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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.
9/30/2014 - On no, I cannot imagine that lots and lots of crude heating would have any negative impact on the environment during Climate Change. Makes perfect sense to give the store away and let the fossil fuel industry cook as much fossil fuel as they want from all over the world right at our New York State capitol. Please. And we thought Fracking was the monster we had to keep at bay. Comment period extended on Port of Albany oil plant proposal DEC cites high interest, but critic says agency is putting off a decision The state Department of Environmental Conservation is again extending the public comment period on a proposal by an oil terminal operator at the Port of Albany to build a facility that would heat crude oil for shipment, the agency said late Friday. Global Partners handles crude oil from incoming oil tanker trains that carry crude daily from the Bakken fields of North Dakota. Opponents of the heating plant fear it would be used to process Canadian tar sands oil, a thicker type of crude that thickens in cold weather, making it difficult to pump out of rail tankers and into tanks for eventual transfer to barges and tankers that go down the Hudson River. (September 26, 2014) Albany Times Union [more on Air Quality in our area]
9/30/2014 - How can we best address Poverty in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area? Address Climate Change. Jobs, health, economics, cleaning up those Brownfields that mostly exist in poor areas, can all be addressed through the lens of preparing for our future, a warmer future. We will need all hands on deck, especially those we have burdened with an unconscionable economic system. We can do this by creating jobs to fix our infrastructures (water, transportation, waste, and telecommunications) mass education for a more sustainable transportation system (active transportation, public transit, and high speed rail) and our health system with education, education, and education. Poverty and the Concentration of Poverty in the Nine-County Greater Rochester Area A report was recently released by Rochester Area Community Foundation and ACT Rochester detailing startling statistics behand our community's ongoing struggles with significant poverty issues. The Report finds that Rochester is: • Fifth poorest city in the country among the top 75 largest metropolitan areas; • Second poorest among comparably sized cities in those metro areas; • Ranked third for highest concentration of extremely poor neighborhoods among cities in the top 100 metro areas; • The poorest school district in Upstate New York and the poorest urban district in the entire state. ACTRochester
9/30/2014 - Why we should plan with Climate Change consequences foremost in our minds: “Climate change makes all of them worse,” Climate change makes it harder to save Lake Erie Heavier rains cause runoff, feeding algae Although not the primary source of Great Lakes algae, climate change is exacerbating the problem and making it harder to reduce phosphorus and other nutrients that help algae grow, experts say. National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration records show a 51 percent increase in heavy storms — those that dropped 3 inches of rain or more within 24 hours — in the Midwest since the 1960s. Jeff Reutter, Ohio Sea Grant and Ohio State University Stone Laboratory director, cited erosion, nutrient loading, harmful algae blooms, invasive species, oxygen-depleted “dead zones,” and climate change as Lake Erie’s six biggest issues at an Ohio Farmers’ Union presentation in Toledo last Monday. “Climate change makes all of them worse,” Mr. Reutter said. (September 29, 2014) The Blade [more on Climate Change and Great Lakes in our area]
9/30/2014 - I know, I don’t ever do “inspirational message of hope” but this 4 minute film before U.N. Climate Summit in NYC is, well, inspirational… 'What's Possible': The U.N. Climate Summit Opening Film Morgan Freeman narrates an inspirational message of hope and a call for action from world leaders. (September 23, 2014) takepart [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/30/2014 - Will the People’s Climate March and the results of the UN Climate Summit in NYC make the Paris 2015 successful? It’s up to you. Certainly, if the public thinks all it had to do was MARCH! to make countries and corporations around the world keep their promises and then commit to legal agreements in Paris next year, the public will be deluded. It’s like placing a puppy at the other side of the room, walking away and expecting the puppy to stay. Only after some patient training will the puppy stay. UN Climate Summit Achieves Successes, But Does It Really Matter? The judgment on whether the meeting meant anything will have to wait until the world reaches three milestones on the path to a possible global treaty. At the end of his summit meeting on the climate crisis, UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon put out a list of accomplishments festooned with 46 bullet points, some of them marking concrete new pledges, others diaphanous phrases. Among the most notable were two separate pledges on forests, which if followed through couldeliminate deforestationby 2030, and end deforestation at the hands of the palm oil industry even sooner. (September 26, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/29/2014 - Rochester, NY media mostly ignored the People’s Climate March and the rising concern of Climate Change, but not all media. We tried to stove pipe all that in our area, but it was a slog trying to get local media to give a rat’s ass. Here are our attempts. | 'Alarm Bells Keep Ringing': Live Coverage of Climate Week 2014 The biggest climate protest in history kicked off a week of debate, disruption and aspiration in New York. Here are the latest updates: (September 22, 2014) Bloomberg [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/29/2014 - Sure we can truck Brownfields toxic waste from one place to another, but can fix the soil we have broken? I know, in the present consumer zeitgeist it depends on the standard of use, our use. But more sanely, can we restore contaminated soil to its original state so that soil can do what is was intended to do—decompose and help life grow again? Love Canal Waste To Be Excavated From Landfill New York state plans to excavate Love Canal waste from a western New York landfill, where it was dumped a decade before the notorious Love Canal environmental disaster. The state Department of Environmental Conservation plans an informational session in the Niagara County town of Wheatfield on Monday. The DEC says about 1600 cubic yards of toxic industrial waste were dumped at a town-owned landfill in Wheatfield in 1968 during construction of the LaSalle Expressway. A 2013 study found elevated levels of various contaminants. (September 29, 2014) WXXI News [more on Brownfields in our area]
9/29/2014 - Green Drinks coming up in October: "Will be Thursday, October 16th, 6-7:30 at the Greenhouse Café at 2271 East Main Street Along with finding out about the greenhouse café (with cash coffee bar) and tasting some awesome kale smoothies, we will get up-close and personal with SeedFolk City Farm, In the City Off the Grid and Prosper Rochester. Together these dedicated folks are: • exploring urban agriculture, maximizing yields within a confined space • creating a living classroom to engage at risk youth in employment and education • using micro-climates, ground source thermo, passive solar and renewable energy • implementing a simple and replicable model integrated into communities throughout the City All phases of this project from planning, design, construction and implementation have been motivated by community need " -from The Center for Environmental Initiatives (CEI)
9/29/2014 - The People’s Climate March, what now? 400, 000 was nice, but billions are needed. Kumi Naidoo: The Global Climate Uprising There are a lot of very hard working environmental activists in the world, but one person in particular that I think tops the list is Kumi Naidoo, executive director of Greenpeace International. Naidoo joined Amy Goodman and Juan González on Democracy Now! two days after the UN Climate Summit and four days after the People’s Climate March, where 400,000 people took to the streets of New York City demanding climate action. “Well, my one-line description of the climate summit outcome is that we got much more than many of us thought we would get in terms of stated commitments, but we got significantly less than what the world needs us to do,” Naidoo tells Goodman on the morning show. “I have no doubt in my mind that the mobilization of people in New York and around the world in such large numbers was a wake-up call both to the U.S. political establishment, as well as to the others, as well as the corporate sector. (September 26, 2014) EcoWatch
9/29/2014 - If our local Rochester, NY media and public health were on the ball most folks would know Climate Change and Lyme disease spread are linked. Climate Change Linked to Spread of Lyme Disease As if we needed another reason to deplore the impacts of climate change, its warming effects are encouraging the northward spread of Lyme disease, carried by the black-legged tick which rides on deer, rodents and dogs, the Daily Climate reports. While common in the U.S., it was rare in Canada until recently. Because of that, Canadians eventually diagnosed with the disease were delayed in getting appropriate treatment. But with more attention comes more action. This summer legislation to promote Lyme prevention and timely diagnosis and treatment passed the House of Commons by unanimous consent. “So many members of Parliament have been hearing these stories that are heartbreaking,” said Green Party sponsor Elizabeth May. The number of cases reported in the U.S. has nearly tripled from 1991 to 2013. The range of the disease, initially identified in Connecticut in 1977, is found primarily in a cluster of northern states. The U.S. Environmental Protection Association added it to its list of climate change indicators this year. (September 26, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Lyme Disease and Climate Change in our area]
9/27/2014 - Looks like President Obama’s ‘All of The Above!” plan isn’t working. Maybe try more science, less politics. Climate Change has that irritating facility that it doesn’t give a rat’s ass about what form or energy is politically and economically preferable. Climate Change only cares about results. This must have been embarrassing when the President just said at the Sept. 23rd UN Climate Summit in New York City “"Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth," he said, adding the U.S. is on track to meet his 2009 pledge to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020.” when it actually went up by 6%. Whoops. U.S. carbon emissions rise despite Obama climate plan U.S. emissions of heat-trapping carbon dioxide have risen 6% in the last two years despite the Obama administration's efforts to curb global warming, federal data show. Reversing several years of declines, its emissions from burning fossil fuels (coal, oil and natural gas) rose 2.7% during the first half of this year, compared to the same period in 2013, and 6% compared to 2012, according to the Energy Information Administration's "Monthly Energy Review." This increase is a setback for President Obama, who touted U.S. progress in cutting emissions at this week's historic U.N. Climate Summit in New York, attended by representative from more than 120 countries. "Over the past eight years, the United States has reduced our total carbon pollution by more than any other nation on Earth," he said, adding the U.S. is on track to meet his 2009 pledge to cut carbon emissions 17% below 2005 levels by 2020. (December 26, 2014) USA Today [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/27/2014 - Climate Change moving up the agenda of US Homeland Security, now that’s an attention grabber. Even Rochester media should be impressed. If US Homeland Security is planning for Climate Change, why aren’t we? US Homeland Security moves to tackle climate change risks Protecting the infrastructure of American cities from the effects of climate change is rising on the agenda of the U.S. Department of Homeland Security, according to a top agency official. "Increasingly, we've moved not only from a security focus to a resiliency focus," said Caitlin Durkovich, assistant secretary for infrastructure protection at Homeland Security, an agency better known for its fight to curb terrorist threats. Durkovich spoke Thursday on a panel at the Rising Seas Summit, a three-day conference organized by the U.S.-based Association of Climate Change Officers to discuss tools and ideas on building resiliency, particularly against rising sea levels. (September 25, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/27/2014 - The real news on crude oil train cars that have been coming through New York State is the “increasing frequency.” When will local news do a great big story about why so much fossil fuels, in a time of Climate Change, are using New York rails to transport this dirty fuel when we should be going renewable energy? Is New York State, which still has a moratorium on Fracking, going instead to be a major US hub, a delivery system, for fossil fuels to the world? Why won’t the media investigate this? New Report Out On Oil Train Inspections There's a new report out on the inspections of crude oil train cars that have been coming through New York State with increasing frequency. Authorities say additional inspections of crude oil tank cars and railroad tracks in New York have found 72 minor defects and one critical defect from a split rail. The report from the Cuomo administration details federal and state inspections of 766 tank cars and 167 miles of track. They included hub rail yards in Buffalo and Albany and the CSX Corp. mainline track between Buffalo and Syracuse, where a split rail required lowering the speed limit to 30 mph until its replacement. (September 26, 2014) WXXI News [more on Energy in our area]
9/27/2014 - Must attend lecture on Climate Change by Dr. David Walter Wolfe foremost climate expert, co-author of many regional climate studies. Cornell Scientist to speak on Climate Change and Food Security "Climate Change and the Future of Food" is the title of a presentation by Dr. David Walter Wolfe, a prominent climate scientist from Cornell University. The talk will be delivered on October 10th, 2014 at the University at Buffalo, South Campus. Dr. Wolfe, is a Professor of Plant and Soil Ecology in the Department of Horticulture at Cornell University. He has worked and published extensively in the area of agriculture and climate change. Dr. Wolfe's presentation will be followed by a Q&A session, and a casual reception soon after. The presentation will take place in 114 Wende Hall, South Campus from2:00-3:30 pm and it is Open to the Public. Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo
9/27/2014 - But ya gotta ask yourself, what’s the point of restoring lake sturgeon if it cannot tolerate a warmer Great Lakes due to Climate Change? All the kings horses and all the kings fishermen, no matter how much they want to bring back these historic fish that we butchered in the millions last century, won’t be able to do so if these fish that thrived in the Holocene cannot do so in the Anthropocene. Ancient sturgeon finally catch a break Crew at Riveredge, many others restore fish to Milwaukee River It's right here in southeastern Wisconsin. At its heart is an ancient native, the lake sturgeon. Protagonists include the staff and volunteers at Riveredge Nature Center in Ozaukee County and fisheries personnel with the Department of Natural Resources. The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service gets a nod, too, for assists with funding and overarching support. (September 24, 2014) Milwaukee Wisconsin Sentinel Journal [more on Wildlife in our area]
