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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.
3/31/2010 - Learn about how societies collapse: I highly recommend going to this lecture and learning about the fundamental issue of environmental collapse and how we humans often miss it before it’s too late. I think Dr. Diamond’s ideas should be heard and understood by all in order to appreciate the breath of environmental concerns facing us today. Pulitzer Prize Winner DR. JARED DIAMOND | Author of the Pulitzer Prize-winning Guns, Germs and Steel and Collapse, Diamond is the epitome of the celebrity scientist. His lectures routinely draw thousands of rapt listeners who walk away with a deeper and more nuanced view of the development of human civilization and the continued gulf between rich and poor in the global community His lectures tackle the giant questions. Why do some societies thrive and prosper, while others shrivel and die? How can humanity maximize the opportunity for human happiness, while saving the planet from ecological ruin and collapse? Are there lessons we can learn from other great civilizations who have grown to world dominance? Currently a professor of geography at UCLA, Diamond is also the author of two other bestselling books, The Third Chimpanzee and Why Is Sex Fun? He has received some of the world's most prestigious awards, including a MacArthur Genius Grant and the National Medal of Science, America's highest civilian award in science. Part of the second annual Scholar's Day! Held in: Monroe A & B in the Warshof Conference Center of the R. Thomas Flynn Campus Center 1000 East Henrietta Road, Building 3 Rochester, NY 14623
3/31/2010 - Have we thought it out? Drilling for Gas in the Marcellus Gas Shale: Have we considered all the factors involved with a large-scale natural gas drilling boom in our region, or are we going to just go ahead and do it? Here’s a thoughtful consideration about the possible consequences of such a massive environmental undertaking in our region. "Gasland" . NOW on PBS "Will the boom in natural gas drilling contaminate America's water supply? | In the debate over energy resources, natural gas is often considered a "lesser-of-evils". While it does release some greenhouse gases, natural gas burns cleaner than coal and oil, and is in plentiful supply—parts of the U.S. sit above some of the largest natural gas reserves on Earth. But a new boom in natural gas drilling, a process called "fracking", raises concerns about health and environmental risks. "
3/31/2010 - Environmental Compromises: This ‘compromise’ to dill oil along the Easter coast of the US is not a compromise. It is a give-away to the fears that we cannot solve our Climate Change and energy problems except to give into the very forces that are holding our environment hostage. Producing more oil and burning it for energy is going to warm the planet future and probably inflict an environmental disaster when a spill occurs. There will be oil spills. President Obama has learned the art of compromise to address environmental problems—except neither the oil companies nor Nature are inclined to compromise. As a matter of fact, Nature never does. Spill oil creatures die. Put greenhouse gases into the atmosphere it warms up. Obama to Open Offshore Areas to Oil Drilling for First Time - NYTimes.com WASHINGTON — The Obama administration is proposing to open vast expanses of water along the Atlantic coastline, the eastern Gulf of Mexico and the north coast of Alaska to oil and natural gas drilling, much of it for the first time, officials said Tuesday. (March 31, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
3/31/2010 - Consumerism and our Environment: How do consumer cultures affect and sustain themselves? Learn how to move away from consumerism and toward sustainability. State of the World 2010: Transforming Cultures | Worldwatch Institute "Worldwatch's flagship annual remains the most authoritative "go-to" resource for those who understand the importance of nurturing a safe, sane, and healthy global environment through both policy and action. " - Worldwatch Institute | Vision for a Sustainable World
3/30/2010 - Climate Change How Far should We take it? Circa the American Civil War our atmosphere contained about 250ppb (parts per billion) molecules of carbon dioxide. Carbon Dioxide is the main contributor of greenhouse gases. 350ppb is considered the safe level by climate scientists. Now, we are hearing that our count is 390ppb. Should we do something about this, or just argue how many carbon dioxide molecules can dance on the head of our future? Q&A: Bill McKibben on CO2 and the Future - Green Inc. Blog - NYTimes.com Bill McKibben, an environmentalist and long-time advocate for action on climate change, believes we can still reverse the growing concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere, which the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration now estimates at 390 parts per million. (March 26, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
3/29/2010 - Be a part of the Solution: If Your Grid Is Dirty , your energy is dirty. Attend this free meeting in Albany and help make sure our electrical grid is green. New York ISO 2010 Symposium 2010 NYISO Symposium Planning the Sustainable Grid of the Future – Reliable, Cleaner, Greener, Smarter, April 27, 2010 – Desmond Hotel, Albany, NY | Timely topics in energy The NYISO symposium will bring together thought-leaders from across the country to discuss a range of topics critical to the energy future of New York, the Northeast, and the Nation. The day-long event features speakers and three panel discussions that will focus on: Developing Broader Regional Markets The Carbon Constrained Economy Enhanced Interregional Planning Register now. The event is free, however space is limited. "
3/29/2010 - Safe Transportation: Learn about the growing movement to increase the healthy benefits of walking to school and reducing the risk. Safe Routes to School National Partnership "The Safe Routes to School National Partnership is a network of more than 400 nonprofit organizations, government agencies, schools, and professionals working together to advance the Safe Routes to School (SRTS) movement in the United States. SRTS can provide a variety of important benefits to children and their communities, including increasing physical activity, reducing traffic congestion, improving air quality, and enhancing neighborhood safety. "
3/27/2010 - More on Safe Green Spring Cleaning: Green Cleaning this Spring | Environmental Working Group Cleaning might be a chore, but it doesn't have to be toxic, too! Safer products and practices are available and easy. Why not go green when you clean? Your family's health is (naturally) worth it. - from EWG Home | Environmental Working Group
3/27/2010 - Earth Hour is Tonight: Official US Site for Earth Hour | My Earth Hour On Saturday, March 27 at 8:30 PM, millions of people across the globe will take a stand against climate change by turning off their lights for one hour - Earth Hour. Earth hour is a chance to drive the environmental movement forward with one simple action. More than that, your participation will have impact outside of the usual suspects - you will raise climate awareness amongst your friends, family, and neighbors. Help build environmental awareness - take action this Saturday for Earth Hour.
