEC Kicks Off "Great Stories From The Great Outdoors" Contest - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Contestants Share Positive and Inspirational Experiences The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) is calling for writers to share inspirational stories of experiences in New York's great outdoors by entering the "Great Stories from the Great Outdoors" contest. Stories can range from the simplest walk through the woods to meeting a challenge through an outdoor activity. The contest is open to all and runs through February 2011. Each month, DEC will select stories and post them on the DEC website. A prize will be awarded for the top story each month. Complete contest rules are available online. Through the Great Outdoor Stories contest, students, sportsmen and women, outdoor enthusiasts, campers and hikers can reflect and share the importance of the natural environment in their lives. Entries can range from a few sentences to a maximum 650 words. All story entries must be received by February 28, 2011. Submit stories online or by mail to: Carole Fraser NYS DEC Universal Access Program 625 Broadway, 5th floor Albany, NY 12233-4255
1216/2010 - More on ‘going nuclear’: As our area’s public considers (though not in a very concrete way at all) the various forms of energy we will adopt in the future, there are many aspects of the energy issue we should consider: Climate Change, pollution, affects on wildlife and biodiversity, and how dangerous it is. Of course, we aren’t having much of a public dialogue on Energy and how future energy will affect our lives and our environment, but it would be a good idea. The market place, or the invisible hand of the market, is not a good way to plan the future as the invisible hand doesn’t give a hoot for the environment. This all matters because if we quietly choose nuclear power because it’s clean and easy on the Climate Change issue and we don’t address how dangerous it is, we could end up dealing with health problems for a long time if there is an accident. An accident at a nuclear power plant is different from a solar panel falling off your roof (though, I have never heard of one doing that): 40 years later, Nagasaki bomb still causes disease | Reuters "(Reuters Health) - Survivors of the World War II atomic bomb dropped on Nagasaki continue to fall ill today as a result of the radiation they received, a surprising Japanese study shows. Researchers testing survivors between 1985 and 2004 found people who had received high levels of radiation from the bomb blast were eight times more likely to develop a rare blood disease than those exposed to low levels. "It adds evidence to the fact that radiation even at moderately low doses is hazardous, and the diseases you can get aren't only cancers," said David J. Brenner, who heads the Center for Radiological Research at Columbia University in New York, and was not involved in the study. " (December 14, 2010) Business & Financial News, Breaking US & International News | Reuters.com
12/16/2010 - Counting birds for our environment: This yearly bird count gives us a lot of information about birds and our environment. You can tell a lot about the health of our environment by the population of birds that inhabit it: whether birds are being affect by man’s development, whether Climate Change is changing their living patters, and much more. Consider joining this great monitoring effort: Great Backyard Bird Count February 12-15, 2010 New York, NY and Ithaca, NY—Bird watchers coast to coast are invited to take part in the 13th annual Great Backyard Bird Count, Friday, February 12, through Monday, February 15, 2010. Participants in the free event will join tens of thousands of volunteers of all levels of birding experience to count birds in their own backyards, local parks or wildlife refuges. Each checklist submitted by these "citizen scientists" helps researchers at the Cornell Lab of Ornithology and the National Audubon Society learn more about how the birds are doing—and how to protect them. Last year, participants turned in more than 93,600 checklists online, creating the continent's largest instantaneous snapshot of bird populations ever recorded. -from Birds, Cornell Lab of Ornithology
12/15/2010 - No nuclear problems in the local media: When you watch the local news everyday as I do, a curious fact surfaces. Despite all the news about hydrofracking and the turbulence of wind power in our area, one rarely hears a peep about nuclear energy. I can understand why a lot of groups would want to suppress news about local nuclear power issues (because it becomes a convenient default energy source when they fight renewable energy and say they care about Climate Change), but I don’t understand why our local press doesn’t monitor what is going on with nuclear power more closely. Maybe, they are afraid they’ll sound like Chicken Little by raising the specter of Chernobyl at even the mentioning of a nuclear problem—I don’t really know the reason. What I do know is that if the media isn’t keeping a close watch on this very potentially dangerous energy source, the public cannot make wise energy choices. The press has no trouble mentioning every bird that hits a wind turbine blade, but freaks at mentioning a nuclear event or protesters nearby concerned about trafficking nuclear material pass our neighborhood. These are just a couple of nearby media that are watching nuclear power events: Company postpones nuke generator shipment on lakes - WSJ.com and DEC: Thousands of gallons of oil leaked into Hudson after Indian Point fire | LoHud.com | The Journal News
12/15/2010 - Reminder to connect and get that Green Job on Thursday. Green Drinks a great program from the Center for Environmental Information: Green Drinks - Rochester Chapter Thursday, December 16 from 5:30 pm - 7:00 pm Cornell Cooperative Extension Flower City Auditorium 249 Highland Aveue, Rochester NY 14620 Every other month people who work to make business greener meet up for libations at informal sessions known as Green Drinks. We have a lively mixture of people from business, academia, government and non-profits who come together to share ideas and information. Join us to network with other professionals who are working to reduce the environmental impact of businesses.
