Wednesday, January 30, 2008

If the anti-wind farm groups want to win their arguments and stop wind farms, they’re going to have to:

1. prove that they have a better argument than the NYMBY (Not in my back yard) argument and that they are willing to step up to the plate to help curb Global Warming

2. prove, given that Global Warming is the defining moral and sustainable imperative of this century, that they understand Global Warming and even care about the consequences (remember, at the level of public consensus, scientist and citizens around the world have decided that there is enough evidence that the planet is warming up and is doing so from man’s activity, and at the level of scientific inquiry (where if we wait for that kind of exactitude) we will be long past the point where we can curb Global Warming.)

3. prove that oil and gas giants are not subsidizedby the government and that there is are big paybacks for renewable energy

4. stop insulting the intelligence of those who they disagree with

5. prove that the alternatives to renewable energy (gas, oil, coal, biofuels, nuclear, and hydroelectric) will not continue to harm our environment and make it a sustainable one

6. prove that the possible negatives of wind farms (well water, destruction of birds & bats, visual impact on land, light pollution, noise, TV interference, flicker effect, roads (during construction) disruptions, etc. ) offset the proven bad effects of our present energy system against the potential positive benefits in solving Global Warming.

YouTube - Woody Harrelson compelling video supporting Focus the Nation

YouTube - Woody Harrelson compelling video supporting Focus the Nation

Nuclear Power in a Warming World

Nuclear Power in a Warming World: "The life cycle of nuclear power results in relatively little global warming pollution, but building a new fleet of plants could increase threats to public safety and national security.

Nuclear power is riskier than it should—and could—be. The United States has strong safety regulations on the books, but the Nuclear Regulatory Commission does not enforce them consistently. Current security standards are inadequate to defend nuclear plants against terrorist attacks. A major accident or successful attack could kill thousands of people and contaminate large regions for thousands of years."

Tuesday, January 29, 2008

2008 Presidential Primaries Voter Guide -- League of Conservation Voters

2008 Presidential Primaries Voter Guide -- League of Conservation Voters

It has been nearly 80 years since the race for president has been this wide open. The campaigns for both major parties are not dominated by any one candidate. And after almost eight years of a reckless and relentless presidential assault on environmental protection, the nation is yearning for a return to the traditional bipartisan support for improved environmental standards and a new commitment to addressing the single greatest challenge of this generation: global warming and America’s energy future.

Operation Climate Vote Blog - Global Warming Vote Countdown - Environmental Defense

Operation Climate Vote Blog - Global Warming Vote Countdown - Environmental Defense: "Operation Climate Vote Blog
This is it. Congress has just a few weeks left in the legislative calendar to pass a cap on America's global warming pollution.


That's why we're launching Operation Climate Vote, an intensive online campaign to focus grassroots pressure like never before and demand a vote.

On this page, we invite you to keep up with our latest campaign news and leave your comments."

Sunday, January 27, 2008

Take Action - Provide input on DEC draft on Conducting bird and bat studies for Commercial Wind Energy Projects by March


Please take action on this draft. Don't sit back on this one because it involves how commercial wind energy projects in New York State will conduct bat and bird studies. If you care about the amount of wind farms, which are renewable energy sources (Check out Energy on RochesterEnvironment.com), then you must make sure that the state understands how important wind farms are to how we get energy in the future. If you don’t act on this draft proposal, then by default we could be saddled with oil, gas, coal, and less renewable energy sources for New York State.
Draft Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects

The Department of Environmental Conservation has released for public review proposed Guidelines for Conducting Bird and Bat Studies at Commercial Wind Energy Projects. These guidelines inform potential wind developers of the information DEC needs about wind farm sites to assess impacts to birds and bats. The guidelines were developed through a stakeholder process sponsored by the New York State Energy Research and Development Authority which included industry representatives as well as bird and bat biologists from government agencies, academia and non-governmental environmental groups.

Wind energy development is an important component of Governor Eliot Spitzer's clean renewable energy initiative in New York State as well as of New York's ability to achieve the Renewable Portfolio Standard of twenty-five percent (25%) of energy produced from renewable sources by the year 2013. With increased construction of wind turbines comes increased potential for birds and bats to collide with the towers and rotating blades.