3/27/2010 - Climate Change and Energy: It seems the more we learn about possible consequences of climate change and how our present energy production of fossil fuel adds to this issue, the less inclined (because of money) we are to change to renewable energy (check this story NYS solar industry slowdown needs immediate action, says association) sources. Money spent on tar sands projects could decarbonise western economies | Business | The Guardian The £250bn cost of developing Canada's controversial tar sands between now and 2025 could be used to decarbonise the western economy by funding ambitious solar power schemes in the Sahara or a European wide shift to electric vehicles, according to a new report released today. (March 15, 2010) Latest news, comment and reviews from the Guardian | guardian.co.uk [more on Energy in our area)
3/26/2010 - Jeanette's Donate Recycle Reuse has been updated--again. If you are looking to recycle specific items in our area , check this continually updated local recycling list to find out where to recycle properly. Donate Recycle Reuse
3/26/2010 - Behold the Bat: With the raging bat disease, white-nose syndrome, and solutions sought, it does us well to remember the importance of bats and why we should encourage studies to protect bats. They play an important role in our environment. Bats make good neighbors, after all - Health/Science - NewsObserver.com Hunted, bad-mouthed and chased off like flies, bats have long endured a reputation as nature's fiends, synonymous with vampires, haunted houses and rabies. But the world's only flying mammals are enjoying newfound affection across North Carolina and nationwide, sought out as mosquito-gobbling helpers who can roost in backyard houses alongside songbirds. (March 15, 2010) News, Sports, Business, Politics - Raleigh, Durham, Chapel Hill | The News & Observer
3/26/2010 - EPA gets serious about large sources and suppliers reporting on greenhouse gases. Greenhouse Gas Reporting Rule | Regulatory Initiatives | Climate Change | U.S. EPA "In response to the FY2008 Consolidated Appropriations Act (H.R. 2764; Public Law 110–161), EPA promulgated the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule. The rule requires reporting of greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions from large sources and suppliers in the United States, and is intended to collect accurate and timely emissions data to inform future policy decisions. Under the rule, suppliers of fossil fuels or industrial greenhouse gases, manufacturers of vehicles and engines, and facilities that emit 25,000 metric tons or more per year of GHG emissions are required to submit annual reports to EPA. On March 22, 2010, Administrator Jackson signed the following proposed rules which amend the Mandatory Reporting of Greenhouse Gases Rule. Pre-publication copies of proposals and supporting documents may be found by clicking on the appropriate proposal link in the table below. After proposals are published in the Federal Register, they may also be found at www.regulations.gov under the docket numbers listed below. Instructions on submitting comments can be found in the preamble of each proposal. " U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
3/25/2010 - Your Water Quality, don’t give it away: Watch this great seven minute film on why you should support your community’s drinking water and not give away your water to a bottled water fad. The Story of Bottled Water FILM RELEASE: On World Water Day, new Story of Stuff Project film takes a provocative, humorous look at bottled water The Story of Bottled Water: How Manufactured Demand pushes what we don’t need and destroys what we need most SAN FRANCISCO, CA – On March 22nd – World Water Day – The Story of Stuff Project will release The Story of Bottled Water, a 7-minute animated film, at www.storyofbottledwater.org . Hosted by Annie Leonard, the creator of the internet hit The Story of Stuff, the film was co-produced with five leading sustainability advocacy organizations: Corporate Accountability International, Environmental Working Group, Food & Water Watch, Polaris Institute and Pacific Institute. The Story of Bottled Water employs the Story of Stuff style to tell the story of manufactured demand, specifically how you get Americans to buy more than half a billion bottles of water every week when they can get it almost free from a tap.
3/25/2010 - Spring is coming and time to Spring Clean: 8 Ways to Go Green in Spring - Earth911.com "There’s nothing we love more than great weather, sunlight and the perfect excuse to get back to nature. We won’t bore you with those expected metaphors of spring and new beginnings. Instead, we’ve made a detailed of list of simple changes you can make this month that not only reduce your impact, but can also actually save you money. " - Earth911.com - Find Recycling Centers and Learn How To Recycle
3/24/2010 - More on the situation with Bees and solving Colony Collapse Disorder : Bees are busier than ever as disease besieges colonies - washingtonpost.com More than three years after beekeepers starting seeing the sudden disappearance of hive populations, scientists have yet to find the cause -- let alone the fix -- for a condition called colony collapse disorder (CCD). Meanwhile, the commercial beekeeping industry is struggling to provide pollination services to the nations' farmers. One-third of food crops rely on insect pollination. (March 15, 2010) washingtonpost.com - nation, world, technology and Washington area news and headlines
3/24/2010 - Climate Change changes: Move evidence that Climate Change will change our environment as we know it. What’s Killing the Great Forests of the American West? by Jim Robbins: Yale Environment 360 Across western North America, huge tracts of forest are dying off at an extraordinary rate, mostly because of outbreaks of insects. Scientists are now seeing such forest die-offs around the world and are linking them to changes in climate. (March 15, 2010) Yale Environment 360 | Methane-making Microbes Thrive Under The Ice - Science News Antarctica's ice sheets could hide vast quantities of the greenhouse gas (March 16, 2010) Science News
3/24/2010 - But not Rochester - 03/23/2010: EPA Issues Second Annual Ranking of U.S. Cities with the Most Energy Efficient Buildings: List shows continued growth in saving money and energy WASHINGTON - The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) released a list of U.S. metropolitan areas with the largest number of energy efficient buildings that earned EPA’s Energy Star in 2009. The list is headed by Los Angeles, Washington, D.C., San Francisco, Denver, Chicago, Houston, Lakeland, Dallas-Fort Worth, Atlanta and New York. Energy efficiency saves building owners money and fights climate change. "These cities see the importance of taking action on climate change," said Gina McCarthy, assistant administrator for EPA’s Office of Air and Radiation. “Communities from Los Angeles to Louisville are reducing greenhouse gases and cutting energy bills with buildings that have earned EPA's Energy Star." U.S. EPA Newsroom - News Releases
3/23/2010 - Green Ride Challenge coming up: Dr. Destler’s Green Vehicle Challenge About the Challenge Date: Saturday May 1, 2010 Time: Challenge begins at 9:00 AM Course: Approximately 3 miles beginning at the Simone Circle, participants will take Andrew’s Memorial Drive to S-Lot and return to the Simone Circle. Click here to view a PDF of the course.