12/15/2010 - Energy Savings Event coming up: Learn how to conserve energy, lower utility bills at annual consumer energy expo - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow Rochester, N.Y. — Up to 25 local companies will be available to offer information on various products and services that will help homeowners conserve energy in their homes and reduce their utility bills on Saturday, Dec. 18 at this year's 4th annual consumer energy expo. The event is free and will give area residents the opportunity to interact one-on-one with energy specialists to learn about different methods and cost savings measures including alternative residential heating, insulation, tankless water heaters and high efficiency furnaces. The first 250 residents to arrive will receive a Compact Fluorescent Light bulb (CFL) in order to start saving on electricity costs. The event will take place from 10 a.m. to 2 p.m. at the Greece Community Center, located at 3 Vince Tofany Blvd. (December 15, 2010) Home - Canandaigua, NY - MPNnow
12/14/2010 - ACTION: NRDC: Take Action: Speak out to save bats from deadly, mysterious white nose syndrome "The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service has begun to develop an action plan to address a mysterious disease called white nose syndrome, which has devastated bats in the northeast, leaving approximately one million bats dead in its wake. Urge the Fish and Wildlife Service, before the Dec. 26 deadline, to move swiftly on its action plan and to focus on the steps that will do the most good for bats. Learn more about this issue » " from NRDC: Natural Resources Defense Council - The Earth's Best Defense
12/14/2010 - More accounts on the Cancun Climate Talks: Cancun climate breakthrough: It’s not perfect, but it’s a deal | The Climate Desk | Grist "It's not perfect, and it's not binding, but international climate negotiators have struck a deal. The final hours in Cancun were a world of difference from the closing night of the Copenhagen climate talks. Last year's summit closed with drama, confusion, and plenty of unhappy delegations, but the Mexico conference came to an end with multiple standing ovations for the host country and widespread concurrence among countries to approve the text of an agreement. " Grist | Environmental News, Commentary, Advice | Cancun Climate Breakthrough | Mother Jones It's not perfect, and it's not binding, but international climate negotiators have struck a deal. The final hours in Cancun were a world of difference from the closing night of the Copenhagen climate talks. Last year's summit closed with drama, confusion, and plenty of unhappy delegations, but the Mexico conference came to an end with multiple standing ovations for the host country and widespread agreement among countries to approve the text of an agreement. (December 11, 2010) Mother Jones | Smart, Fearless Journalism
12/13/2010 - Climate talks are over for now, what was accomplished? Hard to tell if anything concrete has been accomplished by the Cancun Climate Change talks in Mexico for the last two weeks. The media has a tendency to see all environment events like they do with sports events: There are pitched battles between various sides (who seem remote to us) with winners and losers. However, there are no real sides in these world-wide climate talks because we are all in this together. No one is going to win a trophy for getting their way and going back to a place that isn’t going to be warming up. Also, just for a world community to be talking about Climate Change is quite a change from the usual way of doing things, which is to dismiss something so intangible to many people as Climate Change. In other words, just to be talking about Climate Change is a victory of sorts. Though, at the end of the day Climate Change is science. If we put more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, the place warms up. If we talk and do nothing about a lowering the greenhouse gases to a level we evolved in, we are going to find that major changes are going to take place. My feeling from reading about this year’s Climate Change talks is that we just pushed the problem further from our attention and closer to inevitability. 193 nations sign climate-change package "CANCUN, MEXICO - Delegates from 193 nations agreed Saturday on a new global framework to help developing countries curb their carbon output and cope with the effects of climate change, but they postponed the harder question of precisely how industrialized and major emerging economies will share the task of making deeper greenhouse-gas emission cuts in the coming decade. The package known as the Cancun Agreements has salvaged a U.N.-backed process that was close to failure, delivering a diplomatic victory to the talks' Mexican hosts. But it also highlighted the obstacles that await as countries continue to grapple with climate change through broad international negotiations. " (December 12, 2010) Washington Post - Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - washingtonpost.com
12/13/2010 - Action: Here’s something you can do to help our environment. Every year thousands help monitor the state of our environment by counting birds: Christmas Bird Count | National Audubon Society Birds "Citizen Science in Action The 111th Christmas Bird Count: Tuesday, December 14, 2010 to Wednesday, January 5, 2011 From December 14 through January 5 tens of thousands of volunteers throughout the Americas take part in an adventure that has become a family tradition among generations. Families and students, birders and scientists, armed with binoculars, bird guides and checklists go out on an annual mission - often before dawn. For over one hundred years, the desire to both make a difference and to experience the beauty of nature has driven dedicated people to leave the comfort of a warm house during the Holiday season. " National Audubon Society
