Sunday, October 11, 2015 endorses Sandy Frankel for Monroe County Executive

More than likely you’ve already decided which of the three Monroe County Executive candidates you are going to vote for in November. Or whether you’re going to vote at all. So I’m keenly aware that my chances of changing your mind are limited. Arguing that you should vote for Sandy Frankel and that you should do so based on Climate Change vastly decreases the likelihood that you’ll even hear me out. In our community, the phrase Climate Change deflates any election dialogue quicker than a pin poking a balloon.

Before your attention bursts altogether, let me march out the gist of my argument: This election is not about Ms. Frankel, it’s about you and your family and your future. You may think that your top priorities in this election are about your family, your jobs, your schools, taxes, guns, and our crumbling infrastructure—and they are. But none of these pressing issues can actually be solved unless the underlying reality of Climate Change is factored in. Because the job of Monroe County Executive is the most important political position in our immediate region, our community’s response to Climate Change will be orchestrated (whether intentional or not) from this position.

“The County Executive is the chief executive officer and administrative head of the Monroe County government. The County Executive develops policies, proposes legislation to the County Legislature, appoints department heads, directs the preparation of the annual operating budget and the Capital Improvement Program and coordinates the management of all departments. The County Executive also represents County interests to the local, state and federal governments.” Departments – Monroe County Government    

Sandy Frankel has spoken repeatedly about what she has done and what she plans to do in the future to help our community adapt to a quickly warming world. The GOP candidate has yet to even mention Climate Change, let alone defend her position. Rajesh Barnabas, the Green Party candidate, is a really great guy willing to move out of his comfort zone and busy life to inject some environmental and justice issues into this election—even though he has essentially no hope of getting elected. 

Even if you don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change (which, by the way, is the same science behind gravity), wouldn’t you want this issue debated so that the candidates were compelled to explain and defend their position? Sandy Frankel and Rajesh Barnabas have both attempted to bring this issue into this election at the Candidate Forum 2015: “Building an Economy for Climate Stability”. But the entire enterprise of informing the public by the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition was thwarted by a dismissive local media that couldn’t be bother to attend—and the GOP candidate who must think the best strategy is to sit this one out. The media, custodians of the public’s awareness of election issues, should not be deciding at this (almost too) late date that we cannot even have this crucial conversation about the worldwide crisis of Climate Change. A moral crisis as Pope Francis describes it:

“Accepting the urgency, it seems clear to me also that climate change is a problem which can no longer be left to a future generation.” (Pope Francis Addresses President Obama And Guests At White House (Full Transcript) 9/23/2015, The Huffington Post)

The Guardian, arguably the most responsible media in our warming world, has for the last year focused on framing the Climate Change issue as “keep in it in the ground”. ‘It’ being fossil fuels. That was phase one of their coverage. Phase two is Hope. Hope is essential in a world that is increasingly experiencing the consequences of a rapidly warming world, but irrational hope is counter-productive. An example of an irrational hope is when you know your car’s brakes don’t work but climb in the car and tear off down the road regardless, hoping that you won’t need to slow down or come to a stop. The Guardian is not advocating irrational hope. It’s advocating something like getting your brakes fixed then driving your car down the road.

“There is hope in the many voices who are now calling for action from their leaders. There is hope in the rapidly falling cost of renewable energy that is starting to transform our dirty energy system. There is hope in the pledge by G7 countries to phase out coal power. There is hope in the communities and innovators around the world who are getting on with the job rather than waiting for the politicians.” (10/05/2015, The Guardian)

Hope for our future, especially at the local level, cannot be based on climate denial, or a ”no-regrets” policy (which attempts to accomplish environmentally friendly actions even if Climate Change were to somehow prove to be false). Hope cannot be expressed in a sudden reversal of political strategy once it becomes clear that it’s your ox being gored—highlighted this week by Senator Graham’s about-face on federal disaster relief in the face of Climate Change disasters: Graham Opposed Sandy Aid, Now Wants Help For South Carolina. Hope expresses the best of humanity, the desire to prosper through a realistic appraisal of one’s goals. Hope cannot thrive if climate of denial has left us unprepared.   

Why ‘Once-In-A-Lifetime’ Flooding Keeps Happening Climate change is making rare weather events less rare At least nine people have died in flooding across South Carolina that has left city streets submerged in water, destroyed homes and closed more than 100 bridges. Nikki Haley, the state’s governor, described the disaster as one of such an epic scale that science suggests it would only occur once every 1,000 years. A flooding disaster of this scale was unlikely to be sure, scientists say, but climate change has transformed once-in-a-lifetime events into periodic occurrences. The flooding may have been hard to predict, but it should no longer come as a surprise. (October 5, 2015) Time

The job of the Monroe County Executive, as mentioned above, “represents County interests to the local, state and federal governments.” Many of those ‘interests’ fall under the bailiwick of our infrastructures, but it becomes very difficult to articulate the importance of addressing Climate Change locally if the public doesn’t understand the importance of our infrastructures. It’s pretty amazing that we have studies that have to ask, “What is infrastructure and why it is so important?” 

We aren’t even maintaining the infrastructures we have—water, waste water systems, telecommunications, transportation, and much more—let alone preparing them for more extreme weather (frequent heavy flooding, and heat) and all the other consequences that are happening and will happen with Climate Change in our area.  

Road and bridge funding sought by engineers and government leaders New York's infrastructure is crummy and getting worse, as anyone who drives on the state's roads probably already realizes. The American Society of Civil Engineers gives the state's infrastructure a C- in a report card it released this morning (the report is attached at the bottom of this post). But the grade is boosted by B- grades on parks and solid waste infrastructure. The state's roads get a D- and its bridges a D+. In Rochester, the roads are in such rough enough shape that they cost drivers an average $402 in repairs annually, according to the ASCE report. In Buffalo, the roads suck a little less, apparently, since they cost drivers there an average of $293 annually.  The ASCE looked at other areas, too. Drinking water infrastructure receives a C, for example, and the state's waste water systems get a D. (September 29, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper

We should be voting in the up-and-coming local elections based on how the candidates will address real threats to our way of life. For those wondering in the back of their minds at what point Climate Change will affect them personally, it is at the level of massive and frequent infrastructure breakdowns that they will notice. Then they will be more than sorry they voted for leaders who hadn’t prepared them and their built systems that make our way of life possible. If you’re thinking that we’ll just address these infrastructure problems when and if they happen, you just don’t know Climate Change. (BTW: These Climate Change threats to our local infrastructure are not simply my opinion. My insights are based partly on three official climate studies that pertain to our region: Responding to Climate Change in New York State (ClimAID) sponsored by NYSERDA, the New York State Climate Action Plan Interim Report, and the report on the “Northeast” by the National Climate Assessment, which is to say the US government.)  

