Updates May - June 2007
In this day where the major media is owned and operated by the major corporations and so our environment reporting reflects the few and powerful, instead of what is actually occurring, it’s a good time to learn to be your own media. RochesterEnvironment.com sprung from this sentiment that a concerned individual was reading about a world in ecological crisis, but experiencing a Disney-like world where everything was going along fine.
However, after ten years of watching Rochester, New York’s environment and comparing all the news on our city from all online sources, this fantastic tranquility is just that—fantastic.
Mostly, what occurs in the media are sporadic explosions on toxic releases, brownfields that occasionally bubble up out of their containments, bad air-quality reports from agencies like the American Lung Association, or something else that, by its compelling Nature, forces itself through the media’s door.
Many other just as pernicious environmental issues are going on but they are not either as sexy as an inner city shooting, or ‘hot’ as a car crash, or ‘weird’ as people collecting body parts. Too bad that most of the really worrisome environmental problems (like Global Warming, Bee Colony Collapse Syndrome, the infestation of an invasive species disease like VHS, or the breakdown in water quality in the many lakes surrounding Rochester) don’t hit the front pages or splashed on the 6 O’clock news because the major media don’t thing these story sell. And that means we don’t usually find out about an environmental problem until it’s in our face as a major crisis.
Imagine a world where our media knew how to report on environmental matters, that is a continual investigation of all the possible threats to our environment, which keeps us alive and healthy. That would be a world where we knew how all our man-made products were entering in and reacting into our environment, like pharmaceutical and pesticides going into the waters we drink; objective cancer cluster studies that might reveal buried trouble spots of industrial waste; land that should be public land given away at cheap prices for those with money; the total effects of sprawl on our local fauna and flora, the entire range of possible effects in our area of global warming and the loss of biodiversity; how our local recycling programs are working, what potential environmental health problems lay on the horizon, and how our area is helping the Climate Change effort with our areas business and residential energy policies and practices.
In short, we need a media that isn’t afraid to give us an entire and unbiased picture of our environment so we can react to it responsibly—and timely. Baring a complete makeover of our media, which is flourishing in a hail of sexy, sports, political scandal, car crashing, lottery-winning, and (more often than not) just downright silliness, individuals could enter the public discourse on the media with their own observations.
One way to Take Over the Media is to create your own web site, like RochesteEnvironment.com and/or begin your own podcast. What is a podcast? Let Dave Atias [ firstname.lastname@example.org ] tell you:
"The hosts of the locally-based podcast, The Stuart Bedasso Show, will be holding a free, one-hour workshop for area progressives who are interested in producing their own podcasts. The workshop, called Podcasting for Progressives, will be run by Dave Atias, Keziah Kelsey and Erick Rodriguez and take place on Tuesday, June 5th at 7pm at Spot Coffee, 200 East Avenue in downtown Rochester. A podcast is an audio file that is available for downloading on the internet to be played on personal computers or portable media players. Most podcasts are like online radio shows that are downloadable on demand. Participants will learn what a podcast is, how to produce one and strategies on how to publicize a podcast. Participants will also leave with a list of free resources that are available. The workshop will show participants how to use the medium of podcasting to help promote progressive ideas as done on The Stuart Bedasso Show. The Stuart Bedasso Show is a weekly, non-commercial podcast that features talk, independent music and pre-produced comedy. The hosts, with special guests, discuss a wide range of topics ranging in scope and seriousness. They have been privileged to play independent music, in some cases, exclusives, before any local radio station has been able to. All shows are archived at http://bedasso.libsyn.com and are available for download for free. Internet users can also subscribe to the show using iTunes. For more information, call Dave at 966-9067 or e-mail email@example.com . Listen to The Stuart Bedasso Show Help The Stuart Bedasso Show get on Public Radio"
This collaborative project on the environment seems to me one of the most important and potentially successful Wikia projects since Wikipedia. The promise is to create a free, on-going white paper from everyone who has learned something about making our environment sustainable and update that information continually.
