Updated Daily  9/30/2016 RochesterEnvironment.com

Our Environment is changing: Keep up with the Change. *Note: Henceforth 'environment' means "our life support system."


Rochester, NY was one of the hosts of the World Canal Conference on September 19, 2010.

If it deals with the environment, Rochester, New York, and the Internet, it's here.

Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time.  How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature.

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Since 1998, RochesterEnvironment.com has been an ongoing experiment to completely inform one community [Rochester, NY] of all its environmental Newslinks, Events, Daily Updates, Resources, Environmental Education, regional Climate Change, and Environmental Issues. Green Apps, and more...    * Please read this carefully, it's not the usual Yada Yada

(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive)  [Website best viewed on your tablet device.]

RochesterEnvironment.com – This is site a free media resource to encourage public dialogue on local environmental issues, a local newspaper devoted to a single community’s environment, an archive of Environmental News to capture a proper sense of time in which environmental issues transpire, and an attempt to frame environmental issues free of corporate, governmental, and any ideology.  Sustainability, connecting the dots of our environmental information, rules.  Understanding that all of our local Environmental Issues now must be interpreted in the context of Climate Change, which will be continually moving the bar on the state of our environment, is critical for our survival.  We Don't Get It!

The great conundrum of our times is that in a time of rapidly occurring Climate Change and a rapid disintegration of the environment that we need to thrive and survive, mainstream media still marginalizes environmental concerns. [Check often for this continually updated list on the possible consequences of Climate Change in our region--supported by facts.] If there isn’t a quick and substantial change in how environmental concerns are reported, edited, and chosen in mainstream media, the public will continue to believe that environmental concerns are merely special interest matters, issues they can avoid if they choose.  How can we inform the public and monitor our environment without abridging our Freedoms--in enough time to save ourselves?   Bookmark This Site

All of us, says President Obama, must take responsibility in getting the message out on Climate Change. Remarks by the President on Climate Change “Understand this is not just a job for politicians.  So I'm going to need all of you to educate your classmates, your colleagues, your parents, your friends.  Tell them what’s at stake.  Speak up at town halls, church groups, PTA meetings.  Push back on misinformation.  Speak up for the facts.  Broaden the circle of those who are willing to stand up for our future. Convince those in power to reduce our carbon pollution.  Push your own communities to adopt smarter practices.  Invest.  Divest.  Remind folks there's no contradiction between a sound environment and strong economic growth.  And remind everyone who represents you at every level of government that sheltering future generations against the ravages of climate change is a prerequisite for your vote.  Make yourself heard on this issue.” (June 25, 2013)  The White House Blog | Your acquaintances were watching a non-media network like FOX and missed Obama’s Climate Change talk?  Send them here: President Obama Speaks on Climate Change "Published on Jun 25, 2013 President Obama lays out his vision for a comprehensive plan to reduce carbon pollution, prepare our country for the impacts of climate change, and lead global efforts to fight it. June 25, 2013. "

Likely Changes     Real Changes      Frank's Essays     Climate Studies

Anything else you're interested in is not going to happen if you can't breathe the air and drink the water. Don't sit this one out. Do something. You are by accident of fate alive at an absolutely critical moment in the history of our planet.-- Carl Sagan

 

Page Contents: Rochester-area NewsLinks | Daily Updates | Green Business | Top 10 things you can do for our environment | Green Events | Green Actions | This month's Winner of the Environmental Site Award

 

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SEARCH: Use search engine below to find anything posted since 1998.

Rochester area NewsLinks.

NewsLinks: Get the most important environmental news of the day and monitor your environment daily.  Also: Get Newslinks since 1998… Unlike other news, environmental news often takes time to reach our attention. Follow potential problems and catch them before they're catastrophes.

 

Today's Rochester-Area Environmental News:

My hope is that you will read these stories and connect them to the world we now live in, one that is warming because of Climate Change.  Then pass these stories to those you are connected to and have them spread the word.  Mainstream media is either unwilling or incapable of reporting responsibly and adequately on a world that is warming, which is why many still don’t understand the vast changes we must make to adapt and mitigate Climate Change. 

Posted Today - Friday, September 30, 2016

  • Toxin in drinking water sets off alarms For the first time ever in New York, dangerous toxin from blue-green algae has been found in treated drinking water. Cayuga County officials health and municipal officials reported this week that a dangerous toxin released by an algal bloom in Owasco Lake in the Finger Lakes region, had survived the treatment process in two different plants, and made it into the supplies being distributed to homes and businesses. Combined, the two systems serve more than 50,000 customers in Cayuga County. Officials said the concentrations were low enough that no one should have suffered ill effects, and reported that by Wednesday afternoon toxin was no longer detectablei n the lake water entering the plants. (September 29, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • Recalculating the Climate Math The numbers on global warming are even scarier than we thought. The future of humanity depends on math. And the numbers in a new study released Thursday are the most ominous yet. Those numbers spell out, in simple arithmetic, how much of the fossil fuel in the world’s existing coal mines and oil wells we can burn if we want to prevent global warming from cooking the planet. In other words, if our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero. (September 22, 2016) Bill McKibben New Republic [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • SIX WIND POWER FAQS THAT WILL MAKE YOU A MAJOR FAN Wind power is flying high. Learn why this clean energy source is so popular with the public and growing rapidly – and how much we can do with it. The news has been nothing but great lately for the wind energy industry. From plunging costs to exploding growth to a fast-expanding job market, recent developments in wind have proven clean energy can both create real economic opportunity and help us stop climate change. To put it another way, the fact that wind is supplying more and more of our power while putting more and more people to work and reducing our dependence on carbon-emitting, climate-harming fossil fuels has turned us into very big fans. (September 27, 2016) Climate Reality Project [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • The Pacific blob caused an ‘unprecedented’ toxic algal bloom — and there’s more to come Last year, a massive toxic algae bloom swept the West Coast, resulting in record-breaking levels of a potentially deadly brain-damaging chemical and closing fisheries from California to British Columbia. Since then, scientists have been investigating the causes of the event — and now, a group of researchers think they’ve figured out how the event, which they term “unprecedented,” happened.   The algae bloom was facilitated by an unusual “blob” of warm water lurking in the Pacific Ocean at that time, the scientists say. And while the blob itself may have been largely brought on by weird but natural ocean and atmospheric variations, climate change may result in similar conditions cropping up in the future — and hence, more frequent toxic algal blooms. The work was published in Geophysical Research Letters. (September 29, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 'Trump's promises are empty': energy experts lay waste to proposals From making coal great again to ‘cancelling’ the Paris accord, industry analysts say his ideas are farfetched and his talk of climate change as a ‘hoax’ is dangerous Donald Trump’s energy agenda – which includes pledges of “complete energy independence”, making coal great again and ditching the Paris climate deal – is drawing bipartisan fire from industry analysts, former members of Congress, and even one coal mogul. All of them, to varying degrees, fault the billionaire’s basic premises and call his promises farfetched and at times contradictory. (September 29, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

 

News Highlight

US Military is compelled to address Climate Change, so should our potential leaders          

by Frank J. Regan


“Photo by Frank J. Regan: "

When will mainstream media start grilling presidential candidates on how our next President will address Climate Change and direct our military’s role?

We should mitigate Climate Change by halting any more human-caused, greenhouse gas emissions; but we will have to adapt to the devastating consequences of more flooding, more extreme weather, and more social unrest.

President Obama’s “Presidential Memorandum -- Climate Change and National Security” makes it clear that our military must be prepared for what Climate Change portends by planning on a scale and time frame that will matter. 

Obama Just Tied Climate Change to National Security On Wednesday, President Obama took another step toward securing his climate legacy. This time his focus wasn’t on energypublic lands or international diplomacy. It was on national security and making sure the U.S. military is prepared for a more unstable future. The White House published a presidential memorandum setting up a timetable for more than 20 federal agencies to come up with a plan to put climate science into action when it comes to national security. “It’s not a new direction, but it is reinforcing and formalizing a direction in which the U.S. government was already headed,” Sherri Goodman, a fellow at the nonpartisan Wilson Center, said. “That’s how you turn concepts into action in the government. You have to have plans to get agencies to act.” (September 22, 2016) Climate Central

Our responsible political leaders and our military have long known that our military must be prepared for the heighten disruptions that will be caused by Climate Change and one must wonder why any leader would do any less than prepare the public for the worst.