We’ve barely had a dialogue during this critical year on Climate Change in our local elections even as the voting time draws near. In order for a democracy to work, its citizens must be well-informed. Accomplishing that has always been problematic—given that historically so many rich and influential entities (like the fossil fuel industry) have become the gatekeepers of our media--and even more so with an issue as inconvenient and complicated as Climate Change.

If we don’t have this critical public discussion locally, the position we will find ourselves in will be one of unpreparedness. No doubt anyone we elect will attempt to swat every fly, every flood, every heat wave, and every increasing Climate Change consequence. But once you take the time to discover the full implications of this crisis, you will realize a knee-jerk, ad-hoc reaction to these kinds of calamities is woefully inadequate. A leader is needed, one willing to take charge of an unpopular but critical issue that cannot be avoided. Going mum and sitting out forums on our environment in order to keeps one’s lead in the polls is not leadership.  

I have heard Sandy speak publically many times on the importance of addressing Climate Change locally—including her valuable support to those busloads of Rochesterians who marched in New York City for the 400,000-strong Peoples Climate March, September 21, 2014. As the former Supervisor of the Town of Brighton, one of the cleanest and environmentally conscious communities in our area, Frankel has a proven record of active transportation (walking and bicycling) action, action on urban forestry, educating and supporting greenhouse gas emission reductions in Brighton, and even spells out her position on Climate Change on her election page. Coming out on Climate Change during this election is breathtakingly bold considering Sandy’s GOP opponent has not dared mentioned a word about the elephant in our local election for Monroe County Executive.

At this point in time, even if you don’t believe in Climate Change, you should think the attention it has been given worldwide makes it worthy of our consideration in the race for Monroe County Executive. For the buck, as it were, on Climate Change will stop at the executive’s door. She must prepare us all for that. Sandy Frankel has proven that she is ready to lead. 

Monday, October 05, 2015

Climate Change in Rochester, we are here:

Scientists say we should bring climate temperatures back down to preindustrial levels. We’ve increased climate temperatures to about 1C above those averages. At the 2009 Copenhagen climate talks the world agreed to hold climate temperatures increases to 2C, which is what the COP21 Paris climate conference this year is struggling to achieve. But it looks like present efforts would only reduce climate temperatures to 1C from its present trajectory of 3.5C by 2100. If we fail altogether to bring down greenhouse gas emissions, we’re slated for about 4.5C.

Offers for Paris Climate Talks Would Reduce Warming by 1°C Warming could be reduced from 4.5˚C to 3.5˚C under INDCs submitted to date The current national offers of climate action submitted to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) would reduce projected warming by approximately 1°C, according to a new analysis released today from Climate Interactive and MIT Sloan. A Paris agreement based on these offers would put the world on track for a global temperature increase of 3.5°C (6.3°F), with a range of uncertainty from 2.1 to 4.6°C (3.7 to 8.4°F), down from the 4.5°C (8.1°F) of warming above pre-industrial levels if nations continue on the business-as-usual track. (September 28, 2015) Climate Interactive

Some say that 4.5C is game over. Some say 3.5C is unendurable. Some say 2C is dangerously high and our lives will be dramatically altered. Some say the 1C we’ve already warmed our climate has set in motion catastrophic sea level rise, caused climate refugees and wars, produced extreme weather, and jeopardized our food production. And some say, humanity thrived in the Holocene which gave us a stable climate temperature for 10,000 years and that’s where we ought to reset the thermostat given that we haven’t a clue as to how our planet and all the beings on it will adjust to a tenfold increase in climate temperature changes.

Given all this and the media drama caused by Pope Francis’s spectacular climate-messaging visit to the US, you’d think we here in Rochester would be alarmed, exhilarated, and ready to join the world community on tackling this worldwide crisis. Many are. Most are not. The pope’s visit garnered a lot of media attention in Rochester. But local media did not connect the dots between the pontiff’s visit and his message on Climate Change. (Except one local media “Pope in D.C., calls for climate action” from the Daily Messenger, which to be exact was a reprint from AP.) In the local media there was no connection between the pope’s visit and how Climate Change is connected to our region. It’s as if the local media went out of their way to not report the obvious—if Climate Change is true in Washington, DC it must be true here also.

Despite the science, the danger of the COP21 Paris Treaty failing to deliver realistic goals, and the pope (with 4.2 billion followers) and the Muslim community (with 4.3 followers) pressing our leaders for Climate Change actions, Rochester is still, even at this late date, shrouded in climate silence. Local media ignore candidate forums on Climate Change, as well as a massive march through downtown (complete with police escort) highlighting the pope’s climate message.  It makes these heart-felt actions about as effective as a screen door on a submarine.   

It’s not hopeless. Many intrepid souls in Rochester are determined to get this community in sync with this global moral and physical disaster.

Thanks to Indymedia, Rochester, NY we got coverage of our local People's Climate March in Solidarity with Pope Francis. There were lots of labor and environmental leaders along with candidates for the up-and-coming local elections who validated the connection between what is going on internationally, nationally, and locally on Climate Change. 

People's Climate March in Solidarity with Pope Francis Marchers met at Rochester's Liberty Pole on September 24 2015 in an event to call attention to Climate Change.  The march coincides with Pope Francis' visit to the United States.  In June the Pope published an Encyclical (official proclamation) in which he said “Climate change is a global problem with grave implications: environmental, social, economic, political and for the distribution of goods. It represents one of the principal challenges facing humanity in our day.” (September 26, 2015) Rochester Indy Media    

Thanks to the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition and the League of Women Voters Rochester Metropolitan Area, we had an amazingly fruitful forum to educate the public on how and why our local leaders need to address Climate Change. Just in case you missed the “Building an Economy for Climate Stability Candidate Forum 2015” Wednesday, September 16th (which is understandable because only a couple of local media mentioned it coming and none of them covered it when it occurred), here are some photos and highlights of this critical forum before this year’s local elections: Candidate Forum 2015 Recap.  

