Blandit sit amet veroeros
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.
1/25/2011 - Still get locally grown food in our area in the winter: Wednesdays 2011 4pm - 7pm - Help support local farmland stewardship. Shop for delicious locally grown fruits, vegetables & meats, and locally crafted breads, jams, etc. -- indoors all winter at the Cornell Cooperative Extension building, 249 Highland Ave 14620 Highland Park Winter Farmer's Market
1/25/2011 - Taking care of Nature locally. Check out this event: PENFIELD HERITAGE ASSOCIATION The History of Corbett's Glen Sunday, January 30, 2011 2:30-4:00 PM Penfield Library Ruth Braman Room 1985 Baird Rd Penfield NY 14526 Corbett's Glen. What is it? A premiere nature attraction, with-Allen's- Creek (a tributary to Irondequoit Creek) winding around glacial formations then dropping over several small frothy cascades, creating beautiful scenery. Why is its history important to Penfield? And Who is Corbett??? Jeff Vincent will discuss its history. He lives in the Glen area. Light refreshments will be served.
1/24/2011 - Environmental Story that should be on our radar: Thought I do not know the actual state of the Rochester, NY region’s water infrastructure, this is a monumental country-wide issue: our crumbling water infrastructure. Repairing decades old water pipes that take water in and out of our communities is critical. Climate Change, which will deliver more extreme weather like flooding, will create events in which massive amounts of raw sewage will be released into our drinking water sources—because our crumbling waste water systems won’t be able to handle them. Despite our poor economy and the other myriad of financial problems are communities are facing, this problem cannot be ignored. Video - Breaking News Videos from CNN.com - America's crumbling water infrastructure "A water main breaks in the U.S. every two minutes. Alison Kosik looks at what is -- and isn't -- being done about it. " CNN.com - Breaking News, U.S., World, Weather, Entertainment & Video News
1/24/2011 Green event coming up in September: Greentopia Festival organizers want to breathe life into High Falls | democratandchronicle.com | Democrat and Chronicle "While Rochester sleeps under winter's blanket of white snow and gray skies, a dynamic contingent of regional movers and shakers is preparing for the city's first festival of green. The Greentopia Festival, a two-day indoor-outdoor celebration of sustainable living, environmental education and entertainment, will make its debut Sept. 17 and 18 in the High Falls district. " (January 23, 2011) democratandchronicle.com | Rochester RocEarth | Democrat and Chronicle
1/22/2011 - Don’t feed black bears because they are important—I think. There isn’t much news coming out of the New York State Department of Environmental Information (DEC) lately, except this news about not feeding the bears.” Feeding black bears now prohibited statewide” (January 21, 2011) Home - Canandaigua, NY This is strange because lots of people have been fired and let go at the DEC lately. There will probably more cuts coming up with the governor’s new job cuts, but little about all that even though the up-and-coming gas drilling will need a lot of DEC personnel to monitor hydrofracking. So, while black bears are leading their agenda over there at DEC, let’s ask: Why are bears important? Except for harvesting them (shooting them))and taking photos of them, what purpose do bears serve our environment, now that humanity is the top dog in our environment and we’ve killed off most of the bears in NYS? We don’t eat them. There’s not enough of them to make their seed dispersal (via droppings) worth mentioning. So, aren’t they just lucky we’re letting them roam around and produce news stories (last year was filled with bear sightings, see Glut of bear sightings around Rochester, NY - Rochester Environmental News | Examiner.com) anyway? Of course I’m being facetious, but shouldn’t it also be the role of the DEC to let the public know what role bears play in our environment—besides something magnificent to shoot? Bears help shape what is now our environment, but do they play an important role anymore? If so, what is it? Black Bear - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation Feeding of Black Bears is Prohibited in New York "Feeding of Black Bears is Prohibited in New York DEC has adopted a rule prohibiting the deliberate and intentional feeding of black bears. The incidental, indirect feeding of black bears also is unlawful after a written warning has been issued by the department. For details, read the Black Bear Feeding Regulations and the Summary of Public Comment (PDF 347 kB). Learn More about Living With New York Black Bears The recently produced video, "Living with New York Black Bears" explores the history of black bears, the challenges that face New York bear biologists, and how landowners can responsibly and safely share their neighborhood with bears. The video is available at most local libraries, high school and college libraries throughout the State, or at your local DEC regional wildlife office. "
1/22/2011 - Climate Threatens Birds From Tropics to Mountaintops - NYTimes.com "Over the past two decades, an increasing number of settlers who have moved here to farm have impinged on bird habitats and reduced bird populations by cutting down forests and turning grasslands into fields. Now the early effects of global warming and other climate changes have helped send the populations of many local mountain species into a steep downward spiral, from which many experts say they will never recover. Over the next 100 years, many scientists predict, 20 percent to 30 percent of species could be lost if the temperature rises 3.6 degrees to 5.4 degrees Fahrenheit. If the most extreme warming predictions are realized, the loss could be over 50 percent, according to the United Nations climate change panel. " (January 22, 2011) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