Whatever a leader’s ideology or political position on Climate Change, he or she must fulfill their responsibility to address clear and present dangers to the US public.

The Presidential Memorandum is an amazingly clear description of how Climate Change affects our national security and the need for “… setting up a timetable for more than 20 federal agencies to come up with a plan to put climate science into action ...” (1)

With such a clear message about the actions needed to be taken on this climate crisis, shouldn’t our media press all our political leaders responsible to explain their support or lack of support for military preparation for climate actions?   more...


(Above scripts from Dynamic Drive

Green Business.

Green Business - We are working on finding Green Jobs for our area.  As always, we will post anything we can dip up on finding employment for people who want to sustain themselves and the planet at the same time.

Here's the Latest on Green Business News for the Rochester, NY area:

  • SED launches Community Solar Array in Greater Rochester Area Sustainable Energy Developments Inc., a clean energy company, will launch the first Community Solar Array project in the Greater Rochester Area in partnership with SunCommon. This offer allows all Rochester Gas & Electric customers to power their homes or businesses with locally generated solar energy, with no upfront cost and anticipated savings on their electric bill. SunCommon is a Vermont-based solar company that has helped thousands of Vermonters go solar through home and Community Solar Installations. (June 14, 2016) Fairport-East Rochester Post [more on Green Business and Solar Power in our area]

  • Investors' Circle hopes to fund Rochester's clean energy scene People in Rochester's startup scene already know about the popular venture capital firms Excell Partners and Cranberry Capital. However, a North Carolina-based firm is joining the mix and looking to pass out money. Investors' Circle of Durham, North Carolina, has been funding startups for 24 years, but now wants to fund companies across New York state. The firm invests in different types of companies, such as software and education. However, the firm's biggest emphasis is on clean energy companies. (February 12, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Green Business in our area]

  • Waste Management-owned site receives conservation award High Acres Nature Area, owned by Waste Management Inc. in Perinton, has been honored with the 2015 International Conservation Award by the Wildlife Habitat Council, an international non-profit that accredits programs that create wildlife habitat on corporate lands. It has recognized 600 sites around the world.  The High Acres Nature Area comprises 250 acres with four miles of nature trails adjacent to the High Acres Landfill and Recycling Center in Fairport. Employees and community volunteers invest in conservation and education efforts through the nature area, officials said. (November 24, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

  • Energy storage looks promising for Rochester At first glance, they do not look like much: cylinders the size of commercially available watch batteries and foil-wrapped packets the size of cell phone batteries. From small packages, however, the staff of NOHMs Technologies Inc. are working to produce big results.  “We’re a cell manufacturer only to make prototypes,” explains Richard Delmerico, CEO and chief operating officer of the 17-person startup, which is based out of 6,000 feet of laboratory and industrial space within Eastman Business Park. (October 2, 2015) Rochester Business Journal [more on Green Business in our area]

Event Highlight

  “City of Rochester's E-Waste Day: Saturday, October 15 at 8:15 AM - 1 PM”       

    

Help unload cars of electronic equipment, cell phones, etc. for recycling. rocpcc@gmail.com

FREE breakfast, lunch and water will be provided! Please note: This job will require occasional heavy lifting. 

This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for work teams, Eagle Scouts, older Girl Scouts, high-schoolers, or just YOU!” Link to sign up! (City of Rochester)  

(Get full details from the flyer.)          

WHEN: Sat., Oct. 15, 9 am - 1 pm

WHERE: Rhinos Stadium, Smith St. entrance 

Top Ten Things You Can Do for Rochester’s Environment .

This list assumes you are ready to take responsibility (as a member of the only species capable of doing so) for your presence at this critical time in our planet’s history.  And, it isn’t about just your personal fulfillment thing—our environment isn’t politics, religion, a fad, or a cause; it’s science all the way down. Pollute the planet, stuff happens.  Finally, in order for the effects of this list to be effective a lot (I mean billions) of humans need to do them too.  In the deepest practical sense, everything you do (where you live, what you eat, what you buy, what you throw away) matters to our environment. Ready folks, here we go:

  • Be engaged with the issues surrounding our local environment by monitoring the media, books, reports, and the Internet using the laws of Nature as your guide to monitor how our lifestyle is affecting our environment.
  • When you consume anything--food, water, cars, gadgets, whatever—do so as though you were demonstrating how to consume for the rest of the world—considering the lifecycle of the products you buy, how they are made, how they are used, and how you get rid of them.
  • When you have someplace to go, consider all your options in order of their affect on our environment: walking, biking, car-pooling, mass transit, and lastly a personal vehicle. 
  • Conserve energy until we find a non-polluting, renewable energy source.
  • Vote. If you’re doing good for our environment and your representative in government doesn’t get it, you’re just making yourself feel good without much effect.
  • Recycle, reuse and encourage your local government to create a place where recycling just about everything is the norm.
  • Think twice before using toxic chemicals that make your yard look like a golf course and your house like a hospital.
  • Consider other species (plants and animals) and their role in sustaining our environment.  Our environment, our life support system, IS plants and animals and soil. When they don’t function neither will we.
  • Adopt green business practices: your business will save our environment and be able to compete with the rest of the world.
  • Communicate your concerns about the state of our environment to everyone. Sustainability isn’t going to work unless everyone gets on board quickly.    Encourage all your news sources to have an environmental section daily and help move environmental investigations and news to mainstream media.

 350.org

350.org is an international campaign that's building a movement to unite the world around solutions to the climate crisis—the solutions that science and justice demand. Our mission is to inspire the world to rise to the challenge of the climate crisis—to create a new sense of urgency and of possibility for our planet.  

 

Green Events.

RochesterEnvironment.com Environmental Calendar is the longest running and most comprehensive environmental calendar for our area. Got an environment event? Contact me and I'll get it listed.

Here are some events coming up soon & lots more...    

October

  • October 2-8, 2016
    • Curb Your Car Week Fall Edition Scheduled For October 2-8, 2016 International Walk to School Day is a global event that involves communities from more than 40 countries walking and biking to school on the same day. This year the day is Wednesday, October 5. We are encouraging schools and parents to curb their cars that week for at least one trip and do more walking and biking, carpooling, and bus rides. We will be reminding you again next month with event registration information and hoping that you will reduce your carbon footprint and increase your activity. This year we will not be compiling your miles saved, but we are hoping that you will share your stories with us on our Facebook page.  (from Color Brighton Green)
  • Oct. 5, 9 AM to about 3 PM | Meet at the north end of the parking lot of the Doubletree Inn, 111Jefferson Rd., (14623), before 9 AM to carpool.
    • Nature Exploration Hike, Slater Sanctuary, Dansville   Oct. 5, 9 AM to about 3 PM  Hike through woods and gullies and along deer trails in this mostly wild preserve donated to Burroughs Audubon Nature Club by the Slaters.  Meet at the north end of the parking lot of the Doubletree Inn, 111Jefferson Rd., (14623), before 9 AM to carpool.  Wear long pants and shirt, sturdy shoes, and a hat. Bring water and a bag lunch. https://www.facebook.com/BANC.roc/ http://www.bancny.org/
  • October 6th, 2016, 5:30-9:30pm ,  Port of Rochester Terminal Building, Rochester, NY
    • Genesee River Bash  The kickoff event for Rochester's River Romance Weekend Thursday Evening  October 6th, 2016, 5:30-9:30pm   Port of Rochester Terminal Building, Rochester, NY   A River Celebration featuring BBQ, Beer, and a Blues & Bluegrass Band With Awards, Networking, Exhibits from Outdoor Lifestyle Suppliers and River-Focused Organizations Proceeds to benefit Genesee RiverWatch   Genesee RiverWatch improves the water quality of the Genesee River and its tributaries to create environmental, recreational and economic assets for its communities.  We also connect people to the river, encouraging them to explore, experience and celebrate the river.
  • October 11, 2016 – SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, The Gateway Center, 1 Forest Drive, Syracuse, NY.
    • Important Event: Learn how an aggregate of trained citizen scientists (that’s you) can help fill critical gaps in important research on our environment.   One-Day Microplastics/Citizen Science Workshop – Learn how to get involved. October 11, 2016 – SUNY College of Environmental Science and Forestry, The Gateway Center, 1 Forest Drive, Syracuse, NY.
  • October 14, 7:30 PM | St. John's Meadows, Briarwood Bldg.,1 Johnsarbor Dr. (14620)
  • Saturday, October 15 at 8:15 AM - 1 PM, Sahlen's Stadium, 460 Oak St, Rochester, NY 14608
    • Still there are too many old TV’s and e-waste being illegally curbed in Rochester. Help do the right thing and get your old e-waste to this City event and even volunteer to help out. Saturday, October 15 at 8:15 AM - 1 PM, Sahlen's Stadium, 460 Oak St, Rochester, NY 14608 “Join RPCC in supporting the City of Rochester's E-Waste Day. (Get full details from the flyer.) Help unload cars of electronic equipment, cell phones, etc. for recycling. rocpcc@gmail.com.  FREE breakfast, lunch and water will be provided! Please note: This job will require occasional heavy lifting.  This is a perfect volunteer opportunity for work teams, Eagle Scouts, older Girl Scouts, high-schoolers, or just YOU!” Link to sign up!