3/23/2010 - Climate Change Changes: Weather should be the daily reporting of what our atmosphere is throwing at us. But, increasingly we are getting a wide perspective on what’s going on. Climate change studies come in almost daily, from various experts, various countries, various disciplines. Climate Change in not a conspiracy, it’s connecting the dos on major changes coming quickly to our climate. NASA: “It is nearly certain that a new record 12-month global temperature will be set in 2010″ « Climate Progress Must-read draft paper: "We conclude that global temperature continued to rise rapidly in the past decade" and "that there has been no reduction in the global warming trend of 0.15-0.20°C/decade that began in the late 1970s." Climate Progress And also, check this out: Monarch butterflies making trek north from Mexico in lowest numbers in decades | Local New... Monarch butterflies, hit hard by strong storms at their winter home in Mexico, have dwindled to their lowest population levels in decades as they begin to return to Texas on their springtime flight back to the United States and Canada. (March 19, 2010) http://www.star-telegram.com/
3/23/2010 - Zeroing in on Bees Demise: Over recent years various explanations as to why our bee populations, which are critical to our agriculture, have been brought forth. This is the latest theory and maybe there’s a solution: Bees Face 'unprecedented' Pesticide Exposures At Home And Afield - Science News SAN FRANCISCO For years the news has been the same: Honey bees are being hammered by some mysterious environmental plague that has a name -- colony collapse disorder – but no established cause. A two-year study now provides evidence indicting one likely group of suspects: pesticides. It found “unprecedented levels” of mite-killing chemicals and crop pesticides in hives across the United States and parts of Canada. (March 21, 2010) Science News
3/23/2010 - The real dirty deal: For the talk about clean fossil fuel and the dismissal of renewable energy in mainstream media, the reality is that staying on the energy course we are on is not sustainable. Check this article: EIP REPORT: ELECTRIC POWER INDUSTRY "NOT MAKING A DENT" IN DANGEROUS MERCURY POLLUTION, WHICH ROSE AT OVER HALF OF THE NATION'S 50 DIRTIEST POWER PLANTS More than half (27) of the nation's 50 worst power plants for mercury emissions increased their mercury emissions from 2007 to 2008 (the latest year for which data is available), according to a new report from the nonprofit and nonpartisan Environmental Integrity Project (EIP). The six leading U.S. power suppliers with three or more plants on the mercury emission list by total pounds (March 17, 2010) Environmental Integrity Project
3/22/2010 - Climate Change changes: As more evidence accumulates that Climate Change is happening, we are also learning about more possible consequences of it. The Spread of New Diseases and the Climate Connection by Sonia Shah: Yale Environment 360 As humans increasingly encroach on forested lands and as temperatures rise, the transmission of disease from animals and insects to people is growing. Now a new field, known as “conservation medicine,” is exploring how ecosystem disturbance and changing interactions between wildlife and humans can lead to the spread of new pathogens. (March 17, 2010) Yale Environment 360 [More on Climate Change]
3/22/2010 - Take Action for your city’s Transportation by completing an online survey. Join in the discussion about how best to commute to the city. Downtown Rochester Commuting Study / R201003220713269838 "The purpose of this survey is to better understand commuting and parking patterns in Downtown Rochester. Your participation will assist the City of Rochester in identifying new reliable, convenient, and affordable Downtown commuting options, enhance transportation services, and collectively reduce carbon emissions. "
3/20/2010 - Join the Earth Hour Locally for our Environment: Earth Hour 2010 is Saturday, March 27th, 8:30-9:30pm Turn off your lights, computers, other appliances for one hour with cities, landmarks and people all around the world, to make a statement for the earth. You can sign up at earthhour.org. Locally, The Town of Brighton and Penfield High School are officially signed up to participate. On Earth Hour hundreds of millions of people, organizations, corporations and governments around the world will come together to make a bold statement about their concern for climate change by doing something quite simple—turning off their lights for one hour. In the U.S. where we are already feeling the impacts of climate change, Earth Hour sends a clear message that Americans care about this issue and want to turn the lights out on dirty air, dangerous dependency on foreign oil and costly climate change impacts, and make the switch to cleaner air, a strong economic future and a more secure nation. Participation is easy. By flipping off your lights on March 27th at 8:30 p.m. local time you will be making the switch to a cleaner, more secure nation and prosperous America. View the toolkits, to find out what else you can do to get involved including leading the Earth Hour movement in your community. Set Your Clock On Saturday, March 27, 2010 at 8:30 p.m. local time, Earth Hour will once again cascade around the globe, from New Zealand to Hawaii
3/19/2010 - In these Extraordinary Times: Another reason to acknowledging that we are living at a precarious time for our environment is that most of the large fishing stocks in the oceans are failing. “WWF - Poorly managed fishing” Man has fished the oceans for a long time, but only recently has the amount of fish taken from the ocean meant a possible collapse of our ocean’s fish. Cod fishing off the Canadian coast has crashed and the bluefin Tuna populations are threatened (with no solution imminent) and the fishing collapse issue is not getting better. Oftentimes, as with human nature, these collapses occur so slowly in our own particular lifetimes, we don’t see how extraordinary fast they are occurring on an environmental scale. Near the end of fishing collapse those born recently might think the numbers of fish normal and a few more fish gone hardly worth noticing. But, this inability or refusal to see environmental issues on a longer time scale than our own individual lives means that (like the boiling frog metaphor) we plunge our environmental into collapse without even knowing it. That’s why we must change our attitude towards our environment, and force ourselves to see what’s really going on. The End of the Line is making waves for fish stocks recovery | Felicity Lawrence | Environment | guardian.co.uk "The End of the Line began life as a ground-breaking book by the environment journalist Charles Clover in 2004. It was an impassioned description of the wanton destruction being wreaked on fish stocks by industrial fishing round the world. It left me feeling both angry and despondent. Now it's been turned into a film of the same title, and it's a must-see. "