1/21/2011 - Taking a step back on Climate Change Why is it the greater the proof and peril of Climate Change, the more the United States retreats into fanaticism and ideology? When Climate Change talks recently have failed, you’d think the US would relish the ability to do something about the greatest threat to humanity: manmade climate Change. But we have faction in our country whose belief system doesn’t allow for physics and a healthy environment. Will they be held accountable for stalling effort to address Climate Change? Probably not. When the worst and most immediate effects—drastic weather, sea level rise, and change of growing seasons—those stalling our efforts to address Climate Change will probably blame those who tried to address Climate Change of some silly charge—because admitting that they were wrong is not in their game plan. It’s how they do. With health care 'repealed,' GOP turns to climate change | McClatchy WASHINGTON — Now that the House of Representatives has voted to repeal the health care law, Republicans say they're likely to move soon to another target — a rewrite of the Clean Air Act so that it can't be used to fight climate change. The Environmental Protection Agency in December said it would draw up performance standards that would help cut heat-trapping gases produced by refineries and coal-fired power plants. The EPA hasn't proposed the specifics yet, and existing plants wouldn't be affected until the later years of the decade, but opponents of regulation aren't waiting. (January 20, 2011) McClatchy | Homepage
1/21/2011 - Caving in: Is the minority ruling against renewable energy for Rochester, NY? Why, when 68% of Monroe County voters approve of off-shore wind power in Lake Ontario, does the Monroe County legislature oppose it? Majority of Monroe County legislators oppose state's wind farm plan The New York Power Authority continues to consider proposals to build offshore wind turbines, but a majority of Monroe County legislators have now gone on record opposing the idea. The Power Authority, an independent arm of state government, solicited proposals in 2009 from the private sector to build one or more wind farms in the near-shore waters of Lake Ontario or Lake Erie. Five proposals were submitted last June, and authority officials have been studying them since then. Officials have refused to reveal any information about the proposals.” (January 19, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle Is it politics? Is it the media’s inability to frame this renewable option to the public coherently? Has the fossil fuel industry effectively prodded the government to not act in its own (and their constituents’) best interest? Are our Monroe County Legislature and the media caving into a small number of shoreline communities who happened to have an unfair (location, location, location) advantage on this matter? “But opposition has surfaced in a number of shoreline communities, with county lawmakers in Wayne, Oswego, Jefferson and Chautauqua counties coming out against the idea.” (January 19, 2011) Democrat and Chronicle Our lakes, the Finger Lakes and the Great Lakes, are not private swimming pools of the few; they are a natural resource for all citizens. The rage against off-shore wind turbines by shoreline property owners is hard to understand as anything but a NIMBY (not in my backyard) issue. If the concerns were environmental concerns, these groups would be fighting tooth and nail against the myriad of serious environmental problems with our lakes. If you care, take a moment and review the news and reports about the tragic state of our Great Lakes from just the last twelve years: Great Lakes | Rochester, NY Perspective | RochesterEnvironment.com—which include invasive species, fish diseases, phosphate pollution, warming waters due to Climate Change, sewage from overworked waste treatment plants, and much more. more...
1/20/2011 - Focusing on nuclear power: Although our region is fighting off-shore wind as a major renewable energy source and our local media presents little of the on-going news about regional issues with nuclear power, there’s much reason for concern. Nuclear power, which to many people may seem like a real solution to our energy needs and curbing greenhouse gases, is not benign or cheap. Our media fails to focus on the real and present danger nuclear power presents. One of the concerns, besides the how to store spend nuclear material, or possible terrorist attacks, or serious accidents, are the reluctance of the media to thoroughly investigate safety at our nuclear plants, and the reluctance by nuclear power plant personnel to be open with all that goes on with these power plants. (Not to mention that the costs of building a new nuclear power plant often go wildly beyond their estimates.) We the public tend to think about nuclear power is that it has problems like any other power sources. Drilling for gas and oil can contaminate our waters, wind turbines can kill birds, coal mines cave in, and on and on until it all burrs into a cloudy haze of mindless fears. But, nuclear power accidents are an (admittedly rare) occurrence that is a factor of danger far beyond a blade fall off a wind turbine. Your property might look the same after a nearby nuclear accident, but you won’t be able to go back to it. Learn more: West Valley's legacy: teachable moments for other nuclear cleanups | Innovation Trail "Unlike other nuclear failures like Chernobyl and Three Mile Island, West Valley Reprocessing Plant in New York never became a household name. But even though it was open for only six years in the late 1960s, the plant has polluted soil, air, and water - and may have sickened employees. Ever since then hundreds of workers have been decontaminating the property, and there's no end in sight for West Valley’s story. " (January 6, 2011) Innovation Trail
1/20/2011 - Check out the latest information on Climate Change from Climatologist James A. Hansen: "Climate change is likely to be the predominant scientific, economic, political and moral issue of the 21st century. The fate of humanity and nature may depend upon early recognition and understanding of human-made effects on Earth's climate (Hansen, 2009)" Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change Draft Paper: Paleoclimate Implications for Human-Made Climate Change A draft paper with title above has been submitted for publication in the Belgrade Milankovitch Symposium volume -- the paper is now under review, so any criticisms are welcome. It was written in a bit of a rush when the editor told me there was a last chance to submit a paper before the book went to press (Springer).