9/27/2014 - Dear world leaders, Our life support system is not a golden goose. It is our life support system. Please adjust your economics accordingly. If humanity doesn’t understand that our life support system is more important than our present rapacious and delusional and dysfunction economic system, we are screwing all life henceforth for our inability to adapt our human-based schemes for how life actually works on this planet. Peru: Environmental 'Extremists' Threaten Revenue Peru's president warned Friday that environmental "extremists" could hurt the golden goose of mining revenue. During an interview with The Associated Press, President Ollanta Humala said his top priority during the annual meeting of world leaders at the United Nations this week had been to sound the alarm on climate change. The Andean nation will host U.N.-sponsored climate talks in December. But in July, Humala enacted a law that weakens environmental protections in his country. Environmental activists want things to stay the same, but Peru's mining-dependent economy must ensure it does not bankrupt businesses with fines, he said. "It's not about killing the goose that lays the golden eggs," he said. (September 26, 2014) ABC News
9/27/2014 - Antarctic used to be such a quiet and calm sort of place until anthropogenic Climate Change came along. Gravity Shift Reveals West Antarctic Ice Loss The West Antarctic Ice Sheet is headed toward “unstoppable” collapse according to recent studies. A new visual released by the European Space Agency show what the start of that collapse looks like both for the mass of the ice sheet and its signature on the planet’s gravitational field. We think of gravity as a constant, holding us in place on the planet. But the reality is there are small changes in gravity all over the globe. Not enough that you’ll feel lighter on your feet in one place compared to another, but enough that scientists can use satellites to measure the differences. Those measurements can, in turn, help us better understand the world around us, from how earthquakes shift land to how fast ice sheets are receding and what that means for sea level rise. (September 26, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/26/2014 - Actually, energy costs don’t just “boils down to the basic principle of supply and demand.” It boils down to making better energy choices, like renewable (wind and solar) energy, in a time of Climate Change. For those who say we cannot fulfill our energy needs with renewable energy, they are not stating a fact, they are making a stance. They are condemning us to an impossible fuel choice. However, it is possible to lower our greenhouse gases with renewable energy. Read Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight | Higher energy costs on the horizon Energy use is on the rise and, while the peak of the season isn't here yet, traders on the financial markets are already anticipating higher costs. And that could leave you digging deeper into your wallet to pay your bill. In a matter of seconds on Wednesday, the cost of natural gas on the commodities market climbed 10 cents. The reason: just one afternoon computer model forecast of colder weather. On top of that, National Grid projects customers will see higher electric bills this winter because of higher costs to buy power. George Conboy of Brighton Securities says it all boils down to the basic principle of supply and demand. (September 25, 2014) WHEC Rochester [more on Energy in our area]
9/26/2014 - Why doesn’t the US care about Climate Change? Delusional gas prices make Climate Change go away—until it doesn’t. Gas prices falling, headed below $3 in much of US The price of a gallon of gasoline may soon start with a "2'' across much the country. The price of a gallon of gasoline may soon start with a "2'' across much the country. Gasoline prices typically decline in autumn. This year they're getting a big push lower from falling global oil prices. By the end of the year, up to 30 states could have an average gasoline price of under $3 a gallon, according to a forecast from GasBuddy.com. (September 25, 2014) Wayne Post [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/26/2014 - News out of Detroit that Great Lakes are in “Great Peril” cannot be true can it? My local news would have prepared me, right? Seeing how I live in Rochester, NY on Lake Ontario and we are downstream, as it were, from anything going on in the Great Lakes basin region, I’m just sure my local media would have kept me informed of pending dangers to the largest fresh water system in the world so we had time to plan adequately, especially during Climate Change. Detroit, tell me it isn’t so! Great Lakes in unprecedented danger, Chicago mayor says The discussion is no longer just about the environmental health of the five big lakes. It's also about the health of the millions of people who rely on them for their drinking water. When Chicago Mayor Rahm Emanuel ran for Congress in 2002, he vowed that protecting the Great Lakes would be high on his agenda. The primary concerns at the time were environmental damages wrought by invasive species such as zebra mussels, as well as urban and industrial pollutions. Twelve years and three jobs later — Emanuel went from Congress to chief of staff for President Barack Obama before becoming mayor of Chicago in 2011 — the Great Lakes have received $1.6 billion in federal restoration funds. Yet despite all of that money earmarked for things like combating the spread of invasive species, cleaning up toxic hot spots and restoring wetlands, Emanuel said Wednesday that the world's largest freshwater system has just entered an era of unprecedented peril. (September 25, 2014) Detroit Free Press [more on Great Lakes in our area]
9/26/2014 - Did your local news media shirk their responsibility to cover the biggest climate march in history? Go here--People's Climate March--to compensate. As you scroll down the page, there is an incredible amount of photos and videos, and articles about a gathering of the people to get their voices heard on the most critical crisis of our age. Local media didn’t do their job, but many, many who came to the march became the media.
9/26/2014 - Are the new pesticides in a warming world going to be a bad as the old pesticides? As we are slated to dump more we should find out. Unless we quickly change our farming ways, we will be dumping massive amounts of pesticides on the more crop pests that come with Climate Change. New generation: Growing up reading Rachel Carson, scientists unravel risks of new pesticides “Both Christy and Rachel started in the same place, with a profound appreciation for wildlife and natural systems,” said Cynthia Palmer, director of pesticide science and regulation for the American Bird Conservancy, an advocacy group in Washington, D.C. “Both came to realize that the chemical cocktails of their day threatened to derail conservation efforts for the wild organisms they studied and cared about.” Unlike DDT, neonicotinoids don’t appear to accumulate in the tissues of warm-blooded creatures but they may have other subtle, widespread effects that Morrissey and other researchers are only now beginning to pinpoint. Several studies have found that the chemicals are killing so many ecologically important insects that they are having widespread effects on whole ecosystems, particularly bees. In addition, evidence is mounting about effects on birds: In the Netherlands, birds are declining in proportion with neonicotinoid levels in waters. In the Canadian prairies, Morrissey’s early results suggest that birds and chicks are unhealthier near the treated fields. An experiment in Spain found that when captive partridges consumed neonic-coated seeds, they had fewer chicks and suppressed immunity. And one analysis concluded that birds might be poisoned if they eat just one or two seeds. [Read the rest of our series, Winged Warnings ] (September 25, 2014) Environmental Health News [more on Pesticides in our area]
9/26/2014 - The reason we shouldn’t allow Fracking to work in New York State because it doesn’t work anyplace else. Accumulated evidence from all over the world of the damage to public health, environment, and additional greenhouse gases in a time of Climate Change makes Fracking and absurd energy choice. We don’t need to try Fracking out because there is an incredible amount of information from places that have been forced to Frack and the damage that this dangerous fossil fuel extraction method has wrought. Essay: Give fracking a chance to work in NY The production of natural gas intersects with water in two ways: (1) the protection of the surface water table; and (2) the use of water in hydraulic fracturing. In New York State, the Department of Environmental Conservation has promulgated regulations virtually guaranteeing the protection of surface, fresh water supplies. For 30 years (from 1979-2009) when the state had a viable natural gas industry, the DEC issued over 10,000 permits to drill natural gas wells. There was only one documented case of migration of methane into a fresh water supply. That is an excellent record in anyone's book, and the DEC's proposed regulations for shale drilling are even tougher. There is no incentive for a natural gas production company to make "short-cuts" on such rules. The protection of fresh water supplies benefits everyone. (July 5, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [ more on Fracking in our area]
9/25/2014 - Fracking, blasting through our bedrock, for more fossil fuels during Climate Change is insane. Take Action! Global Frackdown October 11 "The Global Frackdown is an international day of action initiated by Food & Water Watch to ban fracking —a risky technique that uses millions of gallons of water, sand and chemicals to break open rock formations deep underground to release oil and gas. The oil and gas industry has spent millions of dollars on slick public relations campaigns and high-profile lobbying efforts to buy the ability to extract fossil fuels from our communities with as little government oversight as possible, all while destroying our air, water, health, communities and our climate. While the industry is working hard to protect its profits and drown out the worldwide demand for clean, renewable fuels, there is a tremendous movement afoot around the world to protect our global resources from fracking. The first Global Frackdown in September 2012 brought together 200 community actions in over 20 countries to challenge fracking. The second Global Frackdown in October 2013, was even bigger with over 250 actions in 30 countries spanning six continents. And we continue to grow. "
9/25/2014 - Why you should never, never, never, never, never, never vote a climate change denier into office. Jon Stewart Obliterates Republicans By Highlighting Their Ignorance On Climate Change On Monday night’s episode of The Daily Show with Jon Stewart, host Jon Stewart devoted the first segment of his program to the subject of climate change. He discussed the People’s Climate March that took place in New York City on Sunday, where over 100,000 people took to the streets to bring awareness to the dangers facing our planet due to rapid global warming. Stewart pointed out that, while you would think people around the world are now acutely aware of the existence of climate change and its effects on the environment, this march was necessary because House Republicans continue to deny its existence. (September 23, 2014) Politicus USA
9/25/2015 - Local coverage of UN Summit in NY cheers non-binding agreements and non-binding billions to developing nations—billions but not from US. This delusional statement about the summit kinda says it all: "We prove climate protection and a strong economy must go hand in hand." Of course, we didn’t prove any such thing. What we proved at the UN Climate Summit is that no what matter the peril to our environment and our people’s, we won’t be compelled to do anything that hurts our present economy. Non-binding is another way to say that if what you promised in any way inconveniences you, you can renege in a second. UN to leaders: Set 'new course' on climate change Challenged by the United Nations chief to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases, world leader after world leader Tuesday made promises of billions of dollars and better care of planet Earth. Challenged by the United Nations chief to set a new course for a warming globe and reverse the rise of heat-trapping gases, world leader after world leader Tuesday made promises of billions of dollars and better care of planet Earth. Tuesday's one-day summit at the annual U.N. General Assembly gathering of more than 100 world leaders is a forum for non-binding pledges. It was designed to lay the groundwork for a new global treaty to tackle climate change in December 2015. More than 150 countries set the first-ever deadline on Tuesday to end deforestation by 2030, but the feasibility of such a goal was eroded when a key player, Brazil, said it would not join. Forests are important because they absorb the main greenhouse gas, carbon dioxide. The United States, Canada and the entire European Union signed on to a declaration to have forest loss by 2020 and eliminate deforestation entirely by 2030. (September 23, 2014) Penfield Post [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/25/2014 - The only true marriage of countries addressing Climate Change is a shotgun wedding—binding agreements. At the UN Summit in NY no one wants to be held to their lackluster promises. As for helping developing countries that did not cause Climate Change and who should not develop the way we did, it looks like we demand they do the impossible because we aren’t going to give them anything we got from using up the world’s commons—air, water, soil, natural resources, and ecologies. Looks like despite the People’s Climate March, a demand that real change occurs, business as usual rules—making it look like we are doing something but not really. I can understand why a lot of businesses and countries and many who don’t really want what needs to be done to address Climate Change are happy with the UN Summit in New York: it doesn’t upset their agenda. “But, as anticipated, the leaders held back on making new commitments to cut greenhouse gas emissions or to give significant climate finance to developing countries, leaving it to business, cities and campaign groups to produce the real action on climate.” Nelson Mandela's widow calls for urgent climate action at UN Nelson Mandela’s widow Graça Machel says leaders failed to rise to challenge after day of impassioned speeches at UN The widow of Nelson Mandela punctured the self-congratulatory mood of the UN summit on Tuesday, saying world leaders had failed to rise to the challenge of climate change. “There is a huge mismatch between the magnitude of the challenge and the response we heard here today,” Graça Machel told the closing moments of the summit. “The scale is much more than we have achieved.” The gathering of 120 world leaders – the first such meeting on climate change in five years – resulted in a day of impassioned speeches, including a cameo from the actor and UN ambassador Leonardo DiCaprio. (September 24, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/24/2014 - For me at least, the People’s Climate March has changed everything because I used to look for Climate news, now I cannot keep up. The march has given the public a show of strength and solidarity on Climate Change and it must become the wedge from which to shove progress on a successful Paris 2015 Climate Conference: binding agreements. No wishy washy, ad hoc non-agreements.