3/19/2010 - Living Green with the EPA: ""Got environment?" Earth Day is coming up (April 22), and we want to let you know some cool ways to go green! 1) Show YOUR commitment to a clean and healthy environment by joining in the "It’s My Environment" video project! Just take a 10-15 second video showing a simple action to protect the environment, read a sign saying "It's My Environment," and pass it across the screen from the viewer's left to right. We’ll pick several to include in a compilation video we’ll release on Earth Day (April 22). It’ll look like the sign is traveling from clip to clip, forming a human chain around the globe. Because environmental protection is for everyone - people of all ages, races, languages, economic status, or geographic location! Detailed instructions are at: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/video And check out our promo video on YouTube at http://bit.ly/youtubepromo 2) Get a daily environmental tip you can use in every part of your life: driving, saving money on electricity, sun safety and conserving water - - just to name a few. Sign up at doc_snippets.html?partner_id=3675&document_id=107860# You can also listen to podcasts in English: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/podcasts/index.html or Espanol: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/espanol/podcasts.html. Finally, you can also install the daily environmental tip widget on your own site: http://www.epa.gov/earthday/widgets/index.htm 3) Subscribe to our monthly newsletter Go Green! Every month you'll get "what you can do" consumer information about activities, events and more environmental tips. Sign up at http://www.epa.gov/newsroom/gogreen/ under "Enter your email to receive this newsletter." Want more tips? Visit EPA's Earth Day site to learn more about Earth Day, the US Environmental Protection Agency, and what you can do to help protect human health and the environment. http://www.epa.gov/earthday/tips2.htm "
3/18/2010 - Greening up our World: Our Rochester-area colleges and universities are a major source of environmental activity and a resource for learning how to recycling, conserve, and act more environmentally friendly.The Green Dandelion "The Green Dandelion is dedicated to sustainability and the work that is being done at the University of Rochester by Facilities and Services Department in the area of sustainability. "
3/18/2010 - Would you consider bicycle commuting in Rochester? Rochester Cycling Alliance : Rochester, NY wants to get an idea of how people use their bicycles in the Rochester area. Our transportation, public health, and environment would be greatly improved if the public rode their bicycles to work and play more often. Consider taking this brief survey about your bicycling habit that will help the premier bicycle advocacy group in our area do a better job in make Rochester a bicycling area. Bicycle Commuter Survey "The Rochester Cycling Alliance works to create a better bicycling infrastructure and a stronger voice for bicyclists in Rochester, NY. This survey collects data on bicycle commuters in the Greater Rochester region. The Alliance will use the data to help support our goal and objectives to make Rochester a more bicycle friendly city. "
3/18/2010 - Spring Cleaning: Donate that old Bike When you’re sprucing up this spring, thinking you might have to finally get rid of that old bike that you don’t ride anymore think of donating your bike to R Community Bikes: Rochester, New York. I stopped over there yesterday and it was a beehive of activity. Volunteers fixing bikes, giving away bikes, cleaning, stacking bike stuff, a quick pizza break and then back to work—this in the name of recycling bikes so that others can ride. Even when a bike is really, really messed up, they take them, the salvageable parts stripped and reused, the frame taken to a metal recycler, nothing left but rubber from unusable tires. When they find a place to recycle rubber, it’s going to be a contained recycling system. Consider supporting this invaluable Rochester-area recycling and transportation with your volunteering and donations. Stop over a get a tour of this great operation that give to others transportation. R Community Bikes: Rochester, New York "R Community Bikes is a grassroots, 501(c)3 organization that collects and repairs used bicycles for distribution, free of charge, to Rochester, NY's most needy children and adults. Our mission is meeting the basic transportation needs of those in the community who depend on bikes for recreation as well as for transport to work, school, rehabilitation programs, and training sessions. For this segment of the population, both quality of life and the ability to participate in our community are greatly enhanced when our mission is achieved. R Community Bikes also provides a venue for the Rochester bicycling community to conduct educational programs relative to bicycle safety and maintenance. We are open to the public on Wednesdays and Saturdays from 9:30 am to 1:00 pm at our warehouse at 226 Hudson Ave. (at the intersection with Woodbury Street). In addition, on Wednesdays in the summer we conduct bike repairs at St. Joseph's House of Hospitality at 402 South Avenue. "
3/17/2010 - ACTION : Earth Day Lobby Day 2010 "Join hundreds of environmentalists from across the state in advocating for measures to protect our air, water, land and health. No lobbying experience needed! Tuesday, April 20th, 2010 9:30 AM – 4:00 PM New York State Capitol Albany, NY New York’s environmental resources are being threatened now as they never have been before. Please join us for the 20th annual Earth Day Lobby Day in Albany, New York! Hear from government and environmental leaders, learn about current legislation, and lobby your state law-makers on environmental issues that are important to you. This event is free and open to the public, but you must preregister to attend. Sign up now for Earth Day Lobby Day by clicking here! " -The event is being sponsored by Audubon New York, Citizens Campaign for the Environment, Environmental Advocates of New York, the New York Public Interest Research Group, Sierra Club, The Nature Conservancy, and other organizations.