1/20/2011 - What can NYS do to make our state environmentally sound? Check out these recommendations from a group that has been watch our election officials and their records on our environment for a long time: Our Guide To A Sustainable, Prosperous New York | NYLCVEF - New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund NEW YORK - At the dawn of 2011, New York is at a crossroads. There is a new governor, a new political dynamic in the Legislature and an unprecedented opportunity to chart a new course for the state. But what steps must be taken now to improve New York's future for the long term? How should our elected leaders transform the state's economy into a 21st century model of innovation and environmental sustainability? The New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund's 2011 State Policy Agenda has the answers. Encompassing transportation, environmental protection, renewable energy, sustainable development and much more, NYLCVEF's State Policy Agenda includes more than 40 detailed policy recommendations that will improve New York's environment and economy. --NYLCVEF - New York League of Conservation Voters Education Fund | Educating for the Environment
1/18/2011 - How do you preserve and protect our flora and fauna when Climate Change rules? This is going to be a major question for environmental groups, agencies of the government, and everyone who has been trying to protect our environment. Our environment as we know it is changing so much and so quickly that it is going to be very difficult to determine what keeping it at a sustainable state will mean as further changes from Climate Change occur. In other words, how does an agency responsible for keeping our parks healthy do their job if Climate Change is going to change rapidly all the plants and animals in that park anyway? What many might have thought of as a static environment, where we just maintained our natural areas (those that are left) and that was that, doesn’t make sense anymore. Check out this short paper from the U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service: Dandelions and Climate Change: Lessons from Your Front Lawn U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service, Division of International Conservation, 4401 N. Fairfax Drive, Arlington, Virginia 22203 "Now that premise, a central tenet of the protected areas system, is no longer valid. The vagaries of climate change are such that despite our best efforts, what a particular parcel of natural landscape will look like but a few decades from now is anyone’s guess. Instability and uncertainty are the new driving forces when it comes to land management. Such forces create habitats most suitable to r-selection strategies. How does the conservation community adopt an r-selection strategy? Rather simply on paper, but not easily in practice. An r-selection conservation strategy would involve hedging our bets with regard to protected areas " Scientific Journals -
1/18/2011 - You’re going to see more Climate Change news like this story from Charlotte, NC: As the consequences of Climate Change kick in they are going to be so obvious and continual that we will be wondering how anyone could have denied them. The truth is that rising sea levels are going to wreak havoc on communities near oceans—and a large part of humanity resides there. So while the majority of our public still is on the fence about the validity of Climate Change, those who live near our oceans and their public officials who will be held accountable for public safety will not be on the fence. For many, and an increasing amount of people being affected right now on Climate Change, they will not be on the fence. Rising waters threaten the coast of North Carolina - CharlotteObserver.com "MANNS HARBOR The sea that sculpted North Carolina's coast, from its arc of barrier islands to the vast, nurturing sounds, is reshaping it once again. Water is rising three times faster on the N.C. coast than it did a century ago as warming oceans expand and land ice melts, recent research has found. It's the beginning of what a N.C. science panel expects will be a 1-meter increase by 2100. " (January 16, 2011) The Charlotte Observer
1/18/2011 - More help finding Green Jobs: Just came across this new Green Job search site that premieres today: US / USA - Green Energy Jobs in Hiring for America | Sustainable Energy Jobs in USA | US Green Career Jobs Source| Green Jobs for America "The United States is committed to the creation of 5 million green jobs. 5MillionGreenJobs.com is committed to showcasing American ingenuity and opportunity to the world. (coming soon) "
1/17/2011 - Recycling and ‘going green’ aren’t a fad: Survey’s or not, the public should get on board with the habit of recycling. Buying environmental friendly goods and disposing of them properly is a necessity. Not just a moral necessity, but a necessary behavior so that our way of life can survive. This survey shows that less American are ‘going green’ (who knows how accurate it is?). This should not be a warning that ‘going green’ isn’t worth it? Quite the reverse. If this survey is a warning about anything, it should be a warning to government and businesses that the public needs to be better educated as the state our environment is in. Harris Interactive: Press Releases > Environmental Advocacy Grows Stronger for LGBT Americans “As more Americans take steps to understand and protect the environment, there now appear to be widening gaps in attitudes between LGBT Americans and their heterosexual counterparts. For instance, one in three (35%) LGBT