9/24/2014 - It’s heartening that NYT’s Revkin find results of United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon’s summary of commitments heartening. Maybe the People’s Climate March, the public efforts to kick start the UN Climate Summit in New York, has indeed ‘changed everything’, even media coverage of Climate Change. U.N. Climate Summit Harvests a Host of Commitments It’s heartening to review the summary of governmental and private climate and energy commitments compiled by United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon at the end of his daylong climate change summit. They range from a substantial new push to reduce and eventually eliminate forest loss to boosted investment in a planned clean-energy corridor in Africa. The difference between this summit and the meeting the secretary general convened in 2009 is enormous. The goal five years ago was to build momentum to “seal the deal” on a binding climate treaty — a fruitless task given the divisions among the world’s nations — while this conclave was centered on a more modest, but more concrete, achievement — “to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement [notice there's no mention of the word "binding"] in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change.” (September 23, 2014 ) NYT Dot Earth [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/24/2014 - The Big Ask: U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon’s summary of what’s being asked to address Climate Change. 2014 Climate Change Summary – Chair’s Summary The purpose of the 2014 Climate Summit was to raise political momentum for a meaningful universal climate agreement in Paris in 2015 and to galvanize transformative action in all countries to reduce emissions and build resilience to the adverse impacts of climate change. I asked leaders from government, business, finance and civil society to crystallize a global vision for low-carbon economic growth and to advance climate action on five fronts: cutting emissions; mobilizing money and markets; pricing carbon; strengthening resilience; and mobilizing new coalitions. An unprecedented number of world leaders attended the Summit, including 100 Heads of State and Government. They were joined by more than 800 leaders from business, finance and civil society. This Summary details their most significant announcements. (September 23, 2014) UN Headquarters New York [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/24/2014 - The People’s Climate March and now on the road to the Paris Climate Conference in 2015 for the real deal. U.N. climate summit sets goals to save forests, use clean energy A United Nations summit on climate change agreed on Tuesday to widen the use of renewable energy and raise billions of dollars in aid for developing countries in an effort to increase the prospects for a wide-ranging deal to slow global warming. The one-day summit, hosted by U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon, set goals to halt losses of tropical forests by 2030, improve food production and hike the share of electric vehicles in cities to 30 percent of new vehicle sales by 2030. The non-binding initiatives were set by various coalitions of governments, multinational companies, cities, financial groups, investors, environmental organizations and other groups. (September 23, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/23/2014 - Can’t find hardly anything on Rochester, NY media about People’s Climate March, so let’s ask Bill McKibben… The People’s Climate March: An Interview with Bill McKibben On Sunday, tens of thousands of demonstrators are expected to join the People’s Climate March through midtown Manhattan; its Web site describes it as the “largest climate march in history.” In May, Bill McKibben wrote an article in Rolling Stone, “A Call to Arms: An Invitation to Demand Action on Climate Change,” which laid some of the groundwork for this weekend’s events. We spoke about the march with McKibben, one of its lead organizers, and a former New Yorker staff writer. According to the Los Angeles Times, anywhere between a hundred thousand and four hundred thousand people are expected to come to New York City for the People’s Climate March. Can you tell us about how you, and others, came up with the idea for a large demonstration and how you turned it into what it is now? (September 20, 2014) The New Yorker [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/23/2014 - Whoops! Wrong Rochester. I thought Rochester, NY media had mentioned hundreds of us going to the People’s Climate March. For that you have to go here People’s Climate March/Western NY | Rochester environmentalists spread the message of action with Climate SummitAs tens of thousands of people invaded New York City Sunday to take part in the People's Climate March, members of the Rochester community banded together for their own mission to spread awareness on climate change. A local effort for a global cause mobilized in Central Park in support of an international day of rallies supporting ambition on climate change. "We just decided quickly to get something organized here in Rochester because we know there's a lot of good people here that feel the same way that we do," said march organizer Mary Idso of Rochester. (September 21, 2014) KTTC [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/23/2014 - Don’t forget scientists too like a march, especially one as critical as the People’s Climate March in getting the public’s attention. Science Shows Up in Force at People's Climate March Scientists who do not typically take a policy position make an exception for climate change The People's Climate March may end up being the biggest protest to urge action to restrain global warming yet. The march in New York City on September 21 is predicted to draw more than 100,000 people, which would top the tens of thousands who showed up in Copenhagen back in 2009. But how many scientists, whether they study climate change or not, will be there? (September 20, 2014) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/23/2014 - Though Rochester media avoided greatest climate march in history on Sunday, they did catch a little violence on Monday’s demonstration on Wall Street. 400,000 marching for attention on the greatest issue of our time gets little notice but the specter of some violence afterwards does seem to catch their notice. Demonstrators 'Flood' Wall Street with Environmental Message NEW YORK CITY -- At least two police officers unleashed pepper spray on demonstrators. We also watched one officer take a swing at a protester and dozens of people push and pull at barricades. The environmental activists tried to break through to get from Broadway onto Wall Street. "I got hit with a billy club so that really hurt. First time for that," one protester said. The woman from Manhattan said bruises heal and it's worth fighting against what she calls the biggest social injustice of our time. (September 23, 2014) Time Warner Cable News Rochester [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/23/2014 - People’s Climate March makes front-page news around the world but not in Rochester, NY. In fact, it is the dickens trying to find a local mention. People’s Climate March Makes Front-Page News When 400,000 people hit the streets, perhaps it isn't surprising that it makes headline news. And that's just what happened on Sunday when the People's Climate March shut down thoroughfares around New York as part of the largest climate action in history. The march drew a wide cross-section of society from public figures like Ban Ki-moon, Al Gore and Leonardo DiCaprio to labor and indigenous groups, scientists and activists and was timed to kick off a week of major climate events in New York. While the main event was in New York, more than a half a million people staged marches around the world from major urban hubs like London and Toronto to small island nations such as Kiribati, reflecting the organizer's tagline, "to change everything, we need everyone." The change in question is phasing out fossil fuels and moving the world to a clean energy economy while avoiding the worst impacts of climate change. (September 22, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/22/2014 - In the immediate aftermath of the People’s Climate March it feels like the low roar that came down the long, long march after the moment of silence, then quickly increasing to an avalanche of a deafening call for humanity to pay attention to Climate Change.
9/22/2014 - Just awakening from People’s Climate March return. As Peter Debes, chair of Rochester Sierra Club, say’s “it's difficult to measure the potential impact of something like this.” Glad that our public airwaves has given the greatest climate march in history a local mention. More to come: People’s Climate March/WesternNY | Rochester Area Residents Take Part in Climate March There were about 100 Rochester area residents marching in the People's Climate March in New York Sunday. The event drew more than 300,000 people. One of the participants, Peter Debes, chair of the Rochester chapter of the Sierra Club, said it's difficult to measure the potential impact of something like this. (September 22, 2014) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/19/2014 - ACTION: Your input needed on shaping Western New York trails for the future, a future when less greenhouse gas emissions for transportation is a must. Help shape western New York’s trail network "The Genesee Transportation Council (GTC) is updating its trails plan for the Genesee Finger Lakes Region and wants your input. This is your opportunity to help further shape a truly regional, interconnected trail network for Monroe, Genesee, Orleans, Livingston, Wyoming, Ontario, Wayne, Seneca, and Yates Counties. Use the short needs assessment survey and online interactive map to provide feedback on existing and planned trails and ideas for new connections and other corridors or locations for future trail development. The map even lets you see what others have already suggested. "
9/19/2014 - ACTION: Got short film abilities and want to message importance of our environment? "Fast Forward Film Festival Showcasing New Environmental Perspectives Presented by WXXI/Little Theatre, George Eastman House, RIT, and the NYS Pollution Prevention Institute The Fast Forward Film Festival invites residents in the greater Rochester area to submit independent short films (5 minutes or less) that inspire a deeper connection to the environment. As an incubator for innovative thinking and artistic expression, FFFF encourages films that tap into the local experience, compel audiences to engage with the community, and raise environmental awareness. An acclaimed jury will review the films and select winners who will receive a $1,000 cash prize for each of these categories: (1) most inspiring, compelling, and engaging, (2) most unique perspective, (3) strongest call to action. Submission deadline is February 27, 2015 "
9/19/2014 - If Climate Change is a moral issue (it is) and a practical issue, then we must morally aid those who did not cause warming, but will get nailed by it. The People’s Climate March coming up in a few days is an effort to wake up the world and its leaders to the moral obligation to make the Paris 2015 Climate Conference a success. The window of opportunity for binding agreements to lower greenhouse gases emissions and protect the most vulnerable that will actually work is quickly closing. After that we’ll be scrambling to adapt to the warming for ourselves, and will probably have little to offer those nations begging for help. Canary in a coal mine: Extreme weather, rising seas plague atoll nation Marshall Islands president issues a call to action ahead of international climate summit next week hosted by the UN As global leaders gear up to meet at next week’s United Nations Climate Summit in New York, the president of a small Pacific island nation vulnerable to rising seas caused by global warming said the future of his people depends on creating a carbon-free world by 2050. “Out here in the middle of the Pacific Ocean, climate change has arrived,” Marshall Islands President Christopher Loeak said in a video address to his fellow heads of state. “Our atoll nation stands at the front line in the battle against climate change.” In the video, Loeak stands in front of a sea wall he built to protect his home and family from rising seas which have already engulfed several of the nation’s atolls — making them disappear forever. (September 18, 2014) Aljazeera American [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/19/2014 - Yikes! Looks like human population growth assumptions are off and there will be many more mouths to feed. How many other assumptions our ability to handle a warming world without planning have we got wrong? I guess if we continue business as usual, we’ll find out. Boom! Earth’s Population Could Hit 12 Billion by 2100 Earth is fast becoming a more crowded place — and it may become even more crowded than expected. According to a new projection of human population growth, there could very well be 12.3 billion people by century’s end, up to 2 billion more than some estimates. The number’s not written in stone, but it’s something to consider. Life’s already pretty complicated with 7.5 billion people confronting environmental problems, food insecurity and spotty public health. Are we ready for more? “A rapidly growing population with bring challenges, said statistician and sociologist Adrian Raftery of the University of Washington. “But I think these challenges can be met.” In a study published today in Science, Raftery and 13 other scientists analyzed new data provided by the United Nations on national trends in fertility, mortality, migration and age patterns. (September 18, 2014) Wired [more on Environmental Health in our area]
9/19/2014 - Instead of racing to market microbial cocktails maybe we should take care of the soil we have. When treated nicely, soil is good at what it does. And soil does a lot more than help provide us with food. Why Tiny Microbes Mean Big Things for Farming The soil-dwelling bacteria that we walk on every day are working their way into technologies that could help feed the world. Friesen, a microbiologist, is on a hunt for a microbe thought to live in these strange, hot soils. The humble bacterium has an unusual ability that may help farmers grow more crops. More than a decade ago, German scientists described the elusive bacterium, known as Streptomyces thermoautotrophicus, which has a special knack for converting nitrogen from the air to a form that plants can use—even in the presence of oxygen, which normally poisons the bacterial enzyme that pumps out nitrogen. The process is called "fixing" nitrogen. (September 18, 2014) National Geographic [more on Food in our area]
9/18/2014 - This local fight over waterways and the EPA is interesting in light of Climate Change. Who is best able to protect all our waters, locals or fed? Addressing Climate Change means addressing aspects of our life support system on a planetary scale and that is going to clash with our traditional way of viewing local environments, such as waterways. Trying to address Climate Change is likely to step on a lot of toes and be very inconvenient to many who think there is no such thing as Climate Change. Gonna be very tough to address Climate Change if we are not all on same science page. Reed bill aimed at blocking EPA water rules The Ontario County Board of Supervisors' fight against definition changes to the Clean Water Act — which officials say would take away the local responsibility for area waterways — has received support in Congress. The Waters of the United States Regulatory Overreach Protection Act, co-sponsored by U.S. Rep. Tom Reed, R-Corning, prohibits the Environmental Protection Agency and the Army Corps of Engineers from expanding the federal government's role and regulatory influence under the Clean Water Act. The EPA and the Army Corps of Engineers are seeking a rule change to the act that would give the federal government more authority and control by expanding the definition of expandable waters. (September 18, 2014) Victor Post [more on Water Quality in our area]
9/18/2014 - Folks protesting about the threat Fracking poses to NYS health and environment couldn’t come to Cuomo’s party because they weren’t invited. Anti-fracking protesters demonstrate outside Cuomo fundraiser WEBSTER - About a dozen anti-fracking protesters tried to send a message to Gov. Andrew Cuomo and local democratic party leaders at a big-bucks fundraiser on Wednesday hosted by prominent area developer Wayne LeChase. But, party leaders didn't stop to talk, and protesters couldn't get by blazer-wearing event organizers and Webster police to attend the $5,000-to-$20,000-a-ticket fundraising event because they weren't on the guest list. LeChase and about 50 prominent business and labor leaders were expected to attend the event, which is estimated to have raised nearly $200,000 for Cuomo's re-election bid in November. (September 17, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Fracking in our area]
9/18/2014 - Soil, like leaves, are really really important to our life support system. How will soil fare in Climate Change? Check out this important study: Regenerative Organic Agriculture and Climate Change A Down-to-Earth Solution to Global Warming As we consider the entire scope of the Climate Change issue, we should consider the vital environmental components we need to have intact as we move into a quickly warming planet. Soil, hitherto been given little consideration, should be paramount. Not just for food production for 9 billion people by 2050, but because soil breaks down and renews life. There are so many unknown unknowns about soil and human development and Climate Change that we should learn about soil and Climate Change.