The proposed guidelines outline DEC's recommendations to commercial wind energy developers on how to characterize bird and bat resources at wind energy sites and how to document and estimate bird and bat mortality resulting from collisions with turbines. The protocols in the guidelines are intended to provide comparability of data collection among sites and between years so that the information from each site contributes to a statewide understanding of the ecological effects of wind energy generation. Protocols for both pre-construction studies and post-construction monitoring are included.

The guidelines (PDF, 135 Kb) are now available for review. Comments will be received until March 7, 2008 via mail to Brianna Gary, NYSDEC Bureau of Habitat, 625 Broadway 5th Floor, Albany, NY 12233-4756 or via email. To provide comments or for further information, contact the Habitat Protection Section mailbox.

Interviews and info on the presidential candidates' energy plans and environmental positions | Grist | Grist Feature | 06 Jul 2007

Interviews and info on the presidential candidates' energy plans and environmental positions Grist Grist Feature 06 Jul 2007: "Interviews and info on the presidential candidates' energy plans and environmental positions"

Frank J. Regan: Beyond anything else you are going to do for our environment this year is how you vote. Be informed, vote for the planet. We are living in Extraordinary times.

Focus the Nation

Focus the Nation We Stand at a Critical Moment in Human History

In the next few years, we as a nation will make, or fail to make, critical decisions regarding global warming pollution and clean technology investments. These decisions will have far-reaching and irreversible impacts on the lives of today’s students and the lives of their children. At this moment in time, we owe our young people at least a day of focused discussion about global warming solutions for America.

Focus the Nation is organizing a national teach-in on global warming solutions for America—creating a dialogue at over a thousand colleges, universities, high schools, middle schools, places of worship, civic organizations and businesses, and directly engaging millions of students and citizens with the nation’s decision-makers. Focus the Nation will culminate January 31st, 2008 in simultaneous educational symposia held across the country. Our intent is to move America beyond fatalism to a determination to face up to this civilizational challenge, the challenge of our generation.

Focus the Nation is an educational initiative, but we also promote civic engagement. Each Focus team will invite local, state and federal political leaders and decision-makers to come to campus and participate in a non-partisan, round-table discussion of global warming solutions. US Senators and members of congress, state representatives, mayors and city councilors, all will be receiving dozens of invitations to speak about global warming, from over a thousand institutions nation-wide. Every institution will also vote on their top five national priorities for global warming action, producing a campus and citizen endorsed policy agenda for 2008.

Currently over 1000 institutions, mostly colleges and universities, have signed on to participate, and dozens of college and university Presidents have endorsed the initiative. To maximize both education and civic engagement, Focus the Nation has four key components:

Saturday, January 26, 2008

Was “An Inconvenient Truth” a success?


Most of you have probably seen “An Inconvenient Truth” Al. Gore’s documentary film that launched a worldwide public focus on the problem of Global Warming. But, do you know how thoroughly researched and effective this documentary has been?


Over the years, I have witnessed the long sloping curve upward in public awareness of Global Warming and then the dramatic, hockey-stick spike on the this issue since the film’s debut. This is only a personal observation. How about something more substantial: some facts about the film, and what specific programs, films, actions, and research that “An Inconvenient Truth” has generated?


Check out: "Convenient Resources for "An Inconvenient Truth" Frederick Stoss -University at Buffalo, State University of New York


"Editor's Note: Before Al Gore's film An Inconvenient Truth won an Oscar for best documentary film, a member of the Electronic Green Journal's Editorial Board, Fred Stoss, traveled to Nashville, Tennessee. Fred was taught by former Vice President Al Gore and a group of scientists, educators, and communication specialists from The Climate Project to become "climate change messengers" and help spread the word about global warming across the United States. He was selected from thousands of applicants to participate in training sessions sponsored by The Climate Project. Attendees received presentation skills training and educational resources for sharing with others. They also received an intensive overview of the science of global warming. This training provides Stoss with the resources to conduct special versions of Gore's famous global warming slide show that is the basis for An Inconvenient Truth. As a librarian, he is frequently asked for resources to support the data and information described in the slide show." --from Electronic Green Journal

Learn more about Global Warming and the effectiveness of Gore's "An Inconvenient Truth" film

Heating Up for Global Warming Research and Policy
By Kaeti Stoss and Frederick W. Stoss

When the film An Inconvenient Truth, directed by Davis Guggenheim, won the 2006 Academy Award for best documentary feature, it focused people’s attention on the climate crisis (www.climatecrisis.net; www.oscars.org/79academyawards/nomswins.html).