adults state that the self-label of "environmentalist" describes their identities completely or very well, when contrasted with just 15% of heterosexuals who believe this self-label fits themselves that same way.” Somehow we have to deal with American exceptionalism that somehow Americans don’t have to consider environmental degradation. We are in large part causing much of the Climate Change and pollution and energy use on this planet. Americans need as consumers to take responsibility for their behavior towards our environment. One way to understand what I’m writing about it to watch this incredibly insightful film about taking responsibility for how we live: The Fever (2004) - IMDb “Tells the story of a woman who gets involved in politics with no previous contact with world events.” The main character begins to understand at a visceral level that how she lives affects others living conditions. Read on: "Green" losing its glow? | Resource Recycling "Fewer Americans are "going green" according to the results of a new survey, by Harris Interactive. The survey of 2,352 adults found that fewer reported making lifestyle changes to protect the environment compared with the results of a similar poll in 2009. Just one in three respondents expressed support for conserving the environment, compared to two in five adults the previous year. " Resource Recycling
1/17/2011 - Learn about gardening Event: January 29: WINTER HORTICULTURE SYMPOSIUM 10:00 AM – 3:00 PM Topics include "Early Development of Rochester's Flower City" and "Principles of Garden Design" Beverly Gibson, Horticulturalist of the Landmark Society of WNY, will discuss the design and development of Rochester's Highland Park and Durand Eastman Park. Beverly will also highlight the establishment of the Ellwanger Estate and the Harris Seed Company, the key foundations in making Rochester the Flower City of the USA. You will also earn the basic techniques of garden design. Bring a drawing of a small plot around your home and our Executive Director and Horticulturist, David Hutchings, who will be assisted by Sonnenberg Garden volunteers, will help you design a new landscape for the spring. Supplies list available upon registration. Class will be located in our Carriage House. Soup and hot beverage provided during lunch break.$18pp, $15pp member. Reservations: 585-394-4922 Sonnenberg Gardens & Mansion State Historic Park
1/14/2010 - Unintended consequence of Climate Change: This story about how the spread of a hantavirus that is killing our forest highlights a very hunting aspect of Climate Change. There are a lot of possible consequences of Climate Change that our scientists know are possible—and they are many. However, that may only be a fraction of what will actually happen because of Climate Change. Only human hubris would keep us from avoiding Climate Change because we think we can handle a little warming up. But Climate Change is far more complicated than that. Check out this critical article: Deadly Virus Tied to Decline of Aspens - NYTimes.com "Around 2004, large numbers of aspens in the West began dying off, and with no immediately identifiable cause, scientists dubbed the phenomenon “sudden aspen decline.” Ultimately the die-back was pinned on a severe 2002 drought and heat wave that left aspens vulnerable to pests, cankers and fungi. Now, a new study suggests that the decline of the West’s aspens is not just marring the landscape, but also helping to spread a strain of hantavirus fatal to humans. The spread of hantavirus among mice in the wake of the aspen die-offs should already be considered an “unintended consequence of climate change,” Dr. Lehmer said. She noted that other studies have shown an increase in human hantavirus infections in Germany during years of above-average warmth. " (February 13, 2011) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
1/14/2011 - Take the power test: Find out how much you know about how our area gets its electrical power and whether its pollution our environment and causing Climate Change. Where Does Our Electricity Come From? "When you press snooze to quiet your alarm clock, toast your morning bagel, or turn on the radio, do you know where that electricity comes from? In fact, most of us don’t know. Take UCS's fun new quiz to learn about the sometimes outrageous choices utility companies make about how to power our lives. " UCS | Union of Concerned Scientists
1/13/2011 - Important Event on Energy, a free workshop on saving energy and money: Upcoming Local Events - Color Brighton Green Save Energy & Save Money workshop Brighton Public Library on January 16, 2011. The workshop is organized by CEI (Center for Environmental Information) and NYSERDA (New York State Energy Research and Development Authority). The workshop will provide low-cost and no-cost ways to save energy and reduce energy bills. Participants will learn about programs that can help them afford energy-efficiency improvements with subsidies, low-interest loans, or free services to qualifying households. Workshop participants will each receive a free energy savings kit (valued at $15), real time information to apply for a free Energy Audit, and an opportunity to try out simple energy saving practices that they will be empowered to repeat at home. Where and when Brighton Public Library, 2300 Elmwood Avenue Sunday, January 16th, 2011, 1:30 to 2:30pm Fun, free and open to the public. Door prizes and refreshments Pre-Registration is encouraged, but not required. To learn the location of other workshops in your area, visit the EmPower NY Workshops web page.