9/18/2014 - Making comment on open space in NYS and Climate Change, it’s no longer fun and games. This is critical ”…the Commissioners now ask the public to make recommendations on how open space conservation programs can make the state better prepared and more resilient in preparation of future storms and climate change.” “Public comments can be submitted by email to LF.OpenSpacePlan@dec.ny.gov or mailed to DEC by December 17 to: Open Space Conservation Plan, 625 Broadway, Albany, NY 12233” DEC and State Parks Release State Open Space Conservation Plan for Public Comment Public Comments Accepted Through December 17; Public Hearings to be Held Statewide Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) Commissioner Joe Martens and Office of Parks, Recreation and Historic Preservation (State Parks) Commissioner Rose Harvey today released the 2014 State Open Space Conservation Plan for public comment. The plan guides State Environmental Protection Fund investments in open space protection. Public comments on the draft plan will be accepted from September 17 until December 17 and a series of public hearings will be held across the state from October 21 to October 23. (September 17, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC)
9/18/2014 - If anything, a new climate study probably shows what we are actually seeing, a disruptive climate, means weather will be very hard to predict Polar vortex visits to U.S. linked to climate change WASHINGTON (AP) — Remember the polar vortex, the huge mass of Arctic air that can plunge much of the U.S. into the deep freeze? You might have to get used to it. A new study says that as the world gets warmer, parts of North America, Europe and Asia could see more frequent and stronger visits of that cold air. Researchers say that's because of shrinking ice in the seas off Russia. Normally, the polar vortex is penned in the Arctic. But at times it escapes and wanders south, bringing with it a bit of Arctic super chill. (September 2, 2014) USA Today [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/18/2014 - This statement that deeply concerns Climate Change is not a fact, it is a stance: “Fossil fuels aren’t disappearing anytime soon …” Once we accept that no matter what cost to our lives and our life support system we will burn fossil fuels, we are screwed. It is possible to move to renewable energy quickly, farm so that soil captures carbon not releases it, and live sustainably. But many with money and power will not even entertain anything but an existence based on fossil fuels. Can Carbon Capture Technology Be Part of the Climate Solution? Some scientists and analysts are touting carbon capture and storage as a necessary tool for avoiding catastrophic climate change. But critics of the technology regard it as simply another way of perpetuating a reliance on fossil fuels. For more than 40 years, companies have been drilling for carbon dioxide in southwestern Colorado. Time and geology had conspired to trap an enormous bubble of CO2 that drillers tapped, and a pipeline was built to carry the greenhouse gas all the way to the oil fields of west Texas. When scoured with the CO2, these aged wells gush forth more oil, and much of the CO2 stays permanently trapped in its new home underneath Texas. (September 8, 2014) Yale Environment 360 [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/17/2014 - I’ll be reading Klein’s “This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,” on bus to People’s Climate March. Naomi Klein: Only a Reverse Shock Doctrine Can Save Our Climate In her new book, This Changes Everything: Capitalism vs. the Climate,Naomi Klein argues that if we had taken action years ago when scientists first established that human activities were changing our climate, we might have been able to deal with the problem of global warming with only minimal disruption to our economic system. But as we approach a tipping point, and the consequences of climate change come into sharper focus, that time has passed, and we now have to acknowledge that preserving humans’ habitat requires a paradigm change. But Klein doesn’t just offer us a depressing litany of the damage we’ve already done. She calls on us to seriously rethink the way our economy is structured to address not only climate change, but also other longstanding social problems like persistent global poverty and rising inequality. (September 16, 2014) Moyers and Company [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/17/2014 - Powerful article about Rochester, NY local making climate a career. Should be an inspiration to all. Making climate a career 'Its not easy to talk about climate change. The fundamental premise sounds simple enough: decades of burning fossil fuels has unleashed vast amounts of carbon emissions into the atmosphere, causing global warming. But start getting into details about shifting precipitation patterns or cutting carbon emissions and people tune out. A small percentage will even insist that climate change isn't a problem, despite overwhelming scientific evidence to the contrary. Susan Spencer, a Rochester Institute of Technology Ph.D. student studying microsystems engineering, says she wants to talk to people about global warming. She says she wants them to understand that climate change is a serious problem and that workable solutions exist — solar energy, for example. For the past four years, Spencer has been researching ways to improve organic solar cells at the molecular level, and is defending the thesis she wrote on that work. (September 17, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper
9/17/2014 - Wonder if Bear Lecture will include how bears in our region will adapt to Climate Change and what our efforts will be to help them. Learn the latest on the thriving black bear population in upstate New York A Cornell University master's student, Catherine Sun, will provide the latest on black bears in the region at a presentation, Sept. 19, Black bears are thriving in upstate New York including in the counties of Ontario and neighboring communities. A Cornell University master’s student, Catherine Sun, will provide the latest on black bears in the region at a presentation, Sept. 19, at Alfred University. (September 16, 2014) Irondequoit Post [more on Wildlife in our area]
9/17/2014 - I know, I shouldn’t carp, we should be prostrate gratitude with every crumb thrown at our environment, but isn’t this too little too late? Scientists get federal grant for Great Lakes study A federal grant will enable University of Michigan scientists to study how climate change affects water quality and water levels in the Great Lakes. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan say the $321,448 grant was awarded by a research arm of the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration. (September 16, 2014) petoskey news [more on the Great Lakes in our area]
9/17/2014 - Get trained and Help monitor previously unmonitored tributaries to Lake Ontario Tues 9/23 & Thurs 9/24 8a-10:30a -WAVE Training (Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators) at Durand Eastman Park! - citizen scientists program sampling previously unmonitored tributaries to Lake Ontario. Also see Lake Ontario LAMP website www.lakeontarioforum.org (see slide presentation, notes, interactive maps, calendar, etc.)
9/17/2014 - One of the great unknowns in Climate Change is how soil will be affected and affect Climate Change. No soil, no life on Earth. Before those who dismiss Climate Change as an issue, they might want to look over this report. “Soils and Climate Change: Gas Fluxes and Soil Processes” Published in Soil Horizons (2012). Received 5 Apr. 2012
9/17/2014 - The window for addressing Climate Change is closing quickly (“next 15 years were vital”) to prevent catastrophic change. The Paris 2015 Climate Conference must work. Slowing climate change makes economic sense; cities to lead-study (Reuters) - Investments to help fight climate change can also spur economic growth, rather than slow it as widely feared, but time is running short for a trillion-dollar shift to transform cities and energy use, an international report said on Tuesday. The study, by former heads of government, business leaders, economists and other experts, said the next 15 years were critical for a bigger shift to clean energies from fossil fuels to combat global warming and cut health bills from pollution. "It is possible to tackle climate change and it is possible to have economic growth at the same time," Felipe Calderon, a former Mexican president and head of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, told a news conference. (September 16, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/16/2014 - I know, even the thought of doing without cars in Rochester gives most the screaming heebee-jeebees, but think of Climate Change and low cost. We don’t have to be a parasitic scourge on planet Earth, we can be live sustainably if we want. Just saying… Goodbye to cars: Why we should take a good look at Finland's phone-based mobility system Helsinki is experimenting with a plan to match people with rides, making cars unnecessary. Our mobility future may end up looking something like what they’re working on in transit-friendly Finland, which imagines it can retire the private car in a decade. Even more, it plans a radical transformation of its public transit system that could make traditional light rail and bus systems obsolete. I was in Helsinki in 2010, and it seemed as auto-centric as any other European capital (meaning, lots of cars but much more centered on biking and transit). But the concept of ride sharing, and innovators like Uber and Lyft, obviously hit hard in Finland. The Finns practically invented the cellphone with Nokia, and I remember it seeming unusual that average folks used them for practically everything four years ago. (September 15, 2014) Mother Nature Network [more on Transportation in our area]
9/16/2014 - Here’s what your Rochester, NY area media hasn’t been telling you: While we had a cool August, it was the warmest ever. With Climate Change, while consequences won’t be spread out evenly at first, the repercussions of this worldwide crisis will be experienced everywhere. Our local media is blinding us Rochesterians from the magnitude and impact of Climate Change. If you think Rochester is going to remain untouched as the rest of the planet burns, you’re delusional. NASA Ranks This August as Warmest on Record While this summer may have felt like fall across much of the eastern half of the U.S., worldwide the overall picture was a warm one. This August was the warmest August on record globally, according to newly released NASA temperature data, while the summer tied for the fourth warmest. Central Europe, northern Africa, parts of South America, and the western portions of North America (including Alaska) were just some of the spots on the globe that saw much higher than normal temperatures for the month. Large parts of the oceans were also running unusually warm. (September 15, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/16/2014 - Local Fracking study includes: Water Quality and Quantity, Air Emissions, Quality of Life and Economic Issues, Public Health and Health Care, Vulnerable Populations Communities Contemplating Fracking Grapple with Long List of Concerns A new report has examined the host of potential health-related issues that communities in areas of the country suitable for natural gas extraction may face. The goal of the study was to determine how future research can best address communities’ health questions and inform their decision-making. “We hope that this assessment will help create a framework that provides for ongoing community engagement in research on the potential health, environmental, and economic impacts of natural gas extraction,” said Katrina Korfmacher, Ph.D., director of the University of Rochester Environmental Health Sciences Center’s Community Outreach and Engagement Core and lead author of the study. “While this study is just a first step, it clearly indicates that the communities in areas that are considering hydraulic fracturing have many questions and environmental health research priorities – and that these priorities may differ from those of technical experts and government agencies.” (September 15, 2014) University of Rochester Medical Center [more on Fracking in our area]
9/16/2014 - Not only will Climate Change make toxic algae problem in our lakes worse, warmer and heavier and more frequent Climate Change extremes will ensure that they proliferate. Toxic Algae Problem Likely To Get Worse Before It Gets Better The issue of blue-green algae in lakes took the spotlight in August after the Ohio city of Toledo banned its drinking water for two days. Toledo could be a wake-up call for people around Lake Erie. BIHN: It's multijurisdictional, and that's why I say the federal government needs to step up. WALLACE: And there's something else that crosses lines - climate change. More intense rains made runoff harder to avoid, and warmer waters stimulate more algae growth. Last week a group of scientists took Ohio's Democratic Senator Sherrod Brown out on a boat - a pontoon boat to look at the algae. The water's choppy and blue, but the green goo is still there below the surface. A water sample comes out. (September 15, 2014) NPR [more on Water Quality and Climate Change in our area]
9/16/2014 - Actually, it must be possible to tackle Climate Change and it could have economic growth if we changed the playing field. I think most already know this; they’re just waiting around to hope the 1% to allow it to happen. And it won’t happen, our present economy won’t refit itself for economic growth while tackling Climate Change unless the public demands it. Slowing climate change makes economic sense; cities to lead-study Investments to help fight climate change can also spur economic growth, rather than slow it as widely feared, but time is running short for a trillion-dollar shift to transform cities and energy use, an international report said on Tuesday. The study, by former heads of government, business leaders, economists and other experts, said the next 15 years were critical for a bigger shift to clean energies from fossil fuels to combat global warming and cut health bills from pollution. "It is possible to tackle climate change and it is possible to have economic growth at the same time," Felipe Calderon, a former Mexican president and head of the Global Commission on the Economy and Climate, told a news conference. (September 16, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/15/2014 - OK, so it looks like we’ve gotten to the point where your choice is Drinking Water or Fracking. Humans, ya gotta laugh. We could have gone full throttle on renewable energy (Wind and Solar) but instead we’ve allowed ourselves to be bullied by the fossil fuel industry and so now our choices are narrowing and narrowing and soon we’ll be lucky just to adapt. Fracking or Drinking Water? That May Become the Choice Fracking for oil and natural gas—or having enough water to drink. That's the possible dilemma facing a number of countries including the United States, according to a new report released by the World Resources Institute last week—though experts disagree on the real implications of the report and what should be done about it. Forty percent of countries with shale-rich deposits—the types where hydraulic fracturing or "fracking" is used to extract natural gas and oil—face water scarcity in and around the shale deposits, according to the WRI report. (September 12, 2014) NBC News [more on Fracking and Water Quality in our area]
9/15/2014 - Maybe hydroelectric dams outweigh the benefits that this form of renewable energy produces—at least in the tropic and maybe beyond… Drowned Tropical Forests Exacerbate Climate Change Methane emissions from big hydroelectric dams in the tropics outweigh the benefits that this form of renewable energy provides, according to new scientific data LONDON − Big dams built in the tropics to produce hydroelectricity have long been highly controversial − and data gathered in Laos by a French team studying methane emissions confirms that dams can add to global warming, not reduce it. In many rocky regions low on vegetation and population, such as in Iceland and other northern mountainous regions, the production of electricity from hydropower is clearly a net gain in the battle against climate change. (September 11, 2014) Scientific American [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]
9/15/2014 - Climate Change and food and changing growing conditions with 9b souls to feed by 2050—it gets complicated. Food insecurity to intensify for countries hardest hit by climate change As climate change impacts compound across the globe, recent reports reveal that food insecurity will be one of the leading threats to the world’s most vulnerable populations. Agriculture industries in Africa will continue to struggle with failing crops as smallholder farmers will be overwhelmed by the quick-paced changes imposed by climate change, according to the 2014 African Agriculture status report. (September 5, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]
9/15/2014 - Which brings us to the question, what is the NYS DEC doing about helping wildlife adapt to Climate Change in New York? Climate Change Threatens Half of North America’s Birds Half of North America’s bird species, from common backyard visitors like the Baltimore oriole and the rufous hummingbird to wilderness dwellers like the common loon and bald eagle, are under threat from climate change and many could go extinct, an exhaustive new study has found. Seven years of research found climate change the biggest threat to North America’s bird species. Some 314 species face dramatic declines in population, if present trends continue, with warming temperatures pushing the birds out of their traditional ranges. Ten states and Washington, D.C. could lose their state birds. “It is hard to imagine that we are not going to lose some of these birds permanently,” said Gary Langham, chief scientist for the Audubon Society and leader of the study. (September 13, 2014) Climate Central [more on Wildlife and Climate Change in our area]
9/13/2014 - I wonder how the purchase of the Buffalo Bills by a Fracker will affect Fracking in New York State. What do sports and media and politics and environment and energy and Climate Change have to do with each other? Be afraid, be very afraid. Some perspective on Pegula’s purchase of Bills Then there is the way in which Pegula made the fortune that allowed him to drop more than $1 billion to buy the Bills. I took a hard look at his track record as a hydrofracker in 2011 when I was with The News. I reported Pegula “contributed heavily to politicians in a position to advance his business interests and established a less-than-stellar track record in the environmentally dicey business of drilling for natural gas.” In other words, Terry Pegula has polluted the political system with his money and the earth with his hydrofracking. (September 11, 2014) Investigate Post [more on Fracking in our area]
9/13/2014 - Of course, the impacts of toxic and non-toxic discharges from industrial and municipal sources, storm sewers, and urban runoff will increase with Climate Change in our area. As you check out this study, think Climate Change in our area: The Impact of Rochester Storm Sewers on the Water Quality of the Lower Genesee River: A Modeling Approach Using PCSWMM "The lower Genesee River suffers from beneficial use impairments from the mouth of the river at Lake Ontario to the New York State Barge Canal due to industrial and municipal sources, storm sewers, and urban runoff. In urban areas, nonpoint source pollution from stormwater runoff is known to be a dominant factor in water quality. An assessment of the lower Genesee River was initiated to determine impacts from the canal, storm sewers, combined sewer overflows, and a wastewater treatment plant. " (September 2014) Dressel, Lindsay, "The Impact of Rochester Storm Sewers on the Water Quality of the Lower Genesee River: A Modeling Approach Using PCSWMM" (2014). Environmental Science and Biology Theses. Paper 89.