So it’s curious that the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle editorial board started carping about a non-substantive campaign for Monroe County Executive amidst their own campaign to obfuscate the local issues related to Climate Change that will affect all our lives: “Dinolfo and Frankel: How about a campaign of substance?” (9/26/2015, Rochester Democrat and Chronicle). It’s 'curiouser and curiouser that the D&C editorial staff accuses Frankel of “… emailing reporters because you are wondering if Ms. Dinolfo might be a climate change doubter, you are not really doing the voters a favor either.”

Throughout this year, with harmful algae outbreaks (which the EPA links with Climate Change) in four of our Finger Lakes, 10 million gallons of raw sewage overflowing into the Genesee River on June 2nd due to the flooding that comes with heavy rainfall (now a feature of Climate Change in our region), and the pope coming to the USA to get our leaders to act on Climate Change for the Paris Climate Treaty in November, the Rochester Democrat and Chronicle and most of the other local media have been mostly mum. 

So when Sandy Frankel talks about addressing this crucial and substantive issue in debates, rallies, and discussions that are not attended to by this media, it’s no wonder that she must resort to constantly questioning whether her GOP opponent is a climate denier. One can and should wonder if our media and candidates are climate change deniers when they do not proactively report their position on this mother of all problems.

As the New York State Department of Environmental Conservation’s Climate Smart Communities program points out, in Climate Smart Communities Guide to Local Action, leadership is going to be required at the local level. “Altering the built and natural environment in anticipation of predicted climatic changes, or in response to actual changes, which will alleviate the risks associated with unavoidable changes in climate.”

Ms. Frankel has been continually speaking on the importance of addressing Climate Change since this election began, but our local media have not been covering Climate Change and questioning how all the candidates will lead on this issue—which will have a great impact on all the other substantive issues in this campaign.

We are at a quite amazing point in Rochester as we head towards a very important local election that will determine our collective response to Climate Change. Most of us are unperturbed, uninterested, and unconvinced that this crisis includes us here in Rochester. There at least three more forums where our three county executive candidates will talk to the voters.

Time passes. 

Monday, September 21, 2015

Six reasons why Rochester media didn’t cover election forum

On Wednesday evening, Sept. 16th, from 7 to 9PM, at least fifteen candidates for local county and city offices addressed questions on “Building an Economy for Climate Stability” to a large gathering at the Harley School in Brighton. It was a unique opportunity for voters to hear their potential leaders speak about how they would help create a climate for green jobs and address Climate Change locally. Everyone in the room at Harley had a chance to hear the science of Climate Change urgently brought to the local level from their well-informed and enthusiastic candidates. Except the Rochester media was not there. Not one. Not only that, but none of our local media (except Rochester City Newspaper and WXXI’s “Connections”) helped promote this critical local forum that attempted to address the crisis of our age.

Why not? Why wouldn’t the media in the third largest city in New York State bother promoting and covering an election forum that would encourage more citizens to attend, vote, and get educated on local election issues? This media silence is even more puzzling given the constant navel-gazing by our mass media as to why the public doesn’t vote:

Forum asks: Why don't we vote?  | Meager turnout in last week's primary election left voting advocates wondering why so few people exercise their right to vote, and how to get more citizens to the polls. The League of Women Voters of the Rochester Metropolitan Area will seek answers at a public forum at 7 p.m. Monday at Asbury First United Methodist Church, 1050 East Ave. Nazareth College professor Timothy Kneeland will lead a discussion with George Moses, director of North East Area Development, and Andrea Cain, vice president for programs and interim CEO of Community Place. (September 17, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle

So to help you understand this seeming hypocritical stance by our media (wanting voters to vote but refusing to promote or cover election forums), we have come up with some conjectures as to how this bizarre phenomenon might have come about:
  • 1.   The forum in question--“Building an Economy for Climate Stability Candidate Forum 2015”—included the word ‘climate’. ‘Climate’ brings to mind the phrase “Climate Change’. As everyone knows, Climate Change is very controversial in the Rochester region—even though 97% of climate scientists say that it is happening, it’s human caused, and we need to do something about it. Rochester media doesn’t want to have elections about controversial stuff. If the forum had been about puppies, sports, or keeping taxes low, Rochester media would have felt safe enough to let the public know about the forum.
  • 2.      Pope Francis didn’t attend the forum. Even though he has written one of the most powerful and cogent books on the need to address Climate Change in his encyclical, if Pope Francis had attended the forum, Rochester media would have filled the room. The media would have fallen all over itself to promote this event. But then there wouldn’t have been any room in the room for the public. The public would have been forced behind barricades several blocks away from the forum, only able to pine longingly for the Pope’s attention. So we are pretty certain that the local media, as goes the GOP Catholic presidential candidates, would just as soon have the Pope stay home at the Vatican so no one feels morally compelled to act.  
  • 3.      The GOP Monroe County executive candidate didn’t come. If she had come, Rochester media would have done everything in their power to promote this event and cover it because she is the sure winner. Our media likes winners, winners of races, winners of lotteries, winners of anything really. But the GOP Monroe County executive candidate didn’t come because the media didn’t promote the event and threaten to cover this forum. If the media had threatened to come, then the GOP candidate would have had to come. I know, this crazy logic is Catch 22 but that’s how local politics works. If you are going to win the election anyways, why go to a forum where you’ll have to disclose how you would lead on Climate Change? You might not even believe in the science of Climate Change. Duh! And so speaking to the public on Climate Change would be very awkward and needlessly threaten your lead. It’s easy: if you’re going to win anyways you have to be pushed by the media to talk to the public about things you don’t want to talk about, and you’re certainly not going to be pushed by a media that doesn’t see the point of a democracy. 
  • 4.      Rochester media was too busy watching the National GOP debate that evening and besides no one as colorful as Donald Trump was scheduled to be at the local forum. If Donald Trump had been at the local forum, instead of performing on national TV, Rochester media would have had a chance to publish some very quotable (though crazy) quotes from the Donald.  But he wasn’t, so they didn’t.
  • 5.      Rochester, as everyone knows, is in a sweet zone and not subject to the laws of physics. The world is burning up, but not Rochester. Proof of this is weather for the last two winters (we’ll forget about the last two decades) was very cold; we had a very picturesque winter with lots of snowmen and children sledding. Rochester media thought it the height of absurdity to cover an election forum about our region addressing the consequences of Climate Change—when we weren’t experiencing any of those alleged consequences. It would be like covering a story about the best way to get to the Emerald City when there isn’t even a Yellow Brick Road to get there.
  • 6.      The Rochester media didn’t know about this event. All local media’s email went down at once just as they were being contacted by the Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) and the League of Women Voters; all of the hundred-plus candidates contacted conspired to keep it a secret; and (risking your incredulity further) the media has been oblivious that an election is coming up this year and has completely failed to keep up with related events.