In the documentary, former U.S. Vice President Al Gore presented his renowned global warming slideshow with enhanced footage depicting the causes and effects of global warming and his commitment to informing others about it. The film’s evolution actually began in the late 1960s during Gore’s college years at Harvard University. It was there that he learned about the increase of carbon dioxide (CO 2) in the Earth’s atmosphere from the late Roger Lavelle, who was one of the lead scientists planning experiments for the 1957–58 International Geophysical Year and who proposed to Charles D. Keeling the first large-scale measurements of CO 2 in the Earth’s atmosphere.

Thursday, January 24, 2008

Earth Scientists Express Rising Concern Over Warming - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog

Earth Scientists Express Rising Concern Over Warming - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog: "The American Geophysical Union, the world’s largest organization representing earth and space scientists, put out a fresh statement on the causes and consequences of recent climate change and possible responses."

www.ny.gov - BUDGET PROPOSES $1 BILLION UPSTATE REVITALIZATION FUND

http://www.ny.gov/governor/press/0122087.html: BUDGET PROPOSES $1 BILLION UPSTATE REVITALIZATION FUND

"Brownfields Reform: Revising the existing State Brownfields program to ensure funds are available for critical environmental remediation and economic development projects."

Global Warming by the Numbers - Global Warming Vote Countdown - Environmental Defense

Global Warming by the Numbers - Global Warming Vote Countdown - Environmental Defense: "Global warming is the most serious environmental threat of our time.

As these facts show, affordable options are available. And America cannot afford to fall behind any more in the race to invent clean, renewable energy sources."

Wednesday, January 23, 2008

U.S. Given Poor Marks on the Environment - New York Times

U.S. Given Poor Marks on the Environment - New York Times: "WASHINGTON — A new international ranking of environmental performance puts the United States at the bottom of the Group of 8 industrialized nations and 39th among the 149 countries on the list.

European nations dominate the top places in the ranking, which evaluates sanitation, greenhouse gas emissions, agricultural policies, air pollution and 20 other measures to formulate an overall score, with 100 the best possible."

Our region’s transportation plan.

Provided by the Genesee Transportation Council, there is a twenty year plan for our region’s transportation. It’s called the Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region: 2005 - 2025 and it is a long document, 104 pages. I have not read it yet, and therefore I cannot comment on it, but it’s there and we should read it because it’s our future.

Besides economic, safety, population growth, etc. we should pay special attention to how this plan addresses our environmental future, which includes global warming. At some time in the future I’d like to comment on this plan, compare it with the vigorous New York City plan PLANYC 2030 and get an idea if we are as serious about our environmental future as New York.

If you have read it both plans, and have some observations about how our area is addressing our environmental future, drop me a line or comment on this in the comment section here in my blog--Environmental Thoughts - Rochester, NY.

Here's the overview: Long Range Transportation Plan (LRTP) "The Long Range Transportation Plan for the Genesee-Finger Lakes Region: 2005-2025 (LRTP: 2005-2025) provides a 20-year perspective of existing and projected transportation system capabilities, needs, and objectives, as well as recommended policies and actions to meet these objectives for the nine-county Genesee-Finger Lakes Region".

Tuesday, January 22, 2008

Check out this Brighton event

Focus The Nation Webcast Event date and location Wednesday, January 30 at 7:45 p.m.

The Harley School, 1981 Clover Street - Join us January 30 for a live interactive webcast titled “The 2% Solution.” - The nationwide webcast is being streamed from the University of Central Florida in Orlando as part of an initiative called “Focus The Nation, Global Warming Solutions for America.”