9/13/2014 - All of us “will miss a huge opportunity to create jobs and protect the environment if it doesn’t embrace building wind farms in the Great Lakes…” and one of the major reasons we will miss this opportunity is because we continue to embrace fossil fuels, thinking low cost business as usual will make everything better. It won’t. Only a major shift in the way we produce and use energy will mitigate (stop) greenhouse gas emissions and help us to adapt (adapt) to a sustainable future. Environmental group calling for construction of 'far-offshore wind farms in Ontario Ontario will miss a huge opportunity to create jobs and protect the environment if it doesn’t embrace building wind farms in the Great Lakes, an environmental group is arguing. The Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment is calling for construction of “far-offshore” wind farms that will be out of sight and out of hearing distance of the mainland. The group, which represents 6,000 doctors and members of the public, estimates offshore wind farms would generate a minimum of $10 billion of investment from the private sector. Gideon Forman, the group’s executive director, said the U.S. is looking seriously at offshore wind farms in the Great Lakes. “It would be a shame to let that technology-driven leadership opportunity pass Ontarians by,” Forman said. (September 11, 2014) IfPress.com [more on Wind Power in our area]
9/13/2014 - Have the trifecta of Climate Change, unchecked human population growth, and the overuse of pesticides/ antibiotics endangered humanity? Ehrlich: Ebola, population and evolution whip up a wicked recipe for disaster The 1918 influenza pandemic infected one-fifth of the world's population. On an increasingly hot, overcrowded planet, could Ebola be our next global scourge? Stanford University Professor Paul Ehrlich calls for a holistic defense. We have a problem with "emergent" diseases, ones that are becoming potentially serious to a larger and more vulnerable human population. Ebola and Marburg viruses, because of their high death rates, could become this generation's version of the flu pandemic that swept the globe at the end of World War I. If it does, we have only to blame ourselves: Our degraded environment, our unchecked population growth, our nonchalance at global poverty, hunger and disease and our jet-setting ways. The filoviruses are native to Africa and commonly infect non-human primates (don't eat chimpanzee meat) and some bats, which may be the main natural reservoir. The favorable conditions for transfer are directly related to human population size. The more people who come into contact with animal reservoirs and the more people who need "bushmeat," the higher the odds of a virus transferring into people. (September 12, 2014) The Daily Climate [more on Environmental Health and Climate Change in our area]
9/13/2014 - UN Secretary General Ban Ki-moon, the People’s Climate March has your back! Even Western, NY will be there. Stakes Higher Than Ever, Climate Summit Aims to Be Turning Point for Global Action There are ample grounds for pessimism and opponents of action, but the urgency of keeping warming within 2 degrees Celsius is greater than ever. A United Nations chief dismayed at the lack of resolve toward the climate crisis; a daunting deadline for negotiating a new treaty; 125 or so heads of state; a sprawling agenda of fossil fuels, food, forestry and finance; a train of think tanks hauling gigabytes of green data; countless teach-ins, press conferences, art shows—plus tens or even hundreds of thousands of activists marching through midtown Manhattan, demanding action now. Are these Climate Week events the makings of a turning point in the world's effort to escape the risks of climate change, or a formula for futility? (September 12, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/12/2014 - Interesting messaging about Harmful algae blooms: we are more interested in connecting the dots of HAB to dogs than Climate Change. Pandering to the public’s infatuation with pets seems far more lucrative to the press than warning the public how Climate Change probably already is and will be a major factor in more HAB’s. The media, and even studies, sense that the public doesn’t want to hear about Climate Change, but anything on pets is OK—even though the lack of planning for Climate Change, including more HAB’s will threaten us and our pets. More on EPA and Harmful Algae outbreaks: Impacts of Climate Change on the Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms | Dog poisoning up from algae toxins statewide Harmful algae blooms that are becoming more common in waterways statewide are the subject of a new brochure to alert dog owners. Harmful algae blooms that are becoming more common in waterways statewide are the subject of a new brochure to alert dog owners. The New York Sea Grant brochure alerts pet owners of potentially lethal toxins in New York waters. Harmful algal blooms (HABs), especially in the state's freshwater, are overgrowths of cyanobacteria (blue-green algae) that cause water quality problems in lakes and ponds, including the occasional production of potent toxins. These toxins can poison people, household pets, waterfowl and livestock, according to a release. Because HABs are increasing in many areas, the number of dog poisonings from cyanobacterial toxins is also on the rise. To keep canine companions safe around local waterways, the brochure provides pet owners a safety checklist of symptoms of HABs poisoning and steps that can be taken if a dog is exposed to HABs. (September 11, 2014) Fairport - East Rochester Post [more on Water Quality in our area]
9/12/2014 - Actually, we aren’t restoring habitats for our wildlife as much as we are putting our life support system back together. The media keeps characterizing attempts to restore wetlands and water quality as a gift we are giving to those other creatures that inhabit this planet. A kind of sop for all those creatures we’ve mistreated for so long. This may in part be true, but foremost is that these ‘wildlife habitats’ are crucial element of our environment, our life support system, that we need to fix for our own survival—however much importance we might give to wildlife. This is important because not everyone cares about wildlife and their habitat (though they should) but because everyone (even those who think our environment is a special interest needs to understand the need to keep critical ‘services’ that our environment provides us. Feds provide $7.9M for Great Lakes habitat work A state and local partnership will receive nearly $7.9 million from the federal government to restore wildlife habitat in the Great Lakes region. U.S. Sens. Carl Levin and Debbie Stabenow of Michigan say the National Oceanic and Atmospheric Administration will provide the funding. (September 11, 2014) Detroit Free Press [more on Great Lakes in our area]
9/12/2014 - And many folks (many not activists, but people) from Rochester, NY will be coming to the People’s Climate March too. For more info on that go to The People’s Climate March Western New York Hub. Activists Plan NYC Climate March Before UN Summit Labor unions and environmental groups said Wednesday they expect a huge turnout for a New York City march to draw attention to climate change taking place two days before a United Nations summit on the issue. Organizers of the New York event, called the People's Climate March, said similar actions will take place Sept. 21 in other cities, including Rio de Janeiro and Lagos, Nigeria. U.N. Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon has invited heads of state to a Sept. 23 climate change summit in New York. President Barack Obama is expected to attend. City Councilman Donovan Richards said at a rally to publicize the march that he expects many people from around the country "will descend on New York City streets to let our leaders know that we can no longer turn a blind eye to this crisis." (September 10, 2014) ABC News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/12/2014 - The full version of the Rochester People’s Climate March Coalition press conference that the local media missed. What we achieved on the September 9th press conference in front of Rochester City Hall was historic—the coming together of many, many local diverse organizations speaking with one voice on Climate Change. This has never occurred before in our region. I’ve been working at local environmental advocacy since 1985. And, yeah, it was a drag that only one media outlet showed up and when they did, they only grabbed a fraction of the press release. We can take advantage of this dreary response by local mainstream media. We become the media. Please see this press conference as a major opportunity to change everything in the Rochester area on Climate Change. We tend to measure our success in messaging the pubic in terms of small conferences and events. When we get any mention by the press, we think we have done our job. The measure of our success in messaging Climate Change should not be the amount of traditional press coverage we may or may not get. In order to address the magnitude of Climate Change we must get our message out to all the public. Over 700,000 people live in Monroe County, more than the state of Vermont. Our press conference was videotaped and is now available on our hub site Press Conference. There are 9 segments. I did not get all of our speakers as I ran out of camera memory. It’s just an itsy bitsy camera. Please distribute the press release web address to everyone on your distribution lists, your websites, and when you talk to the media. We cannot depend on historical media to message Climate Change, an issue they’ve completely failed us on. There’s a reason why so many in the public still deny Climate Change science and how it will affect our region and how our leaders must respond to it. So we have to become the media. You all have spoken eloquently and put much effort and concern into your statements. Please don’t let this evaporate; this chance will not come again any time soon. Please get this press conference web page out to the world.