Once the public understands that the media is a business and not an information system, it’s easy to understand why Rochester media would not go out of their way to promote and cover an event that wouldn’t bring them any money. As a matter of fact, if they were to imply by their very coverage of this event that Climate Change was important enough to cover, the media might find that many of their subscribers would unsubscribe. Why would customers attend to a media who published stuff they didn’t want to hear about? Or, because the media hasn’t been connecting the dots locally on Climate Change over the years, then suddenly attending a forum on addressing Climate Change, it could cause their customers to question why customers were buying into this dysfunctional media in the first place.

The media, for various reasons, did not choose to cover this forum. And so once again those concerned about this worldwide crisis as it pertains to our region grind away ineffectually in a silo of silence—a place where the rest of the community isn’t bothered by this crisis (until they are by the laws of physics). Rochester goes on ignoring the fact that it is the job of their elected officials to protect them on a planet that is quickly warming.

Time passes. 

Monday, September 14, 2015

The inconvenience of the Pope’s Climate Change visit to the USA

Ahead of Pope Francis’s visit to the United States and an address to a joint session of Congress was the pontiff’s release of his climate encyclical. The “ENCYCLICAL LETTER LAUDATO SI’ OF THE HOLY FATHER FRANCIS ON CARE FOR OUR COMMON HOME”, an incredibly clear and eloquent argument for the moral imperative for addressing Climate Change, is assumed to be a part of the pope’s message to Congress.

Read: “Pope Francis' American Crusade The pope takes on climate change, poverty and conservative U.S. clerics (9/10/2015 Rolling Stone)

Pope Francis has continually led on the myriad efforts to make the COP21 Paris Treaty a success, a treaty that attempts to keep greenhouse gases to a livable level, produce a worthwhile Green Climate Fund, and produce a unified method for tracking GHG emissions. Ultimately, as the pontiff has no official negotiating powers, his authority comes from his unique positon to gain the attention of the world media, governments, his Christian followers, and other religions’ leaders.

Having said that, the pope still has his work cut out for him. The media, our governments, and the populace in developed nations (who have already reaped the lion’s share of benefits from burning fossil fuels) seem disinclined to hear the Pope’s central message: Climate Change is happening, humanity is at least partly responsible, and we have a moral obligation to address this crisis. Rather, the spectacle of a papal visit, complete with all the pomp and circumstance (including the selling of Pope T-shirts), threatens to distract everyone from the major reason for the pope’s visit to the USA.      
This local news item about ten Rochester area folks winning tickets to see the Pope in Washington, DC highlights media’s Climate Change dysfunctionality.
10 local people win tickets to see Pope Francis  The Pontiff will be in Washington, D.C. later this month 10 people from the Rochester area have won tickets to see Pope Francis in Washington, D.C. later this month. (September 9, 2015) 

It’s a sure winner for the media to announce the lottery winners of anything. As far as the media are concerned, It’s doesn’t matter what prize people win; announcing lottery winners brings in readers and revenue. Except the real importance of this story is conveniently missing. That a New York State Senator has found a way to promote the pope’s visit to Washington, DC to speak to Congress, which will include urging our reluctant leaders to take action on Climate Change, has been entirely dodged by the media. A fixation on a lottery, the gritty details of winners and losers, better suits a media that is far more interested in grabbing people’s attention than connecting the dots to the most important issue in their customers’ existence. 

Our US Congress is a critical obstacle in the world’s attempt to mitigate Climate Change, as the GOP-led institution threatens to pull the rug out from under any agreements that President Obama makes at the COP21 Paris Treaty in late November.

The Pope’s talk to Congress will be a great inconvenience to those (including a couple of presidential candidates) who will not connect morality with Climate Change, whose publishing outlet is a front for the fossil fuel industry, and those whose view of the world is not anchored in science.

Our local media cannot stop the pope from talking about Climate Change. Nor can they not cover the visit, it’s just too much of a money-maker for them. But what they can do is dazzle the public so that the visit becomes more like the ostentatious theatrics of a rock star stopover than an historic attempt to right the moral compass of our time.

There will be many attempts in Rochester, Buffalo, and around the world to highlight the importance of the pope’s visit. Your participation in any of these events might catch the notice of our local media to start paying attention to Climate Change:

·         Monday, September 21, 2015-­‐ Interfaith Prayer Service in St. Mary’s Catholic Church at 15 St. Mary’s Place in Rochester, NY @ 5:30-­‐6:30.
·         Thursday, September 24, 2015-­‐ March for Climate Justice at Liberty Pole in Rochester, NY @ 4:30 p.m.
·         September 24 at 4:00pm | (Niagara Square ) Buffalo Place - 671 Main Street - Buffalo, NY 14203
o   Rise Up for Climate Justice! Rally at Niagara Square on September 24 GETTING TO PARIS AND A SANE CLIMATE AGREEMENT Mobilizing Western New York for Climate and Economic Justice  (September – December 2015)  Rise Up for Climate Justice JOIN US  Rally at Niagara Square on September 24 at 4:00pm  The day Pope Francis speaks to the U.S. Congress Vigil/Fast during Paris Talks, Nov. 30 – Dec 11,
·         September 24, 2015 | Washington DC
o   People’s Rally for Climate Justice - Moral Action on Climate - MAC On September 24, Pope Francis will address a joint session of Congress, and we will gather in support of his call for urgent action to address the climate crisis and create a new future of economic equality, social justice, and environmental equity.  Join us in Washington DC or plan events where you are, and post them here!READ the People’s Climate Covenant: A Formula for U.S. Leadership at the Paris Climate (Listing thanks to Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo.)
·         During the week of September 21-25,
o   Week of Moral Action for Climate Justice - MAC During the week of September 21-25, thousands of people will come together - in Washington DC and across the country - joining with Pope Francis to underscore the moral aspect of the climate crisis, and to call America to heed its moral duty to act for climate justice. MAC Website: (Listing thanks to Re-ENERGIZE Buffalo.)
·         Oct. 1st, 7 pm at St. Boniface Church, 330 Gregory Street, Rochester, NY
o   “Major Presentation on Pope Francis's Environmental Encyclical You've heard that Pope Francis has written an encyclical (a formal letter) calling for urgent action on climate change. And here's your chance to learn exactly what's in this strong, important document, addressed to "every person living on this planet." Dr. Gerry Gacioch will speak about "Pope Francis Encyclical top 10" on Oct. 1st, 7 pm at St. Boniface Church, 330 Gregory Street. Dr. Gacioch, who is Chief of Cardiology at Rochester General Hospital, is passionate not only about heart health but also about the health of our planet. A nationally known speaker, he is famed for his engaging and challenging presentations about Catholic Social Teaching on the climate. Here's a teaser from the Pope's encyclical, subtitled On Care for Our Common Home: "Our common home is falling into serious disrepair.… In the meantime, economic powers continue to justify the current global system where priority tends to be given to speculation and the pursuit of financial gain." The Pope also analyzes "the intimate relationship between the poor and the fragility of the planet," since "everything in the world is connected." Come hear more: Oct. 1st, 7 pm at St. Boniface Church, 330 Gregory Street, Rochester, NY.”