12/13/2010 - Climate Change notes. A short paper by Dr. James E. Hansen on an explication of the temperatures from Jan-Nov. 2010: despite anomalies, it’s getting warmer. Global Temperature and Europe's Frigid Air A new post discussing that 2010 produced the warmest November in spite of a European cold spell and a strong La Nina can be found "Global Temperature and Europe's Frigid Air James Hansen, Reto Ruedy, Makiko Sato and Ken Lo "
12/11/2010 - Just released, online form to report environmental violations The New York State Department of Conservation’s new online form to report environmental violators will increase public participation on keeping our environment healthy. This project to help New Yorkers become engaged in their environment is a critical component in monitoring the state of our environment—especially in these days where many bodies of government that we need to sustain our environment have been losing workers due to budgetary concerns. DEC "TIPP" Program Goes Online - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Once Telephone Only, "Turn in Poachers and Polluters" Now Available via Web The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today announced the launch of an online form for citizens to report environmental violations. Report an Environmental Violation Online, the new web page assists those who can provide thorough and relevant information about an alleged violation. The form prompts the complainant to describe what occurred, when it happened and where the violation was witnessed. Complainants may remain anonymous or confidential. Detailed initial complaints assist DEC Environmental Conservation Officers (ECOs) in a timely and complete investigation of complaints and potential arrests against those who are violating environmental laws. "This is an expansion of DEC's successful 'Turn in Poachers and Polluters' (TIPP) Hotline," said Peter Fanelli, DEC Director of Law Enforcement, referring to the long-established telephone tip system. "Citizens have always played a vital role in helping DEC enforce state environmental laws and regulations. This new web tool gives them one more option for alerting us to potential problems." (December 7, 2010) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation Of course, what will strike many is that this type of activity is sometimes called ‘snitching.’ more...
12/11/2010 - Job cuts in an economy that needs people working to actually work (that is, function as an economy) is not good. But not keeping our environment healthy and sustainable while folks become more desperate is even worse. With the loss of environmental investigators, there will be more violations. Who’s going to fill the role of watching that some don’t poach or fish and hunt without licenses? Who’s going to be the watchdog on our environment, keep our water’s clean, keep our endangered species protected, when they lose their jobs? And will our media even watch to see what happens when our environmental watchdogs are fewer? Feels like we’ve just been blinded to our environmental state. About 900 N.Y. workers get layoff notice | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle "Officials have also warned that the layoffs could lead to other park closures, as well as longer lines at the Department of Motor Vehicles and fewer environmental inspectors. " (December 11, 2010) Democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York
12/10/2010 - We don’t hear much about the Cancun Climate Talks here in the Rochester, NY region. Sure, Cancun, Mexico is far away down south, but Climate Change is happening all over—even Rochester. Check this list to see what possible changes will occur in our area because of Climate Change. Too keep up on the major story of our times that will affect Rochester, NY too you have to go to Cancún climate change conference 2010 | Environment | guardian.co.uk and DemocracyNow!—who is spending the week reporting on why the rest of us should care about the planet heating up. This is the trouble with present-day media: they are incapable of reporting on our environment because it isn’t flashy and splashy the way most of the nonsense we parade across our local headlines. Climate Change will affect Rochester, NY businesses, families, our water quality, how we use energy—almost every aspect of our lives. Yet, we our media continues on as if this major planetary feature isn’t part of the news we need to know, the background of everything we will be doing. Our media should be reporting on what our educational facilities are doing to educate the young on the warming world that will be theirs soon. Our media should be tracking how businesses are shaping their businesses to deal with a warming world. In fact, many of the products we use, especially the way we use energy, affects not only the planet’s atmosphere but the lives of the underdeveloped countries ability to survive—and they know it. But, most of us in our neck of the woods don’t. We still attend to a media that thinks that our little world isn’t an integral part of the rest of the world: We don’t have a media that continually looks at major stories around the world, like the present Climate Change talks, and shows how they are connected to all aspects of our lives.