3/17/2010 - Rochester’s Transportation Future: Find what the plans are for our areas transportation future, including bicycle infrastructure and make public comment today at two different locations. Genesee Transportation Council - Draft TIP "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is making the DRAFT 2011-2014 Transportation Improvement Program (TIP) Project List available for a 30-day public review from Thursday, February 25, 2010 through Friday, March 26, 2010. GTC is the designated Metropolitan Planning Organization (MPO) for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region. USDOT requires every metropolitan area with a population over 50,000 to have a designated MPO to qualify for receipt of federal highway and transit funds. " - from Genesee Transportation Council
3/16/2010 - How does our region go about limiting green house gases? Check this out: Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) CO2 Budget Trading Program "The Regional Greenhouse Gas Initiative (RGGI) is a cooperative effort by ten Northeast and Mid-Atlantic states to limit greenhouse gas emissions. RGGI is the first mandatory, market-based CO2 emissions reduction program in the United States. The states of Connecticut, Delaware, Maine, Maryland, Massachusetts, New Hampshire, New Jersey, New York, Rhode Island, and Vermont are signatory states to the RGGI agreement. These ten states have capped CO2 emissions from the power sector, and will require a 10 percent reduction in these emissions by 2018. "
3/16/2010 - Earth Day is coming. Celebrate around Rochester. Here's a whole month of events: Rochester Museum & Science Center: Earth Month "Beginning Saturday, March 20, 2010 Celebrate Earth Day for an Entire Month! Join us and have fun with local experts from the Water Education Collaborative while investigating water runoff and your local watershed. "
3/16/2010 - Spring is coming and we here in Rochester love to tidy up our city: City of Rochester | Clean Sweep "Help us make Rochester sparkle at the 2010 Clean Sweeps More than 15,000 volunteers have demonstrated their pride in Rochester by working alongside City crews to clean and beautify just about every street in the city. In addition to removing litter and debris, volunteers do such things as planting flowers, pruning trees and performing other neighborhood beautification projects. In 2009, the Northeast Quadrant cleanup drew nearly 1,200 volunteers who collected more than 25 tons of litter and debris from the neighborhood. That brought the total debris collection for 2009's Clean Sweeps to more than 100 tons. With your help, we can make 2010 surpass the impressive goals set in 2009. In 2010, the Clean Sweep program will pick up where it left off after a successful 2009 and continue to clean up Rochester while building community spirit. Come and join in on the fun on one of the following Saturdays: Southwest Quadrant- May 1st at Genesee Valley Park, 131 Elmwood Ave. Northeast Quadrant- May 8th at Northeast Neighborhood Service Center, 500 Norton Street Northwest Quadrant- May 15th at Edgerton Park, 41 Backus St. Southeast Quadrant- May 22nd at Cobb's Hill Park, Culver Rd. and Norris Dr. --from City of Rochester
3/15/2010 - Rochester NY future green plans. Check out what your community has planed for our future. City of Rochester | Project Green Imagine a city where neighborhoods are built around parks and gardens, where building walls and rooftops are alive with vegetation; where tree-lined streets encourage commuters to ride their bikes or take a walk. This is the vision of Project Green, a bold plan that would change the look and feel of Rochester by replacing vacant properties with vast swaths of green space. It’s a plan that recognizes Rochester’s built environment – our buildings, streets and public utilities – no longer match our population trends. Over the next 20 years, more than three dozen city blocks will be converted into a “green infrastructure” of open space that can be used for such purposes as community gardens, urban farms, parks and renewable-energy generating facilities. These green spaces will be connected by a network of pedestrian- and bicycle-friendly “green corridors” that will further enhance Rochester’s exceptional quality of life. Other elements of Project Green include the installation of roof-top gardens, historic preservation, focused investment and strategic development of the city’s downtown and waterways. Project Green is an opportunity to shape Rochester’s future – an opportunity to grow the city in the right direction. View the final report here.
3/15/2010 - Following the Bee Story: We have been following the Colony Collapse disorder on bees since it began in the Rochester, NY area. Today the New York Times does a section “The Latest on Bees” Bees - The New York Times Long known as the angels of agriculture, honey bees have received global attention due to losses attributed to a combination of factors: Colony Collapse Disorder, mites, deforestation and industrial agriculture. Honey bees provide pollination for crops, orchards and flowers; honey and wax for cosmetics, food and medicinal-religious objects; and inspiration to artists, architects and scientists. (March 15, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia [more on Wildlife in our area]
3/12/2010 - Demonstrate your concern for Energy Conservation: Earth Hour 2010: turn off your lights for one hour The Town of Brighton is officially signed up for Earth Hour 2010! On Saturday, March 27, 2010 from 8:30 to 9:30pm, join your neighbors, and hundreds of millions of people around the world by turning off your lights for one hour. --from Home Page - Color Brighton Green
3/11/2010 - Transportation mega leap: I had heard for some years that Google was considering including bicycle routes on Google Maps and now it has come to be. To those who have not thought about transportation, except to jump into their gas-guzzler even for short distances, this added feature to Google search engine doesn’t seem like much of a news item. But, it is. Proven by many communities (check out Streetfilms: Contra-Flow Biking in Boulder) who begin to accommodate bicycle traffic, our communities become cleaner, safer and a better place to live when walking and bicycle are encouraged. Being able to quickly route the best way from here to there will a bicycle map increases the probability that commuters and the rest of the public will consider taking that trip on a bicycle and helping our communities to be more sustainable. Or course, much more than an online map will be required to reverse our tendency to create an environment for vehicular traffic instead of an environment where the public feels comfortable walking and bicycling to their destination, but this step by Google is a step in the sustainable direction. Official Google Blog: Biking directions added to Google Maps "Whenever I meet someone who finds out that I work on the directions team for Google Maps, the first question I'm asked is often "So when's Google Maps going to add biking directions?" We're big biking fans too, so we've been itching to give you a concrete answer. I don't want to keep the good news a secret any longer, so the answer is: right now! Today we've added biking directions and extensive bike trail data to Google Maps for the U.S. "
3/11/2010 - How’s your drinking water? One of the great things about drinking municipal water instead on bottled water is that you get an annual description of your water quality and statistics. You have a pretty good idea of your water quality. And, if you have questions, concerns, or complaints you have the power to address your water quality concerns. If you live in the City of Rochester, you got your 2009 Water Quality Report and you can review past water quality reports here: City of Rochester | Water Quality Annual Reports "The City of Rochester is proud to supply its residents with clean, high quality water. The Bureau of Water annually produces a Water Quality Report that provides residents with information on the quality of drinking water, news on the water system, details on the source of drinking water and its treatment and test results. " -from City of Rochester
3/10/2010 - Free webinar on collecting Food waste: Hi everyone. The second in a series of five food waste webinars sponsored by USEPA and NYSDEC takes place on March 10 at 1:00. The topic is the Separation and Collection of Food Waste. We have three fantastic speakers lined up: • Institutional Food Waste: Collection, Containers and Costs - Mike Manna (Organic Recycling Solutions, LLC.) • Collection in an Urban Setting: NYC - Chris Balfe • New Opportunities for Diverting Food Scraps and Soiled Paper - Peter Anderson (Center for a Competitive Waste Industry) To register, go to Training Exchange There are only 50 spots left. If you want to register, it is best to do it sooner rather than later. You can also register for the remaining webinars at the same time.