Related: On Wednesday, September 16 7:00-9:00 PM at the Harley School, 1981 Clover Street, in Rochester, the Rochester People's Climate Coalition and the League of Women Voters are hosting a forum on Building an Economy for Climate Stability. This event, moderated by Dr. Susan Spencer, President and Founder of ROCSPOT, presents a unique opportunity for voters to learn how their candidates’ platform relates to Climate Change solutions. 

It remains to be seen whether the Republican candidate for Monroe County Executive will show up, whether the media will show up and cover this event, or whether the local media will even mention this forum—which is an attempt to educate the entire Monroe County public on how Climate Change will be addressed locally.

Our local media, which likes to make much of nothing and nothing of much, must find Climate Change very inconvenient, especially when physics and the pope are threatening their artful dodging on the mother of all problems by coming here and shaking things up.

Time passes. 

Sunday, September 06, 2015

Weathering Rochester’s winters during Climate Change

Put away your Farmer’s Almanac because predicting our Rochester regional weather based on the past is no longer valid.

Our local leaders and our media who are supposed to be preparing us for winter should be mindful of the big picture: Climate Change. A warming Arctic is affecting our atmospheric jet streams, which is sometimes sending Arctic cold at points (like our Northeast) lower than usual.

Yes, a Warmer Arctic Means Cold Winters Elsewhere. Here's How. Rising Arctic temps are changing the jet stream, drawing cold air further south, showing climate change can drive extreme weather in unexpected ways. Melting sea ice and warmer temperatures in the Arctic are to blame for the brutal cold snaps that have plagued parts of Asia and North America in recent years, according to new research by Korean and European scientists released Monday. The study, published in the peer-reviewed journal Nature Geoscience, adds to the growing evidence linking rising Arctic temperatures to changing weather patterns across the globe. It also helps further debunk one of climate deniers' favorite arguments: cold weather proves the world isn't warming from the buildup of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. (August 31, 2015) Inside Climate News

Our winters won’t necessarily be getting colder; they will be getting wackier.

This makes predicating our winter’s weather problematic. How do we plan properly for our winters now that past winters are a lousy prognosticator for future winters? Based on the last two winters, where the winters were harsh, should we be buying lots of snow removal equipment, stocking up on firewood, setting aside lots of money for staying warm, piling up on salt, and hiring lots of folks for snow removal? Or will this winter shift back to the warmer winters we have been experiencing for the last couple of decades—where Lake Ontario was losing 88% of its ice cover? Will this year’s strong El Niño keep the Great Lakes from freezing over at all?

We could swing from much warmer winters with much more flooding and zigzagging frost days (which devastate local fruit trees), or experience massive lake-effect snows that cripple our transportation systems. And everything in between. Besides El Niño and the Arctic jet streams, there is something else at play: the Northeast has been experiencing a 71% increase in heavy precipitation events since 1958, which means a warm winter could bring more flooding and a cold winter could drop a snowmageddon amount of the white stuff at once.

Already, we are facing a new normal of Climate Change, winter-related dilemmas. When President Obama toured Alaska (which is warming twice as quickly as the lower 48 and unleashing devastating wildfires) this week, he was confronted with the political problems of a quickly warming Arctic.

The Next Not-So-Cold War: As Climate Change Heats Arctic, Nations Scramble for Control and Resources According to investigative journalist James Bamford, the region has become the "crossroads of technical espionage" as the United States, Russia, Canada, Norway and Denmark battle for control of those resources. Bamford joins us to talk about his recent piece, "Frozen Assets: The Newest Front in Global Espionage is One of the Least Habitable Locales on Earth—the Arctic." (9/1/2015, DemocracyNow!)

Russia has 41 icebreakers (including two that are nuclear) and we have only two freaking ice-crunchers that are about to be mothballed. Do we shell out millions of bucks to buy some brand new icebreakers to help police a warming Arctic, or outsource some Great Lake icebreakers, which might leave the shipping there in peril?

We are in new territory as we adapt to winters on a warming planet.

It’s not a complete crap shoot, though. If we view our changing winters through the lens of Climate Change and develop long-term climate action plans, we can better budget our monies and resources so we can become more resilient. We are already sending firefighters from our region to places that are burning up. We often send emergency crews for disaster relief and power outages elsewhere. We should ramp up our response to wacky winters that are coming by sharing plans, people, and equipment instead of piling up our reserves getting ready for the past. 

Our leaders and our media cannot continue to play dumb and say the science on Climate Change isn’t settled.

Our leaders and our media need to see our winters through a larger lens than year-to-year.

Thinking about the unthinkable: Winter “After two years of harsh winters, people are bracing for another worst-case scenario” (8/30/2015 Daily Messenger).

Our leaders and our media need to bring Climate Change into their projections to adequately inform and prepare the public for dramatically different winters than we have ever experienced. If we continue the way we are going (ignoring Climate Change) we are going to be constantly playing catchup on winter preparations—until we cannot afford it anymore.

During our up-coming elections, consider asking candidates how they will lead on Climate Change.

Time passes. 

Sunday, August 30, 2015

COP21 Paris isn’t the end of anything, whether it is successful or fails miserably

While Rochester worries that our gasoline prices may not drop nearly as low as nearby communities, we should be mindful of the particular teapot in which this gas price-tempest is occurring. Our addiction to fossil fuel is wreaking bloody havoc on our climate. (And, if you noticed the 1,000 point drop at the stock market this week, our addiction will increasing cause mayhem on our finances and investments too. See: “Oil means turmoil as world’s markets nosedive”.) Accordingly, the backdrop for our local obsession for more fossil fuel burning is a world burning up. A world that is desperately trying to bring down greenhouse gas levels before the window of opportunity closes under the framework of the COP21 Paris 2015.  