12/10/2010 - Think of how you stay warm this winter affects Climate Change: 12/09/2010: This Winter Keep the Heat Indoors with Five Easy Energy Star Tips "WASHINGTON - With cold weather setting in across the United States, homeowners are looking for ways to heat their homes while reducing their energy bills to save money. The average family spends $2,200 a year on energy bills, nearly half of which goes to heating and cooling. The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency’s (EPA) Energy Star program offers five easy energy saving tips that can help families stay warm while keeping money in their wallets. In addition to saving money, reducing energy use at home can reduce greenhouse gas emissions and help fight climate change " U.S. EPA Newsroom - News Releases
12/10/2010 - Bill McKibben speaks on the Climate Change talks in Cancún: Bill McKibben: Climate Talks So Weakened by U.S., Major Polluters that Walkout Could Be Good News for Planet "Longtime environmental writer and activist and 350.org founder Bill McKibben has won the 2010 Puffin/Nation Prize for Creative Citizenship. Speaking outside the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Cancún, McKibben says, "In certain ways, [a U.S. walkout] would be the best thing that could happen " (December 9, 2010) DemocracyNow!
12/09/2010 - How is solar power doing in our region and what can we expect going ahead? A Conversation with Ron Kamen: Accelerating Solar Energy in New York "December 15, 2010 at 11:30 am Cornell ILR 237 Main Street 12th Floor, Buffalo New York 11:30 to 12:00 Registration and Lunch 12:00 t0 12:15 Welcome and Introduction 12:15 to 1:30 Presentation and Questions SEATING LIMITED : RSVP REQUIRED Register at A Conversation with Ron Kamen: Accelerating Solar Energy in New York Ron Kamen, President of the New York Solar Industries Association (NYSEIA, www.nyseia.org) will discuss the state of New York’s solar energy industry and green economy. Mr. Ron Kamen is also Senior VP of Earthkind Solar (www.earthkindenergy.com), the leading solar thermal energy company in New York. Ron began his career as an energy policy expert in the 1980s when he worked to create Demand Side Management programs that gave the utility industry a financial incentive to invest in energy efficiency, spurring New York’s current multibillion dollar efficiency programs. In the 1990s, Ron developed energy efficiency projects with Fortune 1000 companies and government entities, and from 2000-2006, he played a key role in creating New York’s wind power market, helping propel growth from 50 MWs to over 1,000 MWs of wind energy today. Mr. Kamen will speak on the NYS Renewable Energy Portfolio (RPS), and the statewide campaign to accelerate solar energy development by securing a NYS commitment to install 5000 megawatts of solar electric and 2000 megawatts of solar thermal in the near term. His talk will explain these policy initiatives, compare the Feed-in Tariff approach, and suggest some possible directions for Governor-elect Andrew Cuomo’s energy and green jobs policies. After his remarks there will be ample time for discussion. "
12/08/2010 - Important chance to learn about Bats, the role they play in our environment and the serious case of the White Nose Syndrome that is decimating our bat populations. RMSC: Science on the Edge Lectures Wednesday, December 15, 2010 at 7:30pm Alan Hicks White Nose Syndrome: The Darkest of Days for New York Bats Hear about the history, current status, and future of the mysterious "White Nose Syndrome" that is threatening the very existence of cave dwelling bats across New York and an ever-expanding portion of the continent. Alan Hicks is a Mammal Specialist in the Endangered Species Unit of the NYS Department of Environmental Conservation.
