Monday, December 24, 2007

Changing the criteria for news:

The Democrat & Chronicle is running an interesting contest in its news, here at the end of the year: What was the top business story for the Rochester area in the past year? (Dec 23, 07)

I believe without a doubt the biggest business story of this year was Rochester Gas & Electric decided not to upgrade its Russell Station coal burning plant with coal. (Russell Station plans change — Rochester Gas and Electric Corp. has withdrawn its application to convert Russell Station to a clean coal power plant and will instead go with the option of rebuilding the Greece site as a natural gas power plant. (September 29, 2007) Democrat & Chronicle)

It would be a real service to the city it the Democrat and Chronicle used this criteria, helping in the fight against Global Warming, instead of how many ‘hits’ a company gets or how popular an issue. The PAETEC story may loom large in the public view of what visually constitutes change, but removing one of the largest coal-burning producing power plants in the Northeast and promising not to use coal in the upgrade will make all the other efforts the public makes in their lives to curb global warming worthwhile.

If Russell Station simply went back to coal, anything else our city did to stop global warming would have been negligible, or impossible to counteract. Using the criteria of corporate responsibility and sustainability is more important it this point in time (after the Bali Climate Change Summit) than how many jobs or how titillating a business story.

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