9/12/2014 - And some climate studies suggest that our response to more crop pests due to Climate Change will be to use more pesticides. Using more and more pesticides to adapt to the consequences of using more and more fossil fuels is crazy. Pesticides a concern for aquatic life in most U.S. urban streams : study The proportion of urban streams in the United States with potentially worrisome levels of pesticides for aquatic life has surged to 90 percent, a two-decade government study said on Thursday. Some of the more than 500 million pounds (220 million kg) of pesticides used yearly in the United States are concentrated at levels that pose a concern for fish and water-dwelling insects, the U.S. Geological Survey report on pesticides from 1992 to 2011 said. The levels seldom topped human health standards. "We're at the stage of saying, 'OK, these (levels) compared to a benchmark indicate more evaluation need to be done,'" said Wesley Stone, a Geological Survey hydrologist and the study's lead author. Ninety percent of urban streams had one or more pesticides exceeding an Environmental Protection Agency aquatic-life standard from 2002 to 2011. The proportion was 53 percent in the 1992-2001 decade. (September 11, 2014) Reuters [more on Pesticides in our area]
9/10/2014 - Are these so-called experts who think it’s OK to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron going to be held accountable? Or, as the idiots who lied us into the Iraq War, that has totally screwed up millions of lives and disrupted an entire section of the world, going to be invited to mainstream media after an ‘incident’ occurs and crow over what a great idea poising the Great Lake with nuclear waste was? Plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron safe, experts say An independent expert group has dismissed fears that Ontario Power Generation’s plan to bury nuclear waste near Lake Huron would threaten the Great Lakes, despite warnings from another scientist that the proposed site would have the potential for calamity. Facing opposition from some local residents, the provincial Crown corporation will appear before a federal review panel in Kincardine, Ont., this week for final hearings on its plan to bury up to 20,000 cubic metres of low- and intermediate-level radioactive waste at the bottom of a deep shaft at the Bruce nuclear plant on the shores of Lake Huron. (September 8, 2014) Globe and Mail [more on Great Lakes in our area]
9/10/2014 - One of the most bizarre things about Climate Change is what we know is happening and how little we are doing about it. U.N. Scientists See Largest CO2 Increase In 30 Years: ‘We Are Running Out Of Time’ More carbon dioxide was emitted into our atmosphere between 2012 and 2013 than in any other year since 1984, putting humans on the fast track toward irreversible global warming, the United Nation’s weather agency said in a report released Tuesday. The World Meteorological Organization’s (WMO) annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin showed that the increase of atmospheric CO2 from 2012 to 2013 was 2.9 parts per million (ppm), the largest year-to-year increase in 30 years. Because of that growth, the average amount of CO2 in the atmosphere reached 396 ppm — just 9 ppm away from an average level some scientists believe could cause enough sea level rise, drought, and severe weather to significantly harm human populations across the globe. “The Greenhouse Gas Bulletin shows that, far from falling, the concentration of carbon dioxide in the atmosphere actually increased last year at the fastest rate for nearly 30 years,” WMO Secretary General Michel Jarraud said in a statement. “We must reverse this trend by cutting emissions of CO2 and other greenhouse gases across the board. We are running out of time.” (September 9, 2014) Climate Progress [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/10/2014 - The bad news is that greenhouse gases are on the rise; the bad news is we ain’t doing much about it, and the bad news is folks are already talking about probable failure of Paris Climate talk in 2015. Humans, ya gotta laugh. Another Year, Another Record High for Greenhouse Gases The numbers are in and in case there was any doubt, 2013 was another recordsetting year for greenhouse gases. The atmosphere is home to more warming gases than at any other point since industrialization. And carbon dioxide, the main culprit, is causing oceans to acidify at a rate unseen in at least 300 million years. The news comes courtesy of the World Meteorological Organization’s annual Greenhouse Gas Bulletin, released Tuesday. The report tracks carbon dioxide, methane, nitrous oxide and other greenhouse gases at dozens of monitoring stations around the world and provides a snapshot of how humans are changing the planet. (September 9, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/10/2014 - Local news clip of press conference of Rochester People's Climate Coalition on why getting Rochesterians to the People’s Climate March was so important. Rochesterians Prepare for Climate March in NYC A group of Rochesterians are headed to the Big Apple to take part in a historic march. The Rochester "People's Climate Coalition" is organizing a trip to send about 200 people to the "People''s Climate March" in New York City on September 21st. The coalition is made up of several local organizations and agree that climate change and carbon emission reduction are two of the most serious issues facing us today. "Locally we want to raise awareness about the concern our community feels about climate change. and the speed with which organizations have come together and the number of people who are going down to the march speaks to the concern that does exist here in Rochester addressing climate change," said Sue Smith of the Rochester People's Climate Coalition. (September 9, 2014) RochesterHomePage.net [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/09/2014 - Who in their right mind would not want proper product labeling that is safer for people and the environment? EPA Seeks Feedback from the Public on Proposed Label Options for Safer Products The U.S. Environmental Protection Agency is redesigning its Design for the Environment Safer Product Label to better convey to consumers that products bearing the label meet the program’s rigorous standard to be safer for people and the environment. “We want consumers to be able to easily find safer products that work well,” said Jim Jones, Assistant Administrator for Office of Chemical Safety and Pollution Prevention. “The agency wants to hear from the American people on which designs will help people identify household cleaning and other products that are safer for families and the environment.” The redesigned label is intended to help consumers, businesses and institutional buyers recognize products that have earned the EPA Safer Product Label. All ingredients in products that earn the logo have undergone a thorough evaluation to ensure they meet high standards for safety and performance. When people use these products, they are protecting their families and the environment by making safer chemical choices. (September 9, 2014) EPA
9/09/2014 - Fracking is NOT a bridge fuel to help us adapt to and mitigate Climate Change; Fracking is a siren song for no future. McKibben to Obama: Fracking May Be Worse Than Burning Coal If you’re a politician, science is a bitch; it resists spin. And a new set of studies—about, of all things, a simple molecule known as CH4—show that President Obama’s climate change strategy is starting to unravel even as it’s being knit. To be specific: most of the administration’s theoretical gains in the fight againstglobal warming have come from substituting natural gas for coal. But it looks now as if that doesn’t really help. In a very real sense it’s not entirely the president’s fault. When Obama took office in 2008 he decided to deal with health care before climate change, in essence tackling the biggest remaining problem of the 20th century before teeing up the biggest challenge of the 21st. His team told environmentalists that they wouldn’t be talking about global warming, focusing instead on “green jobs.” Obama did seize the opportunity offered by the auto industry bailout to demand higher mileage standards—a useful move, but one that will pay off slowly over the decades. Other than that, faced with a hostile Congress, he spent no political capital on climate. (September 8, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Fracking in our area]
9/09/2014 - Battery and energy storage are critical for making renewable energy (wind and solar) viable; Rochester, NY may be a leader. Battery and energy storage conference set for Wednesday A battery and energy storage conference and expo is scheduled for Wednesday at the Kodak Center for Performing Arts in Rochester, with Mark Johnson of the U.S. Department of Energy as the guest speaker. The event, presented by the New York Battery and Energy Storage Technology Consortium takes place from 8:30 a.m. until 7 p.m. Johnson is the director of advanced manufacturing for the Department of Energy. (September 8, 2014) Rochester Business Journal [more on Energy in our area]
9/09/2014 - Rochester, NY folks getting up very early to bus to People’s Climate March and it’ll be worth it. Don’t get left out of the greatest climate march in history, where we demand our leaders take action on Climate Change. Go here for more info and bus tickets if you live in western New York. Rochester group to join climate march Early on the morning of Sunday, Sept. 21 — very early — people will filter into a parking lot in Pittsford and board a bus. Their intended destination? A future that's a little less overheated than it otherwise would be. The Sept. 21 bus-riders from the Rochester area, and others who will travel by train and car, will be among several hundred thousand people expected to descend on New York City that afternoon for an event known as the People's Climate March. Participants hope to focus attention on the need for the United States and other countries act more aggressively to reduce emission of the greenhouse gases that are altering the Earth's climate. The protest march is timed to bring pressure on international leaders attending a climate summit two days later at United Nations headquarters in Manhattan. More than 100 people from the Rochester area are expected to join in. (September 8, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/08/2014 - We solve the Canada Geese problem, and all wildlife issues, by learning to live with them and prepare them for Climate Change. If you only focus on geese poop, you’re not getting this profound issue we have when we treat most wildlife as an externality to our lives, even though they helped create and maintain our life support system. And now all wildlife will have to adapt far more quickly than they ever have to a rapidly changing climate. Our notions of wildlife needs to adopt to the real world, or we will have to run our life support system, as system that is million, in some places billions, of year old, a job we haven’t a clue how to do. What to Do About Canada Geese The Canada geese population in New York is currently estimated at up to 250,000 birds. That creates a lot of problems. "I’ve seen people driving cars on the thruway with a flock of geese trying to move across the highway. This can cause problems. As well as, they can foul ponds. You've got a lot of birds that are roosting on small ponds and defecating in them," said Ronald Geigerich from the ESF Roosevelt Wildlife Station. Not to mention the very dangerous conditions a flock of geese can cause at airports. So what is being done about it? (September 8, 2014) Time Warner Cable News Rochester [more on Geese Problem in our area]
9/08, 2014 - Here’s one of the many very inconvenient truths about Climate Change we don’t want to face: What we eat matters. Of course, there are many other things we do, have children, drive cars, build houses, play games, treat diseases, you-name-it and because Climate Change is the mother of all problems, what you do matters. How did things get this way? We ignored the above statements for one reason or another. What's on your plate? Climate change and diet What you eat can have a big impact on the climate. But lowering your carbon footprint might mean giving up some all-American favorite foods like hamburgers. As Kara Holsopple of The Allegheny Front reports, the place where climate change science and food culture meet is on your plate. Len Frenkel only has a minute to talk because he's rushing between presentations at the University of Pittsburgh’s Johnstown campus. The North American Vegetarian Society has their annual gathering here. Frenkel’s traveled from Bethlehem, Pennsylvania. He’s not just a vegetarian, he's vegan. That means he doesn’t eat meat or butter or anything made from animals. He started for animal welfare and health reasons. But now, climate change weighs heavily on Frenkel’s mind. "Our personal health doesn’t mean squat with the future looking so terrible for life on the planet," he says. Most people at this vegetarian festival are like Frenkel. They seem to want to go even further with their diets, often for environmental reasons. Take animal advocate Lee Hall, for example. She just graduated with an environmental law degree, with a focus on climate change. (September 3, 2014) Innovation Trail [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]
9/08/2014 - Why are we having the biggest climate march in history? Because business as usual is threatening our future. World Falls Behind in Efforts to Tackle Climate Change: Report The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions to keep global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C, according to the sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report LONDON (Reuters) - The world's major economies are falling further behind every year in terms of meeting the rate of carbon emission reductions needed to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees this century, a report published on Monday showed. The sixth annual Low Carbon Economy Index report from professional services firm PwC looked at the progress of major developed and emerging economies toward reducing their carbon intensity, or emissions per unit of gross domestic product. "The gap between what we are achieving and what we need to do is growing wider every year," PwC's Jonathan Grant said. He said governments were increasingly detached from reality in addressing the 2 degree goal. "Current pledges really put us on track for 3 degrees. This is a long way from what governments are talking about." (September 7, 2014) Scientific American [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/08/2014 - Question: How do you move an entire forest in time to adapt to Climate Change? Ans: Better find out and act quickly. Critical to understanding the Climate Change crisis is the speed at which it is happening—many, many times faster than the plants and animals that have evolved can adapt. There are ideas about how to help our fellow species adapt to what we have unleashed but they are going to need our full support and now. Time for Trees to Pack Their Trunks? During the last two springs, contract planters for The Nature Conservancy (TNC) have spread out through the pine, spruce and aspen forest of northeastern Minnesota. Wielding steel hoedads, they have planted almost 110,000 tree seedlings on public land. What’s noteworthy about planting trees in a forest? Usually foresters plant seedlings grown from seeds harvested nearby, on the assumption that local genotypes are best suited to local conditions. But these TNC workers were planting red and bur oak (which are uncommon in northern Minnesota) from seed sources more than 200 miles to the southwest, and white pine from as far away as the Lower Peninsula of Michigan, 400 miles to the southeast. (September 7, 2014) Climate Central [more on Plants and Climate Change in our area]