12/08/2010 - Another chance to see "Gaslasnd" and its author: "A reminder to those interested in hydraulic fracturing, that Seneca Lake Pure Waters, Finger Lakes Zero Waste Coalition, Inc., Concerned Citizens of Seneca County and the League of Women Voters will be co-sponsoring a screening of "Gasland", a documentary by Josh Fox, and winner of the special jury prize at the Sundance Film Festival. Please visit tables in the lobby of the Smith Opera House [82 Seneca Street Geneva, NY 14456-3504 (315) 781-5483 ] from 6-7 p.m. with literature handouts from co-sponsors, and see the film at 7 p.m., followed by a panel of experts, who will answer questions from the audience. The film is free, but donations are also accepted to defray costs borne by non-profit groups. Hope to see you all there for this important film, which may portend the future of the Finger Lakes and surrounding areas. Please forward this email to other interested parties. " Wednesday, December 8th
12/08/2010 - Beyond Fracking: Experts Challenge Safety of Exploratory Wells, Vertical Drilling - ProPublica For more than two years, the natural gas drilling debate has focused primarily on the use of hydraulic fracturing in horizontal wells. But expert testimony submitted for a government hearing next month challenges long-held assumptions about the safety of deep vertical drilling and exploratory wells, which operate in many states with limited regulatory oversight. The administrative hearing will be held by the Delaware River Basin Commission , a federal agency that regulates a variety of water and land activities in Pennsylvania, New York, New Jersey and Delaware. At issue is the commission’s June 2010 determination that companies that drill exploratory wells—wells that are drilled to test theories about where gas might be found—must obtain the agency’s approval before drilling within its jurisdiction, and whether or not 11 exploratory wells in Pennsylvania that have already been approved should be exempt from the regulation. (December 6, 2010) ProPublica
12/08/2010 - Is our water safe? Check out this important article about lead pipes and your drinking water. Debacle over drinking water deals a blow to CDC and EPA When it comes to something as basic as ensuring that our drinking water doesn't poison our children, you'd think federal scientists and environmentalists would hustle to give the public the fullest and most reliable information as quickly as possible. You'd also think the Centers for Disease Control and Prevention and the Environmental Protection Agency would go out of their way to publicize it when the government's own research finds that the risk posed by lead in the water nationwide is greater than previously described, and that one of the EPA's top recommended solutions is useless. You'd be wrong. (December 5, 2010) Washington Post - Politics, National, World & D.C. Area News and Headlines - washingtonpost.com
12/07/2010 - How’s that fracking for natural gas going for Pennsylvanians? Attend a meeting a find out: "On Sunday evening December 12th graduate and undergraduate students from the Department of City and Regional Planning at Cornell University will host a public meeting at 7:00 PM in the Town of Ithaca Town Hall, 215 North Tioga Street, Ithaca. The students will present their findings on some of the impacts and issues associated with Marcellus Shale natural gas drilling in Pennsylvania to members of the public. For the past three months the students in the field workshop have been studying several aspects of the industry and its impacts in Bradford County, PA and elsewhere in that state. The four issue areas that the workshop participants have focused on are: impacts on housing, visual impacts, water quality, and land use and zoning. The workshop participants have travelled to Bradford County to speak with residents and public officials, and to observe drilling operations, impacts on roads and short- and long-term impacts of drilling operations on the land. In addition they have heard from a number of guest speakers actively involved in the issue in Bradford County. The ability of local municipalities to control the industry is a key issue that the workshop participants have been investigating. Although state laws may pre-empt local governments from regulating actual drilling operations, many other activities in support of drilling may be subject to local zoning regulations, and local governments can have a major role in deciding where such activities will occur and ensuring that their adverse impacts are mitigated. A number of recent court decisions in Pennsylvania have also opened the door for local governments to exert more control over where natural gas drilling may occur within their boundaries. For more information on the workshop and presentations contact George Frantz at email@example.com. "
12/07/2010 - The new e-waste law comes to New York State on April 1st, 2011. Are we ready? Electronic Waste Legislation in New York State | New York Product Stewardship Council "Governor Paterson has signed into law a new electronics recycling and take back program that requires manufacturers to pay for the collection and recycling of e-waste in New York State. The new bill will remove the burden of managing hazardous e-waste from local municipalities, will reduce the local tax burden, and will provide free and convenient recycling of electronics to consumers and businesses in New York State. " New York Product Stewardship Council