(COP21/CMP11), otherwise known as “Paris 2015” from November 30th to December 11th. COP21 will be a crucial conference, as it needs to achieve a new international agreement on the climate, applicable to all countries, with the aim of keeping global warming below 2°C. (WHAT IS COP21/CMP11?)

Instead of obsessing over artificially low gasoline prices, Rochester should be more engaged with this worldwide movement towards a more sustainable world. There are few hopeful signs, but here’s one. Next month, we hope to see a debate between local candidates on green jobs for green energy:  

Building an Economy for Climate Stability: Candidate Forum 2015 | Click here to register! Rochester People’s Climate Coalition (RPCC) and League of Women Voters are excited to bring climate change into the conversation at area elections, as we cosponsor a Candidate Forum on green jobs and a sustainable economy. Building an Economy for Climate Stability: Candidate Forum 2015 will be an opportunity for those running for public office within Monroe County to present their vision on a greening economy. The event is free and open to the public. Wednesday, September 16 7:00-9:00 PM at the Harley School, 1981 Clover Street (from Rochester People's Climate Coalition.)

However, there should also be debates and media attention on how our local candidates will lead on adapting to Climate Change. We will have to adapt to the consequences of Climate Change in our region, and the buck stops at our leaders’ offices. When our waters rise and overwhelm our waste water systems, our leaders will be held accountable (just as officials were blamed recently when a sewage spill closed Honolulu's Waikiki Beach). When a climate disaster like Hurricane Katrina strikes again, our leaders won’t be able to use the perfect-storm excuse, where many catastrophes are triggered at once. This is because the invocation of Murphy’s Law will be more likely to accompany more weather-related disruptions as Climate Change gets worse. Our leaders must make sure we adapt, and we must make sure they connect the dots so we aren’t overwhelmed when the shit hits the fan. 

We are hard-wired to adapt—even climate deniers. When a fire gets too close, we quickly back away. The tragedy of Climate Change is that we have to start backing away from a fire that is coming much slower than our senses have evolved to detect. That’s why we must plan now, not when the next climate disaster leaves our leaders groping for excuses and us without a future.

Next door in Buffalo, the “Rise Up for Climate Justice! Rally at Niagara Square on September 24“ will help spread the message Pope Francis gives to Congress about the need to make Paris a success. Paris comes at the end of a long line—United Nations Conference on the Human Environment (1972) , Brundtland Commission (1983-1987), United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (UNCED) Earth Summit Rio de Janerio (1992), Kyoto Protocol (2008), Copenhagen Summit (2009) (just to name a few as there were many more)—of attempts to right humanity’s course for sustainability.

This Conference of Parties (COP) in Paris is trying to solve Climate Change on a level of human action that cannot be achieved individually nor separately by nations. Individual actions won’t be enough. Ad hoc national efforts will likely step on each other’s efforts by giving priorities to local concerns instead of the world’s ecosystems. Yes, past attempts to direct humanity’s efforts towards a more sustainable environment have floundered, but it would be truly insane to conclude that therefore we should leave our fate to market forces (which have historically treated our environment as an externality).

This doesn’t mean there aren’t any viable options; it means we need to readjust our priorities and fix our attention on our life support systems—instead of forcing our desires and beliefs into what sustainability means before we even understand the full implications of Climate Change. It means that while we may not be able to predict the outcomes of our climate actions in a world that has already been greatly disturbed by our past developmental abuses, we can and should change course towards sustainability—betting on our penchant for problem solving.  

Climate Change is happening. It is caused by humanity. It is not hopeless. It is in fact an incredible opportunity.

Paris isn’t the end of anything, whether it is successful or fails miserably. It will be but a point on a continuum towards our absolutely compelling need to adapt. If we fail at Paris in the sense that nations give up trying to work together (as the world did with the League of Nations after World War I), we will eventually be back at the table, much as we did when we began the United Nations. The horrors of World War II cleared a lot of doubt about the need to work together on global problems. 

If Paris succeeds beyond our wildest dreams by creating a binding agreement to keep global warming at 2C, provides a monitoring system to track each nation’s emissions efforts, and adequately compensates the poor countries so they can thrive without destroying their resources, this success would only bring us a little closer to the Holy Grail. We would still have a long way to go for a sustainable world. We still have to adapt to the warming already baked into our atmosphere and oceans. Sea level rise, droughts, destruction of our food producing regions, the loss of biodiversity, pollution, public health issues, and the conflicts resulting from a world in disruption will all have to be dealt with—probably simultaneously. 

But a successful Paris framework, sooner rather than later, where we work together on the same desire for a sustainable future, will increase the likelihood of our survival. That ain’t nothing.
Locally, if we can move our attention from getting cheap gas to our full engagement with this worldwide crisis, we here in Rochester can be a part of the solution.

Time passes.

Sunday, August 23, 2015

The Climate Change procrastination penalty for Rochester, NY

As we get closer and closer to the COP21 Climate Treaty in Paris, the world is starting to realize we cannot let this climate treaty fall apart as we have the others. Nations and corporations are beginning to cooperate and contribute to solutions as never before. This change in attitude towards our UN climate negotiations around the world can be credited in part to our courageous moral leaders who are connecting the dots between Climate Change and morality. Also, environmental groups have stepped up their game, pushing governments and corporations to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and take action for real progress. Meanwhile, the science behind manmade Climate Change is becoming clearer:

TEN CLEAR INDICATORS OUR CLIMATE IS CHANGING How do we know our climate is changing permanently, rather than just going through a normal period of flux? Let’s look at 10 major changes scientists have seen in our climate system to help set the record straight. Few global trends have been as controversial as climate change and the Earth’s warming. The Earth has gone through many shifts in cooling and warming driven by natural factors like the sun’s energy or variations in its orbit, but the trend scientists have seen over the past 50 years is unmistakable. Let’s take a closer look: globally, average surface temperatures increased 1.1—1.6 degrees Fahrenheit (0.6—0.9 degrees Celsius) between 1906 and 2005. However, it’s the rate of temperature change that’s especially troubling to scientists; temperatures have risen nearly twice as fast in the last 50 years alone. (August 18, 2015) The Climate Reality Project
On the local level, too many folks still don’t understand the difference between adapting to Climate Change and mitigation. There’s a crucial distinction and both are important. See my essay: “Climate Change mitigation (People’s Climate March ==> Paris 2015) & adaptation: what’s the diff?” Basically, we should mitigate Climate Change so this crisis doesn’t get worse; but, we must adapt to the Climate Change consequences because these disasters will be in our face.