1/13/2011 - How will Climate Change affect our region’s Water Quality? Fresh clean drinking water is critical to our existence. Current and thorough information about how the warmer atmosphere and increased rainfall and intensity and frequency of our area’s rainfall will affect our waters. Water Quality issues, I suspect, are going to be one of the most immediate and critical consequences of how Climate Change reveals itself in our region. The Rochester, NY area includes several of the Finger Lakes, Lake Ontario (last in water flow before the St. Lawrence River) of the Great Lakes, the Genesee River, and many other ponds and streams. It’s quite a number of water bodies where higher temperatures, increase or decreased rainfall, and extreme weather events like floods will have a profound impact. We need a way to stay constantly informed on how our water is going to be affected by Climate Change so that the public and our officials can monitor it correctly. An Overview of Possible Changes in Regional Climate and Hydrology "In general, nearly all studies focused on the Northeastern US have estimated that on average annual streamflow should change little (Hayhoe et al. 2007, Neff et al. 2000, Frei 2002).Additionally, these studies project increased late winter and spring flows and a shift in the timing of spring snowmelt. This means that even if there is more annual streamflow, it may be distributed unevenly over the year, with lower flows in the late summer and autumn, and higher flows in the late winter and spring. This temporal shift in flow magnitudes has already been observed in stream records, as noted above. " New York State Water Resources Institute - Home
1/12/2011 - Climate Change accountability in public office One of the issues that are going to be taken on in the next Congress are the Climate Change debates. This is great. There absolutely should be debates about how our country will work in concert (as this is a global rapidly occurring issue) with other countries on how to combat Climate Change. But it seems that that is not what our political leaders are going to be discussing. They are going to be ‘debating’ as to whether Climate Change is occurring and whether we should divert any public monies to this issue. “The report could inflame debate about global warming at a time when Republicans are pushing to roll back the Environmental Protection Agency’s greenhouse gas regulations.” (January 11, 2011) E2-Wire - The Hill's E2-Wire There’s no other word for this state of affairs: this is ‘Looney.” While this debate about whether Climate Change has been occurring on the Internet and in the basement of Climate Change deniers, scientists around the world have been gathering data, proving that there is a very good chance that Climate Change is occurring, occurring quickly, and there will be (and is) consequences. There is enough information to ‘move’ on this issue. That our Congress will be wasting its time going back over the facts gathered about Climate Change in an attempt to stall and perhaps reverse our country’s response to Climate Change is horrific. It’s horrific because not only is Climate Change happening, but our public officials should be acting to protect and inform the public on this issue: Instead Congress is going to debate whether the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) and our government should bother with this issue. Our public officials don’t have the luxury of debating Climate Change anymore. They are accountable. Every issue our political leaders address from now on should be addressed in the context of Climate Change because our environment is shifting towards a warmer place—everywhere. There’s linkage between water levels, precipitation, transportation, quality of life, economics, home values, all our local ecologies—and Climate Change. Not only should the public be insisting that their political leaders curb violent rhetoric, the public should insist that their public officials acknowledge Climate Change and do everything in their powers to address it. Climate Change won’t be argued away in Congress; they will be wasting time and money on an Climate Change denial ideology that doesn’t fit reality. The truth is that when Climate Change changes our environment the public will not ask who had the best argument; they’ll be demanding reparations and accountability. OVERNIGHT ENERGY: Temperature data could roil climate debates - The Hill's E2-Wire Climate legislation is on ice, but new data about rising temperatures keeps pouring forth. (January 11, 2011) E2-Wire - The Hill's E2-Wire
1/11/2011 - Major Transportation Event coming up in April, Save the date: Active Transportation Symposium Save the date: Wednesday, April 27, 2011 for a unique opportunity to change Rochester’s transportation. Much has still to be worked out, but this event will be held in Rochester, NY. Seeking: Organizations and institutional leaders in government, education, community organizations and the business community and individual activists. For: a full day event with National and local experts. To: make Greater Rochester a preeminent Active Transportation region. Walking and wheeling can improve health and the bottom line for businesses and the community. Brought to you by: Rochester Cycling Alliance, Genesee Transportation Council, NYS Dept. of Transportation, Monroe County and the City of Rochester. Continuing Education Credits being Pursued. For more information contact Richard DeSarra at firstname.lastname@example.org or Rochelle Bell at email@example.com .