 

Genessee RiverWatch Initiative Working to restore the waters of the Genesee, improve access, increase use and encourage economic development that benefits from and contributes to the water quality of our region.

 

 

ACTION highlight

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':

Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here:

Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities':



New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt.  

Green Action.

ACTION: Often, I receive requests to pass on alerts, petitions, Public Comments on local environmental issues needing action by the Rochester Community and around the world.  

  • ACTION: September 30, 2016.
    • The closing date for public comment on the Genesee River Draft Restoration Plan is September 30, 2016. “In 2014, the Trustees resolved a natural resource damage claim with the Eastman Kodak Company for the Genesee River located in the City of Rochester, Monroe County, New York. The Draft Restoration Plan outlines the restoration project categories that have been selected to address injuries to and lost use of natural resources.” Find our more here: Notice of Availability for Public Comment, Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for Genesee River Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration under the Comprehensive Environmental Response, Compensation, and Liability Act The U.S. Fish and Wildlife Service and New York State, collectively the Trustees, announce the availability of the Draft Restoration Plan and Environmental Assessment for the Genesee River, and Genesee River Watershed, New York (Draft Restoration Plan) for public review and comment. In 2014, the Trustees resolved a natural resource damage claim with the Eastman Kodak Company for the Genesee River located in the City of Rochester, Monroe County, New York. The Draft Restoration Plan outlines the restoration project categories that have been selected to address injuries to and lost use of natural resources. Natural Resource Damage Assessment and Restoration settlement funds will be used for projects that restore, rehabilitate, or conserve aquatic habitats and recreational uses in the Genesee River and Watershed, New York. The closing date for public comment is September 30, 2016. The Draft Restoration Plan can be found at: here. More information about the Settlement can be found at: here.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Short film submissions due by February 27th, 2017
    • From our friends over @FastForwardRoc "The Fast Forward Film Festival Call for Entries is now OPEN! "Accepting submissions from novice and veteran filmmakers who live in the Greater Rochester region NOW through February 27th, 2017! If you already have your film ready, please submit. If you haven't yet started filming, get your gear ready, and don't miss out on making the most of Rochester's beautiful summer weather!" Find out more here.
  • ACTION: Due Now!
    • "Citizen Scientists Track Algal Blooms Harmful algal blooms (HABs) are a global problem. HABs can pose a serious risk to human health. Algae are natural components of marine and fresh water flora that perform many roles vital for the health of ecosystems. Cyanobacteria, also known as blue-green algae, are of special concern because of their potential impacts on drinking, fishing, and recreational waters. General aviation (GA) pilots functioning as citizen scientists can help develop an early warning system to alert communities of ensuing algal bloom along the coastline." "Citizen Science Scientific research conducted, in whole or in part, by amateur or nonprofessional scientists. This may include crowd-sourced science, community engaged science, or networked science." (NASA)
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • CLIMATE ACTION PLAN "We want to hear from you!  Take our community-wide Climate Action Plan survey. What is a Climate Action Plan? Climate Action Plans (CAP) are comprehensive roadmaps that outline the community-wide efforts that will be taken to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. CAPs build upon the information gathered by greenhouse gas inventories and generally focus on those activities that can achieve the relatively greatest emission reductions in the most cost-effective manner.  CAPs typically focus on quantifying existing and projected community-wide greenhouse gas emissions; establishing greenhouse gas emissions reduction targets; identifying and analyzing future greenhouse gas emissions; identifying specific measures that will achieve the emissions targets; and establishing a mechanism to monitor the plan's progress. " City of Rochester, NY
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Act on giving bicyclists a 3-ft break from vehicles, making biking safer, and reducing greenhouse gases. 3 FT PASSING LAW Thanks to the strong leadership of Board President Jim Reed and Board Member Emeritus Ivan Vamos, who himself was hit by a car, and support from Transportation Alternatives, the New York Bicycling Coalition (NYBC) has launched an all-out campaign this legislative session in Albany to amend the vague and impossible to enforce 2010 Safe Passing law. At the very least, we think there should be a 3 feet passing standard, which is now the law in 26 other states across the country. Email your legislators now by sending an email through this very easy-to-use form.
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: Now!
    • Stop Explosive Oil Trains! Find out if you are in the blast zone and sign the petition. There is a fiftyfold increase in local transport of volatile crude oil trains (which are not and cannot be properly designed to carry this dangerous oil) through our region. Check to see if you are in the blast zone, and Take action and put a stop to this! From our friends over at Mothers Out Front! Really take a moment to find out about this clean and present danger in our community and take action here.
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • "The 100% Renewable Now NYS Campaign is beginning to organize! This Campaign is aimed at getting the 100% Renewable Energy by 2030 bill passed by the NYS legislature. This project is anchored in sound science: Read this critical study: “Examining the feasibility of converting New York State’s all-purpose energy infrastructure to one using wind, water, and sunlight” If your organization wants to be more involved that is welcome.  Also, please call your legislators to ask them to co-sponsor (Assembly - A. 7497 or Senate - S. 5527). And see:  The Solutions Project (especially New York) to sign your organization up as a supporter.  Please help in this way!" (If someone in your group wants to attend some meetings in October to hammer out strategy and organizational details, contact me and I’ll get you in touch with the group organizing this issue in our region.) 
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
    • Just about the last thing Henrietta needs is to chew up a wildlife area for more development. Sign a petition to Save Beckwith Park. "Save Beckwith Park Neighbors working together to save 12.8 acres of wild land in Henrietta, New York Since 1965, this scenic wildlife area has been a treasure for many families in Henrietta, New York. The Catholic Diocese of Rochester is in the process of selling this beautiful land to a developer, who intends to put single-family houses on the property. In a grassroots effort to save the land, neighbors and friends have banded together to stop the development of the land that makes our neighborhood our home.  "Consider signing this petition to save undeveloped land in Henrietta, NY. To find out more watch this short TV coverage on Channel 10.
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Our home environments can be healthy. Help get the word out. This from Elizabeth McDade, Program Manager Coalition to Prevent Lead Poisoning c/o Finger Lakes Health Systems Agency 1150 University Ave. Rochester, NY 14609 (585) 224-3125 www.letsmakeleadhistory.org "The newly revised Healthy Homes Guides have arrived and I need YOUR help to get this cubical emptied by Labor Day. HELP! If you need some resource guide books or can help distribute Healthy Homes, Healthy Families POSTERS, please contact Elizabeth McDade elizabethmcdade@flhsa.org  (585) 224-3125 Also, feel free to share this link to the Resource Guide book
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • "Call on Governor Cuomo and The Department of Transportation Secretary Anthony Foxx to take immediate action to protect the public and the environment from the dangers of crude-by-rail." Stop the Bomb Trains "As much as 7 billion gallons of crude oil could move by train through New York State annually under current and proposed permits as the nation’s “virtual pipeline” for crude oil expands. The Department of Transportation can take immediate action to reduce the risks of derailments, which have caused catastrophic spills of crude oil elsewhere in the United States and Canada, including the tragic loss last year of 47 lives and the destruction of a business district in Lac-Megantic, Quebec. The volatility of Bakken crude oil combined with the inadequacy of the DOT-111 railcars used to transport much of this cargo has led rail workers to dub them "bomb trains." Spills of heavy crudes, such as those from Alberta, Canada, tar sands, would have particularly damaging impacts to water and the ecosystems they support – because heavy crude oils can sink, clean-up is next to impossible. " Riverkeeper
  • ACTION:  Due Date: Now!
    • New York needs to transition to renewable energy (like Wind Power) now:  "New York has been slow out of the gate when it comes to opportunities like offshore wind. We can change that. Few states have the potential to be a national and global clean energy and climate leader like New York.  And right now, the state Public Service Commission (PSC) is accepting public comments on how to structure a new Large Scale Renewable Energy Program – and Environmental Advocates is urging the PSC to act on three critical fronts: Establish enforcement mechanisms to hold the state and utilities accountable for supplying 50 percent of our energy from clean renewables by 2030. Make the state’s Large Scale Renewables Program statewide (currently Long Island is excluded from the Renewable Portfolio Standard). Add offshore wind power to New York’s energy mix.  You can urge them to prioritize these initiatives, too!     Despite our state being home to some of the most attractive and productive wind farm locations in the nation, this plentiful source of renewable energy remains completely untapped. With Rhode Island constructing the nation’s first offshore wind farm, and Europe utilizing this same renewable energy source on a large scale, New York can step up and become a global clean energy leader.     Governor Cuomo has made a commitment to ensure 50 percent of our energy comes from clean, renewable sources by 2030. That means dramatically reducing our reliance on fossil fuels and building a clean, green energy economy with offshore wind and other sources of renewable energy.    Take Action Today! " (from Environmental Advocates of New York)
  • ACTION: Due Date, NOW!