According to the UN Intergovernmental panel on Climate Change (IPCC), our environment is going to change drastically and in turn this is going to change the human condition dramatically, quantumly, and soon. Climate change also is a National Security risk. None of this is new, except for the degree of verification from expert data; many environmentalists have been predicting global warming, the loss of biodiversity, and the pollution of our land, air and water, the build up of man-made toxins in our environment and in ourselves (the body burden) for a long time. It’s just that finally the media and governments have started to Get It!
Many new opportunities, including the Internet and the Wikia encyclopedia project, offer up a chance for humanity to share their observations, their knowledge, and solutions to what appears to be a faster and faster rate of environmental change. I recently listened to a report on DemocracyNow.org Friday, May 18th, 2007 George Monbiot: "If We Don’t Deal with Climate Change We Condemn Hundreds of Millions of People to Death" and came away (again) with a sense of urgency that this issue needs. A Wikia Environmental project can deal with the quick and evolutionary change of information and solutions we will need to solve this world-wide crisis.
Many environmental solutions, either in business, in government, and even individuals have worked in one place or another. And some ideas like recycling seem simple at first blush but require a constellation of changes attitudes, inventions, transportation between collection and use, collecting and separating properly. There are different programs in different cites, offering ideas for places to continually ramp up recycling until the point where no trash enters our waters or land. For example, in some cities, garbage collectors will not pick up a resident’s garbage if, after examination, recyclable goods are found—and a fine delivered. Everything can potentially be used and reused, making endless possibilities for creating new businesses.
Of course, most ideas about sustainability are already out there in books, and are working in communities, but there is no single clearinghouse that is not managed and edited by the people themselves who want their children to survive--only governments, groups, and corporations with their own agenda. An open-source project for ideas and solutions on how best to reach a sustainable world for humans can only be accomplished with a variety of scientists, individuals, educators, and environmental groups hoping for a better world that will not collapse under its own progress.
Much in the way the first Wikipedia project matured and came to rival and then surpass the book form of an encyclopedia (which is out-dated the moment it gets published) this project can grow and change to the volatile world we are entering, where the oceans levels will rise, the Great Lakes water level will fall, and where pests and disease will migrate to areas unfamiliar with how to cope wit them will certainly occur. As some areas become warmer, the people in those areas can learn how to cope with changes from a district that has always dwelt with heat and how it affects all aspects of people's lives and the business arena.
As the site stands now, there is little there. It’s just a start. But, it’s also an opportunity to help kickoff and shape this environmental solutions project that should be at the foremost concern of all peoples and governments of the planet. So, check out Main Page - Environmentalist - a Wikia wiki and encourage others to join in.
5/09/07 -- Need info on Lyme Disease? - Welcome to Lyme Disease Research Studies Established in 1994, the Lyme Disease Research Program of the New York State Psychiatric Institute is the first in the United States to focus research efforts on the neuropsychiatric aspects of Chronic Lyme Disease in adults and children.
5/02/07 -- Get the latest May 2007 Outdoor Newsletter from Hike, Bike, Cross Country Ski, Snowshoe and Birding Trail Guide Books (Footprint Press)
5/02/07 - **EVENT** George Eastman House :: Programs & Events :: Countdown to Ansel Adams "You are invited to the "One-week Countdown to Ansel Adams" event at George Eastman House on Friday, May 4 - Ansel Adams (American, 1902-1984) BRIDAL VEIL FALL, ca. 1927 George Eastman House Collection © 2007 The Ansel Adams Publishing Rights Trust Join George Eastman House in marking the one-week countdown to the Ansel Adams exhibition, by attending a black & white event at 5:30 p.m. Friday, May 4. A photograph of all participants will be taken around 6 p.m. to be featured on the museum walls during the Ansel Adams exhibition. The exhibition, titled Ansel Adams: Celebration of Genius, opens May 12 and features 150 black & white photographs. Adams is the world's best-known photographer and this will be Eastman House's largest Adams exhibition in its history. " from George Eastman House
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