1/11/2011 - More on Recycling Electronic Waste in our region: Besides the new e-waste law The Electronic Equipment Recycling and Reuse Act - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation, the NYS DEC has more information on properly recycling e-waste: Used Electronic Equipment "Management of Used Electronic Equipment in New York State What is Used Electronic Equipment? Used electronic equipment can encompass a variety of equipment including, but not limited to computers, CRTs, wireless telephones, electronic keyboards, mice, televisions, printers, monitors, portable digital music players, video cassette recorders, DVD players, Blu-ray disc players, digital video recorders, digital converter boxes, cable or satellite receivers, electronic game consoles, PDAs, facsimile machines, and photocopiers, etc. "
1/10/2011 - Other uses for recycled Christmas trees: Christmas Trees Become Lake Habitats for Fish - NYTimes.com "For people like Pete Alexander, the best gifts arrive after the holidays. That is when he receives hundreds of unsold Christmas trees deemed dross by most everyone else and makes them useful again, turning them into habitats for fish in otherwise barren lakes. “Christmas trees are perfect — just the right size and weight,” said Mr. Alexander, the fisheries program manager for the East Bay Regional Park District, which is based in Oakland, Calif. “And we get them free, because vendors want to get rid of them.” (January 4, 2011) New York Times
1/10/2010 - More Climate Change input: This new study on greenhouse gas emitting factors, as all new studies will show I suspect, admits that we don’t know all that we need to know about Climate Change and what forces will be driving it. It’s going to be complicated. This particular study shows that lakes and streams emit greenhouse gases more than suspected. Of course, those desperate to prove that Climate Change is a fraud will say (and they are) that this study proves that natural forces are responsible for Climate Change not mankind and industrialization. As I said, Climate Change is complicated. But, one thing is certain. Average temperatures are going up. Check out: Lakes a big source of climate-warming gas: study: Scientific American "Lakes and rivers emit far more of a powerful greenhouse gas than previously thought, counteracting the overall role of nature in soaking up climate-warming gases, a study showed on Thursday. OSLO (Reuters) - Lakes and rivers emit far more of a powerful greenhouse gas than previously thought, counteracting the overall role of nature in soaking up climate-warming gases, a study showed on Thursday. A review of 474 freshwater systems indicated they emitted methane equivalent to 25 percent of all carbon dioxide -- the main greenhouse gas blamed for stoking climate change -- absorbed by the world's land areas every year. " (January 9, 2010) Science News, Articles and Information | Scientific American
1/08/2011 - Event: I am passing this event note on: Sustainable Living: Surviving Peak Oil and liking it. First organizational meeting at Pittsford Library 1/17/2011, 6:30-8:30 . Experts have warned for decades world oil production will eventually peak and then inexorably decline. Sustainable living is a discussion group learning about and decreasing fossil fuels, how they touch and shape our lives and how we can transition to reducing dependence. Join us for an organizational meeting and find out how you can become a part of the movement. "
1/08/2011 - Following the electronic waste stream: This article and photo give you an idea why it is so important to create an electronic waste standard so that our electronic waste does not eventually end up here: Where Computers Go to Die "A locality in East Delhi is the largest electronic scrap market in the country. Photojournalist Garima Jain travels through the bylanes of Seelampur into a surreal, post-apocalyptic world " Tehelka - India's Independent Weekly News Magazine
1/08/2011 - ACTION: From the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) make public comment on funding for GTC projects that are federally funded. You can comment on “new or additional funding through the FY 2011-2012 UPWP. The list contains both projects that are recommended for funding and those that are not recommended for funding.". "Below for your information and review is the Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) Draft Fiscal Year 2011-2012 Unified Planning Work Program (FY 2011-2012 UPWP) Project List. GTC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) responsible for federally-funded transportation policy, planning, and investment decision making in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region, which includes Genesee, Livingston, Monroe, Ontario, Orleans, Seneca, Wayne, Wyoming, and Yates counties. The Draft FY 2011-2012 UPWP Project List is available for public review from Friday, January 7, 2011 through Monday, February 7, 2011. The UPWP is the program of federally-funded transportation planning activities to be undertaken by GTC staff, its member agencies, and other jurisdictions in the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region. The FY 2011-2012 UPWP supports planning activities for the period April 1, 2011 through March 31, 2012. Projects included in the current UPWP that are not complete as of March 31, 2011 will be rolled over into the FY 2011-2012 UPWP. " more..