3/10/2010 - The EPA establishes a new Responsible Recycling Practices: Responsible Recycling Practices for Electronics Recyclers | Wastes Newsroom | US EPA "Americans are growing more concerned about the responsible handling of used electronics (e-waste) as the media sheds light on horrendous e-waste recycling practices in some developing countries that are sometimes the ultimate destination of unwanted equipment from the United States. Questions have been raised on what EPA has been doing to practices by irresponsible recyclers. Recognizing the critical importance of environmentally sound recycling, EPA has worked closely with stakeholders, including recyclers, equipment manufacturers, representatives of state government, trade associations, and public interest groups, to develop a new set of standards, the Responsible Recycling Practices for Electronics Recyclers (R2). On July 27, 2009, the American National Standards Institute-American Society of Quality National Accreditation Board (ANAB) announced that it will start accrediting companies that will certify recyclers of electronic equipment under the R2 practices. EPA will not audit facilities for compliance with the R2 Practices; however, private, third-party certification bodies will conduct audits and issue certificates of conformance to electronic recyclers that successfully demonstrate they meet R2 requirements. " U.S. Environmental Protection Agency
3/10/2010 - More indictments on why the Copenhagen Climate Change talks failed. This time the environmentalists turn on themselves. Serious charges though they are, the ultimate question in the fallout from the climate science email, the Himalayan glaciers, is the drumbeat: What are we going to do about Climate Change? The answer is not ‘nothing.’ There’s not only overwhelming and compelling evidence that the planet is warming up and nearing tipping points from which there is not turning back to a climate we grew up in, making wholesale changing to curb Climate Change is reasonable assumption that a reasonable people should adopt. If you rapidly change the human population to 6 billion people, who drive millions of greenhouse gas emitting gas into the atmosphere, and create an extinction event equal to the five other great extinction events, only a lot quicker, then it is a reasonable assumption that we have to change our collective behavior towards the planet to ensure our way of live. Pointing fingers about every little fact, every indictment, the blame game, and creating a stalemate in the face of a true environmental crisis won’t due. We had better start doing something about Climate Change quickly, or we’ll be doing a whole lot more fruitless squabbling as we rearrange the chairs on the Titanic of Climate Change. The Wrong Kind of Green "Why did America's leading environmental groups jet to Copenhagen and lobby for policies that will lead to the faster death of the rainforests--and runaway global warming? Why are their lobbyists on Capitol Hill dismissing the only real solutions to climate change as "unworkable" and "unrealistic," as though they were just another sooty tentacle of Big Coal? " - The Nation | Unconventional Wisdom Since 1865 Check out the interview with the author: The Real Climategate: Conservation Groups Align with World's Worst Polluters "Major environmental groups are coming under criticism from within their own ranks for taking positions that some say are antithetical to their stated missions of saving the planet. " - A daily TV/radio news program, hosted by Amy Goodman and Juan Gonzalez, airing on over 800 stations, pioneering the largest community media collaboration in the U.S.