9/08/2014 - More and more media are talking about biggest climate march in history #climatemarch, how about your local media? Demand coverage! This all matter because ultimately if our local press doesn’t cover Climate Change and its consequences, we’ll be missing the chance to adapt to Climate Change. Just as the NYS AG’s new report state’s “In recent years, there has been a steep increase in the number of powerful deluges. Extreme rainstorms, and the disastrous floods and soil erosion that result, are wreaking havoc in places that rarely had to contend with these damaging meteorological events” Current & Future Trends in Extreme Rainfall Across New York State | Activists promise biggest climate march in history People’s Climate March in New York and cities worldwide hopes to put pressure on heads of state at Ban Ki-moon summit Hundreds of thousands of people are expected to take to the streets of New York, London and eight other cities worldwide in a fortnight to pressure world leaders to take action on global warming, in what organisers claim will be the biggest climate march in history. On 23 September, heads of state will join a New York summit on climate change organised by Ban Ki-moon, the first time world leaders have come together on the issue since the landmark Copenhagen summit in 2009, which was seen as a failure. The UN secretary general hopes the meeting will inject momentum into efforts to reach a global deal on cutting greenhouse gas emissions by the end of 2015, at a conference in Paris. (September 8, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/08/2014 - Come to Climate Week in NY, including People’s Climate March; you won’t be bored. To get there from Rochester go here. | Climate Week NYC: 10 Top Places to Be Infographic shows key events and locations of this year's Climate Week in New York City, including the route of the 'largest climate march in history.' On Sunday, Sept. 21, demonstrators from more than 1,000 organizations representing millions of people plan to demand that world leaders take action against global warming. The People's Climate March through midtown Manhattan will be the "largest climate march in history," according to its organizers. And it will kick off the sixth annual Climate Week NYC—with about 80 events focused on climate change such as high-level meetings, conferences, lectures and debates. A United Nations summit in New York City will also take place during Climate Week, which will help lay the groundwork for climate-change treaty talks next year in Paris. (September 8, 2014) Inside Climate News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/06/2014 - There will be two local showings of “Disruption” in the Rochester, NY region: WED, SEPT. 17 AT 2:00 PM AND 7:00 PM,IN PARISH LIVING ROOM AT CHURCH OF THE ASSUMPTION, 20 EAST AVE, FAIRPORT, NY 14450. More info here: 9/17 “DISRUPTION”: A NEW MOVIE FOR THE MOVEMENT | World Premiere of “Disruption,” New Climate Documentary with Van Jones, Chris Hayes, Naomi Klein, and More Premiering online and in NYC this Sunday night, “Disruption” Spotlights Growing Costs of Inaction, Spurring People to the Streets and Raising Stakes for UN Climate Summit Showtime in NYC: Sunday, September 7, 7:00 – 9:00 PM John L. Tishman Auditorium, The New School, 63 Fifth Avenue, University Center, Room U100, New York, NY SEPTEMBER 7, NEW YORK CITY: Disruption, a new documentary film premiering this weekend, and featuring some of the environmental movement’s top leaders, calls for a new strategy to address the climate crisis: a public movement and uprising that forces world leaders to replace rhetoric with action. The world premiere of the film sets the stage for a historic groundswell of climate events in New York City at month’s end, including the People’s Climate March on September 21 and the UN Climate Summit on September 23 featuring President Obama and other world leaders. Disruption seeks to answer a fundamental question: When it comes to climate change, why do we do so little when we know so much? The movie lays bare the science, the broken political process, the industry special interests and the civic disengagement that have brought us to this crossroads. (September 4, 2014) 350.0rg [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/06/2014 - Exceptional report by NYS AG connecting the dots between NY’s heavy rainfall, Climate Change, and the need to adapt. What is not exception about this report: it states what Climate Change studies have been saying about how Climate Change is already affecting us—and what needs to be done. What is exception is that an office as important as the New York State Attorney General says that it agrees with the climate studies. What is even more exceptional is that only a few media (like Rochester City Newspaper) have even mentioned the AG’s press release and the posted the study: “Current And Future Trends In Extreme Rainfall Across New York State”. Although only a few of our state (or anywhere else for that matter) leaders have stepped up to the plate and described to the media (and thus the public) exactly what is a stake in New York State as Climate Change gets worse, none of our leaders—mayors, environmental authorities, county executives, and have the luxury of climate denial. Our leaders are the ones that are obligated to inform the public of clean and present dangers and do something about it. We are long past the time for comprehensive Climate Change messaging throughout our state in the media about the kinds of changes we should expect and the level of adaptation we will have to marshal to accomplish that. Climate Change is not a special interest issues, it is an issue special to all of us—even those who don’t believe in science. A.G. Schneiderman Issues Report Highlighting Need To Tackle Climate Change At State Level, Details Work Of Environmental Protection Bureau Report Shows Need For Improved Resiliency Planning, Concerted Effort To Tackle Climate Change Schneiderman: While Our Leaders In Washington Have Failed To Act, We Have Chosen To Take Action At The State Level To Protect Our Homes, Communities And Environment NEW YORK – In remarks delivered during a forum titled “Beyond Gridlock: State Leadership on Energy and Environmental Issues” at Pace University School of Law, Attorney General Eric T. Schneiderman today released a report that, for the first time, details the increasing frequency and intensity of extreme rainfall events across New York State and outlined the unique approach his office has taken on environmental issues in the last 3 ½ years. The report, “Current And Future Trends In Extreme Rainfall Across New York State,” highlights this disturbing weather trend in recent years in virtually every part of the state, including Long Island, the Southern Tier, the Capital Region, the North Country and Western New York. According to data from a recent United States National Climate Assessment, there have been dramatic increases in the frequency and intensity of extreme rain storms across New York. Just last month, a record 13.57 inches of rain fell in a single microburst in Islip – an amount equal to an entire summer’s worth of rain for Long Island – causing massive damage and disruptions in the area. (September 3, 2014) New York State Attorney General [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/05/2014 - If you don’t get your butt to the People’s Climate March and back your leaders’ substantial actions on Climate Change, you can kiss it Goodbye. Look, for those who pour scorn on the Peoples Climate March as being some desperate symbolic measure by some frustrated liberals to change the world, let them be accountable for less than a great outpouring of humanity to demand that greenhouse gases be lowered, and done so fairly. If, after you have gotten out of your chair and from behind you beer, and joined with hundreds of thousands at the People’s Climate March in New York City, then you can carp with righteous self-importance about how you knew humanity was incapable of rising to the occasion. Back six years ago, many, many in New York State though Fracking was inevitable and Governor Patterson’s Fracking moratorium would quickly dissolve. But folks from all over the state, including the heroic work of R-Cause in Rochester, has stopped that Fracking nonsense—at least for the time being. Be at the People’s Climate March, and please no excuses. New York climate summit is a chance to push for long-term climate neutrality A meeting of heads of state with Ban Ki-moon is an opportunity to look at how we get greenhouse gas emissions to zero This month, the UN secretary general will host a major climate summit: it is a moment in time for heads of state, cities, organisations, and companies to announce bold new initiatives to address climate change in the short to medium term. It is also a moment for an ambitious, scientifically credible and clear vision on where the world needs to aim over the long haul. Bold initiatives are certainly needed now to slow the growth of emissions before 2020, peak global emissions shortly thereafter and rapidly put in place policies capable of delivering clean and resilient development. Yet, like a young person planning their career, a mayor looking at future demographics or a corporation evolving a business strategy, there also needs to be a long term view of where we want to be fifty years or so down the road. (September 4, 2014) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/05/2014 - Critical investigation by Reuters: To understand how climate denial threatens our ability to adapt to Climate Change read “Water’s Edge” For all the raging against the inconvenience, against the climate science, against politics, and against ideologies, the rising seas near our most populated regions are relentless. We are going to have to understand the role of government and insurance and private property and a whole lot more in this world of warming. We cannot get away with the usual excuses because Climate Change only understands that when more greenhouse gases are put into our atmosphere, more of the Sun’s heat gets trapped. Of course, this has been true for several billion years, but now we are here and his warming is occurring ten times faster than any time in the epoch we thrived, the Holocene, and accelerated even faster in the last several decades. This is to say most plants and animals (instrumental for our life support system) probably cannot adapt with quickly enough and this heat increase is probably too fast for a human population that is now 7 billion and will be 9 billion by 2050. This Reuters story proves we don’t get Climate Change yet: As the seas rise, a slow-motion disaster gnaws at America’s shores Part 1: A Reuters analysis finds that flooding is increasing along much of the nation’s coastline, forcing many communities into costly, controversial struggles with a relentless foe. WALLOPS ISLAND, Virginia – Missions flown from the NASA base here have documented some of the most dramatic evidence of a warming planet over the past 20 years: the melting of polar ice, a force contributing to a global rise in ocean levels. The Wallops Flight Facility’s relationship with rising seas doesn’t end there. Its billion-dollar space launch complex occupies a barrier island that's drowning under the impact of worsening storms and flooding. NASA's response? Rather than move out of harm’s way, officials have added more than $100 million in new structures over the past five years and spent $43 million more to fortify the shoreline with sand. Nearly a third of that new sand has since been washed away. (September 4, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/04/2014 - Rochester People’s Climate Coalition, amassing to get Rochesterians to People’s Climate March, gets big local press coverage. Rapidly more than 20 organizations in the Rochester area are boosting awareness that getting local folks to the largest demonstration to act on Climate Change is absolutely crucial for making change. Business as usual is not acceptable anymore. “To change everything, we need everyone on board. Sunday, September 21 in New York City. Join us.” People’s Climate March | Coalition recruits climate marchers On September 21, hundreds of thousands of people will march through Manhattan to show leaders from around the world, particularly US politicians, that the American public supports and demands action on climate change. The People's Climate March, which is being organized by 350.org, is timed to coincide with a UN climate summit in the city. World leaders will meet to begin laying the groundwork for climate treaty talks in Paris next year. Rochester-area climate activists are trying to get as many local people as possible to participate in the march and have formed the Rochester People's Climate Coalition. The coalition is raising local awareness of the event, and will charter a bus to take marchers to Manhattan. (September 3, 2014) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/04/2014 - Slowing down Climate Change means slowing down fossil fuels as an energy source and increasing enthusiasm at People’s Climate March. “Later this September something that we’ve never seen in North America is going to happen in New York. Hundreds of thousands of people will take to the street for the People’s Climate March, which we’re hoping will be largest climate march in human history.” Bill McKibben Energy East vs. the climate By building a movement capable of shutting down the tar sands, we’re standing up for the future of the planet Since the 2011 arrest of hundreds of people in Washington while protesting the Keystone XL pipeline, the fight against the tar sands has grown into one of the most important global fights against extreme energy. Hundreds of thousands of people have come together to fight pipeline projects across the US and Canada, to stop mega-load shipments and above all to stand with First Nations in Northern Alberta and draw a clear line in the sand for politicians: being serious on climate change means rejecting the tar sands. As it has grown in size, this movement has also grown in scale, beauty and ambition. And as it has done so, it has made life increasingly hard for the tar sands barons. Just this year, a lack of pipelines to transport tar sands to the coast played a key role in forcing Total to suspend its plans to build an $11-billion tar sands mine — something Big Oil doesn’t do very often, at least not willingly. As the movement has grown though, so too has the desperation of the fossil fuel industry, which will do anything to get tar sands to port. The most audacious “anything” so far is TransCanada’s proposed Energy East pipeline project. (September 3, 2014) Ricochet Media [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/04/2014 - Local showings of “DISRUPTION”: A NEW MOVIE FOR THE MOVEMENT in Fairport, NY on Sept. 17th at both 2PM and 7PM. The timing couldn’t be better. This fall, the climate movement is going to be standing shoulder to shoulder to demand change: On September 21st — just before the U.N. Climate Summit in New York City — the People’s Climate March will bring us together for an historic convergence. We hope Disruption helps you and your community get moving (to New York and beyond). P.S. Two minutes usually isn’t enough to make much of an impact — but this trailer gives us goosebumps. Seriously, go watch and share it.