1/08, 2011 - Will our new NYS governor be green? There are encouraging signs that Governor Cuomo will be an environmentally proactive leader. Starting off on Wednesday, in his first State of the State address, Cuomo has put our environment on his main agenda: "A cleaner, greener environment: Governor Cuomo will create the “NY Cleaner, Greener Communities Program” to provide competitive grants that will encourage communities to develop regional sustainable growth strategies in housing, transportation, emissions control, energy efficiency. The program will emphasize revitalizing urban areas through smart growth, creating green jobs, building green infrastructure including roof and rain gardens, and strengthening environmental justice and protection. “Governor Cuomo Outlines Transformational Plan for a New NY Grants for many green projects, including green roofs, and especially creating green jobs, will help steer us in the right direction. And, Cuomo has made some new appointments, both to the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC): “North Country officials express confidence in the nomination of Joe Martens as commissioner of the Department of Environmental Conservation. Gov. Andrew M. Cuomo made the announcement Tuesday, and the reaction here was instant and accepting of a leader many consider thoughtful and capable of assimilating different points of view to garner consensus.” Local leaders applaud Cuomo's DEC decision |January 5, 2011| Press-Republican more...
1/07/2011 - We haven’t heard much on Acid Rain in the media lately, so it’s interesting that our new NYS Attorney General is hitting the ground running on this issue. It would be great if our local media did an update on Acid Rain, which used to be an issue. Obviously, this issue has not been solved just because it has disappeared from the media. Taking aim at acid rain - Times Union "ALBANY -- The first lawsuit announced by new Attorney General Eric Schneiderman targets a Pennsylvania coal-fired power plant that is New York's largest outside source of acid rain-causing pollution. The lawsuit again the Homer City Station, located in Indiana County about 50 miles east of Pittsburgh, accuses the plant of multiple violations of the federal Clean Air Act. " (January 7, 2011) The Albany Times Union [more on Air Quality in our area]
1/07/2010 - Major Event on Energy: Seventh Annual SYMPOSIUM ON ENERGY in the 21st CENTURY REDUCING OUR CARBON FOOTPRINT - CHOOSING THE RIGHT PATH | When APRIL 8TH 2011 8:00 AM | where: THE LINKS AT ERIE VILLAGE EAST SYRACUSE, NY | "The Annual Symposium on Energy in the 21st century brings together experts in the field of energy to present and discuss the future and possibilities of energy sustainability, energy efficiency, renewable energy, and partnerships. The Symposium provides a venue for diverse groups to join together in a bi-partisan multi-disciplinary conversation and learning experience. Attending are congressmen, mayors, town supervisors, presidents and deans of colleges, CEO's, professors, students, engineers, architects, city planners, representatives from the offices of elected official both on the federal, state and local levels, farmers, as well as interested citizens. Diverse groups of people, all who work in or have interest in energy, from the largest to the smallest of municipalities, come to share and learn from each other and from an outstanding group of speakers. "
1/07/2010 - Know some great Rochester, NY area environmentalists? If you do, mention them to the EPA and make someone, some group, or some business a hero for Earth Day this year. 01/06/2011: EPA Seeks Nominations for Annual Environmental Quality Awards "(New York, NY) Each year, the U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) honors individuals, businesses and organizations that have contributed significantly to improving the environment and protecting public health in New Jersey, New York, Puerto Rico, the U.S. Virgin Islands and eight federally recognized Indian Nations over the past year. EPA is now seeking nominations for this annual award. Winners will be honored at an awards event in April 2011. Each winner will receive a plaque recognizing his or her environmental achievement at a ceremony in late April coinciding with Earth Day. The Agency is accepting nominations for its Environmental Quality Awards until February 22, 2011. " U.S. EPA Newsroom - News Releases
1/06/2011 - Event for Living Green: Regenerative Living and Empowered Peaceful Actions Patty Love of Barefoot Edible Landscape and Permaculture will facilitate this motivating event to help us begin 2011 as citizens engaged in consciously creating our lives. Thursday, January 13th 7:00 – 9:00 PM Baha’i Center, 693 East Avenue, Rochester (Entrance and parking off Oxford St.) Regenerative Living creates a healthy relationship between Earth citizens and the Earth. Taking inspiration from nature, Earth citizens can create abundant, healthy ways of living that enhance the fertility of the planet and our human communities. We’ll watch the newly-released film, The Growing Edge, by Donna Read & Starhawk, to establish a common knowledge base. Then, we’ll brainstorm about actionable ideas, big and small, to bring inspired local actions to fruition in our own yards and our communities. We’ll also co-create a hands-on activity to bring regenerative living into our physical space. A free will offering will be asked to support the filmmakers.
