Thursday, July 24, 2008

Mapping Landfills

An idea overheard about Recycling and entrepreneurship:

We were listening in as some suggested that “mapping landfills,” where all of them are including long abandoned ones, and what they contain could be a great boon for finding raw material for industry in the future. This is a great idea from many angles because it focuses industry on reclaiming what has been tossed into landfills (and probably doing great environmental damage) and instead of digging up valuable resources, reuses millions of tons of resources that we formerly called ‘trash.’

Older adults contributing to healthier environment- Pollution-Earth-The Economic Times

Older adults contributing to healthier environment- Pollution-Earth-The Economic Times: "WASHINGTON: Elderly people who volunteer for environmental protection are likely to find the activity physically and mentally stimulating, according to a recent study.

Post retirement volunteerism provides opportunities for social integration among different generations, through the initiative of environmental organisations. Many of these involve healthy physical activity, such as the testing of rivers or clean up of natural areas."

Wednesday, July 23, 2008

**ACTION** Plant Trees

What could be easier in helping you with those carbon offsets? Have some trees planted in a state park and all you have to do is let these people know: New York State Office of Parks Recreation and Historic Preservation - "Help us grow! New York State Parks will receive up to 5 trees from Odwalla for each family who participates in the Plant a Tree program. No purchase, no emails, no sign-up"

Car Pooling in Rochester:

Another way to save energy using computers (along with transportations systems move products from here to there with fewer empty loads) is car pooling. Car pooling works if you have a large pool of potential drivers and passengers so the car pool systems can accommodate more routes and schedules. Here are some of the places I’ve found online trying to fill up vehicles with passengers and reduce energy costs around Rochester.

Friday, July 18, 2008

Al Gore lays down green challenge to America

Al Gore lays down green challenge to America: "Former Vice President Al Gore, seeking to shake up an energy debate that is focused mostly on drilling, challenged the United States to shift its entire electricity sector to carbon-free wind, solar and geothermal power within 10 years, and use that power to fuel a new fleet of electric vehicles.
The goal is the most ambitious energy plan by a major U.S. political figure - and one many energy experts say is unrealistic. Gore insists the only real obstacle is the reluctance of America's leaders to seek bold solutions to high energy prices and global warming. He likened his challenge to President John F. Kennedy's 1961 call to put a man on the moon."

FJR: The challenge has been marked by Nobel Prize winner AL Gore on the most important issue of this century,” Is our way of life sustainable?” Will America’s response be to meet it head on and change our dependency on oil, or will we deny that there is a problem at all—and conveniently find an argument that will only dump the problem onto to our children and grandchildren? What will an intelligent, well-informed American’s response be?

Wednesday, July 16, 2008

High Corn Prices Cast Shadow Over Ethanol Plants : NPR

High Corn Prices Cast Shadow Over Ethanol Plants : NPR: "All Things Considered, July 15, 2008 · A rush to cash in on ethanol has slowed as soaring corn prices squeeze profit margins for producers of the alternative fuel. At a recent high of $7 per bushel, the corn used to make ethanol has tripled in price since many plants were built two years ago, and some facilities have been shut down or put on hold."

FJR: Could it be that the decisions to move towards ethanol was not thought through very well? I’m thinking that who wish to make changes to our energy use and try to do the right thing can make wrong choices too. Ethanol seemed like a good idea a couple of years ago, but now with soaring food prices, the rush to create more corn and less other critical food, and a better understanding of the net energy of biofuels it’s time to reconsider. We’re digging a hole with our increasing dependence on ethanol and it sounds like it’s time to admit it. Working our way out of our energy/environmental/food/economic crisis is going to take more than just arguing about it all. We’re going to have to all put our heads to together, do the science, rationally foresee the consequences, and move towards the same goal—sustainability

Tuesday, July 15, 2008

Mitchell Bard: Remember Global Warming? That's Okay, Most People Apparently Don't, Either

Mitchell Bard: Remember Global Warming? That's Okay, Most People Apparently Don't, Either: "It's time to make global warming a central part of the American discussion and, certainly, an important part of the presidential campaign. As a country, we can only stick our heads in the sand for so long before it will be too late to address this looming catastrophe. And the sand is getting hotter by the day."

FJR: At some point along the continuum of planetary climate change due to man-made influences, we have to ask ourselves as a species: “Are we capable of recognizing a real danger? Or, will our demise be the siren’s calls of misinformation, miss opportunities, misquotes, misstatements, and a general incapacity to recognizing a clear and present danger to our way of life?

News from The Associated Press

News from The Associated Press: "WASHINGTON (AP) -- Government scientists detailed a rising death toll from heat waves, wildfires, disease and smog caused by global warming in an analysis the White House buried so it could avoid regulating greenhouse gases.
In a 149-page document released Monday, the experts laid out for the first time the scientific case for the grave risks that global warming poses to people, and to the food, energy and water on which society depends."

FJR: I’m thinking there is a good reason why most people don’t get the gravity of the dilemma that will be Global Warming. The science is clear, but there are many prominent voices that think the issue of Global Warming should be unclear.

Friday, July 11, 2008

Map Reveals Extensive Damage to World's Oceans : NPR

Map Reveals Extensive Damage to World's Oceans : NPR: "Talk of the Nation, February 15, 2008 · Researchers have published a new map highlighting the human impact on oceans worldwide. Their findings show oceans are in serious trouble, with declining fish stocks, disappearing coral reefs and changing water chemistry."