We have already paid a dear price for dawdling on Climate Change mitigation for as long as we have. Much of the extreme weather we are and will experience for some time comes as a result of our inaction—allowing too much long-term greenhouse gases to build up in our air and oceans. There are many indicators that Climate Change has already made some real changes to our Rochester environment. While not as dramatic as wildfires, melting glaciers, and rising seas, they are rock-solid proof that our previous 10,000 years of climate stability are over. The workings of our life support system has ominously shifted.

Here’s a local example of Climate Change requiring immediate action:

Town's rained out and tapped out On June 15, 3.3 inches of rain fell within 40 minutes in the Ontario County town of Richmond. The "gully washer," as Supervisor Ralph Angelo calls it, busted out 22 culverts along town roads, with East Lake Road taking the worst hit. If that sounds familiar, there's good reason. On one July day last year, downpours dumped 6 inches of rain on Richmond in three hours, and a section of East Lake Road was entirely washed out. The town subsequently spent $400,000 to repair the damages; the bill equaled the entire town highway budget. (August 12, 2015) Rochester City Newspaper

So we have to adapt. Because of our lack of coordinated action on Climate Change in our region, changes already being visited upon our lands and water including a 71% increase in heavy rainfall events since 1958, we are falling behind in adequate preparations. Adequate preparations are not ad hoc, invisible-to-the-public power-saving programs, and no-regret updates to our infrastructures that we were going to do anyways. There will be penalties for our procrastination to adapt to these changes.

When we get some serious heat waves, many will die because of inadequate planning. People lacking connection with groups or families to check on them, especially if they cannot get themselves to a cool place if the power goes out, will die. If our hospitals are not prepared to deal with numerous heat victims quickly and if there is not enough emergency personnel to quickly attend to those in trouble, people die who could have been saved.

As with Hurricanes Katrina and Sandy, great disasters can disable many of our infrastructures at the same time. More frequent storms with heavy rainfall can and do overwhelm our waste water systems (think raw sewage into our rivers and lakes where we bathe and drink and fish), our transportation systems (roads washed out), telecommunications (telephone poles down), and energy systems, where power outages compromise our ability to keep warm in cold weather and cool in hot weather. While we may be able to recover from some of these storms, we may not be able to recover when they occur more frequently, and we will certainly be a more impoverished society regardless. 

When we lose plant and animal species that cannot adapt quickly enough, we may never get them back. Even if we put them in zoos for temporary housing these species’ habitats may be unfit for them to return.

When climate refugees come to our region because we still have clean water, lots of farmland, and a milder climate (for a while, anyways), our region will be overwhelmed if we are not ready for the onslaught of more challenges to all our infrastructures.

Perhaps the worst penalty resulting from our region’s procrastination is the lack of public support, as many assume that their authorities have been protecting them. When consequences of Climate Change do strike and become the new normal, they will be of a magnitude grander and of a duration much longer than we are used to. Perhaps greater than we can cope with. Accordingly, the public will not understand why all of a sudden their rights are curtailed and their taxes go through the roof because their government suddenly has to adapt to all the disturbances at once—instead of having prepared over time.

Time passes. 

Sunday, August 16, 2015

Doublethink Climate Change energy policies won’t work

Although the fossil fuel industry is spending more money than ever to save itself at the cost of dramatically worsening Climate Change, there are signs of this industry’s demise. Educational institutions, faith groups, and pension funds are divesting from a carbon-based economy. Renewable energy, which doesn’t warm the planet or pollute the air, is on the rise.

“Wind, solar, and geothermal energy are all on the rise. At least 17,000 megawatts (MW) of these three energy sources are now under construction. According to the Energy Information Administration, renewable energy will account for about one-third of new electricity generation added to the U.S. grid over the next three years.” (U.S. Renewable Energy Growth Accelerates, 8/14/2015, Worldwide Institute)

Of course, we won’t stop using the fuel that fueled the Industrial Revolution tomorrow. But we must ask ourselves, ‘Will this planet-damaging energy option nose-dive on a scale and time frame that will matter?’ The COP21 Paris Summit coming up in a few months hopes to create a binding worldwide agreement to substantially reduce the world economy’s dependence on an energy option that is moving us into the danger zone. The intense efforts by nations to make this year’s COP (Conference of the Parties) successful highlights why reducing a carbon-based economy must be orchestrated from the level of a United Nations’ agreement—nothing else will work, else it would have already. Paris is a desperate act by desperate peoples trying to deal with their addiction to a lethal substance.
With the Clean Power Plan, President Obama hopes to demonstrate to the nations attending the Paris Summit that the United States is serious about leading the world’s Climate Change efforts. However, Obama is also allowing Shell to drill in the Arctic for oil.

Climate alarm bells are ringing, says Arctic-bound Obama  President to use Alaska meeting for global climate deal talks; critics say he can lead by stopping Shell drilling for oil (August 14, 2015)Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)

This instance of doublethink, where one holds two contrary beliefs at the same time, will not work with Climate Change. You cannot try to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in one place on the planet and allow them to increase somewhere else. The final arbitrator in our historic battle with Climate Change is physics—and it doesn’t negotiate. To address Climate Change we must have policies that make sense. 

In New York State, Governor Cuomo banned Fracking and has demonstrated that our state is already stepping up to the plate on reducing GHGs:

Utilities: Shift in New York power New York won’t have much extra work to do to meet President Barack Obama’s mandated cut in carbon emissions from power plants. The state is on track to meet the mandate — which calls for a 32 percent nationwide cut — more than a decade before the federal Clean Power Plan’s 2030 deadline, boosted in large part by its own, more-aggressive goals laid out in an update to the New York State Energy Plan earlier this year. In late June, the state committed to three major energy benchmarks for the next 15 years: reducing all greenhouse-gas emissions by 40 percent from 1990 levels, decreasing energy consumption in buildings by 23 percent from 2012 levels and making sure half of the state’s energy is produced from renewable sources. (August 8, 2015) Rochester Democrat and Chronicle 

But our governor is also mired in doublethink. By allowing the NYS Department of Conservation (DEC) to ignore businesses’ and citizens’ concerns about the massive methane storage project near Seneca Lake, Cuomo cannot also “’… lead on Climate Change”. The threat to our environment by allowing this dangerous buildup of more fossil fuel infrastructure doesn’t square with climate physics.