1/06/2011 - Preventing Pesticide poisoning. Not sure when this news came out, but it’s important. The public, especially children and those with compromised immune systems need to be notified when pesticides are being applied. Here in Monroe County, we have the Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law (“The Monroe County Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law became effective January 1, 2006. It requires various groups applying pesticides to provide certain types of notification to neighbors.”) but one wonders how well that law is being observed and enforced. It would be a good time for local media to investigate the level of compliance on this new law in our county. Pest Management for Schools, Day Care Centers and Parents - NYS Dept. of Environmental Conservation "Guidance on Pesticide Prohibition NYSDEC Guidance on Chapter 85, Laws of 2010 (PDF, 209 KB) is now available. The Law requires a prohibition on pesticide use on playgrounds, turf and athletic or playing fields at schools and day care centers. The Guidance is intended to help schools and day care centers comply, by providing information on alternatives to pesticides for grounds maintenance and on the prohibition requirements. Schools and day care centers are our children's homes-away-from-home. They have a special duty to properly manage pests in a manner that protects children of all ages from the risk of pesticide exposure. They must also provide advance notification of pesticide use. " New York State Department of Environmental Conservation
1/06/2011 - Network for that Green Job this month: Green Drinks - Thu, January 20, 6:00pm – 7:30pm WhereReStore 755 Culver Road, Rochester NY (map) Description Green Drinks- Rochester Chapter 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. Open to the public, ReStore offers quality new and gently-used building materials at a fraction of normal retail prices. Proceeds fund construction of decent, affordable Habitat houses in Rochester. Many affiliates across the United States and Canada operate successful ReStores, some of which raise enough funds to build an additional 10 or more houses per year! --from CEI: Center for Environmental Information
1/6/2011 - Governor Cuomo Outlines Transformational Plan for a New NY "A cleaner, greener environment: Governor Cuomo will create the “NY Cleaner, Greener Communities Program” to provide competitive grants that will encourage communities to develop regional sustainable growth strategies in housing, transportation, emissions control, energy efficiency. The program will emphasize revitalizing urban areas through smart growth, creating green jobs, building green infrastructure including roof and rain gardens, and strengthening environmental justice and protection. " Governor
1/05/2010 - Concerned about Climate Change? Check this site by the guardian.co.uk for a monthly countdown until it might be too late, because of tipping points, to mitigate Climate Change: 100 months to save the world | Comment is free | guardian.co.uk "100 months on from 1 August 2008, atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gaseswill begin to exceed a point whereby it is no longer likely we will be able to avert potentiallyirreversible climate change. This short paper explains how we calculated this timeframe and provides scientific references. "
1/04/2010 - The decline of the Honey Bee. Here’s the latest update on the decline in area’s bee populations: US sees massive drop in bumble bees: study (Update) "Weakened by inbreeding and disease, bumble bees have died off at an astonishing rate over the past 20 years, with some US populations diving more than 90 percent, according to a new study. The findings are of concern because bees play a crucial role in pollinating crops such as tomatoes, peppers and berries, said the findings of a three-year study published in the Proceedings of the National Academy of Sciences (PNAS). Similar declines have also been seen in Europe and Asia, said Sydney Cameron, of the Department of Entomology and Institute for Genomic Biology at the University of Illinois, the main author of the study. " (January 3, 2010) PhysOrg.com - Science News, Technology, Physics, Nanotechnology, Space Science, Earth Science, Medicine
1/03/2011 - An interesting perspective on Invasive Species: What began as an invasive species in our region, the Zebra Mussels, is now very widespread. It makes one wonder how we choose before they even arrive at our doorstep which invasive species to watch out for and how they will radiate through our environment. Some non-native species seem benign and just blend into our environment and I’m sure Climate Change will change our environment so that some non-native species will just do better in our region than native plants and animals that evolved in our region. But some non-native species are invasive species that will spread quickly and do colossal damage—meaning we have to recognize them from the beginning and battle them before they get here. With Climate Change factored in, I suspect it’s going to be hard and more important that we recognize invasive species like the Zebra Mussel and get to them before they become like this: Zebra mussels, scourge of the Great Lakes, invade Texas | McClatchy "LAKE TEXOMA — In a cove on this massive lake on the Texas-Oklahoma border, it doesn't take long to find zebra mussels. Just a few feet from shore, a large rock is covered with them. A quick scan of the shoreline turns up many more. " McClatchy
1/03/2011 - Measuring green products: Good local article on one of great environmental questions of our time: How are we going to determine if the products we buy are really green? There is no international standard for green products and shouldn’t all products of the same type be measure according to the same standards? Going Green: Are your green products really “green”? - YNN, Your News Now "In an effort to join the ranks of those 'going green,' you may find yourself in this aisle of the grocery store. This aisle provides 'green' cleaning products for a bit more than your standard cleaning products. The idea is to give you piece of mind that you're helping the environment by buying 'environmentally friendly' cleaning supplies. But are they really friendly? " TOP STORIES - Rochester - YNN, Your News Now