The webcast will feature Stanford University climate scientist, Stephen Schneider, sustainability expert Hunter Lovins, green jobs pioneer Van Jones along with youth climate leaders discussing global warming solutions. Audiences will be able to weigh in with cell phone voting. This event is sponsored by the Green Brighton Task Force, in partnership with The Harley School. --from Color Brighton Green

Friday, January 18, 2008

Take Action: Operation Climate Vote - Tell the House to Act on Global Warming

Take Action: Operation Climate Vote - Tell the House to Act on Global Warming: "The U.S. House is back from its holiday recess. Help us put global warming at the top of their agenda.
Last month, we had a historic breakthrough when the Senate Environment and Public Works Committee passed the Climate Security Act. This bi-partisan bill would cap America's global warming pollution." -from Environmental Defense.org

Take Action: Send an Email to Help Fix Our Transportation System

Take Action: Send an Email to Help Fix Our Transportation System: "America's transportation system is broken.
We need a major overhaul to promote smarter, more efficient and innovative new approaches for dealing with traffic congestion.
This starts with establishing a clear national goal for transportation efficiency tied to objective performance metrics.
Take action! Tell your members of Congress to support radical reform of our transportation system to improve efficiency and reduce congestion."

Thursday, January 17, 2008

Plan Envy?

New York City has come up with a comprehensive plan called PLANYC 2030 to address sustainability for its future. Should we be envious of New York City's plan or do we have a good plan ourselves?

Sure, we don’t have many of the issues that New York City, one of the largest cities in the world that also has to deal with the rising oceans due to Global Warming, but we are a major New York State city not too far down the road from New York City.

Check out PLANYC 2030 and especially it’s transportation page and maybe you have some ideas about how Rochester should move itself around for a sustainable future. PLANYC 2030 "On Earth Day 2007, Mayor Michael R. Bloomberg, released PlaNYC, a comprehensive sustainability plan for the City’s future. PlaNYC puts forth a strategy to reduce the City’s greenhouse gas footprint, while also accommodating a population growth of nearly one million, and improving our infrastructure and environment. Recognizing the importance to reduce global carbon emissions, and the value of leading by example, New York has set the goal of reducing its citywide carbon emissions by 30% below 2005 levels. The annual Greenhouse Gas Emissions Inventory will track progress towards our goal."

Wednesday, January 16, 2008

GLRC

GLRC: "America's hunger for new, greener sources of electricity, and a generous federal tax credit, are fueling a wind power boom. According to the industry, almost 6,000 megawatts of new wind energy are under construction nationwide. That's 40% of all existing wind power in the U.S. The federal government doesn't regulate many aspects of wind power. Neither do many states. That puts a lot of pressure on local town councils to decide if a wind farm will be a good neighbor."

The White House and the Whales - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog

The White House and the Whales - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog: "The fight over how humans should, and should not, interact with whales has moved from the waters off Antarctica, where environmental campaigners have been harassing Japanese whalers, to the White House.While traveling in the Middle East on Tuesday, President Bush issued an exemption to the Navy from environmental laws that would otherwise limit its ability to use certain kinds of sonar used in anti-submarine warfare training, the Associated Press said."

Tuesday, January 15, 2008

What Are They Waiting For? > Sierra Club

What Are They Waiting For? > Sierra Club: "The climate crisis is the biggest challenge facing the next president.


But the nation's top reporters don't seem to think so.

In 2007, they asked
2275 questions.


THREE questions mentioned global warming!"

Monday, January 14, 2008

A Starting Point for Productive Climate Discourse

Check out this list of basic agreements about Climate change:

"The views expressed here on human-caused climate change run the gamut. It’s a hoax. It’s a catastrophe. It’s a crisis. It’s a manageable trend. It can be fixed with a rising tax on carbon. It can be fixed by making people rich. It can be controlled by dumping something in the air or oceans.
To try to rein in and focus the discussion just a bit, I’ve decided to put up this post as a work in progress, aimed at establishing a list of basic facets of the climate and energy challenge that are not in reasonable dispute (with more to come). As I’ve written for years (as in a feature for AARP’s magazine last summer), the yelling has distracted too many people for too long from the core ideas that are powerfully established."