9/04/2014 - The People’s Climate March on Sept. 21st in NYC also will try and “kick-start sagging enthusiasm for climate deal” A viable future, what’s not to get enthused about? U.N. chief tries to kick-start sagging enthusiasm for climate deal United Nations Secretary General Ban Ki-moon this month hopes to reinvigorate the years-long effort to forge a global climate deal, even as concerns grow over whether the final pact will be rigorous enough to address threats to the environment. Ban wants heads of state at a Sept. 23 gathering in New York to outline how their countries will contribute to a mutual goal to contain rising temperatures, said Selwin Hart, the Barbadian diplomat helping to spearhead the conference. The final deal is due to be signed in Paris in 2015. Hart said the event will avoid some of the thornier questions surrounding the ultimate outcome of the Paris summit, but should give a good indication of how serious countries are. “What we are looking for is countries to signal a commitment to a universal and meaningful global deal, and signal their ambition,” Hart told Reuters (September 4, 2014) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/03/2014 - Blunt truth about democracies and our environment: The Nanny State is what happens when voluntary efforts to protect our environment don’t work. For those who hate regulations and rage against a government that has to implement more and more regulations to protect our life support system, it would be wise to listen when scientist say that we need to clean boats to prevent invasive species from spreading, or we need to curb greenhouse gases so Climate Change doesn’t get worse, or we need to recycle to stop pollution and reduce using up our natural resources. Because, as it is with the crucial role our government has in protecting us and our life support system, if voluntary measures don’t work, then off to the Nanny State we go. New law to create fine for not cleaning boats Boaters who don’t wash their boats before entering New York waterways will soon face fines under a bill signed Tuesday by Gov. Andrew Cuomo. The new law, which will take effect in one year, is meant to combat invasive species like hydrilla, a fast-growing plant that can be found in the Cayuga Lake inlet in Ithaca. Certain invasive plants, clams, mussels and other species that can cause harm to waterways are often transported between waterways by boats. “We all share a responsibility to protect our natural environment, and this legislation helps ensure that all who enjoy New York’s waters will also do their part to limit the spread of different types of aquatic life that would otherwise harm the local ecosystem,” Cuomo said in a statement. (September 2, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Invasive Species in our area]
9/03/2014 - People’s Climate March is building every day with more joining to demand real action on Climate Change. Senators Chris Murphy & Richard Blumenthal join with CT Labor and Religious Leaders to Promote People’s Climate March Senators join with the CT Roundtable on Climate and Jobs to Encourage Participation in Upcoming March in New York City and to Announce Collaboration with Metro-North New Haven, CT — The group gathered at Union Station in New Haven by the Connecticut Roundtable on Climate and Jobs did not consist of “the usual suspects.” Some of the state’s top labor leaders stood side-by-side a diverse group of religious leaders and both of Connecticut’s senators to announce an agreement with Metro-North Railroad to provide discount fares and enhanced capacity for people traveling from Connecticut to New York City for the People’s Climate March (www.peoplesclimate.org) on September 21. Tickets are available at: www.CTClimateTrain.org Lori Pelletier, Executive Secretary of the CT AFL-CIO introduced the thirteen Connecticut labor organizations that have endorsed the march and worked to secure the agreement with Metro-North. (September 2, 2014) People's Climate March
9/03/2014 - I don’t mean to upset you (OK, I do) but Peoples Climate March is critical to wake up our slumbering species on Climate Change. Dragging our feet, kicking the can down the road, business as usual (and a whole lot more metaphors on procrastination) have produced this. This can be very upsetting: 5 terrifying facts from the leaked U.N. climate report How many synonyms for “grim” can I pack into one article? I had to consult the thesaurus: ghastly, horrid, awful, shocking, grisly, gruesome. This week, a big report from the U.N.’s Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change was leaked before publication, and it confirmed, yet again, the grim — dire, frightful — reality the we face if we don’t slash our global greenhouse gas emissions, and slash them fast. This “Synthesis Report,” to be released in November following a U.N. conference in Copenhagen, is still subject to revision. It is intended to summarize three previous U.N. climate publications and to “provide an integrated view” to the world’s governments of the risks they face from runaway carbon pollution, along with possible policy solutions. (August 29, 2014) Grist [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/03/2014 - Advantages of ‘eye in the sky’ monitoring of our environment, rather than ground level reporting, are many, including comprehensiveness, independent monitoring that doesn’t have to trust private industry to report accurately, and a whole lot more. Gonna be hard to fool scientists in the future as they get better and better at monitoring our entire life support system. NASA reports International Space Station to monitor Lake Erie Algae Growth problem The green stuff that clouds up fish tanks – it’s not just an aesthetic annoyance. In fact, if you’ve been watching recent news of algal bloom concerns in Lake Erie, you know that the right conditions for algae can lead to contamination of local water sources, potentially impacting aquatic life and humans. What you might not have known is that among the resources to help study this problem you will find the International Space Station’s Hyperspectral Imager for the Coastal Ocean (HICO). (September 2, 2014) Clarksville Online [more on Water Quality and Great Lakes in our area]
9/03/2014 - Listen to this great broadcast on Climate Change and People’s Climate March from Rochester, NY public radio Please 'like' and make comment and distribute everywhere... Connections: Climate Change “Coming up on September 21, the People's Climate March takes place in New York City. The organizers describe the event as the largest single event on climate ever organized. The march is designed to get the attention of world leaders about the issue. Our guests today will tell us about the march and discuss the issue of climate change: Susan Spencer, Ph.D. candidate at RIT, Susan Smith, Dr. Abigail McHugh-Grifa” (September 2, 2014) WXXI News [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/03/2014 - You mean the EPA hasn’t “force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions”? In a time of Climate Change? It is incredulous that at this late date our environmental regulatory agency doesn’t clamp down on the most potent greenhouse gas in a wildly growing fossil fuel extraction technique that potentially would release a lot, really a lot, or methane gas. Shouldn’t it be a prerequisite for any Fracking permit that no methane get released? Throwing out the ‘volunteer’ option is like putting the fox in the hen house and asking him to behave himself. EPA MAY FORCE DRILLERS TO CUT METHANE LEAKS, CHIEF SAYS The Environmental Protection Agency is considering rules that would force oil and gas producers to cut methane emissions, its chief said, stepping up efforts to curb the most potent greenhouse gas linked to climate change. Gina McCarthy, the EPA administrator, told investors at a New York forum today the agency will decide this year whether to issue regulations mandating emission cuts, or to rely only on voluntary steps. “We are looking at what are the most cost-effective regulatory and-or voluntary efforts that can take a chunk out of methane in the system,” McCarthy said. “It’s not just for climate, but for air quality” reasons, she said. (September 2, 2014) Bloomberg New Energy News [more on Energy in our area]
9/02/2014 - How come every time an issue related to Climate Change (like lake levels) is brought up, the state goes mum? Cuomo made such a powerful statement “We will lead on climate change” back in 2012, but whenever issues related to Climate Change (like every freaking day) come up that are connected to Climate Change in NYS—increase in frequent heavy downpours, establishing lake levels, more (Fracking) fossil fuels, more public health (Lyme disease and West Nile Virus increases), and whole lot more—Cuomo and the DEC won’t say a word—even though the state has a state program to address Climate Change called the Climate Smart Communities program. How can the governor and the DEC lead on Climate Change if they go silent anytime anything remotely connected to Climate Change is mentioned in the news (which ain’t that often)? State silent on lake level plan Hoping to counter a chorus of disapproval for the proposal to regulate Lake Ontario water levels in a more "natural" way, a coalition of environmental groups has spoken up in favor of the plan. The most powerful voice in the debate, however — the state of New York — is continuing to bite its tongue. State environmental officials, who previously had been forceful advocates for similar regulation schemes, have not yet taken a position on this one, which was advanced in June after 14 years of study and debate. The International Joint Commission, a U.S.-Canada treaty organization that oversees water levels on Lake Ontario, recommended Plan 2014 because it would allow water levels to rise and fall slightly more than they do under the current plan. Levels are regulated, though not fully controlled, by a dam on the St. Lawrence River. (September 2, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Great Lakes in our area]
9/02/2014 - A note about the Penfield Green Initiative September 2014 Newsletter "I'm really pleased with the NEW Environmental Discussion Series - courtesy of your Penfield Energy & Environmental Advisory Committee - for more information see the PEN-REC fall brochure I'll be speaking at the first session - Recycling & Creatively Reusing in Monroe County! Lots of exciting events in Sept - I hope to see you at some Please forward to any family, friends, neighbors or co-workers " Deb Muratore
9/02/2014 - Important message about helping out over at the Greentopia Festival: "Greentopia Fall Festival Fri, Sept 12 – Sat Sept 13: 10am-10pm Brown's Race & the Centers at High Falls Greentopia Festival will be a focused, 2-day celebration of sustainability, this year featuring Music, Design & EcoFest. Most events will take place around Brown's Race & the Centers at High Falls. Get ready for never-before-seen-performances of art, photography & music--all of which is carefully selected programmed & curated to educate & inspire. www.greentopiafest.com/ facebook.com/greentopiafest Greenovation & the Zero Waste Committee will be co-sponsoring: Greentopia 2014 Recycling Rangers! Saturday, Sept 13: 10am-10pm only. We need a total of 40 volunteers. We will have 3 recycling stations that will require 2 persons each per shift. The shifts will be 2 hours long. 1st & last shifts will probably be a little longer because of set up & tear down. Volunteers will receive festival tee shirts & free food. Maybe, with your help, we can achieve a 100% diversion rate. That means that everything is either recycled or composted. The sign up site to the Greentopia site is http://vols.pt/Yk6RTp Thank you very much. We look forward to continuing our partnership with Greentopia. Deb Muratore Rochester Greenovation Dave Goldman Zero Waste Committee"
9/02/2014 - You want to save the world, but you don’ have enough money. This is a common problem and there are grants for that. GrowWNY.org has a wonderful webpage where they have aggregated the possible environmental grants that would pertain to the Buffalo area. Each area could do this so public agencies, entrepreneurs, environmental organizations could find the funds to clean up and monitor various environmental concerns in their area. "Grant Opportunities"
9/02/2014 - It is a good reminder for a region like Rochester, NY that in a world that’s warming overall “each year won’t necessarily be warmer than the year before in every region.” ” It’s only over time that the warming trend is obvious.” See How This Summer’s Temperatures Stack Up Get ready to retire the white wardrobes, cover the grill and shutter the lake house. Labor Day Weekend marks the psychological – and meteorological – end of summer. While you're enjoying one last cold one this weekend orsnapping photos on the beach, take a look at how the summer's average temperatures stacked up for a number of cities across the U.S. Was it hotter than average? Colder? About in the middle? The answer is . . . yes, depending on where you live. However, even with rounds of record cold air this summer, none of the cities we analyzed is close to setting a record low for the entire season. Meanwhile, there are some cities across the West that are sizzling through one of their hottest summers on record. It’s a good reminder that in a world that’s warming overall under a growing blanket of greenhouse-gas pollution, each year won’t necessarily be warmer than the year before in every region. It’s only over time that the warming trend is obvious. (August 29, 2014) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]
9/01/2014 - Local news reports that higher price tag on helping Rochester streets accommodate active transportation by morphing one-way street into two. In what way is the public being nailed for a high construction project for pedestrians and bicyclists by bringing in more cars with a two-way street? It sounds to my untrained ear that pedestrians are being blamed for a higher price tag for a change that will make walking and bicycling worse. Someone needs to talk me through this as I don’t understand the logic. Construction to Make Downtown Rochester More Pedestrian Friendly The price tag has gone up for a project to make Downtown Rochester more pedestrian friendly. Construction work is about to begin to convert St. Paul Street and Clinton Avenue from one way, to two way roads. The low bid came in almost 20% higher than the engineer's estimate. The city is now spending more than $2.3 million to convert five blocks of both streets north of East Main. (September 1, 2014) RochesterHomepag.net [more on Transportation in our area]
9/01/2014 - Hire an environmental specialists, so you know your business is not just greenwashing. | State: Big shortage of environmental scientists Tom Vogler believes his clients want to build such things as pipelines, wind farms and electric utility transmission lines that impact neighbors as little as possible. “We all have to live on this planet,” said Vogler, a senior environmental scientist at Haley & Aldrich, a Henrietta consulting firm with headquarters in Boston, “and my job is to make sure regulators get good data so they can make good decisions. It really is about making sure you don’t harm your neighbors.” Job prospects for environmental scientists in the Finger Lakes region are projected to grow by 15.4 percent between 2010 and 2020, reports the New York state Department of Labor. (September 1, 2014) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]
9/01/2014 - What is worse for Climate Change, Coal or Fracking? It’s like asking what will kill you faster a gun or poison. If we want to keep on living, have a sustainable life support system that is, we should go renewable energy and we can do that by stop quibbling about what fossil fuel is worse and get on with sensible energy. Why Coal Is (Still) Worse Than Fracking and Cow Burps Geoscientist Raymond Pierrehumbert argues that carbon dioxide is always worse than shorter-lived pollutants like methane. Is fracking for natural gas good for the planet? To understand the pitched fight over this question, you first need to realize that for many years, we’ve been burning huge volumes of coal to get electricity—and coal produces a ton of carbon dioxide, the chief gas behind global warming. Natural gas, by contrast, produces half as much carbon dioxide when it burns, and thus, the fracking boom has been credited with a decline in US greenhouse gas emissions. So far so good, right? (August 29, 2014) Climate Desk [more on Fracking and Climate Change in our area]
9/01/2014 - Why are folks in Rochester, NY going to the People’s Climate March? Read some heart-felt quotes: WHY WE ARE GOING TO PCM "Here are some very heart-felt quotes on why folks in Western New York are going to the People’s Climate March: "
9/01/2014 - If California Kills the Plastic Bag, what will the trees in their neighbors grow? The streets will have no tumble-filth. Their trails will have nothing but Nature to see. What does a world without trash look like? California Bans Plastic Bags The California Senate voted 22-15 late last night to pass a statewide ban on single-use plastic bags. The bill, SB 270, will phase out single-use plastic bags in grocery stores and pharmacies beginning July 2015, and in convenience stores one year later, and create a mandatory minimum ten-cent fee for recycled paper, reusable plastic and compostable bags. The bill, which passed both houses of the California State Legislature now heads to the Governor’s desk. If signed, California will become the first state in the U.S. to ban what advocates call “the most ubiquitous consumer item on the planet.” Senators Alex Padilla, Kevin de León and Ricardo Lara authored the measure that will implement a ban while promoting recycling and California manufacturing, and provides financial incentives to maintain and retrain California employees in affected industries. (August 30, 2014) EcoWatch [more on Recycling in our area]
9/01/2014 - G7 using old strategy “to minimize the effects of climate change and ‘phase out’ subsidies for fossil fuels…” Business as usual! World’s richest countries invest billions in expanding fossil fuel stocks Despite repeated commitments to phase out subsidies for fossil fuels, a new report by Oil Change International found that G7 countries continue to pump billions of dollars into dirty energy sources each year. In June 2014, the leaders of the G7 reaffirmed their 2009 pledge to minimize the effects of climate change and ‘phase out’ subsidies for fossil fuels. However, the report (pdf) finds that, rather than invest in sustainable alternative energies, G7 countries are dedicating at least $8 billion US dollars of taxpayers money annually into expanding fossil fuel reserves, with another $10 billion given in subsidies by government banks and institutions for funding fossil fuel exploration. To ensure the average global temperature does not dangerously rise by more than 2ºC, it is imperative that at least two thirds of existing reserves remain untouched. Currently,the world’s reserve of fossil fuels is four times larger than is safe to use, so it is illogical for the G7 to divert huge amounts away from public services in favour of funding ‘unburnable carbon’, warns Oil Change International (August 28, 2014) tcktcktck [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]