    • Fracking ain't over in New York until it's over: Take action: Call on the NYS Senate and Assembly to ACT NOW to pass the Hazardous Waste Loophole Bill! Read more: Time to Close New York’s Fracking Waste Loophole Despite the recent historic ban on high-volume fracking, New York still has a fracking waste problem. More than 510,000 tons and 23,000 barrels – and counting – of waste from oil and gas extraction operations in neighboring Pennsylvania have been shipped to New York landfills for disposal. Leachate from those landfills is then sent to nearby wastewater treatment facilities. And New York State continues to allow the use of certain kinds of waste from low-volume oil and gas extraction on our roads for de-icing and dust control. Fracking waste can contain a number of pollutants, such as chemicals, metals, excess salts, and carcinogens like benzene and naturally-occurring radioactive materials. Due to a loophole in state law, oil and gas industry waste is exempt from hazardous waste requirements, meaning that – no matter what it contains – fracking waste is not classified as hazardous. This “hazardous waste loophole” also means that fracking waste can be disposed of at facilities unequipped to handle it, and in ways that can put our health and environment at risk. (June 3, 2015) Riverkeeper [more on Fracking in our area]
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Submit letters to the Democrat and Chronicle Editors about oil trains passing thru Rochester and gas storage in the Seneca Lake salt mines concerns: Editorial submissions
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Been wondering how your group can help our environment? Help monitor our Water Quality by being Citizen Scientists. “Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.” Learn more, get training, get equipment, get started. EPA Region 2 Citizen Science |  Equipment Loan Program [PDF 437 KB, 5 pp] Apply for the Region 2 Citizen Science equipment Loan Program [PDF 318 KB, 2 pp] Citizen Science is a vital fast-growing field in which scientific investigations are conducted by volunteers.  Individuals and community groups have long collected data to better understand their local environment and address issues of concern to them.  Over the past decade, there has been an explosion of citizen science projects as tools have advanced and people have become more empowered.  These projects have been remarkably successful in expanding scientific knowledge, raising people’s awareness of their environment, and leveraging change. EPA Region 2
  • ACTION: Due Date NOW!
    • Please sign this petition: Sign the petition: Stop NPR from gutting its climate coverageAs tax-paying citizens of the USA, whose government supplies 4.6% of NPR’s income (and 39% from individual contributors), we insist that you restore your climate reporting team—or rather, actually increase it. At this critical juncture, with the 2015 United Nations Climate Change Conference in Paris is coming up where our leaders need to act on Climate Change, our public needs more day-to-day, accessible, and thorough coverage. NPR’s reasoning that “because so many other staffers cover the subject, along with their other beats”, it’s OK to gut your climate reporting teams ignores the fact that so many Americans are uninformed about an issue that requires long-term planning and public support for long-term adaptation strategies as noted in most climate plans and studies. more...
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New York State needs a clear and enforceable climate action plan so we can prepare our state for damage to our public health, our water, waste, transportation, telecommunications infrastructures and agriculture.  This cannot be done ad hoc, or just with grants, or just using the market forces.  Properly planning for something as pervasive as Climate Change needs top-down direction from our leaders.  Urge Governor Cuomo to Develop a Climate Action Plan "Governor Cuomo,  The world is changing. New York communities have been caught devastated by the growing climate crisis, suffering through hurricanes and other extreme weather events. World leaders, assembled by the United Nations for a summit on the climate crisis, have recognized the need to act now to protect communities worldwide from the ravages of climate change, and to create an economy that works for the people and the planet.  Governor, you’ve already made a commitment to an 80 percent reduction in carbon pollution by 2050. We applaud you for this. We ask that you articulate your plan for getting us there. It is time for you to take the bold step to pull our state out of the dirty energy ways of the past and to move us forward with energy sources that are clean, healthy and beneficial for all New Yorkers.  We, the undersigned are asking your administration to seize the moment by creating a climate action plan for New York. We believe that without such a plan, piecemeal efforts to offset or mitigate the hazards of climate change will too little and too late. New York should be a clean energy leader, and a leader in cutting climate-altering pollution. We are calling on you to prepare a plan to fight climate change, keep our communities safe, and move New York away from the dirty fossil fuels of the past.  Sincerely, " from Environmental Advocates of New York
  • ACTION: Due Date Now!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Pound for pound, getting community leaders to pledge to the state’s ‘Climate Smart Communities’ program is one of the most effective things people can do to address Climate Change. Take action! It’s all spelled out for you here: Take Action on 'Climate Smart Communities': New York State's Climate Smart Communities (CSC) program supports municipalities as they identify, plan and carry out projects that reduce greenhouse gas emissions, promote energy efficiency and renewable energy sources, and prepare for the challenges climate change will bring. This program provides resources that enable localities to act on climate, without mandating which programs or policies they should adopt. 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Interested in the water quality of our rivers and streams and want to get trained to help monitor them?  "Reminder -- Volunteers for Stream and River Monitoring Wanted: DEC is looking for citizen scientist volunteers for stream and river monitoring as part of the Water Assessments by Volunteer Evaluators (WAVE) project. Volunteers visit stream sites once between July and September to collect macroinvertebrates -- insects and other small organisms -- from the rocks and rubble on the stream bottom.  In 2014, volunteers can participate by joining a local WAVE group led by a trained local coordinator, or by sampling independently. Volunteers working under a trained local coordinator do not need to attend a training session; however, volunteers who want to work independently must attend a training session.  WAVE training sessions rotate around the state on a five-year schedule, targeting those basins that will be sampled by DEC's Stream Biomonitoring Unit the following year.  Three training sessions remain for 2014: June 14 in Esperance, June 21 in Wyoming and June 29 in New Hartford. " (June 13, 2014) The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) 
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!  
    • Give Feedback to open.ny.gov! Back in March of 2013,  Governor Cuomo Launches Open.NY.Gov Providing Public Unprecedented User-Friendly Access to Federal, State and Local Data “Governor Andrew M. Cuomo today launched "open.ny.gov," a new and comprehensive state data transparency website that provides - for the first time - user-friendly, one-stop access to data from New York State agencies, localities, and the federal government. The website, featuring economic development, health, recreation, and public services information, was unveiled today during Sunshine Week, a nationwide initiative designed to raise awareness about the importance of open government.”  open.ny.gov is now up and running and filled with a lot of data, most of not really helpful in learning about the state of our environment.  This data site is a good start, but it could use some more datasets focused on information we need to monitor the health of our New York State environment—especially as Climate Change affects our state. Consider giving open.ny.gov suggestions on new datasets, like Brownfield sites that need cleaning up, what kind of toxins are still the in Genesee River, where are all the landfills, what routes to hazardous materials take through our state, in what areas are folks getting cancer and what kind of cancers, and a lot more.  Give Feedback to open.ny.gov!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW! 
    • Chance to volunteer and help largest wetland in Northeast. "Montezuma Audubon Center Seeks Volunteers   Savannah, NY - September 20 - The Montezuma Audubon Center (MAC), located at 2295 State Route 89 in Savannah, is seeking volunteers to strengthen the current staff’s ability to fulfill Audubon’s mission in conservation.  The MAC is dedicated toward providing opportunities for youth, families, and communities to connect to conservation and enhance the Montezuma Wetlands Complex as an Important Bird Area. We are looking for volunteers interested in routinely supporting day to day needs as an information desk receptionist, animal caretaker for our live reptiles and amphibians, and office supporter to help with clerical tasks. Please call Chris Lajewski at 315-365-3588 or e-mail montezuma@audubon.org for more information or to sign up today! "
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • New website by Natural Resources Defense Council (NRDC) to demand clean energy and do away with dirty energy to prevent more Climate Change. "Tell President Obama to reject the climate-destroying, Keystone XL tar sands pipeline and lead the way to a clean energy future instead. " DemandCleanPower.org
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Thinking it’s about time to do something on a big scale to combat Climate Change?  Think about joining Citizen’s Climate Lobby.  Here’s what Dr. James Hansen, head of Goddard Institute for Space Studies, NASA say’s "Most impressive is the work of Citizens Climate Lobby, a relatively new, fastgrowing, nonpartisan, nonprofit group with 60 chapters across the United States and Canada. If you want to join the fight to save the planet, to save creation for your grandchildren, there is no more effective step you could take than becoming an active member of this group." The contact information for the local Rochester group: nyrochester@citizensclimatelobby.org We meet monthly, and people can contact us for more info on getting involved!
  • ACTION: Due Date: NOW!
    • Can you imagine what our world would look like if everyone used their smartphones to report environmental crimes? Healthier! Become an environmental crime stopper Polluting a stream and getting away with it? Violating the Clean Air Act without detection? Now, anyone with a smartphone can help bust abusers of the environment. New York State Crime Stoppers announced a new phone app that makes it very easy for people to instantly report environmental crimes to the appropriate agency. Cellfare created the app in collaboration with Crime Stoppers, Waterkeeper Alliance, state police and local law enforcement agencies across the state. (November 21, 2012) Investigative Post