12/07/2010 - Update on the Canun Climate Talks: We know who did most of the polluting (the rich countries) and we know who is going to do most of the paying the price (the poor countries). The question is whether the rich countries can be encouraged to pay for the damages and loss of natural resources. It’s not about the blame game as it is about taking responsibility for our planet and our fellow man. We ask that the poorer nations not do what we have done to get ahead. We can help them in many ways to help them leapfrog over dirty and polluting technology. A stance where the rich countries refuse to help and deny their role in polluting the planet and warming it up, it is not only false; it means there’s no solution for anyone. For, everyone will suffer on a trashed planet--though the poor nations will suffer more without even having a chance to have rich lives we have had. Who will pay for the environmental mess we’re in? - The Globe and Mail Cancun's white beaches and resort hotels provide a fitting setting for a global argument over the rich world's responsibility for damaging the Earth's environment and the extent of its “climate debt” to poorer nations. Divisions between the rich and poor – so apparent in such sunny vacation spots – have fuelled bitter debates that threaten to block progress at the United Nations climate summit under way on the Mayan Riviera. (December 3, 2010) Home - The Globe and Mail
12/07/2010 - Bicycles as a real transportation option in Rochester. If you want to help Rochester move forward in allowing bicycles to have a larger role in people getting to their jobs, their friends, their markets, please come and learn what the city has planned. Public Meeting: Rochester Bicycle Master Plan Join us to discuss the draft recommendations of the Rochester Bicycle Master Plan. Project overview Recap existing conditions, needs, opportunities Best practices from peer cities Prioritization of on-street bicycle facility network Other recommendations Questions/discussion Location: Rochester Central Library, in the Kate Gleason Auditorium 116 South Avenue 6 p.m. City of Rochester
12/06/2010 - The Genesee River, how often do we check its health? Just came across this good article on the state of the Genesee River’s health—from July of 2009. It was a good find. Most articles these days on the Genesee River are about how to develop it and make it attractive. However, the actual health of our main river should be our focus not merely on its aesthetics. Our river, like most bodies of water in our area (and most other areas in our country) has been the end point of drainage systems for industry, farm run-off, and more. We should not just assume that the rivers can recover from these assaults naturally, as the stuff often dumped into them was manmade and nothing the rivers ever had to deal with them before. So, our attention should be constantly on the health of our Genesee River, not just for tourist dollars and floating our boats, but because life lives in rivers and is a part of our region’s ecology. River's water slowly reviving | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle The Genesee River flows through a dramatic progression of settings on its 160-mile course — forested hills, plains rich with farms, small villages, a large city, and deep gorges featuring spectacular waterfalls and a huge flood-control dam. (July 19, 2009) Democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle | Rochester news, community, entertainment, yellow pages and classifieds. Serving Rochester, New York
12/06/2010 - New effort to get the public to ‘get’ Climate Change: 350 Earth Art - Climate Art Visible From Space "This November 20-28, 350 EARTH will launch the world’s first ever global climate art project. In over a dozen places across the globe, citizens and artists will create massive public art installations to show how climate change is already impacting our world as well as offer visions of how we can solve the crisis. Each art installation will be large enough to be seen from space and documented by satellites generously provided by DigitalGlobe. 350 EARTH will be the first-ever global scale group show on the front line of climate change—our polluted cities, endangered forests, melting glaciers, and sinking coastlines. People around the world are invited to take part by attending signature events, submitting their own art, and spreading the word about the project. "
12/04/2010 - Stay updated on the Climate Change Talks: Cancun climate change conference 2010 | Environment | guardian.co.uk "COP16 is a two-week UN summit where delegates will continue to work towards an international climate deal "--from Latest news, comment and reviews from the Guardian | guardian.co.uk