Adding insult to a massive disregard for our precious Finger Lakes ecosystem, the folks pushing for Crestwood’s plans don’t seem to care about the rising numbers of people willing to stand up against this move that jeopardizes the region’s tourism and wine businesses. (“The number of protestors arrested at the Crestwood Facility near Watkins Glen now totals 340.” --from R-CAUSE (Rochesterians Concerned About Unsafe Shale-gas Extraction.) *Note the creation of the Finger Lakes Wine Business Coalition, who’s mission is to “… lead Upstate economic development through wine-driven agritourism and sustainable business practices, unifying wineries, vineyards, local food producers, and creatives who are the stewards of Finger Lakes Wine Country.”

We hope Governor Cuomo’s and President Obama’s energy decisions quickly evolve into a coherent policy that matches the science.

Climate Change by its very nature cannot endure the sort of duplicity that has governed our way of life for so long. Our leaders cannot talk out of both sides of their mouth on Climate Change and energy because, unlike the public who can be fooled some of time, physics cannot ever be fooled.

Besides, trying to deal with the “GreedyLyingBastards” who’ll stop at nothing to save a dying fossil fuel industry is crazy. Those folks want it all.

Time passes. 

Monday, August 10, 2015

States fighting EPA’s Clean Power Plan highlight humanity’s broadening distance from reality

Somewhere along humanity’s brush with existence, we’ve become increasingly estranged from the a priori imperative of existence: Mother Nature rules. She really does. Despite our impatience with the physical/chemical/biological connections that led (somehow) to our existence, the basic laws of physics have not been supplanted by our desires, our beliefs, our technology, or our political or economic systems. I point out the obvious because many folks just don’t believe in the science behind Climate Change and continually battle those attempting to solve this issue.

No matter how much those whose ideology does not include a planet quickly warming because of our putting more greenhouse gases into the atmosphere, it is nevertheless true. If you quickly increase the percentage of heat-trapping gases in a planet’s atmosphere, the ground and water will warm up too. This process (the runaway greenhouse gas effect) occurred on Venus (albeit, not human caused) so that nowadays our space ships would melt before they hit the ground.  

Because the foundation of our life support system is based on these physical/chemical/biological connections, if you only take baby-steps to address enormous environmental issues that require adult measures, you are not likely to solve the problems affecting our existence—no matter how much these milquetoast efforts assuage our desires, our beliefs, or our political or economic systems. We made up the latter systems, the former system made us.   

Here’s where I’m going with all this: If your environmental actions don’t match the problem, you’re in trouble. If you’re trying to address Climate Change with actions that don’t upset ‘business as usual’ you’re not going to have much of an effect. Nature, being nature, doesn’t care what we think about the laws of physics; it just ensures that we obey them. 

Keeping all this in mind, one has to wonder why 16 states have no intention of adhering to the EPA’s recently released Clean Power Plan.

16 States Think The EPA’s Emissions Rule Isn’t Legal And They Shouldn’t Have To Comply The Clean Power Plan hasn’t been out a week yet, and 16 states have already formally requestedthat the Environmental Protection Agency (EPA) delay the rule. The states, led by West Virginia, filed a letter with the department Wednesday asking for an “administrative stay” of the rule that requires all states to cut carbon emissions from stationary power plants. The finalized EPA rule calls for state-submitted plans by September 2018 (with an extension) and reductions beginning by 2022. The rule gave states two extra years to submit their plans and to begin cutting emissions, over initially proposed timelines. If implemented on schedule, the rule will result in a 30 percent decrease in carbon emissions from the electricity sector, which currently accounts for roughly a third of emissions in the United States. (August 6, 2015) Think Progress/Climate Progress

The response by these sixteen states (West Virginia Alabama, Arizona, Arkansas, Indiana, Kansas, Kentucky, Louisiana, Nebraska, Ohio, Oklahoma, South Carolina, South Dakota, Utah, Wisconsin, and Wyoming) might make sense if they had an alternative plan to decrease the greenhouse gas emissions that are quickly warming our planet. But they don’t have any plans to address Climate Change. They are only annoyed that their state rights might be challenged by a pugnacious EPA.

I know, the reaction by these sixteen states makes a lot of sense if you still believe Climate Change is a hoax, where the Pope and most of the nations of the world have nothing better to do than piss you off.  If you’ve only focused on satisfying your desires, making a lot of money, fulfilling your political prospects, and have ignored all the climate studies and news coming from most of the scientists around the world on the climate crisis for the last thirty years, I could understand your going to the courts to fight against regulations to protect you from something you don’t believe in. But I don’t have to respect this purposeful myopia that condemns billions to the ravages of Climate Change.

The United States--the greatest and the most powerful nation in the world and one of the most responsible for Climate Change--has a real chance to make the COP21 Paris Treaty a success. We could lead by example.

What impact will Obama climate plan have on Paris summit?  Targets set by the US for cutting CO2 emissions send a signal to the rest of the world and raise hopes for Paris accord  President Obama’s determination to reduce US power plant emissions by 32% below 2005 levels by 2030 sends a message to world leaders that the UN climate talks in Paris could – just – succeed. Past talks have foundered on a range of political excuses, but now that the world’s two largest polluters, China and the US, have committed to far-reaching changes in their energy production to keep the world below the dangerous threshold of a 2C temperature increase, the door is open for all the rest to follow. The stumbling block to US action so far has been the refusal of die-hard members of the Republican Party to accept that climate change is happening, and the well-funded fossil fuel lobby’s legal and political campaign to block any legislation. (August 7, 2015)Responding to Climate Change (RTCC)

But we have a major political problem here that will profoundly affect everyone on this planet. The forces aligned against addressing Climate Change are more than a ‘stumbling block to US action.’ They are challenging humanity’s efforts for a sustainable existence.

f the public doesn’t make it clear to their representative that addressing Climate Change is at the top of their priority list, eventually Mother Nature will give us a life support system that isn’t fit for any one of us.  

COP21 Paris Talks must not fail: Check out National and Global Climate Actions leading up to Paris Talks – and take part in one of these events.  

Time passes.