 

 

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  • 9/30/2016 - Major article in Rochester Democrat and Chronicle that “… the first time ever in New York, dangerous toxin from blue-green algae has been found in treated drinking water.”  The article also mentions how Climate Change “… is worsening the cyanobacteria problem globally”. The EPA has long made the connection “Impacts of Climate Change on the Occurrence of Harmful Algal Blooms” and it seems prudent that New York State and other regions should be factoring in Climate Change, along with the “loading of nutrients”, to understand and address this critical water quality problem in our lakes—waters that communities drink from. Toxin in drinking water sets off alarms For the first time ever in New York, dangerous toxin from blue-green algae has been found in treated drinking water. Cayuga County officials health and municipal officials reported this week that a dangerous toxin released by an algal bloom in Owasco Lake in the Finger Lakes region, had survived the treatment process in two different plants, and made it into the supplies being distributed to homes and businesses. Combined, the two systems serve more than 50,000 customers in Cayuga County. Officials said the concentrations were low enough that no one should have suffered ill effects, and reported that by Wednesday afternoon toxin was no longer detectablei n the lake water entering the plants. (September 29, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Water Quality in our area]

  • 9/30/2016 - The tyranny of the climate math is clear: However ferociously we may try to bake in justice, economic stability, and other values we want to include in addressing Climate Change, if we don’t get the math right we cook. As our world warms up more and the consequences of that become more dire, we will be jettisoning many of our most cherished values to adapt. (We often forget when talking about Climate Change that when push comes to shove, we will shove others into the drink to survive. (Survival is baked into our genes.)) The sooner we prioritize addressing Climate Change and getting the temperatures down to a sustainable level, the better chance we have of keeping our the principles humanity has so long struggled to uphold. The longer we wait, the more desperate we become. Recalculating the Climate Math The numbers on global warming are even scarier than we thought. The future of humanity depends on math. And the numbers in a new study released Thursday are the most ominous yet. Those numbers spell out, in simple arithmetic, how much of the fossil fuel in the world’s existing coal mines and oil wells we can burn if we want to prevent global warming from cooking the planet. In other words, if our goal is to keep the Earth’s temperature from rising more than two degrees Celsius—the upper limit identified by the nations of the world—how much more new digging and drilling can we do? Here’s the answer: zero. (September 22, 2016) Bill McKibben New Republic [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/30/2016 - If we really want to replace fossil fuels and curb our greenhouse gas emissions, we need lots of Wind Power—or just stop using energy. At the end of the day, we are going to have to do the math come up with a renewable energy figure that will add up to no more heat buildup in our atmosphere very, very soon. Check out Bill McKibben’s article in the New Republic “Recalculating the Climate Math”. SIX WIND POWER FAQS THAT WILL MAKE YOU A MAJOR FAN Wind power is flying high. Learn why this clean energy source is so popular with the public and growing rapidly – and how much we can do with it. The news has been nothing but great lately for the wind energy industry. From plunging costs to exploding growth to a fast-expanding job market, recent developments in wind have proven clean energy can both create real economic opportunity and help us stop climate change. To put it another way, the fact that wind is supplying more and more of our power while putting more and more people to work and reducing our dependence on carbon-emitting, climate-harming fossil fuels has turned us into very big fans. (September 27, 2016) Climate Reality Project [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • 9/30/2016 - Although we know that our oceans have absorbed the lion’s share of the extra heat from our greenhouse gas emissions, we don’t know how that heat will play out in the oceans. Blobs of toxic algae blooms maybe one of the consequences. But considering how vast our oceans are and how little we know about this watery frontier, the blobs are probably not the worst of what is coming with so much stored up heat (energy) that needs to work through our planet. We need to know much more about how our oceans are going to be affected by all this heat we have crammed into them. Time passes. The Pacific blob caused an ‘unprecedented’ toxic algal bloom — and there’s more to come Last year, a massive toxic algae bloom swept the West Coast, resulting in record-breaking levels of a potentially deadly brain-damaging chemical and closing fisheries from California to British Columbia. Since then, scientists have been investigating the causes of the event — and now, a group of researchers think they’ve figured out how the event, which they term “unprecedented,” happened.   The algae bloom was facilitated by an unusual “blob” of warm water lurking in the Pacific Ocean at that time, the scientists say. And while the blob itself may have been largely brought on by weird but natural ocean and atmospheric variations, climate change may result in similar conditions cropping up in the future — and hence, more frequent toxic algal blooms. The work was published in Geophysical Research Letters. (September 29, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/30/2016 - Trump’s characterization of Climate Change as a hoax and his promises for energy independence with fossil fuels are dangerous delusions we cannot afford—or survive.  'Trump's promises are empty': energy experts lay waste to proposals From making coal great again to ‘cancelling’ the Paris accord, industry analysts say his ideas are farfetched and his talk of climate change as a ‘hoax’ is dangerous Donald Trump’s energy agenda – which includes pledges of “complete energy independence”, making coal great again and ditching the Paris climate deal – is drawing bipartisan fire from industry analysts, former members of Congress, and even one coal mogul. All of them, to varying degrees, fault the billionaire’s basic premises and call his promises farfetched and at times contradictory. (September 29, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/29/2016 - Producing enough food for a growing humanity without destroying our soil and our ecosystems presents a major challenge in a warmer world. If we cannot produce food sustainably, that is, without poisonous fertilizers, mucking with plant’s DNA, and chewing up forests and undeveloped land for cropland and livestock, we will have ratcheted up our ability to produce food to a point where a major cascading collapse is inevitable. We may be able to feed nine billion people by 2050 but if this is done unsustainably there will be a terrible price to pay. Climate impact on crops will hit poorest Global food production may need to rise by more than 100 per cent to deal with climate change’s effects on crops in the most vulnerable regions. More than half of all the world’s maize crops and around a third of all wheat and rice will be grown in regions vulnerable to climate change in the next 50 to 100 years, according to new research. At the same time, the world’s population will grow to 9 billion, and global food production will need to rise by from 60% to 110% by 2050 to keep up with demand. (September 27, 2016) Climate News Network [more on Food and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/29/2016 - Obama’s Clean Power Plan depends on whether the courts rule that the Clean Air Act justifies these carbon regulations. Physics demand if we put more greenhouse gases into our atmosphere, we cook. Inside the Court Battle That Could Destroy Obama’s Climate Policy President Barack Obama's signature climate change initiative had its day in court Tuesday, as lawyers for 27 states, nonprofit groups, and utility companies argued that the carbon regulations are unconstitutional. The rule, known as the Clean Power Plan, would enforce a 32-percent reduction on greenhouse gas emissions from existing power plants by 2030 (compared to 2005 levels). As part of the implementation, the EPA would require states with at least two coal-fired power plants to submit plans for emissions reductions. If states choose not to submit an acceptable plan, the EPA would impose one on them. The plan was a critical piece of the Obama administration's successful efforts to forge the landmark Paris climate agreement last year. The administration is relying on a section of the Clean Air Act as justification for the regulations, arguing that the law, originally passed by Congress in 1970 and later amended, empowers the EPA to "protect public health and welfare" from pollutants—in this case, carbon emissions that are driving global warming. (September 28, 2016) Climate Desk [more on Climate Change and Energy in our area]