12/04/2010 - Take ACTION on Lead Poisoning in the Rochester area: This note just in about “spreading the word about grant funding for the Lead Renovators training in Rochester.” "The EPA's Renovators Rule rule mandates that anyone who disturbs lead based paint, in a pre 1978 home, daycare or "child occupied facility", become certified. This certification may be obtained by an individual by taking an eight hour certification course. The EPA recently extended the effective date for certification until October 1, 2010 at which time those who have not attended, or at least registered for training, may face Federal enforcement. Grant money has been made available for this course, so contractors/renovators can take the class at no cost. This grant program is for people living or working in Monroe County. We would like to get the classes filled before the grant money runs out. The classes are filled on a first come, first serve basis, and Environmental Education Associates will add classes as required. The classes are held at 300 Airpark Drive, Suite 80, Rochester, NY 14624. Students can register by calling 585 783 1465. Attached, please find a flyer with the details: I would appreciate it if you would help to distribute this information. If you have any questions, please contact me by email or cell phone, or contact Andy McLellan at firstname.lastname@example.org. " - Environmental Education Associates "Environmental Education Associates, Inc. is committed to improving the quality of environmental health throughout our community. The services we provide support housing residents, property owners, contractors and agencies efforts to create and maintain healthy and safe living and working environments. "
12/04/2010 - Don’t give up on Climate Change talks before they start: The Cancún Climate Summit, despite everyone’s low expectation, is the hottest thing going on with Climate Change next week. It’s worth your attention to find out how the world reacts to Climate Change and what to expect from our leaders. Too often we tend to think of major events like the Climate Change talks as if they are sports events, or a political event, and so if there isn’t going to be a real contest then no one cares— if the outcome has ‘low expectations.’ Well, the Cancún Climate Summit is not a sports event. It’s not a political contest about who has spent the most money for the most likely candidate. It’s humanity’s reaction to their actions and physics. It is an attempt by the countries of the world to address the most pressing problem of our age—our planet warming up by the things we do, warming our homes, fueling our vehicles, producing our food, and just about everything else . One way to stay informed is to tune into Democracy Now next week. They plan to report on the Cancún Climate Summit from Cancún. Democracy Now! A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 900 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.
12/03/2010 - ACTION: from the the Monroe County Parks Dept.: "SAVE THE DATE for the 2nd annual Pick Up the Parks Project April 9th, 2011, 9am-noon A green initiative from the Monroe County Department of Parks Join the Monroe County Department of Parks and several local recreation & environmental groups in continuing the “Pick Up the Parks Project”. This great parks stewardship event targeted 4 parks in its first year, but in 2011, we will expand to 6 parks; Black Creek, Ellison, Genesee Valley, Mendon Ponds, Ontario Beach, and Seneca Parks. Email or call today to register your family, group of friends, club, organization, scout troop, or class! Contact Ryan Loysen at email@example.com or 585-753-7281. Be sure to tell us your group size, preferred park, e-mail address, and phone number, or just come on out to one of the project sites on April 9th and register on-site. Orientation begins at 9 a.m. at each project site with refreshments and additional information. Parks pickup projects will begin by 9:30 a.m. The Monroe County Parks belong to all of us, so let’s join together to keep them clean and green. Check back for additional event details, specific meet-up locations and park information at www.monroecounty.gov/parks
12/02/2010 - Learn more about fracking for natural gas: US natural gas drilling boom linked to pollution and social strife - Investigations - The Ecologist "The gas stored in the Marcellus Shale formation is the subject of desperate drilling to secure US domestic energy supplies. But the process involved - hydraulic fracturing - is the focus of a bitter dispute over environmental damage and community rights " Environment & Climate Change news & features plus green living advice - The Ecologist
12/02/2010 - Find out and do something about Climate Change: This site may be the way environmentalists tackled the Climate Change issue by using the growing powers of the Internet. “Jumo is a social network connecting individuals and organizations who want to change the world. Leveraging connection technologies, Jumo enables people to find, follow and support those working toward solutions on the ground in their community and in regions across the globe. Jumo is founded and directed by Chris Hughes, co-founder of Facebook and director of online organizing for Barack Obama’s 2008 Presidential campaign.” Climate Change | Jumo "Climate change refers to the long-term change in weather patterns. Generally, it may be used as another term for global warming. Greenhouse gas emissions are considered a leading cause of climate change, which is evidenced by increasing temperatures and a greater incidence of extreme weather, such as hurricanes and droughts, across the globe. "
12/01/2010 - Today ACTION: Call Gov Patterson's office today 518-474-8390 & ask him to sign the Fracking Moratorium Bill A11443B/S08129B "Suspends hydraulic fracturing for the extraction of natural gas or oil until May 15, 2011; suspends the issuance of new permits for such drilling. "
12/01/2010 - Keep track of the Climate Change talks in Mexico here: COP 16 U.N. Climate Conference - Cancun, Mexico | Reuters.com