3/09/2010 - The list of Environmentalists in the Rochester, NY region keeps growing. People who organize to help make our environment sustainable. This Is My Planet--Citizens for a United Earth "Citizens for a United Earth is a group of volunteers in the area of Rochester, NY, who want a peaceful, sustainable, prosperous future for all the world's people. We believe the time has come for global citizenship, with people aware of their interdependence with others all over the world. Click on Earth Plan on the "Essays" page to learn more. "
3/08/2010 - More Climate Changes here: The list of possible environmental changes due to Climate Change in our region grows. The more we understand and study Climate Change and its implications the more we understand that warmers summers and warmer winters aren’t going to be the only consequences of New York’s Climate Change. Doing the things we have to do to stop Climate Change, which is within our powers (like ‘cooling it’ on burning greenhouse gases), is going to be a whole lot more tolerable than adapting or changing to Climate Change here. Invasive Plants Move North Fall foliage is the veritable trademark of the Northeast. Families flock from around the world to take in the natural splendor. Imagine autumn in New England without its distinctive palette - choked out by a dense labyrinth of invasive vines. This nightmare may become a reality in the near future if current climate trends continue, increasing the threat of invasive plant species to the Northeast Region. (February 18, 2010) Northeast Region, U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service [Climate Change in our area]
3/06/2010 - ACTION - Take action to Save NYS Parks: NYLCV Joins Parks Lobby Day In Albany | NYLCV - New York League of Conservation Voters NYLCV, our environmental partners and park lovers from around the state gathered at the Capitol in Albany on Wednesday to make a forceful case for not closing state parks. --from NYLCV - New York League of Conservation Voters | Educating and Electing for the Environment
3/06/2010 - Climate Change: What is being done about it? There’s that old joke that everyone talks about the weather, but nobody does anything about it. But, around the world there are being things done about Climate Change—more than people sitting at their computers ranting about the newest factoid or arguing point to back up one’s Weltanschauung. Global Ideas | Deutsche Welle Melting ice caps, catastrophic hurricanes, floods and drought plunging entire regions into a water crisis. These are the drastic images often associated with climate change. But what's actually being done on the ground to halt global warming? What kind of projects are helping to reduce emissions, inform people and spur them to change their lifestyles? (March 5, 2010) [More on Climate Change in our area]
3/06/2010 - Living Green: Reduce your carbon footprint: In order to combat Climate Change a lot of people are going to have to make quick changes. But, that doesn’t mean individually we can help drive those necessary changes by changing some of the things we do in our own lives. Ten Things You Can Do to Shrink Your Carbon Footprint | Use Celsias.com - reduce global °Celsius Most environmentalists agree that government, with its power to regulate, is critical in finding and enforcing solutions to global warming. But consumers represent 70 percent of US economic activity--indeed, the average American's carbon footprint is twenty metric tons, five times the global average. --from Use Celsias.com - reduce global °Celsius
3/06/201 - Bird Care: If you do care about birds, consider the number of bird deaths due to glass. Some changes in the windows and the placement of bird feeders could save birds’ lives. Birds and windows "Clear and reflective sheet glass as window panes in homes or entire walls of multistory commercial buildings is a passive invisible killer of wild birds worldwide. Among the dead are the abundant as well as the rare, threatened, and endangered species. Investigators have gathered extensive evidence documenting sheet glass as a growing source of avian mortality, and a suspected contributor to overall bird population declines. Preventing these unintended fatalities will require education addressing preventive techniques, regulation addressing the installation of glass in buildings, and enforcement of existing legislation to protect wild birds as an aesthetic and environmentally valuable natural resource. Read more on the Fact Sheet. "
3/05/2010 - Oceans Count: We keep hearing that our oceans are in trouble because of acidification (a consequence of Climate Change) pollution and other factors. But, how is marine life doing in our oceans. Check this out: Census of Marine Life | Making Ocean Life Count "The Census of Marine Life is a global network of researchers in more than 80 nations engaged in a 10-year scientific initiative to assess and explain the diversity, distribution, and abundance of life in the oceans. The world's first comprehensive Census of Marine Life - past, present, and future - will be released in 2010. "
3/05/2010 - One of those Climate Change predictions: One of the things that a good theory about what is going on in the world is that it will predict future events. This is opposed to a lot of ideas about the way many people think the world works—more often than not those which present a hypothesis that is incapable of predicting anything solid. For example, those ideas that the world was going to end in say, 2000, met with complete failure because it didn’t happen. That crazy theory was not based on science. This is instructive as we move towards serious environmental problems. If we don’t have a view of reality that is correct and predictable, we’re going to cook the next generation. More and more the predictions of Climate Change are occurring and doing so swiftly. Arctic ice melting and carbon dioxide in the atmosphere increasing are happening and they are predicted in the Climate Change model. Another prediction is methane gas being release from the ocean floor, which if it happens rapidly could release a global warming gas far more potent than carbon dioxide. And, now there are indications that this is occurring: Study Says Undersea Release of Methane Is Under Way - NYTimes.com Climate scientists have long warned that global warming could unlock vast stores of the greenhouse gas methane that are frozen into the Arctic permafrost, setting off potentially significant increases in global warming. (March 4, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia
3/04/2010 - Gas Drilling Presentation: View a gas drilling presentation from: Environmental Advocates of New York - Issues - Water & Natural Resources - Natural Gas Drilling/Marcellus Shale Formation "ABOUT NATURAL GAS DRILLING IN NEW YORK STATE New York’s Southern Tier and Catskills are home to small towns, family farms, scenic rivers and irreplaceable open spaces, as well as the drinking water supplies of millions of New Yorkers. But beneath this natural beauty lie trillions of cubic feet of natural gas, trapped within the rock of the Marcellus Shale formation." --from Environmental Advocates New York
3/04/2010 - Increase your Environmental Education on fresh clean water. Check out this instructive lesson on where we get our drinking water. Multimedia - where does your water come from? It’s not surprising that so many Americans don’t know where our drinking water comes from. We have long benefitted from sophisticated water infrastructure – networks of pipes and pumps and filtration plants – that bring water from rivers, lakes and natural underground supplies right into our homes. The Nature Conservancy - Protecting Nature, Preserving Life
3/04/2010 - Get money to save energy: From the White House, find out about the Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program that will create jobs and save homeowners energy costs. Fact Sheet: Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program | The White House "Fact Sheet: Homestar Energy Efficiency Retrofit Program WASHINGTON--In his State of the Union address, the President called on Congress to pass a program of incentives for homeowners who make energy efficiency investments in their homes. Today, while touring a training facility at Savannah Technical College, the President outlined more details of a new “HOMESTAR” program that would help create jobs by encouraging American families to invest in energy saving home improvements. Consistent with the President’s call for a HOMESTAR program, the Senate Democratic leadership included a proposal of this kind as part of their Jobs Agenda released on February 4, 2010. The President looks forward to continuing to work with Members of Congress, business, environmental and labor leaders to enact a HOMESTAR program into law. "
3/03/2010 - Earth Day coming Soon! Don't forget to find an activity for Earth Day. International Programs & Events | Earth Day Network Earth Day Network was founded on the premise that all people, regardless of race, gender, income, or geography, have a moral right to a healthy, sustainable environment. Our mission is to broaden and diversify the environmental movement worldwide, and to mobilize it as the most effective vehicle for promoting a healthy, sustainable environment. We pursue our mission through a combination of education, public policy, and consumer activism campaigns. Our campaign and programs are predicated on the belief that an educated, energized population will take action to secure a healthy future for itself and its children. Earth Day Network has a global reach with a network of more than 17,000 partners and organizations in 174 countries. More than 1 billion people participate in Earth Day activities, making it the largest secular civic event in the world.