  • 9/29/2016 - Abraham Lincoln lived in a 250ppm of CO2 world. We now live in a 400ppm world. What’s the diff? His was a more stable world. The World Passes 400 PPM Threshold. Permanently In the centuries to come, history books will likely look back on September 2016 as a major milestone for the world’s climate. At a time when atmospheric carbon dioxide is usually at its minimum, the monthly value failed to drop below 400 parts per million. That all but ensures that 2016 will be the year that carbon dioxide officially passed the symbolic 400 ppm mark, never to return below it in our lifetimes, according to scientists. (September 27, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/28/2016 - At $3.4 billion NYS Clean Energy Plan to address Climate Change seems a bit pricey—but not compared with business as usual. While many of us disagree with Cuomo on some of the particulars of the Clean Energy Plan, like keeping aging nuclear power plants going long after their expirations date—taking leadership by bringing down our greenhouse gas emissions on a scale and time frame that will matter—Matters! Report: Clean energy plan to cost NY $3.4B New York's plan to boost clean energy will add an estimated $3.4 billion to utility bills over the next five years, according to a report Tuesday from a conservative think tank. The Empire Center for Public Policy's report analyzed the state's Clean Energy Standard, a three-tiered plan approved in August that includes major subsidies for renewable and nuclear energy sources in an effort to produce 50 percent of the state's power from renewable sources by 2030. The report contends that the plan will add $3.40 a month to the average New York resident's utility bill by 2021, based in part on similar renewable energy credits in other northeastern states. (September 27, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Energy and Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/28/2016 - Has our media properly characterized just how freaking hot and unusual this summer was? Or is roiling, boiling heat just the new normal? One of the things our media should be doing on a warming world is pointing out how man-made Climate Change is changing our own region and how those observations compare with changes in other regions around the world. Climate Change is a worldwide phenomenon but it’s hard to see if you media won’t look around, learn the science, and educate the public. The mind-boggling New Orleans heat record that no one is talking about During one of the country’s hottest summers, New Orleans quietly set a mind-boggling record. On 43 nights, the temperature did not drop below 80 degrees in New Orleans, according to the Louisiana state climatologist. It blows the previous record out of the water — 13 nights in 2010. It’s also incredible considering in an average summer, New Orleans has just 2.1 nights at or above 80 degrees. This record should be getting much more attention than it has been. (September 26, 2016) The Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/28/2016 - Adapting to and mitigating Climate Change in a way that sustains all life while striving to do so equitably is the defining issue of our time. How we comport ourselves during this historic trial by fire will reveal our true nature. Scientists “too frightened” to tell truth on climate impacts Professor Peter Wadhams says peers are failing in their duty, and warns China is planning huge land grabs as warming hits crop production China is protecting itself against future food supply problems caused by climate change by buying or leasing large tracts of land in Africa and South America, a leading UK climate scientist says. Professor Peter Wadhams, an expert on the disappearing Arctic ice, says that while countries in North America and Europe are ignoring the threat that changing weather patterns are causing to the world food supply, China is taking “self-protective action”. He says that changes in the jet stream caused by the melting of the ice in the Arctic are threatening the most productive agricultural areas on the planet. (September 26, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/28/2016 - I suspect if our pets and wildlife could talk they’d point out a lot more of our pollution than along the shores of the Great Lakes. Our fellow creatures often have more highly developed senses (like smell) than we humans do and one has to wonder what they would say to us about all our pollution and waste and litter if they were trained to communicate with creatures as fundamentally self-absorbed as ourselves. Dogs sniff out pollution along Great Lakes In the town of Bridgman, Mich., investigators Sable and Kenna sniff samples from storm water drains near a beach. Sable is a 10-year-old German Shepherd. Kenna, a Golden Retriever, is 2. The dogs have been trained to sniff out polluted water, says Karen Reynolds, co-founder of Environmental Canine Services. (September 26, 2016) WBFO Buffalo's NPR News Station [more on the Great lakes in our area]

  • 9/28/2016 - Building the Dakota Access Pipeline could jeopardize the water source on Standing Rock Indian Reservation. While Rochester rallied locally (Locals Rally in Solidarity with ND Sioux, IndyMedia Rochester, NY) against this yet-another fossil fuel infrastructure in a time of a warming climate and a craven disregard for native people’s lands, a Rochester woman joins the pipeline protest first hand. There’s another rally in Rochester this Saturday: WATER IS LIFE RALLY – STOP BAKKEN OIL PIPELINES IN NYS,, ELLISON PARK, SOUTH PAVILION – OCTOBER 1, 1 to 4PM #StandWithStandingRock Local Woman Travels to North Dakota to Protest Oil Pipeline A local woman recently dropped everything and traveled 1,500 miles to fight for a cause she believes in. She joined thousands in a protest against a pipeline. Seth Voorhees has her story. IRONDEQUOIT, N.Y. -- What inspires a person to get up and do something? "My heart has always been with the native culture since I was a child," said Lisa Guidice. "They were looking for people to get out there, and I just couldn't get out there fast enough." 'There' is North Dakota. Guidice left home to spend two weeks with thousands of others protesting an oil pipeline. "To me it seemed natural. But being there and coming home? I feel like a foreigner again," said Guidice. The $3.8 billion Dakota Access Pipeline would carry oil from North Dakota to Illinois. Activists worry it would jeopardize the water source on Standing Rock Indian Reservation. Water is only part of the concern. (September 27, 2016) Time Warner News Rochester [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/27/2016 - ACTION: Your postcard today is needed to save New York's geothermal industry!   Ask Governor Cuomo to sign the geothermal tax credit bill (Bill A9925) to keep NY's geothermal jobs from disappearing.   After December 31, 2016, the federal tax credit for geothermal heating and cooling installations will expire, and many of NY's geothermal jobs could disappear. Without a tax credit, most homeowners considering geothermal installations would not make the investment in this renewable home heating and cooling technology. Without a NY tax credit to count on after the federal credit ends, the homebuilders who up to now have been installing geothermal systems as standard building procedure would go back to installing fossil fuel systems, and layoffs in the geothermal industry are already starting. With over 30% of NY's greenhouse gas emissions coming from heating homes and buildings, we have to accelerate the transition to geothermal systems to lessen our dependence on fossil fuels and meet NY's climate goals. 

  • 9/27/2016 - If your media isn’t continuously keeping you informed about the worldwide crisis of Climate Change, change it. The climate crisis is already here – but no one’s telling us The media largely relegate the greatest challenge facing humanity to footnotes as industry and politicians hurtle us towards systemic collapse of the planet What is salient is not important. What is important is not salient. The media turns us away from the issues that will determine the course of our lives, and towards topics of brain-melting irrelevance. This, on current trends, will be the hottest year ever measured. The previous record was set in 2015; the one before in 2014. Fifteen of the 16 warmest years have occurred in the 21st century. Each of the past 14 months has beaten the global monthly temperature record. But you can still hear people repeating the old claim, first proposed by fossil fuel lobbyists, that global warming stopped in 1998. (August 3, 2016) The Guardian [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/27/2016 - Wildlife, birds for instance, will move North to escape the heat if they can. Many don’t have that luxury. Many wildlife meet with natural (the shores of a large body of water, the top of a mountain) boundaries or man-made (highways, canals) barriers that make it impossible for them to adapt to a warmer climate. Humanity must plan to help wildlife adapt. GETTING WARMER Looking for Caspian tern chicks? Try looking north. WCS scientists report finding the birds, which are the largest and most majestic type of terns, breeding nearly 1,000 miles farther north than previously recorded, above the Arctic Circle in the Chukchi Sea. This is just one of a suite of profound alterations to the rhythms of this environment being reported by scientists and local residents. There is now less summer sea ice, and a longer snow- and ice-free season. Simply put, summer conditions now last longer and more temperate species can, where possible, opportunistically move north. (September 22, 2016) Wildlife Conservation Society [more on Climate Change and Wildlife in our area]