Study: Global Coral Crisis Is In Full Bloom : NPR

Study: Global Coral Crisis Is In Full Bloom : NPR: "Coral reefs around the world are in bad shape these days. But a new research paper in the journal Science says their problems may be getting worse. The paper says as much as a third of the world's coral species may now be headed toward extinction, thanks to problems ranging from destructive fishing boats to ocean waters warmed by global climate change."

Thursday, July 10, 2008

Rochester Environmental Discussion - Question July 10, 2008- 17

With gas prices going up, has this changed your attitude towards energy? If so, how? I’m hearing about car pooling, people doing energy audits to find out how their home energy conservation efforts are going, people biking, people buying scooters, etc.

Tuesday, July 08, 2008

G-8 Leaders Resolve to Cut Emissions in Half by 2050 -

G-8 Leaders Resolve to Cut Emissions in Half by 2050 - "RUSUTSU, Japan -- Pledging to 'move toward a low-carbon society,' leaders of the world's richest nations on Tuesday endorsed the idea of cutting greenhouse gas emissions in half by 2050, but failed to set a short-term goal for reducing the toxic heat-trapping gases that scientists say are warming the planet."

Monday, July 07, 2008

Easy Drop Off for Old Computers -

Easy Drop Off for Old Computers - "As of Thursday, July 3, ABVI Goodwill is taking old computer equipment free of charge."

FJR: No one should be allowing their old computers to be thrown into a landfill. Please let everyone know about this excellent free service to dispose of old computer equipment.

Quiet Death of the new Bottle Bill

The Bigger Better Bottle Bill that most New Yorkers want and would go far in cleaning up our environment quietly died at the New York State Senate before going to the floor. So it goes (as Kurt Vonnegut used to say). What bothers me, almost as the loss of this long-sought-after bill, is the booming dearth of news from the media on why this bill died. A decision was supposed to be made on June 23rd, and there was much to-do about it, then the date came and the bill vanished into nothingness. Why wouldn’t mainstream media do a follow up on a recycling bill that most New Yorkers wanted? Though we are supposed to have a free press and live in a democracy, the quiet death of the Bigger Better Bottle Bill makes one wonder.

Sunday, July 06, 2008

Rochester Environmental News

I'm beginning a new feature on called ROCHESTER ENVIRONMENTAL DISCUSSION – where each week, beginning on Thursday's, I'll pose a new environmental question pertaining to our Rochester area. Responses to my questions can be made on my blog: Environmental Thoughts, Rochester, NY by clicking on the specific question or going to my blog in general - This is in an effort to get Rochesterians engaged in our environmental concerns as they relate to our specific environmental issues and the environmental as a whole, connecting the dots. I hope you’ll check it out and join in.

Realistically, I don’t expect much response, but I’m hoping that will change over time. There’s no end of chatter on entertainment, politics, and sports online, but (except for the New York’s Times’ science blog, which is a raging success) there is little thoughtful discourse on the most important issue of our times-- locally: How, with 6.4 billion people and growing quickly, will we establish a sustainable future if the media doesn’t start serious (non-political) coverage and people everywhere understand our environmental plight?

Yet, from reading June’s environmental news you do get the feeling that much is changing in our area on green practices. I have also begun a new page on Green Business that attempts to track online news links and locate resources for making our area’s business greener. It is happening. Our new governor ( a powerful new leader on the scene fighting for our environment) announced that there is an “agreement with legislature on law to help businesses produce their own renewable energy”, a net-metering bill got passed, a green building bill was passed, has a Go Green program, a report that Rochesterians are number “six in the country when it comes to green drivers,” the state government is cutting their energy needs, school buses are being retrofitted to reduce air pollution, more planting tree efforts are occurring, and several stories about creating green homes makes one think that there’s real movement towards living responsibly towards our environment.

All this bodes well for our future if everyone gets on board. A sustainable environment isn’t simply a greenie heaven of sorts, it’s physics 101—your species either adapts to environmental change or they don’t. It is the responsibility of all media, governments, and each an every citizen on the planet to move towards sustainability, not simply to assuage their particular beliefs or morality.

Interested in what you can do locally to help the fight against Global Warming?

Interested in what you can do locally to help the fight against Global Warming, check out this new organization and web site: Climate Change Central - 545 Park Avenue, Rochester, New York 14607 585.232.2988 -

Climate Change Central - climate change central community resource center "climate change central is a community resource center and forum for climate change dialogue in rochester new york. we believe improved access to climate change information will empower citizens in our community to recognize climate induced hazards, and to make positive changes for their families and neighborhoods. given the right resources and tools, people can protect their families and help their communities in the face of this crisis."

Saturday, July 05, 2008

Rochester Environmental Discussion - Question July 4, 2009- 11.

The Monroe County Pesticide Neighbor Notification Law became effective January 1, 2006. It requires various groups applying pesticides to provide certain types of notification to neighbors. Do you have any experience that this law is either being complied with or not complied with? In other words, if the company that uses pesticides to spray your lawn, do they contact your neighbors? Or, if your neighbor’s lawn care company uses pesticide sprays, do they contact you? Check out: notification law. (Please don't post names of companies or people.)

Friday, July 04, 2008

June 2008 RENewsletter is out.

RENewsletter comes in two formats: MS Word and Adobe Reader.

The reason for two formats is that while the Word format provides all the online features (all links on the newsletter work) not everyone can use this format. And while with Adobe Reader, a format that most browsers accept, there is a limited ability to follow the embedded links to online articles and web pages, and e-mails that are a very important part of RENewsletter.
Both formats print out perfectly for easy reading.

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