3/03/2010 - Bird deaths and wind turbines: For all the talk and clamor about wind turbines causing thousands of bird deaths, it should be remembered that bird deaths due to other human factors kill a lot more birds. Cars, cats allowed to roam neighborhoods, and glass windows probably cause far more bird deaths that wind turbines ever will. Check this out: “Estimates are that between 100 million and 1 billion individual birds are killed annually by collisions with windows in the United States alone.” –from Window Glass: Silent Bird Killer? | Cool Green Science: The Conservation Blog of The Nature Conservancy "Birds just do not get the concept of “glass.” We’ve all surely had the experience of having a bird fly into a window at our home, office or school, usually with unfortunate consequences for the bird. But have you ever stopped to think about how widespread this phenomenon is and how many birds it might be killing annually? " The Nature Conservancy - Protecting Nature, Preserving Life
3/02/2010 - Energy Pursuit: In our pursuit of the perfect energy source, where it doesn’t pollute, doesn’t cost much, frees us from foreign energy, will we get to the Holy Grail. There’s a lot on ingenuity out there, maybe this gadget is the one—The Bloom Box. ‘Bloom box’ fuel cell system wins big companies’ favor "(CBS) In the world of energy, the Holy Grail is a power source that's inexpensive and clean, with no emissions. Well over 100 start-ups in Silicon Valley are working on it, and one of them, Bloom Energy, is about to make public its invention: a little power plant-in-a-box they want to put literally in your backyard. " (February 18, 2010) 60 Minutes - Interviews, Profiles & Reports - CBS News Also, check out this article: ‘Bloom box’ fuel cell system wins big companies’ favor "A growing number of Fortune 500 companies have installed the new fuel cell system offering from a company that traces its roots to a NASA program. Bloom Energy Corporation’s fuel cell system, the Bloom Energy Server, is reportedly emerging as a potential alternative to both traditional and renewable energy sources by generating a steady supply of clean, cheap and efficient energy. " February 25, 2010) GREEN NEWS - ECOSEED's Global Green News Portal
3/02/2010 - Climate Change Changing: How is the fallout from all that international focus on the Climate Change controversy going: Here's some stories: Signs of Life, and Change, in Climate Inquiry - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com (February 24, 2010) Natural Resources and the Environment - Dot Earth Blog - NYTimes.com Also, get the perspecitive of a climate scientist: Michael Mann - Unprecedented Attacks on Climate Research | Point of Inquiry For the scientists who study global warming, now is the winter of their despair. In the news, it has been climate scandal after alleged climate scandal. First came “ClimateGate,” then “GlacierGate,” “Amazon Gate,” and so on. In public opinion polls, meanwhile, Americans’ acceptance of the science of global warming appears to be declining. Even a freak snowstorm now seems to sow added doubt about this rigorous body of research. " (February 24, 2010) Point of Inquiry
3/01/2010 - Pesticide Drift: We have a law in Monroe County called the 48 Hour Neighborhood Notification Law that was implemented to avoid pesticide and herbicide drift, but is it being complied with? Last time we checked, it wasn’t much: Lawn care law largely ignored — "Many Monroe County homeowners are not complying with the county's new pesticide neighbor notification law, officials say. Under the law, homeowners who apply weed-killers and insecticides to lawn and garden areas larger than 100 square feet must post small signs informing neighbors that chemicals have been applied. In addition, the law requires retailers to post signs next to pesticides explaining the law to their customers." (April 15, 2006) Daily Messenger On a large scale, how is pesticide drift being addressed nation wide? 'Pesticide Drift' Eluding Efforts To Combat It : NPR The Environmental Protection Agency is considering a petition from farm worker and public health advocates to ban pesticide spraying near schools, hospitals and child care centers. Part of the evidence they cite comes from California, the nation's largest agricultural producer, and a state where pesticides carried from the fields by winds sicken hundreds of people each year. (February 25, 2010) NPR : National Public Radio : News & Analysis, World, US, Music & Arts : NPR
3/01/2010 - Rochester’s Water Quality: How good is Rochester, NY area’s water and what’s in it? Check it out: EWG's Drinking Water Quality Analysis and Tap Water Database | Environmental Working Group "Since 2004, testing by water utilities has found 315 pollutants in the tap water Americans drink, according to an Environmental Working Group (EWG) drinking water quality analysis of almost 20 million records obtained from state water officials. More than half of the chemicals detected are not subject to health or safety regulations and can legally be present in any amount. The federal government does have health guidelines for others, but 49 of these contaminants have been found in one place or another at levels above those guidelines, polluting the tap water for 53.6 million Americans. The government has not set a single new drinking water standard since 2001. "--from EWG Home | Environmental Working Group
3/01/2010 - Good article by Al Gore on why the public shouldn’t be distracted by the climate denier noise in the face of a real threat to our environment. Op-Ed Contributor - We Can’t Wish Away Climate Change - NYTimes.com It would be an enormous relief if the recent attacks on the science of global warming actually indicated that we do not face an unimaginable calamity requiring large-scale, preventive measures to protect human civilization as we know it. (February 27, 2010) The New York Times - Breaking News, World News & Multimedia