  • 9/26/2016 - It is critical to our survival that we share information about the global crisis of Climate Change so that all are engaged. Climate Change knows no boundaries and so our information on this crisis should not be stingy. White House hopes to fight climate change with data sharing A public-private partnership will build an open-source platform to boost information access. Despite some scary evidence that climate change is affecting weather patterns and even shifting how the Earth moves, 43 percent of Americans wouldn't spend a buck a month to fight it. With Congressional deadlock standing in the way of a national strategy to combat it, the White House has launched its own endeavor to find solutions. In typical Obama fashion, it involves making government data public. The Partnership for Resilience and Preparedness (PREP) will give organizations access to troves of environmental information so they can make their own plans to counter climate change. (September 22, 2016) Endgadget [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/19/2016 - This week's RENewsletter has been published RENewsletter September 18, 2016 Each week get all the environmental news, events, actions and comment free.  Click Subscribe

  • 9/24/2016 - Electric vehicle charging station in Brighton is so climate-smart community. Every community in NYS should be a Climate Smart Community. Brighton unveils electric vehicle charging station The town of Brighton recently opened an electric vehicle charging station, which can service two vehicles at a time. Parking is located in front of the Brighton Memorial Library at Brighton Town Hall. (September 23, 2016) Brighton-Pittsford Post [more on Transportation and Energy in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - Maybe we can just call Climate Change “bullshit” and vote it away in November. Maybe not. Climate Change Is Here: Inside the Summer of Hell and High Water With a catastrophic season of wildfires, megafloods and major hurricanes, the climate-change siege is fully upon us Southern California was ready to burn. El Niño rains that topped off reservoirs in the north of the state barely drizzled down south, leaving the region in a worst-in-centuries drought. By June, tree die-off in state forests, accelerated by bark beetles feasting on dry pines, had more than doubled from 2015, topping 66 million. Record heat – 122 degrees in Palm Springs – pushed the extreme fire conditions typical of September and October into midsummer. So when sparks hit the ground in August, fires across the state literally exploded. "It's almost like the mountains are just doused in gasoline," said one fire captain. (September 22, 2016) Rolling Stone [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - The world community and industry must have a clear signal that humanity is going to consistently address Climate Change. A Trump presidency would not be that signal. Trump threat looms over New York climate week Amid bullish clean energy predictions and packed climate policy events, fears are growing over the impacts of a potential Donald Trump presidency (September 20, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/24/2016 - Because our Northeast region has seen a 71% increase in heavy rain fall since 1958 (according to the Nation Climate Assessment) and “There are 184 communities in the United States portion of the Great Lakes Basin that have combined sewer overflows (CSOs)” (EPA), we are especially vulnerable to this particular consequence of Climate Change: “…floods often cause massive overflows of untreated sewage into streams, rivers, bays, canals, and even streets and homes.” We need to plan for this problem yesterday in order to adapt to Climate Change in our region. When it Rains it Pours, and Sewage Hits the Fan Record rainstorms across the U.S. in the past year have continued to make national news, causing billions of dollars of flood damage and killing dozens. But what has barely made headlines are that these floods often cause massive overflows of untreated sewage into streams, rivers, bays, canals, and even streets and homes. See the full report. Climate Central has investigated the extent of these sewage overflows. In most cases, we found reports that millions of gallons of untreated sewage were released into streets and waterways. These overflows can have devastating consequences for public health and the environment: they can trigger dangerous outbreaks of waterborne diseases and are often linked to fish kills. And when sewage overflows into homes and businesses, expensive remediation and decontamination is needed to make them safe again. (September 21, 2016) Climate Central [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Who are you going to call on “when severe weather and natural disasters threaten to disrupt your livelihood”? Your government. That is why we need to prod and support our government to address Climate Change by planning adequately and in a time frame that will matter. With Climate Change there will be droughts and floods and major threats to all our livelihoods. Time passes. Drought in Wayne County qualifies for federal aid Farmers in Wayne County can apply for federal assistance because of losses suffered from this summer’s drought, the U.S. Department of Agriculture said Wednesday. Wayne County and Chautauqua County in New York were officially declared disaster areas by the USDA on Sept. 15 because of the drought. (September 21, 2016) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle [more on Climate Change and Food in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - #ParisAgreement is getting closer to ratification, which is to say there is hope based on reason to hope. (Track the STATUS OF RATIFICATION here) Paris Climate Deal Passes Milestone as 20 More Nations Sign On More than 20 world leaders tendered legal documents on Wednesday, formally binding their governments to the Paris climate accord at a General Assembly ceremony here and all but ensuring that the agreement will go into force by the end of the year. The specifics of each country’s plans, though, are voluntary. There are no sanctions for failing to control pollution or to put economic polices into practice, or for submitting unambitious pledges. The legally binding portion of the Paris accord does little more than require governments to continue to convene at high-profile global climate summit meetings, make public pledges to tackle global warmingat home and submit those plans to be published on a United Nations website. (September 21, 2016) New York Times [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Excellent article on Rochester’s own Fast Forward Film Festival @FastForwardRoc that inspires a deeper connection to our environment by you. Deadline for your short film is February 27, 2017. The FFFF will take place March 31st through April 1, 2017. Film festival plays matchmaker  The Fast Forward Film Festival wants moviemakers in the Rochester region to make short films about environmental issues that are important to them. And it also tries to encourage laypeople with environmental concerns to produce films on those subjects. But the problem is that some local filmmakers don't have topics to work with, while some community members have topics, but lack filmmaking experience or skills. Festival organizers have come up with an initiative to better connect the two groups. (The festival will accept submissions through February 27, 2017.) (September 21, 2016) Rochester City Newspaper [more on Environmental Education in our area]

  • 9/22/2016 - Prominent climate science deniers have done humanity a great disservice by slowing down and sometimes preventing an adequate response to Climate Change. Climate scientists have been trying to overcome the negative effects in the public and media of climate denial misinformation and the sewing doubt in climate science, but it’s been difficult. Historically, great issues have been eventually resolved so that truth wins out. However, with Climate Change we are running out of time to address this crisis in time to prevent the worst catastrophes to life and our environment. Deniers club: Meet the people clouding the climate change debate They've stalled action with a campaign of deliberate misinformation. August tied July as the hottest month on record, according toNASA data released this past week. This year we’ve seen half a dozen thousand-year floods, along with epic droughts. Mother Nature is telling us there’s a problem. The long-term trend lines are clear. Yet we have a Republican presidential nominee who has repeatedly called climate change a “hoax.” “Perhaps there’s a minor effect,” Donald Trump told The Washington Post’s editorial board, “but I’m not a big believer in man-made climate change.” So it goes in the madhouse of the climate debate. Even as the evidence has become unmistakable, and even though the alarm has been sounded several times, public policy has been paralyzed — sometimes from ignorance, sometimes from uncertainty, but often from a campaign of deliberate misinformation. Here are some of the worst offenders. (September 16, 2016) By Michael Mann and Tom Toles in the Washington Post [more on Climate Change in our area] 

  • 9/21/2016 - Many people who absolutely believe that we must have renewable energy on a grand scale to avert the worst of Climate Change, absolutely don’t want Wind Power in their backyard. If not here, where? Push for wind farms along Great Lakes sparks controversy They’re one of several local land owners who signed leases with Apex Clean Energy. The Virginia-based company plans to install 71 wind turbines, generating enough energy to power 53,000 homes. Apex has nearly a dozen projects planned for communities in the Great Lakes region, including four in Ohio, one in Michigan and four in New York. This particular project, which stretches 12 miles through the towns of Somerset and Yates, has been met with both fierce support and intense opposition. (September 19, 2016) WBFP Buffalo's NPR station [more on Wind Power in our area]

  • Comfort Zone: A documentary exploring climate change in upstate New York” | Is climate change a scientific problem? An engineering problem? A psychological problem? All that, and more? COMFORT ZONE takes an in-depth look at what happens when global climate issues come to our backyards. The specific setting is Upstate New York, but the effects, both subtle and profound, illustrate the kinds of effects that can happen anywhere  We encourage you to screen the film with as many people as possible. Please contact us if you need help setting up or promoting a screening, or would like us to attend. Below are some tools and advice to help you have the most successful screening possible. You can also use this flyer to share information about the film with people who might want to collaborate on a screening.