Sunday, January 13, 2008

Environmental issues still too low in state priorities | lohud.com | The Journal News

Environmental issues still too low in state priorities lohud.com The Journal News: "Somewhat lost in the media coverage of Elliot Spitzer's State of the State speech yesterday was what the first-term governor expects to do for New York's environment in 2008 and beyond.
There was plenty in his second annual talk about lowering property taxes, providing more funding for education, mending political fences and even renaming the Triborough Bridge after former Sen. Robert F. Kennedy, and most of that made it onto New Yorkers' radar screens."

Hopefuls snub state's concerns for environment

"Environmental issues important to the Great Lakes are getting little respect and few commitments from presidential candidates. The Free Press sent questions to eight top candidates asking their views on tackling invasive species, fixing global warming, diverting Great Lakes water to parched states and supporting $20 billion in funding to restore the lakes, from rebuilding sewers to repairing wetlands. Only Republican Mitt Romney, a Michigan native, responded. Former presidential candidate Bill Richardson set off a firestorm in the Great Lakes region last fall when he told bone-dry Nevadans that Midwestern states were awash in water they ought to share."

Saturday, January 12, 2008

Media Responsibility


As I live and Breathe: Just when you think the media has become so Objective in their reporting that somehow they think they can stand outside of our environment and simply report on the decline of our environment, you read a story like this.


Major Kudos for News 8/FOX Rochester. The movement is growing. The pubic and even the media is realizing that we cannot stand aside while that which keeps us alive, our environment, is in serious jeopardy - just check out some of these Rochester Environmental Issues. Hopefully, more and more mainstream media will recognize their innate responsibility as our informers, who have been protected with a special privilege under the US Bill of Rights, to inform us on the state of our environment—so that we may have the information we need to make informed choices about that which matters most.


For, as Dr. Sagan said, "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." Check this story out: News 8/FOX Rochester kicks off Go Green project "Going "green" seems to be the hot phrase these days. Many people are spreading the word about protecting the planet by being environmentally friendly. We think it's a good message.Over the course of the next year we're going to bring you stories about the simple things we can all do to make a difference. These days it seems everything is tinged green. Schools are being built to specific environmental standards. Weddings are being thrown with mother earth in mind."

Democracy Now! | Study: Of Over 2,000 Sunday Talk Show Questions to Candidates, Only Three on Global Warming

Democracy Now! Study: Of Over 2,000 Sunday Talk Show Questions to Candidates, Only Three on Global Warming: "Study: Of Over 2,000 Sunday Talk Show Questions to Candidates, Only Three on Global Warming

A new study by the League of Conservation Voters found that the five major Sunday morning political shows asked the presidential candidates well over 2,000 questions in 2007. Just three of the questions mentioned global warming. We speak with the president of the League of Conservation Voters, Gene Karpinski."

From Frank J. Regan: It is unconscionable for the mainstream media to ignore Global Warming and other environmental problems during the political debate. Please read this transcript by DemocracyNow.org and for a moment try not to think of yourself as a media sponge but as a citizen on this planet.

We, the citizenry of the United States, are not simply sponges, or blank slates to which the media chooses what issues our presidential candidates will address. We are partly responsible for the environmental future of our world, simply because we are alive and conscious at this Extraordinary Time in history, and we should demand that anyone running for the most powerful job in the world address the monumental issue of Global Warming.

You would think after the mainstream’s botching of the news about the buildup of the War in Iraq that American would not tolerate being adequately informed about issue that will determine our future. Well, any president of the United States that gets into office in 2009 without having a plan to lead the world in efforts to curb Global Warming is going to be a failed presidency and a nation depicted as a irresponsible polluter. And, we will have gotten there supported by a media that has taken into their hands to avoid discussing the most important issue of this century.

Wednesday, January 09, 2008

The Road from Climate Science to Climate Advocacy - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog

The Road from Climate Science to Climate Advocacy - Dot Earth - Climate Change and Sustainability - New York Times Blog: "The Road from Climate Science to Climate Advocacy"

This is a must read because it explains a fundamental problem of Objectivity on something so profound as Climate Change. How does anyone, especially a scientist, remain object about a planetary problem and the inherient problem of latency of climate change. For, by the time there is absolute certainty about drastic Global Warming due to manmade change, it will be too late to stop it. --Frank J. Regan

Monday, January 07, 2008

How Important is Recycling?


A sign of the times? Recycling is important, but just how far will communities go to get their citizens to Recycle? Maybe getting tougher on recycling is a reflection on the assumption that once the public understands the importance of environmental they’ll do the right thing. Getting tougher then would me that we cannot assume that people will do the right thing. Eventually, voluntarily or not, we’re going to have to stop putting so much trash in the ground and reusing these valuable resources imbedded in our trash.


Getting tough on recycling - News from The Post-Standard on syracuse.com Westchester County is warning residents to take recycling laws seriously -- or their transgressions will show. (Jan 06, 07) Real-Time News, Sports, Entertainment, and Life in Central New York - syracuse.com

Stop Lead Poisoning


Get the Lead Out: This is an excellent story that encapsulates what at first appears to be a minor issue. But, until you pull away and get an idea of how many lead bullets eventually end up in our environment because of the years of accumulated lead from firing ranges, hunting, etc. you don’t understand the potential danger. Rochester leads the country in protecting our children against lead poisoning and if we are going to really do the job, curbing lead ammo must be a part of the solution.


Of course, there will be many gun users who will see any intrusion by government to affect their sport as the camel’s nose into the tent, and oppose any changes. But, I don’t think it’s too much to ask gun users “to use nontoxic ammunition in order to protect public health and the environment from the effects of lead.” We all have to do our part to protect our environment because there aren’t enough spaceships to transport us to another planet if we make this one uninhabitable.
DEC shifts to lead-free ammo — ALBANY — The state Department of Environmental Conservation is reducing its negative impact on the environment by giving up lead-based bullets used for firearms training in favor of less harmful "green" ammunition. "(The) DEC is committed to leading the way in finding new ways — large and small — to reduce the amount of contamination that is released into our environment," said Commissioner Alexander "Pete" Grannis. (January 7, 2008) Democrat & Chronicle

Sunday, January 06, 2008

Democrat & Chronicle: Local News

Democrat & Chronicle: Local News: "'Recycling is done at the local level,' he said, and sometimes it is done without people even realizing it. His neighbor in the suburbs of St. Louis said he had thrown his tree in the trash, but the waste haulers there picked it up and took it to be recycled. 'He did recycle and he didn't know it.'"

Saturday, January 05, 2008

Environmental Site of the Month (December 07)


This Rochester-based site has some very practical and unique ways of saving energy for our planet and for your pocket book. I’m always looking for innovative a Rochester-area environmental site that uses this 21st Century to help us live a sustainable lif--and this site gets specific. Check it out and monitor your energy and living habits so you personally can help move our way of life to a more sustainable one.

PROJECT-HOUSE.US "Project H.O.U.S.E. is designed to be a comprehensive resource for anyone who is looking for information, motivation, organizations, etc. in regard to reducing our carbon footprint, saving energy, and sustaining a livable planet"

Friday, January 04, 2008

GLRC

GLRC: "The Great Lakes are hitting new record low water levels. The water is so low that big 1000-foot cargo ships are running aground. There's debate about whether this is just part of the historic ups and downs of the Great Lakes, or if it's the effects of global warming. Lester Graham reports from Lake Michigan's Muskegon River, a trouble spot for some of the big ships:"

This report includes a part about the concerns of Diversion--taking waters from the Great Lakes.

Global Warming FAQ

Global Warming FAQ: "Frequently Asked Questions
about Global Warming"

Get the fact from those who know the facts. The Union of Concerned Scientists

Thursday, January 03, 2008

December 2007 RENewsletter


Greetings the December 2007 RENewsletter is out.


RENewsletter comes in two formats: MS Word and Adobe Reader.
http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/RENewsletters/December_07_RENewsletterWord.doc MS Word


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.


Please consider sharing this free RENewsletter.


*** For complete information about this newsletter and downloading a version on your browser please go to: http://www.rochesterenvironment.com/subscribe.htm
*** Also, if any of the links above do not work, please copy and paste the entire link to your browser's address line and it will work.