  • 9/21/2016 - I know, even the idea of legislation in the US to combat climate change strikes fear and trembling in all who think Big Government should stay out of all our affairs—especially Climate Change. However, the less we do to address Climate Change by adapting and stopping our greenhouse gas emission voluntarily the more we will be compelled to do so by governmental legislation and regulation. US predicts climate law within decade US Energy Secretary Ernest Moniz on Monday predicted that the world's largest economy would have legislation by the end of the decade to combat climate change. (September 19, 2016) PHYS.org [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Find out about the #ReClotheNY campaign started Sept. 15 and keep 1.4 billion lbs of textiles in NYS each year out of our trash. Re-Clothe NY Coalition Renews Outreach Campaign to Increase Textile Reuse and Recycling in New York State Recyclers, governments, and non-profits collaborate to reduce environmental impacts of textile waste New York - Today, the Re-Clothe NY Coalition, a collaborative group of recyclers, nonprofits, and governments working to increase textiles reuse and recycling across New York State, announced a renewed outreach campaign to encourage residents to donate and recycle their unwanted clothing and household textiles, rather than put them in the trash. This year's campaign dovetails with the adoption of landmark standards for coalition membership that establish common messaging and ensure transparency, data sharing, and the highest, best possible use of donated textiles. These standards, which were facilitated by the Product Stewardship Institute (PSI), serve as the basis for this year's outreach campaign and strengthen the Coalition, one of the first public-private partnerships of its kind and size in the U.S. (September 15, 2016) New York Product Stewardship Council (NYPSC) [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Wonderful to hear for many of us in Rochester and other communities in New York State who demonstrated in Albany last May for #Albany2016 #BreakFree2016 that the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation is taking the environmental and justice issues around fossil fuel operations at Port of Albany seriously. DEC Letter: Global Companies Must Submit New Port of Albany Air Permit Application The New York State Department of Environmental Conservation (DEC) today sent a letter to Global Companies (Global) informing the company that its Port of Albany air permit renewal application will be considered as an entirely new application, requiring additional information to address issues identified by DEC and restarting the State's environmental review process. DEC intends to provide a public comment period, and possibly a public hearing, as part of the new permit application and require Global to develop an enhanced outreach plan that fully explores the impacts of its existing and proposed crude oil operations on the environmental justice community pursuant to DEC's policy on Environmental Justice and permitting. "Global Companies must restart its environmental review process, given the significant new information about the benzene levels in Albany's South End community and the hazards of crude oil transport," said DEC Commissioner Basil Seggos. "DEC will ensure that this process includes a meaningful and thorough opportunity for public engagement." (September 16, 2016) New York State Department of Environmental Conservation [more on Bomb Trains and Air Quality in our area]

  • 9/21/2016 - Despite their impact on global warming we are still finding it almost impossible to eliminate fossil-fuel subsidies. Billions of our dollars are going to industries that are making mega billions warming our planet and fortifying the infrastructure to make sure they continue doing so. Time passes. US and China release fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews With public assessment of each others’ $15.42bn and $8.2bn in subsidies, China and the US take a big step on transparency, but inch forward on reform The world’s biggest polluters have released their fossil fuel subsidy peer reviews and the obstacles to reform are clear: the US will wait on Congress, while China will wait on China.1 The documents, released on Monday by China’s G20 presidency, reveal the long road ahead. The G20 has commited to eliminate “inefficient” subsidies for coal, oil and gas in the medium term and the G7, of which the US is a member, has tightened the timeline to 2025. (September 20, 2016) Climate Home [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - Plastic pollutants in our Great Lakes waters and tributaries has been going on for some time and our media is just noticing. If you been a part of a beach cleanup in a community in the Great Lakes basin you already know about the tremendous amounts of plastic bags and cigarette butts. Yearly cleanups of our beaches is a really good idea, but I suspect these cleanups don’t get even a fraction of the plastic waste that gets into our waters. (Environmental regulations alert.) I suspect if we don’t dramatically change our plastic pollution by voluntary means, we are going to have to install some robust regulations that will prevent further pollution of our drinking, bathing, and fishing, waters in the Great Lakes—the largest fresh water system in the world. The truth about our environment that we are slowing beginning to realize is that if we don’t change our behavior towards our life support system voluntarily, we will attempt to regulate human behavior as a desperate effort to keep our environment healthy. Shoreline cleanup finds high number of plastic pollutants Great Lakes Beach Sweep volunteers Saturday picked up thousands of cigarette filters, hundreds of plastic bottles and miles of plastic ribbon in their annual cleanup of the Buffalo Niagara region's shorelines. (September 20, 2016) Buffalo News [more on Recycling in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - Nuclear power accidents are problematic when it comes to interpreting them. While those who support nuclear power fail to make the distinction of using old nuclear power plants with the new advances of this technology, they also fail to treat the perceived danger of nuclear damage fallout as something real. They dismiss the level of radiation as dangerous and the level of disruption from nuclear accidents as overreactions. “For many, the psychological damage is far more profound than the health effects.” Of course psychological damage is a negative health effect and it should be factored in as damage, not dismissed. All the pro-nuclear writing in the world is not going to overcome the public’s fear of a technology that has no room for error. We may need nuclear power to help power our future but aging power plants must go. And the public must be assured that nuclear power is not business as usual. In Fukushima, A Bitter Legacy  Of Radiation, Trauma and Fear Five years after the nuclear power plant meltdown, a journey through the Fukushima evacuation zone reveals some high levels of radiation and an overriding sense of fear. For many, the psychological damage is far more profound than the health effects. Japan’s Highway 114 may not be the most famous road in the world. It doesn’t have the cachet of Route 66 or the Pan-American Highway. But it does have one claim to fame. It passes through what for the past five years has been one of the most radioactive landscapes on the planet – heading southeast from the Japanese city of Fukushima to the stricken nuclear power plant, Fukushima Daiichi, through the forested mountains where much of the fallout from the meltdown at the plant in March 2011 fell to earth. (September 19, 2016) Yale: Environment 360 [more on Energy in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - Many think that the devil is in the details of putting a price on carbon emissions, but that’s because Capitalism didn’t put a price on them in the first place. One of the main reasons we are in a Climate Change crisis is because we created an economic system that willfully ignored our environment, our life support system. Now, in order to save Capitalism we must get our environment on to the accounting sheets and not only start pricing carbon, but going back and making up for the carbon emission we ignored for so long. That’s the purpose of the Green Climate Fund (GCF). But we are finding that it’s very difficult put a price on something we got for free for so long. We need to change our attitude and get a price on carbon before it’s too late for our economic system and our future. Time passes. Canada will impose nationwide carbon price: minister Canada will impose a carbon price on provinces that do not adequately regulate emissions by themselves, Environment Minister Catherine McKenna said on Sunday without giving details on how the Liberal government will do so. Speaking on the CTV broadcaster's "Question Period," a national politics talk show, McKenna said the new emissions regime will be in place sometime in October, before a federal-provincial meeting on the matter. She only said the government will have a "backstop" for provinces that do not comply, but did not address questions on penalties for defiance. (September 19, 2016) Reuters [more on Climate Change in our area]

  • 9/20/2016 - On the other hand, there should not be any more future incidents like the pipeline rupture in Alabama regardless of how lucky we were in avoiding the loss of life and massive environmental damage. “Spilling 338,000 gallons of fuel in an ecologically sensitive area” is an indication that fossil fuels infrastructures are inherently unsafe—not to mention they are the structure that supports a warming planet. We should remember that these pipeline accidents are NOT rare occurrences. Check out “List of pipeline accidents in the United States in the 21st century” | Pipeline rupture in Alabama threatens fuel shortages across eastern US The governors of Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency following a gasoline spill in an ecologically sensitive area An interstate gasoline pipeline has ruptured in central Alabama, spilling 338,000 gallons of fuel in an ecologically sensitive area and threatening fuel shortages across the eastern US. So far governors in Alabama, Georgia and North Carolina have declared states of emergency. The line runs from Houston to the New York harbor, and experts say the line’s owner, Colonial Pipeline, was extraordinarily lucky: the spill happened 500ft from the retention pond for a mining company, and all the fuel flowed into it. That spared the Cahaba river system, one of the most biologically diverse spots in the country, prized by scientists for its concentration of endangered species. (September 16, 2016) The Guardian [more on Energy in our area]